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Reviving the Folk Reviver: Grassroots Movement Aims to Make Pete Seeger the Oldest Person to Reach Music Charts (Video)

Thompson on Hollywood By Maggie Lange | Thompson on Hollywood March 21, 2012 at 4:08PM

At age 92, legendary folksinger and Bob Dylan mentor Pete Seeger has much to be proud of. He served as an instrumental force in the American folk revival, influenced a generation of young singers in the 60s, and penned a number of American staples including "Turn! Turn! Turn!," "If I Had a Hammer," and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?"
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Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan, 1964.
Jim Marshall Photography. Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan, 1964.

At age 92, legendary folksinger and Bob Dylan mentor Pete Seeger has much to be proud of.  He served as an instrumental force in the American folk revival, influenced a generation of young singers in the 60s, and penned a number of American staples including "Turn! Turn! Turn!," "If I Had a Hammer," and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?"

The grassroots campaign www.ForeverPete.com aims to honor the Father of Folk and ardent human rights activist by propelling him back to the music charts.  This would make Seeger the oldest musician on the list, overtaking the current record-holder, Tony Bennett (85 in 2011). Forever Pete takes its model from the fan-based endeavor that succeeded in procuring Betty White's hosting gig on "Saturday Night Live" in 2010.

The song to take back the charts will be Seeger's cover of Dylan's "Forever Young," celebrating the 50th anniversary of the singer/songwriter's first album. A clip of Seeger intoning the ballad is posted below, along with a mini-documentary on the recording process. Seeger sings with the Rivertown Kids, eighteen young backups ages 9 to 13 whom Seeger mentors from his home village of Beacon, New York. Moneys made from the track benefit a longtime Seeger-supported human rights organization, Amnesty International, which also celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
 

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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.