Every country and place has its style of folk singer. Mexico has the narcotics-themed gruperos; the late Gerry Rafferty propelled folk to hit status as part of Stealers Wheel and his solo hit “Baker Street”, but while that long career is respectable, no one sang longer than Pete Seeger. Folk singer Pete Seeger is dead at age 94, bringing to a close a 70-year career. Seeger began singing and performing in the 1930s for his aunt in her school room, and just continued on from there, singing on national radio in the 40s, scoring a string of hits with The Weavers in the 50’s, building an audience on college campuses and with the various protest movements of the 60’s, and so on. He performed most recently in September 2013, jumping on stage to join a Farm Aid concert in Saratoga Springs, New York.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADtAU43MM14
“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. And now people do it all the time,” said Kitama Cahill Jackson, Seeger’s granddaughter.
Seeger’s most valuable contribution, aside from his music, was his work alongside Alan Lomax recording and capturing musical history and traditions throughout the rural south and Appalachians as part of the Smithsonian’s Archive of American Songs project. He would then expose the songs to a national audience, or during his tours around college campuses as a wandering music teacher, thereby preserving a vital part of America’s history and traditions from loss. The fact that he would become an active part of that history no doubt amused him greatly.
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