American Epic is 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 democratized 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, Native American drummers in Arizona, and Hawaiian musicians were all recorded. For the first time, a woman picking cotton in Mississippi, a coal miner 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 a four-part series, a companion book, a soundtrack featuring 100 remastered songs, an educational outreach program, and a historical archive, American Epic rescues this history. The remarkable lives of America's seminal musicians are revealed through previously unseen film footage and photographs, and exclusive interviews with music pioneers, their families and eyewitnesses to the era.
Go inside one of the greatest-ever untold stories: how the ordinary people of America were given the opportunity to make records for the first time. This four-part film, narrated by Robert Redford, melds space, time and technology to reveal the raw roots of American music. Tracing the odyssey of the first recording teams, from the gritty streets of Memphis to the Texas plains and the islands of Hawaii, American Epic captures the breathtaking variety and excitement of their discoveries.
Rating: 8.00/10 (avg out of 193 votes)
American Epic Airs: Tuesday
American Epic Status: Ended
AMERICAN EPIC - General Information
Series Premiere: March 16, 2016 Classification: Documentary Genre: Action | Documentary | History | Music Network: PBS Airs: Tuesday at 09:00 pm Runtime: 60 Minutes
AMERICAN EPIC - Season 1 -- 3 Episodes
1x1 -- May 16, 2017 -- The Big Bang 1x2 -- May 23, 2017 -- Blood and Soil 1x3 -- May 30, 2017 -- Out of the Many, the One