Friday, April 24, 2009


You surely recognize an American icon---or, perhaps, given his career and life a World icon. Pete Seeger. You also probably know that on May 3 of this year he turns 90. The event will be commemorated by many "Sing For Pete's Sake" get togethers with the monies raised going to the Clearwater organization that was founded by Pete Seeger. The birthday will also be commemorated by a very special concert at Madison Square Garden (at 5 PM) and is, to my knowledge, sold out. Again, the proceeds--after expenses--will go to Clearwater.

On Sunday May 3 I plan to commemorate this memorable event in the 4 PM hour by playing for you some of Pete's works that will lead us through the years until today---from his folk traditions, to his political pieces, to his days with The Weavers, and to this event at this age. When I say "this event" I mean we shall play some of the artists appearing there. You will not hear Springsteen, Melancamp, and some others. You will, however, hear others that are more involved with Pete's past and share his concerns about many issues. I was surprised when I saw this amazing line-up or talent that many from Pete's earliest years were not included and some that, I felt, had no connection were. Perhaps there will be surprises at The Garden that day.

The hour on TRADITIONSwill open with a voice that could not be there but was as involved with important issues as Pete. Let that be a surprise for you since the piece this person will be singing is a tribute to Pete Seeger.

If you have any requests for this program please do e mail me at . Hopefully I will have the time to honor them because besides Pete the hour will also contain music by some of the artists performing. Some of those artists will be Guy Davis, Larry Long, Joan Baez, Tom Paxton, and Tom Chapin. And more. You know---the famous many others.

A few other thoughts now regarding SUNDAY SIMCHA. I could use a little help here. It is my understanding that May 13 is the 70th anniversary of the departure from Germany of the St. Louis. I would like to commemorate that tragic journey so well captured in the film--Ship Of Fools. There was, however more to the journey than the film showed---many of the passengers were allowed to enter Belgium, France, Holland, and Great Britain. Of course only the ones entering Britain survived. If you have any music or stories to share about this event please do send it to me at or if it is music by mail to PO Box 147 Orangeburg. NY 10962 . If nothing arrives I shall read an interesting story by a man I know who was a passenger on that ship.

One last Birthday announcement---Theodore Bikel and I share a birthday --May 2 and a birthplace---Vienna, Austria. That's about it. We do not share his amazing talent---music, drama, and political activism. He will be having a birthday commemoration later (than 5/2) at Carnegie Hall to benefit one of his important causes. The concert will feature myriad great talents from throughout his career. You will be kept posted on it.

One or two last thoughts about ticket sales for events like that or the one for Pete Seeger. It also applies to Broadway theater, Madison Square Garden events and all others. A ticket price is advertised and that is what you expect to pay. However, all of a sudden there are charges that have names like--theater restoration, convenience charge (what convenience---helping you pull dollars from your wallet?), etc; I seem to recall many years back, in the stone age, when I purchased tickets at the box office I paid the price. If I called on the phone I charged them on my credit card---still paid the listed price. OK--Internet sales might call for a small upcharge; though, I doubt it.

To add to the furor of this Ticketmaster (which seems to be the main seller for these events) also has another web-site which can offer you tickets for the same concert you requested at a higher price because Ticketmaster was "all sold out". The NJ Attorney General is looking into that. Amazing. Years back ticket scalpers committed a crime and now we have to try to prove that the electronic scalpers (Ticketmaster; et al) are doing the same thing which is now, it seems, legal.

On a personal note to prove the tale. I was told by a legitimate source that more tickets were being released (that been held back) for the Pete Seeger concert. Not in the $250 range. I went to the MSG website and was directed to Ticketmaster. Only the $250 range tickets were available and there was a surcharge over an above the ticket price---a convenience charge (whatever the hell that is).

Glad I can be with you on May 3 on WFDU and celebrate Pete, his music, and mention some of the other events that will be taking place this month and in the future. Things that are occurring because of his activism.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Icons by The Score

Besides giving you updates on the various programs I do try to let you know when something truly worthwhile arrives. There have been CDs and artists you have heard of and sampled here. Now, with the hope that it is realized nothing is put up here just for the sake of showing it, there is something I believe is truly worthy of your interest and time. Also, it is something you may well want to own or present to kids or grandkids in this era of TV and nothing but TV---OK, it is a DVD (got to go with the flow) but the content is so worthwhile.

Take a look and find out more after you see it:

You now know that this is a wonderful tribute to Ella Jenkins---a leading artist in the world of music for youths. The DVD is being put out by Smithsonian Folkways.

Besides it being a wonderful tribute it is something you can enjoy with your children or grandchildren and open them up to things other than Barney and such ilk. And it is not under water with a strange sponge like creature that does not make sense.

The DVD features a concert by Ella Jenkins and performances by the pantheon of family folk performers including--Tom Chapin, Tom Paxton, Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, and --you know---the famous many others.

Just so you know---I have no commercial interest in this project as I don't in any of the others I have either reviewed or recommended.