Smithsonian Releases Pete Seeger’s ‘Complete Bowdoin College Concert 1960’


Since Bowdoin magazine reported it in a Fall 2009 story about WBOR, we’ve heard from many alumni who have been eagerly awaiting the release of the Pete Seeger album The Complete Bowdoin College Concert 1960. We’re happy to say the wait is over—Smithsonian Folkways Recordings has officially released the album today!

This is Seeger’s earliest available complete concert recording and the only available complete “community concert” recording. The live album features 35 tracks on two discs, including two songs — “Al Smith Holds the Bottle” and “I Had A Dream” — unavailable on any other Seeger recording. Listen to a preview of “Penny’s Farm

As fans are well aware, after being blacklisted during the red scare of the 1950s, folk song revivalist, civil rights advocate, and social activist Pete Seeger began performing unannounced “community concerts” at schools, camps and community centers. Seeger considers these performances to be some of his most important work.

The album is available through the Bowdoin College Bookstore, and through Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.


  1. Steve Wellcome says:

    These CDs are incredible. It’s the best Pete Seeger concert I’ve ever heard. The energy is amazing. Even as a recording it’s better than the three Pete Seeger concerts I was actually at.

  2. Tom Holland '62 says:

    If you want the closest thing to actually being in Pickard Theater on March 13, 1960, this set is it. Amazing that the tapes sat on the shelf for 50 years before being rediscovered and re-engineered to digital. You can tell that Pete knows he’s got some real singers in the audience, and that everyone is having a great time. This was our music, and it is contagious even now. The fidelity is fantastic…listen for Pete’s toe-tapping (at times stomping) timekeeping as he sings. Smithsonian has posted a YouTube movie on the production of the set, and it’s worth checking out.

  3. herman segal '61 says:

    A great find indeed! Any chance of locating a Pickard Theater recording of the great Lime Lighters trio from the spring of 1961? “Have some Madeira m’dear?”

Leave a Comment