“Songs For John Doe” by The Almanac Singers - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1941Album Chart of the Decade: 1940s

TJR says

Recorded and released in springtime 1941 at a time when World War II was raging but the United States remained neutral. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were still at peace, and the Almanacs generally followed the anti-interventionist stance dictated by the Soviet Union through the Comintern (an alliance that included leftist political groups from all over the world including the UK). The anti-war songs on the album rankled with many at the time and in the years to come would often be “used in evidence” by opponents of the group’s (supposedly) “un-american” viewpoints. However, on June 22 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union. The Almanacs changed direction and began agitating for U.S. intervention in Europe. Such was the sensitivity of the issue, Keynote Records quickly pulled “Songs for John Doe” from distribution, destroying all unsold copies. There’s a famous old Spanish proverb that says “a wise man changes his mind, a fool never will”. Me, I’m just delighted that there were artists prepared to sing about how they really felt about issues of the day. Life never was no cabaret show…

The Jukebox Rebel

A [01:25] 5.8.png The Almanac Singers - The Strange Death Of John Doe (Millard Lampell) Folk
B [02:18] 6.2.png The Almanac Singers - Billy Boy (Millard Lampell) Folk
C [01:32] 6.6.png The Almanac Singers - ’C’ For Conscription (Millard Lampell, Pete Seeger) Folk
D [01:31] 6.8.png The Almanac Singers - Washington Breakdown (Pete Seeger, Lee Hays) Folk
E1 [02:41] 6.2.png The Almanac Singers - Liza Jane (Millard Lampell, Pete Seeger) Folk
E2 [02:43] 7.0.png The Almanac Singers - Ballad Of October 16 (Millard Lampell) Folk
F [02:23] 6.1.png The Almanac Singers - Plow Under (Pete Seeger, Lee Hays) Folk

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