Singer-songwriter David Crosby, who performed with rock bands the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, is jumping into the movie business with “Stand and Be Counted,” a docu about the role of popular music in social activism and political movements.
“Stand” will trace the involvement of musicians in important social and political changes from the post-Civil War era through the civil rights movement of the 1960s, and to major musical events such as the concert for Bangladesh and Live Aid.
“It occurred to me that no one had ever chronicled what music had done socially and politically,” Crosby told Daily Variety.
“I realized that most of the musicians who do this kind of work are friends of mine,” said Crosby. “I thought it would be very rewarding to ask them not just what they have done, but also why they were moved to put their time, energy and sometimes their lives on the line for these causes.”
Pic will feature dozens of interviews with many of the most influential folk and rock musicians of recent decades, including Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Elton John, Sting, Carole King, Don Henley, Shawn Colvin, Bonnie Raitt, Melissa Etheridge, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash and Neil Young. Actor/comics Robin Williams and Whoopee Goldberg will also appear in the film.
Crosby first conceived “Stand” as a book, during his convalescence after a 1994 liver transplant. Crosby is co-writing the book with author David Bender for the Harper San Francisco publishing imprint.
Sidney Sherman, an independent producer and former exec with Arnold Kopelson, is producing “Stand.”
“Right now we’re looking to finish the film by the end of the year to try to get it into the next Sundance Festival,” said Sherman.
Todd Robinson, who directed the Disney channel docu “The Legend of Billy the Kid,” has writing and directing duties on “Stand.” His other documentary credits include bio “Will Bill: A Hollywood Maverick,” about director William Wellman, which was named 1995 documentary of the year by the National Board of Review.
Music company Gold Circle Entertainment, founded by Norman Waitt Jr., is funding “Stand.” Waitt will receive a co-exec producer credit on the film. Michael Delich, CEO of Samson Music, Crosby’s new record company, will associate produce “Stand.”
Crosby is a child of the Hollywood movie industry. His father, Floyd Crosby, was an Oscar-winning cinematographer whose credits include “High Noon.”
Crosby is currently touring with his new band, CPR, in which he plays alongside his son, James Raymond.