Happy 90th Birthday to folk icon Pete Seeger on May 3rd

Pete Seeger, have a Happy tomorrow. And thank you for the music and everything else.

You’re one of the good guys, and you have earned your longevity.

Yes, he’s one of the special ones. I grew up listening to the record of him at Carnegie Hall. Taught me a lot.

Happy b’day mate, keep that chin up. x

This is the special guy whose group released an album of anti-war songs in May 1941. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songs_For_John_Doe

Who recalled the album after Hitler violated the non-aggression pact with the USSR, shortly after the album was released.

Whose group recorded an album of pro-war songs in 1942. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dear_Mr.President(Almanac_Singers_album)

Who went on record condemning Stalin–in 1993. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/01/arts/music/01seeg.html

(Emphasis added.)

Who wrote a song condemning Stalin–in 2007. (ibid)

Would that Seeger had taken his own advice.

Other things I’d like to say are not appropriate for this forum.

He certainly is one of the greats. Happy B’day Pete.

Oh my god! You don’t mean he was a communist!

Put the old bastard on trial. In fact, forget that, just lock him up. And all his friends.

Ignore the rest of his life, he needs to be judged for this.

Well, golly gee whiz. I’ll just tear up my ticket and forget about going to the Clearwater Concert tonight.

Man, someone always has to piss on your parade.

Not just a Communist- plenty of American communists had the guts to break with the party proper after the Hitler Stalin pact. No, young Mr. Seeger was a party line communist, who obviously didn’t care about little things like morality, because he has the party to tell him what was right and what was wrong. My god, if he had written the same album from a pro-German instead of a pro-Russian perspective, he wouldn’t be remembered now. He may have become a better man, but his history shows him to have started as a naive fool at best.

Don’t worry about it and enjoy the concert. Looks like a great line up and I’m very jealous.

Some people are just threadshitting arseholes who can’t get over McCarthyism.

Happy birthday Mr. Seeger. Thanks for all the music!
Folk music keeps you young, I guess. Pete Seeger may be the elder statesman of the crowd, but there’s still quite a lot of 'em plugging along; Glenn Yarbrough; Judy Collins; Bob Shane; the Smothers Brothers; Peter, Paul and Mary…

I Netflixed the documentary film Pete Seeger: The Power of Song a couple of months ago. Very enjoyable look at a very remarkable man.

As he admits, he was a Communist.

I said none of that. But to see a man like that publicly honored is, to put it mildly, incongruous.

It’s you who seem to want to ignore an essential part of his life, a cause that he worked hard to advance.

You’re awfully sensitive about this. I must have hit a nerve.

McCarthy had no proof for his accusations. Seeger has admitted what he has done.

No, I’ve just shown you the man behind the curtain, the one some people have been laboring mightily to keep you from paying attention to.

You don’t really do sarcasm, do you?

Of course he was a communist. Have you listened to any of his songs? In many ways he still is, although he left the party in 1949. Being a communist is neither illegal or evil.

He was prominent in the civil rights movement and has spent the latter years of his life promoting environmentalism (starting way before it was fashionable). He also promoted the folk music tradition of America, transferring it from one generation to the next and ensuring its survival and evolution. He is thoroughly deserving of being honoured. (He also, as I’m sure you are aware, served in the Pacific during WW2).

I think you are overstating this, but never mind. Look, the one legitimate beef you can have with Seeger is that he misjudged Stalin. This was a huge mistake, but not uncommon for left wing intellectuals of the time. (I don’t have to list the brutal dictators that your own government has supported, do I?) He has publicly admitted that this was a mistake he regrets. You may object that he only did so recently, but that’s only because no one bothered to ask him about it until his resurgence in fame in the last few years.

Perhaps you have. What nerve has a 90 year old folk singer hit in you that you feel obliged to weigh in on him because of an error of judgement he made 60 years ago?

Yes he has. When he was hauled in front of the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 50s he was one of the few people to refuse to take the fifth (and thus have his case dismissed). Instead he defended himself with the First Amendment - know how that one goes?

What curtain? What people? Seeger’s actions and beliefs have never been a secret, and anyone with even a passing knowledge of him and his works are aware of them.

Your new president seemed perfectly happy to be sung to by Pete Seeger. I ask again, why have you got such a big issue with him, and why did you choose to threadshit with it?

ETA Annie-Xmas - how was the gig?

It was a concert to honor Seeger and his enormous contribution to folk music & environmentalism. Nothing more, nothing less.

How was seeing and hearing 40 people pay tribute to a wonderful musician? It was fabulous. The highlights included Springsteen’s “Ghost of Tom Joad,” ."

Seeger himself made occasional appearances and led the crowd in joining in. I love his quote "There’s no such thing as a wrong note, as long as you’re singing it.

Dave Matthews sang a haunting “Rye Whiskey” one of my favorites Joan Baez, did “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” The novelty songs included Kris Kristofferson and Ani DiFranco dueting on “There’s a Hole In the Bucket” and Tom Chapin and Oscar the Grouch for the equally funny “Garbage!” Shades of Avenue Q.

Roger McGuinn sang the Byrds hit "Turn! Turn! Turn!"and Richie Havens sang and played his power version of “Freedom.”

All in all, a wonderful experience. I so hope it’s released on DVD.

In all his long life, Pete Seeger never hid a thing. And he’s being showered with honors.

Thus, your impotent anger…

I would like to say that in his 65 year career, Seeger has introduced at least three genrations to the American folk tradition. He use to go and play in school grounds in upstate New York, and he remembers one young boy being very delighted by fok music. The lad’s name was Don McLean.

He has also been married to his wife for 65 years!

Sounds like a great concert. Here’s hoping for a DVD.

Personal insults aren’t allowed in this forum, so consider this a formal warning to stop.

Ok, if I must.

I believe not being a jerk is also a rule, but I realise that I should have reported my concerns rather than reacted.

Why was it not uncommon for left-wing intellectuals to be taken in be Stalin?

I imagine it had a lot to do with naive idealism and ignorance.

Why do you ask?