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Seeger, Mike  

Judith Rosen

[Michael]

Member of Seeger family

(b New York, Aug 15, 1933; d Lexington, VA, Aug 7, 2009). American folksinger and instrumentalist, son of Charles Louis Seeger and Ruth Crawford. He received no formal instruction in music, but learned to play a number of folk instruments (including the fiddle, guitar, five-string banjo, autoharp, and jew's harp) from observing and imitating first other members of his family and then traditional musicians. Beginning in the early 1950s he sought to document folk music traditions of the mountains of the Southeast through field recordings and his own playing; he was responsible for the first recording of the guitarist and songwriter Elizabeth Cotten, and his own early recording of banjo playing in the style of Earl Scruggs is regarded as a classic in its field. With John Cohen and Tom Paley in 1958 he founded the New Lost City Ramblers, a pioneering traditional music group, and through it exerted a strong influence on the string-band revival that began in the 1960s; in ...