Stone Jack Jones Remembers Pete Seeger



By now you've likely heard the news of legendary folk artist and activist Pete Seeger's death yesterday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. Seeger was 94.

One of the many things Seeger is known for is his popularization of the song "We Shall Overcome," which became an anthem of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and '60s. Local note: Seeger reportedly learned the song from Zilphia Horton, music director of Highlander Folk School in Monteagle, Tenn. (Highlander has since moved to New Market, Tenn.) Anyhow, there is certainly no dearth of eulogies floating around the Web today — I highly recommend Seeger's 2003 appearance on NPR's On Point, which was re-broadcast this morning. But there is one remembrance in particular we thought it fitting to share with you.

Mysterious and well-lived local folk artist Stone Jack Jones — who recently released a song and a video and will unveil his album Ancestor on March 4 — shared a story about meeting Seeger earlier this morning via Facebook. Kinda neat. Read it after the jump.

The Day I Met Pete Seeger, or Probably My Greatest Contribution to World Peace

as a young man, i worked for vega banjo outside of boston, ma. one day a very tall man with very large hands came into the shop. shaking his hand was something akin to meeting a deeply peaceful & friendly bear. iʼm 6ʼ1” and i looked up the whole time. he needed a costume extra long, extra thick banjo neck made to accommodate his god- given circumstance.

we pulled out a baseball bat and he grasped it at the spot where he wanted his banjo neck to feel. we marked it and i proceeded to make him a “folk” banjo neck that would be heard around the world. this is probably my greatest contribution to world peace.

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