I have been surprised by the number of letters from Montrealers saddened by the death of Pete Seeger, as I didn’t know there were that many Seeger lovers in Montreal.
My parents Jack and Kay Wolofsky met in 1959 after a Weavers concert at Mansions Garage on Guy St., and 50 years later my sister, myself and our friend Frank London of the Klezmatics hatched the idea of a Weavers reunion concert to celebrate the event. One year later, after “you-cannot- believe-how-much” planning, Kisses Sweeter than Wine: The Woody Guthrie Legacy concert was held at the Tarrytown Music Hall in New York. Featured performers included a Weavers cover band (who knew there was such a thing) called Work of the Weavers, Woody Guthrie’s just born great-granddaughter, Woody’s amazing doppelgänger performer Rob Tepper, the Klezmatics, Teresa Tova who sang Kisses Sweeter than Wine in Yiddish, and of course, the Weavers reunion with Pete and Fred Hellerman. Lee Hays was of course long deceased and Ronnie Gilbert was at the time too ill in California to travel.
With folkie parents like mine, I grew up listening to Seeger and Guthrie, but who’d have guessed I’d end up producing a Pete Seeger concert?
I invite all fans of Seeger, and folk music, to enjoy scenes of the concert. Just type in “mtlborn” in youtube and you’ll see all the videos.
Even those who never knew him, nor understand what he and his friends stood for, benefit to this day from the changes they helped make happen to how labour and workers are treated both here and in the United States. All people who work for a living owe those men a tremendous debt of gratitude.