Pete Seeger

Rock & Roll Hall of Famer

Category: Early Influence

Inducted in: 1996

Inducted by: Arlo Guthrie and Harry Belafonte

Inducted into Rock Hall Projected in 2029 (ranked #41 in the Influences - Rock Era category) .

Pete Seeger @ Wikipedia

Pete Seeger Videos


15 comments so far (post your own)

I would've inducted him with The Weavers but highly deserving for his solo career too

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Saturday, 06.26.10 @ 10:52am

I despise Seeger, but for those who've read my diatribe against Woody Guthrie, I don't think I need go over my reasons since they're identical. However, I will say two things.

1. I laugh when I come across any references to Seeger as a folk hero. Last time I checked, a folk hero (not necessarily someone who sings folk, I might add) is supposed to a common, everyday person who fights for the other average people and comes from the same humble background. Seeger was born in Manhattan, New York, which is hardly the breeding ground for simple, down-to-earth folk heroes. If anything, Manhattan (and NYC in general) is the cesspool of America, but that's a debate for another day and a different forum altogether.

2. Seeger's intense aversion to the electric guitar reminds me of Thelonious Monk's equally wrongheaded dislike of rock and roll. Both took an old fogey approach and were unable to embrace the exciting changes that came about in the 1950s. As much as I dislike Bob Dylan, at least he realized how important it is to keep up with the changes in music. That's why he's still renowned for his music while Seeger remains a geriatric blip on the radar who's known more for his sanctimonious politics and attending rallies. Seeger is yet another in a long line of politically-oriented propagandists who used music as a bully pulpit to brainwash the masses.* His heavy-handed references to political figures and events have dated him to the point that old 1920s Mills Brothers and Peerless Quartet recordings sound more contemporary and fresh.

*Whatever you Seeger fans do, don't you dare label me "a reactionary, jingoistic conservative," because I hate them just as much as liberals. In fact, find me a conservative equivalent to Pete Seeger or Joan Baez and I'll trash him/her just as hard.

Posted by Zach on Monday, 03.26.12 @ 21:32pm

I think someone who comes from wealth & privilege & fights for the common man is at least as authentic (or more so) as some poor person fighting for the common man (and his own self interest).

Zach is a fool.

Posted by Paul in KY on Tuesday, 03.27.12 @ 09:09am

Hardly, Paul. A person from wealth cannot possibly understand the hardships experienced by the middle class and those of lower socioeconomic statuses. Without direct experience, you cannot truly know what it's like to be on the other side of the fence. The people who are most qualified to speak out and fight for the common man and woman are those who come from the same backgrounds and walks of life. Without that direct experience, they are merely patronizing bleeding hearts.

While I despise the McCarthyism that was rampant in the 1950s, there's no place for political propaganda of any kind in the arts. Those who inject their own personal views into their art aren't creating works of art; they're merely using art as a bully pulpit to spread their ideas. Art is supposed to be personal, but not so personal that you share all your dirty laundry with the public.

I'm quite passionate and knowledgeable when it comes to certain forms of music (rockabilly, rhythm & blues, doo-wop, and Delta blues, to name some) and other areas, although I wouldn't label myself as an expert. If I were you, I'd revise your original statement about me being a fool.

Posted by Zach on Tuesday, 03.27.12 @ 09:32am

I've always liked Seeger's work with the Weavers but I respect your viewpoint here, Zach. And I certainly agree with you that mentioning specific events, dates, etc does horribly date songs. If you want an example of a song that has aged terribly, look no further than Sting's "Russians" (Sting is a major hypocrite by the way, but I think I already mentioned why on his page on this site)

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Tuesday, 03.27.12 @ 10:12am

Zach, it doesn't matter whether or not the person has 1st hand knowledge of what it means to be poor. It only matters what they do for their fellow man.

Our greatest 20th Century president (FDR) came from extreme wealth, yet no man did more for the working men/women of this country.

Posted by Paul in KY on Wednesday, 03.28.12 @ 08:07am

Could this thread please be closed for further posting before a 5 week argument ensues over the validity of the above assertion that FDR is the greatest president of the 20th century.


Posted by joker on Wednesday, 03.28.12 @ 17:40pm

Calling FDR the greatest president of the 20th century, really going out on a limb here...

Posted by Paul in KY on Friday, 03.30.12 @ 09:44am

Zach, it doesn't matter whether or not the person has 1st hand knowledge of what it means to be poor. It only matters what they do for their fellow man.

Our greatest 20th Century president (FDR) came from extreme wealth, yet no man did more for the working men/women of this country.

Posted by Paul in KY on Wednesday, 03.28.12 @ 08:07am

Apples and oranges, Paul. I've never heard or read any references to Franklin D. Roosevelt as a folk hero or hero of the people. I wouldn't call someone who authorized the internment of thousands of Japanese-American citizens "Our greatest 20th century President." I agree with joker, though; let's cut off any and all political discussion before it gets heated.

I stand by my views on Pete Seeger. He's no folk hero, just a charlatan who tries to pass himself off as "one of us." Like most American folk musicians, Seeger's got a wooden voice. His guitar-playing is too soft and mellow for my tastes. The heavy-handed references to current events/political figures are just the icing on an already rotten cake. He typifies everything I loathe about American folk music. I'm done with this topic.

Posted by Zach on Monday, 04.16.12 @ 21:43pm

Oh my goodness! Pete is a wonderful artist to the first degree.
a poet ,guitar man ..... He sing from his soul,,,,American ,Folk is the name of his calling card!

Posted by Happy on Monday, 04.16.12 @ 23:46pm

Peaceful journeys, Mr. Seeger.

Posted by DarinRG on Tuesday, 01.28.14 @ 02:54am

RIP to a musical giant.

Posted by Paul in KY on Tuesday, 01.28.14 @ 07:33am

RIP to a fundamental figure of American music

Posted by Gassman on Tuesday, 01.28.14 @ 09:37am

RIP to a fundamental folk singer who will be greatly missed.

We shall overcome, Pete.

Posted by Andrew on Tuesday, 01.28.14 @ 22:14pm

RIP Pete. McCarthyism sidetracked you, but you embraced it and threw it back at them. You've earned your right to enjoy your time in the community of the Little Boxes... all the same.

Posted by Philip on Tuesday, 01.28.14 @ 22:19pm

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