MEDIA RESOURCE PAGE FOR THE “FOREVER PETE!” CAMPAIGN

 

 

1)  For comprehensive news release & background info:  scroll down this page

 

2)  For two broadcast-quality video clips:  Click to Download

 

        A)  The Music Video (3:20) 121 MB (file titled: Seeger Video)  Click to view low-rez  

        B)  The EPK (6:28)  273 MB (file titled: Seeger Docu)  Click to view low-rez

 

3)  To download high-rez photographs

 

• Pete Seeger with Bob Dylan in 1964 at the Newport Folk Festival Click to Download

• Pete Seeger & The Rivertown Kids recording “Forever Young” Click to Download

• Pete Seeger with banjo (face-on) Click to Download

• Pete Seeger with banjo (profile) Click to Download

• Pete Seeger with “Forever Young” co-producer Martin Lewis Click to Download

 

All images please credit: Photo by Gus Philippas  

EXCEPT 1964 image of Seeger & Dylan – please credit: © Jim Marshall Photography LLC

 

4)  For interviews, more photos or further information – please contact:

 

Irene Dean - Jane Ayer Public Relations

818-582-8481 Ext. 501  •  irene@janeayerpr.com

or media@ForeverPete.com

 

 

 

THE FULL PRESS RELEASE

(followed by background data)

 

• BOB DYLAN'S 50th ANNIVERSARY MARKED BY NEW RECORDING BY DYLAN MENTOR PETE SEEGER

 

• PETE SEEGER (age 92) SET TO BECOME OLDEST PERSON TO REACH MUSIC CHARTS!

 

• RELEASES DIGITAL CHARITY SINGLE & MUSIC VIDEO OF BOB DYLAN'S SONG "FOREVER YOUNG"

 

• BID TO MAKE CHART HISTORY CHALLENGES RECORD OF TONY BENNETT (age 85)

 

• SEEGER ADMIRERS LAUNCH "FOREVER PETE!" CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE HISTORIC CHART BID

 

 

New York - March 19, 2012.   March 2012 marks the 50th anniversary of the release of Bob Dylan's eponymous first album. The album “Bob Dylan” was released on March 19th 1962. The anniversary is being marked by the release of a new digital charity single and music video of a classic Dylan song "Forever Young" by one of Dylan's mentors and inspirations - legendary folksinger, composer and activist Pete Seeger.  The release is being championed by a grassroots campaign titled "Forever Pete!"

 

Seeger is 92 years-young.  He will be 93 on May 3rd 2012.

 

His new charity recording could see him become the oldest person (at 92 & ten months) ever to reach the music charts of major nations such as the US, UK, Australia and Canada.   

 

It is fitting that Seeger's "Forever Young" audio track and music video are to be released on Monday March 19th - the exact 50th anniversary (to the day) of the release of Bob Dylan's eponymous first album in March 1962.  Dylan has cited Seeger as one of his earliest influences and inspirations. Seeger was a mentor of Dylan's breakthrough performances at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963, 1964 and 1965.

 

A grassroots campaign - modeled on the successful fan-based endeavor in 2010 to get 88-year-old Betty White to host "Saturday Night Live" - has been started by admirers of Pete Seeger to draw public attention to the bid to have Seeger become the oldest musician to reach the charts.  The campaign - titled "Forever Pete!" - has just launched a website (www.ForeverPete.com), Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/ForeverPete) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ForeverPeteSeeger)

 

The current record-holders for oldest charting performers with new content (as distinct from reissues) are:  In the US, UK and Australian singles charts: Tony Bennett (age 85 in 2011). In the UK album charts: singer Doris Day (age 87 in 2011).  Seeger's newly-recorded track - released just 6 weeks before his 93rd birthday - would surpass all other previous record-holders.  (See addendum below with full details of music charts history)

 

Seeger has a long history of chart success as both a performer and writer.  In the 1950s he was a key member of chart-topping folk group, the Weavers and he subsequently became a popular solo artist.  In the 1960s his name was frequently in music charts worldwide as composer or arranger of hits such as "If I Had A Hammer", "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?", We Shall Overcome", "Guantanamera" and his chart-topping song for The Byrds, "Turn! Turn! Turn!"  (See more details below) 

 

 

If Seeger reaches the US charts, he would also become the artist with the longest span between US Top Forty hits (58 years: 1954-2012) and the longest span between first hit and latest US hit (62 years: 1950-2012).

 

Seeger has recorded his version of "Forever Young" to benefit the Nobel Peace Prize-winning human rights organization Amnesty International - that this year commemorates its 50th anniversary.  Seeger has been a supporter of Amnesty since its inception.

