Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Aging Rockers--Not About Rocking Chairs!

I first saw information about the Young@Heart Chorus when I was working for an Area Agency on Aging. It was so inspiring to get my latest post from one of my favorite blogs, Time Goes By
by Ronni Bennett to see that they are Staying Alive!.

I checked out their website to see more about the movie about them that will be released this April. There I found out more details about their movie: "Prepare to be entertained by the inspiring individuals of 'Young@Heart,' a New England senior citizens chorus that has delighted audiences worldwide with their covers of songs by everyone from The Clash to Coldplay. As Stephen Walker's documentary begins, the retirees, led by their strict musical director, are rehearsing their new show, struggling with a discordant Sonic Youth number and giving new meaning to James Brown's "I Feel Good." What ultimately emerges is a funny and unexpectedly moving testament to the simple things these seniors value: old friendships, new challenges and a little time in the spotlight".

Also from the Young@Heart website I found some of their history. "When the Young@ Heart began in 1982 the members all lived in an elderly housing project in Northampton, MA called the Walter Salvo House. The first group included elders who lived through both World Wars. One of our members had fought in the Battle of the Somme as a 16 year old and another, Anna Main, lost her husband in the First World War. Anna was a stand-up comic who at 88 told jokes that only she could get away with. She sang with us until she was 100. We celebrated her 100th birthday with a parade downtown. We actually had to reschedule the parade for a year later when her family informed us that we had the date wrong and she was only 99. This initial group also included Diamond Lillian Aubrey who came on our first two European tours and wowed the audiences with her deadpan version of Manfred Mann’s “Doo Wah Diddy”. In later years she appeared “on stage” via video, performing the Stone’s “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”.

"The current performers in Young@Heart range in age from 72 to 88. There are some with prior professional theater or music experience, others who have performed extensively on the amateur level, and some who never stepped onto a stage before turning eighty. None of the current performers of Y@H were part of the original group that formed in 1982, but they have kept alive the spirit of the early pioneers and continue to push the group into glorious new directions."

Here is the trailer for the movie which will be released in April 2008.

What are you doing this Saturday night? I'm searching to find my Saturday Night Live album and I am gonna be rockin'!

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

I love this post. I grew up in New England, sounds like I need to go back there.