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November 1, 2001
New Documentary "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" To Be Previewed at Library of Congress December 14
As part of "I Hear America Singing," a major initiative to celebrate this nation's rich musical heritage, the Music Division of the Library of Congress will present a preview showing of "Standing in the Shadows of Motown," a new documentary film from the Rimshot LLC production company.
Produced by Paul Elliott and David Scott, executive producers, and Sandy Passman, Allan Slutsky and Paul Justman, producers, the film will be shown in the Coolidge Auditorium -- located on the ground floor of the Library's Thomas Jefferson Building -- at 7 p.m. on Friday, December 14. A question-and-answer session with Mr. Slutsky will follow the film. Tickets are required for this event and will be available starting on November 7 for a nominal charge of $2 per ticket, with additional charges for phone orders and handling, from TicketMaster by calling (301) 808-6900, (202) 432-SEAT or by visiting TicketMaster outlets.
In 1959, Berry Gordy gathered the best musicians from Detroit's thriving jazz and blues scene to begin cutting songs for his new record company. During a 14-year period, they were the heartbeat on "My Girl," "Bernadette," "I Was Made to Love Her," and every other hit from Motown's Detroit era.
By the end of their phenomenal run, this unheralded group of musicians had played on as many No. 1 one hits as the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis and the Beatles. They called themselves the Funk Brothers.
Forty-one years after they played their first note on a Motown record and three decades since they were all together, the Funk Brothers reunited in Detroit to play their music and tell their unforgettable story in "Standing in the Shadows of Motown."
Fourteen years in the making, this film is based on a book of the same title (by Mr. Slutsky) that won the 1989 Rolling Stone/BMI Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award. "Standing in the Shadows of Motown" was shot entirely on location in Detroit from December 2000 through January 2001. This one hour, 56-minute documentary tells the Funk Brothers' saga through archival footage and still photos, narration, interviews, re-creation scenes, 20 Motown master tracks, and 12 new live performances of Motown classics with the Funk Brothers backing up Chaka Kahn, Ben Harper, Bootsy Collins, Montell Jordan, Me'Shell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne and Gerald Levert.
With the tumultuous '60s as a backdrop, Motown's unsung heroes take the viewer on a compelling journey in time as they trace the evolution of "The Motown Sound" from its origins in Detroit to its demise in Los Angeles during the '70s.
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