Seeger grew up surrounded by music. His father, Charles, was a folklorist and his mother, Ruth Crawford Seeger, was a music scholar, teacher and classical composer, according to His sister Peggy is also a musician and social activist.

After learning to play the banjo, guitar, fiddle, autoharp dulcimer, harmonica and several other instruments in his late teens, Mike Seeger co-founded the New Lost City Ramblers string band with John Cohen and Tom Paley in the late 1950s.

The Ramblers often collaborated onstage with older rural musicians, paying tribute to the senior players and drumming up interest in new and traditional arrangements of old 78 RPM recordings.

Seeger toured with the Ramblers and as a solo artist in addition to producing dozens of albums with the New Lost City Ramblers and other musicians.

In 1986 he started the Rockbridge Mountain Music and Dance Festival near his home in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The fest is still held today.

Seeger documented music and dance and produced teaching videos on a number of instruments and styles, according to NPR. Before he died he was working on a documentary project about Southern banjo players.

During his five decades-long career, he was nominated for six Grammys, according to Rolling Stone.

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