Without Pete Seeger, the American folk music movement would look very different. The son of musicologist Charles Seeger, Pete began playing banjo at an early age and then - in 1938, when he was 19 - skipped out on college to tour the American South collecting archival music with famed historian Alan Lomax. He took the lessons he learned from legacy folk music to form a group, the Almanac Singers, that honored the tradition of political singing that encouraged community involvement. After WWII and time spent in the army, Seeger formed The Weavers - a group that rose to the top of the nascent folk revival before being blacklisted and banned from television. Seeger never backed away from his political views, instead reemerging as a voice during the Vietnam conflict with songs like "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy." His many recordings for young audiences presented folk music to the next generation and introduced songs like "Down by the Riverside" into the American musical vocabulary. Seeger's own compositions - including "If I Had a Hammer," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" and "Turn! Turn! Turn!" - were borrowed by other artists for chart-topping hits and preserve his legacy as voices join in song across the country and around the world. In 2009, Pete Seeger turned 90. Having appeared onstage at the original Newport Folk Festival, along with playing a vital role (with his wife, Toshi) in the organization and production of subsequent festivals, his performances with other musicians and the crowd of fans at George Wein's Folk Festival 50 in Newport were linchpins of a successful festival weekend.
This concert was recorded live at George Wein's Folk Festival 50 in August 2009 by National Public Radio.