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Seeger genealogy

18 Sep 98 - 05:24 AM (#38521)
Subject: Seeger geneology
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au

For a good many years I have been running into various Seegers. There is Pete, Toshi, Peggy and Mike.

Can anyone tell me how they are related to each other?

Thanks

Murray


18 Sep 98 - 08:29 AM (#38525)
Subject: RE: Seeger geneology
From: Zorro

Mike is Pete's younger brother. Peggy is a sister.(I think) and isn't Toschi Pete's wife?


18 Sep 98 - 04:09 PM (#38549)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: Joe Offer

Let's see what I can dig up:
Pete Seeger was born in New York May 3, 1919, the son of violinist Constance DeClyvver Edson (1886-1975) and ethnomusicologist/composer/teacher Charles Louis Seeger (1886-1978). Pete is the nephew of the poet Alan Seeger.
Charles Louis Seeger was later married to Ruth Crawford Seeger, best known for her book, American Folksongs For Children (1948). Charles and Ruth were the parents of Mike Seeger (born in New York August 15,1933) and Margaret (Peggy) Seeger (born in New York June 17, 1935). In 1957, Peggy became the second (possibly third) wife of Ewan MacColl (1915-1989).
Here's what Pete says about Toshi in his book Where Have All the Flowers Gone(1993):
Before I went overseas, though, the main event for me in 1943 was getting married to Toshi-Aline Ohta, age 21. We'd met a few years earlier in New York when square dancing, found we had much in common. Her parents were both extraordinary people. We were all very close. Her mother, descended from Old Virginny (slave owners), had declared her independence from that racist part of her tradition, moved to Greenwich Village, married a Japanese who was in political exile, as militarists were taking over his homeland. He did important and dangerous work for the U.S. Army in WWII.
On my first furlough Toshi and I made it legal. Daily letters flew back and forth between us for three and a half years. Hooray for the U.S. Army postal system.
Nice story, isn't it?
Another interesting connection - Bernice Johnson Reagon (Sweet Honey in the Rock and SNCC Freedom Singers) named her daughter Toshi Reagon after Toshi Seeger.
-Joe Offer-


18 Sep 98 - 08:27 PM (#38561)
Subject: RE: Seeger geneology
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au

Thanks for that. All of the Seegers I know of seem to be of the same generation. Are there any next generation Seegers in music?

Murray


18 Sep 98 - 10:16 PM (#38567)
Subject: RE: Seeger geneology
From: Barry Finn

Yes, there's at least one Seeger in the next generation, she used to sing some solo & with the Short Sisters in the Boston area, don't know if she's still around here, haven't been out for awhile. Barry


23 Sep 98 - 12:53 AM (#39060)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: Joe Offer

You can access biographies of a number of musicians from our Mudcat Home Page, www.mudcat.org
Click here to get to the biography of Pete Seeger.
-Joe Offer-


23 Sep 98 - 05:29 AM (#39077)
Subject: RE: Seeger geneology
From: Martin Ryan

I recently had some gracious correspondence from Peggy Seeger - I'm hoping to record one of Ewan McColl's unpublished songs (see "Girls of Dublin City" in DT). She's very much alive and kicking, with lots of projects on the go. Hopes to publish "The Complete Ewan McColl Songbook" next year!

Regards

Incidentally, she tells me that McColl called the song "Ten Young Women and One Young Man"! I'm not sure how I ended up with the other title!


23 Sep 98 - 06:58 AM (#39085)
Subject: RE: Seeger geneology
From: Dani

If memory serves, it is a nephew of Pete's who serves with the Smithsonian in a not-unmusically-related ethnobiologist-type function. Is that qualified enough? I could look it up for you. His name is Anthony, I think.


23 Sep 98 - 07:49 AM (#39086)
Subject: RE: Seeger geneology
From: murray@mpce.mq.edu.au

Thanks for reminding me about the biographies, Joe. I have my bookmark set to the forum these days and I tend to forget the other Mudcat goodies.

Dani, I am interested in the fact that there is a nephew working in ethnology; but since he doesn't perform, you don't have to look for his name, as there will be no albums to search out.

