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Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger
PETE SEEGER (1919 – 2014) was born in New York City. As a son of Charles Seeger, the musicologist, and stepson of Ruth Crawford-Seeger, the composer, he was raised in a home devoted to American folk music. He studied sociology at Harvard (1936 – 1938) but left to pursue his interest in singing and painting.

Influenced by Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie, Seeger formed (with Guthrie) the Almanac Singers in 1941, one of the first such groups to give voice to social issues. In 1949 he joined the Weavers, the first commercially successful folk music group. Seeger performed for the civil rights and antiwar movements of the 1950s and 1960s, and at one point, he fell afoul of the U.S. government for his antiwar actions.

On of Seeger’s best-known original songs is “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?,” which he composed in 1961. By the 1980s he was lending his voice and reputation to the environmental movement. In addition to performing, he wrote scholarly articles on folk music.


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