This Monday will be the 50th anniversary of the release of Bob Dylan's debut album. Tied in to the anniversary is the release of the Dylan song Forever Young by 92-year-old Pete Seeger.
But there's more to this release than just a tribute to Dylan. A grassroots group, ForeverPete.com, is pushing for the single to sell enough copies to make Seeger the oldest living artists to ever place a recording on the singles chart. The current record holder is Tony Bennett at 85.
Seeger has a long history of chart success. In the 1950s he was a member of chart-topping folk group, the Weavers. In the 1960s he was frequently in music charts as composer or arranger of hits such as If I Had A Hammer, Where Have All The Flowers Gone?, We Shall Overcome and his chart-topping song for The Byrds Turn! Turn! Turn!
Seeger's song benefits the human rights organization Amnesty International - this year commemorating its 50th anniversary. Seeger is a longtime supporter.
On the video for the song below, Seeger is accompanied by eighteen youngsters (age 9-13) - the Rivertown Kids. Seeger has mentored this group from his home village of Beacon, NY since 2007. In 2011 Seeger and the Kids won the Grammy for Best Childrens' Album.
Seeger's recording of Forever Young expresses the philosophy he shares with Dylan of encouraging the young to retain their youthful idealism. Seeger has already encouraged the Kids to become musical ambassadors for environmentalism. Now he is inspiring them - and millions of other kids worldwide - to also become evangelists for human rights.
Seeger's recording was conceived and co-produced by longtime Amnesty activist/producer Martin Lewis (co-creator/producer with John Cleese of Amnesty's Secret Policeman's Ball series) and arranged and co-produced by Grammy-winning producer/composer Mark Hudson (Ringo Starr, Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne). The recording features a string quartet recorded by Grammy-winning Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick.
Following the video is a documentary on its making.