- NAME: Pete Seeger
- OCCUPATION: Children's Activist, Civil Rights Activist, Environmental Activist, Anti-War Activist, Songwriter, Guitarist, Singer
- BIRTH DATE: May 03, 1919 (Age: 94)
- EDUCATION: Harvard University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Manhattan, New York
- AKA: Pete Seeger
- Full Name: Peter Seeger
- ZODIAC SIGN: Taurus
Best Known For
American folk singer Pete Seeger is an iconic figure in the mid-20th century, and is best known for his contributions to the American folk music revival.
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Born on May 3, 1919, American folk singer Pete Seeger is a 20th century iconic figure, who is best known for his contributions to the American folk music revival. He wrote the hits "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" and "Turn, Turn, Turn," which have since been recorded by several other artists. Seeger has also been an engaged activist, supporting such causes as international disarmament, civil rights and environmental awareness. For his established career as a musician and activist,
"I look upon myself as a planter of seeds."
"Technology will save us if it doesn't wipe us out first."
"There is hope for the world."
"I usually quote Plato, who said: It is very dangerous to allow the wrong kind of music in the republic."
"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."
Seeger has received three musical Grammy Awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, among various other honors.
American folk singer Pete Seeger was born in New York City on May 3, 1919, into a family of musicians. His father, Charles Seeger, taught music for some time at the University of California, Berkeley; and his mother, Constance (de Clyver Edson) Seeger, taught violin at The Juilliard School. Seeger's brother, Mike, would eventually become a member of New Lost City Ramblers; his sister, Peggy, would become a performing folk musician, alongside Ewan McColl.
A precocious child, Seeger developed was well-read and began developing political and social ideas at an early age. After receiving an early education at Avon Old Farms, a Connecticut boarding school, Seeger enrolled at Harvard University on a scholarship in 1936. After only two years at Harvard, however, he failed an exam and lost his scholarship, so he dropped out. He spent the rest of the 1930s as a vagabond, hitchiking and riding on freight trains around the country.
During this time, Seeger also focused on writing music. By 1940, Seeger organized a folk quartet called the Almanac Singers, which frequently featured Seeger's friend and fellow folk musician, Woody Guthrie. The Almanac Singers released several albums in the early 1940s. In 1942, however, the group's musical progress was stopped short, when Seeger was drafted into the Army to aid the country in battle during World War II. Not long after, the group disbanded.
When the war ended, in 1945, Seeger went back to his musical career, performing folk songs and helping to found the magazine Sing Out! A few years later, in 1948, he formed the Weavers, which included Lee Hays, Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman. The group produced several albums in the early 1950s of standard folk songs, including "On Top of Old Smoky," "Follow the Drinking Gourd" and "The Wreck of the John B," and even appeared in a 1951 film musical, Disc Jockey. The group also wrote and recorded several original songs, including "If I Had a Hammer" (1949) and "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" (1950).
The group's success was halted, however, when speculation rose regarding Seeger's leftist political ideals, culminating with the band's designation as a Communist group by FBI informant Harvey Matusow (who later retracted his statement). After a short break from 1952 to 1955, which was largely due to the negative press, the Weavers officially disbanded in 1962 (Seeger broke from the Weavers in 1958).
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