The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #40185 Message #3607511
Posted By: Joe Offer
05-Mar-14 - 04:51 PM
Thread Name: Pete Seeger Biography Thread
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger Biography
The error discussed above was corrected in the Mudcat Biography of Pete Seeger. I suppose the biography should now be updated to show that Pete's wife Toshi died in July, 2013; and that Pete died in New York City on January 27, 2014.
I thought it would be a good idea to use this thread for biographical questions, answers, and information about Pete Seeger. I wrote up a long piece and submitted it, and my post disappeared. So, I'll try a shorter post.
I've often wondered what influence Pete's stepmother, Ruth Crawford Seeger (1901-1953), had on him. The Wikipedia biography of Pete Seeger says that Pete's mother, Constance de Clyver (née Edson), was raised in Tunisia and trained at the Paris Conservatory of Music, was a concert violinist and later a teacher at the Juilliard School. Charles and Constance divorced when Pete was seven, and in 1932 Charles married his composition student and assistant, Ruth Crawford Seeger - Pete was about 13 when his father married Ruth, and his father had custody of the three boys born of the marriage of Charles and Constance. So, apparently, Pete lived with Ruth for his teenage years.
We folkies know Ruth Crawford Seeger primarily for her three wonderful songbooks for children:
Apparently, Ruth was a composer who worked in a wide spectrum of music, not only folk music.
- American Folk Songs for Children, 1948
- Animal Folk Songs for Children, 1950
- American Folk Songs for Christmas, 1953
So, I'm wondering about the relationship between Pete and Ruth Crawford Seeger. Did he live with his father and stepmother for most of his teenage years? Did he have significant contact with Ruth up to her death in 1953? Did they make music together?
Before I submit this message, I'm going to be smart and highlight [CTRL-A] and copy [CTRL-C] it, and then double-check to be sure it didn't get lost.