Veteran Social Activist Receives 2017 ASCAP Foundation Jay Gorney Award
July 25, 2017
ASCAP singer-songwriter Bev Grant was named the recipient of this year’s ASCAP Foundation Jay Gorney Award for her song “We Were There.”
Bev is a labor and social activist, feminist, and the 2017 Joe Hill Award winner from the Labor Heritage Foundation for her contribution as a cultural worker, an honor shared with former recipients Pete Seeger, Hazel Dickens and many others.
Bev grew up singing and playing with her two older sisters in Portland, OR. After moving to New York City in the early ‘60s, she formed her band The Human Condition, who recorded their first album “Working People Gonna Rise,” with Paredon Records, now distributed by Smithsonian/Folkways. Her song “Inez” is included in the Smithsonian/Folkways “Best of Broadside” collection.
Bev’s song, “We Were There” will soon have a global presence when it is presented at the United Trade Union Confederation 3rd Womens Conference in October in Costa Rica
Bev founded and directs the Brooklyn Women’s Chorus, who celebrated their 20th anniversary in March 2017.
The ASCAP Foundation Jay Gorney Award was established by Jay’s late wife, Sondra, and his son, Dr. Roderic Gorney. In the spirit of Jay’s song, “Brother Can You Spare a Dime?” which he wrote with lyricist E.Y. “Yip” Harburg, this award is presented for an original song based on its message of social conscience/social significance as well as overall craft, artistry and compositional elements.