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21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Folk Icons: Pete Seeger is a beautifully filmed 105-minute concert showcasing one of the most provocative figures in music history. In 1963 Pete Seeger, blacklisted and barred from American television, fled the persecution of his homeland and embarked on a 10-month world tour. One of his first stops was Australia where he was welcomed with open arms and sold-out performances. This DVD not only presents a full concert filmed in Melbourne but also includes 55 minutes of bonus footage from various other Australian television appearances. Witness how one man, armed only with a banjo, a guitar and the power of song, captures the hearts and minds of a nation.

If I Had A Hammer
Down By The Riverside
The Bells Of Rhymney
Goodnight Irene
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
Michael, Row The
Boat Ashore
Skip To My Lou
The Wild Rover
Woody Guthrie Medley
Highland Laddie
Kum Ba Ya
Way Out There
Living In The Country
Windy Old Weather

...and many more

Folk Icons™ is an ongoing DVD series featuring live performances by the greatest legends of folk music, filmed all over the world from the 1950s through today. Beautifully transferred from the original masters, each of these DVDs features rare performances that have never been officially released on home video, and in many cases, were never broadcast. Each DVD is produced with the full support and cooperation of the artists or their estates.


  • Pete singing and discussing the songs of Lead Belly (also features 3 rare performances by Lead Belly filmed in 1945)
  • Interviews and performances on Australian news programs
  • 16-page booklet featuring liner notes by Seeger biographer David K. Dunaway
  • Rare photographs, home movies and memorabilia


    Amazing to watch... compelling sense of the history of the time as well as the entertainment value of the performance. -- Monsters & Critics

    Grade: A -- The A.V. Club / The Onion

    This DVD filled me with so much joy. --

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Pete Seeger
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: April 28, 2009
  • Run Time: 105 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001O4C6LM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,025 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on May 14, 2009
Format: DVD
OK, black & white, but that actually seems to add to the nostalgic aspect of this great look at folk music as presented by Pete Seeger in 1963. He went on a 22 country, 10-month world tour blessing the world with folk music and, himself, picking up some new folk music from other countries along the way. Seeger received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (1993), and this DVD shows why. It's still hard to believe the folk singer was blacklisted in the USA.

Fortunately, Australia loved his music and overlooked his politics, giving him a warm welcome and preserved it on film. Then, after a long shelf rest, it was discovered, Acorn became involved in the restoration, and the rest of the story is in the 16 page booklet that comes with the DVD. Packed full of photos, history, and the DVD contents lists.

The product description lists many of the songs included in this DVD live performance, but special note should be given to a pair of special banjo renderings of the songs "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" and "Allegretto from Beethoven's 7th Symphony." Wow. And Seeger even teaches the Aussie concert attenders to yodel to "Way Out There" a song done with banjo that was taken from "Sons of the Pioneers."

Another favorite of mine was "I Never Will Marry" plus one actually written by Bob Dylan but performed by Seeger, "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall." Then you'll just have to sing along with "Michael, row The Boat Ashore" and "If I Had A Hammer" (Pete's song) and others.

The concert has a total of 29 musical numbers, ending with "I Know an Old lady Who Swallowed A Fly", fun for any age. There is at least 15 musical presentations as well as some interviews on the Extra Bonus Stuff.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Vincent Delpizzo on May 16, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It is hard to believe that this is the first (and hopefully not the last) video recording of a live Pete Seeger concert at the height of the 60's folk revival that he was so much responsible for! If for no other reason, this DVD is a MUST for anybody who is even remotely interested in Pete Seeger's live performances. If you have listened to his live records of that period (et Pete Seeger at the Village Gate, Sing Out Hootenanny, We Shall Overcome, etc) you can now finally match images to the sound, as he performs the classical repertoir of the golden years of the folk music boom. To be fair, while Seeger is as good as he ever was, the Australian audience appears to be somewhat wooden, less warm and involved that one would have imagined (or seen in his later live performances in the US). Although Seeger had a large following in Australia at the time, it is possible that the songs were not as familiar to the audience as they were in the States (it is amusing to notice the absolute lack of reaction to Seeger's mention of a "young songwriter called Bob Dylan", who had just released "Blowing in the Wind" and "Hard Rain"). Certainly, when Pete sings songs that were also commercial hits (the Hammer Song, Michael Row the Boat Ashore) people in the audience sing, bob their heads, clap the rhythm just as we are used to seeing during Seeger's live performances.

The bonus material alone is worth the price of the DVD: several Australian TV news interviews, each with one or two songs, a long excerpt from a live performance at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and a half-hour live performance themed on Leadbelly. A short documentary on an Australian traditional folk singer, produced by Pete and Toshi Seeger is also included.

Altogether, with almost three hours of music, this DVD is certainly excellent value for the money! Get it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Fozz on September 16, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Watching this DVD, including all the beaut extras, brought a magic period back to life. My mate and I, both Year 11 students, were at this show and I was almost apoplectic with delight at so many of the songs and scenes. This is a great buy for the nostalgia alone but much more in terms of the history of folk music at a crucial period, before it discovered commercialism through the likes of The Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul and Mary and so on. The extras, including interviews, a very warm introduction to his Bandstand gig by Brian Henderson and a wonderfully informal studio gig are better quality than the concert but this is to be expected. Given the network bans and the political controversy still surrounding Pete Seeger at this time, just to attend was making a statement and his repertoire would have been considered quite edgy, and in some respects still is. The ABC concert video taping, while an inspired initiative, has a number of technical and aesthetic shortcomings (it was 47 years ago and Australian TV was just 6 years old) but it captured so much of the night and the time. The songs include the familiar, the unknown and some that were only emerging. To be honest some bits dragged a little, but I remember, as a teenager, thinking the same on the night, so it's an honest rendition. It's frustrating that the ABC cameras were so limited in their shots and we see the same audience groupings over and over again (Did we really have no sense of fashion at all in 1962?) On the other hand, Pete is wonderfully spontaneous but still utterly professional throughout a very long totally one-man show, with no props. Ignore the grainy B&W, the uneven program and those awful clothes - this is a gem.
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