T-Bone Slim  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Matti Valentine Huhta (c.1890? - May 11?, 1942) better known by his pen name T-Bone Slim, was a humourist, poet, songwriter, hobo, and a labour activist in the Industrial Workers of the World.

Very little is known of his early life or his death. He was born in Ashtabula, Ohio to Finnish working-class immigrants sometime before the turn of the century, married at a young age, and left the area around 1910, travelling around the United States as a migrant worker, at which point he became a member of the I.W.W.

Huhta was employed for a period as a reporter for the daily News-Telegram in Duluth, Minnesota, but quit after an editor "misquoted him and balled up his article" about an I.W.W. mass meeting. He later contributed numerous articles and songs to the I.W.W. press and is widely regarded as one of the union's finest columnists and songwriters. He was a regular columnist for Industrial Solidarity and, later, for the Industrial Worker and Industrialisti until his death in 1942 in New York City where he died under mysterious circumstances.

T-Bone Slim's best known works include "The Popular Wobbly", "The Mysteries of a Hobo's Life", and "The Lumberjack's Prayer". Later, his work would become a source of inspiration for the emerging American surrealist movement, and many of his songs were revived during the American Civil Rights movement.

In an interview with David Barsamian, Noam Chomsky cites T-Bone Slim as one of his favourite "Wobbly Singers".

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "T-Bone Slim" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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