Over the past forty-plus years, British film director Tony Palmer has established himself as one of the country's foremost directors of documentary and factual films. One of Tony Palmer's first successes was the film All My Loving, which was released in 1968. Some seven years later Tony had the idea, encouraged by John Lennon, to document the history of popular music. The result was the groundbreaking and award-winning series of films made for television under the title All You Need Is Love.
The full series of films was released in 2008 to great critical and commercial acclaim.
In this episode we turn our attention to Rhythm and Blues. In the late forties, white record companies labelled commercial black music 'race music.' Eventually, Jerry Wexler, then working at Billboard magazine as a reporter, thought of the phrase, 'rhythm and blues' and it caught on. Before long, numerous other descriptions appeared - Motown, the Philadelphia Sound, Soul - but all had in common that the music expressed the rising aspirations of the ghetto.
Meanwhile, a curious imitation of black gospel appeared called white gospel - and among those who loved the sound were two remarkable men: one a record producer, Sam Phillips, who wanted to create a sound that had the discipline of white gospel but with the abandon of black rhythm and blues; the other was Elvis Presley.
This volume of the highly regarded series of films includes interviews and performances with the artists Ike and Tina Turner, Wilson Pickett and Stevie Wonder. Record producer Jerry Wexler is also interviewed.
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