Monday, May 03, 2010

Happy Birthday, Pete Seeger!

Pete Seeger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Peter 'Pete' Seeger (born May 3, 1919) is an American folk singer and an iconic figure in the mid-20th century American folk music revival. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of The Weavers, most notably the 1950 recording of Leadbelly's 'Goodnight, Irene', which topped the charts for 13 weeks in 1950.[1] Members of The Weavers were blacklisted during the McCarthy Era. In the 1960s, he re-emerged on the public scene as a prominent singer of protest music in support of international disarmament, civil rights, and for environmental causes."

4 comments:

Todd Mason said...

Pete Seeger never went away...the blacklist made things tough for the Weavers, commercially, but they carried on...hell, at the height of their personal blacklist, they did the 1954 Carnegie Hall sold-out concert (the concert was sold-out, not the Weavers). Seeger left the group not too long after that, to do more his own way, and they continued with lesser replacements (the 1963 reunion concert included Seeger and all the fill-ins). Seeger's stint with the Almanac Singers, including Woody Guthrie, before the Weavers, also should be noted.

Todd Mason said...

Of course, Decca dropped the Weavrs, but Vanguard (hmmm) picked them up as their biggest hitmakers (probably Vanguard's original raison d'etre), at least till Joan Baez came 'round.

Most hilarously, Pete Seeger went on to record with CBS in the '60s, even while the tv network side was whining about Tom Smothers inviting him on.

Bill Crider said...

I have the Carnegie Hall concert LP, one of the first I ever bought in the long-ago.

Todd Mason said...

I recommend the 1963 concert recording, too...the only lowlight is Erik Darling's (not atypically) boring solo contribution. Bernie Krause, the kid they hired for the last year of the Weavers, went on to a sustained career...it was an interesting way to start.