American Epic

The first time America heard itself, Tuesdays at 8 pm May 16-30 on WILL-TV 

 

Travel the country in search of unknown 1920s artists, when the music of ordinary Americans was recorded for the first time, transforming music forever. American Epic is a three-part film narrated by Robert Redford, featuring Jack White, Nas, Taj Mahal and others.

Don’t miss American Epic, Tuesdays at 8 pm May 16-30 on WILL-TV:

The Big Bang, part one, May 16 at 8 pm: Travel to 1920s Tennessee as the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, and the Memphis Jug Band make their first records with producer Ralph Peer on a revolutionary portable recording machine, creating the first recordings of R&B and country songs.

Blood and Soil, part two, May 23 at 8 pm: Travel to the rural South as Elder Burch, Charley Patton and others record early Delta blues, gospel and protest songs. The Great Flood of 1927 devastates Mississippi River communities, leading to northern migration and Chicago Blues by Howlin’ Wolf.

Out of the Many, the One, part three, May 30 at 8 pm: Discover how America’s diverse cultures contribute to its musical styles: from the Hopi tribe to Hawaii’s Joseph Kekuku to Mexican-American Lydia Mendoza and the Cajun Breaux Family. Mississippi John Hurt’s blues inspires a generation of musicians.

American Epic (PBS Preview)