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#2490265 - 05/03/13 08:13 AM Happy Birthday, Pete!
whitefang Offline
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On the day folk singer/songwriter/legend/icon PETE SEEGER turns 94, it should be noted that he also was a huge influence on many inspiring young guitar jockeys in his time. Fred C, who has a thread noting his 50th year of playing guitar pointed out that he started out as a "folkie", and I have no doubt that Pete was a large part of that early interest, as he was for me. Those who saw him cut off mid song on "The Smothers Brothers Show" managed to be inspired by his courage and strength of his convictions. The whole "protest" thing wasn't a trend for him, it was his way of life.

He has much to be admired for, and I wish him a peaceful, and warm birthday.
Whitefang
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#2490277 - 05/03/13 08:41 AM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: whitefang]
Fred_C Offline
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Loc: PA
[quote=whitefang. Fred C, who has a thread noting his 50th year of playing guitar pointed out that he started out as a "folkie", and I have no doubt that Pete was a large part of that early interest, as he was for me.
He has much to be admired for, and I wish him a peaceful, and warm birthday.
Whitefang [/quote]

Yep! When I was 13, there used to be this Sunday night radio show called "Folklore". It was on WHAT FM which was a black soul station most of the time. I used to sit in the kitchen and listen on a table radio. Heard a lot of Pete's stuff. As I recall, he played more 5 string banjo than guitar, although his guitar solo "Whistlin' in the Country" was one of the first finger style guitar solos I learned as a young boy.

I just remembered, Pete's The Folksinger's Guitar Guide was the second instructional book I ever owned (my first guitar teacher took me through Mel Bay Book I a little earlier.)

94!! Happy B'day, Pete!


Edited by Fred_C (05/03/13 09:11 AM)
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#2490384 - 05/03/13 03:55 PM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: Fred_C]
desertbluesman Offline
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Happy Birthday Pete Seeger. An absolute folkie Icon. One of the all time greats of that musical genre.
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#2490482 - 05/04/13 07:23 AM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: desertbluesman]
whitefang Offline
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Yeah, Fred, I first SAW Seeger on the old "Hootenanny" TV show on ABC, I believe, hosted by Jack Linkletter( son of Art)in the early '60's. My step sister, her of the widely eclectic record collection, had several old "Weavers" platters featuring Pete as lead vocalist. WXYZ radio, in Detroit, used to have a folk music show at 11:00pm Sunday nights called "Michigan Movin'" that featured folk music and played a lot of Seeger's recordings.
Whitefang
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#2490539 - 05/04/13 11:24 AM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: whitefang]
picker Offline
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The Big Muddy
I saw this when it aired. It's a bit of a legendary piece...
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#2490554 - 05/04/13 01:35 PM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: picker]
Phloid Offline
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Registered: 07/10/11
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Somehow I think folk music is what children should be brought up on and naturally gravitate to on the healthy side. It is gentle, melodic and friendly. Even though the lyrics might speak of protest and revolution it focuses on a need for change. Kids don't pay attention to lyrics but it is an intro to deeper meanings possible in music. Then there is also the Puff The Magic Dragon side. The current heavy beat/pop that overtakes kids elicits the lowest common denominator.

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#2490594 - 05/04/13 04:50 PM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: Phloid]
Fred_C Offline
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Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Phloid
Somehow Even though the lyrics might speak of protest and revolution it focuses on a need for change. .


I think the whole protest thing was what alienated me away from the folk scene. In addition, my guitar teacher, the great Philadelphia Jerry Ricks was teaching me the music of players like Doc Watson, Miss. John Hurt and Blind Blake. Which was totally apolitical. I have always adhered to an "Art for Art's Sake" aesthetic (even before I knew that concept existed). I absolutely loved Joan Baez until the politics and protests got in the way of the music. Her first albums (up until JB in Concert Vol.2) were wonderful. They focused on beautiful English and Appalachian (sp?) ballads.

