Fifty years ago Phil Ochs played at a small coffeehouse in Kew Gardens, Queens, New York called The Interlude Cafe. To celebrate his 75th birthday, Joel Landy organized a musical event at Odradeks Coffee House, the new name for that old space.
It was an evening of free music performed by talented artists including David Massengill. The space was filled with Ochs fans who came to remember Phil Ochs and sing along. It was a magical evening and a sweet neighborhood event.
The video here is the fourth of four shows edited for the Songs of Freedom Television program. It features Steve Vitoff, Carol Friedman Russell, Ben Silver, and the ensemble cast of players.
For more about Songs of Freedom Television, go to
Here is some information about Phil Ochs and the Kew Gardens event:
Phil Ochs was a singer/songwriter who became one of the most iconic artists of his time.
A contemporary of Bob Dylan and other notable writer-performers of the Greenwich Village folk music scene of the early 1960s, Ochs was a prolific writer whose work not only challenged the policies and politics of war and injustice, he also challenged actions and attitudes of those on his own side. He was uncompromised and unrelenting.
Despite his success and fame as a performer and folk personality, Ochs suffered from depression and bipolar disorders. He took his own life in 1976 at the age of 35.
His legacy continues.
Today he not only enjoys a passionate following from his original fan base who can see him and hear his voice again online, but a new generation of fans has discovered the music of Phil Ochs because of social media and the timeless nature of his brilliant songwriting.
On December 19th, 2015 Phil Ochs had his 75th birthday. That week all around the world events celebrated his life and music. He remains one of the most influential songwriters of his or any generation.
On December 17th, two days before his birthday, one of these celebrations took place in Kew Gardens, Queens, New York, at a venue that Phil played at fifty years earlier.
It was a joyful evening with memories, stories and songs.
Thank you to the artists who contributed to the memorable night. And thank you to the audience who came to share and remember Phil.
Special thanks go to Jake and the crew at Odradeks Coffee House for inviting more than a small circle of friends to gather and celebrate the life of a friend who will always be with us.
“…and you won’t find me singin’ on this song when I’m gone. So, I guess I’ll have to do it while I’m here.” ~ Phil Ochs