Sunday, June 08, 2008


Pete Seeger

I had a nostalgic afternoon today--PBS did a begging stint around the "American Masters" program about Pete Seeger. You can read about it at:

I first got to hear him on Senior's Day in my high school. My economics teacher figured out that the best way to keep us under control was to bring in a record player and some records. They included "Talking Union" by the Almanac Singers, started by Seeger and Woodie Guthrie. He lifted the pickup on one record, so I had to buy a copy to hear what it was. You can download the songs, and some others, at"

That collection includes some of the anti-war songs from before Hitler attacked the Soviet Union, and the pro-war songs from after, before Seeger left the CPUSA.

When I was in graduate school Seeger gave a series of "Evening Classes" in the continuing studies program at Columbia; where I got a chance to sit in the front row.
Years later, when I was working at Stony Brook, they stopped by for a concert while bringing their Hudson River Sloop from Maine to the Hudson. Since several of the crew were friends of ours many of them stopped by our house; but not Pete.

But the program allowed me to reminisce about more people than Pete and it was interesting to see those old folkies who are still alive. And to hear songs that we haven't heard for a while.

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