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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pete Seeger at 93

Nice piece on NPR’s Morning Edition on Pete Seeger, still active at 93 (released two albums this year!).  http://www.npr.org/2012/10/27/163728141/at-93-pete-seeger-keeps-the-fire-burning-low

Seeger is one of those people who’s positive attitude, sheer determination, and natural talent has enable him to have a positive impact. From the NPR piece:

Seeger has been singing for anyone who'll hear him throughout what he refuses to call his "career." There's good reason for that, says David Bernz, who produced two new Seeger albums.

"Almost every time that Pete interacted with the mass media, on some level they spit him back," Bernz says. "The Almanacs [Seeger's 1940s folk group], they got on the radio, and then immediately, people criticized their politics  and they were off. The Weavers were on the radio; they got blacklisted. He gets a Columbia Records contract, but then he finds out they're keeping his records in the warehouse. The Smothers Brothers want to edit him out.

"The great thing about Pete is ... he would never let that stop him," Bernz says. "He sang at every little church, little school, summer camp, gathering — year in, year out, to kids and adults alike. And when you look back on it after these decades, you realize that Pete has been heard."

There’s an abundance of Pete Seeger material out there. One of the songs from the new album that’s good is “God’s counting on me, God’s counting on you”, which can be found on Youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CybaNMZzo2A which also has the lyrics, including

When we sing with younger folks, we can never give up hope
God's counting on me, God's counting on you
When we sing with younger folks, we can never give up hope
God's counting on me, God's counting on you
Hopin' we'll all pull through, Hoping we'll all pull through,
Hopin' we'll all pull through
Me and you.

One my favorite albums overall is “Precious Friends” with Pete and Arlo Guthrie, where the precious friends are Woody Guthrie, Lee Hayes and other friends from the folk era.

Bruce Springsteen has a nice tribute to Pete here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISlP9k2R3SM&feature=related