On another but related topic re: Peter Seeger ...
As the tribute SeegerFest is about to start in NYC at the Lincoln
Centre - a free concert BTW - I thought folks might like to know about
Camden folk singer reveals lost reel to reel tapes of unheard Pete
Published: 30 January, 2014
EXCLUSIVE by DAN CARRIER
A RECORDING of folk musician Pete Seeger jamming and singing that has
not been heard for 50 years has surfaced in a private collection.
Bob Davenport retrieved the reel-to-reel tapes of himself singing
alongside Mr Seeger after hearing of his old friend?s death on
The tapes will give folk singer Mr Seeger?s many fans a chance to
finally hear a seven-track session that has never before been given a
public airing, a treat described last night (Wednesday) as an
important find in musical history.
Mr Seeger had recorded the songs with Mr Davenport after inviting him
to his barn studio in New York state in 1963. The pair had met at The
Troubadour, a folk club in South Kensington during a visit to London
by Mr Seeger the previous year.
He was mourned this week for the campaigning spirit he put into his work.
The unheard performances include a song that Mr Seeger says on the
tape he thinks should be played at atheists funerals.
The recordings have now been converted to more modern formats by Mr Davenport.
The session was never released and the pair made it solely for fun as
they jammed together. We spent time jamming and recording and for
years after I kept the session we made, Mr Davenport said.
He recalled how their friendship began: ?He heard me sing and we spoke
afterwards. Later, he asked if I'd like to come and stay with him in,
and perform at the Newport Jazz Festival of 1963 with him.
Mr Seeger was living in an area called Beacon, along the Hudson River
in New York and Mr Davenport stayed there for a month with Mr Seeger's
wife Toshi. It was during this time that the reel-to-reel tapes were
recorded. Poignantly, one of the tracks has Bob and Pete chatting and
Mr Seeger reveals the song, which has no musical accompaniment.
Mr Davenport, who was also friends with Bob Dylan and is a key figure
in the British folk movement, said: ?I really came of age when I
stayed with Pete. We sung together and I did some guest appearances at
his solo concerts too.
Mr Seeger, whose hits include Where Have All The Flowers Gone?, If I
Had A Hammer and Turn! Turn! Turn! was 94 when he died this week. He
played a role in the Civil Rights Movement, campaigned for nuclear
disarmament, publicised environmental issues and dedicated his music
to the causes he believed in.
He had been blacklisted from working during the McCarthy period in the
US and when Camden fans heard of his plight they set up the Pete
Seeger Committee to offer financial aid. Mr Davenport and other folk
singers organised benefit gigs under the auspices of the Pete Seeger
Committee, which was based in South End Green. One concert took place
in a garden at 25 Elsworthy Road, Primrose Hill, with tickets costing
five shillings and those attending told to bring something to sit on.
Mr Davenport still has a letter from the committee, whose president
was Paul Robeson, saying they raised more than ?100. Composer Benjamin
Britten, MP Tom Driberg, trumpeter Humphrey Lyttelton and author Doris
Lessing sponsored the event.
Mr Seeger came to say thank-you to his English friends in 1964,
playing at Cecil Sharp House in Primrose Hill and at the Regent Rooms
next door to Camden Town tube station, where the Electric Ballroom now
Folk music expert Malcom Taylor, who is the librarian at Cecil Sharp
House in Primrose Hill, said: ?Often, people who lived through the
period did not realise how important at the time their work would be
in the future. This is really iconic and the Newport festivals was
where Bob Dylan emerged and was before folk fragmented.
Folk singer Eliza Carthy said the idea of Bob and Pete meeting and
jamming was something anyone who loved folk would want to hear. The
award-winning singer and violin player said: It is extraordinarily
exciting. To find some?thing like this is so special.
Bob is such a folk raconteur, a really intellectually interesting
person in folk music circles. I can imagine what it would have been
like, out there in a barn in the woods, with Bob and Pete together.
She added: A lot of folk sessions of this type were never recorded.
People feel very different about things today, musicians are very
concerned with what they are doing and their legacy. The point of the
folk scene back then was passing on songs, passing on information from
musician to musician?
Sadly the said reel-reel tapes have disappeared back into this private
collection and will likely not be released or available to the public.
Being 50 years old they must be reaching an end of life state. And the
digital versions on CD-R will last even less. So effectively the
recordings are already lost.
On 21/07/2014, CJB <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Brilliant Steve. Thank you very much indeed, especially since you
> missed your Blugrass programme. Will they repeat the latter?
> I managed to get a video stream of SeegerFest which lasted for a full
> 5 seconds before stalling and hanging my pc. I also tried to cap
> SeegerFest with DAR.fm but it failed completely. I am still at a loss
> as to why they didn't offer an audio-only stream.
> BTW it is very sad that the BBC have shown no interest whatsoever in
> Pete Seeger either during his life and after his passing. All they did
> earlier this year was to air an old concert from the 1970s.
> However DAR.fm could have capped the Bluegrass stream or any other
> radio stream for that matter!!
> Chris B.
> On 20/07/2014, CJB <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> If anyone is capping the Seeger Fest - please may I have a copy -
>> audio &/or video.
>> Many thanks - Chris B.
>> On 20/07/2014, Steve Ramm <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> Note that Jay left an extra "space" before the "b" - It's
>>> _Bluegrass Country_ (http://bluegrasscountry.org/)
>>> Hoping to record it if Seeger Fest is over by 7pm (it should be)
>>> How long is interview Jay?
>>> In a message dated 7/19/2014 6:47:41 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
>>> [log in to unmask] writes:
>>> To listen to the interview you must be on www. bluegrasscountry.org