Phil Ochs Archive to Head to Woody Guthrie Center
The Woody Guthrie Center will soon house the Phil Ochs Archive consisting of Ochs' lyrics, posters, songbooks, photos, videos and more. The collection, donated by his daughter, will be unveiled at an event later this fall.
"The topical songs that Phil Ochs wrote are still relevant today, just as the music of Woody Guthrie continues to address the struggles that we face in our society," said Deana McCloud, Executive Director for the Woody Guthrie Center. "We are honored to be the caretakers of the work that these advocates for social justice left, and we look forward to expanding our collection in the future to include more work that is empowering, gives voice to the voiceless and makes positive changes in our society."
Ochs wrote hundreds of songs and released eight albums as a topical songwriter in the 1960s and 70s. Songs like "I Ain't Marching Anymore," "Changes," "Power and the Glory" and "The War Is Over" are among his most popular songs.
"I lost my father at an early age, and I think I clung to his possessions because of that," said Ochs' daughter and donor of the collection, Meegan Lee Ochs. "When approached by the Woody Guthrie Center about donating the collection, it suddenly seemed so important for his journals and innumerable notepads where he captured small details alongside moments of genius to be available to those who might want to see and learn from them. I hope somewhere, Woody and my dad are smiling."
Researchers will have access to tapes and videos of Ochs' TV appearances, scrapbooks, articles written by and about Ochs and countless photos. The collection will also include Ochs' gold lame suit, made by Elvis Presley's tailor and costumer Nudie Cohn. Ochs wore this suit on the cover of his albums Greatest Hits and Gunfight at Carnegie Hall, released in 1970. The Woody Guthrie Center will integrate items from the collection into future exhibits.