~~January 28, 2014~~
Folk Activist Pete Seeger, Icon Of Passion And Ideals, Dies At 94
Peter “Pete” Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014) was an American folk singer. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of the Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead Belly‘s “Goodnight, Irene“, which topped the charts for 13 weeks in 1950. Members of the Weavers were blacklisted during the McCarthy Era. In the 1960s, he re-emerged on the public scene as a prominent singer of protest music in support of international disarmament, civil rights, counterculture and environmental causes.
As a songwriter, he was the author or co-author of “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” (with Joe Hickerson), “If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)” (composed with Lee Hays of the Weavers), and “Turn, Turn, Turn!“, which have been recorded by many artists both in and outside the folk revival movement and are still sung throughout the world. “Flowers” was a hit recording for the Kingston Trio (1962); Marlene Dietrich, who recorded it in English, German and French (1962); and Johnny Rivers (1965). “If I Had a Hammer” was a hit for Peter, Paul & Mary (1962) and Trini Lopez (1963), while the Byrds popularized “Turn, Turn, Turn!” in the mid-1960s, as did Judy Collins in 1964 and the Seekers in 1966.
Seeger was one of the folksingers most responsible for popularizing the spiritual “We Shall Overcome” (also recorded by Joan Baez and many other singer-activists) that became the acknowledged anthem of the 1960s American Civil Rights Movement, soon after folk singer and activist Guy Carawan introduced it at the founding meeting of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960. In the PBS American Masters episode “Pete Seeger: The Power of Song“, Seeger stated it was he who changed the lyric from the traditional “We will overcome” to the more singable “We shall overcome”.
Seeger was born at the French Hospital, Midtown Manhattan. His Yankee-Protestant family, which Seeger called “enormously Christian, in the Puritan, Calvinist New England tradition”, traced its genealogy back over 200 years. A paternal ancestor, Karl Ludwig Seeger, a physician from Württemberg, Germany, had emigrated to America during the American Revolution and married into an old New England family in the 1780s. Pete’s father, the Harvard-trained composer and musicologist Charles Louis Seeger, Jr., established the first musicology curriculum in the U.S. at the University of California in 1913, helped found the American Musicological Society, and was a key founder of the academic discipline of ethnomusicology. Pete’s mother, Constance de Clyver Edson, raised in Tunisia and trained at the Paris Conservatory of Music, was a concert violinist and later a teacher at the Juilliard School.
In 1912, Charles Seeger was hired to establish the music department at the University of California, Berkeley, but was forced to resign in 1918 because of his outspoken pacifism during World War I. Charles and Constance moved back east, making Charles’ parents’ estate in Patterson, New York, northeast of New York City, their base of operations. When baby Pete was eighteen months old, they set out with him and his two older brothers in a homemade trailer, on a quixotic mission to bring musical uplift to the working people in the American South. Upon their return, Constance taught violin and Charles taught composition at the New York Institute of Musical Art (later Juilliard), whose president, family friend Frank Damrosch, was Constance’s adoptive “uncle”.
Charles also taught part-time at the New School for Social Research. Career and money tensions led to quarrels and reconciliations, but when Charles discovered Constance had opened a secret bank account in her own name, they separated, and Charles took custody of their three sons.Beginning in 1936, Charles held various administrative positions in the federal government’s Farm Resettlement program, the WPA‘s Federal Music Project (1938–1940), and the wartime Pan American Union. After World War II, he taught ethnomusicology at the University of California and Yale University.
Seeger at the Clearwater Festival in June 2007.
|Birth name||Peter Seeger|
|Born||(1919-05-03)May 3, 1919
Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||January 27, 2014(2014-01-27) (aged 94)
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Genres||American folk music, Protest music, Americana|
|Occupations||Musician, songwriter, activist, television host|
|Instruments||Banjo, guitar, recorder, tin whistle, mandolin, piano, ukulele|
|Labels||Folkways, Columbia, CBS, Vanguard, Sony Kids’, SME|
|Associated acts||The Weavers, The Almanac Singers, Woody Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie, Tao Rodríguez-Seeger, Lead Belly|
|Vega Pete Seeger Model longneck banjo
Martin JSO Sing Out 60th Pete Seeger Guitar
Seeger passed away on January 27, 2014 at the age of 94. Seeger’s grandson, Kitama Cahill-Jackson, said his grandfather died peacefully in his sleep around 9:30 p.m. at New York’s Presbyterian Hospital, where he had been for six days. Family members were with him at the time of his death. Cahill-Jackson said Seeger was still as active as ever, out chopping wood ten days prior to his death.
