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Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (1933-2009)

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Mary Katherine 29 Jul 09 - 11:07 AM
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Subject: Mike Seeger
From: Mary Katherine
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 11:07 AM

It is with profound sadness that I must tell you that our dear friend Mike Seeger has chosen to end the treatments against his cancer, and has entered hospice care. He is clear about and at peace with this decision. Alexia feels that it will not be long. There so many on this list who are his friends that I thought this a good way to let you all know, per Alexia's wishes.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger
From: Severn
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 11:24 AM

One of my all-time musical heroes. I wish him the best as both long-time fan and cancer survivor. His body of work as a singer, multi-instrumentalist, collector, educator and presenter of Old-Time musicians has been an amazing treasure.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger
From: maeve
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 11:26 AM

Thank you for letting us know.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 11:29 AM

I can't believe it - just after losing Sandy Paton. What a loss to the world.

I met Mike a few times, over the years, though I doubt he'd remember me. I saw him perform several times, both solo and with the New Lost City Ramblers. Today I am holding Mike and Alexia in my care - may he be comfortable and rest easy.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 11:30 AM

Dear God another one! I just hope that when the end finally arrives, it will be as peaceful as can be.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 11:31 AM

I am profoundly saddened to hear this news. I just lost my youngest brother to cancer this month after a long and painful battle. He had made a similar decision.

I have had the chance to see Mike perform twice in person. First, with the New Lost City Ramblers in the old Ash Grove venue many years ago in Los Angeles and, more recently, with Tom Paxton and others at University of California, San Diego. Speaking with him and with Tom after the performance, I had the sense that they were both just what they seemed; real down-to-earth people with a love of sharing. What a legacy. My deep condolences to his family and legion of fans and friends.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger
From: DonMeixner
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 11:31 AM

Another one.
Mike was the first person I heard play a melodic Autoharp. I have enjoyed THe New Lost City Ramblers for decades but it was two summers ago in Skaneateles,NY I finally saw the original band perform. Skaneateles has a Clasical Music series through the summer. Some one on the committee was wise enough to know that Classical Music in America isn't just a symphony or a string quartet.

Sometimes it is people like Tracy, Tom, and Mike.

Don


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 11:35 AM

Sadly wishing him a good end, with fond memories of his last Tucson visit. And sending love to Alexia...

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger
From: RangerSteve
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 12:00 PM

One of the first albums I ever bought was and NLCR LP, back in the '60s. I've been a fan ever since. This is sad news. I've never been good at finding words for situations like this, so let me just say that I agree with everything already said on this thread. And Thanks, Mike, for all the great music.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger
From: Wesley S
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 12:07 PM

What a gifted artist. Thank goodness we have a huge catalog of musical treasures of Mikes to listen to for many years to come. He exposed so many of us to a rich tradition of music.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger
From: open mike
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 12:15 PM

I did not know he had health issues.
In case there is anyone out there who
is not familiar with him, (i hope that
everyone is in the know) here is his
web site

Mike Seeger has devoted his life to singing and
playing Music from True Vine - the home music made
by American southerners before the media age.

Holding him close with best wishes...


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 12:21 PM

I saw Mike first in about 1961, in Wichita, Kans, with NLCR....then several times more over the years, at the Smithsonian Festival, at Winfield, and at several local concerts....and finally last year with Peggy & Pete. He always gave a performance his best and I first saw an autoharp played by Mike.

I will think good and happy thoughts of him as he deals with this. I hope he feels all his friends & fans caring and wishing him an easy time.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 12:42 PM

If you'd like to see & hear Mike at his best, here is an hour video of him at the Kennedy Center in Wash DC in 2003

http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/millennium/artist_detail.cfm?artist_id=SEEGERMIKE#


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST,Ballyholme
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 12:54 PM

What a shock. I saw him earlier this month when he played an open air gig in our neighnorhood park.

Knowlegeable, gracious and entertaining, he delivered a superb evening's music to an audience most of whome would never dream of going anywhere near a folk gig. Most of them left with a greater appreciation of our nation's traditional music.

Thanks Mike.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: topical tom
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 12:55 PM

A great artist and student of old time music. I first saw him at the Winnipeg Folk Festival with the New Lost City Ramblers back in 1979.I later saw him on several occasions and he was a superb performer at all times.I believe he also played and sang Cajun music for a time as well.I too did not know of his illness.May he receive solace and comfort at the hospice.An icon of folk music blessed with great talent and diversity.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST,Greycap
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 01:54 PM

I didn't know my main influence and tutor of American folk music was ill. I'm appalled by the news.
Oh, Mike, what can I say?


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 02:20 PM

If this IS the end , may it be peaceful


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 04:22 PM

A hero of old time music and a friend to us all. I first met him in a singaround at the Swarthmore Folk Festival the year Pete was headlining there—must have been what, 1957? Just a young guy not much older than me, and the first I ever saw play oldtime fiddle in person. He and Peggy were a revelation then, and have been ever since.

Mike was most generous in helping with my book a couple of years back, though he surely had all sorts of other things to think of and occupy his time. I can think of hardly anyone whose work has opened up avenues to us all, touched us so much and whose spirit has so gladdened and enlivened us.

Just one example: his unearthing of Dock Boggs and the sensitive recordings of Dock he made over time, his wonderfully exploratory notes, and his encyclopedic knowledge that backed it all up.

Multiply that by all the other artists he brought us, plus his own music with the NLCR (and other bands) and solo ... I will personally miss his wacky sense of humor, too. His fine oldtime voice. His picking, his fiddling. His wry, disarming honesty. And ... The list is endless.

This comes just after writing Caroline Paton a note concerning Sandy's passing. I guess we are all feeling a bit more mortal than we ever did before!

Mike, may you be with us as long as you wish; may you go as easily as falling asleep. You have meant so much.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Stewart
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 04:30 PM

Very sad news!
He was a treasure
keeping the old music alive.

I had the good fortune to hear him
in Seattle a year ago.
No indication that he had any health problems,
what a wonderful concert.
We will all miss him.

S. in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Amos
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 04:50 PM

Bill: THat link just goes to the Artist page, as does the "Play this Performance" button on that page. Seems a self-referential loop?


A


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: lisa null
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 04:54 PM

What an amazing and gracious musician who cares not only about the music but the traditional singers and musicians who passed it on to him and to us. His taste is impeccable, his humor infectious, his musicianship-- not only splendid but always interesting. A giant in his unpretentious way. I do hope he will go bathed in the affection and respect of not only friends and family but of the thousands whose lives he has touched with instrument and song.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Bill D
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 05:00 PM

Not sure Amos... I just clicked on the "Play this Performance" button, and it played...


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Ebbie
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 05:04 PM

"Mike, may you be with us as long as you wish; may you go as easily as falling asleep" Bob Coltman

I like that very much and second it. Thanks, Bob.

