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Pete Seeger

It's no exaggeration to say that Pete Seeger has done more to popularize American folk music than any other contemporary musician, authoring or co-authoring the songs that have become folk standards: "If I Had a Hammer," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" and "Turn! Turn! Turn!" to name just a few. His work has inspired countless musicians including Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and the Dixie Chicks, and his tireless political and environmental activism have galvanized generations of admirers to follow his lead and take action.

Born on May 3, 1919 to Charles and Constance Seeger, music was in Seeger's blood from the first; his father was a Professor of musicology and his mother, a classical violinist. Seeger grew up surrounded by music, learning to play the ukulele, guitar and banjo by the time he was in his teens. An early job assisting folk archivist Alan Lomax to transcribe and record traditional music in the American South cemented his commitment to reviving the American folk music tradition.

Seeger’s commitment to the revival of American folk music is rivaled only by his commitment to using music as an instrument for social change. His activism has been a constant in his career. Throughout the 1940’s, he was singing protest and union songs—first with Woody Guthrie, and his first group, The Almanac Singers, then after the Almanacs disbanded, with The Weavers, the popular folk quartet Seeger founded with Lee Hays. Their cover of Lead Belly’s “Goodnight Irene” became a number-one selling song for 1950. But at the height of their popularity, the group was black-listed and put under FBI surveillance for their politics, forcing Seeger to spend much of the 50’s battling HUAC for his socialist beliefs.

Seeger continued to attract new audiences through his activism. In the 1960’s, his Civil Rights and Vietnam War protest songs spoke to a new generation of fans. Then in the 70s, Seeger turned his attention to the environment, a cause to which he remains devoted, going green long before it became popular to do so. And now, at age 89, Seeger still performs on occasion in public, and continues to receive accolades for his many achievements. Of note, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993, the Presidential Medal of the Arts in 1994, an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, was named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress in 2000, and as of today, nearly 18,000 people and counting have signed the petition to nominate Seeger for a Nobel peace prize.

Springsteen to Seeger: “You Outlasted the Bastards”

“You outlasted the bastards, man,” Bruce Springsteen told the roaring crowd.

I think that was my favorite line at the rollicking birthday concert celebrating Pete Seeger’s 90th!

There were other uplifting, astonishing moments Sunday night at Madison Square Garden, at a five-hour concert which Seeger only OK’d because it raised much-needed funds for his Clearwater project�"a non profit organization which the oft-maligned bard started in 1969 to clean up his beloved, polluted Hudson River.

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Album Review

Pete Seeger: Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection

Read "Pete Seeger: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

It is no coincidence that folk singer, songwriter and social activist Pete Seeger (1919-2014) turns up as one of the important voices on the recently released Smithsonian Folkways box set The Social Power of Music (Smithsonian Folkways, 2019). Seeger, one of the towering figures of American folk music, believed in songs as tools that could transform society bit by bit, but he also subscribed to the social aspect of songs. The songs he played were written by the people and ...

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Pete Seeger (1919-2014)

Pete Seeger (1919-2014)

Source: JazzWax by Marc Myers

Pete Seeger—rock and folk's oldest and most influential link to the past and whose voice and lifelong fight for social causes influenced generations of musicians and continues to do so today, whether they know it or not—died on January 27. He was 94. It's almost impossible to fully comprehend the power of Seeger's songs or his role in shaping the direction of American music without knowledge of the socio-economic environment that existed prior to World War II. The stock market ...



Folk Music Legend Pete Seeger To Receive First Phoebe Jacobs Award Of Distinction At The Louis Armstrong Center’s What A Wonderful World Event On September 23

Folk Music Legend Pete Seeger To Receive  First Phoebe Jacobs Award Of Distinction At The Louis Armstrong Center’s What A Wonderful World  Event On September 23

Source: Carol Rubiano

Pete Seeger, a master of vocals, banjo, and guitar and well known for influencing the development of folk music and for his continued commitment to social justice, peace and environmental issues, is the recipient of the first Phoebe Jacobs Award of Distinction which will be presented by Beth Israel Medical Center’s Louis Armstrong Center for Music & Medicine at its 8th Annual What A Wonderful World event on Monday, September 23rd. Also being honored are Fran Silverman, ACSW, LCSW-R, Director ...



Pete Seeger/Clearwater Festival Final Line-Up

Pete Seeger/Clearwater Festival Final Line-Up

Source: Michael Ricci

Clearwater Announces Final Line-up and Stage Schedules for the 2010 Great Hudson River Revival.

