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Pete Seeger: 20 Essential Tracks

Remember the folk icon with a playlist spanning his acclaimed career

pete seeger

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The late Pete Seeger was such a broadband conduit of folk music, who recorded so prolifically, that compiling a brief survey of his catalog is a daunting task. (The excellent and fairly concise 2009 collection American Favorite Ballads, only covers six years of his solo recordings, and clocks in at nearly 150 songs.) Nevertheless, here are 20 of the most memorable songs from Seeger’s heroic career as singer, songwriter, activist, and national conscience. Feel free to sing along. By Will Hermes

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“Shenendoah”

A beautiful sea chanty that dates back at least to the 1840s, it was recently covered by Tom Waits and Keith Richards. This version by Seeger shows his way with a ballad.

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“This Land Is Your Land”

Seeger remained an active performer into his 90s. This song, written by Woody Guthrie, was also a Seeger signature. He re-consecrated it for the 21st century at Barack Obama's 2009 Inauguration with some help from a friend, fan and musical heir, Bruce Springsteen.

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