Pete Seeger died yesterday aged 94. If the name is not familiar to you, you will probably have heard of or even know at least one of his songs.
If you belong to a certain generation, you will surely have heard the song Where Have All The Flowers Gone? This was recorded by the Kingston Trio in 1961, and is arguably his greatest song; additional verses were added by Joe Hickerson.
Although he wrote many others, Seeger was known as much for the causes he supported as for his music. You will find him on the Web at Pete Seeger Music to begin with, and also in the Internet Movie Database.
A contemporary of both Woody Guthrie (with whom he performed in the Almanac Singers) and Lead Belly, he earned notoriety of a sort in his younger days, and at one point found himself in contempt of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, but as so often happens, in later years he was embraced by the establishment. In January 2009, he performed for Barack Obama along with a later blue collar rebel, Bruce Springsteen. Although always a folk artist, Seeger's influence can be found across the genres, including rock.
On his death yesterday, the BBC dug out this footage of him; you will find a lot more on YouTube.
Pete Seeger, songwriter, performer and activist, born May 3, 1919, New York City; died New York City, January 27, 2014.