I can remember my Literary Theory and Criticism professor (he was also my Aesthetics prof.) railing against "Agit-Prop" (Agitation Propaganda) which he defined as using Art to promote political or social agendas. This is not the exact definition. I took the course in 1971 and it's been too long a time to remember it verbatim. I think it might have been Samuel Goldwyn of Metro Goldwyn Mayer fame who once said, "If you want to deliver a message, send a telegram".


Edited by Fred_C (05/04/13 05:17 PM)
Edit Reason: additional content
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#2490683 - 05/05/13 09:43 AM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: Fred_C]
Larryz Offline
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Happy Birthday Pete...I think he was a better banjo player than he was on guitar. I'm not a fan of war protest and political songs, but he was definitely an American folk icon.

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#2490706 - 05/05/13 11:15 AM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: Fred_C]
Phloid Offline
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Registered: 07/10/11
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Originally Posted By: Fred_C
I think it might have been Samuel Goldwyn of Metro Goldwyn Mayer fame who once said, "If you want to deliver a message, send a telegram".

"...use Western Union" I've seen it attributed to Frank Capra as well. Regardless, the world missed the message in that message. Seems that almost everyone tries to fit a message into their actions or they at least try to convince themselves they are doing that (perhaps after the fact) so they feel like they have a voice in their life.

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#2490722 - 05/05/13 12:02 PM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: Phloid]
whitefang Offline
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Not everything needs to deliver a message or provide a life lesson. This is true of all forms of art. And not all folk music concentrated on this. The "protest" aspect of folk music was only one suit it had in it's wardrobe. There's also a difference between "protest", and simply pointing out inherent flaws in society thinking. It isn't "protest" to point out that factories belching out smoke in the air or draining toxic waste into the rivers is bad for the environment. It isn't protest to suggest treating people of a different "race" or size or height or sexual orientation poorly is unnacceptable. It isn't "protest" to forward the idea that the workingman deserves better treatment and consideration from his employers, and deserves a better break. It isn't "protest" to say you think those in poverty should be given a helping hand, and that even THEIR children deserve a better life.

And considering all this, it would also seem in those respects that PETE SEEGER was never a "protest" singer.
Whitefang
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#2490775 - 05/05/13 05:40 PM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
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http://www.folkways.si.edu/pete-seeger/s...bum/Smithsonian <--- you will find "protest" on his album cover. "protest" simply means to "object to something"..."protest" is also listed in Wikipedia as one of Pete's genres. There is nothing wrong with objecting to something and/or pointing out problems that affect humanity. If Pete "was never a protest singer," then there never was one IMHO.


Edited by Larryz (05/05/13 06:01 PM)

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#2490786 - 05/05/13 06:11 PM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: Phloid]
Fred_C Offline
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Registered: 06/12/10
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Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: Phloid
Originally Posted By: Fred_C
I think it might have been Samuel Goldwyn of Metro Goldwyn Mayer fame who once said, "If you want to deliver a message, send a telegram".

"...use Western Union" I've seen it attributed to Frank Capra as well. Regardless, the world missed the message in [i]thati] message.


Hey Phloid,

You are probably right about the exact quotation and F. Capra. To be honest, I didn't take the time to research the exact verbiage or who said it. It was a vague memory, once again from my Aesthetics course long, long ago.
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#2490789 - 05/05/13 06:18 PM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: whitefang]
Fred_C Offline
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Registered: 06/12/10
Posts: 979
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: whitefang
There's also a difference between "protest", and simply pointing out inherent flaws in society thinking. It isn't "protest" to point out that factories belching out smoke in the air or draining toxic waste into the rivers is bad for the environment. It isn't protest to suggest treating people of a different "race" or size or height or sexual orientation poorly is unnacceptable. It isn't "protest" to forward the idea that the workingman deserves better treatment and consideration from his employers, and deserves a better break. It isn't "protest" to say you think those in poverty should be given a helping hand, and that even THEIR children deserve a better life.

