He was perhaps best known as the author or co-author of the songs "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?", "If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)", and "Turn, Turn, Turn!", which have been recorded by many artists both in and outside the folk revival movement and are still sung throughout the world. "Flowers" was a hit recording for The Kingston Trio (1962), Marlene Dietrich, who recorded it in English, German and French (1962), and Johnny Rivers (1965). "If I Had a Hammer" was a hit for Peter, Paul & Mary (1962) and Trini Lopez (1963), while The Byrds popularized "Turn, Turn, Turn!" in the mid-1960s. Seeger was also widely credited with popularizing the traditional song "We Shall Overcome", which was recorded by Joan Baez and many other singer-activists, and became the publicly perceived anthem of the 1960s American Civil Rights Movement soon after musicologist Guy Carawan introduced it at the founding meeting of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960.
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