(December 19, 1940 – April 9, 1976) was an American protest singer (or, as he preferred, a topical singer) and songwriter who was known for his sharp wit, sardonic humor, earnest humanism, political activism, insightful and alliterative lyrics and haunting voice.
Most of Phil Ochs' music touches on some of the most difficult issues, raising important social and political questions, his music heard at anti-Vietnam War and civil rights rallies, student events and organized labor events.
A contributor to the booming Greenwich Village folk music scene, in 1964, Phil released his first record and, within two years had enough success to play to a sold out crowd at Carnegie Hall. He wrote over a hundred songs mostly in the 1960s and released eight albums in his lifetime.
He travelled the world, but while in Tanzania, he was mugged and lost the top three notes of his vocal range. This event seemed to send him on a downward spiral. His last years were troubled ones. He suffered from manic depression plus an affinity for the bottle. Sadly, he took his live on April 9, 1976 at the age of 35.
As a tribute to the great many people his music has influenced, tribute concerts were begun in his memory and continue today.
Currently his sister, Sonny Ochs, is the host of "Phil Ochs Song Nights," a national tour which features an outstanding line-up of well-respected socially-conscious singer/songwriters. Sonny Ochs will present the Phil Ochs Song Night at Rick's Music World in Raynham, MA on Sunday, October 24 at 7pm. Rick Santos, owner of Rick's Music, said, "I'm definitely honored and just thrilled at this opportunity to bring this outstanding night of musical enrichment and historically significant music and storytelling to the Southeastern Massachusetts community." More information about the show and the performers can be found at http://ricksmusic.blogspot.com/2010/09/phil-ochs-song-night-oct-24-2010.html