Photo: Pete Seeger's homemade banjo with inscription, “This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.”
Pete Seeger is one of the most important figures in the history of American folk music. In the notes to the box set “Washington Square Memoirs,” musicologist Cary Ginell writes that, ”the image of Seeger, with his homemade long-neck five string banjo, is synonymous with folk music… Today, only Woody Guthrie equals his status as a folk music icon.” He believed songs were a way of binding people to a cause. Seeger died Monday at the age of 94.
Terry Gross spoke to the folk legend in 1985. Today we rebroadcast the interview in memory of him.