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Leonard Hunt Chandler, Jr. (born May 27, 1935), better known as Len Chandler, is a folk musician from Akron, Ohio.

Len Chandler
Leonard Hunt Chandler, Jr.

(1935-05-27) May 27, 1935 (age 84)
Akron, Ohio, U.S.


Len ... uses a lot of chords ... he's really good ... he uses his fingers all over ... he has been always trying to tell me to use more chords and sing a couple of songs in minor keys...

Bob Dylan[1]

He showed an early interest in music and began playing piano at age 8. Studying classical music in his early teens, he learned to play the oboe so he could join the high school band, and during his senior year joined the Akron Symphony Orchestra. He eventually earned his B.A. in Music Education from the University of Akron, moved to New York City, and received an M.A. from Columbia University.

By the early 1960s, Chandler began to get involved in the Civil Rights Movement. He sang at demonstrations and rallies and won a reputation as a protest songwriter.[2] One of his most famous songs was "Beans in My Ears", which was covered by the Serendipity Singers, as well as Pete Seeger. He also served as one of the original crew members of Seeger's CLEARWATER organization, working to save the environment around the Hudson River Valley.[citation needed] One of Chandler's song entitled "Run Come See the Sun", was sung by Pete Seeger at the Sanders Theater in Boston in the year 1980. This song had a repeated phrase, which built up the harmony as well. (Source: Pete Seeger concert at the Sanders Theater, released on Smithsonian Folkways Records.)

Chandler was also a performer in the traveling anti-war troupe F.T.A., which was organized by Jane Fonda in 1971.[3][4] With Holly Near and Rita Martinson, the group toured the United States and bases throughout the Pacific Rim. The travels were filmed, however the documentary was pulled from theatres a week after its release due to the controversy surrounding Fonda's visit to Hanoi.[5]

After penning topical material related to the Original Black Panther Party, Lew Irwin brought him to KRLA 1110[6] to write three topical songs a day for their radio program, The Credibility Gap,[7] which released some of his songs, including "Soul in Ice", on their record An Album Of Political Pornography.[8] At KRLA he also wrote and recorded the short theme song "The Chronicles of Pop" for the Pop Chronicles radio program.[9][10] In the early 1970s, he formed the Alternative Chorus-Songwriters Showcase to promote new talent.[7] He moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1970s.

Len Chandlers' song "Keep On Keepin' On" of 1964 was used by Martin Luther King Jr. in a speech after King's secretary saw the song in New York Broadside issue 34.[11][12][13]



  1. ^ Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 52 - The Soul Reformation: Phase three, soul music at the summit. [Part 8] : UNT Digital Library" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
  2. ^ Sullivan, Denise (20 April 2018). "Keep on Pushing: Black Power Music from Blues to Hip-hop". Chicago Review Press – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Greenspun, Roger (July 22, 1972). "Jane Fonda's 'F.T.A.' Show Now a Film". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Watch Trailer. "FTA - Docurama - New Video Group". Retrieved 2010-09-09.
  5. ^ "Penelope Andrew: Fonda, Sutherland, Streep Echo Trumbo & Brecht: FTA (1972) and Theater of War (2008)". 2009-02-16. Retrieved 2010-09-09.
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b Lankford, Ronnie D.. Len Chandler at AllMusic. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  8. ^ "Magic of JuJu: Political Porno". 2006-12-21. Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2009-11-16.
  9. ^ "Index to "Pop Chronicles" — University of North Texas Libraries". 2008-07-24. Archived from the original on 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  10. ^ "Show 3 - The Tribal Drum: The rise of rhythm and blues. [Part 1] : UNT Digital Library" (audio). Pop Chronicles. 1969-02-23. Retrieved 2010-08-24.
  11. ^ High Fidelity - Volume 19, Issues 1-6 - Page 35 1969 "Len Chandler, composer-lyricist- singer, whose original compositions can be heard on two Columbia albums. To Be a Man and The Lovin' People, and whose song Keep on Keepin' On was used as the text for a speech by Martin Luther King: .
  12. ^ Denise Sullivan Keep on Pushing: Black Power Music from Blues to Hip-hop 2011 Page 52 1569769060 "Similarly soft-spoken is “Keep on Keepin' On.” “I felt very good when the Reverend Martin Luther King used the phrase 'keep ... he had learned it from his secretary who saw the song in Broadside and liked it,” wrote Chandler in the liner notes."
  13. ^ Sing Out - Volume 16 - Page 89 1966 So I guess Pye gotta keep on keepin' on." HP The song "Keepin' On," by Len Chandler Is In New York Broadside #34 with a couple of other Len Chandler songs. Write: Broadside, 215 West 98th St., New York, N.Y., 10025. Debby Masters ..."
  14. ^ "Len Chandler discography". Retrieved 2010-08-24.

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