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Passing of a true legend Options
RaucousReg
Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 6:06:16 PM

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http://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/music/folk-singer-activist-pete-seeger-dies-aged-94/story-fn9d2mxu-1226812348994

AMERICAN troubadour, folk music singer and activist Pete Seeger has died at a hospital in New York. He was 94.

Seeger's grandson, Kitama Cahill-Jackson, says Seeger died on Monday night after being hospitalised for six days.

Seeger gained fame as a member of The Weavers, the quartet formed in 1948 and had hits such as Goodnight Irene.

He continued performing and recording for six decades and was still an activist as recently as October 2011 when he marched in New York City as part of the Occupy Wall Street protests.

He was onstage in January 2009 for a gala Washington concert two days before Barack Obama was inaugurated.

But in the 1950s, his leftist politics got him blacklisted and he was kept off commercial television for more than a decade.

With The Weavers, Seeger helped set the stage for a national folk revival. The group - Seeger, Lee Hays, Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman - churned out hit recordings of Goodnight Irene, Tzena, Tzena and On Top of Old Smokey.

Seeger also was credited with popularising We Shall Overcome, which he printed in his publication People's Song, in 1948. He later said his only contribution to the anthem of the civil rights movement was changing the second word from "will" to "shall", which he said "opens up the mouth better".

"Every kid who ever sat around a campfire singing an old song is indebted in some way to Pete Seeger," Arlo Guthrie once said.

His musical career was always braided tightly with his political activism, in which he advocated for causes ranging from civil rights to the cleanup of his beloved Hudson River. Seeger said he left the Communist Party around 1950 and later renounced it. But the association dogged him for years.

He was kept off commercial television for more than a decade after tangling with the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1955. Repeatedly pressed by the committee to reveal whether he had sung for Communists, Seeger responded sharply: "I love my country very dearly, and I greatly resent this implication that some of the places that I have sung and some of the people that I have known, and some of my opinions, whether they are religious or philosophical, or I might be a vegetarian, make me any less of an American."

He was charged with contempt of Congress, but the sentence was overturned on appeal.

Seeger called the 1950s, years when he was denied broadcast exposure, the high point of his career. He was on the road touring college campuses, spreading the music he, Guthrie, Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter and others had created or preserved.

"The most important job I did was go from college to college to college to college, one after the other, usually small ones," he told The Associated Press in 2006. "... And I showed the kids there's a lot of great music in this country they never played on the radio."

Seeger was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 as an early influence.

Ten years later, Bruce Springsteen honoured him with We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, a rollicking reinterpretation of songs sung by Seeger.

While pleased with the album, Seeger said he wished it was "more serious".

A 2009 concert at Madison Square Garden to mark Seeger's 90th birthday featured Springsteen, Dave Matthews, Eddie Vedder and Emmylou Harris among the performers.

Seeger was a 2014 Grammy Awards nominee in the Best Spoken Word category, which was won by Stephen Colbert.
spanner1
Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 9:14:02 PM
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Sad news indeed Reg. I grew up listening to Pete and the Weavers as my father was politically astute. What an amazing man who endured and survived the persecution of the McCarthy witch hunts. A great musician and an inspiring principled man who will be greatly missed by many. Springsteen's Seeger Sessions remains one of my favourite DVD's and Springsteen albums. Vale Pete Seeger
repete
Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 10:34:39 PM
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In West Africa, when a griot (storyteller, singer) dies, it is said that a library has burnt down. With the passing of Pete Seeger, truly a library has been burnt to the ground. Comrade of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly, mentor to a young Bob Dylan, his uncompromising political and social stances and rejection of the fame industry are completely without peer. It was an absolute privilege to see him perform at the 2009 jazzfest, and sing along with the other 30,000 half remembered tunes which seemed to percolate up into my consciousness from a time way before I ever heard the Beatles or the Stones. An absolute giant. RIP.

Hangin' out on Frenchmen
oldbilly1
Posted: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 10:53:20 PM
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Well said. It is the loss of a connection to so much of the musical and cultural history of the USA that is staggering when you think about it. Music was the message
greybeard
Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 8:33:46 AM

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Vale Mr Pete Seeger, the man who may or may not have taken an axe to an electrified Bob Dylan

Turn/turn/turn

and at age 93 his version FOREVER YOUNG

Heading out for the East Coast / Lord knows I've paid some dues gettin' through, / Tangled up in blues.
littlewillie
Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 12:26:07 PM
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Am really looking forward to Mr Springsteens concert in a few weeks where he is sure to pay homage to Mr Seeger.
repete
Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 10:03:46 PM
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This collaboration is just a joy to behold:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMiHWZooAoU


Hangin' out on Frenchmen
rstroud
Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2014 9:05:42 PM
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Hi

Anyone remember Peter Seeger's version of "Little Boxes" where it was so much popular than in the U.S. or elsewhere ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Boxes

Rod S
pod2006
Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014 5:21:58 AM
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On Tuesday night Phillip Adams played a snippet on Late Night Live and recounted how at an early concert, Pete Seeger invited requests from the floor and PA's daughter, then an infant and now living os, ran into the aisle and shouted for Little Boxes to the amusement of the audience. His daughter then went crook at the audience. My personal favourite was Turn, Turn Turn.
spanner1
Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014 3:54:44 PM
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rstroud wrote:
Hi

Anyone remember Peter Seeger's version of "Little Boxes" where it was so much popular than in the U.S. or elsewhere ?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Boxes

Rod S
I grew up with that song that is more relevant today than ever when looking at modern hi-density housing pervading the oz landscape- Litlle boxes ,little boxes and they're all made out of ticky -tacky and they all look just the same" Remember it just as I heard it over 50 years ago.
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