A stunning group of socially conscious performers (from Bonnie Raitt to Billy Bragg) join in tribute to the inspirational music and life of Pete Seeger on this expansive 2 CD set. The grand selection of songs is well-annotated with notes from the artists and Seeger himself about each piece and its place in the pantheon. Among the many highlights are Bruce Springsteen's heartfelt "We Shall Overcome," the GRAMMY-nominated duet by Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt" on "Kisses Sweeter than Wine," John Trudell's tense "Torn Flag," actor Tim Robbins's rap-like "All My Children of the Sun," and Ani DiFranco's quiet, brooding "My Name Is Lisa Kalvelage."
For more than 60 of his 84 years, the iconic folksinger, songwriter, instrumentalist, activist and humanitarian Pete Seeger has been the musical voice of the world's conscience. His commitment to world peace, the environment, racial equality, workers' rights and other vital causes has been recognized by a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Presidential Medal of the Arts, and even induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
About PETE SEEGER:
Born in 1919 to musicologist Dr. Charles Seeger and concert violinist Constance Edson Seeger, Pete developed an interest in music and journalism in his teens, crafts he would intertwine throughout his career. A Harvard University dropout (in the same class as John F. Kennedy), Seeger met, traveled and performed with the great topical folksong writer Woody Guthrie in 1940. Inspired to write his own songs and dedicating himself to "the music of the people," Seeger formed the politically oriented Almanac Singers in 1941 with Guthrie and other musicians before being drafted into the Army in 1942 and sent to the Pacific.
After World War II, Seeger resumed his career as a performer and song collector, helping to found Sing Out! Magazine. In 1948, Seeger formed The Weavers with Lee Hays, Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman, and within three years the group had sold four million records, embedding Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" in American culture. The Weavers' version of Leadbelly's "Goodnight, Irene" topped the charts for six months.
Blacklisted during the McCarthy era, the Weavers disbanded in 1953 (although they reunited periodically), but Pete continued to record and perform, despite an informal ban from appearing on most TV and radio shows and many concert halls for the next 17 years. When the "folk boom" of the early Sixties exploded, performers such as the Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul & Mary, and the Limelighters scored hits with Seeger-written songs "If I Had a Hammer" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone." As folk turned to rock in the mid-Sixties, the Byrds brought Seeger's music to a young, electrified audience with their versions of his "Turn! Turn! Turn!" (adapted from the Bible's Book of Ecclesiastes) and "The Bells of Rhymney."
Meanwhile, Seeger traveled the campus and international circuit, performing and taking part in the civil rights marches in Selma, Alabama, and Washington, DC, with Dr. Martin Luther King and in anti-war demonstrations around the country. His adaptation of the black spiritual "We Shall Overcome" turned the song into an anthem of hope.
In 1969, Seeger launched the restored sloop Clearwater, which became a symbol of environmental consciousness and led to the ongoing cleanup of the Hudson River in New York State.
Seeger has remained active in many environmental and human rights causes over the following decades, inspiring people around the world to become involved in changing the societies around them. Says Seeger, "Participation! It's what all my work has been about."
The Appleseed label has released three multi-artist CDs celebrating Pete's music and life of activism with mostly exclusive versions of songs he has written, adapted or adopted -Where Have All the Flowers Gone (1998), If I Had a Song (2001) and Seeds (2003).