« Toward a Coal-Free Massachusetts | Main | Sierra Club, Local Residents Stop Illegal Logging for Peabody Coal Mine »

January 29, 2014

Pete Seeger: Singer of Social Change

Pete-SeegerPhoto by Anthony Pepitone, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Legendary folk singer and social activist Pete Seeger, whose career spanned more than 70 years, died this Monday, January 27, at age 94.

A believer that music could be a catalyst for societal change, Seeger championed civil and labor rights, racial equality, and anti-militarism. Although he served in the U.S. Army in World War II, he was a leading voice in opposition to the Vietnam War. Around the same time, after reading Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, he became an environmental activist, co-founding the organization Hudson River Sloop Clearwater in 1966 to highlight pollution in the Hudson River and advocate for its cleanup.

Pete-SeegerPhoto by James Kavalinnes, New York World Telegram, courtesy of the Library of Congress.

In 2009, Sierra Club deputy communications director Orli Cotel interviewed Seeger for Sierra Club Radio. "It was one of my favorite interviews that I've ever done," Cotel says. "He talked with us for nearly 15 minutes about music and social change, his 40-year fight to clean up the Hudson River, performing at President Obama's inauguration, and loads more. He was truly inspiring."

Listen to the interview.

"A good song reminds us what we're fighting for."
- Pete Seeger

Pete-SeegerPete Seeger at the 2009 Newport Folk Festival. Photo by William Wallace, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

User comments or postings reflect the opinions of the responsible contributor only, and do not reflect the viewpoint of the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club does not endorse or guarantee the accuracy of any posting. The Sierra Club accepts no obligation to review every posting, but reserves the right (but not the obligation) to delete postings that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate.

Up to Top

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter RSS Feed

Sierra Club Main | Contact Us | Terms and Conditions of Use | Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights | Website Help

Sierra Club® and "Explore, enjoy and protect the planet"® are registered trademarks of the Sierra Club. © 2013 Sierra Club.
The Sierra Club Seal is a registered copyright, service mark, and trademark of the Sierra Club.