American Icons: Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger died Monday night after being hospitalized in New York for six days. He was 94. This article originally appeared in our January/February 2013 issue. Few are more iconic and deserving of inclusion in this column than Pete Seeger. At 93, this man long known as “America’s tuning fork” seems more visible than ever, the object of veneration around the globe, and is featured on a bevy of new CDs and DVDs. Like the just released album A More Perfect Union, which features 14 co-written new songs and guest vocalists Bruce Springsteen, Steve Earle, Tom Morello, Emmylou Harris, and Dar Williams. Given that this American hero was actively blacklisted for years, kept off of TV and radio, his albums sometimes never even shipped out of the factories to stores, it’s a profound and welcome shift for our culture. Because Pete Seeger, besides being a songwriter of several classic American songs, such as “If I Had A Hammer,” “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?” and “Turn, Turn, Turn” is also an authentic historic link to the tradition of American popular music of the 20th century as created and developed with cohorts Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Cisco Houston, Malvina Reynolds, Lee Hays…

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