Great Performances, Pete Seeger’s 90th Birthday Celebration From Madison Square Garden

Sun, 09/13/2009 - 7:00pm - 11:00pm

Pictured: Pete Seeger

Credit: Joseph Sinnott

Spend Sunday evening with Pete Seeger! On September 13 at 7 p.m. WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable1011/cable11) presents American Masters' Pete Seeger: The Power of Song. This first authorized film poetically documents 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.
Immediately following, WXXI brings you Great Performances, Pete Seeger’s 90th Birthday Celebration From Madison Square Garden, airing at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable1011/cable11). The legendary folk artist, political activist and avid environmentalist Pete Seeger turned 90 in May 2009. In honor of the milestone birthday and in tribute to Seeger’s lifetime of achievement in music and activism, a multi-generational roster of artists, whose music has been shaped by Seeger’s vision, gathered at Madison Square Garden on May 3, 2009, to celebrate his lifetime achievement. Joining Seeger for this once-in-a-lifetime concert event were more than 40 artists, including Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson, Richie Havens, Roger McGuinn, Ani DiFranco, Taj Mahal, Ben Harper, Dave Matthews, Emmylou Harris and many others who performed songs inspired by Seeger’s music and activism. During this television special, viewers will be able to call into WXXI at (585) 454-6300 or 1-800-295-WXXI, make a donation, and as a thank you gift – receive tickets to the Emmylou Harris concert at the Auditorium Theatre on October 21, 2009. You may also pledge online at