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Arts & Culture

American Masters: Pete Seeger: The Power Of Song

Folk music icon Pete Seeger plays the banjo and sings with Arlo Guthrie (back left) at the Woody Guthrie Tribute Concert at Severance Hall in Cleveland, September 1996.
Neal Preston/Corbis
Folk music icon Pete Seeger plays the banjo and sings with Arlo Guthrie (back left) at the Woody Guthrie Tribute Concert at Severance Hall in Cleveland, September 1996.

Airs Saturday, November 19, 2011 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

"Pete Seeger: The Power Of Song," the first authorized film, poetically documents Pete Seeger’s unique experience and contributions. The man who introduced America to its own folk heritage, he deeply believes in the power of song and is convinced that individuals can make a difference.

He made a whole generation passionate about playing the guitar and picking the banjo, and got them singing together and using music as a force for social change.

Largely misunderstood by his critics, including the U.S. government, for his views on peace, civil rights and ecology, Seeger went from the top of the hit parade to the top of the blacklist — banned from commercial television for more than 17 years.

His inspiring, but not always easy, story is told by everyone from Bob Dylan to the Dixie Chicks and through a remarkable historical archive — a history that Seeger himself, now almost 90 years old, helped create.

Watch exclusive clips and interviews on the AMERICAN MASTERS website. AMERICAN MASTERS is on Facebook.

Video Excerpt: Pete Seeger: The Power Of Song