We're working on a new version of PRX. Want a sneak peek?

Piece image
Image by: Curt Koehler 

The Protest Singer: An Intimate Portrait of Pete Seeger

From: Media Mechanics
Length: 53:59

Embed_button
An exclusive interview with Pete Seeger, who turns 90 in May. (May 3rd) Program is relatively undated, referencing that Pete turns 90 "this year." Free to stations.

Pete-seeger-1_small Celebrate the 90th birthday of American icon Pete Seeger Sunday, May 3rd, with this hour-long special. In a brand new exclusive interview, Pete discusses his career, the view from 90, how music can still change the world, and his new book The Protest Singer. The book's author, The New Yorker's Alec Wilkinson, offers insights into the remarkable career of this national treasure - a man who took on red-baiters, racists, war-mongers, and polluters. There's plenty of 
music, too. Hosted by Rita Houston. Program is undated such that it can run well after May 3rd.

This is expected to be Pete Seeger's only radio interview in support of the book. Air window opens Friday, May 1.



Piece Description

Celebrate the 90th birthday of American icon Pete Seeger Sunday, May 3rd, with this hour-long special. In a brand new exclusive interview, Pete discusses his career, the view from 90, how music can still change the world, and his new book The Protest Singer. The book's author, The New Yorker's Alec Wilkinson, offers insights into the remarkable career of this national treasure - a man who took on red-baiters, racists, war-mongers, and polluters. There's plenty of 
music, too. Hosted by Rita Houston. Program is undated such that it can run well after May 3rd.

This is expected to be Pete Seeger's only radio interview in support of the book. Air window opens Friday, May 1.



4 Comments Atom Feed

User image

Vote for Pete for Nobel Peace Prize

If you haven't done this yet, go to http://www.petitionthem.com/default.asp?sect=sign&pet=3774

To sign the petition. Pete surely deserves this honor.

User image

Saint Seeger's Miracles

It's impossible to encapsulate the contribution of Pete to our culture over the past seven decades, but this show does a wonderful job trying. It mixes Pete's interview with comments by the biographer, songs by Pete sung by the man himself and by others who had "hits" and includes Springsteen's version of "Hold On" from the Seeger Sessions. Without sentimentalizing, the show pays well-earned tribute to a central figure in the American folk music.

Pete's centrality to the promotion and propagation of folk music has been claimed by many, in long academic diatribes and show magazine articles. This show shows and tells the story as well as it can be done in an hour. It includes many of the standards and some of the more obscure details from this adventure. I'll be using this show in my college course "20th Century American Folk Music."

Caption: PRX default User image

A really engaging hour of musical (re-) discovery.

Well, I thought I knew Pete Seeger. Was I ever wrong.
This was a pleasant surprise on so many levels.
Far more than a conversation with a great American musical innovator, this is a gorgeously produced treat for the ears…and the space between.
In addition to the priceless interview with Seeger, himself, this program artfully weaves together analysis from Seeger biographer Alec Wilkinson plus several classic interpretations of Seeger’s contributions to the musical canon (such as the Byrds’ rendition of “Turn, Turn, Turn”, the Kingston Trio’s “Where Have all the Flowers Gone?”, and Springsteen’s “Eyes on the Prize”, to name a few). Engaging, entertaining, educational.
From the subject per se, to the excellent hosting by Rita Houston, to the first-class production values-- it is hard to think of a music special more in sync with the core values of public radio. This is the kind of thoughtful music special that touches both head and heart; the kind of special that listeners appreciate. Perfect for weekend programming.
(If I had any complaint, it’s that the billboard doesn’t do the program justice. In my opinion, it’s far too modest.)
This is an hour of great storytelling. Great narrative arc. Great music. Great radio.
Congrats to all involved.

See all 4 comments >>

Timing and Cues

BILLBOARD
00:00 IN: (music) "This is the protest…"
00:59 OUT: "…continues after this." (music cold)

SEGMENT ONE
00:00 IN: (music fade in) "I thought old people were…"
13:13 OUT: "…Pete Seeger. I'm Rita Houston." (cold)

13:13-14:12 instrumental bed music

SEGMENT TWO
00:00 IN: "This is the Protest Singer…"
22:52 OUT: "…portrait of Pete Seeger" (cold)

22:52-23:51 instrumental bed music

SEGMENT THREE
00:00 IN: "Welcome Back. I'm Rita Houston…"
14:53 OUT: "…thanks for listening" (music cold)

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
Turn! Turn! Turn! The Byrds Turn! Turn! Turn!. Sony 1965 03:49
Goodnight, Irene The Weavers The Best of the Decca Years. Geffen 1996 03:22
Literacy Test Song Pete Seeger Gazette, vol.2. Folkways 1958 01:32
Where Have All The Flowers Gone Kingston Trio Capitol Collector's Series. Capitol 1990 03:03
Waist Deep In The Big Muddy Pete Seeger Waist Deep In The Big Muddy and Other Love Songs. Sony 1967 02:54
God Bless The Grass Pete Seeger God Bless The Grass. Sony 1966 02:01
Eyes On The Prize Bruce Springsteen We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions. 2006 05:13