I’ve avoided starting a series featuring women musicians until now because I felt it somehow sexist. There are many musicians I enjoy. The fact that some of them are female should be irrelevant. But I’ve now changed my mind and have decided to try living in the real world. Although I’ve thought about a series and female jazz guitarists or female jazz musicians in general, somehow when I began to make lists of who I wanted to include, the largest group were women who had been part of the folk music revival 1. That phenomenon happened at the time I started playing guitar and was thus a huge influence on my life. The first woman I want to feature is Peggy Seeger.
Peggy Seeger writes on her website that she doesn’t have beautiful voice. She says that Joan Baez has a beautiful voice. Hers is a character voice.
Peggy’s half brother was Pete Seeger. Mike Seeger, was her brother and another folk musician, famous for among other things, being a founder of the New Lost City Ramblers.
She was married to Ewan MacColl who wrote the song, “The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face” for her. Many associate the tune with Roberta Flack or others.
The following is a tribute video to Peggy Seeger played at the Folk Alliance Lifetime Achievement Award 2015. It’s worth watching if you’ve got about 9 minutes to spare.
- The music called “folk music” when I was young — in the 1950s and 1960s — might now be called “old time music” or “roots music”.
- click line for lyrics