Appreciating and remembering Pete Seeger


Interesting morning.  Is there anyone who does not have a Pete Seeger memory?

The Pete Seeger Appreciation page was set up many months ago — in fact founder Jim Capaldi died last December, with his family carrying it on.  A good place to start, maybe.

Classic Pete Seeger photo -- from the 1950s?  This and more at the Pete Seeger Appreciation Page, at PeteSeeger.net

Classic Pete Seeger photo — from the 1950s? This and more at the Pete Seeger Appreciation Page, at PeteSeeger.net

Read his biography, perhaps?

Learn to play the banjo:

This is the one that made me shed tears:

What great tributes have you seen to Pete today?  Give us a link in comments, share the good stuff.

4 Responses to Appreciating and remembering Pete Seeger

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    That’s a grand story!

    I liked Hootenanny, but I had a feeling that it was more staged than not. As I recall it was frequently filmed before college audiences — almost always all-white, and never at a college anyone I’d ever known (up to then) had attended. That program sort of blazed the trail for Shindig (ABC) and Hullaballoo (NBC) later, in rock — good ideas, humorously executed (comedian Alan King, a great guy, was a popular and frequent host of Hullaballoo; had nothing whatever to do with rock and roll).

    Pete didn’t agree, of course. Perfectly in keeping with his “I’ll plead the First Amendment” defense, which befuddled officials no end. Didn’t do Pete much good, but it’s a great story of principle, now.

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  2. Porlock Junior says:

    Not exactly the tribute you were looking for, but I’ve been thinking about one highly public detail of Seeger’s career, and haven’t seen any mention of it.

    The TV show Hootenanny, which started in 1963, was a sort of sanitized folk-song program, because, you know, folk singing was popular enough by then that it might turn profitabele. From the very start, it sanitized itself by blacklisting Pete Seeger, and of course, the Weavers, and various others. Joan Baez, who was a valuable property by that time, heard of it and publicly blacklisted herself from the show, as did a few others.

    The network later tried to smooth out the problem and see if they could get Seeger on the show. Their position bears repeating here, for the edification of people who didn’t live through those times:

    “ABC will consider Mr. Seeger’s use on the program only if he furnishes a sworn affidavit as to his past and present affiliations, if any, with the Communist Party, and/or with the Communist front organizations. Upon so doing, the company will undertake to consider his statement in relation to all the objective data available to it, and will advise you promptly [if] it will approve the employment of Mr. Seeger.”

    [Taken from Wikipedia on Hootenanny]

    A classic of the rhetoric, representing the reasonable, moderate, centrist position.

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  3. Ed Darrell says:

    Formally, all HUAC did was cite Pete for contempt of Congress. He was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison. He didn’t serve, the sentence was reduced on appeal — but the harm came because people in that situation, in entertainment, were not allowed to appear on television, or radio, nor make movies. Their careers were ruined. In the 8 years prior to 1955 and Pete’s appearance before HUAC, his group, the Weavers, had several multi-million selling hit songs, with appearances on radio, television and Carnegie Hall. After the appearances, all that was cut off.

    Here’s the short description, with Pete’s refusing to testify under the First Amendment (not Fifth), from the Pete Seeger appreciation site: http://www.peteseeger.net/HUAC.htm

    Here’s a Slate article explaining the fallout: http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2014/01/28/pete_seeger_huac_transcript_full_text_of_anti_communist_hearing_courtesy.html?wpisrc=burger_bar

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  4. Jonathan Paris says:

    Is this really true that the HUAC activities actually set back the movement of folk singers by thwarting their ideas for many years? JP Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2014 19:20:31 +0000 To: (email masked)

    Like

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