Phil Ochs was born on this day in 1940

Word of the Day – Tuesday, December 19th



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OCHS (oaks)

Phil Ochs: US protest singer, songwriter
Adolph Ochs: American newspaper publisher
Common clues: Newspaperman Adolph;
Folk singer Phil; Publisher Adolph; '60s protest singer Phil; N.Y. Times patriarch; “Draft Dodger Rag” singer;
Crossword puzzle frequency: 3 times a year
Frequency in English language: 64865 / 86800
Video: Phil Ochs –
I ain’t marching anymore

Step outside the guidelines of the official umpires and make your own rules and your own reality ~ Phil Ochs

Philip David Ochs (December 19, 1940–April 9, 1976) was a U.S. protest singer (or, as he preferred, a "topical singer"), songwriter, musician, journalist and recording artist who was known for his sharp wit, sardonic humor, earnest humanism, political activism, insightful and alliterative lyrics, and haunting voice. He wrote hundreds of songs in the 1960s and released eight LP record albums in his lifetime.

Phil Ochs in concert, May 25, 1973 in Ann Arbor, Michigan

He performed at many political events, including anti-Vietnam War and civil rights rallies, student events, and organized labor events over the course of his career, in addition to many concert appearances at such venues as New York City's The Town Hall and Carnegie Hall. Politically, Ochs described himself as a "left social democrat" who turned into an "early revolutionary" after the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, which had a profound effect on his state of mind. He was often seen as a radical and also a patriot — though he was also interested in differing political philosophies as well as journalism, and was an avid fan of music and movies.

After years of prolific writing in the 1960s, Ochs' mental stability declined in the 1970s and eventually he succumbed to a number of problems including manic depression and alcoholism, and he took his own life in 1976.

Some of his major influences were Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Bob Gibson, Faron Young, Merle Haggard, John Wayne, and John F. Kennedy. His best known songs include "Power and the Glory", "Draft Dodger Rag", "What's That I Hear", "There But for Fortune", "Changes", "Crucifixion", "The War Is Over", "When I'm Gone", "Love Me I'm a Liberal", "Links on the Chain", "Ringing of Revolution", "Outside of a Small Circle of Friends", "One More Parade" and "I Ain't Marching Anymore".


Adolph Simon Ochs (b. March 12, 1858–April 8, 1935) was an American newspaper publisher and former owner of The New York Times and The Chattanooga Times (now the Chattanooga Times Free Press).

Ochs was born to German-Jewish immigrants, Julius and Bertha Levy Ochs, in Cincinnati, Ohio. The family moved south to Knoxville, Tennessee due to his mother's sympathies during the Civil War. Julius sided with the Union during the war, but it didn't separate the household. Ochs began his newspaper career there at age 11, leaving grammar school to become an apprentice typesetter, known in that era as a "printer's devil". He worked at the Knoxville Chronicle under Captain William Rule, the editor who became his mentor. His siblings also worked at the newspaper to supplement their father's income, a lay rabbi for Knoxville's small Jewish community. The Knoxville Chronicle was the only Republican, pro-Reconstruction, newspaper in the city, but Ochs counted Father Ryan, the Poet-Priest of the Confederacy, among his customers.

In 1884, Ochs married Effie Wise, the daughter of Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise of Cincinnati, who was the leading exponent of Reform Judaism in America and the founder of Hebrew Union College. His only daughter, Iphigene Bertha Ochs, married Arthur Hays Sulzberger, who became publisher of the Times after Adolph died. Her son-in-law Orvil Dryfoos was publisher from 1961–63, followed by her son Arthur Ochs "Punch" Sulzberger. Her daughter, Ruth Holmberg, became publisher of The Chattanooga Times. Ochs' great-grandson Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. has been publisher of The New York Times since 1992.

In 1904, Ochs moved the Times to a newly-built building on Longacre Square in Manhattan, which the City of New York then renamed as Times Square. On New Year's Eve 1904, Ochs had pyrotechnists illuminate his new building at One Times Square with a fireworks show from street level.

One of his nephews, Julius Ochs Adler, worked at the Times for more than 40 years, becoming general manager in 1935, after Ochs died. Another, John Bertram Oakes, the son of his brother George Washington Ochs Oakes, became editorial page editor of the Times' editorial page in 1961, which he edited until 1976.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Phil Ochs" and “Adolph Ochs