I was, and am, a big fan of the late folk singer Pete Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014). I wrote about him on his 90th birthday in 2009 HERE, though I am surprised that I didn’t mention the fact that I had the opportunity to actually talk with Pete at the Springboks demonstration.
My affection for the We Shall Overcome album I have documented.
I remember watching him singing Waist Deep in the Big Muddy on The Smothers Brothers show, after it had previously been yanked by CBS.
The documentary Wasn’t That A Time, about the reunion of the Weavers – Seeger, Ronnie Gilbert, Fred Hellerman and Lee Hays – came out in 1982. I saw it at least a decade later. You should watch it.
Still, I keep learning things about the singer. Earlier this year, I wrote about the song Black and White, popularized by Three Dog Night, but performed a decade and a half earlier by Seeger.
Then there was this: Rainbow Quest (1965–66) was a U.S. television series devoted to folk music. It was on public television, but not in any market I was in. There were 39 episodes. Here’s a description of the last one:
“Way back in the halcyon days of black and white TV, Johnny Cash and Pete Seeger talk about the origins of the Cherokee written language, and sing a Peter La Farge song of the Seneca trust broken in treaties with the U.S. government.” June Carter also appeared on that episode.
You can watch it a sample of it HERE.
“Starting in the early 1980s 38 of the shows were made available on VHS, Betamax and 3/4″ (U-Matic) tapes… The 39th show, featuring Johnny Cash and June Carter, was withheld at the request of Pete Seeger because Johnny Cash was heavily on drugs during his appearance. However, in the late ’90s this show was released to the public.”
Here are some other episodes, along with the last episode in full.