Keeping the music of Phil Ochs alive

At the song nights, performers used to just get up and perform an Ochs song. But Sonny found the format was growing old -- she has toured the country putting on Phil Ochs Song Nights, and she thought it might be fun to hear a little more variety. So, in recent years, performers have sung one Ochs song and one original piece. Sonny sees it as a nice way to ensure that not only her brother's music stays alive, but folk music itself.

"It's always a treat to hear the new songs," she said.

In the early years, it was common for the audience to be mostly made up of "gray-haired, old lefties," she said. But nowadays, there are often some younger faces in the crowd. Sonny remembers attending a show in Toronto not long ago and seeing some high-school age kids watching intently.

"They were hanging on every word," she said.

And that, Sonny said, is the whole purpose behind Phil Ochs Song Night -- to keep exposing people to Phil's work.

"I'm doing this to see kids like that," she said. "My job is to make sure the music doesn't die. I know he'd love that."

Tickets for Phil Ochs Song Night at the Linda are $18. They can be purchased at www.wamcarts.org or by calling 465-5233, ext. 4. ""

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