Great Performances

Pete Seeger's 90th Birthday Celebration From Madis

Season 35, Episode 1 of 12

With a career spanning more than half a century, legendary folk artist and political activist, Pete Seeger turned 90 in May of 2009. Born to a large family of musicians, young Peter first learned to play the ukulele, graduating to the five-string banjo in the mid-1930s, ultimately mastering the instrument and in the process, galvanizing the American folk music movement. A pioneer of protest music, Seeger's anti-Vietnam War songs, including the now famous "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" and "Turn, Turn, Turn," as well his interpretation of the Civil Rights anthem, "We Shall Overcome," garnered mainstream attention in the 1960's, revitalizing the genre and paving the way for countless other activist musicians-including Bob Dylan-to achieve widespread acclaim. Joining Seeger for a once-in-a-lifetime concert event in celebration of his milestone birthday at Madison Square Garden are Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Kris Kristofferson, Richie Havens, Emmylou Harris, Roger McGuinn, Ani DiFranco, Taj Mahal, Ben Harper, Peggy Seeger, Dave Matthews, and many others who perform songs inspired by his music and activism.

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