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johnross Studio 360 segment: right-wing folk (37) RE: Studio 360 segment: right-wing folk 07 Oct 08

I heard the piece. I thought it was an amusing description of a mostly-forgotten footnote to the folk music revival. Those conservative "folksingers" were essentially preaching to the choir--their entire audience was groups like Young Americans for Freedom and Young Republicans, unlike other singers and songs that made it to mainstream attention, such as "The Ballad of the Green Berets." And taken on those terms, they were entirely legitimate as "entertainment" for their intended audience.

And it must be said that they didn't have a monopoly on heavy-handed, beat-the-audience-over-the-head topical songs. The ones we remember are the good ones, written and performed by singer-songwriters like Phil Ochs and Len Chandler who had talent and skill. Plenty of others by people on the left were just as bad as the conservative songs included in the radio piece. And like the right-wing groups, the people who sang bad left-wing songs never had significant record contracts.

At the end of the produced item, the host asked listeners to tell the program about other "political art" that was "under the radar." That's why they broadcast the story -- not because they were advocating the political message.

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