Music & Entertainment
Pete Seeger: Changing the World One Song at a Time PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by John W. Whitehead   
Monday, 06 May 2013 13:58

“Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple.”—Pete Seeger

Before the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, Jim Hendrix, Bob Dylan and others, there was Pete Seeger. With his five-string banjo in hand, Seeger helped to lay the foundation for American protest music, singing out about the plight of everyday working folks and urging listeners to political and social activism. In fact, Pete Seeger is one of the most important musical influences of the 20th century.

Born in New York City on May 3, 1919, Seeger, whose father was a pacifist musicologist, was plunged into the world of music and politics from an early age. He studied sociology at Harvard University until 1938, when he dropped out and spent the summer bicycling through New England and New York, painting watercolors of farmers’ houses in return for food. Looking for but failing to get a job as a newspaper reporter in New York City, he then worked at the Archives of American Folk Music at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. In 1940, Seeger met Woody Guthrie at a Grapes of Wrath migrant-worker benefit concert. Seeger, Guthrie, Lee Hays and Millard Lampell joined together to form the Almanac Singers, which became known for its political radicalism and support of communism.

In 1942, Seeger was drafted by the U.S. Army and sent to Saipan in the Western Pacific. After the war, he helped start the People’s Songs Bulletin, later Sing Out! magazine, which combined information on folk music with social criticism. In 1950, Seeger formed The Weavers with Lee Hays, Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman. Targeted for the political messages behind some of their songs, the group was blacklisted and banned from television and radio.

In 1955, the House Committee on Un-American Activities subpoenaed Seeger to appear before them (read his testimony at http://www.peteseeger.net/HUAC.htm). During the hearings, Seeger refused to disclose his political views and the names of his political associates. When asked by the committee to name for whom he had sung, Seeger replied, “I am saying voluntarily that I have sung for almost every religious group in the country, from Jewish and Catholic, and Presbyterian and Holy Rollers and Revival Churches, and I do this voluntarily. I have sung for many, many different groups—and it is hard for perhaps one person to believe, I was looking back over the twenty years or so that I have sung around these forty-eight states, that I have sung in so many different places.” He was sentenced to one year in jail but, quoting the First Amendment, successfully appealed the decision after spending four hours behind bars. However, he has been blacklisted most of his life from normal radio and television work.

During the 1960s, Seeger traveled around the country, continuing to play his folk songs for the peace and civil rights movements. Deeply offended by the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, Seeger, along with other folk singers such as Joan Baez, led many protests.

“Wherever he was asked, when the need was the greatest, he, like Kilroy, was there. And still is,” said his long-time friend, Studs Terkel. “Though his voice is somewhat shot, he holds forth on that stage. Whether it be a concert hall, a gathering in the park, a street demonstration, any area is a battleground for human rights.”

In 1963, Seeger recorded the now-famous gospel song “We Shall Overcome.” In 1965, he sang it on the 50-mile walk from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, with Martin Luther King, Jr. and 1,000 other marchers. That song would go on to become the anthem for the civil rights movement and be translated into many languages. Seeger also turned his attention to cleaning up the Hudson River that ran past his home. In 1966, he helped form Clearwater, an organization dedicated to educating the public on environmental concerns such as pollution and protecting the river. The group offers educational programs for children on a 76-foot replica of a traditional Hudson cargo sloop and holds a two-day festival on the banks of the Hudson River every June.

Seeger was awarded the Presidential Medal of the Arts and the prestigious Kennedy Center Award in 1994. In 1996, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his contribution to music and to the development of rock and folk music. In April of that year, he received the Harvard Arts Medal, and after decades of creating songs, in 1997, Seeger won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album for his album, Pete.

Seeger, however, has not always been so lavishly praised. Often chastised for his “communist beliefs,” Seeger has dealt with criticism and misunderstanding. “I say I’m more conservative than Goldwater. He just wanted to turn the clock back to when there was no income tax. I want to turn the clock back to when people lived in small villages and took care of each other,” he says.

While many of the legendary men and women Seeger associated with are gone, he continues his political and environmental endeavors. He still seems to subscribe to the same philosophy he held to four decades ago, when he advised young people to follow their hearts and take initiative: “Well, here’s hoping all the foregoing will help you avoid a few dead-end streets (we all hit some), and here’s hoping enough of your dreams come true to keep you optimistic about the rest. We’ve got a big world to learn how to tie together. We’ve all got a lot to learn. And don’t let your studies interfere with your education.”

