At the height of the Roaring Twenties, music scouts armed with cutting-edge recording technology set out across America to capture the unknown voices of everyday folk. The recordings they made revealed the country’s diversity—artistically, ethnically, geographically and economically. Through the stories of music pioneers, their families and eyewitnesses to the era, we travel back in time to the "Big Bang" of modern popular music—to the first time America heard itself, its own music, pure and unadulterated. This documentary trilogy produced by T Bone Burnett, Jack White and Robert Redford (who also narrates) explores a democratic revolution that would reverberate around the world.
Part 1 takes us from the hills of Appalachia to the streets of Memphis, from the cotton field to the coal mine to the gospel choir, to bring the stories that long-forgotten folk singers told of tough lives and hard times back to life.
Producer: Duke Erikson, Bill Holderman, Bernard MacMahon, Allison McGourty | Editor: Dan Gitlin, Jim Hession, Gillian McCarthy | Cinematographer: Vern Moen
Cast: Jack White