Folk singer Pete Seeger dies at 94
Folk icon Pete Seeger died on Monday at the age of 94.
Seeger began his musical career in 1938, touring with a group known as the Vagabond Puppeteers.
He also performed on the Columbia Broadcasting Network television show “Back Where I Came From” with artists like Lead Belly, Burl Ives and Woody Guthrie.
Seeger was a founding member of two folk groups: the Almanac Singers in 1941 and the Weavers, a reconstitution of the Almanac Singers, in 1950. However, the Weavers’ career was derailed in 1953 due to blacklisting by the FBI and the House Un-American Activities Committee over Seeger’s communist beliefs.
They reunited in 1955 to a sold out reunion show and began another tour, turning out a hit version of the Merle Travis song “Sixteen Tons” and introducing the Gullah spiritual “Kumbaya” to a wide audience in 1959.
Seeger worked as a vocal teacher for the City and Country School in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. He also wrote the first version of his book How To Play The Five-String Banjo in 1948.
Seeger was involved in many political causes. In January of 2009, Seeger joined his grandson Tao Rodriguez-Seeger and Bruce Springsteen in singing Woody Guthrie’s song “This Land Is Your Land” for the finale of President Barack Obama’s inaugural concert. In 2010, Seeger co-wrote “God’s Counting On Me, God’s Counting On You” with Lorre Wyatt, a fellow singer-songwriter.
The song commented on the Deepwater Horizon oilrig spill in April of that year.
Seeger also participated in Occupy Wall Street by marching to New York City’s Columbus Circle on October 21, 2011.
On September 21, 2013, Seeger performed at Farm Aid at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, New York. It was his final public concert.