By Wayne William Cipriano
The passing of Pete Seeger has affected a lot of us. And, calling to mind his musical career I was struck by some of the similarities between Mr. Seeger and another very popular American musician and fairly close contemporary, Willie Nelson.
During their exceptionally long and most productive careers they mirror each other more than one might imagine. Mr. Seeger was partly responsible for the rebirth or re-popularization of folk music; Mr. Nelson has had a great deal to do with the rebirth of re-popularization of country and western music.
Both men wrote such well-known songs that almost anyone who hears them will hum along with the melodies, and many of us can sing the lyrics –– and do so no matter what those around us threaten.
While the music these two wrote, played and sang is frequently portrayed as vastly different, they share many cultural as well as technical similarities.
At first glance, their politics may appear diametrically opposed, but those of us who have listened to them carefully realize their deeply held values are almost identical.
And, though some of us like Pete Seeger more or like Willie Nelson more, or cannot make up our minds and like them equally well –– almost all of us will agree on one further similarity…neither of these popular troubadours and magically gifted songwriters could ever sing a lick!