Seeger, Mike, 1933-2009

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Anglo-American early country musician Ernest V. Stoneman of Virginia; fiddler Charlie Bowman, originally from Tennessee; guitarist Sam McGee of Franklin, Tenn.; early country and cowboy musician Edward L. Crain of Texas; banjo player Doc Walsh, member of the Carolina Tar Heels; harmonica player Garley Foster; fiddler Alonza Elvis ("Tony") Alderman of Virginia; arranger Irene Spain; talent scout Polk Brockman; early country musician Wilber Ball of Kentucky; Blake Gardner and Bill Knapke; early country musician Tom Darby of Georgia; and John Edwards, Anglo-American record collector and authority on hillbilly music.

From the description of John Edwards Memorial Collection, 1958-1971. WorldCat record id: 27207566

During the 1950s and 1960s, collector, folklorist, and traditional music performer Mike Seeger recorded interviews and performances of many legendary old-time and bluegrass musicians.

From the description of Mike Seeger collection, 1955-2002. WorldCat record id: 27189072

Born in New York City in 1933, Mike Seeger has devoted his life to collecting and performing music of the rural South. His father, Charles Seeger, was a musicologist, and his mother, Ruth Crawford Seeger, a composer, educator, and arranger of folk songs. Along with his siblings, Peggy, Penny, and half-brother Pete, Seeger grew up with music and politics at the very root of his home experience. He began playing the guitar at age 18, and, during his career as a traditional folksinger, he also played banjo, fiddle, jaw harp, mouth harp (harmonica), quills, lap dulcimer, mandolin, and autoharp.

In the mid-1950s, Seeger began attending and recording bluegrass performances at clubs and country-music parks near Baltimore and Washington, D.C. These venues, such as the New River Ranch near Rising Sun, Md., proliferated in a region where transplanted southerners had moved to find employment.

In September 1958, Mike Seeger, along with John Cohen and Tom Paley, formed the New Lost City Ramblers. This band was an integral part of the folk revival in the 1950s and 1960s. Contrary to the smooth, modernized version of traditional music being sung by urbanites, the New Lost City Ramblers made a conscious effort to perform the more authentic, unrefined style attributed to rural tradition. By studying the commercial recordings of hillbilly music recorded in the 1920s-1940s, bluegrass of the post-war period, and field recordings in the Library of Congress, members of the Ramblers immersed themselves in traditional music. They began to visit traditional musicians who had made the early recordings, and often these musicians appeared on stage with the New Lost City Ramblers during their performances. Seeger eventually produced numerous field recordings and videos for documentary use and later organized tours featuring traditional musicians. He also conducted interviews with many older rural musicians.

Throughout his career, Mike Seeger created a musical legacy that fused the past with the present and preservation with presentation of traditional music. Through his tireless efforts as a performing musician and documentarian, Mike Seeger helped make the music of working class people more accessible to a vast audience far beyond its rural southern roots. Seeger died in Lexington, Va., in August 2009.

