collapse

* Member Info

 
 
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

* Like Us on Facebook

* Support Weenie!

Shop on Amazon using these search boxes and Weenie earns a small commission:
USA
Search Now:
In Association with Amazon

United Kingdom
Search Now:
In Association with Amazon

Canada
Search Now:
In Association with Amazon

* Weenie's CD!

My songs ain't writ on papuh... them words, they just come to me while I sing. That's a true God-given talent I was borned with. Only real blues singers like me can make songs on the spot. No mutha's gonna teach you that - Guitar Gabriel, PTCBW 1995 in a semisober moment responding to a naïve student who asked "where ideas for his songs come from?"

Author Topic: PBS Carter Family Documentary  (Read 2129 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
PBS Carter Family Documentary
« on: May 08, 2005, 09:05:00 AM »
Set your VCRs and TiVos for Monday May 9 when PBS's The? American Experience?will be airing the documentary?
"The Carter Family: Will the Circle Be Unbroken?"

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/carterfamily/

Offline bnemerov

  • Member
  • Posts: 233
Re: PBS Carter Family Documentary
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2005, 09:44:32 AM »
Unca' Bud;
Don't get too excited. This show aired in '04 here in Nashville--the program was produced by a lady at WNPT (Nashville Public Television) who's pretty clueless. They've sold the program to WGBH/American Masters, apparently. Hopefully someone in Boston did a new edit. The show as aired last year was a soap opera about A.P. and Sara and their marital problems. Very little music; less Maybelle.
Yours in Lowered Expectations,
bruce nemerov

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: PBS Carter Family Documentary
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2005, 10:52:57 AM »
Dang! Well, I'll be watching anyway, I suppose, since this kind of subject gets so little coverage on television, good or bad. Even watching things get screwed up can be entertaining in a way.  :P

Offline bnemerov

  • Member
  • Posts: 233
Re: PBS Carter Family Documentary
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2005, 07:08:52 AM »
Uncle Bud,
I hope I didn't discourage you or other Weenies from watching the network version of the documentary. There was some additional footage added for the American Experience edit; most importantly the (partial) clip of Maybelle playing Wildwood Flower--from the syndicated Flatt & Scruggs TV shows of the early 60s, which have recently been cleared for issue by a Tennessee court case.

Still annoying was the overuse of the "talking-head" experts. In particular Barry Mazor and Mark Zwonitzer, neither of whom ever knew any of the Carters; in contrast to Bill Clifton who befriended A.P. after the breakup of the act. Zwonitzer's biography of the Carters is full of factual errors and seems to have been written with a preconceived agenda in mind.

Oddly enough, Charles Wolfe, who wrote the book that accompanies the Bear Family box set of Carter recordings was neither interviewed nor consulted for the documentary.

But wasn't it great to see Maybelle and that L-5? What a tone she dug out of that box.

bruce

Offline uncle bud

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 8314
  • Rank amateur
Re: PBS Carter Family Documentary
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2005, 10:56:05 AM »
Hi Bruce,

No, you didn't scare me off it. I watched it as planned. While not knowing that much about the Carter Family aside from their music, I can still see your points. I enjoyed the first half hour with all the photos and archival footage. Nice to see Gillian Welch briefly demonstrate and break down Maybelle's sound (if not the technique) as well, something that seems uncharacteristic in this sort of PBS doc. But yes, the second half hour was far too preoccupied with the breakdown of AP and Sara's marriage, and left the music behind. And yes, still not enough Maybelle, but that footage was great.

Overall I thought the thing was far too short and superficial, not using the little time available effectively. Pacing was odd. Their recording career was compressed so much it was over almost as soon as it started. The music wasn't explored much, despite some promise early on with the discussion of Single Girl, Married Girl, AP's song-hunting with Leslie Riddle (would have loved more information here!), Maybelle's guitar style etc.

Some enjoyable bits sprinkled throughout but overall I agree with your tepid response.
cheers,
Andrew

Tags: Carter Family 
 


anything