Murray


23 Sep 98 - 05:03 PM (#39127)
Subject: RE: Seeger geneology
From: Animaterra

Kate Seeger is still a Short Sister and they're still around, tho they were on sabbatical last year, I believe. I'm very lucky to count another Short Sister, Kim Wallach, as a friend, colleague, and morris-dancing-team-mate!


24 Sep 98 - 12:49 AM (#39186)
Subject: RE: Seeger geneology
From: Charlie Baum

Charles Seeger (the musicologist) had a brother John, who was, among other things, head of the Fieldston School in The Bronx, New York, and ran Camp Killoleet in Vermont. John's progeny (who are therefore cousins to Pete, Mike and Peggy) include Anthony Seeger, who is the head of Smithsonian/Folkways, and Kate Seeger, who is one of the Short Sisters.

I believe that Tao Rodriguez, who performed with Pete Seeger a few years ago, is Pete's grandson. Also in the next generation of Seegers: Peggy Seeger married Ewan MacColl, and their sons Calum MacColl and Neill MacColl have been known to perform as well.


24 Sep 98 - 05:23 PM (#39246)
Subject: RE: Seeger geneology
From: RayBanks

Peggy Seeger's daughter Kirsty MacColl is a pretty well known singer as well! Ray


24 Sep 98 - 09:47 PM (#39287)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Ray - Kirsty is the daughter of Ewan MacColl's first wife, and she has had some hateful things to say about being thought of as Peggy's daughter. She made it very clear that she was not Peggy's daughter.
-Joe Offer-


24 Sep 98 - 11:53 PM (#39305)
Subject: RE: Seeger geneology
From: Pete Peterson

Whoops-- it didn't post. (wasn't that what Squeaky Fromme said?) Try again. I'm surprised nobody has yet mentioned the other two children of Charles and Ruth Crawford Seeger-- they are Penny, (now, sadly, passed on) who had been married to John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers, and Barbara. Couple years ago at Phila Folk Festival I saw Pete, Peggy and Barbara (and I think some from the next generation!)sharing a stage. Mike, Peggy, Penny and Barbara recorded some of their mother's American Folk Songs for Children on the Folkways record of that name, about 1955. Loned my copy out some years ago-- mistake! PETE


25 Sep 98 - 03:15 AM (#39319)
Subject: RE: Seeger geneology
From: skw@

Actually, Kirsty must be the daughter of Ewan's second wife. His first wife was the director Joan Littlewood. They had no children, but Joan has some things to say about him in her autobiography 'Joan's Book'. She also writes at length and very interestingly about her work in experimental theatre - just in case someone's interested. I'm sorry but the name of her theatre escapes me just now. - Susanne


25 Sep 98 - 06:24 AM (#39327)
Subject: RE: Seeger geneology
From: jester@buncombe.main.nc.us

Just to add to the mess...Pete has a ...nephew, I believe, named Nick Seeger. Nick played around New England and the mid Atlantic states as I recall. I have one old album of his, on Biograph, I think. "Sail on, Flying Dutchman" was the titile. I heard he had a kids album, but haven't heard much about him in years.

Peggy Seeger plays out occasionally in Asheville N.C., where she lives. Used to live across the street and a few houses up, although I've not met her.


25 Sep 98 - 11:15 AM (#39347)
Subject: RE: Seeger geneology
From: Dani

Tao is indeed Pete's grandson. It was my great pleasure to hear them sing together several times. Tao has a gorgeous and powerful voice, which can be heard on the album (at least I think it's) More Together Again. He sings a song called Solo Le Pido A Dios. Wish he'd do some more singing!!


25 Sep 98 - 07:35 PM (#39406)
Subject: RE: Seeger geneology
From: Roger Himler

Peggy is still actively singing and writing. I met her recently at the Common Ground on the Hill music get-together in my home town of Westminster.

Peggy has re-patriated to Ashville and it seems she is planning to become more involved as a performer here in the states. She will be playing in Baltimore at the Coffeehouse at Mays Chapel later in this season. Coincidentally, Mike Seeger is there tonight. I'm too sick to go, too bad!

Roger in Baltimore


22 Feb 03 - 03:10 PM (#896054)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: GUEST,hgrrl

well...Allison, I just went ot a harmony workshop with Kate Seeger, Kim Wallach and Faye Baird. We had lots of fun! Tonight is their concert!


