Find Out All the Buzz On the Young@Heart Chorus

    The Associated Press published an article earlier this summer about the Young@Heart chorus about which Fox Searchlight's upcoming (2008) documentary YOUNG@HEART is about.

    • "Though little known in America, the Northampton-based Young@Heart has performed from Australia to London, serenaded the king and queen of Norway, been discussed on 'The Daily Show,' and been documented in an acclaimed film for British television. They're now recording an album tentatively titled 'Rockin' At Heaven's Door.'"
    • "In the past decade, the chorus has done 12 tours in Europe, Australia and Canada. They took up residence at the Lyric Hammersmith in London for a ten days in 2005, and made Norwegian royalty cheer their version of a-ha's 'Take On Me' in 2001. 'I don't know how many more 15 minutes we'll have in our lifetime,' jokes Martin."
    • "The chorus has had a great deal of turnover, with few members left from the early '80s. Cilman estimates he's attended more than 70 funerals through the years. 'It's not as difficult as you'd think because you get to be with these people at a pretty great moment at the end of their life,' he says. 'You know that they had something really great going on right at the end.'"
    • "`I swear that I don't have a gun' — I mean, what's the meaning of that?' Goldman gripes, quoting Nirvana. 'I sometimes ponder the songs that are given to us. I ponder the meaning and I come up with nothing. I figure I'll roll with the punches.'"
    • "Knittle left the chorus about five years ago after a heart attack, but occasionally returns for special performances. Referring to their many tours, he's fond of saying, 'I went from continent to continent until I became incontinent.'"
    • "When Knittle sang 'Fix You' at a 2006 concert in Northampton, it was supposed to be a duet with another chorus member, Bob Salvini. Salvini died of a heart attack just days before the concert. While his health was deteriorating, he practically crawled to rehearsal, and in his last days, he was heard singing Young@Heart songs in his hospital bed."
    • "Stephen Walker was there to document the concert for his film, 'Young@Heart.' It was shown repeatedly on British television and has been licensed for broadcast in 14 other countries. The film, which won two awards at the Rose d'Or Festival in Switzerland, was recently optioned to Working Title Films with plans to adapt it into a narrative feature, a project the chorus declined to join."
    • "Two clips from the documentary were posted on YouTube about six months ago — one of the chorus singing Sonic Youth's 'Schizophrenia,' the other of Knittle's 'Fix You.' The latter has been viewed by over a quarter-million people."
    • "The chorus (and Knittle especially) have reveled in the comments posted on YouTube. One from a user named mudskipper27 read, 'I have no idea why, but this made me cry! Probably because the song has a message we'd all like to hear from the grandpas we've lost.' A young fan soon volunteered to make a MySpace page for the chorus. Like a hip indie band, Young@Heart is bizarrely — but fittingly — all over the Internet. For a group that aims to bridge generations through music, the Web is just another youth-oriented realm to adapt to."

    To read the complete article - and I encourage you to! -- click here.

    Note: The above article was written before Fox Searchlight bought YOUNG@HEART in early July, a few days after the Los Angeles Film Festival wrapped. YOUNG@HEART won the Audience Award for Best International Film at the festival.

    Pictured: The Young@Heart chorus performing at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA; photo by Andrea Burns.

Close X