This October, Smithsonian Channel rocks out with Inside The Music, a series of specials that tell stories about the people and sounds that have influenced music around the world. The 2011 Inside The Music premieres showcase documentaries featuring two of the best-selling artists of the last thirty years, Phil Collins: Going Back To Detroit and The Real World Of Peter Gabriel as well as Hip Hop: The Furious Force Of Ryhymes, a look at the global influence of rap music.
In addition, the channel will replay other music documentaries to make October all about musical influences. Below is the lineup of programming with descriptions.
PHIL COLLINS: GOING BACK TO DETROIT premieres Sunday, October 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. This hour-long special features the music from Collin’s first solo album in eight years. It recounts the major influence that Motown music had on a young Phil Collins as he was finding his musical voice, and follows him on a journey to rediscover the roots of the Motown Sound. Teaming up with The Funk Brothers, three original Detroit session guitarists, Collins records his new album of Motown hits “Going Back,” featuring some of Motown’s greatest songs includingDancing in the Streets, Nowhere to Run, My Girl and Papa Was A Rolling Stone . The program shows exclusive footage of Collins preparing for the album’s accompanying concert tour.
The hour-long THE REAL WORLD OF PETER GABRIEL, premiering Sunday, October 9 at 8 p.m. ET/PT , was inspired by the 20th Anniversary of Gabriel’s Real World Records and the release of his collaborative album “Big Blue Ball.” This record was a result of some of the legendary ‘Real World Recording Weeks’ which took place in the 1990s, where musicians from all over the world got together and made music. The film gives an insight into the extraordinary atmosphere in which these sessions were held and also Real World’s process of recording with producers and artists who come from different cultural backgrounds. The filmmakers spent time at Real World going through the archives and filming interviews with key staff, including Gabriel.
The international explosion of hip-hop culture and rap music is explored in the award- winning HIP-HOP: THE FURIOUS FORCE OF RHYMES, making its INSIDE THE MUSIC premiere on Friday, October 21 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel. The film traverses four continents and six countries, looking at hip-hop as trans-national protest music. Rap has found kindred souls in people as diverse as African Activists, Israeli Jews, French Arabs and even German skinhead punks, all of whom share a common musical language. Recognizing themselves in the oppression of American blacks, people in various parts of the world have adapted the music born on the streets of New York to their own causes.
THE SWEET LADY WITH THE NASTY VOICE – Saturday, October 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT – The story of the first lady of rockabilly and one of Elvis’s girlfriends – rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Wanda Jackson. As Rolling Stone said: “Jackson was the first to bring a woman’s intuition into the boy’s club of early rock-n-roll.” The film follows the Grammy Award nominee and legendary singer as she performs in Maine, Austin, New York City, Oklahoma City, Washington, D.C., and overseas in Sweden and Finland.
THE ACCORDION KINGS – Friday, October 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT – This is the story of the traditional beat at the heart of Latin America’s richest music, featuring an exclusive performance and interview with pop star and Grammy winner Carlos Vives as well as behind the scene footage of the legendary Vallenato Festival. In Colombia’s northern Magdalena Valley, “valley music” is the rage and the accordion is king. Even mega pop stars Shakira and Gloria Estefan have fused this rhythm into their songs. Every 10 years, Colombia’s top accordion virtuosi gather in the market town of Valledupar to compete in a fierce musical battle to decide who among them is the undisputed Accordion King.
ALL YOU NEED IS KLAUS – Saturday, October 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT – A journey into the incredible life of Klaus Voormann. Respected as one of the finest bass guitarists of all time, Voormann is best known for his association with the most popular and most influential band in rock ‘n roll history, The Beatles. ALL YOU NEED IS KLAUS also features Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr,Carly Simon, and Randy Newman. Joe Walsh and Simon are also interviewed in the film, with Simon recounting Voormann’s influence on her big hit, You’re So Vain.
WORLDS OF SOUND: THE BALLAD OF FOLKWAYS – Friday, October 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT – Folkways Records founder Moses Asch turned the music business model on its head. He avoided hit makers and catered to unknown musicians. He dug into vanishing traditions around the world to harness music and sounds that inspire people. Artists like Woody Guthrie and Lead Belly can still be heard on this original indie label.
ELECTRIFIED: THE GUITAR REVOLUTION – Sunday, October 23 at 8 p.m. ET/PT – Without it, there would be no Hendrix, Clapton, The Beatles or rock n’ roll for that matter. This 60-minute high-wattage history lesson salutes the inventors, pioneers and gods of the electric guitar. The electric guitar was invented to be heard among the brass instruments of the big band era, but it soon took on a sound and life of its own. From the early days of the Model U and the Frying Pan to the guitar wars of Fender and Gibson, experience its evolution through vintage footage, interviews with rock historians, and rousing live performances. Virtuosos like G.E. Smith of the Saturday Night Live Band bring to life the sound innovations of the electric guitar.
MAKING THE MONKEES – Sunday, October 23 at 8 p.m. ET/PT – Making the Monkees follows the story of four young men with varying degrees of musical talent who landed parts on a new TV series about a fictional band. That band went on to outsell The Beatles and Elvis Presley combined in 1967. But their success was short-lived, and their downfall was as fast as their rise to stardom.
PLAY ON, JOHN: A LIFE IN MUSIC – Friday, October 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT – Before Bob Dylan and the Band, there was John Cohen. Almost more than anyone else, he saved and celebrated traditional American Folk Music. Many believe that he is the inspiration for the Grateful Dead’s famous song “Uncle John’s Band.” An American treasure, he is a musician, a painter, a documentary filmmaker, print maker and a photographer.