Sunday, 20 December 2009

How Can I Keep from Singing?: The Ballad of Pete Seeger

by David King Dunaway

Dylan's departure from the folk music community might have affected Seeger less had it not opened a floodgate of recriminations. A Sing Out! forum on topical song produced unexpectedly bitter responses: Pete's brother-in-law Ewan MacColl (Peggy Seeger's husband) wrote, "The folk magazines seem to compete with each other in the hunt for superlatives with which to describe Bobby [Dylan] and Phil [Ochs] and Tom [Paxton] and Peter [Seeger] and all the rest of the mostest, bestest, youngest and newest." (These were strong words, from a member of the family.) Then, a community organizer and poet, Don West, called Seeger a publicity-seeking hero.

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