PETE SEEGER
at Brandeis University

January 29-30, 2001

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   Pete Seeger is arguably the most influential folk artist in the United States.
He was instrumental in popularizing the indigenous songs of this country,
and his own songs, among them "If I Had a Hammer," "We Shall Overcome,"
"Turn, Turn, Turn," and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone,"
have served as anthems for an entire generation of Americans.
        - Kennedy Center Award

   Born into a family of Juilliard music professors,
Seeger spent his early years in private schools
and studied sociology at Harvard College.
His first exposure to folk music came at age 16--
at a folk festival he attended with his father in Asheville, North Carolina.
But it was in 1938, when he dropped out of Harvard after two years
to ride the rails and hitchhike all over the United States,
that he immersed himself in that music.
He traveled all around the country collecting songs,
meeting the greats of American folk music:
Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, and Earl Robinson.
Two years later he became an assistant in the Archive of Folk Song
at the Library of Congress.
        - Kennedy Center Award

   Pete Seeger began his career in 1938, at the age of nineteen,
assisting noted folk archivist and field recorder Alan Lomax
on his song-collecting trips through the American South.
        - Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame

   In 1940, with Guthrie, he founded one of the best-known folk groups, the Almanac Singers.
It was a loosely knit group described by Woody's son Arlo
as comprising [just about] "anybody who happened by."
They sang at labor meeting and gatherings of migrant workers,
composing prounion and antifascist songs,
although a good part of their repertory came from traditional folk songs.
        - Kennedy Center Award

   With America's entry into World War II,
Seeger was drafted and the group broke up,
but not before it had recorded several influential albums.
After the war he again formed another group.
The legendary Weavers sparked the urban folk song revival of the 1950s
and served as the model for the protest songwriters of the following decade.
The Weavers followed the tradition of the Almanac Singers,
performing at picket lines and union meetings
until they were hired by the Village Vanguard in New York.
A two-week engagement grew to a six-month booking and a recording contract.
Their records included "Tzena Tzena," "On Top of Old Smoky,"
And "Goodnight, Irene," the longest-tenured No. 1 song
in the Top 100 charts from 1948 to '75.
At the height of its popularity, the group was attacked as subversive,
and Seeger refused to answer questions about Communist affiliations.
The McCarthy-era blacklist kept the Weavers out of concert halls and off television,
and the group was forced to disband.
        - Kennedy Center Award

   Against all odds, Seeger maintained a solo career through the late '50s
and was in the forefront of the civil rights and anti-war movements in the '60s,
when his songs were performed by other musicians
in fields ranging from folk, to country and rock.'
He became an icon on college campuses.
By the end of the decade Seeger was considered
an institution in American folk and pop music,
"a father figure whose contributions as an artist and writer
were highly valued by people of all ages in and out of the music field"
(The Encyclopedia of Folk, Country, and Western Music).'
A prolific composer, Seeger has written more than 100 songs
in addition to manuals on playing the 5-string banjo and 12-string guitars.'
Dubbed "America's tuning fork" by Carl Sandburg,
Seeger is the living embodiment of America's traditions in folk music
and as such has made a distinguished contribution to the music of the 20th century.
        - Kennedy Center Award

   Seeger, with his outspoken commitment to the anti-war and peace movements,
was rediscovered by a younger audience in the 1960s.
His music and performance style have influenced such artists
as Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie and the Byrds,
who scored a Number One hit with Seeger's "Turn! Turn! Turn!."
        - Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame



Calenddar of Events at Brandeis:

