I had first met Sonny Ochs during her visit to Australia many years ago after she saw a production of a musical biography I had written about Pete Seeger. Phil Ochs had been mentioned in the show. Chatting backstage, we immediately connected. I had the honour of then performing in some of the Phil Ochs Songs Nights, at Sonny’s invitation, along with other musicians. For over 30 years Sonny Ochs has been responsible for keeping the songs of Phil Ochs alive. She has done this primarily through the enormously successful Phil Ochs Song Nights that she produces regularly throughout the USA and overseas. Many of the artists that perform at these song nights are established and well-known performers. The song nights have led to a renewed interest in the work of Phil Ochs. Many of these musicians, from the established to the emerging, now include the songs of Phil Ochs in their repertoire and have also recorded many of them. What follows is an edited transcript of an interview that I conducted with Sonny over a number of days at her home in upstate New York, during May 2003.

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