22 Feb 03 - 03:30 PM (#896067)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: Rick Fielding

We have a wonderful urn made by Tinya Seeger. Cost a lot less than the ones that Michael Jackson bought.

Cheers

Rick


22 Feb 03 - 03:48 PM (#896081)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: Amos

Tony Seeger -- perhaps the Anthony mentioned above -- is a next generation banjo player about in his late 50's now I would imagine. Went to school with him back in the early Sixties in Vermont. Looked an awful lot like Pete, although less rail-shaped. I saw him once after that at a party in NYC and haven't heard from him since.

A


22 Feb 03 - 10:41 PM (#896307)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: Art Thieme

I believe I heard that Tony is in Texas now----or was it California? That's it, somewhere near L. A.

Art Thieme


23 Feb 03 - 05:36 AM (#896499)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: banjomad (inactive)

Kirsty MacColl was the daughter of Ewan's second wife Jean Newlove,
ergo Peggy was Ewan's third wife. Interestingly Peggy had a ' marriage of convenience ' to Alex Campbell, she did this so she could legally enter the UK.
Dave


23 Feb 03 - 10:10 AM (#896589)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: sheila

banjomad - I understood, from what Alex told me back in the 60s, that the marriage was so that Peggy could STAY in the UK, rather than ENTER.


23 Feb 03 - 11:24 AM (#896630)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: Uncle_DaveO

Last May I attended Banjo Camp North, in Massachusetts, and both Peggy and Mike Seeger were on the faculty. I attended every one of Peggy's classes, much to my joy.   She's not only a wonderful performer, but she's a wise woman and a great teacher. And a genuinely nice person.

Dave Oesterreich


23 Feb 03 - 11:46 AM (#896645)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: Michael S

Art is correct about Tony Seeger. He left Smithsonian Folkways and moved on to UCLA as an academic ethnomusicologist. I assume he's still there, but have no knowledge one way or the other.

Sadly, Ewan's daughter Kirsty MacColl (not a Seeger), was killed in December 2000. She was swimming off the coast of Mexico when she was hit by a speedboat which, as I understood things, was in an area reserved for swimmers. Her two children were with her, but were not hurt. It's one of those really ghastly stories. Kirsty had a number of pop hits and had recorded the CD Tropical Brainstorm, influenced by Cuban music and very much a pop record, shortly before her death.

Peace,
Michael


23 Feb 03 - 02:00 PM (#896736)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko

I may be very wrong on this, but I seem to remember hearing that Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl were never officially married. Can anyone shed some light on this?

Also, Penny's daughter Sonya Cohen sang in a duo called Last Forever.


23 Feb 03 - 03:13 PM (#896794)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: georgeward

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned The Mammals, the currently very active trio of Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, Ruth Ungar (daughter of Jay Unger and Lyn Hardy) and Michael Merenda.


05 May 08 - 11:58 AM (#2333334)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: GUEST,David S.

Re: Nick Seeger

Just wanted to add these two cents...The last time I saw Nick Seeger was when I hired him to perform at the Bacchus Room Coffeehouse at the University of Delaware during the 1977-78 school year. He and his wife arrived, did a few promos around campus, and did a Saturday night show for a decent sized crowd. The Seegers were nice people and enjoyed staying on campus. I still have his autographed copy of "Sail on Flying Dutchman" and would have liked to have had him back had circumstances not changed.

Dave Stephens


05 May 08 - 01:04 PM (#2333386)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: open mike

Here are some sites to look at for more information..what a family!
www.peteseeger.net , www.mikeseeger.info , www.pegseeger.com
http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAseeger.htm
http://www.mudcat.org/pete.cfm
http://www.realpeoplesmusic.com/performers/peggy/index.htm
www.themammals.net
www.ethnomusic.ucla.edu/people/seeger.htm
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Cotten
www.mudcat.org/cotton.cfm
folkus.org/fof/libba.html
efolkmusic.org/ArtMusic/ViewArtist.asp?AID=886
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Seeger
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Crawford_Seeger
www.killooleet.com/
http://www.shortsisters.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Lost_City_Ramblers


06 Aug 08 - 05:45 PM (#2407014)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: GUEST,jedurbin

I was friends with Nick Seeger around 1967/68 through a friend of mine and his, Rob Sutherland, in Austin Texas. We would have been around 16 or 17 then. I recall discussing his uncle Pete and his life in the Netherlands -- Nicky looked the part at the time with his blond bowl hair cut and rosy cheeks. At the time I knew he was interested in music and played guitar but didn't know he would try to make a career of it. Interesting to hear what became of him after we lost touch.