From the guide to the Mike Seeger Collection, circa 1950s-2008, (bulk 1955-2002), (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Johnson, Becky. Becky Johnson collection, 1970-2003. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Records of the National Park Service. 1785 - 2006. Moving Images Relating to National Parks. 1970 - 1990. Goin' to Cades Cove National Archives at College Park
referencedIn Southern Folklife Collection Artist Name File, 1940-2005 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
referencedIn Wishnevsky, Stephan T., 1945-. Stephan T. Wishnevsky collection, 1983-2007 and undated University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Green, Archie. Archie Green papers, 1944-2009. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn American Vaudeville Museum collection, 1845-2007, (bulk 1910-1940) University of Arizona Libraries, Library Special Collections
creatorOf New Lost City Ramblers. John Edwards memorial collection, 1964. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Bluestein, Gene, 1928-. Gene Bluestein collection, 1955-2002. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn New Lost City Ramblers. John Edwards memorial collection, 1964. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Folkstreams.net. Folkstreams.net collection, 1963-2010. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Alice Gerrard Collection, 1954-2000 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
creatorOf Seeger, Mike, 1933-2009. John Edwards Memorial Collection, 1958-1971. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Mike Seeger Collection, circa 1950s-2008, (bulk 1955-2002) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
referencedIn Southern Folklife Collection artist name files, 1940-2005 (artists R-Z). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
referencedIn Brown, Paul, 1952-. Paul Brown collection, 1950-1999. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Mike Seeger Collection, circa 1950s-2008, (bulk 1955-2002) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
referencedIn Southern Folklife Collection field notes. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
referencedIn Southern Folk Cultural Revival Project Collection, 1965-1989 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
referencedIn Blackley, Becky. Becky Blackley collection, 1871-1995. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
creatorOf Winter Folk Festival (1976 Jan. 20-24 : University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Archive collection 19-29, 31-40, 1976 January 20-24. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Folklife Collection.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adcock, Eddie. person
associatedWith Alderman, Tony, 1900-1978. person
associatedWith American Museum of Vaudeville corporateBody
associatedWith American Old-Time Music Festival. corporateBody
associatedWith Armstrong, Howard, 1909-2003. person
associatedWith Ashley, Clarence, 1895-1967. person
associatedWith Baker, Kenny, 1926- person
associatedWith Balfa Brothers. corporateBody
associatedWith Balfa, Dewey. person
associatedWith Ball, E. C. (Estil Cortez), 1913-1978. person
associatedWith Ball, Wilber. person
associatedWith Bean Blossom Music Festival. corporateBody
associatedWith Benfield Family (Musical group) corporateBody
associatedWith Blackley, Becky. person
associatedWith Bluestein, Gene, 1928- person
associatedWith Bogan, Ted, 1913- person
associatedWith Boggs, Dock, 1898-1971. person
associatedWith Bowman, Charlie. person
associatedWith Brockman, Polk. person
associatedWith Brown, Hylo. person
associatedWith Brown, Paul, 1952- person
associatedWith Busby, Buzz. person
associatedWith Campbell, Alex. person
associatedWith Carter, Maybelle, 1909-1978. person
associatedWith Cleary, Don. person
associatedWith Clements, Vassar. person
associatedWith Cohen, John. person
associatedWith Cotten, Elizabeth. person
associatedWith Courville, Sady. person
associatedWith Crain, Edward L. person
associatedWith Creed, Kyle. person
associatedWith Cullen, Frank, 1936- person
associatedWith Culpeper Bluegrass Folk Festival. corporateBody
associatedWith Darby, Tom. person
associatedWith Dickens, Hazel. person
associatedWith Durham, Bobby. person
associatedWith Earle, Eugene. person
associatedWith Edwards, John, 1932-1960. person
associatedWith Emmy, Cousin, 1903-1980. person
associatedWith Flaharty, Flick. person
associatedWith Flatt, Lester. person
associatedWith Folkstreams.net. corporateBody
associatedWith Foster, Garley. person
associatedWith Gardner, Blake. person
associatedWith Gerrard, Alice, 1934- person
associatedWith Goins Brothers. corporateBody
associatedWith Gossett, Ted. person
associatedWith Grand Ole Opry (Theater) corporateBody
associatedWith Green, Archie. person
associatedWith Gunning, Sarah Ogan, 1910-1983. person
associatedWith Harrell, Bill. person
associatedWith Hawking, Alan. person
associatedWith Hawking, Russ. person
associatedWith Hoeptner, Fred. person
associatedWith Holcomb, Roscoe. person
associatedWith Hopkins, Doc, b. 1899. person
associatedWith Hurt, Mississippi John, 1894-1966. person
associatedWith Jarrell, Tommy. person
associatedWith Johnson, Becky. person
associatedWith Jones, Grandpa, 1913-1998. person
associatedWith Knapke, Bill. person
associatedWith Kweskin, Jim. person
associatedWith Landrenau, Adam. person
associatedWith Landrenau, Cyp. person
associatedWith Ledford, Lily May, 1917-1985. person
associatedWith Lilly Brothers. corporateBody
associatedWith Logan, Tex. person
associatedWith Louvin Brothers. corporateBody
associatedWith Martin, Carl, 1906-1979. person
associatedWith Martin, Jimmy. person
associatedWith McClintock, Harry K. (Harry Kirby), 1882-1957. person
associatedWith McGee Brothers. corporateBody
associatedWith McGee, Dennis. person
associatedWith McGee, Kirk, 1899-1983. person
associatedWith McGee, Sam, 1894-1975. person
associatedWith McNeilly, Donald, 1945- person
associatedWith Monroe, Bill. person
associatedWith Monroe Brothers. corporateBody
associatedWith Monroe, Charlie. person
associatedWith Montana Slim, 1904-1996. person
associatedWith New Lost City Ramblers. corporateBody
associatedWith New Lost City Ramblers. corporateBody
associatedWith Nobley, Robert. person
associatedWith Osborne Brothers. corporateBody
associatedWith Pinson, Bob. person
associatedWith Reed, Ola Belle. person
associatedWith Reno, Don. person
associatedWith Riddle, Leslie. person
associatedWith Robertson, Eck, 1887-1975. person
associatedWith Robinette, Melvin, 1905-1999. person
associatedWith Savoy, Marc. person
associatedWith Scruggs, Earl. person
associatedWith Seeger, Charles, 1886-1979. person
associatedWith Smiley, Red, 1925-1972. person
associatedWith Snow, Kilby, 1905-1980. person
associatedWith Southern Folk Cultural Revival Project, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Spain, Irene. person
associatedWith Stanley, Ralph. person
associatedWith Stannley Brothers. corporateBody
associatedWith Stoneman, Ernest V. person
associatedWith Story, Carl. person
associatedWith Sutphin, J. C., 1885- person
associatedWith Taylor, Tut. person
associatedWith Travis, Merle. person
associatedWith Union Grove Fiddlers Convention (N.C.) corporateBody
associatedWith Walker, Frank. person
associatedWith Walsh, Doc. person
associatedWith Ward, Wade. person
associatedWith Watson, Doc. person
associatedWith Wilgus, D. K. person
associatedWith Winter Folk Festival (1976 Jan. 20-24 : University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) corporateBody
associatedWith Wiseman, Mac. person
associatedWith Wishnevsky, Stephan T., 1945- person
associatedWith Workman, Nimrod. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
New River Ranch (Md.)
United States
Sunset Park (Pa.)
Tennessee
Georgia
Subject
Sound recording industry
Storytelling
African Americans
Banjo music
Bluegrass musicians
Clog dancing
Country music
Cowboys
Dance
Fiddle music
Fiddle tunes
Fiddling
Guitar music
Radio programs
Occupation
Activity

Person

Birth 1933-08-15

Death 2009-08-07

Americans

English

Information

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SNAC ID: 47332683