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The Music of America: Press Releases

Press Releases

For Immediate Release: January 8 2008

THE MUSIC OF AMERICA: HISTORY THROUGH MUSICAL TRADITIONS – A Prime-time PBS Series deal signed by Nut Hill Productions, Inc. and WETA

(Washington, D.C.) – Spanning 400 years of American history, this six-hour 3-part documentary television series explores the evolution of American culture by examining the people’s songs. Handed down, one generation at a time, and blended across disparate socio-economic lines and ethnicities, ”traditional”, or “folk” music has created a new vernacular expression to help man rejoice, mourn, cope with, and process their lives in a rapidly-changing world.

Nut Hill Productions, Inc., a non-profit media organization based in San Francisco is the lifeblood behind this ambitious project, as it’s principals, Deborah Robins (Executive Producer, and Peter Ashlock (Co-Executive Producer) seek to bring a new understanding and tenderness towards a vast collection of musical styles and expressions. “Most people misunderstand that this music stems from homemade experiences,” Robins explains, “and not from the Folk Music Revival of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. The fact is that commercially successful music during that time was only a blip on the radar when you realize that this is a four century continuum we’re looking at.”

Nut Hill Productions has partnered with flagship Washington, D.C PBS station, WETA (Dalton Delan, Executive Producer, Karen Kenton, Producer) to bring this extensive story to television.

“Music remains one of the most natural means of expression for the many different cultures and peoples that call America home,” said Sharon Percy Rockefeller, President and CEO of WETA.

“In a sense a project of this magnitude has never been done this way before—we’re researching centuries of the everyday music of the American people, and putting it into the context of history and social anthropology.” Adds Peter Ashlock, Co-Executive Producer, Nut Hill Productions, Inc.

Award-winning PBS stalwart, Leo Eaton (Eaton Creative). [America at a Crossroads]. Series Producer, adds: “Every era in American history has found a voice that expresses concerns about vital issues and communicates them on a grassroots, yet very potent level. Whether rising up in sorrow or singing out in joy, songs reflect the work, the relationships, the family, the institutions, the organizations, the times, the flow of life … the pulse of a nation: from Africa, the British Isles, Spain, Germany, and France, and others, everyday people have been coming together in the United States and drawn on old forms mixed with new ways, sparking a hybrid music.

This series analyzes the points where history, music, and culture intersect by following several families from their arrival in North America to their modern day descendants. Segment Directors are Leslie Farrell (African American Lives), Hector Galán (Chicano! History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement), and Peter Frumkin (American Masters). Series Music Producer for Nut Hill Productions, is recording industry veteran, Mark Leviton.

The Music of America:History Through Musical Traditions will make extensive use of existing film and photo archives along with, paintings, newspapers, visual material and ephemera from appropriate periods of American history, in addition to exclusive interviews. Filming locations will be in USA, Africa, and Europe. The HD TV documentary series will be broadcast on PBS accompanied by a comprehensive package of educational, outreach and archived materials by Web, DVD and print media.

For information contact: Cash Edwards, Cash Edwards Music Services 512/447-0544 or