May 1, 2009
UPDATE: From everyone at the Around the Mall blog and Smithsonian Folkways, we’d like to thank you for sharing your happy birthday messages with Pete! If you’d still like to post, please do so by Tuesday, May 5th at 5 PM EST, after which we’ll close the comments and send the messages to Pete. Thanks again for participating.
On Sunday, Pete Seeger turns 90, and everyone is celebrating.
Over a dozen cities and several countries are holding concerts (some fundraisers) dedicated to the songs of protest and American life made famous by the folk music master.
Smithsonian Folkways is celebrating their star musician in several ways. They are presenting to the public, rare archival footage (including a “Wimoweh” sing-along) and photographs of Seeger. Featuring Seeger’s story with Smithsonian Folkways in their quarterly Folkways Magazine. They are also sending a photographer to document the celebrity-packed celebration Madison Square Garden birthday concert in New York City on May 3.
But no party is complete without music, and so in honor of Seeger’s history as a political protester, Folkways released the 5-disk box set, America’s Favorite Ballads Vols. 1-5. The 139 songs in the set are mainly from the years 1955 through 1960, when Seeger was blacklisted for “un-American” activity. But with the help of Folkways producer Moses Asch, Seeger was given access to a studio where he produced 5 to 6 albums a year. Some of the songs include the classics, “Hole In the Bucket,” “Home on the Range” and “Skip to My Lou.”
Want to wish Seeger happy birthday as well? Comment in the space below. Folkways, which has a relationship with Seeger dating back to 1943 and has produced nearly all of his albums, will print out and mail our readers’ comments to Seeger as part of a birthday care package.
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