Folk Legend Pete Seeger Dies Leaving Amazing Legacy You Didn't Even Know You Knew

Folk music legend and civil rights activist Pete Seeger died Monday at 94 years old. Seeger hit his peak of fame in the 1950s and 1960s with his versions of rabble-rousing, anti-Establishment songs like, "This Land Is Your Land," "Goodnight Irene," "We Shall Overcome," and "Joe Hill."

He wrote or cowrote some of the era's most iconic songs, including "Turn, Turn, Turn," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," "On Top of Old Smokey," and "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine." He adapted a South African chant called "Wimoweh," which became the enormous hit "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." His influence is huge and legendary. He was an early backer of Bob Dylan -- despite supposedly threatening to unplug his equipment at a famous folk festival. He collaborated extensively with Bruce Springsteen and was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

Here are what some of the most important people in music and other fields are saying about Pete:

Bruce Springsteen wrote a tribute for Pete on his 90th birthday, saying:

At some point Pete Seeger decided he'd be a walking, singing reminder of all of America's history. He'd be a living archive of America's music and conscience, a testament of the power of song and culture to nudge history along, to push American events towards more humane and justified ends. He would have the audacity and the courage to sing in the voice of the people, and despite Pete's somewhat benign, grandfatherly appearance, he is a creature of a stubborn, defiant, and nasty optimism.

Here is Bruce and Pete singing "This Land Is Your Land" at President Obama's Inauguration:

And singing one of his most famous tunes, "Turn, Turn, Turn":

Pete Seeger sing-along from Paige Rentz on Vimeo.

 

Image & video via Enrico VL/YouTube

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