06 Aug 08 - 06:32 PM (#2407062)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: GUEST,MAG at work

Another wrinkle to add: there is a Laura Seeger who does children's books. When asked, she said Pete was an uncle of her husband's.


06 Aug 08 - 06:58 PM (#2407082)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: GUEST,guy Wolff On Lap top

I had the great fun of playing a concert in the Bridgwater Ct Congregational church a year or two ago and after I played a banjo tune this nice older man leaned over and said "Cant you get the rest of the band to smile". Then he said "I have two brothers who play banjo ." Yep it was John Seeger Pete's older brother .. (I think older) He said that Pete and Peggy and Mike had come to his wife's funeral that year and they all sang up a storm ... Interesting family with quite a connection to Harvard I heard ..
         I also heard Pete's daughter is a potter and member of the great group of potters called Potters For Peace who are doing a lot to make water filters for farmers in Central America ..


All the best to all here Guy


07 Aug 08 - 03:05 AM (#2407302)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: GUEST,Gerry

Ten years ago in this thread Charlie Baum wrote, "Charles Seeger (the musicologist) had a brother John, who was, among other things, head of the Fieldston School in The Bronx, New York," but I think that John was (is?) Pete Seeger's brother, not Charles'. Also, I think John was the head of the elementary school in the Fieldston system, not Fieldston itself (which ran from grades 7 through 12).


07 Aug 08 - 03:09 AM (#2407304)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: Dave Hanson

After Ewans death Peggy published ' The Essential Ewan MacColl Songbook ' and dedicated it to Kirsty MacColl.

eric


07 Aug 08 - 09:08 AM (#2407504)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: GUEST,Golightly

Just to tidy up a loose end earlier in this thread, I think Ewan MacColl's first wife Joan Littlewood's experimental theatre company was called the Theatre Workshop and was highly respected.


07 Aug 08 - 09:55 PM (#2408099)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: Charley Noble

Golightly-

Was the Theatre Workshop related to the Unity Theatre or were they separate entities?

Charley Noble


08 Aug 08 - 04:53 AM (#2408239)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: GUEST,Golightly

Hi Charley,

I'm really no expert, just vague memories from my English Lit degree, but I think Theatre Workshop developed from another political theatre organisation called Theatre Union. Although they sound similar and possibly shared the same ethos, I don't think there's a specific link with Unity Theatre.

Apologies to everyone else for going off-topic, especially as I'm a guest.


08 Aug 08 - 10:09 AM (#2408391)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: Jim Carroll

"Was the Theatre Workshop related to the Unity Theatre or were they separate entities"
Totally separate; Unity came into being around 1936, developing from an earlier amateur group called Rebel Players; Theatre Workshop didn't arrive on the scene till 1945.
There's an excellent and very readable book entitled 'The Story of Unity Theatre' by Colin Chambers (pub. Lawrence and Wishart 1989). My paperback copy has a marvelous photograph on the cover of a production of the play 'Plant in The Sun' (1938); the cast included Paul Robeson and Alfie Bass.
Jim Carroll


04 Nov 08 - 04:35 PM (#2484868)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: GUEST,RE: Nick Seeger

I met Nick Seeger at Franklin Pierce College Ridge New Hampshire November 1976. He was there for some "coffee house" music. I helped him unload his car and setup. He just picked up his album "Sail on Flying Dutchman" I bought the first copy of his album and he autographed it "Thanks Nick Seeger #1". I would like to get in touch with him......

Any one have any clues to help me.
Robert Moran
rmoran@reagleins.com

Thanks!


14 Aug 09 - 01:21 AM (#2699960)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: GUEST

Re: The Mammals

Sorry, I'm a guest, but I wanted to state on this thread that Tao Rodriguez-Seeger is the grandson of Pete & Toshi Seeger. He's very talented, part of a trio called the Mammals along with Ruth Ungar & Michael Merenda.

