LYNN NEARY, host:
Pete Seeger turns 90 today, and he's still performing. In fact, he's playing and singing tonight at a birthday bash in Madison Square Garden alongside Bruce Springsteen, Dave Matthews, Emmylou Harris and a bunch of others. Proceeds from the show will go to Clearwater, an organization and a boat launched by Seeger 40 years ago to raise awareness about pollution in the Hudson River.
(Soundbite of song, "My Dirty Stream (The Hudson River Song)")
Mr. PETE SEEGER (Musician): (Singing) Sailing down my dirty stream, still I love it and I'll keep the dream that someday, though maybe not this year, my Hudson River will once again run clear…
NEARY: Pete Seeger believes that music can bring us together and make our lives better. He began singing for migrant workers in the 1930s. He kept right on singing for and about workers into the 1950s when his beliefs and his refusal to testify about those beliefs before Congress got him blacklisted. But that didn't stop Seeger. He kept right on singing and when he joined the fight for civil rights, he helped create a song that became the movement's anthem.
(Soundbite of song, "We Shall Overcome")
Mr. SEEGER: (Singing) We shall overcome.
Unidentified People: (Singing) We shall overcome, my Lord.
NEARY: Seeger sang out against the Vietnam War and all of the others since. He continues to encourage all of us to sing. You can't leave one of his concerts without singing along. But as we celebrate his 90th birthday, we shouldn't forget that Pete Seeger is also one heck of a banjo player.
(Soundbite of banjo playing)
NEARY: Happy Birthday, Pete.