This Folksinger Was ‘No Beatnik’ – Janet Greene’s ‘Fascist Threat’

Janet Greene Sings:  Fascist Threat and Commie Lies  - 1966 Single Cover, Chantico Records

Janet Greene Sings: Fascist Threat and Commie Lies – 1966 Single Cover, Chantico Records

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 [2012] 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.