 

 

SEEGER'S NEW CONTENDER FOR CHART SUCCESS

 

Seeger's half-spoken, half-sung performance of Dylan's 1974 song "Forever Young” is one of 76 tracks on the all-star album "Chimes Of Freedom" benefitting Amnesty International - released on CD and digitally.  On the album, many of the world's leading musicians - young and old, established and newcomers - perform compositions by Bob Dylan.  The album is a sequel to the "Instant Karma" album of John Lennon songs that has raised over US $4 million for Amnesty's "Save Darfur" campaign since its release in 2007.

 

In addition to being one of the many stellar tracks on the album, Seeger's performance is also captured on a new music video made by an award-winning team.  And the project is the subject of a mini-documentary "The Story Of 'Forever Young' by Pete Seeger".  Both videos are available for free viewing on the YouTube channel of Amnesty International  (www.youtube.com/user/AmnestyUSA)

 

Seeger is not alone on his recording.  He is accompanied by a chorus of eighteen youngsters age 9-13 - the Rivertown Kids.  Seeger has mentored this singing group from his home village of Beacon, NY for the past three years. In 2011 Seeger and the Rivertown Kids won the Grammy for Best Childrens' Album.

 

Seeger - who as a pioneer musician, folk revivalist and activist inspired and performed with the young Bob Dylan - regards his recording of Dylan's "Forever Young" as a way of expressing the philosophy he shares with Dylan of encouraging the young to retain their youthful idealism.  Seeger regards it as one of the secrets of his own longevity. In recent years Seeger has worked with the Rivertown Kids and encouraged them 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 PREVIOUS CHART HISTORY

 

In the early 1950s, Seeger topped the Billboard US music charts as a member of the folk group The Weavers. Seeger and the Weavers had 11 US Top Thirty hits in the years 1950-1954 including four songs in the Top Five. Their chart hits included "On Top of Old Smoky", "Kisses Sweeter than Wine", "Sloop John B", "Rock Island Line", "The Midnight Special", "Tzena, Tzena, Tzena", "So Long", "Around the World" and "The Roving Kind". Their first hit - "Goodnight Irene" - was #1 for 13 consecutive weeks in 1950.

 

In the 1960s, Seeger became a regular name in singles charts around the world as the composer/reviver/adapter/arranger of songs performed by other artists - many of whom had been inspired by Seeger's work as a member of the Weavers, and by his solo work as leader of the folk music revival.

 

These hits included:  "If I Had A Hammer" a US Top Ten hit for both Peter, Paul & Mary (in 1962) and Trini Lopez (in 1963); "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?" a hit for both The Kingston Trio (1962) and Johnny Rivers (1965). Seeger also adapted and co-wrote the song "Guantanamera" a 1966 chart hit for The Sandpipers. The Byrds had a big success with their 1965 cover of Seeger's song "Bells Of Rhymney".  Seeger's biggest chart success as a writer was the song "Turn, Turn Turn" - a #1 US hit and worldwide success for The Byrds in 1965.  And a 1969 chart hit for Judy Collins.  

 

As a solo performer, Seeger's recording of "We Shall Overcome" - the traditional song he revived and adapted -became one of the key anthems of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.  Joan Baez had a hit with her version of Seeger's arrangement.  His versions of "Wimoweh (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)" and "Guantanamera" were widely popular and his performance of "Little Boxes" was an international hit single in 1963 including in the USA, UK and Australia - where it was a #1 single for several weeks.  (See addendum for full details of Seeger's music charts history)

 

 

BEHIND THE SCENES OF SEEGER'S NEW RECORDING & MUSIC VIDEO

 

Seeger's recording of "Forever Young" 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" benefit series) and arranged and co-produced by Grammy-winning record producer/composer Mark Hudson (Ringo Starr, Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne).  The recording includes a classical string quartet recorded by four-time Grammy-winning Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick ("Revolver", "Sgt. Pepper", "White Album", "Abbey Road") - playing a string arrangement by Emmy Award-winning film composer John Altman ("RKO 281", "Hear My Song", "Little Voice", "Life Of Brian"). The string quartet was led by Bruce Dukov (concertmaster of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra 1991-2008). Among the other musicians contributing to the recording is one of the world's leading banjo players Bela Fleck - a longtime admirer of Seeger.  In addition to co-producing the Pete Seeger track for Amnesty’s “Chimes of Freedom” project, Lewis also served as Contributing Producer for the album – producing, co-producing or executive producing tracks with Pete Townshend, Jeff Beck, Seal, Nils Lofgren, Paul Rodgers, Joe Perry, Billy Bragg, Mick Hucknall and Evan Rachel Wood.

