21 January 2011

LISTEN: Phil Ochs - The Hills of West Virginia

In light of the Jan. 5 opening of the Phil Ochs documentary There But For Fortune, I want to post his song "The Hills of West Virginia." Ochs was a protest singer who was born in El Paso, Texas, and died way too early at the age of 36. Influenced by the likes of Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Buddy Holly, he was a topical singer and songwriter who unfortunately fell in the shadow of Bob Dylan. In his own right, Ochs was a one-of-a-kind talent - confrontational but witty, fierce but earnest - all with a voice that was unassuming but subtly haunting. "The Hills of West Virginia" comes from one of Ochs's best albums - 1965's I Ain't Marching Anymore.

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