Pete Seeger Has Left the Planet


                       PETE SEEGER, AMERICAN. DIES AT 94. 

And we’ll miss him.  Seeger was more American than most, because he kept an unfaltering love for this country, our culture, history, people, and best of all the poetry in our songs.

Folk music legend: Pete Seeger, shown in a 1967 file photo, died on Monday at age 94 in a New York City hospital         And he loved the whole world.

      

When I was 9 years old and we lived out in the scrubs of Missouri, my mother took me to an old off the beaten path church one night to hear Pete Seeger sing.  The little ramshackle white clabbord Baptist place was jam-packed, the stage was teeny and badly lit. He’d just come back from some island place and showed up there, just outside St Louis, with a small band of wide-eyed Caribes standing in the America of Huckleberry Finn to make music in this foreign land with Seeger — hot with the discovery of steel drums from cut off barrel tops, held waist-high with broad canvas straps around the shoulders, and dented just so.  When he bonged on the lumps with a cotton topped stick he made music. It was astonishing. It was beautiful. 

 

Six years later I saw his brother and their band perform in La Jolla, barefoot blue grass fiddlers.

          Pete Seeger’s voice was often strong, always emotional, ever sweet. I grew up singing along with him and enchanted by his stories set to music.  “If I Had A Hammer”,  “Turn Turn Turn”, “I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night”…..the kind of old-fashioned liberalism shared with Woody Guthrie that revered the working man and woman, gave attaboys to perseverance and independence and good character of people everywhere, and knew America was a shining light of possibility for all the world.  Thank you, Pete Seeger. You still lift my spirit mightily, though just now I will weep at your passing.Music ambassador: Pete performed in 2009 at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in Louisiana

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4 thoughts on “Pete Seeger Has Left the Planet

  1. Thats a great story in a tribute! Didnt know too much of em except for the praise from lots of artists I really love. Will get myself more knowledgeable on his legacy!
    Great post, thanks, Ron.

    • Thanks, Ron. In addition to his sweet voice, he was probably my first introduction to the sound of guitar, 12-string, banjo and fiddle, instruments that seemed to grow out of his hands, that easy for him to play. He influenced a lot of young musicians who’d watch him and want to travel the globe too, into the back woods to unknown worlds (the way you are!), and set a life to music.
      Glad you stopped by, always look forward to unusual finds in remarkable photography.

    • I just adored him forever, that lullaby voice of his, his passion for freedom, individuality. I know he embraced communism a long time back I will always think misguided. Woody Guthrie put a sign on his guitar that said, This Machine Kills Fascists. You can change minds and governments with songs.

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