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Remembering Pete Seeger

 


The Norman Studer Papers at the University at Albany Libraries’ Department of Special Collections & Archives contain approximately 15 hours of never-before-heard live audio recordings of Pete Seeger singing and teaching children folk songs at Camp Woodland, a summer camp in Phoenicia, NY. From the 1940s to the early 1960s, Pete Seeger had a deep and close connection with Camp Woodland’s co-founder Norman Studer, who directed the interracial, intercultural summer camp located near the Catskill Mountains.

From its inception, folk music was a constant at Camp Woodland, and a central focus of the camp’s democratic vision and practice. Seeger’s earliest connection to the Camp was his father-in-law, Takashi Ohta, who was a caretaker at Camp Woodland during the late 1940s and early 1950s. After he was blacklisted in 1955 for refusing to name people and their political associations, Seeger served as a music teacher at Camp Woodland. He taught songs to campers and participated in Camp Woodland’s annual Folk Festival of the Catskills, a precursor to 1969 Woodstock Music Festival. Seeger was a key figure in the Camp’s history and process, yet Camp Woodland also shaped Seeger, who developed some of his legendary folksongs at Camp Woodland, such as "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" and "Guántanamera." One of the unique recordings presented is from the summer of 1962 as Camp Woodland counselor Hector Angula teaches Seeger the song "Guántanamera" for the first time. Below, is a selection of images and audio from our collections. For access to additional audio recordings from the Camp Woodland collection, follow the link to (LUNA), our digital repository.


Audio


Camp Woodland counselor Hector Angula teaches Seeger, "Guántanamera" for the first time and they discuss the lyrics of the song.



Pete Seeger plays "This Land is Your Land."



Original recording of Camp Woodland's Twenty-Second Annual Folk Festival of the Catskills, Phoenicia, N.Y., July 15, 1962. Pete Seeger leading Camp Woodland children in the song, "We Shall Not Be Moved," 1962.



Original recording of Camp Woodland's Twenty-Second Annual Folk Festival of the Catskills, Phoenicia, N.Y., July 15, 1962. Pete Seeger talks and plays music for children to Camp Woodland campers and counselors at Camp Woodland, Phoenicia, N.Y., circa 1960.

Images
Pete Seeger at Camp Woodland, Phoenicia, New Yok, circa 1940s

Pete Seeger at Camp Woodland, Phoenicia, NY, 1940s

Pete Seeger at Camp Woodland, Phoenicia, New York, circa 1940s

Pete Seeger, right with banjo, performs at Camp Woodland in Phoenicia, NY, 1955. (Photo by Murray Weiss)

Pete Seeger at Camp Woodland, Phoenicia, New Yok, circa 1940s

Pete Seeger, center, with campers at a Sunday Meeting at Camp Woodland in Phoenicia, NY, 1961. (Photo by Murray Weiss)

Pete Seeger at Camp Woodland, Phoenicia, New Yok, circa 1940s

Pete Seeger, center, with campers at a Sunday Meeting at Camp Woodland in Phoenicia, NY, 1961. (Photo by Murray Weiss)

Pete Seeger at Camp Woodland, Phoenicia, New Yok, circa 1940s

Pete Seeger performs at Sunday Meeting at Camp Woodland in Phoenicia, NY, 1961. (Photo by Murray Weiss)

Pete Seeger at Camp Woodland, Phoenicia, New Yok, circa 1940s

Pete Seeger, right, with campers at a Sunday Meeting at Camp Woodland in Phoenicia, NY, 1961. (Photo by Murray Weiss, detail)

Pete Seeger at Camp Woodland, Phoenicia, New Yok, circa 1940s

Pete Seeger, center with banjo, performs at Camp Woodland in Phoenicia, NY, ca. 1950s. (Photographer Unknown)

Pete Seeger at Camp Woodland, Phoenicia, New Yok, circa 1940s

Pete Seeger, center with banjo, performs at Camp Woodland in Phoenicia, NY, ca. 1950s. (Photographer Unknown)

 
 
 

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