Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Mary Leipziger
Observer Staff Writer 

Can a Nice Jewish Boy Find Happiness Singing at the Church In Ocean Park?

Ross Altman has been singing at the Church in Ocean Park= Sunday before Labor Day for 37 years


September 6, 2018

Mary Leipziger

Ross Altman has a Ph.D. in English. Before becoming a full-time folk singer he taught college English and Speech. He now sings around California for libraries, unions, schools, political groups and folk festivals.

Our photographer Mary Leipziger captured teen heartthrob (well ok, not really) Ross Altman, as he performed at the Church in Ocean Park.

Altman has been singing at the Church in Ocean Park the Sunday before Labor Day for 37 years. He has new record out called"the singer-song fighter strikes back"

Reviewer Al Martinez writes:

Mary Leipziger

"Ross Altman is probably the most prolific, literate, experienced, politically active, and excellent topical singer/songwriter in Los Angeles today. With a Ph.D. in English literature, he traded his professorship for a life as a political folksinger and music historian of left movements. If there's been a cause that needed a song, Ross has been on the spot with lyric and tune. Writing in traditions ranging from Woody Guthrie to Tom Paxton, this "singer-songwriter's" songs always have something to say."

After earning said Ph.D., Altman left his teaching career to spend the last twenty-five years singing in festivals, political gatherings, care centers, schools, and libraries around California. A self-proclaimed singer-songfighter, he uses his 6- and 12-string guitars, 5-string banjo, and harmonica to carry on the folk traditions of Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly and Pete Seeger. Altman writes for FolkWorks, Southern California's folk music magazine, and is president of The Santa Monica Traditional Folk Music Club.


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