August 16, 2020
A Tribute to ruth weiss by Dan Roberts
ruth weiss, often referred to as the Beat Goddess, was an Albion resident for some 40 years. She was internationally recognized as an innovator in performing poetry accompanied by jazz musicians. She is a legend of the SF beat scene of the 50s and 60s, as well as in New Orleans, Vienna, and many other cultural centers around the world. She was born in 1928 in Berlin and spent her early years fleeing anti-jewish persecution with her parents. Eventually she arrived in New York City. After the end of WW2 she returned with her parents to Germany for a few years and then back to Chicago, where she began developing live poetry with jazz musicians. In the early 50s she arrived in North Beach in San Francisco where she performed in the same venues as Ferlinghetti, Kerouac, and Hirschman. There is a recently completed feature documentary about her called “ruth weiss, the beat goddess,” by Melody Miller and Elizabeth Montgomery
After moving to Mendocino County ruth often performed at our various venues, both as a featured reader and at open mics. At five foot zero her words, and voice, brought the room to attention. I was lucky enough to record her performances many times, and lucky enough to develop a friendship with her. Today I will be playing 18 of her poems, 16 of them I recorded in our fortunate county. I have segued her words with a mixture of music from around the world.
RhythmRunningRiver August 16, 2020 first hour