Biography

Joe Glazer (June 19, 1918 – September 19, 2006), closely associated with labor unions and often referred to as the “labor’s troubadour,” was a US-American folk musician who recorded more than thirty albums over the course of his career.

Some of his more acclaimed songs include “The Mill Was Made of Marble,” “Too Old To Work” and “Automaton.” In 1960, in collaboration with Edith Fowke, Glazer published Songs of Work and Freedom, which included 10 of his original compositions. In 1979, Glazer invited 14 other labor musicians to the George Meany Center for Labor Studies in Silver Spring, Maryland, to share musical and written compositions, and to discuss the effective use of music, song, poetry and chants in labor activism. The three-day event became an annual one, becoming known as the Great Labor Arts Exchange (GLAE). Over the next five years, the concept of “labor culture” and how the labor movement and the arts interacted which Glazer and others held expanded. In 1984, Glazer incorporated the Labor Heritage Foundation as a parent body for GLAE as well as to curate and promote the culture of the American labor movement.

In 2002, Glazer released an autobiography entitled Labor’s Troubadour, which was published by the University of Illinois Press. On September 19, 2006, it was disclosed that Glazer had died at the age of 88, reportedly due to the progression of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, at his home in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Edited by benreichstein on 14 May 2011, 01:51

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