Monday, May 28, 2007


So, this Memorial Day Weekend I've spent mostly in air conditioned comfort - to try to balance the discomfort from allergies gone wild. I was doing some bookmark housekeeping online, and discovered a clip I had saved - and I can see why.

Young@Heart is a documentary produced by Channel 4 in the UK last fall. It followed the Young@Heart chorus as they prepare for their new show, 'Alive and Well' which will be performed before an audience of a thousand in their home town of Northampton, Massachusetts.

What makes Young@Heart unique is that the average age of the choir members is 80 - and they perform current and classic songs from Outkast, The Clash, Nirvana and more.

In the course of the film, an intimate, moving and often hilarious portrait emerges of an extraordinary group of people who may be old in body but refuse to grow old in spirit. This particular clip from the documentary was (for me) the most stirring moment of the entire program ... and the program had many stirring moments indeed.

The performer here is Fred Knittle, who suffers from congestive heart failure. This song was intended to be a duet between Fred and another chorus member, Bob Salvini. Sadly, Bob died of a heart attack shortly before and it was left to Fred to carry the song on his own.

From what I've gathered, the people you see crying at 01:13 are Bob's family. The lady you occasionally see mouthing the lyrics in the audience is Fred's wife.

There were some very touching scenes where we see Fred rehearsing alone soon after Bob's death. It is an incredible film and this is a wonderful rendition of a powerful song.

1 comment:

Chris Krakora said...

I like the clip where they do a cover of Sonic Youth's "Schizopheria."