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Great musical performances by some of Nashville’s most talented artists are blended with incredible and emotional stories, offering television viewers a unique perspective of the Civil War in a documentary that premiered May 18th, 2011, on Nashville Public Television (NPT).
Civil War Songs and Stories is produced by the award-winning multimedia team at the Renaissance Center, in Dickson, which has partnered with NPT to develop a series of documentaries marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. This one-hour special highlights the stories behind the songs and the emotional impact music had on soldiers and families before, during and after the conflict. Actor David Keith, a native Tennessean, narrates the documentary.
From pride and patriotism to death and defeat, the documentary describes how music was as much a part of Army life as a musket. The narrative explains how both sides were accompanied by professional regimental brass bands mustered to preserve morale. The music inspired soldiers and consoled them. It brought memories from home and gave hope to what would soon seem to be hopeless circumstances.
Civil War Songs and Stories features modern interpretive performances by such artists as the legendary Crystal Gayle and American Idol sensation Bo Bice. Country Music Star William Lee Golden, of the Oak Ridge Boys, and Jimmy Fortune, of the Statler Brothers, bring elements from two of the most famous quartets in history for a unique musical event with the singing of "Dixie" and "Battle Hymn of the Republic." They are joined by bass singer, Tim Duncan, Chris Golden (William Lee's son) and Jimmy Fulbright. Other artists include Irish Folk Singer Maura O’Connell, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Jason Ringenberg (of Jason and the Scorchers and Farmer Jason) Don and Katie King, Les Kerr and the Bayou Band, Elizabeth Foster, and the Princely Players.
"Fundamental to understanding the Civil War era are its many musical legacies, whether the plaintive singing of slaves on the Memphis wharfs, the brass bands of the soldiers, the rousing tunes sung in family parlors or the uplifting voices of promise," said Dr. Carroll Van West, director of MTSU Center for Historic Preservation and Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area and co-chair of the Tennessee Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. “Civil War Songs and Stories captures those sounds and memories from the Civil War era."
Sharing their expertise in the documentary are Dr. Reavis Mitchell, Dean of Humanities and Behavioral Social Sciences at Fisk University, Dr. Dale Cockrell, Director of the Center for Popular Music at Middle Tennessee State University, author of more than 70 books and articles, and also professor of musicology at Vanderbilt University, and Dr. Crystal DeGregory, an historian with degrees from both Fisk and Vanderbilt University.
For more information on the documentary, please visit Nashville Public Television (WNPT). www.wnpt.org
Olde Towne Brass reenactment shoot in Huntsville, Alabama.
TRC Media, the media production division of The Renaissance Center and The Jackson Foundation, produces two regular series that air on public television: Creative License and Tennessee’s Wild Side. Creative License, produced in association with the Tennessee Arts Commission, is a new series of one-hour specials about the arts, artists, and art education across Tennessee. Tennessee’s Wild Side, a seven-time Emmy Award winning series, is produced in cooperation with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) and Nashville Public Television (NPT) and is broadcast by all PBS stations in Tennessee and Kentucky.
TRC Media has been nominated over 70 times in the past decade and has won a total of 23 Midsouth Regional Emmy® Awards, including last year’s Public Affairs award for The Blake McMeans Story, a powerful documentary about a promising young tennis player who was brain injured in a drunk driving accident, produced with funding from the Governor’s Highway Safety Office. The multi-talented staff includes: Executive Director: Douglas Jackson; Senior Producer/Director: Steve Hall; Director of Post Production (Photojournalist/Editor): Ken Tucker; Photojournalist/Editor: Barry Cross; and Writer/Producer David Van Hooser.
Below Left: Ken Tucker, Steve Hall and Barry Cross with 2009 Emmy Award.
Below Right: Barry Cross, Steve Hall, Douglas Jackson and David Van Hooser with 2010 Emmy Award.
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