Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pete Seeger, the singer, folk-song collector and songwriter who spearheaded an American folk revival and spent a long career championing folk music as both a vital heritage and a catalyst for social change, died Monday. He was 94 and lived in Beacon, N.Y.

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Doc_Sarvis

 

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Seeger's career carried him from singing at labor rallies to the Top 10 to college auditoriums to folk festivals, and from a conviction for contempt of Congress (after defying the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s) to performing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at an inaugural concert for Barack Obama.

For Seeger, folk music and a sense of community were inseparable, and where he saw a community, he saw the possibility of political action.

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"The key to the future of the world is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known."

RIP, Pete, RIP.

#1 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2014-01-28 06:46 AM | Reply | Flag:

Now that's a life.

#2 | Posted by danni at 2014-01-28 07:31 AM | Reply | Flag:

The obit writer did a great job packing so much into the story. As Danni says, "Now that's a life."

Thanks for the music - more, thanks for the messages.

#3 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2014-01-28 07:38 AM | Reply | Flag:

Amazing accomplishments!
Thanx for the thoughts and music, Pete.

#4 | Posted by TrueBlue at 2014-01-28 08:17 AM | Reply | Flag:

Good riddance Commie.

#5 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2014-01-28 08:31 AM | Reply | Flag:

My fav...
www.youtube.com

#6 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2014-01-28 08:33 AM | Reply | Flag:

5 -

I'm surprised it took this long - four whole posts - before an ignoramus waddled onto the thread.

#7 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2014-01-28 08:34 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

I guess losing the Grammy to Colbert killed him.

#8 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2014-01-28 08:35 AM | Reply | Flag:

#7 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis

Settle down Doc, just trying to beat the crowd.

#9 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2014-01-28 08:36 AM | Reply | Flag:

I'm an amierer, loved his banjo book.
www.amazon.com

#10 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2014-01-28 08:37 AM | Reply | Flag:

Perhaps I should have read a spelling book instead...
admirer

#11 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2014-01-28 08:39 AM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

last direct link to woody guthrie

#12 | Posted by NerfHerder at 2014-01-28 08:55 AM | Reply | Flag:

"The key to the future of the world is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known."

I guess he never read the Retort anarchists.

He was one of America's charms, tying his music to the social causes of the people.

Play on, Pete.

www.youtube.com

#13 | Posted by Corky at 2014-01-28 09:49 AM | Reply | Flag:

Pete Seeger and the American Soul
The folk singer, who has died at 94, had one defining feature: selflessness.

www.theatlantic.com

#14 | Posted by Corky at 2014-01-28 09:58 AM | Reply | Flag:

As a solo performer, songwriter, interpreter, and member of the legendary folk band the Weavers, Seeger brought traditional and political songs to the mainstream over the course of his 70-year career.

He wrote or co-wrote "If I Had a Hammer" (a hit for Peter, Paul and Mary) and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" (made famous by the Kingston Trio). The Byrds had a Number One hit with "Turn! Turn! Turn!," which Seeger had adapted from the Book of Ecclesiastes and set to music.

In Seeger hands, songs from Cuba ("Guantanamera") and South Africa ("Wimoweh") became beloved sing-along standards around the world, and "We Shall Overcome," a traditional gospel song that Seeger heard early in his career, was a regular part of his repertoire and a staple of civil rights rallies for decades to come.

Read more: www.rollingstone.com

#15 | Posted by Corky at 2014-01-28 10:04 AM | Reply | Flag:

i wrote a paper on him in college. it ended up being 30 pages and i got an a and a free pizza at ledo because my professor liked it so much. it will be interesting what dylan comes out and says about him. seeger was the one who laid the "next woody guthrie" crown on his head.

for the first 4 years of dylan's folk career (60-63) he wanted that crown in every way imaginable, but by time he finally got it in the spring of '64, he realized he was always rock and roller first...

#16 | Posted by NerfHerder at 2014-01-28 10:14 AM | Reply | Flag:

A great anarchist. RIP, Pete.

www.youtube.com

#17 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-01-28 10:54 AM | Reply | Flag:

I still call myself a communist, because communism is no more what Russia made of it than Christianity is what the churches make of it. But if by some freak of history communism had caught up with this country, I would have been one of the first people thrown in jail.
-Pete Seeger

"The key to the future of the world is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known." - Pete Seeger (not an anarchist)

"I Have Sung in Hobo Jungles, and I Have Sung for the Rockefellers": Pete Seeger Refuses to "Sing" for HUAC

Testimony of Pete Seeger before the House Un-American Activities Committee, August 18, 1955

historymatters.gmu.edu

#18 | Posted by Corky at 2014-01-28 11:05 AM | Reply | Flag:

here's how cool seeger was-- an awesome storyteller, even into his late 80s-- humble as hell yet talking with passion about travelling with the most famous american folk musician ever:

www.youtube.com

it's "on the road" ten years before that book even came out.

#19 | Posted by NerfHerder at 2014-01-28 11:32 AM | Reply | Flag:

Thanks, Nerf.

Great interview.

