National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World Celebrates One Year Anniversary

Global Collection of Hotels and Lodges Nearly Doubles to 45 Destinations Spanning Six Continents

Since its launch in January 2015, the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection has nearly doubled the number of properties in its impressive collection, increasing its geographic breadth to the Canadian High Arctic, Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, the Seychelles, the mountains of northern Greece and beyond. National Geographic Unique Lodges offer travelers a full-service experience from booking to checkout.Print

The collection began with 24 charter members and accepted 14 in June 2015 and seven over the past few months, bringing it to 45 lodges — and counting. These extraordinary properties were selected for the outstanding guest service and experiences they offer, and for their leadership in sustainable tourism and commitment to protecting cultural and natural heritage. They must undergo a rigorous vetting process and a site audit to become part of the collection.

Hacienda_Volcan & Suites' Facade. Photo Credit: Mark Callanan/National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World

Hacienda Volcan & Suites’ Facade. Photo Credit: Mark Callanan/National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World

Photo Courtesy Fregate Island Private, The Seychelles (Private Pool Residence)/

Photo Courtesy Fregate Island Private, The Seychelles (Private Pool Residence)/National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World

On the Unique Lodges website, travelers can search for lodges by region or by activity — such as birding or kayaking — and find the lowest rates available. They can request a reservation or book a National Geographic Private Expedition that features a Unique Lodge, such as an expedition to Costa Rica that features a stay at Pacuare Lodge and Lapa Rios Eco Lodge, or a trip to the Greek Isles that includes three nights at Kapari Natural Resort on Santorini, with an option to continue your trip at Aristi Mountain Resort and Villas. Or they can create a custom itinerary that incorporates a stay at a Unique Lodge.

Photo courtesy Aristi Mountain Resort and Villas, Greece (Exterior Night)/

Photo courtesy Aristi Mountain Resort and Villas, Greece (Exterior Night)/National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World

Lodges joining the collection include:

With the additions this past year come a wide range of new opportunities for travelers, such as walking safaris with world-class guides at The Bushcamp Company in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park, horseback riding and hiking in the shadow of a volcano at Mexico’s Hacienda de San Antonio, and cooking classes with a renowned chef in Alaska’s backcountry at Winterlake Lodge. At all of the properties in the collection, guests who book their stay through the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World online site (www.NationalGeographicLodges.com) are treated to a special, exclusive experience, such as a meeting with the son of a traditional shaman at Pacuare Lodge in Costa Rica, or a private catered dinner in a grove of ancient milkwood trees at South Africa’s Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.

Photo courtesy  Winterlake Lodge (Main Lodge Exterior), South-Central Alaska, United States/

Photo courtesy Winterlake Lodge (Main Lodge Exterior), South-Central Alaska, United States/National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World

Photo courtesy Churchill Wild – Seal River Heritage Lodge, Manitoba, Canada/

Photo courtesy Churchill Wild – Seal River Heritage Lodge, Manitoba, Canada/National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World

The owners and managers of the lodges are some of the world’s leading minds in sustainable tourism. By bringing them together, the collection has created a vibrant forum for the exchange of ideas, innovations, and best practices. At a gathering of members in May 2015, topics of discussion included an air conditioning system run on coconut oil and deep sea water at The Brando in French Polynesia, and an initiative at Sukau Rainforest Lodge in Malaysian Borneo to ward off wild elephants using bees—creating an income generator for local communities while reducing conflicts between humans and wildlife.

