More Saint Pete
Read the following list of song titles and you'll see several of mine.
Those and Joan Baez putting down her guitar and singing a capella to an audience of half a million and Jimi Hendricks' playing the only honest version of our national anthem to a morning in America.
And I only saw the movie.
Those things and the deliverance of the final lines of Pagliacci at the Seattle Opera's recent performance.
Ross, you turkey, how can you possibly call it the voice of the 20th century and leave out the only voice that made any difference whatever?
Pete looked to himself and said "I like to sing, I like to feel that I am a part of this land and that I can overcome obstacles to better it and I bet others feel that way too. Maybe if we sing about a better world we will create a better world".
Now we have cleaner rivers, cleaner air, safer cars, etc.
Look who is running for president these days.
Beethoven said "we shall storm heaven's gates and demand our rights"
St. Pete said "look what God has already given us, let us worship that"
I could go on about the silliness and absurdity of 20th century "highbrow" music but Ross has already done that and I've got to go tune my banjo.
Here is Butch's comment on the earlier St. Pete post;
That Butch can be a pushy sum buck can't he? Actually your rant and narrative about Pete Seeger is well put, and relatively well thought out. In Martin Scorsese's documentary on Bob Dylan, NO DIRECTION HOME, which is great by the way if you have not seen it, he mentions the influence Pete Seeger had on the young Dylan of the 60's. Bob Dylan was aping Woody Guthrie, and Seeger was an original.
Peter Seeger (born May 3, 1919), better known as Pete Seeger, is a folk singer, political activist, and a key figure in the mid-20th century American folk music revival. As a member of the Weavers, he had a string of hits, including a 1949 recording of Leadbelly's "Goodnight Irene" that topped the charts for 13 weeks in 1950. However, his career as a mainstream performer was seriously curtailed by the Second Red Scare: he came under severe attack as a former member of the Communist Party of the United States of America. Later, he re-emerged on the public scene as a pioneer of protest music in the late 1950s and the 1960s.
He is perhaps best known today as the author or co-author of the songs "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?", "If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)", and "Turn, Turn, Turn!", which have been recorded by many artists both in and outside the folk revival movement and are still sung throughout the world. "Flowers" was a hit recording for The Kingston Trio (1962), Marlene Dietrich, who recorded it in English, German and French (1962), and Johnny Rivers (1965). "If I Had a Hammer" was a hit for Peter, Paul & Mary (1962) and Trini Lopez (1963), while The Byrds popularized "Turn, Turn, Turn!" in the mid-1960s. Seeger is also widely credited with popularizing the traditional song "We Shall Overcome", which was recorded by Joan Baez and many other singer-activists, and became the publicly perceived anthem of the 1960s American Civil Rights Movement soon after musicologist Guy Carawan introduced it at the founding meeting of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960.
Seeger lives in the hamlet of Dutchess Junction in the Town of Fishkill, NY and remains very politically active, as well as maintaining an active lifestyle in the Hudson Valley Region of New York, especially in the nearby City of Beacon, NY. He and Toshi purchased their land in 1949, and lived there first in a trailer, then in a log cabin they built themselves, and eventually in a larger house. Seeger joined the Community Church (a church practicing Unitarian Universalism) and often performs at functions for the Unitarian Universalist Association.
An early advocate of Bob Dylan, Seeger was supposedly incensed over the distorted electric sound Dylan brought into the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, especially with the inability to clearly hear the lyrics. There are many conflicting versions of exactly what ensued, some claiming that he actually tried to disconnect the equipment. He is often cited as one of the main opponents to Dylan at Newport 1965, but asked in 2001 about how he recalled his "objections" to the "electric" style, he said:
I couldn't understand the words. I wanted to hear the words. It was a great song, "Maggie's Farm," and the sound was distorted. I ran over to the guy at the controls and shouted, "Fix the sound so you can hear the words." He hollered back, "This is the way they want it." I said "Damn it, if I had an axe, I'd cut the cable right now." But I was at fault. I was the MC, and I could have said to the part of the crowd that booed Bob, "you didn't boo Howlin' Wolf yesterday. He was electric!" Though I still prefer to hear Dylan acoustic, some of his electric songs are absolutely great. Electric music is the vernacular of the second half of the twentieth century, to use my father's old term.
On March 16, 2007, the 88-year old Pete Seeger performed with his siblings Mike and Peggy and other Seeger family members at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., where he had been employed as a folk song archivist 67 years earlier.
In April 2006, Bruce Springsteen released a collection of songs associated with Seeger or in Seeger's folk tradition, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions. Springsteen performed a series of concerts based on those sessions, to sellout crowds. Springsteen had previously recorded one Seeger favorite, "We Shall Overcome," on the 1998 "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" tribute album
Pete Seeger said:
"I like to say I'm more conservative than Goldwater. He just wanted to turn the clock back to when there was no income tax. I want to turn the clock back to when people lived in small villages and took care of each other."
"My father, Charles Seeger, got me into the Communist movement. He backed out around '38. I drifted out in the '50s. I apologize [in his recent book] for following the party line so slavishly, for not seeing that Stalin was a supremely cruel misleader."
"I still call myself a communist, because communism is no more what Russia made of it than Christianity is what the churches make of it. But if by some freak of history communism had caught up with this country, I would have been one of the first people thrown in jail."
"Plagiarism is the basis of all culture." Seeger quoting his father.
"Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple."
"Some may find them [songs] merely diverting melodies. Others may find them incitements to Red revolution. And who will say if either or both is wrong? Not I."
"Technology will save us if it doesn't wipe us out first."
I am sorry that I missed the PBS Amercian Masters salute. As to TRIN, it sounds like it omits more than it extols. The "folk song movement" was very important to all of us during the ten terrible years of the Viet Nam War, just as Rap music is to us now during the ten terrible years of the Iraq War; not.
I am ass deep in my new review for THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE, and am off to see PERSEPOLIS tonight. MY LEFT FOOT is swelled up again, with my gout-like symptoms, even though I take meds for it now. Ain't life a bitch? Or is, ain't life grand? You pick. And get over your wrestling match with the latest Cold Bug.
And thank you for continuing to blog even though it sometimes feels like an empty and meaningless gesture, cuz it isn't. It is the breath of life for all of we FFTL'ites.
Labels: Too much for me