And considering all this, it would also seem in those respects that PETE SEEGER was never a "protest" singer.
Whitefang


Please see the definition of "Agit-Prop" above. As I stated, I adhere to an "Art for Art Sake" aesthetic. By definition, an aesthetic is highly subjective and varies from individual to individual. Due to its intrinsic subjective nature, your aesthetic is as valid as anyone else's. I could go into a lot more detail on this topic, but it would get pretty complex and theoretical.
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#2490904 - 05/06/13 08:30 AM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: Fred_C]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Here's to him! cool
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#2490913 - 05/06/13 08:47 AM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: Fred_C]
whitefang Offline
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One could argue that Seeger was occaisionally a "protest" singer, given the wide latitude the definition of the word has been allowed. But originally, and still, Seeger carries on the tradition of keeping alive those songs listed in Carl Sandburg's "American Song Bag", a collection of public domain tunes handed down over the years of which many have authors who've long been forgotten.

One of the songs he made somewhat famous(at least to "folkies") was MALVINA REYNOLD'S "Little Boxes", which the Showtime cannel program "Weeds" used as it's opening theme. My wife voiced surprise when I started singing along with a song she had never before heard. She thought it had been written exclusively for the show! Another, mentioned here earlier, was "Big Muddy", written many years ago about an ego driven drill seargent conducting maneuver excersizes in a southern army base, And NOT about America's involvement in Viet Nam. However, one could make the arguement that the song COULD be a vicarious protest of our involvement, which the CBS brass certainly did, and cut him off the air mid song. He WAS invited back the following week after the Smothers Brothers won their arguement in favor of having the full song performed. I always felt Pete saw that connection, but thought the audience should be allowed to draw their OWN conclusions.

And there's where we come to Fred's "intristic subjective nature". My Dad said he remembered hearing that song shortly AFTER mustering out of the Army in the late '40's. So it couldn't have been about Viet Nam, originally. My step sister had a recording of it done by someone else among her old records, so I too heard it years earlier. Then you have those people who, years AFTER the fact, that Peter Yarrow mentioned who claimed "Puff, The Magic Dragon" was a song about DRUG USE! And by using your own criteria, you could see ANYTHING that isn't there in any song. Yarrow himself used those same people's criteria to point out that "The Star Spangled Banner" was ALSO a song about drug use!

It's all nonsense to be sure. But the point was made.
Whitefang
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#2490926 - 05/06/13 09:27 AM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: whitefang]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: whitefang
One could argue that Seeger was occaisionally a "protest" singer, given the wide latitude the definition of the word has been allowed. But originally, and still, Seeger carries on the tradition of keeping alive those songs listed in Carl Sandburg's "American Song Bag", a collection of public domain tunes handed down over the years of which many have authors who've long been forgotten.

One of the songs he made somewhat famous(at least to "folkies") was MALVINA REYNOLD'S "Little Boxes", which the Showtime cannel program "Weeds" used as it's opening theme. My wife voiced surprise when I started singing along with a song she had never before heard. She thought it had been written exclusively for the show! Another, mentioned here earlier, was "Big Muddy", written many years ago about an ego driven drill seargent conducting maneuver excersizes in a southern army base, And NOT about America's involvement in Viet Nam. However, one could make the arguement that the song COULD be a vicarious protest of our involvement, which the CBS brass certainly did, and cut him off the air mid song. He WAS invited back the following week after the Smothers Brothers won their arguement in favor of having the full song performed. I always felt Pete saw that connection, but thought the audience should be allowed to draw their OWN conclusions.

And there's where we come to Fred's "intristic subjective nature". My Dad said he remembered hearing that song shortly AFTER mustering out of the Army in the late '40's. So it couldn't have been about Viet Nam, originally. My step sister had a recording of it done by someone else among her old records, so I too heard it years earlier. Then you have those people who, years AFTER the fact, that Peter Yarrow mentioned who claimed "Puff, The Magic Dragon" was a song about DRUG USE! And by using your own criteria, you could see ANYTHING that isn't there in any song. Yarrow himself used those same people's criteria to point out that "The Star Spangled Banner" was ALSO a song about drug use!

