Saturday, November 22, 2008

Country Joe McDonald

Vietnam veteran Joe McDonald and his band The Fish penned what was to become the anthem song of the Anti-War crusade of the time. With its four letter audience participation chant, I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag was an immediate hit at Woodstock.

The group's name is derived from leftist politics; "Country Joe" was a popular name for Joseph Stalin in the 1940s, while "the fish" refers to Mao Zedong's statement that the true revolutionary must "swim among the people as a fish." The group began with the nucleus of "Country Joe" McDonald (lead vocals) and Barry "The Fish" Melton (lead guitar), recording and performing for the "Teach-In" protests against the Vietnam War in 1965.

Since the days with the Fish, Joe has maintained his political edge and anti-war message while also delving into the blues and other similar musical genres. He has also written a tribute piece and song to Florence Nightingale as well the song Save The Whales, which wraps a sailing jig around the sounds of whale songs.

Opening tonight’s show is a set of three songs taped at the Bitter End followed by several 60’s performances. There was nothing to be found in the time period between 1969 and 2003 in the form of live performances so a number of fan produced videos and slide shows are used to fill out the program. Finally a number of recent solo and backstage performances close out the show, including Support the Troops, his recent ode to the troops in Iraq, and his penny flute tribute to George W. Bush which he titled Yankee Doodle is no Fool.

Be sure to visit Joe’s website at the link below - It contains a wealth of information regarding his activities and current causes.

Country Joe’s Place – Official Website


Joe’s Jukebox


Florence Nightingale

Click here to view individual playlist entries


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I hope you enjoyed the show!
See you next week.