Pete Seeger Dies at 94

    Musician Pete Seeger performs during a concert celebrating his 90th birthday in New York May 3, 2009. The concert at Madison Square Garden has an all-star roster of performers with proceeds to benefit Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, a non-profit corporation founded by Seeger in 1966 to bring environmental attention to the Hudson River Valley. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES ENTERTAINMENT) - RTXEP87

    Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    Folk legend Pete Seeger died of natural causes on Monday night at the age of 94. Seeger wrote and adapted classic songs, including “If I Had a Hammer,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” and the Byrds’ “Turn! Turn! Turn!” The folk singer was a major influence on Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and Bruce Springsteen. Seeger was also a vocal political and social activist: he is the only singer in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame who was convicted with contempt of Congress after he refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1955. An ardent communist in his younger years, Seeger maintained his belief in its ideals but broke with the party and later apologized for not condemning Stalin and the Soviet Union earlier. “Songs won’t save the planet,” Seeger said “But, then, neither will books or speeches…Songs are sneaky things. They can slip across borders. Proliferate in prisons.”

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