R.I.P. Pete Seeger


Folk legend Pete Seeger died Monday at age 94 of natural causes. A crucial figure in the resurgence of American folk music in the ‘50s and ‘60s, he continued to perform and promote folk music well into his late 80s.

  • Born in 1919 in New York, Seeger grew up the son of a musicologist and a classical violinist.
  • His biggest commercial success came in the late ‘40s and early ‘50s in The Weavers -- whose cover of Leadbelly’s “Goodnight Irene” topped the charts for 13 weeks.
  • Seeger’s past membership in the Communist Party got The Weavers blacklisted during the McCarthy-era Red Scare.
  • His best-known solo work includes "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," "If I Had a Hammer," "Turn, Turn, Turn" (which The Byrds took to the top of the charts) and "We Shall Overcome."
  • Seeger was an instrumental figure in the ‘60s folk explosion in New York City’s Greenwich Village and an early supporter of Bob Dylan.
  • In 2006, Bruce Springsteen released a collection of songs associated with Seeger called We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions.
  • In 2009, he performed Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” with Springsteen at President Obama's Inauguration on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
  • Seeger's longtime wife Toshi-Aline Ohta died in 2013, just days before their 70th anniversary. He's survived by three children and six grandchildren.


Source: MSN.com, 'Folk singer Pete Seeger dies in New York,' by Chris Talbott, Jan. 28, 2014

Lisa Berigan

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