I first saw Pete Seeger sing in December 2012 at the Beacon Theater in New York City. He was one of the headliners in a show held to support Native American political prisoner Leonard Peltier.
Jackson Browne was there. So was Harry Belafonte and the rapper Common, as well as celebrity activists like Michael Moore. But 93-year old Pete Seeger started the concert singing a multiple of choruses from “Turn, Turn, Turn,” a tune that Seeger adapted from the Book of Ecclesiastes and which The Byrds made into a number-one hit.
On that December night, just over a year ago, the old man’s voice may have lost its lilt, but his warm connection to the audience, for which he was renowned, was instantly apparent. He was friendly and personable. However, when Pete Seeger took the stage, he always conveyed a sense of urgency -- that the battle against injustice can never cease.
Seeger was a veteran activist in the labor, peace and civil rights movements. He remained relevant as an activist into his 90s and was responsible for such anthems as "We Shall Overcome" and the iconic “If I Had A Hammer.” He was an inspiration to a generation of folksingers including the Kingston Trio and even Joan Baez, who once said: "We all owe our careers to Pete Seeger.