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Lee Hays: Weaving Folk Music Classics

Published: 3/14/2014
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The Weavers, a folk group first organized in 1948, perform in a 25th Anniversary reunion concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Nov. 28, 1980. From left are: Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Lee Hays was a key part of the folk music revolution in America. Born 100 years ago today, the singer and songwriter performed with the Almanac Singers and the Weavers, two of the great folk groups of the 1950s and '60s that influenced music for decades. Throughout his life, his path intertwined with Pete Seeger's. Both men were in both groups, they were roommates for a time, and they were both blacklisted during the McCarthy era. They wrote together, too. The songs written by Seeger and Hays for the Weavers are enduring compositions that have inspired generations of folkies. Much covered and greatly admired, these songs and other Weavers classics formed the backbone of the folk revival in the 1960s and beyond.

Here are two of our favorite songs written by Hays and Seeger.

"The Hammer Song (If I Had a Hammer)"


"Kisses Sweeter Than Wine"


Written by Linnea Crowther. Find her on Google+.

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