Florentine Films presents The History of Country Music
The Ken Burns company, Florentine Films, is releasing The History of Country Music to PBS - Broadcast starts Sept. 15, 2019!.
This Documentary is an 8-part (2 hours each) mini-series featuring John McEuen in several episodes in the telling of this history, of which he has been a part. In addition, episode 6, titled Will the Circle Be Unbroken, will cover extensively the historic multi-platinum Will the Circle Be Unbroken album which John initiated with Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in 1972. (Circle is in the Library of Congress and the Grammy Hall of Fame!) John is the main on screen 'talking head' telling that wonderful story, which closes that segment. The series is also being 'double bumped’ (meaning it reruns immediately after initial broadcast; series will also rerun this winter). The mini-series uses two cuts from the album as background, lead-in music. This is like a two hour commercial for the classic album.
Florentine Films believes it will be their most watched program to date.
In conjunction with The History of Country Music show, Sony is releasing an extensive 5-cd box set with booklet - 105 songs - to take advantage of music of the people in the documentary. It will include two cuts from the Circle album and a photo of John with Earl Scruggs...
Also, a ‘table top book’ on the History of Country Music will be released, which includes 12 photos from the sessions and the story of the “…Circle…” album.
McEuen also has a song coming out this year on a project with John Carter Cash - McEuen finished a couple of his dad's (Johnny Cash) poems, wrote music for them, and recorded them with John Carter producing.. and now McEuen is a co-writer with Johnny Cash!!.
John McEuen and the String Wizards
Will the Circle Be Unbroken
When John initiated the Will the Circle Be Unbroken* album with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band it brought together the icons of Bluegrass, Country, and West coast country rock: Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, Merle Travis, Jimmy Martin, Roy Acuff, Junior Huskey, Oswald Kirby Vassar Clements, and Maybelle Carter. Six hot August Nashville recording days produced this benchmark album, relevant to this day (Amazon top-30 still!).
McEuen has now assembled a unique cast for a special night to share the music and memories of the landmark Will the Circle Be Unbroken record and his incredible career with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. The cast includes:
Les Thompson bass, vocals, bouzouki an original NGDB founding member
John Cable guitar/vocals/mandolin also toured Russia as NGDB member.
Matt Cartsonis vocals/mandola/guitar 25- year music partner with John
All join host John McEuen, with his banjo, guitar, fiddle and mandolin, as they share (in front of the screen) hits and stories behind the music, leading up to that magic time when three generations came together. The Library of Congress inducted the multi-platinum ‘Circle’ as one of “…the most important American recordings” (it’s also in the Grammy Hall of Fame).
His multi-media show with archival photographs, film, (including 8mm footage from 1967), Circle session photos, narrative (and early) NGDB music takes us on his 50+ year journey - interwoven with Dirt Band favorites, hot bluegrass, ….
A unique part of the show covers the 1977 Russia trip, and what happened behind the Iron Curtain to the first American band to tour there – 28 sold out shows.
The evening features classic NGDB favorites and music from McEuen’s new highly praised record - Made in Brooklyn - on Chesky Records. (Stereophile Magazine’s Record of the Month; also honored with Best America album by the Independent Music Awards, March 2018). The audience sees the entire span of John McEuen’s years in music, and is taken back through some of the best years of their lives.
Some of the show’s music includes: Mr. Bojangles Some of Shelly’s Blues Dance Little Jean Keep on the Sunny Side Will the Circle Be Unbroken House at Pooh Corner Earl’s Breakdown Wreck on the Hiway Cannonball Rag Dismal Swamp Way Downtown I Saw the Light Acoustic Traveller Fingerbuster Long Hard Road Grand Ole Opry song
*“One of the most important records to come out of Nashville...” Chet Flippo Rolling Stone John’s first book (released May 2018) The Life I’ve Picked, has over 60 5-star reviews on Amazon. John was recently inducted in to the American Banjo Museum Hall of Fame
check out www.johnmceuen.com