Good heavens. It seems like I've been a little teary for a month.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST,Guy Wolff
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 05:20 PM

I am so thankful to Mike for tons of great music and straight ahead presentation on some very interesting styles of banjo . What joy he has given me . All the very best to him on all the roads ahead of him . Guy


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Peace
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 05:27 PM

He was a very nice guy. Met him at the 1967 Newport Folk Festival and he was both kind and considerate to a wannabe. A real gentleman and wonderful musician. RIP, Mr Seeger.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: The Sandman
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 05:36 PM

what terrible news.
I only knew his music,not the man,really sad news.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Jeri
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 05:39 PM

I don't know how sick he is just yet. One of the best sessions I ever was involved with was in a hospice, for a friend who is there.

He was a joy whenever I saw him perform. I hope he feels the love and gratitude of all of us whose lives he has touched.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Mzee Simba
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 06:03 PM

How deeply and profoundly saddening. I saw him perform a couple of times, and he was so generous with his time in both pre- and post-concert conversation with audience members. A great, great man, and a giant of a "folk" musician. Would that there might have been more like him...the world would be a better place.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Arkie
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 06:41 PM

Mike has brought pleasure and enlightenment into my life for 50 years. I had the good fortune to see him perform up close while in graduate school and he was gracious enough to come to Mountain View to help with several events during my time at the Ozark Folk Center. I have to admit the first time it helped that it gave him an excuse to visit with Almeda Riddle who lived nearby. I enjoyed seeing the two of them together and observing their friendship and mutual respect. Mike's impact on traditional music has been enormous as a performer, scholar, record producer, as well as many less obvious ways. It is sad to see someone like Mike drawing to the end of their life, but one cannot help but reflect on how well he has lived that life, the wonderful impact he has made, and the great legacy he leaves.

Elliott


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST,BanjoRay
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 07:12 PM

I've loved Mike and his music since I first heard him in 1963. He radically changed the rest of my life for the better. I wish him and his family everything they wish themselves.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: stallion
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 08:15 PM

oh my dear fellow, peace be with you all


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: catspaw49
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 08:19 PM

Bob Coltman said it right and I can think of nothing more......

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST,Bill Hudson
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 08:40 PM

I am sorry to hear the news...but I do agree and understand about hospice. I lost such a good friend from cancer and I cannot say enough about hospice. If one is to leave this world that is the way to go. Surrounded by caring and loving folks.
See you on the other side Mike where I hope we can be pickin'
Still Pickin'
Bill


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Acme
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 08:59 PM

Amos, I found that the link worked okay, but it had to get past my security software first.

Thanks for posting that, Bill.

Wishing him peace and comfort,

SRS


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Padre
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 10:09 PM

I first heard Mike with the NLCR at Antioch College in 1962 - their performance absolutely blew me away after the bland folk-pap that was the usual fare at college concerts during that time. His vocal and instrumental prowess, his genuine love for old-time music, and his respect for the performers of that music made a profound impression on me that has lasted 45+ years. May his remaining time with us be filled with the knowledge that he has entertained, educated, and influenced many of those who write in this forum. Thank you, Mike.

Padre


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: katlaughing
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 10:29 PM

What Bob Coltman said, from me, too.

That and my condolences to TJ in San Diego on the loss of your brother.

Thank you, Mr. Seeger. What a grand mix they will have when he meets Sandy and Rick and others.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 10:59 PM

Just got a message from the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention, forwarding a message from Alexia:

Dear friends--for the past week Mike has been in the hospital getting
treatment for an unusually aggressive plasmacytoma (a cancer). We're
uncertain of the future, but we'll be home soon, a blessedly welcome
prospect. You can send Mike a message by email to alexia AT rockbridge.net or
by mail to PO Box 1592, Lexington, VA 24450. Email's quick, mail nice to
have in hand, either one very welcome and helpful. With warmest
thanks-------Alexia

PS Please forward to others who care.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 29 Jul 09 - 11:04 PM

When I think of Mike Seeger, I think not only of the musician (though he was a consummate performer) but of the person who introduced me to the music and musicians of America. I think of Clarence Ferrill and the many others whose performances and essences were captured by Mike's Nagra recorder, and Mike's extensive notes that helped me learn who these people were, since their music had spoken to my soul as it did to his. He was such a good performer that he could divert attention away from himself and directly to the song and its sources.

I'll always remember the vocal week at Augusta back in 1984, where he taught me how to listen. Listen to the timbre. Listen to the bends. Listen to the attacks. Listen to the releases. Listen to the decays. Listen to the dynamics. Listen to what's said and what's unsaid. And if you can, watch the performer. Watch their posture. Watch their eyes, or lack of eye-contact. Watch their fingers. Note every detail, and then don't get so caught up in the details that you lose track of the big picture, because that's also where the soul of the music lies.

May the experiences of his next phase of his life bring him, and us as well, appreciation of the details of his life, and the wonder of the soul.

--Charlie Baum


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: KT
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 01:18 AM

Charlie, that's beautifully put.

Bill, thanks for posting the link. I'm enjoying it very much and holding Mike in thought and prayer as I watch and listen~ May the joy and love he's shared with his music, return to him now, tenfold, to ease this time for him.

Each time we lose another or share the burden of another sorrow, I'm so touched by this amazing community that is MUDCAT. You are all so wonderful.

KT


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Will Fly
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 02:14 AM

One of the sadnesses of growing old is that, one by one - if we ourselves survive - our friends and heroes leave us. I never saw Mike Seeger but the NLCR were a great influence on, and joy to me when I was a young man and they were young men.

I hope Mike goes to his rest peacefully and without pain. The music lives on.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 05:45 AM

I remember seeing Mike at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall back in the 60s. I went back stage after the performance hoping for a chat with him, and when I found the dressing-room Mike was already talking to a chap who was asking Mike's advice about playing the banjo. The guy was a bit of an idiot but Mike was friendly and very patient with him. Musically, I love everything Mike stands for.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: ard mhacha
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 06:12 AM

A true legend heartbreaking news.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: John Minear
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 07:11 AM

One of the great joys of moving to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia eleven years ago was to discover that Mike Seeger was our over-the-mountain neighbor, and that we could hear him in person at the Prism coffeehouse in Charlottesville every January. The Prism is no more and now Mike is sick. This feels very close by and our hearts go over the mountain to Mike and to Alexia. May you find peace in your valley.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: john f weldon
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 07:21 AM

...the first time, with NLCR at McGill in the early 60s...
...solo at the Fifth Dimension, later 60s...
...many times at Champlain Valley, expecially an NLCR reunion not long ago...
...my then small son getting some music lessons from him, while he sat around between sets...
...doing an entire set with a tiny bag full of home-made rattles & stuff...

Great memories.
He was a fabulous performer, musician, and an amiable, witty, knowledgeable guy. One of my favourites for the last 50 (!!) years.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Rex
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 03:28 PM

Oh I would hope we'd have Mike around for many more years. His was a bright light into the murky past of old-time music. Especially the fiddle and the banjo! Again, grateful for his work.

Rex


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Subject: Mike Seeger Info
From: Vixen
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 03:34 PM

A friend just forwarded this to me...
more sad news.


