George Mann and Julius Margolin | Miles to Go Before We Sleep

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Folk: Modern Folk Rock: Folk Rock Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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Miles to Go Before We Sleep

by George Mann and Julius Margolin

Folk singers with nearly 50 years between them, complementing each other nicely with songs of labor, unions and social justice. Uptempo folk/swing/rock, clear harmonies, full production, love and humor. Released October 2000.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Somebody Robbed the Pension Plan
4:13 $0.99
2. A Pedestrian's Lament
2:04 $0.99
3. When You're Ready
4:09 $0.99
4. Don't Let Age Get You Down
2:44 $0.99
5. Percy Sang
4:11 $0.99
6. Grains of Sand
2:54 $0.99
7. Hobo's Lullaby
4:28 $0.99
8. Heartbreak Nightlife
3:36 $0.99
9. We Demand a Living Wage
4:43 $0.99
10. We Shall Not Be Moved
4:00 $0.99
11. Every Loser Was Someone Once
3:32 $0.99
12. Respect Construction Workers
2:48 $0.99
13. Union Burying Ground
6:41 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Performing a variety of original songs and favorites from the past century of folk music, George Mann and Julius Margolin combine social and labor history with songs and a dose of slapstick wherever they perform. From picket lines and union events to cafés and concert settings, George and Julius have been singing and recording together since 1998.

George and Julius have two CD's under their belts, 1999's "Young and Younger" and "Miles to Go Before We Sleep" (2000). They produced the CD "Hail to the Thief! Songs for the Bush Years" (also at CDBABY), a compilation of songs featuring friends from the labor movement, all singing about the stolen election and Bush's agenda.

They released their third CD, "Just A Few Bad Apples," in March 2003, and the new (9/04) "Hail to the Thief II: Songs to Send Bush Packing" featuring Tom Paxton, Utah Phillips, Faith Petric and many others is also on CDBABY.

Audience members of all ages get a taste of labor history and the stories behind some of our best-loved songs, and the duo enjoys laughing at the bosses as well as each other onstage. Mann and Margolin are also songwriters, and their songs are strong commentaries on many contemporary issues, from gun violence ("Too Many Guns"), the aging process ("Don't Let Age Get You Down"), and the plight of the working poor ("We Demand A Living Wage") to the hardships facing workers ("Respect Construction Workers" and "Somebody Robbed the Pension Plan"). Since "Miles to Go Before We Sleep" was completed, they have been performing on both coasts and throughout the Northeast.

Julius Margolin: A former merchant seaman, World War II veteran and film electrician, Julius is labor editor for his union newsletter (IATSE Local 52) and has been his union's delegate to the New York City Labor Council since 1973. Born and raised in New York City and New Jersey, Margolin was a member of the Congress of Industrial Organizations and organized for the CIO during the 1930s and 1940s. A member of the New York City Labor Chorus, Margolin has been retired since 1982, but that hasn't kept him from staying active in social movements for peace and justice. He is a regular fixture on picket lines and at demonstrations whenever unions and organizations call. Now in his 80s, Julius lives in Manhattan and enjoys his reading, songwriting and adding to his extensive book and video collection. In the summer of 2000, he spent two weeks in Northern Ireland as part of a trade union observer delegation in the areas around Belfast subject to continuing strife.

George Mann: A union organizer and activist for the past 10 years, George grew up playing in rock and roll bands on Long Island and in New York City. He has previously recorded four albums of his songs and performs for many unions and organizations. In the fall of 1997, Julius recruited him for the New York City Labor Chorus, and as the two got to know each other better, the idea of working with Julius to bring labor and folk music to the public was born. He has produced both albums that he and Julius have recorded.


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Good Times Magazine

Fighting Injustice One Song At A Time
April 2001

George Mann & Julius Margolin
“Miles To Go Before We Sleep”
Running Scared Productions

George Mann is a name synonymous with unions, labor relations and the like. He’s been an activist for years, and so has Julius Margolin, who is a former CIO organizer. The two of them manage to make music when they’re not making waves, and their second and current release, “Miles to Go Before We Sleep” is as forthright as the title suggests.

Mann, who performs at various functions around the state, hooked up with Margolin to put out various songs of solidarity, protest and even a dash of humor. It’s pretty much a folk-type disc that has echoes in spots of the Grateful Dead and CSNY, similar to their 1998 debut, “Young and Younger.”

Each of them takes turns singing, and both of them get their messages across pointedly, and if you listen hard, you can hear the Irish roots the two of them share. The opener, “Someone Robbed the Pension Plan,” illustrates what these two gentlemen are all about, as Mann sings and plays like a Pete Seeger of union causes. Thing is that it’s the 85-year-old Margolin who has some of the best moments on the disc.

Margolin takes a humorous turn with “A Pedestrian’s Lament” (which truly did happen to him), and his spoken word soliloquy about comparing current-day poor Blacks with his time during the Depression that opens “We Demand a Living Wage,” is downright stirring and chilling. He also goes on about the perils of being a bar musician in “Heartbreak Nightlife.”

Aside from the opener, Mann’s best stuff includes the closing “Union Burying Ground,” written by Woody Guthrie and “Percy Sang,” in honor of a friend who died just after singing the National Anthem prior to a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field. All in all, “Miles to Go Before We Sleep” is a very good album by two gentlemen who are trying to right perceived wrongs and keep them right, one song at a time.

- Lou Friedman