Click on the 'Listen' button above to hear this interview.
Hill arrived to the United States in 1902 as an indigent, unknown Swedish immigrant. By the time of Hill's death in 1915 — a penalty for a murder that historians, including Billy, say that he did not commit — Hill had become the leader of the labor union Industrial Workers of the World, commonly known as the "Wobblies."
The Wobblies were known for their use of song as a form of protest, the lyrics of which — penned by Hill — they circulated through the "Little Red Songbook." Though before recording technology existed, Hill's legacy lived on through his songs made famous through the likes of Joan Baez and Pete Seeger.
Click on the 'Listen' button above to hear Matthew Billy discuss the Joe Hill saga, and click here for the full "Between the Liner Notes" episode on the labor activist.