Photo courtesy  Lone Mountain Ranch, Montana, United States/

Photo courtesy Lone Mountain Ranch, Montana, United States/National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World

Photo courtesy Pacuare Lodge, Limón Province, Costa Rica/

Photo courtesy Pacuare Lodge, Limón Province, Costa Rica/National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World

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Thirteen’s American Masters Celebrates 30 Years of Excellence in Documentary Filmmaking in 2016

Thirteen‘s American Masters has announced the preliminary lineup for its 30th anniversary season on PBS featuring Mike Nichols, B.B. King, Carole King, Fats Domino, Loretta Lynn, Janis Joplin, The Highwaymen, Norman Lear and Maya Angelou. American Masters, THIRTEEN’s award-winning biography series, celebrates our arts and culture. Awards include 70 Emmy nominations and 28 awards — 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series since 1999 and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 12 Peabody Awards; three Grammys; an Oscar; two Producers Guild Awards for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television; and the 2012 IDA Award for Best Continuing Series.

"American Masters," THIRTEEN's award-winning biography series, explores the lives and creative journeys of America's most enduring artistic and cultural giants. With insight and originality, the series illuminates the extraordinary mosaic of our nation's landscape, heritage and traditions. Watch full episodes and more at http://pbs.org/americanmasters. (PRNewsFoto/WNET)

“American Masters,” THIRTEEN’s award-winning biography series, explores the lives and creative journeys of America’s most enduring artistic and cultural giants. With insight and originality, the series illuminates the extraordinary mosaic of our nation’s landscape, heritage and traditions. Watch full episodes and more at http://pbs.org/americanmasters. (PRNewsFoto/WNET)

Launched in 1986, the series is the gold standard for documentary film profiles, accruing widespread critical acclaim. This prolific series has produced an exceptional library*, bringing unique originality and perspective to illuminate the creative journeys of our most enduring writers, musicians, visual and performing artists, dramatists, filmmakers and those who have left an indelible impression on our cultural landscape. Balancing a broad and diverse cast of characters and artistic approaches, while preserving historical authenticity and intellectual integrity, these portraits reveal the style and substance of each subject.AboutSeries

The series’ individually crafted films reflect the specific attention deserved by American Masters subjects, including such great talents as Arthur Miller (the series’ first subject), Georgia O’Keeffe, James Baldwin, Diego Rivera, Martha Graham, F. Scott Fitzgerald, I.M. Pei, Leonard Bernstein, Sidney Poitier, Judy Garland, John James Audubon, Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, Johnny Carson, Zora Neale Hurston, Albert Einstein, Rod Serling, Bill T. Jones, Lucille Ball, Paul Simon, Richard Avedon, John Cassavetes, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Gehry, Woody Guthrie, Jimi Hendrix, Edward Curtis, Julia Child, Walter Cronkite, Woody Allen, and Billie Jean King, as well as influential cultural institutions and eras such as the Actor’s Studio, the Algonquin Round Table, the Negro Ensemble Company, the Juilliard School, 60 Minutes, the Joffrey Ballet, and a century of Chinese American cinematic history in Hollywood Chinese.

Fascinating in their individuality as well as in the whole, American Masters has become a cultural legacy in its own right, producing and presenting the extraordinary mosaic of our creative heritage and broadening viewer appreciation of our nation’s traditions and character. An artist’s work can capture, reflect and even shape a society’s experience. Without art, we would lack an identity, a soul and a voice. American Masters exists to give life to that voice.

For this celebratory 30th anniversary season, the offerings are no less fascinating. The season opens with Mike Nichols and concludes with Maya Angelou. How can it get any better than that?

Mike Nichols: American MastersMike-Nichols_end-frame_KEY-ART-FINAL

Season 30 premiere: Friday, January 29 at 9 p.m. Meet one of America’s late, great directors Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Angels in America), who discusses his life and 50-year artistic career, from the comedy duo Nichols and May to his final film, Charlie Wilson’s War. Winner of an Oscar, a Grammy, four Emmys, nine Tonys, three BAFTAs and many other awards, director, actor, writer, producer and comedian Mike Nichols (November 6, 1931 – November 19, 2014) was an artistic trailblazer. As the legendary comedy duo Nichols and May, Nichols and his partner Elaine May revolutionized comedy in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Now, May has directed the first documentary about her former partner, Mike Nichols: American Masters, premiering Friday, January 29, 2016, at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) to launch the 30th anniversary season of THIRTEEN’s American Masters series.

