Pete Seeger would have been 100

The Pete Seeger Centennial Concert will be held Thursday, May 23 at The Egg in Albany.

Pete SeegerAt 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
Wikipedia page
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.

Listen to:
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

S is for Pete Seeger

Johnny Cash and Pete Seeger talk about the origins of the Cherokee written language.

peteseegerI 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 Continue reading “S is for Pete Seeger”

The Lion: Mbube to Wimoweh

Pete Seeger expressed concerns about the copyright laws associated with the song Wimoweh.

Mbube1938Way back in December 2008, Coverville, one of my favorite podcasts, presented an episode, #535, Mbube to Wimoweh – The Lion Sleeps Tonight Cover Story. It’s the narrative of a particular song you’ve probably heard.

This Wikipedia post tells how Mbube was a song written by Solomon Linda and recorded by him originally with the group the Evening Birds for the Gallo Record Company of South Africa in 1939.

In 1949, Alan Lomax, then working as folk music director for Decca Records, brought Linda’s 78 recording to the attention of his friend Pete Seeger of the folk group The Weavers. Continue reading “The Lion: Mbube to Wimoweh”

September Rambling: unlikely friendships, and NYC songs


Infrastructure, Suburbs, and the Long Descent to Ferguson. Also, Pantheon Songs on the singing group The Impressions, featuring Curtis Mayfield, which is also about Ferguson.

Next Time Someone Says Women Aren’t Victims Of Harassment, Show Them This. Plus, These Are The Things Men Say To Women On The Street. Oy: Woman Discovers ‘Rape Room’ in Comic Book Store; Is Promptly Fired. Also, Ray Rice, a Broken NFL Culture, and How to Fix It and ‘The Burning Bed,’ 30 years later. And Ray Rice, now.

John Oliver’s investigation reveals Miss America scholarship claims are made of lies.

This month, the 7th circuit struck down gay marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin. “The three judge panel was unanimous and the opinion was written by [conservative] Judge Richard Posner.” After listening to his oral arguments and reading the opinion, what kind of rebuttal could someone could possibly make? Continue reading “September Rambling: unlikely friendships, and NYC songs”

March Rambling: mostly about me

I’ve been Superman, Abraham Lincoln, and a Georgia O’Keefe painting.

My old buddy Augustus (who you FantaCo customers might have known as Matt), put this together for my birthday. Pic on the left is from the cover of the FantaCon 1988 convention program, drawn by the late Chas Balun. The image is on the right was John Hebert’s rendition from Sold Out #1, c. 1986.
This is about me because: It was so cool. And he wrote: “Thank you for turning me on to a world of literature far beyond science fiction and fantasy. Your are still an influence on this boychik. Long may you arrange. (books in order).” And you thought I couldn’t blush.

Now Jaquandor KNOWS how to celebrate my birthday. He added me to his sentential links here. He answered my question about football.
This is about me, obviously. (Sidebar: some highly educated person wrote “As is my want” recently in a mass e-mail I received. You have NO idea how difficult it was for me NOT to correct him. Jaquandor would NOT make this misteak, er, mistake.)

Tom Skulan of FantaCo is being interviewed for Theater of Guts.
This is about me because: I worked at FantaCo for over eight years I took the photo of Tom, and also the pic of the late Chas Balun looking towards the ceiling. I find it interesting that my photos of the store Continue reading “March Rambling: mostly about me”