.

Toshi Seeger, Wife of Pete Seeger, Dead at 91

Activist was a cornerstone in husband's success

Toshi Seeger and Pete Seeger
Bennett Raglin/WireImage
July 11, 2013 9:20 AM ET

Toshi-Aline Ohta Seeger, the wife of folk music legend Pete Seeger, has died at the age of 91, reports Billboard.

Ohta Seeger was an activist and organizer and has long been credited as a foundational figure in her husband's success. 

Video: Pete Seeger Live 

"Without Toshi's counsel and support, and always outspoken and direct opinions, it's clear to anyone who ever met these two remarkable people that, without Toshi, Pete would never have had the foundation and freedom to do the work that made him so legendary," said Sing Out, a magazine she and Seeger helped cofound in 1950.

She was born in Munich to an American mother and Japanese father, and the family relocated to the U.S. before her first birthday. She grew up in New York, where she met Seeger, and the couple married in 1943 when she was 21.

Ohta Seeger was a woman of influence who played a key programming role for the Great Hudson River Revival. She was aware of talented artists "long before they were on most people's radar, even before most of the members of the Festival planning committee had heard of, say, Tracy Chapman," said Persimmon Tree's Sue Leonard.

She was also involved in film. Her 1966 film "Afro-American Work Songs in a Texas Prison" is based on prisoners chopping trees and singing their traditional songs; it is in the Library of Congress archives. 

Ohta Seeger died on July 9th, nine days short of what would have been hers and Seeger's 70th wedding anniversary. 

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com