Date: Wed, 29 Jul 2009 17:15:28 -0400
From: Ken Irwin
Rounder Records
Subject: Mike Seeger Update

This is being passed along for Mary Katherine Adlin
from Folklore Productions
who has been booking Mike Seeger for years.

============ ======

Many folks in the bluegrass world know, or know of, Mike Seeger.
But you may not know that Mike has been undergoing treatment
for leukemia for several years; just recently he was diagnosed
with a new and very aggressive form of cancer,
called multiple myeloma. In the same forthright way
that he has lived his life, he has now made the decision
to discontinue treatment and enter hospice care.
His wife Alexia says that he would enjoy hearing
from friends via cards and emails
which can be sent care of his booking agency:

Folklore Productions
1671 Appian Way
Santa Monica, CA 90401


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST,elfpix
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 05:51 PM

Damn.

Unwittingly Mike did me a great favor once.

He is a very beautiful spirit and we will be much the poorer for his departure. May it be painless and graceful.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Art Thieme
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 06:02 PM

How terribly sad. But   I am sure Mike will live out the rest of his life, to the extent that he is able, as musically as he has always lived it.

After being introduced to old time music by seeing Mike and Tom and John at the Gate Of Horn folk night-spot in Chicago--circa 1959--(opening the show for Bob Gibson) I saw the three of them, and Later with Tracy Schwarz, continue over the next 50 years, by their grand musical example, to be the absolutely most important factor in the phenomenal popularity of this musical genre. After seeing these guys, the world literally saw they could do it too!!! ;-) The world took up old time styles of playing fiddles, banjos, guitars, autoharps, Dobro-like things---hell, all of it---just because Mike Seeger and cohorts showed us the way. (Even that Spiveys Corners-Len Emanual folk-yelling stuff!!)

There would not be anything like the modern various old-timey dancing scenes (and concerts too) if not for Mike and the New Lost City Ramblers.

Mike, for all of it, THANKS so very much! Please, be as proud as you can be now---because you are responsible, in a huge way, for the on-going survival of this music. For me, it's been a real privilege to see (and hear) it happen!

Personally, I'll never forget the night, on my old FLEA MARKET radio show on NPR, that you, amazingly, actually forgot the words to Libba's song "Freight Train" -- and I had to sneak over from hosting the show to whisper to you the start of the next verse. I treasure that memory---and so many others. --- All of those early University Of Chicago Folk Festivals where you, Tom and John were the glue that made the workshops all work because you knew the right things to ask the informant performers like Tom Ashley, Roscoe Holcomb, Dock Boggs -- everyone.

For us kids, in 1961 (I was 20 then) and onward, it truly was an education.

It feels so damn good to be able tell you this.

Sir, be as well as you can be -- for as long as it's possible.

Art Thieme
Peru, Illinois (Where our governors make our license plates.)


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST,iancarterb
Date: 30 Jul 09 - 11:55 PM

My only direct meeting with Mike was in an autoharp workshop at the Black Point Festival in 1978, and he was gracious and instructive, telling me with a smile and absolutely no put-down that I was playing "hot licks." I've tried, with some success I hope, to play more sensible accompaniments on whatever instrument ever since:). The NLCRs have been a benchmark for me since about 1959, and I wish Mike a peaceful immediate future and send my gratitude for a life well lived and for music joyfully sent out to us all.
Carter


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST,Jean
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 12:26 AM

I saw Mike at the Champlain Valley Folk Festival years ago. Tomorrow, I will be at Champlain Valley, thinking of Mike and his family. Thank you, Mike.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Thomas Stern
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 12:35 AM

Just noticed the following, which will be of interest:
1. article from SOUTHERN CULTURE 2000 (40th Anniversary) about the NEW LOST CITY RAMBLERS http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/southern_cultures/v006/6.4gura.html
2. 1 hour documentary about the New Lost City Ramblers directed by Yasha Aginsky, ALWAYS BEEN A RAMBLER, just issued on DVD.
3. On August 25, Smithsonian Folkways will issue a 3-CD Box set which includes the two previously released retrospective CDs (1958-1962, 1963-1973), plus a 3rd disc with source recordings: SF 40180 50 YEARS


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: NormanD
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 07:04 AM

I can only echo the thoughts and kind words written above. I never knew Mike Seeger, but still seemed to know him through his music over the years. His album, recorded with Peggy, "American Folk Songs For Children", got us through so many long car journeys, the tunes must now be in our son's DNA.

Mike may well have started to come into more public prominence recently. He plays autoharp on the last track of the Alison Krauss / Robert Plant multi-seller - it is my favourite on the album.

Let's think of him, send him our strength, help give him restful and happy days.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST,Michele Callaghan
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 09:53 AM

I don't remember a time when I didn't love listening to the New Lost City Ramblers. I saw Mike Seeger in the 70s when I was a student at SUNY Buffalo. We in the DC area were lucky enough to have a concert of Mike, Peggy, and Pete Seeger recently. That night will not be forgotten. I have been singing a medley of NLCR songs since reading this news.

May his last days be full of loved ones and peace.

Michele Callaghan


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: open mike
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 10:49 AM

further links expanded from previous post
Just noticed the following, which will be of interest:

1. article from SOUTHERN CULTURE 2000 (40th Anniversary)
http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/southern_cultures/v006/6.4gura.html

2. 1 hour documentary about the New Lost City Ramblers directed by Yasha Aginsky, ALWAYS BEEN A RAMBLER, just issued on DVD.
the film's web site
Showings:

Friday May 22, 2009 at 7:30 pm - The Coastside Film Society Community United Methodist Church Sanctuary, 777 Miramontes, Half Moon Bay

Sun. May 31, 2009 - Mendocino Film Festival - 1:30 PM -- Crown Hall, Mendocino - includes a question and answer session with Yasha Aginsky, and live music by some of the musicians appearing in the film, including Jody Stecher and Eric Thompson.

Wed. Sept 9, 2009- Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley - opening night of the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention - with a question and answer session with Mike Seeger and Yasha Aginsky, plus live old time music

3. On August 25, Smithsonian Folkways will issue a 3-CD Box set which includes the two previously released retrospective CDs (1958-1962, 1963-1973), plus a 3rd disc with source recordings: SF 40180 50 YEARS
Folkways has several recordings of NLCR


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST,ewgibson
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 12:06 PM

I want to thank Mike for his generosity and kindness.   It was about two years ago, I spoke with Mike on the phone.   Now, mind you I called him out of the blue not expecting him to personally answer the phone. After all, this is a big music celebrity.   Well, he not only answered the phone, but was so patient and gracious. I told him about the project I was working on, which was to do a tribute for Leslie Riddle.   Being that Mike was the person who first brought Riddle back into the limelight, he was excited about the project. He generously gave tapes of his recording of Riddle and photos. On top of that he gave of himself and performed at the Riddlefest in Burnsville,North Carolina two years in a row.   He made that celebration of the music of Leslie Riddle not only memorable but a magical one.    With the photos Mike provided, I was able to do a oil painting and drawing of Leslie Riddle which hangs in the Town Center and in the Riddle recording studio. Mike Seeger is one of a kind individual and musician extrodinaire. God bless him and I am thankful for having met this wonderful man.
Elizabeth W. Gibson


