Pete Seeger, folk singer, activist, song archivist and one of the most important American musical voices of the 20th century, has died at age 94, his grandson Kitama Cahill-Jackson told the Associated Press.
The singer, who lost his wife, Toshi, last year, was responsible for such classics of American song as "We Shall Overcome," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" and "Turn, Turn, Turn."
As Claudia Luther noted in the Times' obituary, Seeger influenced generations:
"At some point, Pete Seeger decided he'd be a walking, singing reminder of all of America's history," Bruce Springsteen said at the all-star Madison Square Garden concert marking Seeger's 90th birthday in 2009.
"He'd be a living archive of America's music and conscience, a testament to the power of song and culture to nudge history along, to push American events towards a more humane and justified ends," said Springsteen, who had performed Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" with Seeger at the Lincoln Memorial concert marking President Obama's 2008 inauguration.
Gifted at connecting with audiences, Seeger called his ability to inspire regular folks to sing along his "cultural guerrilla tactic." "There's no such thing as a wrong note as long as you're singing it," he told the 15,000-strong crowd at his birthday celebration.
Pop & Hiss will have a full appreciation of Seeger in the coming hours. For now, though, watch a clip of him playing with Johnny Cash and June Carter (later June Carter Cash) in 1965.