I have always been attracted to doomed and tragic figures, and perhaps no one was more doomed or tragic than Phil Ochs. Crushed by the weight of collapsing idealism in the late-sixties, Ochs committed suicide in 1976. He left behind an uneven, but extraordinary body of work. Even his most topical songs tend to hold up well today because of the undeniable passion and humanity he brings to them. Sadly, many of his protest songs are all too topical today; a few judicious word changes to "Here's To The State of Richard Nixon" could describe our current imperial presidency. Had Phil Ochs survived to see the Bush Presidency, he no doubt would have hung himself all over again.
Here is one of the most rare items in the Ochs discography, "Bwtue" the A-side of a single he recorded while on tour in Kenya in 1973. To my knowledge, the two songs he recorded for this single were the last studio recordings of Ochs' career. By 1973 Ochs had already fallen into a state of deep depression, and was suffering from a severe case of writer's block.
The 1973 African trip would have tragic implications for Ochs' life and career. While walking on the beach at night, he was robbed and strangled; as a result his vocal chords were permanently damaged. Ochs believed agents of the U.S. government orchestrated the attack. I cannot say if this was the case or not, but it should be pointed out that Ochs was extremely paranoid at this point in his life. It should also be pointed out that the FBI had long had him under surveillance and considered him a threat.
I suppose you could say that Ochs was doing "World Music" long before Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads or Paul Simon started incorporating elements from African music into their own compositions, but I think that is giving him too much credit. Listening to this song it is hard to figure out what the heck Ochs is even doing on it. Perhaps if he had not been so depressed he might have returned to the States to create some kind of genuine World Music fusion, but that was not to be.