Even though the cover 'Solo le pido a Dios' has been out for more than a few years, it's still a very simple, but amazingly beautiful song. I hope to see them perform live soon.

BTW, thanks for the Seeger fix .


14 Aug 09 - 06:01 AM (#2700056)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: GUEST,MtheGM

I recommend, to readers of, and contributors to, this thread, Peggy's Introduction to Ewan MacColl's posthumous autobiography 'Journeyman' [London: Sidgwick & Jackson 1990], which will cast a fair bit of light on various topics raised - as indeed will the book itself. In my review for The Times of 16 March 1991, I described this as "her loving, but clear-eyed warts-and-all introduction". Having just reread, inspired by this thread, I would stand by that description.


14 Aug 09 - 06:26 AM (#2700069)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

I agree with MGM but Ben Harker's biography of MacColl, Class Act, is even more revealing of MacColl.
Derek Schofield


14 Aug 09 - 06:33 AM (#2700074)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: GUEST,MurkeyChris

Another generation on, both of Niell MacColl's sons (and therefore Peggy Seegar and Ewan MacColl's grandsons) are in indie bands - Jamie in the excellent Bombay Bicycle Club and Tom in Lo-Fi Culture Scene.

http://www.myspace.com/bombaybicycleclub
http://www.myspace.com/theloficulturescene

Chris


14 Aug 09 - 09:56 AM (#2700178)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: GUEST,MtheGM

Indeed, Derek — but Ben Harker's book on Ewan hasn't that much to say about Peggy, the part-subject of this thread.


14 Aug 09 - 10:54 AM (#2700213)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: Jim Carroll

Both books have their merits, but neither got it quite right.
Journeyman was Ewan at his most human (particularly the section about his youth). Class act was an outsider's-eye-view.
I made four pages of notes while reading Class Act - mostly of factual inaccuracies - almost as disappointingly axe-grinding as the review in Folk Song Journal.
Jim Carroll


14 Aug 09 - 01:04 PM (#2700270)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: GUEST,Peter Cox

Note that there's a new version of Journeyman coming out in the Autumn, published by MUP and re-edited down by Ted Power from the (substantially larger) original manuscript that Ewan left. It'll have a new intro by Peggy, and will be launched at a concert in Salford on Oct 27 with Peggy Seeger and others.

Comment on a previous post. Theatre Workshop is described as 'Joan Littlewood's'. It was in truth Joan's AND Ewan's [and all the other participants - it aws a cooperative]: he wrote and adapted plays, and acted in them, and she directed. They began it together in 1945, and Ewan only left after they settled in East London in 1952, though he still worked with them for a spell. Theatre Workshop came out of two other experimental theatre groups they began in Manchester before the war - Theatre of Action, then Theatre Union. Theatre Union was raided by the Special Branch and closed down in May 1940.


15 Aug 09 - 06:11 AM (#2700793)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

Jim Carroll wrote:
I made four pages of notes while reading Class Act - mostly of factual inaccuracies - almost as disappointingly axe-grinding as the review in Folk Song Journal.

I assume Jim means the Folk Music Journal (FMJ).
I wrote the review in the FMJ which was highly complimentary about both the book and MacColl.
Not sure which axes I was grinding - but would love to see your list of inaccuracies in the book Jim.
Derek


15 Aug 09 - 05:19 PM (#2701199)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: Stringsinger

Pete's son Danny is a delightful guy. I met him in L.A. He was interested in movie-making
but I remember Pete telling me that he got into computers. I loved his enthusiasm.

Haven't heard about Mika and Tinya but I remember them as very little.


17 Aug 09 - 02:16 PM (#2702363)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: GUEST,MtheGM

Much detail of Peggy's early relationship with Ewan MacColl, & of her marriage-of-convenience in Paris to Alex Campbell to get back into UK when her visa had run out, refd to some posts back, will be found in Peter Cox's recent book about the BBC 50s-60s Radio Ballads, Set Into Song: for details, google www.setintosong.co.uk . Well worth reading for much about Peggy, as well as of that superb BBC project with which she was so intimately involved.


18 Jan 10 - 11:27 AM (#2814956)
Subject: RE: Seeger genealogy
From: GUEST,Guest

John Seeger, Pete's brother, and son of Charles and Constance Seeger, passed away on January 10, 2010.