 

The music video for "Forever Young" was produced by ‘One Club’ award-winning producer Martin Lewis. Director of Photographer was cinematographer Derek Wiesehahn (Director of Photography of "Music By Prudence" - Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject, 2010). Filming was directed by Jake Clennell. The music video was edited by Grammy-nominated editor Peter Shelton.  Shelton has also produced a mini-documentary about the project "The Story Behind 'Forever Young' by Pete Seeger".   Amnesty International's Director of Creative Services and Special Projects, Helen Garrett, served as Executive Producer of both the audio recording and the music video. Lewis has written an article for Huffington Post describing the project and urging people to support the campaign to get Seeger into the music charts.

 

 

 

INFO TO PROVIDE THE PUBLIC

 

• See & hear the music video of "Forever Young"    www.youtu.be/Ezyd40kJFq0

 

• See the mini-documentary about the project:    www.youtu.be/PW4XxX06AmA

 

• Visit the Forever Pete! website:        www.ForeverPete.com

 

• Like the Forever Pete! Facebook page:    www.facebook.com/ForeverPeteSeeger

 

• Follow the Forever Pete Twitter feed:    www.twitter.com/ForeverPete

 

 

 

Where US-based consumers can download the track

 

From Amazon:   www.tinyurl.com/7jsrxs5

 

From iTunes:    www.tinyurl.com/7fvdwe2

 

 

Where UK-based consumers can download the track

 

From Amazon:   www.tinyurl.com/77jpmmc

 

From iTunes:    http://tinyurl.com/89ghts7

 

 

Consumers in all other nations – info on the Forever Pete! website

 

 

 

BACKGROUND INFO:  PETE SEEGER MUSIC CHART HISTORY

 

As a performing member of The Weavers 

 

"Goodnight Irene" (US #1 for 13 consecutive weeks - 1950.  Aust #1 - 1950-1951)

"On Top of Old Smoky" (US #2 for 8 consecutive weeks - 1951. Aust #3 - 1951)

"Tzena, Tzena, Tzena" (US #2 - 1950. Aust #13 - 1951)

"So Long" (US #4 - 1951. Aust #8 - 1951)

"Wimoweh (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)"  (US #6, 1952. Aust #19 - 1952)

"Sloop John B"' (US #11 - 1951)

"The Roving Kind"  (US #11 - 1951)

"Kisses Sweeter than Wine" (US #19 - 1951. Aust #13 - 1952)

"Around the Corner (Beneath the Berry Tree)"  (US #19 - 1952)

"When the Saints Go Marching In" (US #27 - 1951)

"Sylvie"  (US #27 - 1954)

"The Midnight Special" (US #30 - 1952)

"Around the World" (Aust #1 - 1952)

"The Gandy Dancers' Ball" (Aust #4 - 1952)

"Across The Wide Missouri" (Aust #13 - 1951)

"The Weavers at Carnegie Hall" (US #24 album charts - 1957)

 

 

As a solo performer 

 

"Little Boxes"  (US #87 - 1963.  Aust #24 - 1964)

 

 

As a composer/reviver/arranger/adapter 

 

"If I Had A Hammer" - Peter, Paul & Mary (1962)  #10 US. #26 Aust.

"If I Had A Hammer" - Trini Lopez (1963)  #3 US. #4 UK. #2 Aust.

"Where Have All The Flowers Gone?" - The Kingston Trio (1962) #21 US.  #30 Aust.

"Where Have All The Flowers Gone?" - Johnny Rivers (1965) #26 US. #58 Aust.

"Turn! Turn! Turn!" - The Byrds (1965) #1 US. #26 UK. #34 Aust.

"Turn! Turn! Turn!" - Judy Collins (1969) #69 US

"Bells Of Rhymney" - The Byrds (1965). Track on The Byrds' debut album "Mr. Tambourine Man" #6 US.  #7 UK (album charts)

"We Shall Overcome" (co-writer/arranger) - Joan Baez (1963) #90 US. #26 UK. #63 Aust.

"Guantanamera" (co-writer/adapter) - The Sandpipers (1966) #9 US. #7 UK. #10 Aust.

