Oregon State University College of Liberal Arts’ new American Strings series presents “An Evening with Country Joe McDonald: Reflections on the Summer of Love and Woody Guthrie,” on Wednesday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the Majestic Theatre in Corvallis, Ore. The performance and question-and-answer
session with singer-songwriter Country Joe McDonald will be hosted by OSU’s director of performing arts,veteran journalist and music historian Bob Santelli.
With 36 albums published and more than four decades as a touring folksinger, Country Joe McDonald is one of the best-known Woodstock artists still performing today.
Appearing with his band as “Country Joe and the Fish,” McDonald performed at the Monterey Pop Festival in the “Summer of Love,” (1967). Two years later, he launched his solo career at Woodstock. By then he was famous for his notorious “Fish Cheer” (“Gimme an F!”). At Woodstock he played a 30-minute set that included the “Fish Cheer,” and the satirical anti-Vietnam War song, “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag,” with the familiar chorus, “one, two, three, what are fighting for?” These became famous auditory icons of the historic music festival and anthems for Vietnam veterans and anti-war protesters of the 1960’s and 70’s.
Throughout the 70’s and 80’s McDonald, a veteran himself, toured and released numerous recordings and began actively working with and for Vietnam Veterans Against the War and other causes to support and promote awareness of the thousands of U.S. veterans he felt had been disenfranchised and neglected after returning from active duty.
He has continued to write and record and toured regularly in the U.S. and abroad into the new millennium. After some unsuccessful attempts at reuniting the original Country Joe and the Fish band, he formed the "Country Joe Band" with original members David Bennett Cohen, Bruce Barthol, and Gary "Chicken" Hirsh, which toured throughout 2004 and 2005. In 2007 he perfected his "Tribute to Woody Guthrie" show, a mix of music and spoken word, and has since taken it around the country to great acclaim.
The American Strings series was created by Bob Santelli, and is presented by the College of Liberal Arts, the School of Arts and Communication.
Country Joe McDonald photo by stevereadimages.com