Of his next broadcast, host Dick Flacks writes:
If I have a personal hero, it’s Pete Seeger. Pete started his life project about when I was born, and what he did constructed the cultural framework in which I grew up, and the family Mickey and I formed, and helped us make the personal and political choices we’ve made. He’s the godfather of the radio show I’ve done for 32 years—and that endeavor has immersed me in the worldwide musicking he inspired and organized. Pete’s life, at 94, was certain to end any day, yet this news was sudden—he has done some recent public appearances and had more scheduled—so it seemed maybe his daily wood chopping and clean living would sustain him indefinitely. Anyway…you can be sure that we will be deeply engaging Pete Seeger’s life and legacy on the radio show in the weeks and months ahead.
This Thursday, we had scheduled a conversation with UCSB historian Alice O’Connor and Dartmouth Professor Annelise Orleck marking the 50th anniversary of the launching of the war on poverty—on the eve of a UCSB conference on community organizing for economic democracy. Music to memorialize Pete will of course be played as well. Next week: the first of what I expect to be a series of programs over the next months on Pete. We’ll focus next week on his role in the musicking of the civil rights movement.
I wrote a tribute to Pete 5 years ago, that has just been posted at the Jewish Currents website (CLICK HERE). Here’s a quote that sums up some of this life:
“Pete Seeger could take satisfaction that his decision to organize his life around a principled project and disdain a “career” had changed history. More than any other individual, he had conceived and fostered a tradition of protest song that drew from a number of cultural roots, had significant political consequence, and reshaped the forms and content of popular music. He had revived the social role of the troubadour — a special kind of intellectual, who, as Bruce Springsteen said at Madison Square Garden, pointed a dagger at the heart of Americans’ illusions about their history while telling their stories in song. And Seeger performed in ways that intended, and sometimes succeeded, in empowering audience members to sing their own songs and find capacities for democratic action through that singing.”
There are many resources for accessing Pete’s Project. Rob and Sam Rosenthal edited the recently published: Pete Seeger: In His Own Words (Paradigm Press). Visit this link (CLICK HERE) for the book and a lot of other stuff you can easily order.
culture of protest thurs 1/30/14 6 pm pst kcsb 91.9fm www.kcsb.org