It's all nonsense to be sure. But the point was made.
Whitefang


cool
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#2490945 - 05/06/13 10:52 AM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: whitefang]
Fred_C Offline
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Originally Posted By: whitefang
One could argue that Seeger was occaisionally a "protest" singer,
Whitefang


I would completely and totally disagree with the premise that Seeger was "occasionally" a protest singer. That would be like saying that G.W. Bush was "occasionally" a politician or that Socrates was "occasionally" a philosopher. Sorry, Fang, can't buy into your logic.
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#2491033 - 05/06/13 03:00 PM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5765
Loc: Hwy 49, California
Originally Posted By: whitefang


Another, mentioned here earlier, was "Big Muddy", written many years ago about an ego driven drill seargent conducting maneuver excersizes in a southern army base, And NOT about America's involvement in Viet Nam. However, one could make the arguement that the song COULD be a vicarious protest of our involvement, which the CBS brass certainly did, and cut him off the air mid song. He WAS invited back the following week after the Smothers Brothers won their arguement in favor of having the full song performed. I always felt Pete saw that connection, but thought the audience should be allowed to draw their OWN conclusions.

Whitefang


If you listen to the lyrics, you'll find it was not about "an ego driven drill sergeant", it was about an ego driven Captain ordering the troops to cross a river that was too deep to cross in full combat gear. The troops had no choice but to follow his orders. That is until the Captain went under and his helmet came floating by. Then the now-in-charge sergeant ordered the troops back before they all drowned. They found the Captains' body in the quicksand down stream...The concept could be applied to any war and that is: if you want to survive in combat, you better listen to the enlisted men. Don't just blindly follow the officers till you're neck deep in the big muddy... cool

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#2491254 - 05/07/13 10:31 AM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: Larryz]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
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Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
I stand corrected on that. The point was it was whoever was leader.

Fred, It might be just ME who never saw what Pete was doing as "protest". None of his work had an edge of anger in it, as opposed to most the other "protest" singers of the day. It seemed that he was more into making people aware of what was "wrong" than anything else. I think someone he knew once made the claim that Pete called himself a protest singer with tongue in cheek. The term DOES seem to be too encompassing. To many, a song about some little town's city hall not caring that the weeds are overgrown in the children's park would be considered a "protest" song, when actually, it's not.

At least we all agree on one thing...our admiration for Pete Seeger's legacy.
Whitefang
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#2491255 - 05/07/13 10:33 AM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: whitefang]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
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Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
And actually Larry, the logic put forth in that song can apply in many other aspects of life.
Whitefang
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#2491285 - 05/07/13 11:12 AM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
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+1 I'm sure the logic in that song can apply to many other aspects of life, to include the one I mentioned.

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#2491424 - 05/07/13 05:31 PM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: whitefang]
Fred_C Offline
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Registered: 06/12/10
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Originally Posted By: whitefang


Fred, It might be just ME who never saw what Pete was doing as "protest". At least we all agree on one thing...our admiration for Pete Seeger's legacy.
Whitefang


Fang,

I absolutely agree on the point regarding his legacy and his importance as a figure in American musical history.

As for the rest, this is America and you have a right to think anything you please on any topic. It is helpful if you can defend your position with factual information.

Be cool, brother.
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#2491530 - 05/08/13 07:18 AM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: whitefang]
skipclone 1 Offline
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Awesome-well I`m not one to spout off how how I know so-and-so, but in addition to wishing Pete a very happy birthday, I should also drop mention of his long and outstanding service as an environmental activist and his sponsorship of the sloop Clearwater and its campaign to rid the Hudson River of toxins, particularly from GE. My friend and former bandmate co-produced and appears on his CD titled `At 90`,
and here is Pete celebrating both that and the 40th anniversary of the Clearwater:

