Thursday, July 19, 2012

Podcast Pick: Pete Seeger in His Own Words

Here's the Podcast Pick of the Week from WNYC, an interview with Pete Seeger, a Rights Readers favorite (see The Protest Singer).

Pete plugs a new collection of his published articles, letters, drafts and notes edited by Rob and Sam Rosenthal, Pete Seeger: His Life in His Own Words and once he gets warmed up he has some stories to tell. You've probably heard about the centennial of Woody Guthrie's birth a few days back and of course interviewer Brian Lehrer asks about working with Guthrie. Pete also recommends a favorite magazine, Orion which reminded me that I had not checked in with this great source of inspiration for the environmental movement in a while. A sampler of things I enjoyed at the site: a visual ode to meaningful trees, Draw me a Tree, a poem Cherries, Luis Alberto Urrea (an author we should explore together) reading an eloquent column on respecting migrations from all directions, a critique of the current state of environmental education. And just to bring things back around, Alec Wilkinson, author of The Protest Singer has a piece in Orion about an Iranian scientist who is helping to diversify the fruit farms of Idaho and writes in The New Yorker about Pete Seeger: His Life in His Own Words and singing with Pete today,
Then the microphones broke down. Seeger managed to have everyone sing a song with him by repeating the words to the people in the front row who could hear him, then having them repeat them for the people in the back. His voice was wobbly and not very loud but passionate. The halting quality of the lines, passed from one group of people to another, made them seem as if they were part of a protest song that was too dangerous to sing all at once. 
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