Mudcat Café message #1272574 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #73260   Message #1272574
Posted By: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
15-Sep-04 - 12:40 PM
Thread Name: Pete Seeger's last concert
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger's last concert
Hi Ron,

Was put in mind of what Dizzy Gillespie said about Louis Armstrong.
"No Louis, no me".

I think the same can be said for Dave Guard and Dave if he were here would agree.

Almost everyone in folk-related music owes Pete. He championed Dylan when Bob was called "Hammond's Folly"., Pete introduced Scruggs style playing to New York audiences. I bet Roger Sprung owes him too. I know Eric Weissberg does. I believe they would say so.

And how about Woody and Leadbelly? Pete was a one-man publicity campaign for both performers. Pete once told me, "You know I'd give up all I know about the five-string banjo if I could play like Leadbelly."

Pete promoted the Almanac Singers.

He toured a whole year with Sonny Terry to introduce the harmonica master to concert audiences.

Odetta owes him too and I know she would say so. He championed her at the inception of her career.

The Old Town School of Folk Music owes Pete as well. He introduced a fundamental and important idea that music is not an elitist or exclusive club.
This was and is the raison d'etre behind the success of the School.

I can't think of anybody who I've known in folk music including Bascom Lamar Lunsford who doesn't owe Pete. Pete was responsible for Bascom on Folkways Records.

Pete reached out beyond partisan politics. He gave a memorable concert and enchanted the Young Republicans (when they were a different breed in the 50's). Nelson Rockefeller was a fan.

Pete introduced the folk world to so-called World Music. His group, the Song Swappers popularized South African Zulu chants in the folkie crowd paving the way for Wimoweh and Miriam McKeba.

Johnny Carignan, the virtuoso French Canadian fiddler idolized Pete.

Pete toured with Big Bill Broonzy as he did with Sonny Terry so that his audience could hear this great artist.

He accompanied the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem at Carnegie Hall, one of their first recordings.

Even folks at the Grand Ol' Opry knew Pete. I know Earl Scruggs would have good things to say about him.

Pete once took me to the Riverside Rancho a, Los Angeles country music club to hear Merle Travis. That was quite a meeting. Merle certainly knew Pete and admired him.

Pete has touched so many musical lives as well as just lives that most people wouldn't be aware of this.

No Pete, no John Hartford, Bob Gibson, Dave Guard, Alex Hassilev, and I believe even Bela Flek, Eric Weissberg, Billy Faer, Erik Darling, Fleming Brown, Bill Keith, ....damn so many.

Yeah, no me too. And I know I'm not alone.

Frank Hamilton