remember a songwriter who inspired generations of singers. From bob Dylan, to Bruce Springsteen. Pete Seeger, his words, his banjo. Urging Americans to take up a hammer for civil rights and for... See More
remember a songwriter who inspired generations of singers. From bob Dylan, to Bruce Springsteen. Pete Seeger, his words, his banjo. Urging Americans to take up a hammer for civil rights and for justice. ABC's John donvan, now, on the man who put music to America's conscious. Reporter: Watch what Pete Seeger did here two years ago. Where just for a moment, he stopped singing. Knowing, the words would get sung by everybody else. For the better part of a century, that was one of his goals, whether singing other people's compositions, like Dylan's "A hard rain's a-gonna fall." ♪ Did you see my blue-eyed son what did you see, my darling ♪ ♪ young one ♪ ♪ if I had a hammer ♪ Reporter: Or his own, like "If I had a hammer," which peter, Paul and Mary made famous. ♪ I got a hammer and I got a bell ♪ ♪ to everything ♪ Reporter: Or "Turn, turn, turn," a huge hit for the byrds. ♪ A time for love ♪ Reporter: The goal was to get everybody else up and singing. So, it was a natural, that he delivered to the civil rights movement, a song he collected from the labor movement and reworked, "We shall overcome." ♪ We shall overcome ♪ Reporter: He saw music as a way to motivate social change. By ripe old age, he had achieved full-on icon status. A hero to Springsteen, who brought him on to inaugurate a president. That was five years ago. And still, he song, until he stopped. Once again, mid-chorus, but for good. Though the words, of course, will still get sung by everybody else. John donvan, ABC news, Washington.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.