Jacqueline (Jackie) Steiner

Jackie Steiner is a folk and classical singer, a writer of topical songs, and an editor.  From 1946 to 1948, she was executive secretary of the Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee/Spanish Refugee Appeal in Boston.  During that period, she joined a group of musicians who met regularly at the home of Bess Lomax Hawes and her husband, Butch Hawes (both former Almanac Singers) to sing traditional folk songs, and compose topical songs on issues ranging from a textile strike to the Hollywood Ten.

When Walter A. O'Brien ran as a Progressive Party candidate for Mayor of Boston in 1949, he asked the group to compose campaign songs for him.  One of these, written by Jackie Steiner and Bess Hawes, was “Charlie on the MTA,” a comic song protesting the rise in fare on the Boston subway, later made famous by the Kingston Trio.

Back in New York in 1950, Steiner joined People's Artists, sang folk and protest music, and was involved in protesting the imprisonment and then the tragic and unjust execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg in 1953.  In the 1960s, Steiner devoted herself to peace and civil rights issues, participating in the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in August, 1963.  She worked with Westchester Women for Peace (a part of Women Strike for Peace) to protest the Vietnam War, and in 1967 released an album, “No More War,” in which she sang 12 original anti-war songs.

Jackie sings both folk and classical songs in ten languages, and for many years she has given programs for a wide variety of community groups, including (on the recommendation of her friend Henry Foner) the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade and Jewish Currents.

For the past twenty years, Jackie has been an active member of the Norwalk, Connecticut, Branch of the NAACP.  In October, 2010, the Connecticut State NAACP gave her the Roy Wilkins Award for Leadership, in recognition of her dedicated service to civil rights.




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