At 94 years old, Pete Seeger is still speaking out. Indeed, in an interview I conducted with Pete Seeger several years ago, I asked him whether he had found an answer to the question “When will they ever learn?” which he repeatedly posed in his song, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.” Seeger’s response is one for the books:

We will never know everything. But I think if we can learn within the next few decades to face the danger we all are in, I believe there will be tens of millions, maybe hundreds of millions, of human beings working wherever they are to do something good. I tell everybody a little parable about the “teaspoon brigades.” Imagine a big seesaw. One end of the seesaw is on the ground because it has a big basket half full of rocks in it. The other end of the seesaw is up in the air because it’s got a basket one quarter full of sand. Some of us have teaspoons and we are trying to fill it up. Most people are scoffing at us. They say, “People like you have been trying for thousands of years, but it is leaking out of that basket as fast as you are putting it in.” Our answer is that we are getting more people with teaspoons every day. And we believe that one of these days or years—who knows—that basket of sand is going to be so full that you are going to see that whole seesaw going zoop! in the other direction. Then people are going to say, “How did it happen so suddenly?” And we answer, “Us and our little teaspoons over thousands of years.” But I don’t think we have forever. I now believe that all technological societies tend to self-destruct. The reason is that the very things that make us a successful technological society, such as our curiosity, our ambition and determination, will also cause us to fall.

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson corresponded for 13 years before they died on the same day. They asked, “How can one have prosperity without commerce? How can one have commerce without luxury? How can one have luxury without corruption? How can you have corruption without the end of the Republic?” And they really didn’t know the answer. Today I would ask, “How can one have a technological society without research? How can one have research without researching dangerous areas? How can one research dangerous areas without uncovering dangerous information? How can you uncover dangerous information without it falling into the hands of insane people who will sooner or later destroy the human race, if not the whole of life on earth?” Who knows? God only knows!

The Seeger interview in its entirety is available at www.rutherford.org.

 
Anita Renfroe’s Mother of All Comedy Tour at the Peoria Civic Center has been cancelled. PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Megan Pedigo   
Monday, 06 May 2013 08:07

Peoria, IL -- Anita Renfroe’s Mother of All Comedy Tour show scheduled for May, 9th at the Peoria Civic Center has been cancelled. Refunds are available at the point of purchase. We apologize for any inconvenience. The Peoria Civic Center is working with the promoter  in hopes of scheduling more shows in the near future similar to Anita Renfroe.


 
MOODY BLUES HEADED TO THE PEORIA CIVIC CENTER THEATER PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Megan Pedigo   
Friday, 03 May 2013 14:23

Frank Productions Presents  

The Moody Blues at the Peoria Civic Center

Peoria, IL -- The SMG managed Peoria Civic Center is excited to announce The Moody Blues are coming to the Peoria Civic Center Theater on Monday, October 7th at 7:30pm. Tickets are $89.50, $69.50 and $55 and go on sale Friday, May 10th at 10am. Tickets are available at the Peoria Civic Center box office, online at Ticketmaster.com or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

The Moody Blues, still rocking in 2013 with original members Justin HaywardJohn Lodge andGraeme Edge, have released 24 albums in a career spanning nearly five decades.  They have sold more than 70 million albums, earning them 18 platinum discs and all manner of awards including Playboy “Group of the Year”, the “Golden Ticket” award for selling the most tickets at Madison Square Garden and an Ivor Novello for Outstanding Contribution to British Music;  the band has even appeared in an episode of “The Simpsons”.

Their classic album Days of Future Passed (featuring the Moody Blues’ signature song “Nights in White Satin”) heralded the era of the concept album and elaborate sleeve artwork that would epitomize the Progressive Rock movement that followed.  

Formed in 1964 in Birmingham, The Moody Blues came from the same gene pool that would give the world Traffic, the Move, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Slade. The original line-up of the band (Denny Laine, Graeme Edge, Clint Warwick, Ray Thomas and Mike Pinder) scored a global number one hit with “Go Now,” but unable to follow up this success, Warwick and Laine left the group - to be replaced by John Lodge and Justin Hayward respectively in 1966.  For the next few months, the band crafted a new set of original compositions that would change their fortunes.  

Drastically re-thinking their musical approach, the band began to compose new material in a uniquely different style.  Eager to recoup some of the money they had invested in the band, Decca asked The Moody Blues to record a rock version of Dvorak’s New World Symphony to demonstrate a new stereo system they were launching known as ‘Deramic’ sound.  Instead, the Moodies, along with producer Tony Clarke, used the orchestral settings for a suite of their own songs, which resulted in Days Of Future Passed, a record that was as groundbreaking as any of that era and featured the band’s signature song, “Nights In White Satin.” This proved a turning point for the band and they soon became acknowledged masters of lushly orchestrated psychedelic rock and trailblazers in the use of the mellotron, which they used both live and in the studio to mimic the sounds of a full orchestra.  Era defining albums such as In Search Of The Lost Chord, On The Threshold Of A Dream, To Our Children’s Children’s Children, A Question Of Balance, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour and Seventh Sojourn followed . The Moody Blueshave continued to release albums through the 80’s and 90’s through the present, thrilling audiences with their live shows all over the world. 