BEACON, NY: Clearwater has finalized the line-up for the 2010 Great Hudson River Revival, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 19 and 20 at Croton Point Park in Croton-on Hudson, NY.

Tickets range from $40 (early bird) to $80 (gate) for day passes and $60-$115 for weekend passes. Tickets are available at ClearwaterFestival.org or 845-418-3596

Inspired by Pete Seegers desire to clean up ...



Sonny Rollins to Perform Benefit Concert for Pete Seeger's Clearwater Dec. 6

Sonny Rollins to Perform Benefit Concert for Pete Seeger's Clearwater Dec. 6

Source: Terri Hinte Publicity

Tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins and his band will perform a special benefit concert for Hudson River Sloop Clearwater on Sunday, December 6, 2009 at the Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown, NY. The concert will begin at 2:00 pm. Rollins's performance in Tarrytown on behalf of Pete Seeger's Clearwater will mark the first time the renowned environmental organization has ever hosted a benefit concert dedicated solely to jazz, and is also the first time that the saxophonist has performed a fund-raiser ...


TV / Film

Seeger and 'The Power of Song' Tonight's 'Great Performances' Special

Seeger and 'The Power of Song' Tonight's 'Great Performances' Special

Source: Michael Ricci

Pete Seeger has never paid attention to demographics or audience segments. His message has always been about inconclusiveness as a performer. And he's a performer in many senses of the word.

“A musician, singer, songwriter, folklorist, labor activist, environmentalist, peace advocate," listed Tim Robbins at the start of an all-star gathering at Madison Square Garden last May to celebrate Seeger's 90th birthday.

This celebration has been captured as a “Great Performances" special, and it's full of passion and ideals, nostalgia ...



Pete Seeger: Folkways Comp

Pete Seeger: Folkways Comp

Source: JamBase


Pete Seeger by Anthony Pepitone On April 21, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings released Pete Seeger's American Favorite Ballads, a five-CD box-set featuring the time-honored classics Pete Seeger recorded with Moses Asch between 1957 and 1962. All five volumes of Seeger's landmark recordings, instrumental in sparking the folk revival of the 1960s, are presented ...


Performance / Tour

Pete Seeger BDay Concert | 05.03.09 | NYC

Pete Seeger BDay Concert | 05.03.09 | NYC

Source: JamBase

By: Ryan Dembinsky

Pete Seeger 90th Birthday Concert :: 05.03.09 :: Madison Square Garden :: New York, NY

Pete Seeger by Bruce Mondschain courtesy Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage Let's put this in perspective: On May 3, 1919, the Model T Ford was still the king of the road, the allied powers had just hashed out the early stages of the Treaty of Versailles, ...



Madison Square Garden 90th Birthday Tribute to Folk Music Legend Pete Seeger on Sunday

Madison Square Garden 90th Birthday Tribute to Folk Music Legend Pete Seeger on Sunday

Source: All About Jazz

Many of the top names in American music, including Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson and literally dozens more will be performing at the Madison Square Garden 90th birthday tribute to folk music legend Pete Seeger on Sunday.

While the show is a fund-raising benefit for Clearwater, an environmental organization dedicated to protecting the Hudson River ecosystem, it's also an opportunity to celebrate the life and work of the guy who co-wrote ...



Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Play 50th Anniversary Newport Folk Festival

Pete Seeger, Joan Baez,  Play 50th Anniversary Newport Folk Festival

Source: All About Jazz

For its 50th anniversary, the Newport Folk Festival has recruited two artists who took the stage at the inaugural 1959 event: Joan Baez and Pete Seeger.

Newer acts like Fleet Foxes, Iron & Wine, the Decemberists, Neko Case and Breaking artists the Low Anthem will also take part in George Weins Folk Festival 50, scheduled for July 31st-August 2nd at Newports Fort Adams State Park. Tickets go on sale May 6th.

The whole concept of the folk festival is a ...


Performance / Tour

Pete Seeger 90th Birthday Concert at MSG

Pete Seeger 90th Birthday Concert at MSG

Source: JamBase


His pickin' has us grinnin'... Clearwater: Creating the Next Generation of Environmental Leaders will host a benefit concert in celebration of Pete Seeger's 90th Birthday.

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009, 7:00 p.m. Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

American Express Pre-Sale Monday, March 23 at 9:00 a.m. EDT at americanexpress.com/entertainment. Regular tickets on sale Monday, March 30 at 9:00 a.m. EDT at ticketmaster.com

The ...

Mike Felten



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Pete Seeger: The...

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings



Bob Dylan
guitar and vocals
Lead Belly
guitar and vocals
guitar, acoustic

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