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: MissouriMud
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 04:23 PM

Echoing what Art said - Mike and the New Lost City Ramblers were a critical force in preserving much of the traditional "Old Time" Appalachian music and maintaining the public's interest in it. While many of us caught the folk bug in the late 50's, a good many (not all) of us moved substantially into singer/songwriter material in the 60's (and later to folk rock, soft pop, country, bluegrass, newgrass etc) and those guys didn't. They just kept doing what they did for half a century until people like me, who had almost forgotten about them, came back to them, found them still there as good as ever, and came to appreciate what a debt we owed them.   Others certainly helped, including my own local hero John Hartford, but Mike and the other Ramblers were there from the get go, stayed for the duration, and never lost their way.   I never saw them perform but I listen to their music constantly. Thanks for doing it, Mike for all of us.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST,MRS FLANNERY--Tullamore
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 05:03 PM

We have no words except,------
"Every step we are taking were drifting closer ,
Over the water to that beautiful shore,
Oh Saviour with mercy look down upon us ,
Were waiting for the boatman to guide us o,er"

I think that was Mike & Tom Paley on the Sue Cow album 196?
Our thoughts are with you & your family Mike
& may your boatman guide you gently o,er.

Mar focail scoir,

Ter rissilty ,ressilty, rustical quality, inkity yonkety,
Oh dom-doffis and nickety , nicekty,-- nah -na -nah
Ta bron mor orainn ,
Ma Flannery & Oldtimer


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Acme
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 05:22 PM

Such wonderful stories of his life and art. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST,Greg Anderson
Date: 31 Jul 09 - 09:01 PM

Mike,

You have brought me years of pleasure listen to your music and seeing you perform in person. I enjoyed the story about you wanting a mohagany Martin parlor guitar as a teen and your mother saying that it was "too commercial". You later got one and took it around the world until you realized how special it was and kept it safe at home. You are special to your many fans. You have inspired us to cherish songs of the past and simplicity and authenticity in music.

We shared the love of the music of another songwriter, Roland Lakey, who also left a legacy of great songs. Thanks for your legacy to music.

Take care,


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 12:26 PM

I remember Mike from the old days at the Ash Grove. Ed Pearl became the unofficial fourth member of the NLCR even to the point where he was sporting a vest like they wore.

Mike was undoubtably one of the most important people in folk music.
He blazed his own trail different from his half brother Pete by going into depth in Appalachian traditional music. He has left a wonderful legacy for people to study. It would be interesting to hear Tom Paley's account of his association with Mike as well as Tracy Schwartz and John Cohen (if he is still with us).

Mike and I had a distant association. I always admired his performances as so did many. I was taken with his autoharp and singing of "When First Unto This Country, A Stranger I Came".

I hope Mike is comfortable as he can be in this trying time and he
is assured that many appreciate his vast accomplishments.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 01:01 PM

I saw Mike in concert and met him several times over the last several years. What great musician as well as a gentleman.

I snapped this photo at a show in 2007 of Mike, Tony Trishka & autoharp wizard Drew Smith -- they were about to play "Will the Circle Be Unbroken".

Will the circle be unbroken
By and by, Lord, by and by
There's a better home awaiting
In the sky, Lord, in the sky

Godspeed, Mike!


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 02:07 PM

Guest - I had the honor of emceeing that show at a venue that I am the president of here in New Jersey - the Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club. That was our second to last concert in our old Paramus home before we moved to Fair Lawn.

It was a memorable night. I was hoping that we would have had a better turnout, but the crowd that was there had a real treat. Mike was amazing. He thoroughly entertained, and educated, the audience. When Tony and Drew joined him on stage at the end, it was a very emotional moment for me.

My thoughts and prayers are with Mike and his family. We owe him so much. Thank you Mike.

Guest - I would love to share a copy of your photo on the Hurdy Gurdy website. Please either PM me or write to me at wfdutraditions@aol.com . Thanks for sharing that amazing picture!


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST,Hootenanny
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 03:51 PM

To Guest above.

Re Tom Paley yes he is still with us in the UK and plays regularly at clubs both solo and with his son Ben and fellow New Yorker Joe Locker.
He can be seen most Sundays in a pub session near "The Angel" in north London. Tom was featured in three progarmmes on BBC TV back in February as were other members of the NLCR and many other musicians involved in the "folkscare" from the beginning.
Because of these guys we now have a vast amount of knowledge and an incredible amount of archive material at our fingertips. Thankyou Mike, John, Tom and Tracy.

Hoot


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: outfidel
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 04:12 PM

Hi Ron -

I was the "Guest" who posted the pic of Mike above. Thanks again for organizing and hosting a wonderful night of music at the Hurdy Gurdy.

On that evening, I was sitting in the front row and took a handful of photos -- you can grab any or all of them in this photo album.

Of course, you can use the for the Hurdy Gurdy site. But I'll worn you that my photo skills aren't very good -- I won't make people forget David Gahr any time soon. ;)

(btw the last photo in that album is a screen shot from Mike's Early Southern Guitar DVD -- I'm amazed at how he plays guitar & panpipes at the same time. I guess you'll have to ask Homespun Tapes or somebody for rights to use that one).

Two things that I remember most from Mike's show that night:

1) How he moved effortlessly from instrument to instrument. In fact, with my pictures, I tried to snap one of him playing each instrument -- banjo, gourd banjo, guitar, Jew's harp, autoharp, fiddle.

2) When he came out for the encore, he asked for request. I shot up my hand and asked for "Will the Circle Be Unbroken". He asked me if I wanted him to play it on autoharp or guitar. Since I'm a guitar player, I requested guitar, but he was already holding the autoharp and decided to start the song on that instrument. Then he stopped and said, "Wait a second, we've got one of the greatest banjo players and one of the greatest autoharp players in the audience tonight." And that's when he brought up Tony Trishka (who had played in the first set) and Drew Smith (who had been sitting next to me; I had no idea who the guy was). Mike switched to guitar and they did "Circle" plus a few more songs for the encore.

What a show. What an artist.

All the best,
Michael


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: open mike
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 06:00 PM

Can anyone tell us anything about the guitar he is playing in that pic with the pan pipe..it looks old...and special..with a unique cut and no doubt Mike made it sound great!


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST,Frug
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 07:54 PM

Sending good vibes out for Mike and family.......... I remember Mike and his then wife Alice coming to a folk club in Birmingham UK ( White Lion I think) They were accompanied by Bill Clifton I recorded the event on an old cassette tape recorder. They were kind enough to infill with lots of chat so that I could change the tapes. At the end of the gig Mike indicated that he wished to sell his guitar, a baby Martin 0018 which he had purchased for the tour he was doing. My mate Bern bought it following a trip down to Surrey and tea with Mike, Alice, Peggy and Ewan McColl, also remember from that gig a funny story about a hire car and the AA ( auto mobile association) Nice man good man great musician

Mike you are inspirational. my respect, love and blessings to you.


