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Pete Seeger, a seminal figure in American music who kept folk music alive and influenced generations of musicians died Monday of natural causes in New York, his grandson confirmed to The New York Times. Seeger was 94.
Musician Seeger performs with Springsteen, Morello, Rodriguez-Seeger, Baez, Matthews and Haynes during concert in New York

(pic courtesy of Reuters) Musician Pete Seeger (R) performs with (L to 3rd R) Bruce Springsteen, Tom Morello, Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, Joan Baez, Dave Matthews and Warren Haynes during a concert celebrating Seeger’s 90th birthday in New York May 3, 2009.

As a solo performer, songwriter, interpreter, and member of the legendary folk band the Weavers, Seeger brought traditional and political songs to the mainstream over the course of his 70-year career. He wrote or co-wrote “If I Had a Hammer” (a hit for Peter, Paul and Mary) and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” (made famous by the Kingston Trio). The Byrds had a Number One hit with “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” which Seeger had adapted from the Book of Ecclesiastes and set to music. In Seeger hands, songs from Cuba (“Guantanamera”) and South Africa (“Wimoweh”) became beloved sing-along standards around the world, and “We Shall Overcome,” a traditional gospel song that Seeger heard early in his career, was a regular part of his repertoire and a staple of civil rights rallies for decades to come.

Read more: Rest of the Story on Rolling Stone
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