Jesse Jarnow Reveals Untold Story of Pete Seeger and the Weavers, October 30 at the Quick

Jesse Jarnow Reveals Untold Story of Pete Seeger and the Weavers, October 30 at the Quick

Go backstage with the controversial 1950s folk-pop stars who used the power of music to drive social change, were blacklisted during the Red Scare, and a half-century later won a Grammy Award for lifetime achievement.

Media Contact: Lori Jones,, 203-254-4000 x2975

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (October 21, 2019) — On Wednesday, October 30 at 7:30 p.m., Jesse Jarnow will explore the untold story of how the Weavers, a 1950s hit-making folk-pop quartet, impacted American culture and set the stage for stars of the ‘50s folk music revival, such as Bob Dylan, The Kingston Trio, and Peter, Paul and Mary.

Given today’s sharp political divide, Jarnow’s talk at Fairfield University’s Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts promises to simultaneously dive into yesterday’s pop culture and also be an indictment of contemporary politics. A journalist, DJ, and musician, Jarnow’s writing on music and culture has appeared in The New York Times,, Rolling Stone, and more.  

His lecture on October 30 is the second event of the Quick Center’s 2019-2020 Open VISIONS Forum Espresso series, a small and intimate roster of talks and conversations designed to engage lively and robust dialogue in the greater community.   

Moderated by Professor Philip Eliasoph, PhD, founder and director of the Open VISIONS Forum, “The Weavers and the Birth of Radical American Music, from the Red Scare to MAGA will explore the rise and fall of the Weavers, and the relevance of their legacy today.   

In his 2018 book, Wasn’t That a Time: The Weavers, the Blacklist, and the Battle for the Soul of America, Jarnow shares unseen journals and letters, unreleased recordings, and previously secret government documents to reveal how the Weavers, led by singer Pete Seeger, used the power of song to raise consciousness, drive progressive change, and strengthen community.   

Selling millions of records with hits like “Goodnight Irene” and “Kisses Sweeter than Wine,” the Weavers never used their spotlight as an overt political platform. However, their membership in left-leaning organizations, including the Young Communist League, and their support of progressive politicians such as Henry Wallace (of the American Labor Party) was considered “un-American” and was politicized to undermine the group’s influence.  

Jarnow explained, "Looking back at Pete Seeger and the Weavers, I realized that the idea of 'protest music' is ridiculous. It's not protesting that's important, but organizing, and the story of the Weavers is also the story of how they discovered that music was perhaps the most powerful organizing tool of the 20th century." 

The Open VISIONS Forum Espresso lecture by Jesse Jarnow is generously sponsored by Cohen and Wolf, P.C. and Moffly Media. Tickets are $20 | Quick Members $15. For more information or to reserve your seat, visit or call the box office at 203-254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396.

Posted On: October 21, 2019

Volume: 52 Number: 38

Fairfield University is a modern, Jesuit Catholic university rooted in one of the world’s oldest intellectual and spiritual traditions. More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students from the U.S. and across the globe are pursuing degrees in the University’s five schools. Fairfield embraces a liberal humanistic approach to education, encouraging critical thinking, cultivating free and open inquiry, and fostering ethical and religious values. The University is located on a stunning 200-acre campus on the scenic Connecticut coast just an hour from New York City.