America's Music Legacy Comes to DVD - October 19

The First Set of Four Features:
Gospel, Country & Western, Rhythm & Blues, and Rock 'n Roll

The America's Music Legacy series was recorded 1983-85 and produced by 20TH Century Home Entertainment. It showcases the musical legends performing the songs that continue to attract and entice the whole world, because they truly are the best of all that is America. The first set of four titles is set to be released on October 19.

America's Music Legacy: Gospel -From reggae to rumba, jazz to juju, Gospel is now expressed in as many ways as there are music genres. The only consistent thread is that it carries a Christian 'good news' message and remains defined by the influence of Christian expression in black music. The program is hosted by Levar Burton and features performances by Mahalia Jackson, The Chambers Family, Linda Hopkins, Mel Carter, Andrae Crouch, The Winans, and many more.

America's Music Legacy: Country & Western - Rock-a-Billy, Country, and Bluegrass all came from the simple form of story telling by music and modern Country and Western music has its roots in the folk songs of the rural south and the cowboy music popularized by the singing cowboys of the 30's, 40's and 50's. The program is hosted by Gene Weed and features performances by Razzy Bailey, Patti Page, Moe Bandy, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ricky Skaggs, and many more.

America's Music Legacy: Rhythm & Blues - Rhythm and Blues (now called R&B) can trace its roots directly from Jazz, Ragtime, and the old black Gospel and Spiritual standards. The narrative form and rich beat of these forms also form the basis for today's RAP and Hip-Hop. The emphasis on rhythm and storytelling has always been part of what made this music popular reflecting the sum of the Black experience in a way that is truly unique and American. The program is hosted by Billy Eckstine and features performances by Sam Moore, Sheer Delight, Brook Benton, Scatman Crothers, Mary Wells, and many more.

America's Music Legacy: Rock 'n Roll - Rock and Roll grew from the melding of Black Rhythm and Blues with Country and Western. This mixture was so volatile that several southern congressmen went on record stating that Rock and Roll was a plot to destroy American values by encouraging race mixing. Originating in predominately black areas, Rock and Roll started out being labeled as rebellious, primative, black music until white artists like Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper introduced Rock and Roll to the "mainstream" youth in the early 1950's, and their influence along with others began the first true multi-racial and multi-cultural movement in America. The program is hosted by Fabian and features performances by The Coasters, Chubby Checker, Bo Diddley, The Diamonds, Little Anthony, and many more.

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