Greenwich Village: Music That Defined a Generation

Greenwich Village: Music That Defined a Generation (2012/2013)

Opened: 01/18/2013 Limited

IFC Center01/18/2013 - 01/31/201314 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook

Genre: Canadian Documentary

Rated: Unrated


Featuring poignant interviews with Pete Seeger, Kris Kristofferson, Don McLean, Peter Yarrow, Arlo Guthrie, Lucy and Carly Simon, Tom Chapin and Judy Collins, among dozens of other music luminaries, GREENWICH VILLAGE: MUSIC THAT DEFINED A GENERATION combines talking heads with rare archival footage to tell a story about a community that created a generation-defining music.

Greenwich Village was the birthplace of the singer/songwriter and songs of love and relationships.

Between 1961-1973, many musicians in The Village banded together to sing about the radical social upheaval of the time. As these new singers emerged, Greenwich blossomed as a place that promoted a better future. Their music challenged the status quo by singing about taboo subjects - fighting for civil liberties, protesting the Vietnam War, and holding governments accountable for their actions.

Their views, which were controversial at the time, weren't always greeted with open arms. On Sunday April 9, 1961, over 500 young musicians gathered in Greenwich Village's Washington Square to sing folk songs to promote peace and harmony. This act of passive protest resulted in riot squads attacking singers and civilians alike with billy clubs, leading to several arrests.

The incident became known around the world as the Washington Square Folk Riot and was cited as the first 'freedom of speech' revolt. It also made Greenwich Village a beacon of hope for an entire generation. And this is just one of the important stories which make up the vibrant history of The Village music scene.

GREENWICH VILLAGE: MUSIC THAT DEFINED A GENERATION is the amazing untold story about the very people whose music helped change the world.

Select Biographies

Pete Seeger

Renowned folk singer Pete Seeger, came to prominence in the 1940s as a solo artist, and as a member of The Weavers in the '50s. After a decade on the McCarthy blacklist, Seeger reemerged in the '60s as a prominent singer of protest music, advocating disarmament, civil rights, and environmental responsibility. He wrote or co-wrote numerous landmark hits including, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?," "If I Had a Hammer" (The Hammer Song), and "Turn, Turn, Turn!."

Through his career, Seeger has netted multiple Grammy Awards, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1993. He received the National Medal of Arts from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1994, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Currently residing in upstate New York, Seeger remains politically and artistically active. In 2011, he recorded "God's Counting on Me, God's Counting on You" as a comment on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and in 2012, he participated in the "Solidarity March" with Occupy Wall Street, culminating in a livestreamed performance by Seeger, his grandson, Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, David Amram, and others.

Lucy and Carly Simon

Signed by Kapp Records in 1964, Lucy and Carly Simon began their musical careers as the Simon Sisters. They garnered some early success singing children's folk songs, particularly "Winkin' Blinkin' And Nodd," and "Turn! Turn! Turn!" after being signed to Columbia records in 1969. The sisters parted ways after Lucy was married. While she released two solo albums in the '70s, Lucy chose to focus on writing, and has earned acclaim for her work on Broadway plays, most notably music to THE SECRET GARDEN. Carly went on to record 13 Top 40 hits including "You're So Vain," "Nobody Does it Better," and "Coming Around Again." "You're So Vain" reached number one on the Pop and Adult Contemporary charts, selling over a million copies. By the album's 25th anniversary, No Secrets, in which "You're So Vain" appears had been certified Platinum. Carly received numerous Grammy Awards and nominations, including a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1972. Her song "Let the River Run" from the soundtrack to the film WORKING GIRL, was the first to win a Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Award. In 1994, she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Tom Chapin

Chapin began his career hosting the Sunday morning children's show, MAKE A WISH on ABC. Chapin performed the theme song and soundtrack to the show, some of which was written by his brother, Harry, renowned folk singer of "Cat's in the Cradle," "Flowers are Red," and "Taxi." An ardent supporter of arts education, Tom performed his song "Not on the Test" for the New York State United Teacher's Convention in protest of cuts to arts programs related to the "No Child Left Behind Act." He also sits on the board of directors of WhyHunger, a non-profit cofounded by his brother with the mission of eradicating world hunger. Tom won Grammies in 2001, 2002, and 2004 for his children's spoken word albums, MAMA DON'T ALLOW, THERE WAS AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A FLY, and THE TRAIN THEY CALL THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS.

