"Abraham, Martin and John" (multiple responses)

SIXTIES-L (SIXTIES-L@jefferson.village.virginia.edu)
Wed, 12 Mar 1997 00:27:23 -0500

Many people answered this question, and rather than forwarding all
their posts, I'm forwarding the most complete. Thanks also to Thanks
to jenny <Surfwolf@asu.edu>, "Lani S. Kraus" <lkraus@voyager.net>, Ann
KELSEY <kelsey@email.njin.net>, Juan Jewell <jewell@sidwell.edu>,
Michael <tex@interlog.com>, "Ken Kalish" <liken@means.net>,
mdoyle1@ix.netcom.com (Michael Doyle), "Patrick Julian"
<Landlawyer@msn.com>, Marty Blank <PUBBLAN@amber.indstate.edu>,
jo grant <jgrant@bookzen.com>, jtmiller@uiuc.edu (Joseph T. Miller),
Braver <braver@bright-idea.com>, Daniel Olson
<OLSOND@ouvaxa.cats.ohiou.edu>, Barbara L Tischler <blt1@columbia.edu>.

My apologies if I missed anyone.



The song in question is entitled "Abraham, Martin, and John," by Dion.
The song represented a comeback for its writer/artist, Dion DiMucci
(sp?). He had a successful series of records in the late
Fifties/early Sixties as the front man for Dion and the Belmonts
("Runaround Sue," "Lovers Who Wander," etc.).

Although "Abraham, Martin and John" was a huge hit (it mentions Bobby Kennedy
in the last stanza, BTW), I don't believe Dion was able to keep his comeback
going with any other hits thereafter.

Justin Gustainis
Department of Communication



From: Anne Marie Ellison <ellisona@umich.edu>

I think what you're looking for is 2 Phil Ochs songs: "That Was the
President" and "Crucifixion". "Crucifixion" is on _Pleasures of the
Harbor_ and "That Was the President" is on _I Ain't Marchin' Anymore_.
When Phil Ochs recorded "Crucifixion", it was really overdone (according
to many critics) and involved a classical piano accompaniement as well as
orchestral accompaniement. It was at its best as a song when it was
understated -- just acoustic guitar and Phil's voice. It might be more
valuable to find it on a "live" recording (PO's live albums weren't
usually actually live, because he had terrible stage fright and his
performances usually needed to be seriously retouched in the studio after
the fact). There's an anecdote about "Crucifixion" in the latest
biography of Ochs: he ran into Bobby Kennedy sometime in the mid to late
60s and was prompted by a friend to sing the song for Kennedy. Bobby
cried, he was so moved, or so the story goes. It's considered one of
Ochs's finest tunes.

"Crucifixion" is about JFK and later Bobby Kennedy and MLK. "That Was the
President" was about Lincoln and by extension JFK.

There's a web page devoted to Ochs and it includes all the discography and
lyrics in its archives. The URL is http://www.cs.pdx.edu/~trent/ochs/.
I checked it out to satisfy my own curiosity and both songs are included,
but I thought it best not to just paste them in right here.

Anne Marie Ellison