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The Music Documentary Rocks: New bios on Donna Summer, Willy Nelson and more…

Platforms and channels love to love the Music genre.

Leading off with Willie Nelson & Family and Love to Love You, Donna Summer, Camran Shealy updates her January 2023 profiles with eight new commissions that feature musical celebrities and cultures.


The Music Production Challenge at MIPCOM

  • Sharing his best practices at my Meet the Expert session is Peter Worsley (Altitude Rights).
  • Peter’s topic: The Music Documentary Challenge: Keeping the Peace Between Producers, Estate Stakeholders & Commissioners.
  • Where? MIPCOM Producers’ Lounge, 2pm Tuesday, October 17.
  • Read more here

by Camran Shealy

Willie Nelson & Family

Photo retrieved from Wikimedia Commons

Reminder: Who is Willie Nelson?

Country singer and songwriter Willie Nelson rose to prominence at the end of the 1960s and contributed to the “outlaw country” subgenre, which challenged the music industry conservatism of Nashville at the time. During his lengthy, award-winning career, he has written some of the most popular and memorable country songs of all time, many of which have been covered by a wide range of artists over the last half-century. Now in his 80s, Nelson continues to record, tour and devote time to charitable and political causes. Biography.com

Commissioner

  • HBO

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Executive Producers

Press Coverage


Love to Love You, Donna Summer

Watch the trailer here

Reminder: Who is Donna Summer?

Donna Summer’s title as the “Queen of Disco” wasn’t mere hype. Like many of her contemporaries, she was a talented vocalist trained as a powerful gospel belter, but she set herself apart with her songwriting ability, magnetic stage presence, and shrewd choice of studio collaborators, all of which resulted in sustained success. During the ’70s alone, she topped the Billboard club chart 11 times with high-quality, often high-concept material that included the rapturous “Love to Love You Baby” (1975), the innovative “I Feel Love” (1977), a radically transformed “MacArthur Park” (1978), and one of her five Grammy-winning recordings, “Hot Stuff” (1979). These crossover hits embodied the disco era with audacious musicality and uninhibited eroticism. After her subgenre was declared dead, Summer was very much part of the evolution of dance music. Through the feminist anthem “She Works Hard for the Money” (1983), she became an MTV star, and she continued to top the club chart with disco-rooted house singles through 2010, 35 years after her breakthrough. Summer died from cancer in 2012 and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame the next year. – All Music

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  • HBO

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Wham!

Watch the trailer here

Reminder: Who is Wham!?

Wham! sparked something of a pop revival in the mid-’80s and could arguably be held responsible for sparking off the boy band trend of the ’90s. They were unashamedly pop, to the point of padding the front of their trousers for television appearances. At the heart, however, was a string of catchy singalong singles written by George Michael (born Georgios Kyrriacos Panayiotou in London to a Greek restauranting family). Michael met Wham!’s other half, Andrew Ridgeley, at school in the London suburb of Bushey, and in 1979 they started performing together as part of the ska-based band the Executive. When that group dissolved, they wrote songs, made demos, and rushed into a recording contract with the equally eager independent label Innervision, scoring an instant hit with “Wham Rap!” – All Music

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  • Netflix

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The Sound of 007

Watch the trailer here

Synopsis

Follows the remarkable history of six decades of James Bond music, going behind the lens into one of the greatest movie franchises and the iconic 007 theme song. Featuring Billie Eilish, Tina Turner, Paul McCartney, Sam Smith and Duran Duran. – IMDb

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  • Prime Video

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What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat & Tears?

Watch the trailer here

Reminder: Who is Blood, Sweat & Tears?

“Blood, Sweat & Tears was born from a selfish notion that we could combine the sophistication and musical skill level of jazz music with the energy and universal appeal of rock vocal music … Over the years more than one hundred and seventy-five musicians have flowed through the ranks of the various iterations of the BS&T.  The most commercially successful version of the band was in fact, our second line-up. What endures today is the evolution of that concept… along with an amazing roster of the most talented and entertaining musicians we have ever had. BS&T has never stopped touring. It didn’t go away.  You can call it a renaissance, or the newest version of… but it is simply Blood, Sweat & Tears at its best.” – Blood, Sweat & Tears

Acquired by

  • Veeps

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Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon

Watch the trailer here

Reminder: Who is Johnny Cash?

Johnny Cash is one of the most important, influential and respected artists in the history of recorded music. From his monumental live prison albums, to his extraordinary series of commentaries on the American spirit and the human condition, to a mesmerizing canon of gospel recordings, to his remarkable and unprecedented late-life artistic triumphs of will and wisdom, his impact on our culture is profound and continuing. – johnnycash.com

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  • Lionsgate

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All of Those Voices

Watch the trailer here

Reminder: Who is Louis Tomlinson?

Best known as a member of English boy band One Direction, pop vocalist Louis Tomlinson embarked on a solo career after the group ended their record-breaking early-2010s run in 2016. After years of releasing singles and appearing on The X Factor — the same show that pushed him into the limelight — he issued his official debut album, Walls, in 2020. The Brit-pop-leaning Faith in the Future followed in 2022, topping the charts in his home country. – All Music

Commissioner

  • Independent

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Anthem

Watch the trailer here

Reminder: Who is Kris Bowers?

A gifted pianist and composer, Kris Bowers makes genre-bending jazz that touches upon contemporary R&B, electronica, and forward-thinking modal improvisation. Bowers gained wider prominence after winning the 2011 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition and releasing his expansive 2014 album Heroes + Misfits. He also composes for film, having contributed the soundtracks to the 2016 documentary Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You, the 2018 Oscar-winning film Green Book, and 2020’s Bad Hair.

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  • Hulu

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Have You Got It Yet? The Story of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd

Watch the trailer here

Reminder: Who is Syd Barrett?

The late Roger ‘Syd’ Barrett, from Cambridge, was a co-founder of the 1960’s music group ‘Pink Floyd’ and performed on lead guitar and vocals. He also composed many of their songs. He was responsible for inspiring an entire generation of musicians to develop their own indigenous brand of English rock music. Syd was quintessentially English, penning idiosyncratic songs unique in style and tone.  He had a hugely attractive personality and with his good looks he was difficult to ignore. He was a quick witted clown who kept family and friends laughing at his good natured cheekiness throughout his younger years. Always interested in experimenting with music, he played the recorder, piano, ukulele, Jews harp and guitar all to a good standard. – sydbarrett.com

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Posters retrieved from IMDb.com


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