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Freedom Is A Hammer: Conservative Folk Revolutionaries Of The Sixties

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

In the tumultuous 1960s the powerful voices of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs and others shaped the political and musical landscape for many. Less known, but no less strident and artful, were the folk singers from the other side of town. For the very first time the hyper-patriotic voices of conservative folk music mavericks Janet Greene, Tony Dolan and Vera Vanderlaan are reissued and reappraised. Janet Greene sings eloquently of the insidious communist threat (The Hunter And The Bear), Tony Dolan pleads the case for democracy in Cuba (Cuba Will Be Free) and Vera Vanderlaan reminds us that the price of freedom is preparedness and eternal vigilance (Freedom Is A Hammer). Remastered with exclusive scholarly liner notes, interviews and rare photos/ephemera, this collection presents the acclaimed counter-counter-culture songsmiths Janet Greene, Tony Dolan and Vera Vanderlaan in all their righteous and right-headed glory. 29 all original recordings, remastered from the original mastertapes in 2012. 20 page full colour booklet with exclusive scholarly liner notes, rare photos, interviews and cold-war period ephemera. Original Chantico/Key/Vanco Recordings. Produced by Del Casher, Tony Dolan and E.F. Auchter. Originally Recorded 1966-1968.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Janet Greene - Fascist Threat
  2. Janet Greene - The Hunter And The Bear
  3. Janet Greene - Inch By Inch
  4. Janet Greene - Commie Lies
  5. Janet Greene - Termites
  6. Janet Greene - Comrade's Lament
  7. Janet Greene - Poor Left Winger
  8. Janet Greene - Run
  9. Tony Dolan - Abolish, Abolish!
  10. Tony Dolan - Father Against Son
  11. Tony Dolan - Join The S.D.S.
  12. Tony Dolan - Cuba Will Be Free
  13. Tony Dolan - Cry, The Beloved Country
  14. Tony Dolan - Remember Bloody Budapest
  15. Tony Dolan - Harry Pollitt
  16. Tony Dolan - Ever Time You Turn Around
  17. Tony Dolan - New York Times Blues
  18. Tony Dolan - My Song In The Wind
  19. Vera Vanderlaan - Freedom Is A Hammer
  20. Vera Vanderlaan - Let's Pretend
  21. Vera Vanderlaan - Hello World
  22. Vera Vanderlaan - Torch Of Freedom
  23. Vera Vanderlaan - I Sing 'Cause I'm Happy
  24. Vera Vanderlaan - Get Involved
  25. Vera Vanderlaan - Don't Bite The Hand That's Feeding You
  26. Vera Vanderlaan - Stand Up And Be Counted
  27. Vera Vanderlaan - One From One Leaves Two
  28. Vera Vanderlaan - Red Fire
  29. Vera Vanderlaan - Freedom Is A Hammer (Album Version)


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 16, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Omni Recording Corp.
  • ASIN: B008SVRX2Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,656 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The track listing here is incorrect. When importing CD into programs like iTunes, the listing is also incorrect.
Track listing on packaging IS correct and is confirmed to correspond when I listed to each track.

Here is correct track listing:

1 Fascist Threat
2 Commie Lies
3 The Hunter And The Bear
4 Inch By Inch
5 Termites
6 Comrade's Lament
7 Poor Left Winger
8 Run
9 Abolish, Abolish!
10 Father Against Son
11 Join The S.D.S.
12 Cuba Will Be Free
13 Cry, The Beloved Country
14 Remember Bloody Budapest
15 Harry Pollitt
16 New York Times Blues
17 My Song In The Wind
18 Freedom Is A Hammer
19 Let's Pretend
20 Hello World
21 Torch Of Freedom
22 America Awake!
23 Modern Paul Revere
24 Get Involved
25 Don't Bite The Hand That's Feedi...
26 Stand Up And Be Counted
27 One From One Leaves Two
28 Red Fire
29 Freedom Is A Hammer

The tracks listed here at #16 - "Every Time You Turn Around" and #23 "I Sing 'Cause I'm Happy" do not appear in this collection.

Now, about this collection. It's definitely 60's folk music no mistaking. The nostalgia is mostly felt in that 60's folksy vibrato in the singing voices. A fascinating look at some deep deep underground tunes. Hindsight can now claim that these were the outlawed tunes of the 60's.

Favorite tunes so far are "New York Times Blues"; "Termites"; "Poor Left Winger" and wait till you hear who "Modern Paul Revere" is about (and this was written in the 60's!).
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Format: Audio CD
I was so surprised and excited to receive this as a gift. Our Tony Dolan album from the 60's was lost years ago and the entire album is on this cd! We played it so much growing up that I could still sing every single song! Was pleased to be introduced to the other artists as well. Not only are the selections a great counter to the other protest songs of the period, but the musicians are really talented and the voices pleasant to listen to.
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Format: Audio CD
Who knew? Obscure right-wing folkies belt it out! And man, does Janet Greene swing!!!
Fabulous liner notes and deluxe booklet presentation. Fascinating ephemera/photos etc. Those were the days!
Love it!!!!!!
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The hippies were always a tiny minority, they just completely ruled in their own world, which, for better or worse, included the media. Contemporary news accounts from the 60s 'establishment' media are striking for their indulgent tone. Almost too bad in a way, that with everyone waiting for New Answers, the flower children ultimately had very little to say. Now their even-more-vacuous kids are Occupying things.

Some people saw it early. Here is a collection of little-known and long-forgotten counter-countercultural songs. Some are overly simple (Fascist Threat, Freedom is a Hammer), some evoke Woody Guthrie (Abolish, New York Times Blues), some are really funny (Hunter and the Bear, Poor Left-Winger, One From One Leaves Two), and some are beautiful (Run, Cry the Beloved Country). All are good old-fashioned anti-communist rants, and all the more fun for that.

Immediately notable is how little things have changed - the characterizations would fit with very little tailoring onto today's occupy movement. 'Modern Paul Revere' paints Ronald Reagan as a messenger, set to wake up America - 15 years before 'Morning in America' was a campaign slogan.

None of this is Great Art, but it isn't supposed to be. The songs are about ideas. Nobody makes fun of Dylan or Joan Baez, they offer alternative ideas in folk style. The songs are of historical interest, and fun too. I don't see myself putting this on 'repeat' for long periods, but I'm glad to have it.
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While not musically amazing (pretty standard folky-strummity stuff), the lyrical content is really fascinating for being so distinct from the usual lefty stuff. It's pretty over-the-top in its political stridency, but colorful and educational. At first I thought it was an album of a modern trio taking turns covering these older songs, but apparently it's original 1960s recordings by actual recording artists, so the sound quality and consistency is really solid. The songs are kinda much-of-a-muchness in style, so it's not amazing background music, but it is narratively interesting to sit down and listen to you.

Overall the album is a great rebuttal to anyone claiming music is a force with its own inherent values: we end up thinking music inspires goodness because we mostly hear the music of history's winners that's survived down to us, but every regressive outfit out there also had its own music to inspire its people.
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