Woodstock Folk Festival 9th Annual Invitational Concert

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We Are Pleased to Present the First Woodstock Folk Festival Online Concert 

The Concert premieres Sunday, April 5 at 2 p.m./CDT and will be available on this website for the rest of April, possibly beyond. Here’s some background on the concert and the performers.

Since 2012 the Woodstock Folk Festival has presented a themed concert each spring to benefit the summer Festival. This year’s theme “The Power of Song” commemorates the 100th Anniversary of Suffrage in the U.S. (August 18), the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day (April 22), the 50th Anniversary of the Student Strike of 1970 (May 1), and the role music played in all of the movements.

While we had hoped to bring 8 wonderful performers to you in person at Unity Spiritual Center, we can no longer do that because of the pandemic. We want all of you to stay home and take all of the recommended precautions to avoid Covid-19, but we also want to continue to bring you “The Power of Song.” By clicking on the link, you can watch a revised version of the concert featuring

*(Small Potatoes offered to perform when Lia Nicine McCoo and Chris McIntosh & Alvin McGovern could not participate in the online version of the concert. We are very grateful they were able to do this.)

Please donate to the Festival via the PayPal Button toward the top of the right column on every page of this website — and please go to performer websites to purchase their CDs and other merchandise and to donate to them. The links to their websites are in the list above. With all their gigs cancelled, they urgently need your support.

Rather than giving you a lot of background on the themes in this post, we encourage you to watch the video compiled by Rich Prezioso NOW where you will hear more about each of the movements associated with those anniversaries. And please check our website on each of those dates for a post about that movement. The dates are April 22May 1, and August 18.

This concert was made possible by the efforts of many people: Leslie Cook, with assistance from Festival VP Mary Sherman, created a new website and arranged for the YouTube connection; Rich Prezioso edited and uploaded the videos; performers contributed their videos; George Muligano offered tips on how to do this; and all of the Board members have worked for months on the original concert. It has been a learning experience for everyone and we hope you enjoy “The Power of Song.”   Please check out Windborne”s “Bread & Roses” on their website, windbornesingers.com and sing along at the end; make some bread and order some roses!

Also, here is a selected bibliography about the themes. Please note this is a very limited list; we hope you will share additional ideas and resources via the Festival’s Facebook page. The Festival does not endorse particular resources, but rather offers suggestions for further reading and listening.

“The Power of Music” Books and Resources

  • Which Side Are You On? 20th Century American History in 100 Protest Songs by James Sullivan
  • 33 Revolutions per Minute: A History of Protest Songs by Dorian Lynskey
  • Songs of America: Patriotism, Protest, and the Music That Made a Nation by Jon Meacham and Tim McGraw
  • Music and Social Movements: Mobilizing Traditions in the Twentieth Century by Ron Eyerman and Andrew Jamison
  • Talkinʼ Bout a Revolution: Music and Social Change in America by Dick Weissman
  • Playing for Change: Music and Musicians in the Service of Social Movements by Rob Rosenthal and Richard Flacks
  • The Routledge History of Social Protest in Popular Music by Jonathan Friedman
  • The Republic of Rock: Music and Citizenship in the Sixties Counterculture by Michael J. Kramer
  • Politics in Music: Music and Political Transformation from Beethoven to Hip-Hop by Courtney Brown
  • Troubadours & Troublemakers: The Evolution of American Protest Music by Kevin Comtois
  • Exploring American Folk Music: Ethnic, Grassroots, and Regional Traditions in the United States by Kip Lornell
  • Music in the Air: The Selected Writings of Ralph J. Gleason edited by Toby Gleason (Ralph was co-founder of Rolling Stone magazine)
  • Music: A Subversive History by Ted Gioia
  • American Radicals: How Nineteenth-Century Protest Shaped the Nation by Holly Jackson
  • Music is Power: Popular Songs, Social Justice, and the Will to Change by Brad Schreiber
  • Sounds of Freedom: Musicians on Spirituality and Social Change by John Malkin
  • Curriculum materials produced by Facing History and Ourselves – “How Can Music Inspire Social Change?”
  • The Social Power of Music – Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (4-disc box set and book)

Womenʼs Suffrage

  • Music in the Womenʼs Suffrage Movement – collection at Library of Congress – includes a digital collection of Womenʼs Suffrage in Sheet Music
  • Songs of the Suffragettes – Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
  • “Let Us Sing As We Go: The Role of Music in the United States Suffrage Movement” by R.L. Brandes (appears to be a dissertation at the University of Maryland – may be accessible online)
  • The Womenʼs Suffrage Movement edited by Sally Roesch Wagner
  • Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote by Susan Ware
  • National Womenʼs History Museum (www.womenshistory.org) has materials and article by Nancy Hayward on their website has a list for further reading
  • The Music of the Suffrage Movement by Kate McKenzie at www.awsom.info Reviews of ʼ19: The Musical – musical last November in Washington, D.C. that was called “the Hamilton of Womenʼs History” – at National Archives
  • The Music of Womenʼs Suffrage – Amaranth Publishing – sheet music (this led me down an interesting path of other articles such as Women Ragtime Composers)

Earth Day and the Environment

  • Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  • Earthrise Global Mobilizations – earthrise2020.org (please note this is entirely separate from the Festival’s “Earthrise” concert in 2018)
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  • American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau by Bill McKibben
  • Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat
  • Writings by John Muir
  • Gorillas in the Mist by Dian Fossey
  • The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells
  • The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan
  • An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming and An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, both by Al Gore
  • It’s Getting Hot in Here: The Past, Present, and Future of Climate Change by Bridget Heos
  • Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World by Bill Nye
  • World Without Fish: How Could We Let This Happen? by Mark Kurlansky
  • Weather Makers by Tim Flannery
  • A Sand County Almanac: With Essays on Conservation by Aldo Leopold
  • Songs by Malvina Reynolds, Pete Seeger, Joni Mitchell, John Denver, Peter, Paul & Mary, and Neil Young; music by the Paul Winter Consort and John Cage; Live Earth Concert from 2007

Student Strike of 1970 and the Antiwar Movement

  • Vietnam and the American Political Tradition: The Politics of Dissent by Randall B. Woods
  • Sitting in and Speaking Out: Student Movements in the American South, 1960-1970 by Jeffrey A. Turner
  • Give Peace a Chance: Exploring the Vietnam Antiwar Movement by Melvin Small; William D. Hoover
  • The Vietnam War on Campus: Other Voices, More Distant Drums by Marc Jason Gilbert
  • The Movement and the Sixties by Terry H. Anderson
  • The 1960s Cultural Revolution by John C. McWilliams
  • From Yale to Jail by Dave Dellinger
  • The War Within: America’s Battle over Vietnam by Tom Wells
  • The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  • An American Ordeal: The Antiwar Movement of the Vietnam Era by Charles Chatfield
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • The Quiet American by Graham Greene
  • The Best and the Brightest by David Halberstam
  • Born on the Fourth of July by Ron Kovic
  • Fire in the Lake: The Vietnamese and the Americans in Vietnam by Frances FitzGerald
  • Vietnam: A History by Stanley Karnow
  • Public television’s Vietnam: A Television History and Ken Burns’ Vietnam War series
  • Songs by Phil Ochs, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Peter, Paul & Mary, Bob Dylan, Country Joe & the Fish, Barry McGuire, Tom Paxton, Arlo Guthrie, John Lennon, Edwin Starr, Barbara Dane, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, among many others.

Use this link to view the concert (provided today, Sunday, April 5, at 2 pm CST). We hope you enjoy it and share it with friends!

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