Item no. 24060
|Collection: Henry Foner|
This introduction was published in the May, 1947 issue of People's Songs to three songs written by Woody Guthrie after the mine disaster at Centralia, Illinois, where 111 miners were killed. "The papers were hardly out with the news," the editors wrote, "...when we got a phone call from Woody Guthrie telling us he'd made up three songs. Two weeks later, People's Songs in New York held a special benefit Hootenany, all proceeds of which were sent to the families of men killed."
People's Songs, songs of labor and the American people, was a monthly publication by the organization of the same name. Peter Seeger was its national director and editor; the executive secretary was Felix Landau and the music editor was Waldemar Hille. Its board of directors included anthologist B. A. Botkin, folksinger Tom Glazer, choral director Horace Grenell, Woody Guthrie, composer Earl Robinson, folksong collector Alan Lomax and singer Kenneth Spencer. Included among its board of sponsors were Larry Adler, Leonard Bernstein, Marx Blitzstein, Aaron Copland, Norman Corwin, Oscar Hammerstein 2nd, E. Y. (Yip) Harburg, Judy Holliday, Lena Horne, Burl Ives, Gene Kelly, Dorothy Parker, Paul Robeson, Harold Rome and Josh White.