At some point, I estimated that I saw Pete Seeger perform 32 times. The first time may have been at a George McGovern for President rally at SUNY New Paltz in the fall of 1972.
Pete would show up at various antiwar and environmental events up and down the Hudson in the 1970s.
I believe the only time I ever spoke to him, other than saying, “Hi, Pete!” was at an anti-apartheid rally in Albany in 1981; it was pouring rain. I saw him at a concert at Page Hall in Albany in April 1982. And I was on the Clearwater once.
I’ve written about Pete quite a bit, with some nifty links. I mentioned Goodnight Irene by the Weavers last week, and tomorrow will feature another Pete song.
So if you don’t know who he is, I’ll recommend:
Smithsonian Folkways biography
National Public Radio pieces
Songwriters Hall of Fame page
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame page; he was rightly inducted in 1996 as an early influence
All Music bio
Pete Seeger music
IMBD page, which has this quote: “His life since then has been one social cause after another, buoyed by an almost indefatigable career as a self-described ‘sing-along leader.'”
There are a number of Pete-themed centennial concerts this month, including one in Albany today featuring Happy Traum at the Linda. The Pete Seeger Centennial Concert will be held Thursday, May 23 at The Egg in Albany. Arlo Guthrie will be joined by a baker’s dozen of artists.
The Nation: Pete Seeger’s Top Ten Songs. “Musically, Seeger was both a songwriter and, like his idol Woody Guthrie, a great interpreter of America’s most resonant folk traditions.”
Rolling Stone: 20 Essential Tracks.
Greatest Hits, which is a bit of misnomer
Forever Young – Pete Seeger –
He Discusses “Turn, Turn, Turn” from If I Had a Hammer: Songs of Hope and Struggle
A Never-Before-Heard Pete Seeger Recording