Toshi Seeger’s remarkable life!

TUESDAY, JULY 16, 2013

And her family history: Toshi Seeger died last week at the age of 91. She and her husband, Pete Seeger, had been married for more than seventy years.

Impossibly enough, they met at a square dance. In 1938!

Toshi Seeger led a remarkable life. Beyond that, her family history is simply astounding. This is the New York Times’ account of her life.

The Washington Post said this. ("Toshi Seeger, wife, muse and ally of Pete Seeger, dies at 91.")

The Seeger family brims with remarkable stories. The connection between the Seegers and Elizabeth Cotten is like something drawn from antique fairy tale: This precious jewel unseen among us.

How did Cotten come to work for the Seegers? On YouTube, she tells the story.

“I never could stand to see children cry,” Cotten memorably says.


  1. Is there a greater living American than Pete Seeger? I can't think of one.

  2. At a square dance? You never know what you'll learn at the Howler. RIP, Toshi. Peace and good thoughts to Pete.

  3. I was an enormous fan of Pete Seeger growing up. I have a happy memory of attending a performance of his at Sarah Lawrence College. However, my last experience was a downer.

    In high school, I was part of a two-day march into NY City for some liberal cause. At one point, Pete Seeger and the other leader discussed whether the group should do a particular illegal action that would lead to our being arrested. They decided not. That was fortunate for me, because I surely would have done whatever they asked.

    Later, it came out that Seeger was secretly a member of the Communist Party at that time. Literally, a card-carrying member. It still bothers me that a group of naïve, idealistic teen-agers might have incurred an arrest record, to unknowingly do the work of the Communist Party.

    1. Remind me not to invite you to the next funeral I attend.

    2. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

    3. Most who looked toward communism in the 1930s did so because people were starving and industry was exploiting the desperation of the working class. At that time, the Russian "experiment" was still believed to be working. It was an economic issue, not subversive.

      The hate groups that pursued such people during the HUAC and other witch hunts are still defended by many Republicans.

    4. Is this "David" Horowitz?

      Sounds like it. Only someone like DH would think that this was even an issue today.

  4. Fielding MellischJuly 16, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    What an incredibly diverse and talented family. Like Bob, Pete's dad is a Harvard grad.

  5. Pete Seeger initially attended Harvard and was given an honorary degree there later. He dropped out because he couldn't study the music he was interested in. He recounts asking about campus performing groups and being told he could join an acapella singing group. That didn't interests him so he left school.

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