WordStage on WNCW: Utah Phillips - Michael
Bruce Duncan “Utah” Phillips (May 15, 1935 – May 23, 2008) was born in Cleveland, Ohio. His father was a labor organizer and activist, which influenced Phillips and much of his life’s work. He served in the United States Army for three years during the mid-1950s in post-war Korea. After his discharge he began drifting around the Midwest riding the rails, writing songs, and eventually settling in Salt Lake, where he helped to establish a mission house of hospitality named after activist Joe Hill. Phillips worked as a labor organizer and activist, telling stories, writing songs and poetry. His album, Good Though!, recorded in 1973 received outstanding reviews which included, “Daddy, What’s a Train?” and “Queen of the Rails”. Phillips died of complications from heart disease, and is buried in Forest View Cemetery in Nevada City, California.
“Michael” is a narrative poem depicting a conversation between mother and son about the pain and sorrows of war.
Aired 5/29 and 5/30