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Upper Big Branch Mine

This song was written by Florence Reece in 1930 – 1931 during the bloody campaign to organize workers in Harlan County, KY. They were fighting for safer working conditions. Mine safety has improved since then, mainly because of the mine workers union, but workers in many mines, like the Upper Big Branch in Montcoal, WV…

RIP: Mary Travers, 1936 – 2009

It’s been a hard year or two. First Miriam Makeba. Then Odetta. Now we’ve lost another one, Mary Travers, the Mary of Peter, Paul and Mary. Mary died Wednesday of leukemia in Connecticut. Even before Mary, Paul Stookey and Peter Yarrow formed one of the iconic sixties folk groups in 1961, Mary sang back up…

It’s a Saturday morning, it’s summer in the northern hemisphere, and in a few days The Reveres are off to the beach for a communal vacation. A Revere-fest (or infestation). A little time away from the pressure cooker is good for people our age, old enough to remember the proto-punk rock band The Velvet Underground.…