Preserving a musical culture that has all but vanished from the hills of Appalachia, this compilation of films by musician-documentarian John Cohen offers a rich portrait of rural life in the early 1960s. Old practitioners of the "high lonesome" sound of bluegrass still retained the remote flavor of the region, so Cohen's films are now rare and cherished time capsules, beginning with "The High Lonesome Sound," an impressionistic portrait of Kentucky singer- guitarist Roscoe Holcomb and the hard-scrabble life that inspired his music. The second film, "The End of an Old Song," is a similarly moving portrait of balladeer Dillard Chandler, while "Sara and Maybelle" captures the reunion of two sisters from country music's pioneering Carter Family. Even though Cohen's verité methods are crude (resulting in minimal use of synchronized sound), his techniques are well suited to his subjects, qualifying these films as musical anthropology that will enthrall any student of music or rural American history. --Jeff ShannonFrom the Back Cover:
For years John Cohen has devoted his energy and talent to the cause of traditional music, first as a member of the New Lost City Ramblers, but also, for over thirty years, as a filmmaker committed to honestly documenting the life and music of rural America. Shot in the 1960s, the three films released on this video eloquently capture the vanishing landscape of traditional music in America and the source of its power.
The High Lonesome Sound weaves a portrait of a region and way of life with the story of Roscoe Holcomb, the extraordinary singer-guitarist whom Eric Clapton once called "his favorite country musician." Images of Roscoe singing on his back porch or working a hoe against stubborn soil are intercut with scenes of coal miners, passionate church services, a riverside baptism, Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys singing on the Hazard, Kentucky courthouse steps, and stark, intense visions of life in eastern Kentucky.
Filmed in the mountains around Ashville, North Carolina, The End of an Old Song creates a moving portrait of Dillard Chandler, one of the last unaccompanied ballad singers. Dillard has little money, no family, and few friends, but his strength comes from his music. Although the proud heritage of his music shines throughout the film, in one telling scene Dillard's hauntingly sad unaccompanied song is drowned out by the sounds of modern country music on the jukebox as the world around him embraces the future.
The Carter Family recorded over 250 songs between 1927 and 1941. In Sara and Maybelle, two of the original Carter Family are reunited. Sara reminisces about the historic Bristol, Tennessee session which launched their career and helped give birth to the country music industry. Rare footage of Sara and Maybelle performing their classic songs Sweet Fern and Solid Gone is woven around a tour of A.P. Carter's store in Hilton, Virginia where memories of the Carter Family live and breathe.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Shanachie Entertainment Group, 1996. Book Condition: Very Good. VHS tape. Films of American rural life and music by John Cohen. The High Lonesome Sound; The End of an Old Song; Sara and Maybelle. Bookseller Inventory # 017567