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Pete Seeger Biography Thread

16 Oct 01 - 01:05 PM (#573458)
Subject: Pete Seeger Biography
From: Joe Offer

Somebody posted a message in the Help Forum, suggesting a correction to our Pete Seeger Biography. I pasted the message below. Can anybody verify this, and is there any other information that should be corrected? I checked Incompleat Folksinger and Where Have All the Flowers Gone? and couldn't find full information about his family. -Joe Offer-
Subject: Wrong bio info on Pete Seeger From: Date: 15-Oct-01 - 03:25 PM

In your bio about Pete Seeger, there is an error in the sex of his reported half-siblings. The bio states "He is the youngest of three boys and also has three additional half- brothers and one half- sister." In fact, he has "three additional half-sisters (Penny (deceased), Peggy and Barbara, and one half-brother (Mike.)" His two older brothers are Charles and John.

16 Oct 01 - 11:38 PM (#573938)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger Biography
From: Peter Kasin

Joe, I know of two of his half-sisters mentioned, Penny, who( I think) was married to John Cohen of the NLCR's, and Peggy, who was married to Ewan MacColl. There's a picture of Penny posing for a family portrait photo with the other NLCR's and their wives and kids on the Rambler's album "String Band Instrumentals."


17 Oct 01 - 06:26 AM (#574052)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger Biography
From: kendall

Why not write and ask him? He answeres all letters. His address is real simple, Pete Seeger, Beacon N.Y.

17 Oct 01 - 09:40 AM (#574130)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger Biography
From: Mike Regenstreif


Your e-mail correspondant is correct. The bio is, indeed, in error.

Mike Regenstreif

05 Mar 14 - 04:51 PM (#3607511)
Subject: RE: Pete Seeger Biography
From: Joe Offer

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:
  • American Folk Songs for Children, 1948
  • Animal Folk Songs for Children, 1950
  • American Folk Songs for Christmas, 1953
Apparently, Ruth was a composer who worked in a wide spectrum of music, not only folk music.

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.