Frank


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: outfidel
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 07:56 PM

open mike - In his liner notes to Early Southern Guitar Styles, Mike says that it's a "1930s ladder-braded Kaycraft guitar with arched top and back." On the video, he's using it to play Henry Thomas's "Fishing Blues".

btw I *highly* recommend this DVD -- 2 disks worth of Mike teaching & playing great old songs. Since I picked it up in December, I've been working on his arrangement of Sylvester Weaver's "Smoketown Strut". Great stuff.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Ebbie
Date: 01 Aug 09 - 10:32 PM

I swear I posted on this thread a moment ago - but it ain't there.

Song of the Mountains on PBS reran a set that Mike Seeger did there some time back. Just Mike with his voice and his instruments, including his gourd banjo.

I think Mike's autoharp playing is about as good as I've ever heard anyone do. I first heard him via video with Alice Gerrard and Hazel Dickens. He's *good*.

Mike Seeger was Guest Artist one year at the Alaska Folk Festival but it was before I got to Juneau, so I never heard him live. I regret that.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST,Steve Goodbar
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 07:42 PM

Got to pick with Mike in Tucson once. He also gave me some invaluable mandolin tips. He is without a doubt one of the greatest musicians and folklorists of our time. Thank you Mike!


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: voyager
Date: 02 Aug 09 - 07:46 PM

In appreciation of Mike Seeger's gift to music, here's a brief look at the Seeger Family Reunion Concert in Silver Spring, MD. (March 2007) with Mike, Pete and Peggy performing. This show tops my list for FSGW concerts over many years. Group photo and annotated songlist included.

Seeger Family Reunion Concert (SetList) - March 2007

A Seeger Family Fan - for Life!
voyager


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Rex
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 03:41 PM

You all have likely seen the PBS American Masters episode of Pete Seeger, "The Power of Song". It is my hope that someone will document Mike's story as well. It would be a worthy study for all the folks that Mike has known and performed with over the years.

Rex


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST,Suzy T.
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 06:31 PM

There's a new documentary about the New Lost City Ramblers which was just released last week, directed by Yasha Aginsky and co-produced by Chris Strachwitz, Tom Diamant and myself under the auspices of the Arhoolie Foundation. Lots of great footage of Mike including some cool archival footage. Website is here: http://www.alwaysbeenarambler.org

Yasha was interested in doing a film about Mike next, but Mike didn't want it. He always has been very self-effacing. One of the things that many of us have learned from him was that thing of always serving the music (instead of putting the music to our own use) and of course the payoff is that experience that sometimes takes place where you are playing and go way deep into the tune and transcend your own ego and baggage.

Words cannot express how much Eric & I will both miss him, he has been a mentor and a good friend to us.
Suzy Thompson


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST,Russ
Date: 03 Aug 09 - 09:16 PM

Mike has been an inspiration to me for close to fifty years.

Russ (Permanent GUEST)


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 05:33 PM

Most recent news is that Mike is just mostly sleeping now. As noted, he's at home, with his wife, sister and son. Words cannot express.
Suzy T.


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 06 Aug 09 - 05:46 PM

Thank you, Suzy, for that update. I just heard this afternoon that things were progressing quickly. What sad news.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Mike Seeger - entering hospice (July, 2009)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 02:54 AM

on the trad-dance-callers list, Dudley Laufman wrote:

"Mike Seeger is the 2009 recipient of the Bess Lomax Hawes National Heritage Fellowship. We were so much looking forward to meeting him when we go to Washington in September to take part in our involvement of getting a NEA Fellowship.

"Someone from the NEA will be travelling this week to Mike's bedside to deliver the award."


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Subject: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (August 2009)
From: Mary Katherine
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 11:47 PM

Mike Seeger died tonight (August 7, 2009) in hospice care at his home, surrounded by his wife, his sons and his sister. He was at peace and not in pain.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (August 2009)
From: Amergin
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 11:50 PM

Well...if there is a good way to go that is it...I remember when my opa died of cancer many years ago...we were all with him, telling him that he will be reunited with his loved ones that went before...


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (August 2009)
From: ClaireBear
Date: 07 Aug 09 - 11:59 PM

Farewell, and I am glad it was a parting among loved ones and free of pain.

But it's hard.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 03:53 PM

I haven't seen Pete or Peggy perform, but I did have a chance to see Mike perform at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica. I really enjoyed his performance. He was so unassuming and approachable, but he really knew his music. It was a wonderful performance.
May he rest in peace.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Mark Ross
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 04:08 PM

I have seen all 3 in performance(wish I could have seen them all together). Mike was my favorite.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Mary Katherine
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 04:14 PM

If anyone wants to send a card or personal note to the family, they've asked that it come to us, and we will forward to them unopened. Address is

The Family of Mike Seeger
c/o Folklore Productions
1671 Appian Way
Santa Monica, CA 90401

At some point something may be decided about when/where/whether there will be a public memorial service, and when that happens I will post it here.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: gnu
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 04:30 PM

RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 04:52 PM

........it's good life when someone can do what they enjoy, and at the same time bring pleasure and knowlege to others. Mike did that for me for over 45 years.

bye...


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 05:00 PM

Another man done gone.

I wish there was more that one could say.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: maeve
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 06:33 PM

Well done, Mike. We'll remember.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 06:34 PM

WAY too many joining that folk club in the clouds.

Sympathy sent from Worksop, UK

Blessings
Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Ref
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 06:44 PM

What a too little-known treasure this man was.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 06:51 PM

Truly I'm sad at his passing. As I write this I am listening to "Mike Seeger, Third Annual Farewell Reunion" from about 15 years ago.

I did see him in concert at UCLA, perhaps about ten years ago, maybe more. I think Tom Paxton was the, more or less, headliner. Seeger shared the stage with Louden Wainright and a couple of others as I recall. While it was all good, I was disappointed that he didn't have more to do.

Unlike Joe O., I scored the trifecta--Pete at Santa Monica Civic 1962 or '63; Peggy, solo, at CalTech Folk Music Club concert late '80s or early '90s; Mike as noted above.

Thank you and RIP


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: ex-pat
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 07:34 PM

There seems to be an awful lot of folks dying this year.
Mike Seeger was a stalwart in his chosen genre for most of my lifetime. A true great RIP.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Tradsinger
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 08:00 PM

What a great contribution he made to folk music. RIP Mike.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Andrez
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 08:15 PM

Just a small, humble and very respectful contribution of sadness and regret for Mikes passing from the other side of the Pacific. Surrounded by family..... well I cant think of a better way to go.

Now the question is whether Autoharp and Banjo players can actually get past St Peter at the Pearly gates. If not where do they go?

