In Memoriam | Pete Seeger 1919 – 2014
In the nearly 100 years he was on this earth singer-songwriter Pete
Seeger had seen
and accomplished so much. The folk legend passed away yesterday of natural causes at New
York Presbyterian Hospital according to CNN.
Seeger never let a little controversy get in the way of what he believed in.
[Photo by Tamara Grayson]
“He lived at a time when so many things hadn’t been done yet, the idea of making music
about something hadn’t really been done,” Seeger’s nephew Kitama Cahill Jackson told CNN.
“And now people do it all the time.” Pete wrote so many protest songs on a wide range of
topics from the Vietnam War to racial equality to environmental
causes. Just four months ago Seeger made a surprise appearance at Farm Aid,
where he performed “This Land Is Your Land” with the event’s principals – Neil Young,
Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews and John Mellencamp.
Pete quickly picked up the banjo in 1936 after attending the Mountain Dance and Folk
Festival in western North Carolina near Asheville and spent years attempting to master the
instrument. He went on to work for folk music archivist Alan Lomax and rose to fame thanks
to his performances on Lomax’s radio show in the ’40s. Seeger went on to pen a number of
now legendary tunes including “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season),” “If I
Had A Hammer (The Hammer Song)” and the Vietnam protest song “Waist Deep In The Big
Muddy.” The singer-songwriter is also known for his distaste of Bob Dylan going electric
at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, though he later came around on Bob’s decision to play
Pete Seeger was 94.
Watch Seeger perform “Waist Deep In The Big Muddy” on CBS in 1967: