The band Phish has a massive following with almost no help from mainstream media. They were never featured on MTV and are hardly played on the radio. The band’s success grew in the early 90s with the internet boom, and Ellis Godard has been following them ever since.
Godard, an associate professor of sociology at CSUN, got into Phish in 1990 and helped develop a website, where fans would share set lists and stories about the band. Many people would print the content from the site and sell it in parking lots at Phish shows across the nation.
In order to harness this sought-after information for good, Godard and a few other Phish fans founded the Mockingbird Foundation in 1997. The charity has created a couple editions of The Phish Companion, which Godard helped edit, and a tribute album, “Sharin’ in the Groove: Celebrating the Music of Phish,” which Godard helped produce.
The sale of these products, in addition to direct donations, has helped the Mockingbird Foundation give away more than $750,000 to music education for children in 43 states, according to the foundation’s website.
To listen to an interview with Professor Godard click