Lately this song has been making the rounds – for some it’s seen as a cheeky throwback tune, for others it’s a once-again relevant social/political statement. It’s a 1966 number called Fascist Threat by singer, Janet Greene. Station Manager Ken of WFMU’s Beware of the Blog gives the lowdown on its history:
In the early to mid-Sixties, the anti-communist movement was trembling before the power and popularity of singers like Pete Seeger, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. Searching for a solution to this problem, Dr. Fred Schwarz recruited one Janet Greene (a Joan Baez fan herself) to be the “Musical Director” of his organization, The Christian Anti-Communism Crusade (CACC). As his Musical Director (or “Anti-Baez,” as he referred to her), Greene converted Schwarz’s red-baiting tirades into pithy right-wing folk songs. From 1964 to 1966, Schwarz released eight songs by Greene on the CACC’s Chantico label, and then in 1966, he reissued all eight songs as part of his 4-LP set, Nature of Communism Series.
By 1967, Greene had grown disenchanted with Schwarz and quit the CACC. While there were a few other attempts at right-wing folk music during this period, most notably The Goldwaters, Greene was the darling of the anti-communist right during a period when leftist folksongs dominated the popular imagination.
Below is a YouTube video hosted on CONELRAD6401240‘s channel. Description:
Janet Greene’s “Fascist Threat” from the Omni Recording Corporation’s  compilation of conservative folk music: “Freedom is a Hammer: Conservative Folk Revolutionaries of the Sixties.”
CONELRAD has a blog post featuring ‘a brief assessment of Ms. Greene’s ten original recordings’ as well as a play list with all the tracks here. CONELRAD also has an interesting Greene biography that tells of her life from poverty, to opera, to playing CInderella on television, to becoming the ‘Anti-Baez’, to her long career as a cocktail lounge entertainer, here. So, without further ado, Janet Greene’s Fascist Threat.
A special h/t goes out to Brian Duval at Facebook’s Jinxy’s Retro Lounge for the reminder of this ’60s folk rarity.
6 thoughts on “This Folksinger Was ‘No Beatnik’ – Janet Greene’s ‘Fascist Threat’”
I’m happy you found it interesting, Chris. Thanks!
Janet Greene in the 1960’s was the most fascist woman in America and she wanted all future elections to be abolished and the Communist and Socialist Parties be outlawed as un-american. Her favorite politicans were Joseph Mccarthy and Joseph martin, both facists!!!!!
Interesting – guess it takes all kinds…and we now know which side won that debate.
People in the US use the term ‘fascist’ for anything they see as dominating and oppressive – most don’t even know what the term originally meant. So it’s not surprising that an anti-communist in the 60s would refer to the rise of socialism in America as ‘fascist’. And socialists would call an anti-communist a ‘fascist’.
The same arguments and confusion remain to this day.
Janet Greene wasnt a facist nor was she confused about the difference between the two. She got it right, they are both evil anti-human totalitarian systems that must receive zero tolerance. Communism,
however, deserves special notice for a higher death count of people murdered by their own governments.
Just a note:
The posting of this piece references it’s place in history – as it relates to its social/cultural mid-20th century significance.
It was noted:
I, myself, have an opinion in that regard. But feel that’s outside the intended scope of this site.
I do welcome others opinions in these comments – and yours is welcome, Thet Ruth.