A Spotlight on Phil Ochs: interview with Sonny Ochs

Up next for the Catskill Mountain Foundation is an exciting simulcast with WIOX Community Radio: Phil Ochs Song Night comes to the Doctorow! Sonny Ochs, host of Folk Music and Other Stuff (on WIOX, every Friday from 2-4PM) has celebrated her brother’s music across the country, and now it’s time for Hunter to join in on the fun. I had the chance to do a quick interview with her about Phil’s music, passions, and her memories of him.


Sonny and Phil


Where was the first place you saw Phil play in public?

It was in a small room behind a bar in Cleveland called Faraghers.

Why do you do these events?

Because it is important to me to keep Phil’s songs alive.

His music must be pretty powerful if it affected so many people and continues to do so. Why do you think his music is important?

His music is important because it informs about the issues of the day. Unfortunately,  his songs which were written more than 40 years ago are still relevant.

What’s your favorite song of his?

“When I’m Gone.” It points out that we can’t do anything to help the situation when we’re gone, so we have to do it while we here. It also has a beautiful melody.

What would Phil think of today’s political environment?tumblr_mg4i25mui21raxbbko1_400

I think Phil would be just as shocked as the rest of us because someone like Trump has gone as far as he has. So much material for songs!

Was music Phil’s only passion, or did he have something else, like a hobby?

Phil was a movie freak. He watched movies non-stop from the time he was a teenager.

What would Phil think of Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize, and what do you think?

He’d probably think it’s wonderful. I don’t agree.

What’s your favorite memory of your brother?

My favorite memory is seeing him on stage at Carnegie Hall all by himself sounding so great. What a glorious moment!


Don’t miss Phil Ochs Song Night at the Doctorow Center for the Arts. Get your tickets here, while they’re still left!


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