50 Most Influential Musicians

Rock guitarists, jazz singers, folk pioneers, world-class cellists and more—these are the people who changed the sound of our lives.

Seattle Metropolitan Magazine – December 2008

If Seattle’s radical past has survived to the present day, it’s reflected in the political songs of Jim Page. A modern successor to Woody Guthrie and Earl Robinson, Page has been writing and singing around here since the early 1970s. The City of Seattle changed its restrictions against busking in 1974 after Page lobbied the mayor and city council, gathered public support, and testified at a public hearing. He developed his performing chops singing in the streets, and playing during the breaks in other musicians’ gigs at clubs and taverns like Pioneer Square’s Inside Passage. “You had 15 minutes to get their attention, hold it while you did your thing, and set them up for the hat pass,” he remembers. At some places, he would end up with more in the hat than the featured band was paid for the night.  —JR

Because of him… Musicians have the right to play on Seattle’s sidewalks.
Now hear this: Page delivers musical commentary about the impact of new money on this city in “Paul Allentown” from his 2004 Seattle Songs CD.


Quotations

“Jim’s been writing great topical songs for as long as I can remember, bringing his acute wit and wry humor to a host of subjects that can really use both. In the tradition of  Woody and Dylan, he cuts right to the heart with music you actually enjoy listening to. I’m a longtime admirer.”     BONNIE RAITT

“Every now and again I encounter a singer who gives me a glimmer of hope.  Jim Page carries the light.”     CHRISTY MOORE

“Searing, compassionate lyrics, with an always rightfully placed ironic or humorous note;  Jim Page’s words, like his music, are for both the mind and soul.  He urges us to live our lives to their fullest, and, reassures those who do.”      WINONA LADUKE

“Jim Page is a lyrical genius with a guitar. This man personifies the word ‘free-flow.’ Page takes to the mic and the song invents itself on the spot; his talent is a natural wonder.”     GAVIN

“The best had to be when that wonderful folksinger Jim Page joined the mainstage outdoor closer Leftover Salmon.  He strums a few chords to get them started and then they build the melody up.  Jim starts to improvise lyrics…  And all of Leftover Salmon is grinning ear-to-ear.  I’ve seen 1500-plus concerts and that moment was as wonderful a band/audience connection as I’ve ever witnessed.”     DUPREE’S DIAMOND NEWS

“If Jim Page ain’t the bastard son of Woody Guthrie I’m T-Bone Walker”     ROBERT HUNTER

“Jim Page’s songs get right to the point.  He looks at the world clearly and reports what he sees with compassion, humor and a biting sense of irony.  And boy! can he sing and play.  If you’re ever going to get the message, this is the messenger to get it from.”     U. UTAH PHILLIPS


Radio and TV

KING TV: “The Man Who Decriminalized Street Music In Seattle” 

KPLU Radio: “How This Musician Made Street Performing Legal 40 Years Ago”