American Troubadour, Pete Seeger, 1919-2014: RIP

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    American Troubadour, Pete Seeger, 1919-2014: RIP

    Pete Seeger, a hearty singer who spearheaded a folk revival and spent a life championing music as both a vital heritage and a catalyst for political action, died Monday. He was 94.       

    NEW YORK:  Buoyed by his characteristically soaring spirit, the surging crowd around him and a pair of canes, Pete Seeger walked through the streets of Manhattan leading an Occupy Movement protest in 2011.        

    Though he would later admit the attention embarrassed him, the moment brought back so many feelings and memories as he instructed yet another generation of young people how to effect change through song and determination — as he had done over the last seven decades as a history-sifting singer and ever-so-gentle rabble-rouser.

    "Be wary of great leaders," he told The Associated Press two days after the march. "Hope that there are many, many small leaders."

    The banjo-picking troubadour who sang for migrant workers, college students and star-struck presidents in a career that introduced generations of Americans to their folk music heritage died Monday at the age of 94. Seeger's grandson, Kitama Cahill-Jackson, said his grandfather died peacefully in his sleep around 9:30 p.m. at New York Presbyterian Hospital, where he had been for six days. Family members were with him.

    "He was chopping wood 10 days ago," Cahill-Jackson recalled.

    With his lanky frame, use-worn banjo and full white beard, Seeger was an iconic figure in folk music who outlived his peers. He performed with the great minstrel Woody Guthrie in his younger days and wrote or co-wrote "If I Had a Hammer," ''Turn, Turn, Turn," ''Where Have All the Flowers Gone" and "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine." He lent his voice against Hitler and nuclear power. A cheerful warrior, he typically delivered his broadsides with an affable air and his fingers poised over the strings of his banjo."

    more:  http://news.msn.com/obits/folk-singer-activist-pete-seeger-dies-in-ny

     

     
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    Re: American Troubadour, Pete Seeger, 1919-2014: RIP

    We have lost a great American. He was both a rugged individualist and a voice that called for collective action to help  the oppressed and downtrodden. I will admit that I didn't really care much for his music, but I admire how he lived it as he sang it. Full of optimism, courage, and genuine warmth. Even if you question his political views, you have to admire how he lived his life. Truly, a great American.

     
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    Re: American Troubadour, Pete Seeger, 1919-2014: RIP

    Seeger was a giant of distinctly American music...second perhaps only to Woody Guthrie in the annals of folk music and the revival of same.  As old-fashioned or stodgy as he might have been, he was always relevant, and his influence cannot be overstated.

    Politics-wise, he was hounded and cursed by the paranoiacs and red-baiters of the 50s, and he is probably still seen as a pinko commie by the usual fascist buffoons who tried to silence him.  Though I understand how and why the red scare came about, that never made it right or fair, and it makes me physically angry to know how he and others were demonized by our govt merely for playing songs and trying to entertain people.

    In 2006, Springsteen convened a band of musicians for "We Shall Overcome: The Pete Seeger Sessions".  The energy and excitement in these recordings really breathed new life into classic folk nuggets...the whole thing is fun, but take a listen to "Pay Me My Money Down" for a good sample.  The line where Bruce shouts, "Alright, everybody solo...!!", still gets me every time.  I'm not a big Boss fan, but this album is quite enjoyable.

     

     

     

     

     
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    Re: American Troubadour, Pete Seeger, 1919-2014: RIP

    In response to devildavid's comment:

    We have lost a great American. He was both a rugged individualist and a voice that called for collective action to help  the oppressed and downtrodden. I will admit that I didn't really care much for his music, but I admire how he lived it as he sang it. Full of optimism, courage, and genuine warmth. Even if you question his political views, you have to admire how he lived his life. Truly, a great American.



    Too much folk, not enough blues / rock?   Just not your thing?   Either way, I agree re: the way he lived his life, and regarding him as a great American. 

    Just read that he was scheduled to receive a Woody Guthrie prize in Februrary (he'll no doubt receive it posthumously) :

    "Pete Seeger met Guthrie early in his career and the two men shared a love of folk music and they performed a charity concert for Californian migratory workers in 1940.

    It seems fitting that Mr. Seeger was to collect the Woody Guthrie Prize as the two had travelled together cross country and it was during this time that Seeger became most influenced by the iconic performer. It is tragic that the performer has died before he could collect this high honor."

    RE: Springsteen:

    "The performer made over 100 albums during his long career and he helped many new musical artists learn the ropes. From Bob Dylan to Don Mclean he supported many who would go on to become legends in the music industry in their own right.

    In 2009 Bruce Springsteen performed with Seeger at Barack Obama’s inaugural concert, the two musical icons sang Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land and Springsteen called Pete a “living archive” of American music as well as America’s conscience."

     

     
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    Re: American Troubadour, Pete Seeger, 1919-2014: RIP

    My favorite Pete Seeger song is, 'Waist Deep In The Big Muddy.'

    The man was a tremendous talent.

    I had the opportunity to meet his daughter, Mika. She lives one town over from me and she used to shop on occasion where I used to work. Very nice lady, but I had to change jobs and I haven't seen her since.

     
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