“Songs won't save the planet, but neither will books or speeches.”
“It's a very important thing to learn to talk to people you disagree with.”
“I love my country very dearly, and I greatly resent the implication that some of the places that I have sung and some of the people that I have known, and some of my opinions, whether they are religious or philosophical, make me less of an American.”
Pete Seeger (born Peter Seeger in New York, New York on May 3, 1919) was an American folk singer, musician, songwriter, political activist, author and television host. He became fascinated with folk music after visiting a music festival in North Carolina in 1935, when he was 16 years old. He was inspired to pick up an obsolete instrument, the five-string banjo, and make it his own! He dropped out of Harvard after two years of studying sociology so he could hit the road with his music, often hitchhiking to festivals country-wide. He spent three years in the Army, serving in the special services, and entertaining the troops with his music during WWII. His most popular songs include “If I Had a Hammer,” “Turn, Turn, Turn,” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.” Over his 70+ year career in music, he was associated with The Weavers, The Almanac Singers, Woody Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie, Bob Dylan and Lead Belly. He was long blacklisted from television due to his outspoken and controversial political opinions, but he took on his own TV show, Rainbow Quest in 1960.
Seeger was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. He won a Grammy Award in 1997 for best traditional folk album for his album “Pete.” He was nominated for a Grammy in 2014 for his spoken-word piece, “The Storm King.”
Pete passed away from natural causes in New York City surrounded by his family on January 27, 2014 at the age of 94.
Best Known For:
Pete Seeger is best known for being a folk singer and musician and American political activist.
Pete Seeger married Toshi-Aline Ohta in 1943. Their first child, Peter Ōta Seeger, was born in 1944 and died six months later. Pete was on military deployment during his son’s birth and death, and was, sadly, never able to meet him. The couple also welcomed son Daniel and daughters Mika and Tinya. Their grandchildren included Tao, Cassie, and Kitama. The couple stayed together until Toshi’s death in July 2013.