Remembering Pete Seeger (1919-2014)
Pete Seeger, an iconic troubadour who helped create the American folk music movement, passed away on January 27 at the age of 94. He led a nation to sing, and had a profound influence on generations of singers, songwriters and activists. Seeger rode the rails with Woody Guthrie, stood up to Joe McCarthy, lent his voice against Hitler, marched with Martin Luther King, Jr., and Occupy Wall Street. He sang for children and presidents. He championed Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
But it's his music that has the lasting impact. Songs he wrote and cowrote became the soundtrack to our history. "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," "If I Had a Hammer," and "Turn, Turn, Turn" (his musical adaptation of lines from Ecclesiastes) are all linked to the anti-war movement. "We Shall Overcome," Seeger's 1963 adaptation of an old hymn, became the anthem of the Civil Rights movement. The Library of Congress calls it "the most powerful song of the 20th century." Bruce Springsteen, who celebrated Seeger's influence on his 2006 release We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, called Seeger "a living archive of America's music and conscience, a testament to the power of song and culture to nudge history along."
We pay tribute with this playlist of songs he wrote and popularized, by people he loved and influenced. As he himself said, "a good song reminds us what we're fighting for."