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To Hear Your Banjo Play (1947)

| Short, Music | 1947 (USA)
Presents the origin of the banjo, the development of southern folk music and its influence upon Americans. Pete Seeger plays his banjo and narrates the story.


Alan Lomax (story and dialogue)




Cast overview:
Pete Seeger ... Self
Woody Guthrie Woody Guthrie ... Self
Baldwin Hawes Baldwin Hawes ... Self
Sonny Terry Sonny Terry ... Self
Brownie McGhee Brownie McGhee ... Self
Texas Gladden Texas Gladden ... Self


Presents the origin of the banjo, the development of southern folk music and its influence upon Americans. Pete Seeger plays his banjo and narrates the story.

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Plot Keywords:

folk music | See All (1) »


Short | Music


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Featuring square dancers from "Margot Mayo's American Square Dance Group" See more »

User Reviews

To Hear Your Banjo Play is a Pete Seeger rarity I just discovered
28 January 2014 | by tavmSee all my reviews

Having just read that Pete Seeger died, I looked him up on Wikipedia and found a couple of links to his short films on the Internet Archive of which this was one of them. Written by Alan Lomax, Seeger plays his banjo and tells of folk music's history from the farms to the cotton fields. He also sings a little here and helps put on a square dance. Also appearing is Woody Guthrie with a couple of others playing a song about John Henry. Oh, and Pete mentions why he's in New York-the "Big Town", he calls it-he notices how the people there are seeming to want to go back to their roots. It's quite fascinating watching this considering I first knew about him when he appeared on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" and performed that anti-war song, "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy". So on that note, I highly recommend To Hear Your Banjo Play.

Music from Oil Drums (1956)

Music from Oil Drums was another Pete Seeger rarity I discovered from Internet Archive

********** (10 out of 10)

This was another short from Pete Seeger I found a link from Wikipedia to Internet Archive when I looked him up there after finding out about his death today. It chronicles his journey to Trinidad to research those steel drums made from oil barrels to take back with him to America. Quite a lesson he gives on the instrument's history and fine playing from him and other musicians both in that country and our own. He and wife Toshi were the directors and they're fine with the way the whole thing was achieved. Really, I'm glad I watched this and it was a nice discovery I made about him. I feel I just scratched the surface of what I've found here. So on that note, Music from Oil Drums gets a high recommendation from me.

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Release Date:

1947 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Creative Age Films See more »
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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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