R. Reese Fuller

Pete Seeger recounts rebuff in Lafayette

by R. Reese Fuller

This weekend in an interview during the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Pete Seeger recalled a visit to Lafayette in 1955. The legendary folk singer says he was invited to play “a little festival” here. But just before arriving, he had been grilled by the House Committee on Un-American Activities. At a house party here, Seeger found himself alone in a kitchen with Edwin E. Willis, the U.S. Congressman and chairman of the HUAC, who told Seeger he wasn't welcome in town. Seeger says he left Lafayette and headed back to California.

(Does anybody know which “little festival” in Lafayette Seeger is talking about? It would have occurred in the later part of 1955 or possibly even 1956. ... See the update below.)