Following the passing of the legendary Pete Seeger, PBS has made his episode of PBS American Masters available for streaming online. It's a superb look into the life of the folk icon. Seeger's life parallels the course of 20th century history in America, and the film gives an amazing amount of detail into his life.
The enlightening documentary was filmed in 2008, and features interviews with musicians, family, and an amazing amount of Seeger himself. He narrates incredible photos and videos from his whole life, beginning with his early roots playing ukelele as a child, his college education, and his involvement in the communist party. He hopped trains with Woody Guthrie, he was shipped out for WWII, and he had a hit song with The Weavers before they were blacklisted. He stood before the House Un-American Activities Committee and refused to back down, and this was all before 1960.
In the film, Pete Seeger speaks candidly about his life and his songs play in the background, while historians and family members recount their versions of the awe-inspiring events that transpired. They talk about his world travels, his reintroduction of folk music to the American people, and his powerful voice for change in the world.
Pete used folk music as a force for social change. "I don't think there was any political movement in history that had as much singing as the civil rights movement had." he says, as the documentary segues into several chapters of the battles he fought. He used his music to fight the oppression, war, and pollution, never relenting, never giving up. "...some music can help you do something about your troubles," he said.
Seeger was a hero to the people, a patriot, and a lover of music. Watch his extraordinary story above. RIP, Pete Seeger.