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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Frank Hamilton How can we make folk music more apealing (121* d) RE: How can we make folk music more apealing 13 Oct 99

M Ted, now that you've explained your position I can agree with some of it. The CP was not as organized as many would like to think it was, however. It didn't reach certain people who were members and then ex-memebers because like so many political parties including Democrats and Republicans it was never swallowed hook line and sinker by many of it's members. The Party as far as I was able to tell, and I was around a lot of ex-CP'ers, did not create the propaganda to sell their songs. The individual songwriters did. They were not in agreement with everything. As far as the efficacy of the CP, the proof is in the pudding. The membership dwindled in America and people left because it was so doctrinaire. This didn't mean that the ex-CP'ers joined the Young Republicans however or did a total castigation of the CP. The CPUSA did some laudable things such as influencing better race relations and organizing important unions. But the overall left-wing was strong in the country regardless of the CP which played a small part in it. The myth that someone like Woody or Pete took orders from the Kremlin is laughable. They had their own ideologies which they were trying to sell through their that were highly individualistic. I don't say that all of their songs were great and some of them reflected their ideological views which were inspired by how they perceived the Soviet Union at the time but by no means were they "puppets" or dictated to by anyone. You'd have to know Pete or Woody personally to know this.

Regarding Howard Fast, you don't have to warn me about the author of Spartacus and other fine books. But forgive me if I don't think he may be the historical oracle that some would like to attach to him. He might be resentful if he felt he were abused or betrayed in some way. This well might color his perceptions. Denning, on the other hand offers an academic overview of the era without having to lick any wounds.

Frank Hamilton

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