Janury 29-30, 2001

Photo Gallery

The Man and His Music

Pete Seeger Song's


A Little A' This 'N' That
Abiyoyo
Adam the Inventor (with Santiago Genoves and Wolf Rilla)
All Mixed Up
All My Children Of The Sun
And I Am Still Searching
Andorra (with Malvina Reynolds)
Arrange and Rearrange
Baby Burping Song, The (with Judith Seeger)
Ballad of Harry Bridges (with the Almanac Singers)
Ballad of the Fort Hood Three
Beast, The (Song of the Punch Press Operator) (with Bernie Packer)
Bells Of Rhymney
(with Idris Davies)
Bring 'Em Home
Broad Old River
Business (with Walter Lowenfels)
C For Conscription
Calendar, The
Clean Up the Hudson
Compleat Angler, The
Dear Mr. President
Deliver The Goods
Djankoye
Down A Shady Lane (with George Reginald Hake)
Drowned in Paper
Emperor Is Naked Today-O, The
Empty Pockets Blues (with Lee Hays)
Estadio Chile (with Victor Jara)
False From True
Festival of Flowers
Foolish Frog, The (with Charles Seeger)
Franklin D. (with Millard Lampell and Lee Hays)
From Way Up Here (with Malvina Reynolds)
Full Fathom Five (with William Shakespeare)
Garbage  (Bill Steele; last verse added by Pete Seeger)
Get Up And Go
Goofing Off Suite
Grey Ashes Falling (with Ken Keskinen)
Guantanamera (with Jose Marti, Hector Angulo)
He Lies In The American Land (with Andrew Kovaly)
Here's To The Couple
Hold The Line (with Lee Hays)
Housewife Terrorists, The
If A Revolution Comes To My Country
If I Had A Hammer (with Lee Hays)
I'm Gonna Sing Me A Love Song
In Dead Earnest (with Lee Hays)
I've Packed Up My Bags (with Matt McGinn)
King Henry
Kisses Sweeter Than Wine (with the Weavers)
Last Train To Nuremberg
Letter To Eve
Little Girl See Through My Window
Living In The Country
Maple Syrup Time
Mrs. Clara Sullivan's Letter (with Malvina Reynolds)
My Father's Mansion
My Name Is Lisa Kalvelage
My Rainbow Man
My Rainbow Race
Nameless Lick
New Hamburg Clockback, The
No Closing Chord (with Malvina Reynolds)
Of Time And Rivers Flowing
Oh Had I A Golden Thread
Oh Yes I'd Climb (The Highest Mountain Just For You)
Old Devil Time
Old Hundred (new verses)
Oleanna (with Ditmar Meidel)
One Grain of Sand
One Man's Hands (with Alex Comfort)
Our Generation
Over The Hills
Plow Under (with Lee Hays)
Precious Friend
Quite Early Morning
River Of My People
Ross Perot Guide to Answering Embarrassing Questions, The
Round And Round Hitler's Grave (with the Almanac Singers)
Sacco's Letter To His Son
Sailing Down My Golden River
Sailing Up My Dirty Stream
Seventy Miles (with Malvina Reynolds)
Snow, Snow
Some Things A Man Can't Do Alone
Sour Cream
Sower Of Seeds
Spider's Web, The ("Natural History")
Spring Examinations
Starlight, Starbright
Strange Death of John Doe

Sweepy, Sweepy, Sweepy (with Mika Salter Seeger)
Sweet-A-Little Baby
Talking Union (with the Almanac Singers)
Tantalula (with Heinz Hector)
Teacher Uncle Ho
This Old Car
Those Three Are On My Mind (with Frances Taylor)
Throw Away That Shadnet
Times A-Getting Hard, Boys (with Lee Hays)
To Everyone In All The World
To My Old Brown Earth
Tomorrow Is A Highway (with Lee Hays)
Tomorrow's Children (with Walter Lowenfels)
Torn Flag, The
Turn! Turn! Turn! To Everything There Is A Season
Visions Of Children
Waist Deep In The Big Muddy
Walking Down Death Row
Water Is Wide, The

We Shall Overcome (with Zilphia Horton, Guy Carawan, Frank Hamilton)
We'll All Be A-Doubling
Well May The World Go
When I Was Most Beautiful (with Noriko Ibaragi)
Where Have All The Flowers Gone?
Where's My Pajamas
Who Killed Norma Jean (with Norman Rosten)
Who Knows
Wimoweh (with Solomon Linda and the Weavers)
Words, Words, Words


Interviews



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