R.I.P.: Pete Seeger — May 3, 1919 - January 27, 2014


I have no clue as to why, but most of my musical heroes somehow seem to be so-called "Leftists". Pete Seeger was no exception. I decided to assemble a blog aggregation about him after listening to the self-righteous demonization of Seeger by so-called "Rightist" Michael Savage on the radio during my drive home.

I first got interested in folk music when I was attending college sometime around 1963. I met one of my lifelong friends at the folk music club which had just gotten started after a Pete Seeger concert. I had barely heard about Seeger, but I was instantly a huge fan of Peter, Paul and Mary, without even realizing how much credit they gave Seeger for influencing them and reconnecting America with her musical roots.

I used to think I'd like to have lunch with Pete Seeger and John Lennon to discuss ideas. But as I grew older I realized how silly that was. Leftists, starting with Karl Marx, are clueless in the subject of Economics 101. How do I know? Easy. Along with such notable people as Thomas Sowell, Walter E. Williams, Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork — (just to throw in a white face to annoy race hustlers) — I was a leftist in my ignorant youth.

Leftists generally fool themselves, generally are not intellectually curious, and generally are not truthful with themselves. In my opinion, they generally seem to have some kind of weird genetic proclivity for habitually violating the number one rule of intellectual pursuit: "Thou shalt not B.S. thine self." That, in my view, makes "liberalism" perilously close to personality disorders which share the same characteristic: self-deception and desire for "victimhood" status.

I bought a copy of the wonderful documentary titled, "Pete Seeger: The Power of Song." You can buy it at Amazon.) In it, Peter Yarrow said, "Pete really was the genesis of the folk revival. It was his spirit, and his way of embracing folk music as a tool for justice, consciousness and caring that became the model for all of us." Mary Travers said, "Pete Seeger is probably singularly the most responsible person for making this [folk music] a national identity." Jerry Silverman said, "Pete, more than anybody, reintroduced America to its musical heritage."

Where I part company with "Seeger bashers" such as Michael Savage is that I believe many leftists — so long as you don't paint them into a corner with truth and logic — are decent, well-meaning people at heart. I suspect Pete Seeger was one of those. It seems to me that his "Johnny Appleseed" folksong ministry was done out of love and kindness, not out of some ulterior anti-self-ownership motive. Believing that humanizes him for me.

All of these thoughts are moot, however, because Seeger is now on the "other side". Additionally, his grandson, Tao Rodriquez-Seeger, respectfully asked me in an email years ago not to try to contact Seeger, even with a letter of general appreciation specifically not asking for the effort of a return letter. That seemed kind of weird and control-freaky to me, and whether such a spirit of pseudo-intellectual defensiveness came from Tao or Pete didn't really matter. It reflected a lack of intellectual curiosity and lack of desire to engage in intellectual dialog which is typical of leftists. They want to spread their Utopian "feed good" propaganda, but don't want to engage in any type of meaningful facts-and-logic-based intellectual exchange/comparison of ideas.

Having said all that, I admired Seeger's musical skills and his ability to work a crowd and get them to sing along. I also appreciate his statement to the effect that, "Communism was no more what the Russians made of it than Christianity was what churches made of it." Because I believe Pete's motive was peace, love and the ever-elusive "brotherhood of man", I am unable to join the judgment of his harshest critics.

However mistaken his parts of his ideology may have been, I believe Pete Seeger was basically a good and decent man. So, rest in peace, Pete! Maybe we'll meet on the other side.

Following is an aggregation of some video clips of Pete Seeger doing what he was a master at. Hopefully, viewers will be able to learn similar skills by watching a master at work.


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Pete Seeger, Champion of Folk Music and Social Change, Dies at 94 - NYTimes

Toshi Seeger, Wife of Folk-Singing Legend, Dies at 91 - NYTimes

Pete Seeger, Folk Legend, Dead at 94 - Rolling Stone

Folk music pioneer and life-long activist Pete Seeger dies at 94 - PBS

Legendary folk singer Pete Seeger dies at 94 - CNN

‘Pete believed in us and that meant everything’ — Tom Paxton remembers Pete Seeger - Washington Post

Pete Seeger taught America to sing, and think - USA Today

Pete Seeger, a Folk Revivalist Who Used His Voice to Bring Out a Nation’s - NYTimes

Pete Seeger Remembers Guthrie, Hopping Trains And Sharing Songs - NPR

Pete Seeger: How Can I Keep From Singing - A radio documentary

Pete Seeger: the road goes on for ever - The Guardian

US folk singer, Pete Seeger, dies at 94 - The Guardian

Mother Earth News: Pete Seeger Interview

Pete Seeger: Folkie, Communist, Millionaire - Bloomberg - Bloomberg pegged Seeger's net worth at $4.2M, but I would be curious to know the value of his 17-acre homestead near Beacon. I should think that would had to have been a large percentage of Seeger's total assets. For what it's worth, Celebrity Net Worth calculated Arlo Guthrie's (another of my musical inspirations) net worth at $10M. I find no hypocrisy in folk singers having a little money. I say more power to them both, it's none of my business. (Full disclosure in fairness: your humble webmaster pays taxes on a very modest house on one hectare of land.)

Pete Seeger's uneasy coexistence with wealth - Minneapolis Star Tribune

Watch Bruce Springsteen's Moving Birthday Tribute to Pete Seeger - Rolling Stone

Pete Seeger Music - Website

Pete Seeger Appreciation Page - Website

Pete Seeger Banjo Pack: Includes How to Play the 5-String Banjo book and How to Play the 5-String Banjo DVD (Homespun Tapes)

When Pete Seeger Faced Down the House Un-American Activities Committee - Salon

Transcript of Pete Seeger's testimony before HUAC (House Unamerican Activities Committee

United States v. Seeger, 303 F.2d 478 (2nd Cir. 1962) - The decision in which the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit reversed Seeger's contempt of Congress conviction and dismissed the indictment.

Mother Earth News Interview

How Pete Seeger Influenced the Way We Eat Today

Pete Seeger In His Own Words: Environment, Civil Rights, Songs, Communism, Science, 1960s (1998) - YouTube video

Pete Seeger Interview on Democracy Now in '04 - YouTube video

Legendary Folk Singer Pete Seeger Dies at 94 - YouTube video

Pete Seeger, Turn Turn Turn 5 New Verses! - YouTube video

Pete Seeger 94th Birthday - YouTube video

Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest - Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem and Tom Paxton - YouTube video

Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest - Elizabeth Cotten and Rosa Valentin & Rafael Martinez - YouTube video

Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest - Johnny Cash and June Carter - YouTube video

Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest - Mamou Cajun Band - YouTube video

Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest - Donovan and Rev. Gary Davis Part 1/4 - YouTube video

Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest - Donovan and Rev. Gary Davis Part 2/4 - YouTube video

Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest - Donovan and Rev. Gary Davis Part 3/4 - YouTube video

Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest - Donovan and Rev. Gary Davis Part 4/4 - YouTube video

Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest - Roscoe Holcomb and Jean Redpath - YouTube video

Talking Union - Pete Seeger - YouTube video

Union Maid - Pete Seeger.wmv - YouTube video

Solidarity Forever (Pete Seeger) - YouTube video

BBC Arena - Woody Guthrie (1988) - YouTube video

Pete Seeger - Garbage - YouTube video

Pete Seeger - Garden Song (Inch by inch) - YouTube video

Pete Seeger - I'm gonna be an engineer - YouTube video


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