One of the most influential and enduring singer-songwriters, Jesse Colin Young, who first made history with the Youngbloods on their classic ‘60s peace anthem “Get Together,” and who has amassed a loyal worldwide following over the past five decades, is celebrating his 80th birthday today, November 22.
A pioneer of American roots music for more than half a century, Jesse Colin Young has left a unique mark on the intersecting worlds of folk, blues, jazz, country, and rock & roll. As the front man of the Youngbloods, he immortalized the ideals of the Woodstock generation with “Get Together,” an international hit that called for peace and brotherhood during the turbulent 1960s.
During the decades that followed, Young expanded both his audience and his artistic range, releasing a string of solo albums that mixed socially conscious lyrics with top-tier guitar skills and gorgeous vocals. An acclaimed songwriter, singer, instrumentalist, producer, label owner, podcast host, and longtime social/environmental activist, he has established a permanent place in America’s musical landscape, while continuing to make modern music that’s every bit as vital as his work during the countercultural era.
A longtime tradition of folksingers is to create music that responds to the modern era, serving as a sort of public record. Jesse Colin Young has routinely taken that lesson to heart, delivering stirring performances throughout the 22 solo albums (and more) he has released over the decades that shine a light not only on his musical skills, but also on the political, social, and environmental issues of the time.
For Jesse, that approach comes from a lifetime of travel, immersing himself in different cultures, witnessing life from multiple angles, and making art that’s just as multi-faceted.
Young released his newest single on November 5 featuring his daughter Jazzie Young, a rising star in her own right. The father / daughter duo celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Harold and Maude with the release of their rendition of the Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) soundtrack hit, “Trouble.”
“I have lived with this song in my heart for decades and through many times of trouble. My daughter Jazzie Young thought I wrote it because I would sing it often,” said Jesse Colin Young. “I am delighted to have her sing this with me, as it’s a dear friend to both of us. Thank you, Yusuf Islam, for this gift. And thank you Harold and Maude for bringing it to us in visuals. Happy 50th!”
“‘Trouble’ was the song that introduced me to Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens). My dad used to play it a lot when I was younger, so it feels like such a cool full circle moment to be able to sing on this record with him,” echoed Jazzie Young.