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Pete Seeger to the Library of Congress!

04 Mar 19 - 02:55 PM (#3980191)
Subject: Pete Seeger to the Library of Congress!
From: GUEST,David K. Dunaway

Hello all. As Pete Seeger's biographer, over the years I have donated the assorted interviews, files, and ephemera I've collected on him to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. I'm proud, though perhaps a bit unwilling, to say the last of my Seeger collection will be delivered to the Library of Congress later this year--appropriate as Seeger's centenary is this spring. These last few bits include an extensive collection of Seeger's vinyl albums and CDs, as well as personal recordings of mine dating as far back as the late 70's. My current LOC interview collection can be found on the Library of Congress website as the David Dunaway Collection of Interviews with Pete Seeger and Contemporaries.

I'll be back with more news of this transfer, as well as my plans for Pete Seeger's centenary.

04 Mar 19 - 04:37 PM (#3980206)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger to the Library of Congress!
From: GUEST,Gerry

I enjoyed reading your Seeger biography.

05 Mar 19 - 05:58 AM (#3980286)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger to the Library of Congress!
From: GUEST,Mike Yates

Excellent news. But don't tell the President. He'll only want to build a wall around that dangerous material!

05 Mar 19 - 08:23 AM (#3980303)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger to the Library of Congress!
From: GUEST,Lou Judson

Hey David, good work you do. Remember me from KPFA in the 70s? Get in touch, I'm in the Marin phone book, of you remember what that is. "-)

Lou Judson

26 Mar 19 - 02:30 PM (#3984659)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger to the Library of Congress!
From: GUEST,David K. Dunaway

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

26 Mar 19 - 08:50 PM (#3984701)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger to the Library of Congress!
From: Deckman

Keep up the good work and thank you. bob(deckman)nelson

29 Mar 19 - 01:25 PM (#3985064)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger to the Library of Congress!
From: Dorothy Parshall

Great work, David! One of the last events I attended on Whidbey Island was Pete's 90th Birthday Party at the UU Church. Full to over-flowing, and great musicians, and a big cake.

About 60 years ago I was a new student at Antioch College. I wondered what all the fuss was about. "Pete Seeger is playing in the gym today!!!!" So I heard him for the first time - whoever he was. So low key I did not really get it. Or maybe it was because he was one of us, one of the sort of people I already knew and respected so what he sang was no big surprise or shock to me as it might have been to others. 1956 or so. The world was a different place, a place I had not yet realized how much I did not fit. But I fit with Pete so I was not shocked. He was one of us. One of the leaders of "us". A good and gentle great person.