Peter “Pete” Seeger, 94 years-old, died of natural causes January 27, 2014. Seeger is considered to be one of the pioneers of contemporary folk music. He popularized songs like “This Land is Your Land” and “We Shall Overcome” and wrote famous hits like “If I Had a Hammer” and “Turn, Turn, Turn.”
Seeger began his career in the late 1930s. “I come from a family of teachers, and I was looking for a job on a newspaper and not getting one,” he said in an interview with CNN. “I had an aunt who said, ‘Peter, I can get five dollars for you if you come and sing some of your songs in my class.’ Five dollars? In 1939, you would have to work all day or two days to make five dollars. It seemed like stealing.” But Seeger said he took his aunt up on the offer. “Pretty soon I was playing school after school, and I never did work on a newspaper,” he said “You don’t have to play at nightclubs, you don’t have to play on TV, just go from college to college to college, and the kids will sing along with you.”
And the rest is history. Seeger went on to make folk music his own genre by not allowing any stereotypes pin him to any specific tune or beat. The singer-songwriter will go down in history as a legend that paved the way for musicians around the world.