The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

January 28, 2014

Pete Seeger, iconic folk singer, dies at age 94

Pete Seeger, the folk singer and social justice advocate who popularized “We Shall Overcome” as an anthem of the Civil Rights movement, wrote “Turn! Turn Turn!” and whose career spanned more than seven decades, has died. He was 94.

Bruce Springsteen called him “the father of American folk music.” In a concert at Madison Square Garden celebrating Seeger’s 90th birthday, Springsteen introduced him by saying “he’s gonna look a lot like your granddad that wears flannel shirts and funny hats. He’s gonna look like your granddad if your granddad can kick your ass. At 90, he remains a stealth dagger through the heart of our country’s illusions about itself.”

Seeger was a 1939 Harvard dropout who scored hits with the Weavers and was a compadre of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly in the 1940s. He became a political hero for his refusal to cooperate with the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s and his roles in the 1960s civil-rights and antiwar movements, and he has served as an iconic, banjo playing grandfather figure to the folk community for as long as anyone can remember.

In 1998, he told The Philadelphia Inquirer that he didn’t like think of himself as having a “career.”

“That word implies seeking fame and fortune,” the co-writer of “If I Had A Hammer” and “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?” said at the time of the release of a tribute album named after the latter on Appleseed Recordings, which was his label for almost two decades. “I’ve just got jobs to do. My main purpose as a musician is to put songs on people’s lips, not just in their ear”

On Tuesday, Jim Musselman, the head of Appleseed, said in a statement: said that Seeger “will live on in the hearts and minds of so many for years to come. His vision of peace and justice and equality for all will live on and continue to influence. Like a ripple that keeps going out from a pond Mr. Seeger’s music will keep going out all over the world spreading the message of non-violence and peace and justice and equality for all. Wherever people are fighting to be free or fighting for equality Pete’s songs and Pete’s vision will be there with them.”

British folk singer Billy Bragg once said of Seeger: “Pete is the living link to Woody. But to me, they’re two very different artists. It’s best described by what Pete has written around his banjo, and what Woody had scrawled over his Martin. Pete’s says, ’This machine surrounds hate with love and forces it to surrender.’ Woody’s says, ’This machine kills fascists.’ One of them is a beautiful poetic ideal, and the other is almost a punk-rock attitude.”

Seeger made music of unflagging optimism, often singing for children. Songs associated with him like “Old Dan Tucker” were the basis for Springsteen’s 2006 album “The Seeger Sessions.”

“People often say to me, ’Don’t you get discouraged? Are you some kind of pollyanna?” Seeger, who frequently broke out into song during interviews, told the Inquirer. “I tell them that I say ’the hell with it’ every night around 9:30, then I get up the next morning. Besides, if you sing for children, you can’t really say there’s no hope.”

Text Only
World, nation, state
  • Plan to simplify 2015 health renewals may backfire

    If you have health insurance on your job, you probably don’t give much thought to each year’s renewal. But make the same assumption in one of the new health law plans, and it could lead to costly surprises.

    July 28, 2014

  • Hospital shooting suspect charged with murder

    A man accused of fatally shooting his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist at a suburban Philadelphia hospital complex before the doctor returned fire has been charged with murder.

    July 28, 2014

  • Man seeks video of Oklahoma City bombing

    One man’s quest to explain his brother’s mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

    July 28, 2014

  • Bill in Congress to help veterans with PTSD

    A group of lawmakers have joined together to help veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Post Traumatic Brain Injury (PTBI) and other war injuries get speedy medical treatment — and avoid Veteran’s Administration bureaucracy and Department of Defense lack of accountability.

    July 28, 2014

  • U.S.: Russia has fired rockets into Ukraine

    Stepping up pressure on Moscow, the U.S. on Sunday released satellite images it says show that rockets have been fired from Russia into neighboring eastern Ukraine and that heavy artillery for separatists also has crossed the border.

    July 28, 2014

  • U.S. says Russia is firing across border into Ukraine

    Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the crisis.

    July 25, 2014

  • Gaza sides agree to lull but truce efforts stall

     Israel-Hamas fighting looked headed for escalation after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry failed Friday to broker a weeklong truce as a first step toward a broader deal and Israel’s defense minister warned Israel might soon expand its Gaza ground operation “significantly.”

    July 25, 2014

  • Planes with Ukraine bodies arrive in Netherlands

    Two more military aircraft carrying remains of victims from the Malaysian plane disaster arrived in the Netherlands on Thursday, while Australian and Dutch diplomats joined to promote a plan for a U.N. team to secure the crash site which has been controlled by pro-Russian rebels.

    July 24, 2014

  • UN school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed

    A U.N. school in Gaza crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from fierce fighting came under fire Thursday, killing at least 15 civilians and leaving a sad tableau of blood-spattered pillows, blankets and children’s clothing scattered in the courtyard.

    July 24, 2014

  • Air Algerie jet with 116 on board crashes in Mali

    An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, and its wreckage was found near the border of neighboring Burkina Faso — the third major international aviation disaster in a week.

    July 24, 2014

House Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video