It would be remiss of us not to mention the passing of Pete Seeger, legendary singer / songwriter and activist on so many causes. Pete passed away in hospital in his native New York on Monday morning aged 94 years.
Born in 1919 while Mother Jones was busy fighting to unionise steel workers in Pennsylvania, one can easily see the influence she and others such as Joe Hill had on Pete Seeger. His radical but deeply religious parents were also seminal influences on Seeger. From an early age his life was steeped in music and activism.
The life and career of Pete Seeger has been chronicled elsewhere. His death made worldwide news with praise heaped on him from all quarters, including those of whom he was deeply critical.
From the Almanac Singers to the Weavers and a lengthy career, Seeger went through almost every genre of music but folk was his mainstay. He was never afraid to take on the powerful, whether it was facing up to police dogs in Alabama in the struggle for civil rights or the cynical witch-hunts of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s “Unamerican Activities Commission”. Still active until a short time before his death, Seeger’s name and legacy will go on.
For more on Pete’s long life and career read this tribute from Rolling Stone magazine: