Seeger, Pete

Seeger, Pete

▪ American singer
byname of  Peter Seeger  
born May 3, 1919, New York City
 singer who sustained the folk music tradition and who was the principal inspiration for younger performers in the folk revival of the 1960s.

      Leaving Harvard after two years in 1938, Seeger hitchhiked and rode freight trains around the country, gathering country ballads, work songs, and hymns and developing a remarkable virtuosity on the five-string banjo. In 1940 he organized the Almanac Singers, a quartet that also featured the folk singer and composer Woody Guthrie, and appeared at union halls, farm meetings, and wherever his populist political sentiments were welcome. The group disbanded soon after World War II.

      In 1948 he formed another group, the Weavers (Weavers, the)—with Lee Hays, Ronnie Gilbert, and Fred Hellerman—that achieved considerable success on college campuses, in concert, and on several records. Shortly after the group had achieved national fame, however, a great deal of controversy was stirred up concerning Seeger's previous activities in left-wing and labour politics, and the Weavers suddenly found themselves blacklisted by much of the entertainment industry. Finding it increasingly difficult to make concert bookings or to sell records, the group broke up in 1952 but reunited three years later when a Christmas concert at Carnegie Hall sparked new interest in their music and message. Seeger left the group in 1958, and it disbanded in 1963. (The Weavers gave two reunion concerts in 1980, and a motion picture documentary about the group, Wasn't That A Time!, was released in 1982.) After the 1950s Seeger usually worked alone or with his family. As a solo performer he was still a victim of blacklisting, especially after his 1961 conviction for contempt of Congress stemming from his refusal in 1955 to answer questions posed to him by the House Committee on Un-American Activities concerning his political activities. Although Seeger's conviction was overturned the following year in an appeal, for several years afterwards the major networks refused to allow him to make television appearances. In later years the controversy surrounding the performer gradually subsided.

      A beloved fixture at folk festivals, Seeger was given major credit for fostering the growth of the hootenanny (a gathering of performers playing and singing for each other, often with audience participation) as a characteristically informal and personal style of entertainment. Among the many songs that he wrote himself or in collaboration with others were “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” “If I Had a Hammer,” “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine,” and “Turn, Turn, Turn.” His The Incompleat Folksinger (1972) is a collection of his writings on the history of folk songs, civil rights, and performers in his lifetime.

      In the 1970s and '80s he was active in a program to remove pollution from the Hudson River, building the Hudson River sloop Clearwater, promoting festivals for its maintenance, and engaging in environmental demonstrations, particularly antinuclear ones. His father was the influential musicologist Charles Seeger, and his uncle the poet Alan Seeger.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Seeger, Pete(r) — born May 3, 1919, New York, N.Y., U.S. U.S. folk singer and songwriter. He was the son of the pioneering ethnomusicologist Charles Seeger (1886–1979) and stepson of the composer Ruth Crawford Seeger. Leaving Harvard after two years in 1938, he… …   Universalium

  • Seeger, Pete(r) — (n. 3 may. 1919, Nueva York, EE.UU.). Cantautor de música folclórica estadounidense. Hijo del etnomusicólogo pionero Charles Seeger (n. 1886–m. 1979) e hijastro de la compositora Ruth Crawford Seeger. En 1938 abandonó Harvard después de dos años… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Pete Seeger — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Pete Seeger (1955) …   Wikipedia Español

  • Pete Seeger — Infobox musical artist Name = Pete Seeger Img capt = Seeger at the Clearwater Festival 2007. Img size = 250 Landscape = yes Background = solo singer Birth name = Alias = Born = birth date and age|mf=yes|1919|5|3 Greenwich Village, New York City,… …   Wikipedia

  • Pete Seeger — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Seeger. Pete Seeger …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Pete Seeger — 2007 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Seeger — is the surname of various people, including an extended musical family:* Alan Seeger (1888 – 1916), American poet; brother of Charles * Charles Seeger (1886 1979), musicologist, composer, and teacher; husband of Ruth * Mike Seeger (b. 1933),… …   Wikipedia

  • Seeger — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Alan Seeger (1888–1916), US amerikanischer Poet Alfred Seeger (* 1927), deutscher Physiker Bernhard Seeger (1927–1990), deutscher Schriftsteller Carl Christian von Seeger (1773–1859), deutscher… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pete — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Pete puede hacer referencia a: Pete Best, músico indio británico; Pete Cabrinha, surfista; Pete Doherty, música británico; Pete Domenici, político estadounidense; Pete Johnson, pianista estadounidense; Pete Maravich …   Wikipedia Español

  • Seeger —   [ siːgə], Pete, eigentlich Peter R. Seeger, amerikanischer Folksänger und Liedermacher, * New York 3. 5. 1919; sammelte Volkslieder, trat mit W. Guthrie sowie den von ihm mitgegründeten Gruppen »Almanac Singers« (1941) und »The Weavers« (1949)… …   Universal-Lexikon

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