Apr 25, 2019
By Valerie Massie
‘Legendary’ and ‘icon’ are over-used terms, and have become watered-down. So, I’m at a loss for words to properly introduce Pete Seeger. For he was certainly a ‘legendary icon’ in the truest sense. The classic songs he wrote became major hits for others during the counter-culture decade of the Sixties – influencing future generations. Songs like ‘If I Had a Hammer’, ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone’, ‘Turn Turn Turn’, and others. But Seeger’s influence was, and is still, felt beyond the music charts. He was a passionate crusader for workers’ rights, civil rights, the peace movement, and the environment – using his voice and acoustic guitar to move hearts, minds, and feet.
Next week (May 3rd) marks the 100th anniversary of Seeger’s birth. I’m proud to honour his memory – with important selections from his 8-decade career – from the labour movement in the 40s and his struggles during the 50s blacklist, to his re-emergence as a ‘pied piper’ for the folk-rock era, and even songs from his final years – which may just move you to tears. He died at 95, and this Sunday, we’ll remember him.
Fellow folk singer, Judy Collins, also has a landmark birthday, turning 80. She was important in helping the early careers of several Canadian writers from Leonard Cohen to Joni Mitchell. ‘Sweet Judy Blue Eyes’ dropped into Zoomer Radio a few years ago for a visit – here’s our photo. Our year-long spotlight on ‘the greatest groups of our time – in alphabetical order’ moves into the letter ‘F’ – for Fleetwood Mac – with three of their best songs. And, of course each week’s ‘Vintage Favourites’ program now starts with our new feature ‘The Fabulous Fifties – and Beyond’ from 2-3pm. So, please join me Sunday (April 28th) for the next ‘Vintage Favourites’.