Documentary about the soul of American music set to premier in Memphis

Documentary about the soul of American music set to premier in Memphis
All involved say the film is a compliment to succession and hope for the future. (Photo Source: Vimeo)
All involved say the film is a compliment to succession and hope for the future. (Photo Source: Vimeo)

(WMC) - A new documentary about the soul of American music will be released on Friday and WMC Action News 5's Kontji Anthony was the only reporter given all access to the impressive cast.

"Take Me to the River" is a 1974 song written by singer Al Green. Now, it's the namesake of the new documentary where legends of the past and present meet for the first time and let their artistry flow. It's dubbed as the "ultimate collaboration."

The backdrop: Royal Studios in the heart of South Memphis. Grammy-winning Memphis producer/songwriter David Porter says "Take Me to the River" bridges past and present.

"The seed of what gives it life lives in just getting the experience of those who come before you and incorporate that into some of what you are going today," Porter said.

Illustrious music producer Lawrence "Boo" Mitchell brought the artists together. On the spot, they picked songs to recreate.

"We put legacy artists like Bobby Bluebland with current stars and rising stars," Mitchell noted. "Nothing's scripted, nothing's fake. The interaction is how we are."

World-famous blues, soul, and rap artist paired in the film. Rapper Frayser Boy, who won an Oscar for his song in the film Hustle an Flow, found new love for blues and soul.

"We come from the same struggle. We just express it in a different way," Frayser Boy noted.

Reverend Charles Hodges, the organist who gave Al Green's music its signature sound, found love for hip-hop.

"I met Frayser Boy. What he was doing was completely different. It's an art and I respect it and now I love it," Hodges said.

All involved say the film is a compliment to succession and hope for the future.

"Not only of these young persons, but the future of the spirit of music that came out if Memphis and what it means to the world," Porter said.

The movie soundtrack will be released on iTunes Tuesday, and it is already available for pre-order on Amazon.com. The film premieres at Malco Paradiso and 10 additional cities on Friday, September 12.

You can learn more about the documentary by visiting the sites below.

Take Me to the River trailer: http://vimeo.com/79138363

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