Pete Seeger

Learn how and why Seeger went from the top of the charts to the top of the blacklist

Monday, August 29, 2011

Watch the full episode. See more American Masters.

Largely misunderstood by his critics, including the U.S. government, for his views on peace, civil rights and ecology, folk singer and songwriter Pete Seeger went from the top of the hit parade to the top of the blacklist—banned from commercial television for more than 17 years.

Learn more about Seeger in an encore presentation of American Masters’ “Pete Seeger: The Power of Song.” Seeger wrote many of America’s best known folk songs, including “Where Have All The Flowers Gone,” “If I Had A Hammer,” “Turn Turn Turn” and “Wimoweh.”

Born in 1919 to music professors whose families traced their ancestry back to the Mayflower, Seeger attended Harvard for two years before leaving. In 1942, he was drafted into the Army, and before shipping out, Seeger married Toshi-Aline Ohta, the daughter of a Japanese exile of noble descent and an American woman from an old Virginia family.

Seeger’s long career earned him a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993 and an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

American Masters’ “The Power of Song” with Pete Seeger airs tonight at 9/8 pm CT on KET.

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