Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Renowned for his protest songs, Seeger was blacklisted by the US Government in the 1950s for his leftist stance. Denied broadcast exposure, Seeger toured US college campuses spreading his music and ethos, later calling this the "most important job of my career".

He was quizzed by the Un-American Activities Committee in 1955 over whether he had sung for Communists, replying that he "greatly resented" the implication that his work made him any less American. Seeger was charged with contempt of Congress, but the sentence was overturned on appeal.

He returned to TV in the late 1960s but had a protest song about the Vietnam War cut from broadcast. British singer and left-wing activist Billy Bragg who performed with Seeger on several occasions called the singer "hugely encouraging".

"He was a very gentle man and intensely optimistic," he told the BBC. "He believed in humanity and the power of music to make a difference..."
Seeger became a standard bearer for political causes from nuclear disarmament to the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011...
Seeger's influence continued down the decades, with his induction into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, and he won a Grammy award in 1997 for best traditional folk album, Pete. He won a further two Grammys - another for best traditional folk album in 2008 for At 89 and best children's album in 2010...

Mark Radcliffe, host of BBC Radio 2's Folk show, paid tribute, saying: 

"Pete Seeger repeatedly put his career, his reputation and his personal security on the line so that he could play his significant musical part in campaigns for civil rights, environmental awareness and peace. 

He leaves behind a canon of songs that are both essential and true, and his contribution to folk music will be felt far into the future."...
 


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Karzai has formalized his suspicions with a list of dozens of attacks that he believes the U.S. government may have been involved in, according to one palace official. The list even includes the recent bomb and gun assault on a Lebanese restaurant in Kabul...


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