Friday, July 31 at 7:30 pm
An evening of music and song honoring the life, music, and legacy of Joe Hill, labor activist and songwriter. This event is part of a national tour commemorating the 100th anniversary of the execution of Joe Hill by the State of Utah. The Joe Hill Roadshow will feature nationally known musicians Charlie King, Magpie, and George Mann, along with local guests, Anything Goes (Mark Greenberg and Ben Koenig).
There are no ghosts at the Old Labor Hall, but, as the song says, Joe Hill is truly “the man who never died”. His own songs and songs about him still live on and still flourish 100 years after his death and the Joe Hill Roadshow will give us the opportunity to hear and sing them together at the Hall.
Like the founders of the Hall, Joe Hill was an immigrant who came to the U.S. just after the turn of the 20th century. He became an organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). As part of his organizing activities, he wrote songs. His philosophy was:
“A pamphlet, no matter how good, is never read more than once, but a song is learned by heart and repeated over and over…”
His songs were written in simple English to make them easily accessible to workers whose native language was not English. He appropriated popular melodies such as hymn tunes.
Joe Hill coined the phrase “pie in the sky” which has become part of every day speech. He used it in his song “The Preacher and the Slave”:
The Roadshow is coming to the Old Labor Hall as part of a national tour, honoring the life, music, and legacy of Joe Hill. The tour marks the centenary of Hill’s highly controversial murder trial and execution by a Utah firing squad. A world-wide effort by people including President Woodrow Wilson and Helen Keller questioned the fairness of the trial and failed to stop the execution. Hill’s last words were “don’t mourn—organize.”
Admission: $15, students and seniors $12. Tickets available at the door.
Proceeds from this event benefit the Socialist Labor Party Hall.
The Vermont Labor History Society, Pie-in-the-Sky Farm Bed & Breakfast and Retreat,