“I suppose that it is our songs, and the way we interpret them that has seen us travel so far,” says Justin Hayward.  “It means so much to us that some of our recordings have really meant something to people.”

For more information on Frank Productions visit www.frankproductions.com

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Lorie Line Comes To Iowa PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Natalie   
Friday, 03 May 2013 14:12

Minneapolis - Lorie Line opens her Intimate Series tour Thursday, May 9th and plans to travel to 25 cities this spring/summer.  This is her 24th year of touring, and she will be playing all new music from a brand new album, Come Together, as well as favorites from her previously recorded 45 CDs.  

She will be bringing her Fab Five, and as always, Line has come up with new young talent to present to her adoring fans.  This year, national championship solo drummer Jean-Pierre Bouvet returns to the tour, as well as multi-instrumentalist bass player Josh Fink and the very "handsome" Derek Bromme who is currently pursuing his Doctorate degree on bass trombone at the University of Minnesota.  After a few years in full-time college, violinist/fiddler and fan favorite Robbie Nordstrom will join Lorie once again on the stage, and brand new to the group is 23-year old Mike Linden on guitar, a recent Boston Berklee College of Music graduate.  

Not only has Line recorded 45 CDs, but she has published 39 books of music of her arrangements and compositions, from beginner "practice" to intermediate/advanced level books.  She and her husband/manager Tim (famous for being Santa at the annual holiday show) own and manage Lorie Line Music, Inc., one of the largest independent labels in the country.  Line is most known for her holiday extravaganza and tours annually to 80 cities.  Lorie Line Music, Inc. communicates daily with a 100,000 diehard fan data base and two facebook sites.  Over the years, the Lines have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities, this year supporting Tee It Up For The Troops , a Minnesota volunteer group that helps to support wounded soldiers.

Ms. Line has two adult children and she and Tim are now "empty nesters," enjoying life on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota.


Davenport, Iowa
Davenport Junior Theatre
Nighswander Theatre
Tuesday, June 25th, 7:30 PM
$39.00. All seats reserved. $34 for groups of 10 or more.

 
West Music Quad Cities to Host Education Open House PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Music & Entertainment
Written by Kelly Goerdt   
Friday, 03 May 2013 13:31

Moline, IL – May 11, 2013 – West Music Quad Cities is excited to host an education open houseon Saturday, May 11, 2013. This event is an opportunity for the public to learn about theindividual lessons, classes, and summer camps available for all ages and abilities at the WestMusic Quad Cities Conservatory. The open house will include an instrument petting zoo forschool age children, a chance to meet and consult with teachers, and a demonstration of abeginning adult keyboard class called Musical Moments.

“This is a chance for our communities to find out more about all the fun and exciting learningopportunities West Music offers. We invite everyone to meet our teachers and learn about ourlesson programs, try a new instrument, and discover the variety of classes that are available.”says Debbie Yarrow, West Music Conservatory Director. "We have something for everyone."

The schedule of events includes• 10:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Instrument Petting Zoo• 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM: Meet Our Teachers• 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Adult Keyboard Class Demo

West Music is offering a special one-day only BOGO special: for every paid lesson registrationfee, participants will be able to register a family member for free. Information about WestMusic's new summer program will be also available at the open house.  The "Summer RoadTrip" motivates and rewards school age students to continue practicing their instrumentsthroughout the summer.  The program will kick off May 15.  As students continue to practiceand complete various challenges, they will be rewarded with prizes from participating vendorsand local businesses, ending in an ice cream social in August. Come find out how you canexperience the power of making music at the West Music Quad Cities Conservatory – it’s nevertoo late to learn!

West Music Quad Cities is located at 4305 44th Avenue, Moline, Illinos, 61265. Pleasecall West Music Quad Cities at 309-764-9300 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for moreinformation.

About West Music CompanyFounded in 1941, West Music’s mission to “Enrich peoples’ lives through participation in music”is at the root of its success and continued growth. West Music specializes in pianos, guitars,drums and percussion, band and orchestra instruments, and print music as well as offers musicinstruction, repair and music therapy services. West Music has six retail locations in easternIowa and western Illinois. For more information, visit West Music’s comprehensive onlinewebsite at www.westmusic.com or call 1-800-373-2000.

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