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Phil Ochs

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Phil Ochs
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Phil Ochs and Tom Paxton were great friends but yin and yang in their approach to songwriting. Ochs early songs owed much to Woody Guthrie and to Bob Gibson with whom he had briefly collaborated. In New York he soon fell in with the more radical Greenwich Village set, recording some early songs for Broadside magazine, a song magazine dedicated to effecting change through song. Ochs signed to Elektra in 1964 releasing two albums within a year, All The News That’s Fit To Sing and I Ain’t Marching Anymore. His early songs had an intense journalist’s ear for topicality and Ochs could nail his subject matter with an acerbic precision perfectly in tune with growing the antiwar and civil rights movements. Two new songs that appeared on 1965’s Phil Ochs In Concert, introduced a gentler side, “There But For Fortune,” which provided Joan Baez with a hit single and the more reflective “Changes.” This led to a new phase in his career and a move away from Elektra and from New York to LA in an attempt to shake off his folk troubadour image. Ochs never entirely succeeded.
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