Pete Seeger 1919-2014

An icon, legend, a human being of the greatest and deepest magnitude has gone…

Pete Seeger sang until his voice wore out, and then he kept on singing, decade upon decade. Mr. Seeger, who died on Monday at 94, sang for children, folk-music devotees, union members, civil-rights marchers, antiwar protesters, environmentalists and everyone else drawn to a repertoire that extended from ancient ballads to brand-new songs about every cause that moved him. But it wasn’t his own voice he wanted to hear. He wanted everyone to sing along. – NYT

Pete Seeger is unquestionably the foremost contemporary popularizer of American folk music. From his pop-folk successes with the Weavers in the late ’40s, through the ’50s, when he was blacklisted by the government, through the ’60s, when he became a cultural hero through his outspoken commitment to the antiwar and civil rights struggles, until now, Seeger has remained an indomitable, resourceful, and charming performer. He wrote a number of folk standards-including “If I Had a Hammer” (with Lee Hays) and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”-and has preserved and given exposure to thousands of other songs.

His musical interests began early, as did his passion for folk music. His father, Charles Seeger, was a musicologist, and his mother a violin teacher; both were on the faculty of the Juilliard School of Music. He had learned banjo, ukulele, and guitar by his teens, when he developed an interest in America’s folk-music legacy at age 16, after attending a folk festival in North Carolina. He began working with noted folk archivist and field recorder Alan Lomax before traveling around the country, absorbing rural music.

From Rolling Stone

Pete Seeger

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