Response and reaction to Seeger’s death quickly poured in. Bruce Springsteen said of Seeger’s passing “I lost a great friend and a great hero last night, Pete Seeger” before performing “We Shall Overcome” while on tour in South Africa. President Barack Obama called Seeger “America’s tuning fork” who believed in “”the power of song” to bring social change. “
Over the years, Pete used his voice and his hammer to strike blows for worker’s rights and civil rights; world peace and environmental conservation and he always invited us to sing along. For reminding us where we come from and showing us where we need to go, we will always be grateful to Pete Seeger. Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Pete’s family and all those who loved him.”
A tireless campaigner for his own vision of a utopia marked by peace and togetherness, Pete Seeger‘s tools were his songs, his voice, his enthusiasm and his musical instruments. A major advocate for the folk-style five-string banjo and one of the most prominent folk music icons of his generation, Seeger was also a political and environmental activist. He died Monday at age 94. His grandson, Kitama Cahill Jackson, said he died of natural causes.
Pete Seeger came by his beliefs honestly. His father, Charles Seeger, was an ethnomusicologist and a pioneering folkorist whose left-wing views got him into trouble at the University of California, Berkeley. Charles Seeger introduced his son to some of the most important musicians of the Depression era — including Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie.
Not just through his books but also through his sheer force of presence, Seeger became a model for younger folk musicians. Singer and songwriter Tom Paxton said he learned invaluable lessons from Seeger about how to reach an audience. “Look ’em in the eye. Make a gesture of inclusion, which he did all the time. And above all, have a chorus,” Paxton says. “So I learned from Pete to have something for them to sing.”
Bringing people together and getting them to sing out may be one of Pete Seeger’s greatest legacies. But when it came to saving the world, Tao Rodriguez Seeger says, his grandfather ultimately seemed to question whether the guitar was mightier than the sword.
“It troubled him, troubled him deeply that technology was so advanced but our emotional state was so inadequate to cope, that with a push of a button, in a fit of rage, we could wipe ourselves off the face of the Earth. And he really wanted to fix that and always felt like he failed,” Rodriguez Seeger says.
But if Pete Seeger didn’t save the world, he certainly did change the lives of millions of people by leading them to sing, to take action and to at least consider his dream of what society could be.
Full Read/Article: http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2014/01/28/267488551/american-folk-singer-pete-seeger-dies-at-94
Pete Seeger-Where Have all the Flowers Gone
Uploaded on Feb 18, 2008
On July 26, 1956, the House of Representatives voted 373 to 9 to cite Pete Seeger and seven others (including playwright Arthur Miller) for contempt, as they failed to cooperate with House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in their attempts to investigate alleged subversives and communists.
Pete Seeger testified before the HUAC in 1955. In one of Pete’s darkest moments, when his personal freedom, his career, and his safety were in jeopardy, a flash of inspiration ignited this song.
Pete Seeger – This Land is Your Land (Live at Farm Aid 2013)
Published on Sep 21, 2013
Pete Seeger performs “This Land is Your Land” with Farm Aid board artists John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews and Neil Young live at the Farm Aid concert in Saratoga Springs, NY on September 21, 2013. Farm Aid was started by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp in 1985 to keep family farmers on the land and has worked since then to make sure everyone has access to good food from family farmers. Dave Matthews joined Farm Aid’s board of directors in 2001.
Pete Seeger ~ Turn Turn Turn (To Everything There is a Season) -1962
Published on Feb 16, 2013
Song: ‘Turn Turn Turn (To Everything There is a Season’
Album: ‘Pete Seeger’s Greatest Hits’ (2002)
Artist/Composer: King Solomon-Ecclesiastes / Pete Seeger
The song is based on verses from the book of Ecclesiastes
in the Bible. Pete Seeger put music to the words in 1959, and
recorded his own version in 1962. The Byrds recorded it in 1965.
Such a beautiful melody with ancient words, unique and inspiring.
The words apply to the time, every generation, today & everywhere.
Taken and paraphrased from the bible, with only the last line
written by Pete Seeger. That line is: “I swear its not too late”.
We ALL are ONE!!
~~THE DREAM WILL ALWAYS BE ALIVE~~