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March 15-16, 2007, Library of Congress, Washington, DC
The Library of Congress paid tribute to one of America's most
enduring musical legacies in a two-day celebration entitled How
Can I Keep From Singing? A Seeger Family Tribute, from March
15-16, 2007. Events included a special screening of archival
films, a symposium and a two hour concert, over the course of the
(Left to right) Peggy, Mike, and Pete Seeger
in concert at the Library of Conbress, March 16, 2007. Photo by Robert Corwin.
This site provides a document of this
historic event. All of the symposium panels and the keynote address
are available as webcasts, as is the two hour concert featuring
Pete, Mike, and Peggy Seeger along with other family members and
friends. Only the film screening, held the evening of March 15,
is not represented here. It presented footage of folk music from
around the world, documented in the 1960s by Pete Seeger, his wife
Toshi and their children. Additional resources and materials put
together for this event, such as biographical information about
the Seeger family and collections related to the Seegers in the
American Folklife Center's archive are available on this site.
Links to materials created by the Folklife Center and available
after the event, such as the articles in Folklife Center News, are
The Library's American Folklife Center and the Music Division
are home to multiple collections documenting the family's extraordinary
musical accomplishments: those of composer-musicologist Charles
Seeger; his wife Ruth Crawford Seeger, a pathbreaking modernist
composer; their children, Mike (both a collector and a celebrated
performer of old-time music) and Peggy (a singer-songwriter important
to the genre of women's music); and Charles's son, Pete, one of
the central figures in the American folksong revival.
The film screening, held the evening of March 15, is not represented
here. It is mentioned in the symposium. It presented rarely-seen
footage of folk music from around the world, documented in the
1960s by Pete Seeger, his wife Toshi and their children.
The Symposium, available here
as a set of webcasts, brought together leading scholars, cultural
figures, and musicians who have been carrying the legacy of the
Seegers forward in both performance and scholarship. It included
ethnomusicologist Tony Seeger, grandson of Charles Seeger and nephew
to Pete, Mike and Peggy. The symposium is an initiative of the
American Folklife Center and the Music
Division of the Library of Congress. The Symposium
abstracts and biographical sketches of participants are available
on this site.
The March 16 evening concert featured
Pete, Mike and Peggy, along with the Short Sisters (Fay Baird,
Kate Seeger, and Kim Wallach), Sonja Cohen Cramer, and other family
members and friends. It it is available as a two hour streaming
video with a log providing time indicators to assist in finding
individual performers and performances.
The articles in Folklife Center News are available only in PDF format. PDF
documents require the free Adobe
Center News articles related to this event:
"How Can I keep from Singing: A Seeger Family Tribute at
the Library of Congress," by James Hardin, Folklife
Center News Volume
28, #4 [Fall 2006], pp 3-10 [2.34 MB / 16 pp. PDF].
"Family Values Seeger Style," by Neil Rosenberg, Folklife
29, #1 [Winter 2007], pp. 3-11 [2.52 MB / 24 pp. PDF].
David King Dunaway, a participant in the symposium, also presented a lecture at the Library of Congress concerning his research on Pete Seeger. The webcast is available: "Force and Violins: What the FBI had on Folksingers," Benjamin Botkin Lecture Series, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, March 19, 2008.
Running time 50:11.