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#2491533 - 05/08/13 07:28 AM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: skipclone 1]
skipclone 1 Offline
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Oh yeah-and I have no problem with protest songs if they are well written. The problem is, that most of them aren`t and even though the music may be good, the clanky lyrics often get in the way. Not gonna name names, unfortunately that even includes some music I like.
Want exceptions-Gil-Scott Heron, Spearhead, Bob & Ziggy Marley, Arrested Development, some of U2, some of The Clash-in fact I`ll even give some props to John Mayer, `Waiting for the world to change` is catchy and well-written and it lays the case out right up front.
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#2491570 - 05/08/13 09:09 AM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: skipclone 1]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 6006
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
I have mixed feelings about "modern" protest songs. On one hand, it's good to know there are modern day performers who have concerns other than themselves, but on the other, the history of protest songs shows they really have little or no immediate impact on whatever they're singing about. Fact is, too many protest singers spread themselves too thin, like Joan Baez. If you take up EVERY good cause, you can't possibly give enough of yourself to any SPECIFIC cause. The irony is that if you DO give most of yourself to any specific cause, people tire quickly of listening to you. Even a Wallenda would have difficulty balancing his way through that.
Whitefang
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#2491670 - 05/08/13 04:35 PM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: whitefang]
Fred_C Offline
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Registered: 06/12/10
Posts: 979
Loc: PA
Originally Posted By: whitefang
Fact is, too many protest singers spread themselves too thin, like Joan Baez. Whitefang


Hey Fang,

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I was a big Joan Baez fan until the politics and protests got in the way of the music. It's amazing how your comment above brought this memory back to me so vividly, like it happened yesterday.

I guess I must have been 15 or so. I was watching TV and JB was on this show. She sang a beautiful country song called "I'll Live One Day At A Time" What's even stranger, I even recall the chorus.

Yesterday's gone
And tomorrow is blind
I'll live one day at a time
I'll live one day at a time

Okay, so the song ends. As I said, it was absolutely beautiful.
Then JB said, "That song proves that you can burn your draft card and go on living, one day at a time."

I was disgusted and appalled. She had taken this wonderful song and turned it into a piece of "Agit-prop" crap.
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#2491843 - 05/09/13 08:29 AM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: Fred_C]
whitefang Offline
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Registered: 05/13/02
Posts: 6006
Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
I'm not familiar with the term "Agit-prop", although I'm probably familiar with the music. Yeah, Joanie got annoying with her crap. Like, who really CARED that her husband organized a successful hunger strike in prison, as she announced in "Woodstock"? I don't think I'd have been "disgusted and appalled", rather I would have rolled my eyes and muttered, "ENOUGH already!"
Whitefang
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#2491872 - 05/09/13 09:23 AM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
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I never really cared for Joan as a vocalist, and the same goes for Dolly Parton and Judy Collins. There are many people who think Bob Dylan sucks as a singer, but for some reason I love his vocals. "Protest" songs have a place in American folk history and serve a useful purpose. It's just not a genre that I get into for the most part. An example of one I like is Bob Dylan's Hurricane. I'm not familiar with the term "Agit-prop" either?


Edited by Larryz (05/09/13 02:39 PM)
Edit Reason: sp

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#2491876 - 05/09/13 09:34 AM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: Larryz]
Fred_C Offline
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Registered: 06/12/10
Posts: 979
Loc: PA
Hey Larry,

As stated in my first post on this threadI really liked JB's very early work and she played acoustic really well. She had impressive chops! I had also defined "Agit-prop in the same post, but here it is again.

I can remember my Literary Theory and Criticism professor (he was also my Aesthetics prof.) railing against "Agit-Prop" (Agitation Propaganda) which he defined as using Art to promote political or social agendas. This is not the exact definition. I took the course in 1971 and it's been too long a time to remember it verbatim. I think it might have been Samuel Goldwyn of Metro Goldwyn Mayer fame who once said, "If you want to deliver a message, send a telegram".
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#2491907 - 05/09/13 11:35 AM Re: Happy Birthday, Pete! [Re: Fred_C]
Larryz Offline
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Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 5765
Loc: Hwy 49, California
OK thanks for the info Fred. I know there are those that have an agenda besides their music and acting. Stephen Segal at the end of his Alaskan oil movie On Deadly Ground and Sinead O'Conner on SNL with her Pope picture protest come to mind. I like it when I pay to see a movie or go to a concert when they leave out their political agendas. There are singer song writers especially in folk music that put out some very pretty tunes like Pete's Where Have All The Flowers Gone and John Denver's Rocky Mountain High, that have important things to say...


Edited by Larryz (05/09/13 02:36 PM)
Edit Reason: sp

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