From emma's revolution.
Jon Fromer, presente!
We are deeply mourning the passing, this morning, of our friend and justice troubadour, Jon Fromer.
With his gorgeous soulful voice and powerful guitar playing, Jon could move you to dance or to cry--and always move you to action. Jon was a teenager when he marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in the Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights in 1965. He continued his music and activism in support of peace, immigration, human rights and especially labor rights. He brought his activism to his work as a TV producer in the San Francisco Bay Area where he produced more than 1,000 programs and won numerous awards, including Emmys. Typically his bio on the KQED website includes this line:"More important than the honors Fromer has received is the human touch and appreciation for the diversity of the community that is reflected in all his work."
Jon was awarded the Joe Hill Artist Lifetime Achievement Award from the Labor Heritage Foundation. We did concerts with Jon in the Bay Area and, for the last 12 years, we sang with Jon at the School of the Americas Watch Vigil in Ft. Benning, Columbus GA. He was a crucial part of the music and the musicians collective. In addition to his songs like "Gonna Take Us All" and "Welcome", no one could lead "Rockin' Solidarity" or "We Shall Overcome" like Jon.
He battled stomach cancer for the last two years and, even in his last days, Jon was still miraculously strong in spirit and energy, recording some of his newest songs. (Hear Waves, a beautiful duet he sang with his wife Mary just this fall at La Pena.)
Pat's been going to sleep every night with Jon's songs playing in her head and waking up with them still playing. And we both have been singing our favorite song of his. With Bernie Gilbert, Jon wrote the song for Rosa Parks but the chorus seems so appropriate now:
"My feet are tired, my feet are tired.
My feet are tired, but my soul is rested."
We love you and we already miss you so much, Jon. We are grateful for your spirit, your music, your humor, your love for us and your passion for justice.
Jon Fromer, presente!