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Ray Glaser was a founding member of the Los Angeles Branch of the People's Songs organization.


"The West Coast had an active People's Songs organization, developing out of hootenannies starting in Los Angeles in November 1945. The local branch opened in June 1946; its founding members were Mario Casetta, Vern Partlow, Harry Hay, Earl Robinson, Lewis Allan a/k/a Abel Meeropol, Bill Wolff, Morry Goodson, Sonny Vale, Bill Oliver and Ray Glaser. Casetta, usually known by his old childhood nickname, 'Boots', was the branch's only paid employee. The Los Angeles branch became part of a quickening left/labor movement, particularly in the film industry. People's Songsters appeared on picket lines, and once joined a motorcade to the state capitol in Sacramento to lobby for better housing. By fall they were staging numerous hootenannies and other events. An October program, 'I Hear America Singing', featured an eclectic group of performers and selections: leftist cabaret singers Goodson and Vale, calypsonian Sir Lancelot, western balladeer and actor Tex Ritter, Bill Oliver, Pete Seeger, Earl Robinson and others. Talented writers, always in abundance, supplied a steady stream of clever, timely songs, which often appeared in the 'Daily People's World', the West Coast version of 'The Daily Worker'. Hay, who also was a pioneering gay rights activist, became 'the theoretician of People's Songs,' Earl Robinson said. Hay held monthly meetings at his home, sometimes featuring Seeger or Malvina Reynolds, before launching his class on 'The Historical Development of Folk Music'. The organization partially survived the demise of national People's Songs in early 1949. Renaming itself 'Peoples-Art Songs' it formed the core of a vibrant, progressive Los Angeles folk music community that lasted into the '50s."

—Ronald R. Cohen and Dave Samuelson, Songs for Political Action


Put It on the Ground (with William Wolff)


 

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