Michelle Phillips

Michelle Phillips came to prominence in the 1960s as a part of the band, The Mamas & the Papas, -- she is the last surviving original member. Before the band's breakup in 1968, Phillips co-wrote some of the group's biggest hits including, "Creeque Alley" and "California Dreamin'." During the '70s, she sang backup vocals on the Leonard Cohen tour, released a solo album, VICTEM OF ROMANCE, and was married to actor Dennis Hopper for just over a week. Phillips tried her hand at acting, taking on roles such as John Dillinger's girlfriend in DILLINGER, Maggie in THE CALIFORNIA KID with Martin Sheen, and Rudolph Valentino's second wife in VALENTINO. She is also the mother of Chynna Phillips, vocalist of the '90s pop group Wilson Phillips. In 1998, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with her bandmates from The Mamas & the Papas.

John Sebastian

John Sebastian is a founding member of pop-folk band The Lovin' Spoonful, which is touted as part of the American response to "the British Invasion." They began as the Even Dozen Jug Band and The Mugwupms, which split and formed The Lovin' Spoonful and The Mamas & the Papas. Some of their hits include, "Do You Believe in Magic," "Summer in the City," "Daydream," and "Younger Girl." After leaving the band in 1968, Sebastian composed the music and lyrics for the Broadway musical, JIMMY SHINE, and had a successful solo career on the rock festival circuit -- he had an unscheduled, but particularly memorable performance at Woodstock '68. Along with the other members of The Lovin' Spoonful, Sebastian was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

Don McLean

After his first album, TAPESTRY, was rejected by labels 72 times, McLean went on to produce AMERICAN PIE, from which two singles charted at number one, the title track and "Vincent." Subsequently, interest in his first album was rekindled, and it charted for the first time more than two years after its initial release. McLean went on to produce several more successful albums, but began to place increasing emphasis on touring, and continues to tour today. In 2001, "American Pie," the longest song to reach BILLBOARD magazine's top spot, was voted number five in a poll of the "365 Songs of the Century," compiled by the National Endowment of the Arts and the Recording Industry Association of America. "American Pie" was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002, followed by McLean's induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2004.

Pete Yarrow

A founding member of Peter, Paul, and Marry, Yarrow co-wrote the group's most famous songs including, "Puff, the Magic Dragon," "Day is Done," "Light One Candle," and "The Great Mandala." The band's first album, PETER, PAUL, AND MARRY, remained in the Top Ten for ten months, in the Top Twenty for two years, and sold in excess of two million copies. Like many of his contemporary folk musicians, Yarrow is an outspoken social activist. Yarrow marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963, helped organize the March on Washington in 1969, demonstrated against the Vietnam War, and produced the FESTIVAL FOR PEACE, the first concert series to play in major US venues, designed solely to fundraise for activist causes. In 2000 Yarrow founded a non-profit organization, Operation Respect, to combat school violence. It was officially recognized for its achievements by a Congressional resolution in 2003.

Arlo Guthrie

Like his father, Woodie, Arlo Guthrie is a prominent American folk singer renowned for his protest songs illuminating social injustice. Perhaps his most famous song, "Alice's Restaurant," is a more than 18-minute long talking blues song, parodying the Vietnam draft. In concert, Guthrie has been known to stretch the song, which is based on true events, to nearly an hour. In 1967, Arthur Penn co-wrote and directed a film version of "Alice's Restaurant" which starred Guthrie portraying himself.

While Guthrie is expressly anti-war, anti-Nixon, pro-drugs, and a vocal opponent of nuclear power, he is a noted libertarian-leaning Republican, and endorsed Ron Paul for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.