:-)

Cheers,

Andrez


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: GUEST,Bruce and Debbie Hutton
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 08:25 PM

Mike was a true mentor to so many. When we were in college in Ohio in the late sixties Bruce took me to hear Mike on one of our first dates. It was my first introduction to folk music. I don't think bruce ever imagined that he would one day sit in our own living room or at the home of friends let along on a stage or even briefly in a recording studio to make music with someone he admired so much.
We will miss him greatly.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: GUEST,Allan S
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 08:28 PM

God bless old friend Rest in peace


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Little Robyn
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 09:54 PM

We've been listening to my old Folkways FA2325, Mike Seeger Old Time Country Music.
We'll play 'I'm a man of constant sorrow' on our radio show in a couple of hours.
Mike came to NZ back in 1969 and 1970 - for Banjo Picker's Conventions in Hamilton and again in October 1970 with Alice for a series of concerts and then a festival at Palmerston North.
We were there and thoroughly enjoyed it!
Much love to Mike's family.
Robyn and Mitch


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Padre
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 10:15 PM

RIP Mike

Padre


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 10:20 PM

On March 17, 2007, Mike, Peggy & Pete played a concert just north of Wash DC. As far as I know, it was the last time they played together.

Here is one picture of them together...it's the best one of Mike I got. (no flash, and a bit washed out under stage lights)

Seegers


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Aug 09 - 10:33 PM

Bill-

Thanks for posting that picture.

We also hosted Mike with the Portland Folk Club (Maine) in the 1980's, and had a great turnout and a wonderful evening of traditional songs, played with an amazing array of musical instruments.

The New Lost City Ramblers were one of my favorite recording groups to mine when I was first learning songs. I felt they were folks that I could rely on, and I still do!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: mark gregory
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 01:19 AM

Sad to hear he's gone, I met him when I was a young folkie in Sydney, he came with the rest of the New Lost City Ramblers to Australia back in 1965.

They performed at the Wallace Theatre (lecture theatre) at Sydney University at a packed concert organised by the late Chris Kempster and other students and we were all enthralled. I actually recorded that concert but the reel of tape has long since disappeared I'm afraid


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: GUEST,astro
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 02:04 AM

I was so happy to see him in Los Angeles last year, the only time I saw him. I was looking forwards to the Berkeley Old Time Music Festival to see him again, but will now look beyond the pearly gates to see him instead some day.

The best to his family and to him.

Astro in Los Angeles with a sad Desert Dancer who knew him personally some time ago...


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 02:17 AM

Well, "personally" is stretching it, but it was a great pleasure to host him for a concert in Tucson and two days of school visits at my son's elementary school, back about 2002.

Glad for his time here; sad to see him go. Thanks for all he did.

~ Becky


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Big Tim
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 03:29 AM

I loved that man's music. All sympathy to his family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 03:44 AM

Mike was a truly wonderful musician, he played on a CD called ' Retrograss ' with David Grisman and the late John Hartford, Mike singing ' Maggies Farm ' will always be my favourite version.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 03:54 AM

Very sad day. Good that he could pass with dignity and in company of loved ones.

My thoughts to his family.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: The Sandman
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 03:58 AM

my sympathy to his family,a great musician.Dick Miles


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Wolfhound person
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 06:55 AM

One of the best. And it sounds like a peaceful end, one we would all hope for.

Must get the autoharp out and play one I learnt from his recordings.

Paws


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Ed Brown
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 07:42 AM

Speaking of autoharp, I never worked hard enough at it to get good at playing my autoharp, even with the help of Mike Seeger's fine teaching tape.

But I learned to admire Mike's playing from the tape, and I can now hear him singing "Sweet Dove of Peace" - first heard on the tape; then later at festivals where I cherish the memory of singing along with him on the chorus.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 09:07 AM

I sit here trying to write something halfway adequate, but no words say it.

Goodbye Mike. You and your music live on in all our hearts.

Bob


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Severn
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 09:10 AM

My sympathies to the family and all those close to him.

A musical hero of mine, alas, is gone. An irrepairable loss to the music, but we can rejoice in all he was able to share with us..


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: topical tom
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 09:36 AM

I will really miss his mastery of musical instruments and his vast knowledge, performance and preservation of old time music.He was also a sensitive, very personable individual.Well done, Mike. Your spirit will live on in the pleasure and teaching you left us.RIP.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 11:53 AM

Missed all this while away on vacay. Very sad. A great man has moved elsewhere. I give thanks for all the things he left behind, not least of which is the music legacy.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: GUEST,Bluesman James
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 12:15 PM

Wow: This is too much. In March 2009, Rick Altman, owner of the Folklore Center (after Izzy Young) passed away. He loved the New Lost City Ramblers and Mike Seeger. I guess they are together.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: GUEST,Franz S.
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 01:29 PM

He was always a gentleman. I remember him at the Ralph Rinzler memorial at Highlander Center in 1995, and I had the great honor of spending a week as one of his students at the Old Time Gathering in Swannanoa a few years ago.

I'm feeling a little lonely.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 05:34 PM

National Public Radio's remembrance, by Paul Brown: here. (Text & audio -- the text below is on the web site, but is not an exact transcript.)

Mike Seeger Cleared Paths, Showed Us The Way
by Paul Brown

August 8, 2009 - Mike Seeger, whose love for traditional songs and tunes inspired many other musicians — including Bob Dylan — to look for the rural roots of American music, died of cancer Friday night at his home in Lexington, Va. He was 75.

I knew Mike Seeger for 30 years. We played together informally and professionally, shared a love of learning from old-timers, recorded one album together and appeared on each other's albums. More than all that, we were friends. But Mike, nearly 20 years my senior, was also a matchless guide, advocate and mentor in ways that I could never be for him.

Mike was an adventurer who wanted nothing more than to share his discoveries. He cut new paths and cleared old ones that had grown over. He found overlooked musical treasures, polished them off a little and wondered at them. Then he called to the rest of us, "Hey, come down here with me! You've got to hear this!"

And so it was that Mike sought out undiscovered or disappeared musicians in the towns and countrysides of southwest Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina — all over the South. One of them was banjo player and singer Dock Boggs, who had recorded haunting banjo songs and tunes decades before, and then slipped into obscurity and a life of physical labor as the Great Depression pulled millions of people into poverty.

In the early 1960s, Mike became the first to record Dock in several decades. He took him out to play and helped him find a new enthusiasm for life. He brought dozens of other older, traditional musicians to the stage, either on his own or with his group, the New Lost City Ramblers. Feeling they merited far more recognition than they were getting, he organized tours — some of them abroad — for these rural Southern players.

Mike constantly pushed young people forward, too. He wanted us to learn, to play and to document what we heard. I met Mike around 1980 at the home of the great fiddler and banjoist Tommy Jarrell outside Mount Airy, N.C. We talked a little, started playing and quickly fell in together. It was as though I'd found a longtime musical friend I didn't know I had.

Mike and I later traveled and recorded together with some of the old-timers. For a couple of years, we were in a three-person band he started. It was one of the most astounding musical experiences of my life. Playing with Mike was freeing. He saw and heard things others didn't. His view was broad. He was constantly ready to try new instrumental combinations or new approaches to singing, all of it rooted in the traditions he cherished.

