The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165778   Message #3984659
Posted By: GUEST,David K. Dunaway
26-Mar-19 - 02:30 PM
Thread Name: Pete Seeger to the Library of Congress!
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger to the Library of Congress!
For more specifics on this project:

Dear friends:

For half my life I have been documenting Pete Seeger. I remember a postcard he wrote me at the beginning of writing my biography, How Can I Keep from Singing: The Ballad of Pete Seeger. “Maybe ‘One of the Song Agitators’ would not be a bad title.” His only conditions: He didn’t want his name any larger than mine on the book’s cover and did not want me to contact any of his children, both of which I abided by.

A few years after I finished and began to think about revisions, I started building a collection of materials on Seeger for the first place he had worked: The Archive of American Folksong, as it was called before it became the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress. First came the 14 interviews with Seeger over 15 years; then came the interviews for Singing Out!: An Oral History of America’s Folk Music Revivals (Oxford, 2010), then a drop or two of miscellany including Pete Seeger bootlegs and additional interviews when I rewrote the bio after Pete and I sat down to go through it; including his and Toshi’s comments on the first edition of the book. Now, finally, I am preparing all my research materials and records—many of them never played mint copies Moe Asch sent me—for the Library as Phase V of the David Dunaway collection. How much of this is online I do not know; but I think eventually all will be available electronically.

This does not mean I am through with this important figure; I had hoped to deliver this last trove (including, for instance, a day-by-day listing of his concerts and events, songs, and my research files) to a Pete Seeger centenary event; but I have not yet found one. Still I persist. I even worked on a plan for a Pete Seeger stamp for the USPS.

So that the world of Seeger persists I have set up two websites: for people to share their memories of Seeger—not nearly enough have done this or visited the site—and to let people know of my own work on Seeger, including the discography I prepared. Let a thousand voices sing Pete’s songs and let a few of them read more deeply into his life and times.

David Dunaway