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Farm Aid: A Song for America
     

Farm Aid: A Song for America

by Willie Nelson (Foreword by), Ebet Roberts (Photographer), Paul Natkin (Photographer)
 

A celebration of Farm Aid's 20th anniversary-a beautifully designed treasure documenting the struggles and contributions of family farmers in America and the more than 200 American artists who have played on the Farm Aid stage.

When Willie Nelson organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985, he hoped it would be a one-time event that would ensure the continued

Overview

A celebration of Farm Aid's 20th anniversary-a beautifully designed treasure documenting the struggles and contributions of family farmers in America and the more than 200 American artists who have played on the Farm Aid stage.

When Willie Nelson organized the first Farm Aid concert in 1985, he hoped it would be a one-time event that would ensure the continued survival of the national treasure upon which our country was founded: the independent family farmer.

But two decades later, the nation is still losing an average of 330 family farms per week. And the annual Farm Aid concert, which has helped to raise more than $26 million to keep family farmers on their land, is now the longest running benefit concert in history. To commemorate this landmark and to call renewed attention to the importance of where, how, and by whom our food is produced, Farm Aid has put together this volume.

Essays, interviews, poems, song lyrics, and fictional excerpts mix with more than 200 color and black-and-white photographs, including shots of farmland and farmers, as well as never-before-seen pictures of Farm Aid performers, from the late Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison to Bob Dylan and Bonnie Raitt. Among the many contributors are writers Eric Schlosser and Howard Zinn; performers Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris; photographers Paul Natkin and Ebet Roberts; and Farm Aid board members Neil Young, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, and Willie Nelson.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Twenty years ago, Willie Nelson decided to have an all-star, open-air concert to call attention to the plight of American family farmers, then being squeezed off the land in record numbers by low commodity prices and high short-term indebtedness. In less than a month, the first Farm Aid concert occurred, and a long-term support system was born. The most impressive organizational fact in this lavish, compelling overview is that Farm Aid has only seven employees, not counting any of the musicians and technicians involved in the concerts, who all donate their work. The most impressive revelation about Farm Aid for most readers will probably be the range of work by and on behalf of farmers that it supports between concerts. Spot cash relief for families too strapped to buy groceries, crisis counseling for farmers who lose hope and even the will to live, financial advice and political advocacy, efforts to foster organic farming and cooperation and understanding between farmer and eater (the latter word is strongly preferred to the cold, economic label consumer), encouragement of local specialty farming (i.e., of particular varieties of a food crop)--Farm Aid backs all this and more, and working farmers and writers including Wendell Berry and Jim Hightower discuss it here. Filling out one of the meatiest, most satisfying books of the year are long interviews with Farm Aid musician-directors Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews; sidebars about repeat Farm Aid concert performers, staff, and attendees; poems and song lyrics about farming; and hundreds of pictures, the large majority in color.” —Ray Olson, Booklist
Singer Willie Nelson organized the 1985 Farm Aid concert as a one-time event designed to ensure the survival of the American independent family farm. Two decades later, this annual event is still thriving and is now the longest running benefit concert in history. This large format pictorial performs a double function: It commemorates a day of entertainment that has become an American tradition and it honors that endangered species, the independent American farmer. Contributors to this grand assemblage include writers Eric Schlosser and Howard Zinn; performers Steve Earle and Emmylou Harris; photographers Paul Natkin and Eb Roberts; and Farm Aid board members Neil Young, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, and, of course, Willie Nelson. A keeper keepsake.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781594862854
Publisher:
Rodale Press, Inc.
Publication date:
10/07/2005
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
10.66(w) x 8.44(h) x 1.12(d)

Meet the Author

HOLLY GEORGE-WARREN is an award-winning writer and editor, whose works include The Rolling Stone Book of the Beats, American Roots Music, and Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues. She currently resides in upstate New York.

DAVE HOEKSTRA, a Chicago Sun-Times columnist, co-produced the Emmy-nominated PBS documentary The Civil Rights Movement and the Staple Singers. He currently resides in Chicago, Ilinois.

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