The following is an excerpt from David King Dunaway’s book, “How Can I Keep From Singing?: The Ballad of Pete Seeger.”
“TO MOST PEOPLE success means making money and getting famous, and I was not concerned about this. I’ve lived with this terrible contradiction. If I splurge, if I go down and buy some fancy food I don’t need, that’s food that could keep somebody else alive. It’s one reason that I didn’t want to go into the music industry and make a lot of money, why I definitely didn’t want to have a career with a capital C.
Now it’s true, I could have become a violinist-my mother wanted me to. I could have become a businessman like my grandfather wanted me to. I could have become a journalist; if I’d had more perseverance, I might have. If I’d had a grant early to be a researcher, I could have been one. But I wasn’t willing to take the discipline. To be a real researcher, you have to get that degree and fulfill all the academic obligations.
Instead, I drifted into a particular niche I’d found for myself that no one else had ever found before.”