May 23 2008, Utah Phillips, a working class hero died, but he still delivers humour and a working class story.
Bruce Duncan "Utah" Phillips (May 15, 1935 – May 23, 2008) was a labor organizer, folk singer, storyteller, poet and the "Golden Voice of the Great Southwest". He described the struggles of labor unions and the power of direct action, self-identifying as an anarchist. He often promoted the Industrial Workers of the World in his music, actions, and words.
Phillips was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Edwin Deroger Phillips and Frances Kathleen Coates. He attended East High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. His father, Edwin Phillips, was a labor organizer, and his parents' activism influenced much of his life's work. Phillips was a card-carrying member of the Industrial Workers of the World, the "wobblies," headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Phillips rode the railroads, and wrote songs.
He served in the United States Army for three years beginning in 1956 (at the latest). Witnessing the devastation of post-war Korea greatly influenced his social and political thinking.
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