Redd Welsh takes what we all feel and know and puts it out with such passion to inspire us all. He does not hold back and tells the reality of our society from the greed of the elite to the abuses of the powers that be. His songs cover various genres from country to R&B.
Dave Welsh is a writer, musician, union leader, and retired postal worker. He grew up in the New York area. After the Army, he was discharged in Japan where he worked as a reporter for United Press who let him go for taking too much time on each story. His next job was as a deckhand on a British freighter in Kobe, Japan, ending up in Europe where he worked two years for Agence France Presse in Paris. That was the last two years of Algeria’s war of independence from France. Dave settled in Detroit in 1962, a reporter for the Detroit News. Then in ’64, he went South for the Civil Rights News Network during Mississippi Freedom Summer, sending telephone reports to radio stations. About this time he began writing for Ramparts magazine and came to San Francisco in 1966 to work full time for Ramparts as a reporter and senior editor. This was an explosive time for the people’s movement – especially for Black liberation and to end the US war in Vietnam – and like many others, he got drawn into it. Later that would mean support for the Black Panther Party, solidarity with the grassroots movement in Haiti, being part of Pastors for Peace border challenges to break the blockade of Cuba, and in recent years, Occupy Oakland; the “Block the Boat” direct actions that stopped Israeli ships from using the port of Oakland; and the ongoing fight to jail killer cops and stop the police from killing our people.
In 1968 he married Loni Ding, about the time she was organizing street fairs for the S.F. Neighborhood Arts Program before she started making documentary films. They had two children, May Ying and Elias. Dave got hired by the Post Office on May Day 1975. That was the day he joined the Letter Carriers union, which he served for many years as a shop steward, local officer, and labor council delegate. Since the 1980s he’s been singing with the Freedom Song Network and Western Workers Labor Heritage Festival. Lately, he’s taken up the Hammond XB2 electronic organ and can be heard playing it and singing on the streets of Berkeley – including on the steps of the Post Office, which the amazing people of Berkeley had the stamina to stop from being sold and privatized.
Visit Redd Welsh’s website at reddwelsh.com