Monday, May 26, 2008

Utah Phillips, friend of workers and downtrodden, has died

Utah Phillips Dies "Folk singer Bruce "U. Utah" Phillips, a freewheeling storyteller and Grammy-nominated musician known for his extensive touring over nearly 40 years and strong support of peace groups and labor unions in his works, has died. He was 73.
Phillips died of congestive heart failure late Friday night at his home in Nevada City, Calif. . . . Phillips, the son of labor organizers, once ran for a seat on the U.S. Senate on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket and was known as a champion for the rights of working people and a comedian on stage."

I wrote a short post following what was Utah's last live concert in Salt Lake which I was privileged to attend.

Utah had a simple and passionate commitment to all workers. He possessed a unique sense of humor and a penchant for story-telling that entranced his audiences.

I'm sad to hear we've lost this outspoken and gentle soul. Who will fill his shoes?

Postscript: I reread my old post and noted a quote "There are no Republican folksingers." Had little laugh with my friend on the phone this morning over that one. You can't be all buttoned up tight like an R and really relax and enjoy the laugh-at-life and cry-about-life stuff of folksinging. If you do, you might be a closet leftie after all.

1 comment:

pr0le said...

I went to Utah's last show in Salt Lake as well - my first and last time seeing him perform. He really is such a great storyteller.

I chatted with him briefly after the show; briefly because I was a little intimidated talking to this giant of a man. But I got the feeling he would have stood there and talked to me for as long as I wanted.