The Life and Times of Joe Hill
Join veteran journalist Sender Garlin in an exploration of Joe Hill’s life, the legendary Swedish-born union activist and organizer and talented songwriter. Hill was executed in 1915 in Utah where he was framed on murder charges. His Last Will is famous: “My will is easy to decide For I have nothing to divide My kin don’t need to weep and moan Moss does not cling to a rolling stone My body? Oh, if I could choose I would to ashes it reduce And let the merry breezes blow My dust to where some flowers grow Perhaps some fading flower then Would soon rise up and grow green again This is my last and final will Good luck to all of you,” The program features some classic labor movement music such as Pete Singer performing “Joe Hill.” Other songs you’ll hear are “Casey Jones,” “Talking Union,” “Which Side Are You On?” “There’s Power in a Union,” “The Preacher & the Slave,” and “Solidarity Forever.”
Interview by David Barsamian.
Recorded at KGNU.
Sender Garlin was a radical journalist and author of Three American Radicals. Howard Zinn said this about him, “As a reporter, he interviewed such diverse figures as Clarence Darrow, Emma Goldman, Lucy Parsons, Huey Long, Lenin’s widow Krupskaya, and Olga Kniper-Chekhova, the Moscow theater star and widow of the great Russian writer. Sender helped form the John Reed Club in the early 1930s and was a founding editor of Partisan Review before he moved on to write for The Masses. His main thrust and satirical barbs were always against the system: the exploitation, the racism, the militaristic nationalism that have plagued this century, whether in the extreme form of Fascism or in more disguised form.” Sender Garlin died in 1999.
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