#20 | Posted by Corky at 2014-01-28 11:39 AM | Reply | Flag:

So long, it's been good to know you...

#21 | Posted by morris at 2014-01-28 11:48 AM | Reply | Flag:

I grew up in the Mid-Hudson Valley and met him on several occasions. He was a personal friend of one of my high school teachers, and he came as a guest speaker to a class I took on the History of the Hudson River. He mostly spoke about the environmentalist movement and the Clearwater during that speech, but he did bring his banjo and gave us a private concert in the classroom. At the time I really didn't know what a legend this man was.

#22 | Posted by schmanch at 2014-01-28 12:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

If I had a hammer, I'd smash up acoustic folk guitars. I'd do it in the morning. I'd do it in the evening, all over this land.

#23 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-01-28 12:21 PM | Reply | Flag:

Another commie bites the dust.

#24 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-01-28 12:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

snippers out running from thread to thread today as if he is the DR Johnny Appleseed of Stupid(TM)

#25 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2014-01-28 01:01 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 4

for the first 4 years of dylan's folk career (60-63) he wanted that crown in every way imaginable, but by time he finally got it in the spring of '64, he realized he was always rock and roller first...

#16 | Posted by NerfHerder

Just saw an article, the Strat he played at Newport just sold for $965,000. People have waaaay too much money and not enough compassion.

#26 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2014-01-28 01:19 PM | Reply | Flag:

If I had a hammer, I'd smash up acoustic folk guitars.

#23 | Posted by Diablo

Good thing Seeger played the banjo and not the guitar.
Another well-informed conservative gives his useless 2 cents.

#27 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2014-01-28 01:20 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

when bob dylan went electric, he synthesized the folk sound and a greater focus on the lyrics to create something unique. listening to his albums, the drop-off after john wesley harding is noticeable, even though some of his seventies output is pretty decent. i attribute that to the casting off of of the folk influence-- which he started to do by going "country" with the rather lightweight nashville skyline album.

pete seeger was the link between that creative explosion of 60s music and the old folk tradition of the first half of the 20th century. the guy was a walking encyclopedia of folk songs. he went everywhere and met everyone and played everything.

check this video out from last year's farm aid-- john mellancamp and neil young stand there, hands folded, virtually in awe of the man, and he still manages to be political, taking a swipe at fracking--

www.youtube.com

#28 | Posted by NerfHerder at 2014-01-28 01:35 PM | Reply | Flag:

All I remember of Pete was his rants about how he hated this country, how evil it was, how criminal it's government was and is. Strange, he never left, I would have put some bucks into a fund to make sure he could get away from here, I wonder if he likes his new digs?

#29 | Posted by docnjo at 2014-01-28 04:42 PM | Reply | Flag:

You'll never know.

#30 | Posted by Corky at 2014-01-28 04:44 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Strange, he never left"

some people run, some people stick around and try to make things better...

pete stuck around and tried to make it better. he did a pretty good job.

but you--- you seem like a guy who would run.

#31 | Posted by NerfHerder at 2014-01-28 04:54 PM | Reply | Flag:

Not the beautiful pantheist prince of folk music. :(

#32 | Posted by Tor at 2014-01-28 05:01 PM | Reply | Flag:

Here's are some clips some of you might enjoy: Pete Seeger, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee - Rock Island Line - www.youtube.com

#33 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2014-01-28 05:13 PM | Reply | Flag:

Here's the other clip: www.youtube.com

#34 | Posted by Doc_Sarvis at 2014-01-28 05:15 PM | Reply | Flag:

If you did not like Pete Seeger you are not a human.
Rest In Peace, Pete and thank you!

#35 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2014-01-28 06:19 PM | Reply | Flag:

PETE SEEGER
"Hobo's Lullaby"

Go to sleep, you weary hobo
Let the towns drift slowly by
Can't you hear the steel rails humming
That's the hobo's lullaby

Don't you worry about tomorrow
Let tomorrow come and go
Tonight you're in a nice warm boxcar
Safe from all the wind and snow

I know the police cause you trouble
They cause trouble everywhere
But when you die and go to heaven
There'll be no policemen there

I know your clothes are torn and ragged
And your hair is turning gray
Lift your head and smile at trouble
You'll find peace and rest some day

So go to sleep, you weary hobo
Let the towns drift slowly by
Can't you hear the steel rails humming
That's the hobo's lullaby

#36 | Posted by PunchyPossum at 2014-01-28 06:39 PM | Reply | Flag:

RIP Pete.

#37 | Posted by drewinnj at 2014-01-28 07:17 PM | Reply | Flag:

#29 | Posted by docnjo at 2014-01-28 04:42 PM |

If that's what you remember of him, you've got him confused with somebody else. Troll.

#38 | Posted by morris at 2014-01-28 09:11 PM | Reply | Flag:

his rants about how he hated this country, how evil it was, how criminal it's government was and is.
#29 | Posted by docnjo

Sounds like the Tea Party.

#39 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2014-01-29 12:52 AM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

Tom Lehrer said it best:

We are the Folk Song Army.
Everyone of us cares.
We all hate poverty, war, and injustice,
Unlike the rest of you squares.

