I've learned a little about Pete Seeger through some documentaries I've watched recently. His life included a lot of controversy and a lot of song. Regardless of your view of him, his music remains and his influence was and is wide. From the NYT...
Mr. Seeger was a prime mover in the folk revival that transformed popular music in the 1950s. As a member of the Weavers, he sang hits including Lead Belly’s “Goodnight, Irene” — which reached No. 1 — and “If I Had a Hammer,” which he wrote with the group’s Lee Hays. Another of Mr. Seeger’s songs, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?,” became an antiwar standard. And in 1965, the Byrds had a No. 1 hit with a folk-rock version of “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” Mr. Seeger’s setting of a passage from the Book of Ecclesiastes. (via NYT)
I can't help but see him as a cultural "worship leader" of sorts, as you can see with songs like "If I Had A Hammer" and "Michael Row the Boat Ashore." He believed that there is a power in song. You can find some of those songs in albums like If I Had A Hammer: Songs of Hope and Struggle.
As Christians it would be good for us to consider the power and possibility of creating songs a culture can sing beyond the church. Is there value in that? Is there anyone out there doing that? How can we foster artists who make a cultural impact?