Songs for John Doe

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Songs for John Doe
Studio album by The Almanac Singers
Released May 1941
Recorded A Central Park West studio, New York, Late March or early April 1941
Genre Folk music
Label Almanac Records
Producer Erin Barnay
The Almanac Singers chronology
Songs for John Doe
Talking Union & Other Union Songs

Songs for John Doe was the 1941 debut album and first released product of the Almanac Singers, an influential early folk music group.

The album was released in May 1941, at a time when World War II was raging but the United States remained neutral. The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were still at peace, as provided by the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. American Communists and "fellow travelers", including the Almanacs, followed the anti-interventionist stance dictated by the Soviet Union through the Comintern, which accounts for the appearance of anti-war songs on the album. However, on June 22, Germany invaded the Soviet Union. The Almanacs changed direction and began agitating for U.S. intervention in Europe. Songs for John Doe was quickly pulled from distribution. The new political line was evident on the group's 1942 album, Dear Mr. President.

For the album, six masters were recorded in a two or three hour session. "'C' For Conscription" and "Washington Breakdown" were recorded as a single take.

Track listing[edit]

Track Song Title By
1. Ballad of October 16 Millard Lampell
2. Billy Boy Millard Lampell
3. 'C' For Conscription Millard Lampell and Pete Seeger
4. Liza Jane Millard Lampell and Pete Seeger
5. Plow Under Millard Lampell and Pete Seeger
6. The Strange Death of John Doe Millard Lampell
7. Washington Breakdown Pete Seeger and Lee Hays


External links[edit]