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getting all over the place. So that's the way that thing was conceived
and carried out.
It worked because we were able to develop a loyal group of members.
There wasn't too much a rank and file committee could do for a
program, remember. Take the first program that started -- Howard
Roberts Chorale. Howard is someone I've known for many many many
years. Howard was -- I think I've mentioned -- he used to be a
trumpet player with some of the big bands, and then became an
arranger and choral conductor. He was a musical director for “Raisin,”
for a lot of Broadway musicals. Very talented, decent man. He also
used to do the Howard Roberts Chorale. Belafonte -- he was
Belafonte's musical director, too. He would have a group of like seven,
eight, ten singers, who he would rehearse with plus a few musicians,
and they would do a concert. They would do a concert. He would
arrange it, work songs. Black spirituals. You know, Black songs of
slavery -- protest song. He would intersperse, and explain what it was.
So his was the first show.
We had to do a lot of things. You had to contact the hospitals, to get
approval. “We want to do this show.” I said to Davis, “Before we start
Bread and Roses, call a meeting. Invite to the union the personnel
directors of all the major hospitals, the League.” So we had a lunch
meeting where I spun out for them what Bread and Roses was going
to do, why it was going to be good for the union and it was going to be
good for the industry. What we needed was the use of their
auditoriums, and how we want to do it. We wanted to know what they
thought. It was unanimity -- “Fine, great.” You know, it's a soft kind of
thing. We're not doing anything that's going to --. One or two
hospitals, three hospitals, no. It's an answer to your question also,
because it's the organizational. You see we could not say to the
endowments, “We're doing Bread and Roses for organizational
purposes.” Obviously, why should they give you money for that?
But fundamentally, the Bread and Roses program did a couple of
things. Number one, it united our members, brought lots of members
together and excited them, and they felt good about the union. It
brought them good programming, which is good for them too.
Secondly, we helped build the image of the union. An enormous
amount of p.r. -- television, radio, cameras coming in to the programs,
interviewing workers all the time -- “What do you think?” -- and
members looking at it on television and saying, “Gee! That's my
union.” Plus, we wanted to put it in to hospitals where we did not
represent the guild. In those places -- there were not many --
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