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Pete Seeger

In: English and Literature

Submitted By gburton
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Pete Seeger Legendary Folk Singer
Pete Seeger was born in New York City on May 3, 1919 to musical parents Charles and Constance. Charles was a pianist and taught music at the University of California and Constance taught violin at Julliard. Pete’s parents divorced when he was 7, and his father remarried. Ruth and Charles had four children and all would become folk singers, no doubt influenced by their parents’ musical backgrounds. Charles traveled for work taking his family with him sometimes. It was during one of these times that Pete heard the banjo for the first time. This would become Pete’s signature instrument. (Schrager Lang and Simon 1). The banjo would become popular because of Pete’s use of it. (Miller and Shahriari 487).
Charles Seeger was a political man and was involved with the union activism that took place in the university classical music department of all places. He promoted the radical Industrial Workers of the World at Berkley and was fired for his pacifism in 1918. (1). Pete would follow in his father’s footsteps with his political beliefs as well as his love for music. When Pete was a young boy, he would read about American Indians and how the members of the tribe would share everything so that everyone was taken care of and no one was left to fend for themselves. Pete’s early beliefs on how a country should be run was adopted by the books he read. He was a self-proclaimed communist and at 19 he joined the Young Communist League.
Pete attended Harvard for a short time, but dropped out and went to New York City to work for Alan Lomax at the Archives of American Folk Music. (2). He would get an education on the history of folk music and various artist. It was during this time that Pete organized the Almanac Singers. The group included himself, Lee Hayes, Millard Lampell, Sis Cunningham, Sonny Terry, and Brownie McGhee. Woody Guthrie would often...

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