Wormz Obituaries

Pete Seeger

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Pete Seeger, the American folksinger, died aged photo of Pete Seegerninety-four on twenty-seventh of January 2014 at the Presbyterian Hospital, New York, U.S.A.
Pete was born on 3rd May 1919, in New York. His family, which Pete called "enormously Christian, in the Puritan, Calvinist New England tradition", traced its genealogy back over 200 years. A paternal ancestor, Karl Ludwig Seeger, a doctor from Württemberg, Germany, had emigrated to America during the American Revolution and married into the old New England family of Parsons in the 1780s.
Pete Seeger's father, the Harvard-trained composer and musicologist Charles Louis Seeger, Jr., was born in Mexico City, Mexico, to American parents. Charles established the first musicology curriculum in the U.S.A. at the University of California in 1913 and helped found the American Musicological Society, and was a key founder of the academic discipline of ethnomusicology. Pete's mother, Constance, raised in Tunisia and trained at the Paris Conservatory of Music, was a concert violinist.
Charles and Constance divorced when Pete was seven, and in 1932 Charles married his composition student and assistant, Ruth Crawford, now considered by many to be one of the most important modernist composers of the 20th century. All four of Pete's half-siblings from his father's second marriage – Margaret (Peggy), Mike, Barbara, and Penelope (Penny) – became folk singers. Peggy Seeger, a well-known performer in her own right, married British folk singer and activist Ewan MacColl. Mike Seeger was a founder of the New Lost City Ramblers, one of whose members, John Cohen, married Pete's half-sister Penny – also a talented singer who died young. Barbara Seeger joined her siblings in recording folk songs for children. In 1935, Pete attended Camp Rising Sun, an international leadership camp held every summer in upstate New York that influenced his life's work. He visited it most recently in 2012.
In 1943, Pete married Toshi-Aline Ota, whom he credited with being the support that helped make the rest of his life possible. The couple remained married until Toshi's death in July 2013. Their first child, Peter Ota Seeger, was born in 1944 and died at six months, while Pete was deployed overseas. Pete never saw him. They went on to have three more children: Daniel (an accomplished photographer and filmmaker), Mika (a potter and muralist), and Tinya (a potter), as well as grandchildren Tao Rodríguez- Seeger (a musician), Cassie (an artist), Kitama Cahill-Jackson (a filmmaker), Moraya (a graduate student married to the NFL player Chris DeGeare), Penny, Isabelle, and great-grandchildren Dio and Gabel. Tao, a folk musician in his own right, sings and plays guitar, banjo, and harmonica with the Mammals. Kitama Jackson is a documentary filmmaker who was associate producer of the PBS documentary Pete Pete Seeger: The Power of Song.
To earn money during the blacklist period of the late 1950s and early 1960s, Pete Seeger worked gigs as a music teacher in schools and summer camps, and travelled the college campus circuit. He also recorded as many as five albums a year for Moe Asch's Folkways Records label. As the nuclear disarmament movement picked up steam in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Pete Seeger's anti-war songs, such as, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?", "Turn! Turn! Turn!", adapted from the Book of Ecclesiastes, and "The Bells of Rhymney" by the Welsh poet Idris Davies, gained wide currency. Pete Seeger also was closely associated with the Civil Rights Movement and in 1963 helped organize a landmark Carnegie Hall concert, featuring the youthful Freedom Singers, as a benefit for the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee. This event and Martin Luther King's March on Washington in August of that year brought the Civil Rights anthem "We Shall Overcome" to wide audiences where he sang it on the 50-mile walk from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, along with 1,000 other marchers. By this time, Pete Seeger was a senior figure in the 1960s folk revival centered in Greenwich Village, as a longtime columnist in Sing Out!, the successor to the People's Songs Bulletin, and as a founder of the topical Broadside magazine. To describe the new crop of politically committed folk singers, he coined the phrase "Woody's children", alluding to his associate and travelling companion, Woody Guthrie, who by this time had become a legendary figure. This urban folk-revival movement, a continuation of the activist tradition of the 1930s and 1940s and of People's Songs, used adaptations of traditional tunes and lyrics to effect social change, a practice that goes back to the Industrial Workers of the World or Wobblies' Little Red Song Book, compiled by Swedish-born union organizer Joe Hill.
Pete Seeger toured Australia in 1963. His single "Little Boxes", written by Malvina Reynolds, was number one in the nation's Top 40s. That tour sparked a folk boom throughout the country.
The long television blacklist of Pete Seeger began to end in the mid-1960s, when he hosted a regionally broadcast, educational, folk-music television show, Rainbow Quest. Thirty-nine hour-long programs were recorded at WNJU's Newark studios in 1965 and 1966, produced by Pete Seeger and his wife Toshi, with Sholom Rubinstein. The Smothers Brothers ended Pete Seeger's national blacklisting by broadcasting him singing "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" on their CBS variety show in February 1968, after his similar image of Pete Seegerperformance in September 1967 was censored by CBS.
In November 1976, Pete Seeger wrote and recorded the anti-death penalty song "Delbert Tibbs", about the eponymous death-row inmate, who was later exonerated. Pete Seeger wrote the music and selected the words from poems written by Tibbs.
Pete Seeger also supported the Jewish Camping Movement. He came to Surprise Lake Camp in Cold Spring, New York, over the summer many times where he sang and inspired countless campers.

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song:'Where Have All the Flowers Gone?' by Pete Seeger