Before he passed away W.C. Handy wrote: “If my serenade of song and story should serve as a pillow for some composer’s head, as yet perhaps unborn, to dream and build on our folk melodies in his tomorrow, I have not labored in vain”.
I love this quote and I want to make sure that he did not labor in vain. He was the poet of the blues, in so many ways, and honoring his work is what Mr. Handy’s Blues is about.
W.C. Handy was a major force in the development of the blues and early jazz. He was a gifted man who had challenges throughout his life, but he handled himself with class and dignity. He was an American Original, a pioneer, charting unknown territory, and in the end a teacher. I believe his story will be inspirational on many levels.
We hope to complete the film by the end of 2014 to coincide with the centennial celebrations for “St. Louis Blues”. I have to admit part of me doesn’t want this journey to end.
The saga of the Carters, and their influence on music and musicians, would be a great story to tell someday, I thought. No one had really made a big film that connected the dots between the foundational family at the genesis of what we now call country music and the people who came after. There were so many people – not just my rockabilly women – who used the Carters’ music as a springboard for further musical exploration. Artists in folk, country and rock had a debt to this seminal family. And chief among them was Johnny Cash.
“Big Moccasin stems from a deep, personal connection with Appalachia,” Chelsea told us. “It is a place that I visited quite often as a young girl. It was the birthplace of my grandmother and grandfather, and the home of my relatives. Southwest Virginia was a place that I would go to and marvel at its simple wonders.
Hollow, an interactive documentary about the people and issues of McDowell County, WV, launches June 20 – West Virginia’s 150th statehood celebration day. The immersive, online experience is the brainchild of West Virginia native Elaine McMillion. She worked with a team of designers, programmers, journalists, filmmakers and community members to combine video portraits, user-generated content, data, grassroots […]