 

 

 

BACKGROUND INFO:  OLDEST ARTISTS TO REACH THE MUSIC CHARTS

 

 

USA

 

Oldest artists to reach the Billboard Singles Chart - with a brand-new recording

 

Tony Bennett - age 85. "Body and Soul"  (duet with Amy Winehouse) (2011) Peak at #87

George Burns - age 84. "I Wish I Was Eighteen Again" (1980). Peak at #49

Moms Mabley - age 75. "Abraham, Martin And John" (1969). Peak at #35

Johnny Cash - age 71.   "Hurt" (2003). Peak at #56

Louis Armstrong - age 66.  "Mame" (1966) Peak at #81

 

 

Oldest artists to reach the Billboard Singles Chart  - with a reissue of a vintage recording

 

Benny Bell - age 69. "Shaving Cream" (1975 reissue of 1946 recording) Peak at #30

 

 

Oldest artists to reach #1 in the Billboard Singles Chart 

 

Louis Armstrong - age 62.  "Hello Dolly!" (1964)

Cher - age 52. "Believe" (1999)

 

 

Oldest artists to reach the Billboard Album Charts - with a newly-recorded album

Tony Bennett - age 85. "Duets II" (2011) Peak at #1

Tony Bennett - age 82. "A Swingin' Christmas" (2008) Peak at #26

Frank Sinatra - age 79.  "Duets II" (1994) Peak at #4

 

 

Oldest artists to reach the Billboard Album Charts - with first release of previously-unreleased content

 

Doris Day - age 87. "My Heart" (2011) Peak at #135 (content recorded 1980s & 1990s - but previously unissued)

 

 

UK

 

Oldest artists to reach the UK Singles Charts - with a brand-new recording

 

Tony Bennett - age 85. "Body and Soul"  (duet with Amy Winehouse) (2011) Peak at #40

Larry Adler - age 80. "The Man I Love" (duet with Kate Bush) (1994). Peak at #27

Frank Sinatra - age 78.  "I've Got You Under My Skin" (1993 - duet with Bono - B-side of hit single by U2) Peak at #4

Andy Williams - age 75.  "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" (duet with Denise Van Outen). (2002)  Peak at #23

Hylda Baker - age 73. "You're The One That I Want" (duet with Arthur Mullard) (1978)  Peak at #22

Bing Crosby - age 72.  "That's What Life Is All About".  (1975) Peak at #41 

Shirley Bassey - age 70. "The Living Tree" (2007) Peak at #37

Frank Sinatra - age 65.  "Theme From New York, New York" (1980) Peak at #59

 

 

Oldest artists to reach the UK Singles Charts - with a reissue of a vintage recording

 

Andy Williams - age 80. "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year" (2007 reissue of 1963 recording) Peak at #21

John Lee Hooker - age 75.  "Boom Boom".  (1992 reissue of 1961 recording)   Peak at #16.

Frank Sinatra - age 70.  "Theme From New York, New York" (1986 reissue of 1980 recording)) Peak at #4

Guy Marks - age 55.  "Loving You Has Made Me Bananas" (1978 reissue of 1968 recording) Peak at #25

 

 

Oldest artists to reach #1 in UK Singles Chart

 

Louis Armstrong - age 66.  "What A Wonderful World" (1968)

Cher - age 52. "Believe" (1999)

 

Oldest artists to reach the UK Album Charts - with a newly-recorded album

 

Tony Bennett - age 85. "Duets II" (2011) Peak at #2

Frank Sinatra - age 79.  "Duets II" (1994) Peak at #29

 

 

Oldest living artist to reach the UK Album Charts - with compilation of vintage content

 

Vera Lynn - age 92.  "We'll Meet Again: The Very Best of Vera Lynn"  (2009 compilation of recordings 1936-1959) Peak at #1

 

 

Oldest artists to reach the UK Album Charts - with first release of previously-unreleased content

 

Doris Day - age 87. "My Heart" (2011 release of content recorded 1980s & 1990s - but previously unissued) Peak at #9

 

 

AUSTRALIA

 

Oldest artists to reach the Australian Singles Charts - with a brand-new recording

 

Tony Bennett - age 85. "Body and Soul"  (duet with Amy Winehouse) (2011) Peak at #97

Bing Crosby - age 72.  "That's What Life Is All About".  (1976) Peak at #99    

Louis Armstrong - age 66.  "What A Wonderful World" (1968) Peak at #22

Slim Dusty - age 61.  "G'day G'day" (1988) Peak at #39

 

 

Oldest artists to reach the Australian Singles charts - with a reissue of a vintage recording

 

Benny Bell - age 69. "Shaving Cream" (1975 reissue of 1946 recording) Peak at #57

 

 

Oldest artists to reach #1 in Australian Singles charts

 

Slim Dusty - age 53.  "Duncan" (1981) 

Cher - age 52. "Believe" (1999)

 

Oldest artists to reach the Australian Album Charts - with a newly-recorded album

 

Tony Bennett - age 85. "Duets II" (2011) Peak at #2

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT INFO

 

 

Irene Dean - Jane Ayer Public Relations

818-582-8481 Ext. 501  •  irene@janeayerpr.com

 

or

 

media@ForeverPete.com