April 2015 – PBS and the BBC Arena today announced AMERICAN EPIC, the extraordinary story of the trailblazing era when country-wide, the music of ordinary Americans was recorded for the very first time.
The three-part historical documentary and feature-length film, showcasing contemporary artists in recording sessions, will air in the U.S. and U.K. this fall.
Executive Produced by T Bone Burnett, Robert Redford and Jack White, AMERICAN EPIC takes us on a journey across time to the birth of modern music, when the musical strands of a diverse nation first combined, sparking a cultural renaissance that forever transformed the future of music and the world.
In addition to the broadcast, AMERICAN EPIC will include companion music releases. Columbia Records will release contemporary performances from The American Epic Series. Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings will release a companion series of archival recordings, featuring groundbreaking audio restoration of 1920s and 1930s recordings by Lo-Max Films, Nick Bergh and Peter Henderson. Third Man Records will release a deluxe box of vinyl records.
Two British filmmakers, Bernard MacMahon and Allison McGourty, have pieced together this extraordinary story set in the late 1920s when record company talent scouts toured America with a recording machine and for the first time captured the raw expression of an emerging culture. It democratized music and gave a voice to the poorest in the nation.