Too Old for Idol

The age limit for American Idol reality TV is 29 - everyone knows that entertainers must be young.. oh wait.. wasn't there someone named Susan Boyle last year who wowed the world singing on Britain's Got Talent? Seems that her YouTube videos have over 100 million views. And wasn't there another contestant on that same TV show named Paul Potts who was no spring chicken himself? His video got about 70 million views. There is just something about a person who does not give up! With that I give you a few other folks that were too old for Idol:

Anna Mary Robertson Moses, better known as "Grandma Moses", began painting in her seventies after abandoning a career in embroidery because of arthritis. President Truman presented her with the Women's National Press Club trophy Award for outstanding accomplishment in art in 1949. On her 100th birthday in 1960, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller proclaimed the day "Grandma Moses Day" in her honor. In November 2006, her work Sugaring Off (1943), became her highest selling work at $1.2 million.

Harland David Sanders, better known as Colonel Sanders, had the construction of a new road put his restaurant out of business in 1967. He took to franchising Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants, starting at age 65, using $105 from his first Social Security check to fund visits to potential franchisees.

Margaret Mitchell is reported to have begun writing Gone With the Wind in her 30s while bedridden with a broken ankle. Her husband, John Marsh, brought home historical books from the public library to amuse her while she recuperated. After she supposedly read all the historical books in the library, he told her, "Peggy, if you want another book, why don't you write your own?"

Mohandas Gandhi, in his 50s, led nationwide campaigns to ease poverty, expand women's rights, build religious and ethnic amity, end untouchability, and increase economic self-reliance. In his 70s he launched the Quit India civil disobedience movement demanding immediate independence for India.

Mother Teresa in her 30s began quietly ministering to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying in India.. this labor of love lasted for over 45 years. She has been honored by all sorts of civil, governmental and religious groups all over the world. Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity continued to expand, and at the time of her death it was operating 610 missions in 123 countries, including hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children's and family counselling programs, orphanages, and schools.


  1. and abraham was 75 when he left ur of the chaldees embarking on an incredible journey led only by a Voice.

    though, i have to tell you, i must be 'too old for idol' because i've just never been able to get interested in it. 'celebrity' is a bizarre phenomenon to me... uninteresting...

    good thoughts bob :)

  2. Good post, Bob. I'm also struck frequently by the fact that many of our musical legends wouldn't even make it to Hollywood week. Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Louis Armstrong, Sting, Johnny Cash, etc. All of them would be considered terrible singers and the list goes on and on, yet they have all made incredible contributions to the music world.

  3. Its like a fine wine gets better with age and so do we..(me)I'm doing things now that I would never have attempted in my youth and frankly I don't want to revisit that time of my life.
    I think most of the "Idol" kids will just be a flash in the pan and find that life is going to be very difficult for them. Fame and fortune isn't all its cracked up to be. Seems like ther is a sermon in there someplace...

  4. How interesting... I have never known that about Gone with the Wind.... Amazing.

  5. Hi Bob,
    You make a good, true point about many people of success who didn't start clicking until they were 'Mature'
    Jesus was age 29 1/2 when He began His preaching/ teaching ministry. Who much of life do we really understand until approx. that age?
    I hope that you and the family are doing well.

    Warm Regards,
    Tom S
    Disabled Vietnam Veteran: 68-70, and Soldier of Christ. Jesus is Lord.

  6. I guess there's still hope for us old guys. :)

  7. Doesn't it seem that the "young celebrity" mentality is essentially a contemporary American phenomenon?

    All of those mentioned in your post and these comments are either of a previous generation, non-visible performers (such as artists or authors), or non-American (Potts and Boyle).

  8. Thanks all for the comments.

    @nephos - Great observation! Maybe the "young celebrity" mentality is a contemporary American phenomenon.


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