There are innocuous folk songs.
Yeah, but we regard 'em with scorn.
The folks who sing 'em have no social conscience.
Why they don't even care if Jimmy Crack Corn.

If you feel dissatisfaction,
Strum your frustrations away.
Some people may prefer action,
But give me a folk song any old day.

The tune don't have to be clever,
And it don't matter if you put a coupla extra syllables into a line.
It sounds more ethnic if it ain't good English,
And it don't even gotta rhyme--excuse me--rhyne.

Remember the war against Franco?
That's the kind where each of us belongs.
Though he may have won all the battles,
We had all the good songs.

So join in the Folk Song Army,
Guitars are the weapons we bring
To the fight against poverty, war, and injustice.
Ready! Aim! Sing!

#40 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-01-29 01:47 AM | Reply | Flag:

BTW, why is Seegar called a 'social activist' and Palin, pro-lifers and such not?

#41 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-01-29 01:57 AM | Reply | Flag:

wait..comparing Palin to Seeger? Really want to go there?

#42 | Posted by drewinnj at 2014-01-29 11:26 AM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

snippers out running from thread to thread today as if he is the DR Johnny Appleseed of Stupid(TM)

#25 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses

You stll doing castro's killing for him chi?

#43 | Posted by Sniper at 2014-01-29 01:09 PM | Reply | Flag:

why is Seegar called a 'social activist' and Palin, pro-lifers and such not?

#41 | Posted by Diablo

Actually, Palin is called an activist all the time...
duckduckgo.com

I imagine other "such" are as well.

#44 | Posted by TFDNihilist at 2014-01-29 01:17 PM | Reply | Flag:

EXCLUSIVE: Obama's high school pot dealer who he thanked for the 'good times' was beaten to death with a hammer by his gay lover

www.dailymail.co.uk

"If I had a hammer"

#45 | Posted by tontonmacoute at 2014-01-29 03:28 PM | Reply | Flag:

well, i admire Seeger greatly, a true American,
and his folk music is truly part of America's soul.

"I wonder if he likes his new digs?" "You'll never know." excellent retort!

"last direct link to woody guthrie" NERF (then you mention Dylan)

"Guthrie had been a revelation to Dylan and was the biggest influence on his early
performances. Describing Guthrie's impact on him, Dylan later wrote: "The songs
themselves had the infinite sweep of humanity in them ... [He] was the true voice of
the American spirit. I said to myself I was going to be Guthrie's greatest disciple." As
well as visiting Guthrie in the hospital, Dylan befriended Guthrie's acolyte Ramblin'
Jack Elliott. Much of Guthrie's repertoire was actually channeled through Elliott, and
Dylan paid tribute to Elliott in Chronicles (2004)." wikiP

("Robert Zimmerman spent his early years listening to the radio -- first to blues and
country stations broadcasting from SHREVEPORT, LA, and, as a teen, to early
rock and roll.") wikiP

#46 | Posted by kenx at 2014-01-29 09:27 PM | Reply | Flag:

from "Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie"

You can either go to the church of your choice
Or you can go to Brooklyn State Hospital
You'll find God in the church of your choice
You'll find Woody Guthrie in Brooklyn State Hospital

And though it's only my opinion
I may be right or wrong
You'll find them both
In the Grand Canyon
At sundown

www.bobdylan.com

#47 | Posted by kenx at 2014-01-29 09:30 PM | Reply | Flag:

"By the time Dylan's second album, The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, was released in May
1963, he had begun to make his name as both a singer and a songwriter. Many of the
songs on this album were labeled protest songs, inspired partly by Guthrie and influenced
by PETE SEEGER's passion for topical songs. wikiP

#48 | Posted by kenx at 2014-01-29 09:34 PM | Reply | Flag:

A really great human being and American citizen, put through the wringer by the evil McCarthy Commission and evil, belligerent, greedy Military Industrial Complex.

#49 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-01-29 10:02 PM | Reply | Flag:

AP remembers the commie, Nutcase:

apnews.myway.com

"Seeger, a lanky man wearing a brown suit, plaid shirt and yellow tie and describing himself as a 'banjo picker,' told the committee he would not answer any questions concerning, "my associations, philosophy or religion."

"To questions whether he had been a communist or had appeared at red-sponsored entertainments, he said the committee had no right to question him on such matters."

Hmmm, they had no right to question him? He had the right not to answer but the wording is as wormy as the other commies the article quotes. They had every right, and power, to question Seeger.

#50 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-01-30 01:35 AM | Reply | Flag:

Good grief Diablo!

...somewhere in America, a bridge is vacant.

#51 | Posted by bocaink at 2014-01-30 02:44 AM | Reply | Flag:

"Actually, Palin is called an activist all the time..."

I meant called that by the left. I also meant "social activist" not just an activist.
You might Google Irv Rueben, the JDL guy who was arrested for a bomb plot against an elected official. The NY Times called him a "human rights activist" once and I gagged at it.

#52 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-01-30 02:47 AM | Reply | Flag:

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