Pete Seeger: How Can I Keep From Singing?

Jan 29, 2014

Pete Seeger, iconic folksinger, political activist and national sing-along leader,  passed away on Monday, January 27th 2014.  Join us tonight at 7 for a special 3-hour audio journey through his life, hosted by Seeger’s biographer David Dunnaway .

Pete Seeger: How Can I Keep From Singing? reveals an inside history of one of American folk music’s most famous and controversial performers. On January 20th, 2008, folk-singing icon, Pete Seeger, along with his grandson Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, and Bruce Springsteen performed before a worldwide audience of millions as part of the inaugural festivities for President Barack Obama. Many saw him, but few know the real story of this rail-thin man with the 5-string banjo. Seeger has been called “a saint” by Bob Dylan. Joan Baez said “We all owe our careers to him.” His performances touched millions, but his considerable musical achievements were overshadowed by political controversy when he became the most blacklisted performer in American history. In celebration of Pete’s 90th birthday in 2009  producer and Seeger biographer, David Dunaway (Across the Tracks: A Route 66 Story; Writing the Southwest), released How Can I Keep From Singing. Based on Dunaway’s thirty years of research, this award-winning documentary is packed full of rare recordings and never before heard interviews with folk music legends like Arlo Guthrie, John McCutcheon, Si Kahn, Holly Near, and more.

Following Seeger from his musical family origins, through folk-music revivals, the infamous Peekskill Riot, McCarthy-era blacklisting, and on to his civil rights and environmental movement involvement. Pete Seeger: How Can I Keep From Singing? is a fascinating look at one the most influential and controversial musicians of the 20th century.

That's tonight at 7 on WCQS.