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Music from the True VineMike Seeger's Life and Musical Journey$
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Bill C. Malone

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807835104

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807869406_malone

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Music from the True Vine Mike Seeger and the Search for Authenticity

Music from the True Vine Mike Seeger and the Search for Authenticity

(p.113) 5 Music from the True Vine Mike Seeger and the Search for Authenticity
Music from the True Vine

Bill C. Malone

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter looks at how Mike Seeger devoted his entire life to following his life-long passion—old-time music. Bob Dylan wrote “Mike Seeger is really real” in one of his poems from 1963. Mike performed in elementary schools, at festivals, clubs, coffeehouses, and in a large number of venues in the United States; he performed in Canada, New Zealand, many African countries, and Japan. Mike's “Old Time Country Music,” released in 1962, is considered his best music album. “Mike Seeger,” came out in 1964. While it's true that Mike remained “authentic” to the sound of old-time performers, he did not simply imitate them. At the suggestion of Archie Green, a labor folklorist, Mike recorded his third album, “Tipple, Loom, and Rail: Songs of the Industrialization of the South,” in which he connected music to the working-class identity of the South. Mike's hectic schedule and life took a toll on his health and personal life. Mike and Marge separated in 1966. The same year, he became involved in the multiracial Southern Folklore Project. He married Alice Gerrard in 1970. With Mike's career dwindling in the late 1970s, he began to perform live with singer Libba Cotton, which proved to be a saving grace for him.

Keywords:   old-time music, Bob Dylan, live performance, Archie Green, albums, Southern Folklore Project, Alice Gerrard, Libba Cotton

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