And that was just part of it. Every time I turned my attention his way, it seemed he'd had another idea or was starting a new project. One year, it was a video documentary on traditional Southern step dancing, such as flatfooting and clogging. Another time, it was a teaching video on the guitar styles of Maybelle Carter, one of the first country music artists to record — and of course, someone Mike had known.

One day he called me and asked what I thought about the idea of starting a music festival by and for musicians in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. I told him I thought it was great. He launched the festival near his home in 1986, and in typical style, stepped back and handed it over to the community. That was what he believed in. The Rockbridge Mountain Music and Dance Festival is still going today.

The moment I met him, he started changing my life. He did the same with thousands of others — they tell me all the time. And they tell me of Mike's modesty, his humble approach. We all saw him at parties and jam sessions — not taking the lead, as he certainly could have, but listening to others, or picking up a background instrument. As my friend and fellow musician David Winston said to me days ago, that humility and generosity were the gift of life.

He was a star, but a quiet, faintly flickering one. My feeling is that the best tribute we can pay is to try to follow his example.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: open mike
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 05:46 PM

Thanks for that post, Desert Dancer...I hope we can carry on the music! Mike has shined the light to show the way...


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 06:12 PM

Thanks for posting Paul Brown's remembrance, Desert Dancer.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: BK Lick
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 06:37 PM

Here's a lovely collection of photos, taken by Michael Melnyk.
Remembering Mike Seeger
Kathy sent me the link, saying "They really capture Mike's elegance and spirit, I think."
—BK


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Martha Burns
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 09:51 PM

"Sugar in the Gourd"(http://sugarinthegourd.com/)is playing all Mike Seeger tonight. It's a wonderful tribute from a wonderful website. Worth checking out, if you haven't discovered it yet.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: elfcape
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 09:56 PM

Hovering sadness all weekend since I heard that he was gone. He was one of the gentlest and most deliberately thoughtful people I ever had the fortune to stay in my guest room. Such sweetness, and clarity of mind.

He derived such deep joy, quiet, unassuming, delight from his life's work.

May we all be half so fortunate.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Martha Burns
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 10:04 PM

Woops. Here's that link, again ... http://sugarinthegourd.com/


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: open mike
Date: 09 Aug 09 - 11:22 PM

Sugar in the Gourd streaming old time music


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 01:40 AM

Thanks for the link to the photos by Mike Melnyk, BK Link. They're lovely.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: open mike
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 05:02 AM

i wish there were more captions on the pix of mike from mike
I think the fellow in the b&w striped shirt is Bela Fleck
and Tracy Schwartz has his name on one pic, but John Cohen
is not captioned, neither are the line up of musicians on
stage..can anyone fill in the names? Suzi? that was such
a nice banjo neck tie...great to see him..he looked like
he was enjoying the festival...glad it was captured on
film..hope to see this one day...Always Been a Rambler,
indeed!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Fortunato
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 07:17 AM

Thanks, BK Lick for the link to the photos. I have shared them elsewhere.

regards,

chance


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Mary Katherine
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 08:23 AM

August 10, 2009
Mike Seeger, Singer and Music Historian, Dies at 75
By BEN SISARIO

Mike Seeger, a singer and multi-instrumentalist who played an important role in the folk revival of the 1950s and '60s, died on Friday at his home in Lexington, Va. He was 75.

The cause was multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, said his wife, Alexia Smith.

Although a quieter voice on the national stage than his politically
outspoken, older half-brother, Pete, Mike Seeger was a significant force in spreading the music of preindustrial America during an increasingly consumerist era. In 1958 he helped found the New Lost City Ramblers, whose repertory came from the 1920s and '30s, and in his career he recorded or produced dozens of albums of what he called the "true vine" of American music, the mix of British and African traditions and topical storytelling that took root in the South.

Mr. Seeger's dedication had a strong effect on the young Bob Dylan, who wrote fondly of him in his 2004 memoir, "Chronicles: Volume One." Although only eight years his junior, Mr. Dylan called Mr. Seeger a father figure - for helping the under-age Mr. Dylan with his paperwork - and rhapsodized about him as the embodiment of a folk-star persona.

"Mike was unprecedented," Mr. Dylan wrote, adding: "As for being a folk musician, he was the supreme archetype. He could push a stake through Dracula's black heart. He was the romantic, egalitarian and revolutionary type all at once."

But Mr. Seeger made his mark less as a star than as a careful, steady
student of his beloved Southern music. He was born in New York to a
prominent musical family. His father, Charles Seeger, was a well-known ethnomusicologist, and his mother, Ruth Crawford Seeger, a composer and folk-song collector. Besides Pete, Mr. Seeger's sister Peggy also became a noted singer.

The intellectual pursuit of folk music was part of Mike Seeger's life from an early age. At 5 he made a recording of the old British folk ballad "Barbara Allen," his wife said in an interview on Sunday.

Mr. Seeger played banjo, guitar, autoharp and other instruments, which he learned from old records and in some cases from the musicians who played on them. A dogged researcher, he sought out musicians who had been lost for decades and introduced them to an eager (and young) new audience. One was Dock Boggs, a banjo player from western Virginia whose records were prized by folklorists. Mr. Seeger brought him to the American Folk Festival in Asheville, N.C., in 1963.

Mr. Seeger's most recent album was "Early Southern Guitar Sounds"
(Smithsonian Folkways), in 2007, and he played autoharp on Robert Plant and Alison Krauss's Grammy Award-winning album "Raising Sand" (Rounder), also released in 2007. In his career Mr. Seeger was nominated for six Grammys.

In addition to his wife, his half-brother Pete, of Beacon, N.Y., and his sister Peggy, of Boston, Mr. Seeger is survived by three sons, Kim, of Tivoli, N.Y., Chris, of Rockville Centre, N.Y., and Jeremy, of Belmont, Mass.; four stepchildren, Cory Foster of Ithaca, N.Y., Jenny Foster of Rockville, Md., Joel Foster of Silver Spring, Md., and Jesse Foster of Washington; another sister, Barbara Perfect of Henderson, Nev.; another half-brother, John Seeger of Bridgewater, Conn.; and 13 grandchildren and step-grandchildren.

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: GUEST,harpgirl
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 09:14 AM

I've seen Mike many, many times over the past thirty some years and I have frankly copied his wonderful autoharp style. I've seen him at Winfield, at White Springs, in Ann Arbor, at a girl scout camp in the Florida pineywoods....anywhere I could get to in a day...Pop Stoneman's style as well as Mabel's echo in his notes for me. He gave me countless hours of enjoyment with his records and performances. I admired his scholarly approach to music and I liked that Libba C. was able to secure her old age through the help of the Seeger family.

Now I'll remember he passed away every year on my own birthday...


