Joe Hill Road Show:

A Musical History of Joe Hill and the Early Labor Movement

Wednesday, October 7, 2020, 6:00-7:30 p.m. EST



The Department of History, UTC’s United Campus Workers chapter, the Chattanooga Area Labor Council, and Humanities Tennessee are pleased to virtually bring the acclaimed multimedia “Joe Hill Road Show: A Musical History of Joe Hill and the Early Labor Movement” back to UTC for a free and public Zoom performance on Wednesday, October 7th (Joe Hills’s birthday) from 6:00-7:30pm EST via Zoom.


Zoom Info:


Meeting ID: 839 1214 0047

Passcode: 179235


Precursor to Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen, Joe Hill was an early twentieth-century songwriter and active member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), or Wobblies. A Swedish immigrant and outspoken labor activist, Hill was framed for two murders and executed by a firing squad in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1915. According to an event press release, “The case drew international attention and appeals for clemency from U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, Helen Keller, the Swedish ambassador, the American Federation of Labor, and many others. After his execution, Hill became a labor icon.”

The Nashville-based Shelby Bottom Duo, consisting of acoustic folk artists Michael August and Nell Levin, created this entertaining and educational performance to highlight a “vital slice of labor history with a wide range of people so that we can all better understand why the revolutionary creativity of Joe Hill and the Wobblies is still relevant.” This event will a live concert of Joe Hill songs, a slideshow of historical images, and storytelling about Hill’s life, early labor struggles, and the influence of the IWW’s innovative organizing strategies on labor and other movements today. This one-hour performance will be followed by a discussion with the Shelby Bottom Duo about art, music, labor history, and activism.

With support from the Tennessee Arts Commission, Humanities Tennessee, Metro Nashville Arts Commission, and Puffin Foundation, the Shelby Bottom Duo has performed the “Joe Hill Road Show” twenty-seven times for colleges, unions, and community groups. This show is sponsored by a grant from Humanities TN.

Questions may be directed to Mike Thompson at Michael-D-Thompson@utc.edu or 423-425-4565.

Facebook event link for promotion: https://www.facebook.com/events/331668104781094

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