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American Roots Music (2001)

Cast: Kris Kristofferson, Kris Kristofferson
Director: Jim Brown, Jim Brown
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Palm Pictures
Genre: Documentary, Music, Documentary, Music
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American Roots Music (Disc 1 of 2) (2001)
When First Unto This Country narrates the origins of American roots music and follows its development through the 1920s. When Africans and Europeans founded the new world in the 17th century, each ethnic group brought its unique musical heritage to the new world. It was the combination of these different heritages that created a uniquely American music, or, American roots music. At the beginning of the 20th century, scholars and musicians became more aware of this musical legacy. At first, traveling musicians had spread blues, folk songs, and "hillbilly" music. The Fisk Jubilee Singers traveled widely in the 1870s, popularizing African-American spirituals. Later, the phonograph and radio accelerated the process, carrying local sounds beyond their region of origin. Ralph Peer recorded both Jimmie Rogers and the Carter Family in 1927 in Bristol, TN, while WSM in Nashville began to broadcast a Saturday night barn dance in 1925, later to be called the Grand Ole Opry. When First Unto This Country includes rare footage of country music founder Rodgers and blues legend Son House, and interviews with Ricky Skaggs, Bonnie Raitt, and Pete Seeger. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., All Movie Guide

American Roots Music (Disc 2 of 2) (2001)
The Times, They Are A-Changing follows the development of roots music during the '50s and '60s. During the late '50s, a folk revival swept the United States. Rooted in the work of folklorists and musicians from the '30s and '40s, the revival spread to mainstream America when the Kingston Trio released "Tom Dooley" in 1958. African-American migration from the Mississippi Delta to northern cities like Chicago gave birth to electric blues players like Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf, while singers like Mahalia Jackson and Rosetta Tharpe popularized gospel. The Civil Rights movement, and later, antiwar protests, also influenced the era's music. College students and folksingers participated in lunch counter sit-ins and attended the 1963 March on Washington. In 1965, controversy erupted at the Newport Folk Festival when a young Bob Dylan traded his acoustic guitar for an electric one, marking the end of the folk revival. The Times, They Are A-Changing includes film footage of Joan Baez, B.B. King, and the Staple Singers, and interviews with Keith Richards, Peter Yarrow, and James Cotton. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

American Roots Music (Disc 1 of 2) (2001)
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5.80 (15 votes)
American Roots Music (Disc 2 of 2) (2001)
New Listadd to list
7.00 (14 votes)

Folk in A
The new original people's music.

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