Question: I heard recently on the radio that folk-music promoter Harold Leventhal had passed away, and as the announcer described his life and career, I got to thinking about one of my all-time favorite movies, A Mighty Wind. To what extent, if any, is the dead folk-music promoter in the film based on Mr. Leventhal? The similarities seemed apparent to me.


Answer: And to others, believe me. Harold Leventhal is widely but unofficially acknowledged as the inspiration for A Mighty Wind's (2003) Irv Steinbloom; Levanthal's clients were a who's who of celebrated folk singers, including Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, Judy Collins, Earl Scruggs, the Weavers and Peter, Paul and Mary. And the Weavers reunion concert at Carnegie Hall in 1979, documented in the film Wasn't That a Time! (1982), must have been one of the inspirations for the concert in A Mighty Wind. It wasn't a memorial, of course, but it brought together many veterans of the folk-music era.