[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] Re: Pete Seeger



Yes Helena,
Absolutely and tragically missing!


On Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 12:46 PM, Helena Worthen <helenaworthen@gmail.com>wrote:

> Yes, thanks to Peter and Robert for adding this background.
>
> This is the context that's missing from "Inside Llewyn Davis", the new
> Coen brother movie about a folk singer in the 1960's.
>
> Helena Worthen
>
> On 1/28/14 9:06 AM, "Robert Lake" <boblake@georgiasouthern.edu> wrote:
>
> >Thanks for adding this Peter. I love what Seeger said when brought before
> >congress in 1955.
> >Again from today's New York Times piece.³*I am not going to answer any
> >questions as to my association, my philosophical or religious beliefs or
> >my
> >political beliefs, or how I voted in any election, or any of these private
> >affairs. I think these are very improper questions for any American to be
> >asked, especially under such compulsion as this.²*Mr. Seeger offered to
> >sing the songs mentioned by the congressmen who questioned him. The
> >committee declined.
> >
> >I literally began my career in education by teaching Pete's anti-war
> >songs,
> >(and some others from the mid- 20th century roots music era). in English
> >classes,  first to refugees from South East Asia, then later from Ukraine
> >and Bosnia and finally to migrant farm workers here in South Georgia.
> >
> >Later I would officially learn about the power of ZPD's, and was enabled
> >to
> >historically identify the consciousness raising dynamic and
> >multidimensional aspects of collective and affective pedagogy through
> >musical/linguistic artefacts. Seeger always sought to create this
> >environment throughout his music career. It was never just entertainment
> >to
> >him. For example listen to him teach Jose Marti's poem through song here.
> >
> >http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDU5kAnHB8I
> >
> >RL
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >On Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 9:18 AM, Peter Smagorinsky <smago@uga.edu> wrote:
> >
> >> I would add my appreciation to all the others. I would not want to
> >> overlook the fact that he was a long-time member of a group, the
> >>Weavers,
> >> who were just as committed to the issues as Seeger and important
> >> singers/activists in their own right. Ronnie Gilbert was a champion of
> >> woman's/lesbians' rights throughout her lifetime.
> >>
> >> There are several "best of" albums listed at
> >>
> >>
> http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-key
> >>words=the%20weavers&sprefix=the+weav%2Caps&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Athe%20weavers
> >>that are worth the investment for oldtimers and newbies alike. I saw the
> >> band several times as a kid and even went backstage once because my dad
> >> worked with Saul Hellerman at the National Weather Bureau in Washington,
> >> DC; Saul's brother Fred was a Weaver, and invited his brother and guests
> >> back after the show. Probably in the late 1950s.
> >>
> >> Interesting thing I learned while looking some things up: The group took
> >> its name from a play by Gerhart Hauptmann, Die Weber (The Weavers
> >>1892), a
> >> powerful play depicting the uprising of the Silesian weavers in 1844,
> >> containing the lines, "I'll stand it no more, come what may".
> >>
> >> More, for the curious:
> >> Because of the deepening Red Scare of the early 1950s, their manager,
> >>Pete
> >> Cameron, advised them not to sing their most explicitly political songs
> >>and
> >> to avoid performing at "progressive" venues and events. Because of this,
> >> some folk song fans criticized them for watering down their beliefs and
> >> commercializing their singing style. But the Weavers felt it was worth
> >>it
> >> to get their songs before the public, and to avoid the explicit type of
> >> commitment which had led to the demise of the Almanacs. The new approach
> >> proved a success, leading to many bookings and increased demand for the
> >> groups recordings.
> >>
> >> During the Red Scare, however, Pete Seeger and Lee Hays were identified
> >>as
> >> Communist Party members by FBI informant Harvey Matusow (who later
> >> recanted) and ended up being called up to testify to the House
> >>Committee on
> >> Un-American Activities in 1955. Hays took the Fifth Amendment. Seeger,
> >> however, refused to answer, claiming First Amendment grounds, the first
> >>to
> >> do so after the conviction of the Hollywood Ten in 1950. Seeger was
> >>found
> >> guilty of contempt and placed under restrictions by the court pending
> >> appeal, but in 1961 his conviction was overturned on technical
> >>grounds.[1]
> >> Because Seeger was among those listed in the entertainment industry
> >> blacklist publication, Red Channels, all of the Weavers were placed
> >>under
> >> FBI surveillance and not allowed to perform on television or radio
> >>during
> >> the McCarthy era. Decca Records terminated their recording contract and
> >> deleted their songs from its catalog in 1953,[2] and their records were
> >> denied airplay, which curtailed their income from royalties. Right-wing
> >>and
> >> anti-Communist groups protested at their performances and harassed
> >> promoters. As a result, the group's economic viability diminished
> >>rapidly
> >> and in 1952 it disbanded. After this, Pete Seeger continued his solo
> >> career, although like all of them he continued to suffer from the
> >>effects
> >> of blacklisting.
> >>
> >> In December 1955, the group reunited to play a sold-out concert at
> >> Carnegie Hall. The concert was a huge success. A recording of the
> >>concert
> >> was issued by the independent Vanguard Records, and this led to their
> >> signing by that record label. By the late 1950s, folk music was surging
> >>in
> >> popularity and McCarthyism was fading. Yet the media industry of the
> >>time
> >> was so timid and conventional that it wasn't until the height of the
> >> revolutionary '60s that Seeger was able to end his blacklisting by
> >> appearing on a nationally distributed US television show, The Smothers
> >> Brothers Comedy Hour, in 1968.[3]
> >>
> >> When in the late fifties The Weavers agreed to provide the vocals for a
> >>TV
> >> cigarette commercial, Pete Seeger, opposed to the dangers of tobacco and
> >> discouraged by the group's apparent sell-out to commercial interests,
> >> decided to resign. He spent his last year with the Weavers honoring his
> >> commitments, but described himself as feeling like a prisoner. He left
> >>the
> >> group on April 1, 1958.
> >> p
> >>
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:
> >> xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Robert Lake
> >> Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 8:55 AM
> >> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Pete Seeger
> >>
> >> Thank-you Leif.
> >> Pete's passing leaves a large chasm in the cultural/historical landscape
> >> not only of the U.S.
> >> but the whole world he embraced. The New Times Obituary provides a good
> >> overview.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/29/arts/music/pete-seeger-songwriter-and-c
> >>hampion-of-folk-music-dies-at-94.html?emc=edit_na_20140128&_r=0
> >>
> >> So long Pete, its been good to know ya!
> >> Robert Lake
> >>
> >>
> >> On Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 3:39 AM, Leif Strandberg <
> >> leifstrandberg.ab@telia.com> wrote:
> >>
> >> > Pete Seeger is deadŠ but we will remember him and his important
> >> > cultural activityŠ we are moved but we know:
> >> >
> >> > "We shall not be moved"
> >> >
> >> > Love to Pete Seeger and his big family all over the world
> >> >
> >> > Leif
> >> > Sweden
> >> >
> >>
> >>
>
>
>
>