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Rain Dog American Epic - BBC4 & PBS (49) American Epic - BBC4 & PBS 18 May 17


I don't recall seeing a thread about.

Arena: American Epic is a film series exploring the pivotal recording journeys at the height of the Roaring Twenties, when music scouts, armed with cutting-edge recording technology, captured the breadth of American music and discovered the artists that would shape our world.
American Epic premieres on Arena, BBC Four and on PBS in the USA in May 2017. 

Broadcast includes a three-part historical documentary and The American Epic Sessions feature-length film starring Jack White, Taj Mahal, Elton John, Nas, Beck, Rhiannon Giddens, Ana Gabriel, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Steve Martin, Alabama Shakes and more.

The films are the result of a ten-year odyssey undertaken by director Bernard MacMahon and producers Allison McGourty and Duke Erikson, and audio engineer Nicholas Bergh that involved tracking down countless long forgotten musicians, restoring the music that they recorded and reassembling the technology that created it. Along the way they brought some of the most important figures in contemporary culture to help them on their quest. Jack White, T Bone Burnett and Robert Redford have lent their support to what Redford calls "America's greatest untold story".

Produced by Allison McGourty, Duke Erikson and Director Bernard MacMahon and Executive Produced by Robert Redford, T Bone Burnett, Jack White, with Anthony Wall for BBC Arena, Lo-Max Films Ltd., Wildwood Enterprises, and THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, the American Epic historical documentaries take viewers on a journey back in time to the Big Bang of modern popular music.

In the 1920s, as radio took over the pop music business, record companies were forced to leave their studios in major cities in search of new styles and markets. Ranging the mountains, prairies, rural villages, and urban ghettos of America, they discovered a wealth of unexpected talent. The recordings they made of all the ethnic groups of America democratised the nation and gave a voice to everyone. Country singers in the Appalachians, Blues guitarists in the Mississippi Delta, Gospel preachers across the south, Cajun fiddlers in Louisiana, Tejano groups from the Texas Mexico border, and Hawaiian musicians were all recorded. For the first time, a woman picking cotton in Mississippi, a coalminer in Virginia or a tobacco farmer in Tennessee could have their thoughts and feelings heard on records played in living rooms across the country. It was the first time America heard itself.

Virtually no documentation of these extraordinary events survives and nearly ninety percent of the recording masters have been destroyed. A vital part of American cultural history has been lost.
Over three episodes, narrated by Robert Redford, American Epic rescues this history. The remarkable lives of these seminal musicians are revealed through previously unseen film footage and photographs, and exclusive interviews with music pioneers, their families and eyewitnesses to the era.

Starring: The Carter Family, Memphis Jug Band, Elder Burch, The Williamson Bros. & Curry, Dick Justice, Charley Patton, Joseph Kekuku, Lydia Mendoza, the Breaux Family, Mississippi John Hurt, and Blind Willie Johnson.


American Epic



First episode is on BBC4 22.00 hours Sunday 21.5.17


 


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