Pete Seeger's Birthday Concert to Begin Airing on PBS in Early August

"Pete Seeger's 90th Birthday Celebration from Madison Square Garden" is set to premiere in high-definition on New York PBS channel Thirteen's "Great Performances" series on Thursday, July 30 at 8 PM ET. The program will air throughout the country on local PBS stations beginning in early August - check your local listings airdate in your area, or visit Great Performances Online for additional information.

Condensed to two and a-half hours, the Seeger celebration presents highlights from the extraordinary May 3 event at New York's historic arena, where a multi-generational roster of artists, whose music has been shaped by Seeger's vision, gathered to commemorate his 90th birthday. Over 40 artists representing all genres of folk music participated, and besides John included Bruce Springsteen, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson, Richie Havens, Roger McGuinn, Ani DiFranco, Taj Mahal, Ben Harper and Dave Matthews.

John essentially kicked the concert off in high gear. Following an opening collaboration by a dozen or so Native American musicians called the Native American Indian Cultural Alliance, John offered a solo acoustic guitar version of Seeger's classic anthem of justice and brotherly love "If I Had a Hammer." He then sang his own "A Ride Back Home," which he claimed to have written "after listening to a bunch of Pete Seeger songs."

"We're all honored to be here tonight to sing this man's songs and pay tribute to him and all the struggles he's gone through in his life," he told the packed arena, then added, "Without Pete's inspiration, I don't think anybody here would be a musician."

John returned to the stage at the end of the evening to join the entire line-up on Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land," singing next to Kristofferson and dancing off with Baez and Guthrie's daughter Nora Guthrie. "I had a wonderful time seeing and hearing so many great artists," he told afterwards. "And Pete, of course: It's a pretty amazing accomplishment to have written as many great songs as Pete has, that have become so much a part of the landscape of America."

He reflected further on the incredible night in an interview with CMT in Nashville the next day.

"So many people in your life give up too early and never get back again," he said. "That's not the way to live life. Seeger taught us that last night, 90 years-old up there in that sold-out place. He may look a little funny with his hat and flannel shirt, but he can kick your ass!"

"Pete Seeger's 90th Birthday Celebration from Madison Square Garden," incidentally, was a benefit for the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, a non-profit, environmental organization created by Seeger to bring awareness to the importance of protecting the Hudson River and our other natural resources.

Click READ MORE below to view a grid of dates/times for airings for various major cities.

Station Market Great Performances GPER # 3501: Pete Seeger's 90th Birthday Concert at Madison Square Garden
WNET New York Sun. 8/2 3pm & 12:30am
KCET Los Angeles  Wed  8/5  8pm
WTTW Chicago Thurs. 9/10 7:30pm
WHYY Philadelphia Sat. 8/15 2:22, Sun. 8/30 9:30pm & Tues. 9/1 3pm
KERA Dallas Wed. 8/12 8:30pm
KQED San Francisco Sat  8/1 7pm & Wed 8/5 8pm
WGBH2/ WGBX44 Boston WGBH CH 2  
Sat 8/1 4pm 
Sun 8/2 1:30pm       
Thu 8/6 7:30pm       

WGBX ch 44       
Tue 8/4 9pm
GAPTV Atlanta Wed. 8/5 9pm & Sat. 8/8 10pm
WETA Washington, D.C. Sun. 8/2 9pm; Wed. 8/5 11:30pm
KUHT Houston  
WTVS Detroit Sat. 8/1 11:55pm, Sat. 8/15 11pm
KAET Phoenix Thu 8/6 7:30pm 
WEDU Tampa Sun. 8/2 9pm 
KCTS Seattle  Sat 8/8 5pm  
tpt2/ tpt17 Minneapolis/ St. Paul Sat 8/8 7pm         
Sun 8/16 6pm 
WPBT Miami Sun. 8/2 9pm
WVIZ Cleveland Tue 8/4 9:30pm  
KRMA Denver Sat 8/1 2pm   
WMFE Orlando Sun. 8/2 8pm
KVIE Sacramento  KVIE 7     
Sun 8/2 7pm        

Sat 8/1 8pm        
Wed 8/5 9:30pm  
KETC St. Louis  
KOPB Portland (OR)   
WQED Pittsburgh   
WUNG Charlotte  
WFYI Indianapolis Sun. 8/9 9pm
MDPTV Baltimore  Sun. 8/2 8:30pm
WUNC Raleigh-Durham  
KPBS San Diego Wed 8/5 7pm
WNPT Nashville Sat. 8/8 9pm, Mon. 8/10 10:30pm & 12 midnight, 
CPTV Hartford