Folk Heroes: Woody and Pete
The Almanac Singers: From left: Woody Guthrie, Millard Lampell, Bess Hawes, Pete Seeger, Arthur Stern, Sis Cunningham circa 1941
“You know, there are different kinds of refugees. There are people who are forced to take refuge under a railroad bridge because they ain’t got noplace to go, and there are those who take refuge in public office …” - Woody Guthrie
Two of the most influential singer/songwriters in American folk music joined forces in 1940. A young Harvard drop-out by the name of Pete Seeger was working at the Archives of American Folk Music in New York and playing his banjo at political gatherings. At a benefit concert for migrant workers Pete Seeger met Woody Guthrie. Not long after that first meeting the two formed the Almanac Singers along with Millard Lampell, Bess Hawes, Arthur Stern, and Sis Cunningham.
The impression that these two heroes of the common folk have left on American music (and the American conscience) will be felt for many generations. Just this year Bruce Springsteen released a tribute to Pete Seeger entitled We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions which has sold 600,000 copies since it's release this past April.
A song from Pete and a couple tributes to these American folk heroes.