Pete Seeger would have been all in, eager to lead or be part of the chorus.
The folk music icon who made singalongs a major part of many of his performances, Seeger would have turned 100 on May 3. While he passed away in 2014 at the age of 94, his life and his legacy will be remembered Friday at 7 p.m. with a Pete Seeger Centennial Birthday Singalong Concert at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady on Wendall Avenue. The event is being presented by the UUSS, Rise Up & Sing and The Eighth Step.
"He would have loved the idea," said Margie Rosenkranz, director of The Eighth Step.
Seeger has had a long association with Rosenkranz and The Eighth Step, dating back to the 1980s.
"He performed at one of the first big concerts I ever produced," said Rosenkranz, who was a graduate student at the University at Albany in 1983 when she convinced Seeger to play a benefit event at Page Hall. "He played for us many times. I think were are very closely aligned. It was very synergistic, between The Eighth Step and Pete and The Clearwater. We were always cooking up fundraisers and benefits for each other."
Seeger performed in Schenectady at Proctors for an Eighth Step event on May 12, 2013, with his sister Peggy.
"I think that every time Pete played in the area it was for the Eighth Step," said Rosenkranz. "We're having it at the Unitarian Society because they want to be involved, and it's an opportunity to get the event out in the community."
Among the performers will be Emma's Revolution, the tandem of social activists Pat Humphries and Sandy Apatow who are based in lower Hudson Valley near Seeger's hometown of Beacon. The pair performed with Seeger on numerous occasions, and also played a special tribute to Seeger at his memorial service in 2014.
Charlie King, called "one of the finest singers and songwriters of our time" by Seeger, will also be one of the musical acts on the program. King is a musical storyteller and political satirist, and has had several of his songs recorded by Seeger as well as Holly Near, Ronnie Gilbert, John McCutcheon, Arlo Guthrie and Chad Mitchell.
Annie Patterson and Peter Blood are also scheduled to perform, along with The Rix, a musical tandem made up of Rik Palieri and Captain Rick Nestler.
Patterson and Blood are co-creators of the best-selling songbook, "Rise Up Singing," called by historian Studs Terkel as a "play-work-fight-freedom hymnal." The two musicians have led singalongs across North America, and Blood was closely associated with Seeger, having edited his autobography, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone: A Singalong Memoir." Patterson, who usually performs with her band, Girls From Mars, plays the banjo and sings vocals, while Blood plays the fiddle.
Palieri and Nestler have performed with Seeger on the Clearwater and on stage, and have performed together, as The Rix, and with others as part of the Clearwater Sloop Singers.
Tickets for the event range from $30 to $10. For more information call the UUSS at (518) 374-4446 or visit www.riseupandsing.org.