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He Shall Overcome: Pete Seeger at 90

In the year that Pete Seeger celebrates his 90th birthday, Billy Bragg tells the story of a remarkable life in folk music and politics.

Pete Seeger was born during the great depression and, in the 90 years since, he has become an influential and iconic figure. His forthright lyrics about civil rights, unions and ordinary Americans, sung with the aid of a banjo, ensured that he was blacklisted for decades. Never able to play on mainstream TV or radio, he took to the road, bringing his message to the very people he was writing and singing about.

Billy Bragg helps explain the importance of Seeger, and we hear many different versions of his classic songs. We also hear from singers who have joined him on stage, or taken to the stage because of him, as well as those who have sung his songs.

Contributors include the Grammy-Award winning singer-songwriter Nanci Griffith; Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, who remembers how they recorded Turn Turn, Turn and turned it into a worldwide number one; Donavan describes how important Seeger was to him; and Tom Paxton, who was part of the 60s Greenwich Village scene with Pete, explains how important We Shall Overcome was to the whole Civil Rights movement. A song which has become a musical symbol of resistance to oppression.

Release date:

1 hour, 30 minutes

Last on

Wed 9 Dec 2009 20:30