Peggy Seeger is one of folk music’s most influential artists and songwriters. Born in New York City in 1935, she enjoyed a childhood steeped in music and left-wing politics – they remain her lifeblood. After college, she travelled to Russia and China – against US advice – before arriving in London, where she met the man with whom she would raise three children and share the next thirty-three years: Ewan MacColl. Together, they helped lay the foundations of the British folk revival, through the influential Critics Group and the landmark BBC Radio Ballads series. And as Ewan’s muse, she inspired one of the twentieth century’s most popular love songs, The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.
With a clear eye and generous spirit, Peggy writes of a rollercoaster life – of birth and abortion, sex and infidelity, devotion and betrayal – in a luminous, beautifully realised account.
• A Sunday Times and Telegraph Book of the Year
• Shortlisted for the Penderyn Music Book Prize
• The Bookseller’s most-picked book in general non-fiction round-ups of 2017
“This sparky woman has done so much, lived so much, crammed so much in. Most of all, she has informed our appreciation of British and North American folk music, like very, very few people have. Then factor in her multiple roles in illuminating the folk, political song and feminist scenes and how her songs have enriched the folk idiom, and you have somebody worth getting amazed about.” – Ken Hunt, fRoots.
We are delighted that Eliza Carthy is joining Peggy Seeger and will be in conversation with her. Eliza Carthy is one of the most recognisable faces in British folk. Launching head-on into the scene in the early 1990s, she quickly became one of its great innovators. She has spearheaded the re-emergence of English traditional music as a vibrant, exciting genre that could stand proud next to other world musics. She continues to bring new audiences to English folk through well-judged collaborations, recordings and performances.
Interested in learning more about Newham Bookshop and some of the people connected with it? We have four lessons for classroom or family use developed from On the Record’s oral history project centered around Newham Bookshop, Writing and Reading Newham. Click here for full details.
We are proud that Newham Bookshop is LoveReading’s Bookshop of the Month. The article features a Q&A with Vivian Archer, which you can read here.