Utah Phillips, a seminal figure in American folk music who performed extensively and tirelessly for audiences on two continents for 38 years, died Friday, May 23rd, 2008, of congestive heart failure in Nevada City, California a small town in the Sierra Nevada mountains where he lived for the last 21 years with his wife, Joanna Robinson, a freelance editor.
Born Bruce Duncan Phillips on May 15, 1935 in Cleveland, Ohio, he was the son of labor organizers. Whether through this early influence or an early life that was not always tranquil or easy, by his twenties Phillips demonstrated a lifelong concern with the living conditions of working people. He was a proud member of the Industrial Workers of the World, popularly known as "the Wobblies," an organizational artifact of early twentieth-century labor struggles that has seen renewed interest and growth in membership in the last decade, not in small part due to his efforts to popularize it.
see also: U. Utah Phillips Has Passed Away | A Note From Utah | A short jog through a long memory (UtahPhillips.org) | Utah Phillips Blog || Utah Phillips Live 2004 Performance FRSC Raid Benifit || Amy Goodman interviews Utah Phillips || Utah Phillips Interview with John Malkin || Utah Phillips at the Fiddle Down the FBI Rally, May 2002 || Utah testifies at Judi Bari's trial || Family requests memorial donations to Hospitality House