In The News

Tributes are paid to Pete Seeger

Tributes are paid to Pete Seeger

TRIBUTES have been paid from across the music world to Pete Seeger the U.S. folk singer and activist who has passed away at the age of 94.

He will be best remembered for songs such as If I Had A Hammer (see below) and Where Have All The Flowers Gone? (see below). He also played a major part in popularising the protest song We Shall Overcome (see below).

The roots of Mr. Seeger’s activism can be traced from the time, as a young man, he had travelled extensively in America and had been confronted by the extreme poverty being suffered by many. Coming from a comfortable family lifestyle in New York, what he witnessed on his road trip was to set him on a course which would bring him into conflict with the establishment for the rest of his life.

Music had been important to him from an early age. He learned to play the banjo when he was 15. During his early travels he would play at events such a union meetings and protests.

He gained early fame in the late 1940s as a member of the quartet The Weavers. 

When anti-communist fervour gripped America in the 1950s, Mr. Seeger was hauled before the Un-American Activities Committee to be questioned about whether he had sung for Communists. After refusing to testify, he was indicted for contempt and jailed — he was released on appeal but found himself blacklisted. 

During this period the singer was banned from appearing on national television, could not hold concerts in many major venues and was prevented from visiting university campuses. But he found alternative venues to perform his work and continued to write songs. In the 1960s, he campaigned against the Vietnam War.

Over the years Mr. Seeger has been feted by many in the music world, including Bob Dillon and Bruce Springsteen. 

In recent years, he had appeared at a gala concert in Washington in 2009 ahead of President Obama’s inauguration, at the Farm Aid fund-raising event in 2013 (to help crisis-hit farmers) and at an event to mark his 94th. birthday (see below).

He was inducted into the U.S. Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and won a Grammy the following year for best traditional folk album. He had been due to receive The Woody Guthrie Award in New York on February 22.

Mr. Seeger passed away at a hospital in New York. He is survived by his children Daniel, Mika and Tinya. His wife, Toshi, passed away in 2013.

To see archive footage of Mr. Seeger performing If I Had A Hammer, click here.

To see archive footage of Mr. Seeger performing Where Have All The Flowers Gone?, click here.

To listen to Mr. Seeger performing We Shall Overcome, click here.

To see an interview in which Mr. Seeger discusses the history of We Shall Overcome, click here.

To see Mr. Seeger’s appearance at an event to mark his 94th. Birthday, click here.

View previous In the News items: Slight rise in number of deaths in Northern Ireland, Stargazer John Dobson passes away, Actress Sarah Marshall passes away, Tributes are paid to Sir Christopher Chataway, Tributes are paid to Lord McAlpine, Tributes are paid to Roger Lloyd Pack, Thieves target urn containing ashes of Sigmund Freud, Actress Alexandra Bastedo passes away, Poet Amiri Baraka passes away, Tributes are paid to Paul Goggins, Entertainment mogul Run Run Shaw passes away, Tributes are paid to film producer Saul Zaentz, Local charities hold Christmas appeals, Actress Joan Fontaine passes away, Tributes are paid to screen legend Peter OToole, Tributes are paid to novelist Colin Wilson, Final preparations are made for funeral of Nelson Mandela, Actress Eleanor Parker passes away, Tributes are paid to actor Barry Jackson, Pianist and composer Stan Tracey passes away, National Memorial Service held for Nelson Mandela, Actress Mary Riggans passes away, Tributes are paid to actor Paul Walker, Actress Jean Kent passes away, Tributes are paid to actor Lewis Collins, Leading crossword setter Araucaria passes away, Funeral takes place of Fr Alec Reid, Former Manchester United footballer passes away, Belfast writer is honoured at Westminster Abbey, Tributes are paid to Nobel winning scientist Frederick Sanger, Broadcaster Ray Gosling passes away, Immunologist William Pollack passes away, Oldest person in UK passes away, Tributes are paid to former rugby star Steve Prescott, Hundreds attend the funeral of Eddie McGrady, Hundreds attend funeral of former RAF man, Former broadcaster John Cole passes away, Tributes are paid to pianist Bernard Roberts, Scottish singer Jack Alexander passes away, Jazz musician Frank Wess passes away, Actor Graham Stark passes away, Memorial is unveiled to hero priest, Actress Marcia Wallace passes away, Tributes are paid to Augusto Odone, Tributes are paid to jazzman Tommy Whittle, Singer Noel Harrison passes away, Former US politician Tom Foley passes away, Tributes are paid to actor Kumar Pallana, Character actor Ed Lauter passes away, Chemist Malcolm Renfrew passes away, Campaigner for child proof packaging passes away, Writer Oscar Hijuelos passes away, Former astronaut Scott Carpenter passes away, Veteran actor Paul Rogers passes away or Former Aussie criminal Chopper Read passes away

If you have a relative or a friend who has passed away and feel they should be mentioned in our In the News section, then please email us.