[78-L] Red Scare - McCarthy era songs.

Steve Shapiro steveshapiro1 at juno.com.invalid
Fri May 23 13:47:17 PDT 2014

There were several songs about a HUAC hearing involving People's Artists.  

Talking Un-American Blues
In Contempt/Die Gedanken Sind Frei

Betty Sanders and Irwin Silber had been called to testify; Ron Radosh reported that their subpoenas were ultimately cancelled.  I think folksingers Josh White and Burl Ives both testified and "named names".  In those days, if you got "named", you got blacklisted, couldn't get much work, and stood a chance of losing your job.  This was much worse than just being placed on a no-fly list. I recently read where the first Alice Kramden from the Honeymooners was Pert Kelton, who suddenly lost her job after seven episodes of the show because her real life husband had some years before once endorsed a call for people to march on May Day.  You can't be too careful to whom you get married and you can't be too careful about what you expose the American public to culturally.  Thanks to the McCarthy Era, our country and our people have been safe and morally upright ever since, but we still need to remain vigilant, lest bad influences corrupt us.

Talking Un-American Blues by Betty Sanders (Sanders/Silber)Hootenanny Records 103-B  1952

Sounds like Pete Seeger on banjo.




The reverse side is "In Contempt/Die Gedanken Sind Frei", Hootenanny Records 103-A



On 5/14/2014 1:39 PM, 78-L Mail List wrote:

A friend sent me this request and of course I open it up to discussion.


Hi Everyone,
I'm looking for a song from the Red Scare" era about 
either McCarthy himself or ,HUAC. There are 2 verses in "Wasn't that a 
Time?" and a verse in Malvina Reynolds' "Quiz Show," but I can't think 
of any others. What am I not remembering?

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