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Fred Hellerman, 89, the last of the Weavers

September 2, 2016

Fred Hellerman, the last remaining member of the Weavers, died Thursday, his son, Caleb, confirmed Friday morning in a telephone interview.

Hellerman was 89.

The son said that there would be no funeral, adding that a memorial event will likely take place in the coming months.

“I have sad news to share: my dad, Fred Hellerman, died this morning after a long run of failing health,” Caleb announced on Facebook. “He was home and surrounded by family. It’s still sinking in, but I appreciate the words of comfort that many of you have shared. There won’t be a funeral but we will hold a memorial service, with music, some time in the next few months.”

The Weavers, whose other members were Pete Seeger and Lee Hays and Ronnie Gilbert helped spark a national folk revival by churning out hit recordings of “Goodnight Irene,” ″On Top of Old Smokey,” ″If I Had A Hammer,” ″Kisses Sweeter Than Wine” and “Wimoweh.”

The group was hugely popular before being targeted by anti-Communists and blacklisted during the Red Scare.

Hellerman lived on Goodhill Road in Weston since 1969.

The group, formed in 1948 and disbanded in 1964, played a reunion concert Carnegie Hall in New York City on Nov. 28, 1980.

Seeger died in 2014 at age 94, Gilbert died in 2015, and Hays in 1981.