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Folk Legend Utah Phillips Dies at Seventy-Three

May 27, 2008 11:05 AM ET

Folk singer Utah Phillips, the "Golden Voice of the Great Southwest," died of congestive heart failure Friday night at the age of seventy-three. Over the course of his forty-plus year career, Phillips often supported peace groups and labor unions, as evidenced by "Moose Turd Pie," his biggest hit in folk circles. Phillips collaborated with Ani DiFranco on two albums, the second of which, Fellow Workers, was nominated for the best contemporary folk album Grammy in 2000. Phillips also ran for U.S. Senate in 1968 and in 1991 recorded an album in one take about his anger toward the Gulf War called I've Got to Know. Later in his life, Phillips started a folk music radio show and even helped start a homeless shelter in Nevada City, California. Phillips is survived by his wife and three children.

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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