Because songwriter and performer Sidney Rosenberg remembered something from his own life, he called up a dozen local folk bands and convinced them to donate their services to next Saturday's benefit concert for the Coalition for the Homeless. "Back in the '70s, I was sort of out on the street myself," he explains. "Luckily, I had a van I was living in, but I was broke."
A local volunteer organization, Fields of Plenty, managed to steer Rosenberg to enough daily work to enable him to eat, and after a few months "a few things happened and I got off the street. But I'll never forget how terrible it was. You have absolutely no dignity on the street, you feel alienated from the normal world."
The Coalition for the Homeless is an organization whose members consist of shelters, soup kitchens, clinics, churches and concerned individuals; they seek to improve and develop services for the homeless and serve as an information clearinghouse on the issue.
Among those performing at Takoma Park Junior High School are Celtic Thunder, Magpie, Flora Moulton and the Truth Band, Craig Johnson, Joe Glaser, Nancy Lynn Olson, Bob Devlin, Barry Louis Polisar, Laurie Hyde and the Blue Mountain Band and Rosenberg and his bluegrass band, the Sprouts of Grass. The concert will start at noon Saturday, culminating in an evening swing dance with the Sunshine Skiffle Band. For information, call 328-1184.
Rosenberg, a Takoma Park resident who works as an upholsterer, also has a song for the hopeless. He recently sold a theme song to the Washington Federals football team, "Ring the Bells for the Federals." "They're going to start doing something with it," Rosenberg said. "Maybe winning games?"