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: john f weldon
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 10:00 AM

I've been posting various memories of this influential guy here & elsewhere on the net, but I just remembered this: my then young son Al approaching him as he sat on a rock in a field. Al started chatting away, and Mike listened, then gave him a lesson on playing the Jews-Harp. For some reason, a very touching moment.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: GUEST,TJ in San Diego
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 11:11 AM

Too fast, too soon and too sad. I reflect on the joy and substance he brought to all of us in his dedication, his talent and his humanity. I wish there were more role models like him for my grandson and other young people to see. Here's hoping my admiration and gratitude can transcend the bounds of earth and find him in his new home.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: GUEST,Suzy T.
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 12:34 PM

Hi folks,
I haven't gone thru the Mike photos yet, can't look at them without crying. I've seen them all already, anyway. I'm sure it is Bela Fleck in the photo - one of the ones taken when we were filming backstage at Hardly Strictly BG Fest. in Golden Gate Park. The banjo necktie was a last-minute wardrobe addition when Mike discovered he'd left his tie back at the hotel. Mary Tilson borrowed the banjo tie from Warren Hellman, who funds the festival and is a banjo student. It had been a gift to Warren and he'd never worn it. Most or all of the photos were taken either at Hardly Strictly (all the ones with the banjo necktie)in 2007 or at the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention in 2005 and 2006.
Mike Melnyk put up this photo montage quickly, and I'm glad he did, even though he didn't have time to label all the pix. I'll email him and ask about identifying the other folks in the shots, but it might not happen right away.
Suzy


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: elfcape
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 01:30 PM

They are simply wonderful photos. It would be really neat if others had older photos to share as well.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 01:34 PM

Obit threads are becoming far too numerous on Mudcat these days. Now we have the loss of another wonderful artist and human being to mourn. Back in the early 1960's Mike Seeger made a complimentary remark about my singing. I didn't hear it but it was reported to me, and coming as it did during a period of depression and loss of confidence it gave my morale a great boost. Downturns of that kind have plagued my life, and still do, but now when one occurs I have the memory of his remark to lift my spirits. I wish I could have met him personally to tell him of my appreciation. But now he is gone, and along with so many others my only glad feeling is that he was able to leave us peacefully and without pain. Goodbye and thank you Mr Seeger,you were of the True Vine. Rest in Peace. From your grateful admirer, Roy Harris.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Smithsonian Folkways
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 05:20 PM

For an appreciation of Mike Seeger (1933-2009), a tireless preserver, performer, and teacher of traditional music, please visit http://folkways.si.edu/explore_folkways/mike_seeger.aspx

To share your thoughts, memories, and stories, please visit the Smithsonian Folkways Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/smithsonianfolkwaysrecordings or email SmithsonianFolkways@SI.EDU


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 05:39 PM

Hi,

I only corresponded with Mike once. He was a great preserver of our American musical heritage and I have great respect for his work.

I'm wondering if there is info on the interviews/tapes he recorded. Are they still held at the University of NC?

Richie


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 05:47 PM

Here a link to an obit by my friend Paul Brown who I knew in W.S. NC. Paul knew Mike for 30 years.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111693752

Richie


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 10 Aug 09 - 07:00 PM

In his last performance in Tucson, a number of years ago, I thought he caught the essence of the instrument when he introduced a tune on the jaw harp by saying, "Now I'd like you to imagine along with me; here's [X tune]...".

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: Obit: Mike Seeger at 75
From: kytrad (Jean Ritchie)
Date: 11 Aug 09 - 08:58 PM

Today's paper announced this sad event, and I looked on Mudcat immediately but cannot find that a thread has been started as yet. We here are deeply affected, as Mike was (is) a dear friend indeed, and we're so sorry to say this goodby- and I had heard he was ill, but was expecting to hear that he had recovered. Seventy-five is TOO YOUNG to leave the world. Could some of you tell us more about this? I met Mike when he was about fourteen, knew him for so many years- the New Lost City Ramblers had several of their early meetings in our home here on L.I. I'm just not ready to give him up. Love to all, especially to Mike's nearest and dearest at this time.    Jean
Moved into existing thread. It had slipped off the page, Jean. ~JC


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: maeve
Date: 11 Aug 09 - 09:02 PM

Someone just attached your post to the original thread, Jean. Thanks to whomever took care of it.

We are sad to have lost yet another gem of a musician and person.

maeve


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 07:43 AM

A full and productive life, ended in peace and with dignity, should be celebrated rather than mourned. But still, his passing is a loss to those of us who remain. Thanks for all the music Mike.

More about him here.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/aug/10/obituary-mike-seeger

Wassail!


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: GUEST,coyote breath, cookieless again
Date: 13 Aug 09 - 11:23 AM

I can't express the fullness of my sorrow. I only met him once, a long time ago at The Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, but he was in my life as completely as if he was family and friend. His music and his mastery of the banjo was a constant inspiration as was his dedication to presenting the music and thereby the culture of rural America in as authentic manner as possible. there have been some truly gifted musicians that have come from that culture. When I remember his playing and his virtuosity on the banjo I will still find inspiration. At the risk of upsetting some others of us mudcatters, I feel that he was the best banjo player this world has ever known. He mastered an incredible variety of techniques, tunings, and music. I'd like to think that he and the Dixie Dewdrop are tuning up right now.

CB


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Smithsonian Folkways
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 10:08 AM

NPR featured The New Lost City Ramblers yesterday during All Things Considered with a piece focused on their achievements in performance, documenting, and influence on other musicians (Dylan, the Dead, Ry Cooder).

The intro to the piece also mentions the new box-set out next week, and the NPR Music site is playing the entire first-disc as part of their "first listen" series.

All Things Considered: http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=111971414


Exclusive First Listen on NPR Music: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111971414


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 11:20 AM

Oh dear.

Sandy Paton, Jim Couza, and now Mike Seeger.

Thge world is a darker, sadder place, today.

I didn't know the man, only (only !!) his music.

May the Great Mother and the All Father comfort his loved ones.

So mote it be.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: BK Lick
Date: 20 Aug 09 - 11:08 PM

Some very nice photos and video links at Down Home Radio Show.
Included are mp3s of an interview and performance at the Oberlin College Folk Festival in 2003,
as well as links to the following videos:

Talking Feet - A documentary produced by Mike Seeger on Southern buck and flat foot dancing.

Homemade American Music - "A history of rural southeastern traditional American music, as told and played by Mike Seeger and Alice Gerrard.
Mike and Alice recount their own involvment with this music, and briefly trace its history as we meet their mentors: the late Tommy Jarrell,
Lily May Ledford, Roscoe Holcomb and Elizabeth Cotten."

Film of Mike Seeger performing "Walking Boss"


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: Anglo
Date: 21 Aug 09 - 02:50 AM

I'd forgotten this, but a couple of decades ago (or more) at a Kent State Folk Festival, just for fun I entered the banjo contest. Mike Seeger beat me. Just how it should have been.

RIP, my friend Mike.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: elfcape
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 04:26 PM

Terry Gross did another reminiscence this afternoon too.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: BK Lick
Date: 25 Aug 09 - 05:22 PM

New Lost City Ramblers Look Back At 50 Years
Read it here.
Listen to (and/or download) it here.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Mike Seeger RIP (7 August 2009)
From: BK Lick
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 06:22 PM

Here's another lovely collection of photos -- these from 1977, taken by Bruce Jackson.
(Playing fiddle, autoharp, dulcimer, mouth harp, and 5-string.)


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