First Time Ever
A superbly wrought memoir from one of folk music’s most respected and influential musicians
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A SUNDAY TIMES AND TELEGRAPH BOOK OF THE YEAR
SHORTLISTED FOR THE PENDERYN MUSIC BOOK PRIZE
THE BOOKSELLER’S Most Picked Book in General Non-Fiction Round Ups of 2017
Peggy Seeger is one of folk music’s most influential artists and songwriters. Born in New York City in 1935, she enjoyed a childhood steeped in music and left-wing politics – they remain her lifeblood. After college, she travelled to Russia and China – against US advice – before arriving in London, where she met the man with whom she would raise three children and share the next thirty-three years: Ewan MacColl. Together, they helped lay the foundations of the British folk revival, through the influential Critics Group and the landmark BBC Radio Ballads series. And as Ewan’s muse, she inspired one of the twentieth century’s most popular love songs, ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’.
With a clear eye and generous spirit, Peggy writes of a rollercoaster life – of birth and abortion, sex and infidelity, devotion and betrayal – in a luminous, beautifully realised account.
A gloriously open and generous autobiography.
An epic journey . . . An extraordinary story, beautifully told.
Peggy Seeger’s life is the stuff of a rip-roaring blockbuster . . . This is an illuminating, witty, revelatory and unflinchingly candid account, presented in vivid vignettes and nonchalant anecdotes, often funny, sometimes shocking.
Peggy Seeger’s substantial and absorbing memoir First Time Ever is fabulous, taking us back through British folk and reminding us of why we love her songs.
This amazing life reads more like a novel . . . [An] elegy for folk music.
A music memoir like no other.
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