With charm and wit, Nichols discusses his life and 50-year career as a performer and director. Mike Nichols: American Masters features new interviews with his friends and colleagues, including Meryl Streep, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Alec Baldwin, Paul Simon, Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane, Bob Balaban, Tony Kushner, Neil Simon, Frank Langella, James L. Brooks and many others, conducted by film, TV and theater producer Julian Schlossberg (Bullets Over Broadway, American Masters — Nichols & May: Take Two, American Masters: The Lives of Lillian Hellman). Schlossberg also conducted an exclusive interview with Nichols for the film. The documentary features insights and highlights from Nichols’ acclaimed films, including The Graduate, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Catch 22, Silkwood, Biloxi Blues, Working Girl, Angels In America and Charlie Wilson’s War, as well as his theatrical productions Barefoot in the Park, Luv and The Odd Couple. Directed by Elaine May. Produced by Julian Schlossberg.

American Masters: B.B. King: The Life of Riley

Photo Credit: B.B. King performs on stage at the Royal Albert Hall. Photo: Kevin Nixon

Photo Credit: B.B. King performs on stage at the Royal Albert Hall. Photo: Kevin Nixon

Friday, February 12 at 9 p.m. in honor of Black History Month. Explore B.B. King’s challenging life and career through candid interviews with the “King of the Blues” filmed shortly before his death and fellow music stars, including Bono, Bonnie Raitt, Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and Ringo Starr, and more.

American Masters — Carole King: Natural Woman

Carole King. Photo: Joseph Sinnott / ©2015 THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC. All rights reserved.

Carole King. Photo: Joseph Sinnott / ©2015 THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC. All rights reserved.

Friday, February 19 at 9 p.m. Delve into the hit singer-songwriter’s life and career from 1960s New York to the music mecca of 70s LA to the present. Carole King joins collaborators and family in new interviews, while rare home movies, performances and photos complete the tapestry. The year 2016 marks the 45th anniversary of King’s landmark, four-time Grammy-winning album Tapestry, which was released February 10, 1971.

American Masters: Fats Domino and the Birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll

Singer-songwriter Fats Domino (b. Feb. 26, 1928), 1970. Photo: Getty Images.

Singer-songwriter Fats Domino (b. Feb. 26, 1928), 1970. Photo: Getty Images.

Friday, February 26 at 10 p.m. in honor of Black History Month and Fats Domino’s birthday. Discover how Fats Domino’s brand of New Orleans rhythm and blues became rock ‘n’ roll. As popular in the 1950s as Elvis Presley, Domino suffered degradations in the pre-Civil Rights South and aided integration through his influential music.

American Masters — Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl

Loretta Lynn. Photo: David McClister

Loretta Lynn. Photo: David McClister

Friday, March 4 at 9 p.m. in honor of Women’s History Month. Explore the country legend’s hard-fought road to stardom. From her Appalachian roots to the Oscar-winning biopic of her life, Coal Miner’s Daughter, Loretta Lynn struggled to balance family and her music career and is still going strong after more than 50 years. The documentary premieres the same day Lynn’s first new studio album in over 10 years, Full Circle (Legacy Recordings), is released. Continue reading

THIRTEEN’s ‘American Masters’ Premieres New Documentary ‘Carole King: Natural Woman’ February 19 on PBS

Documentary Also Honors the 45th Anniversary of Her Landmark Album ‘Tapestry’CaroleKing_end-frame_FINAL

The career of singer-songwriter Carole King (b. February 9, 1942) is unparalleled. She is a four-time Grammy Award-winner, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, a 2015 Kennedy Center Honoree and the first woman to be awarded The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. To date, more than 400 of her compositions have been recorded by more than 1,000 artists, resulting in 100 hit singles, including songs co-written with Gerry Goffin: “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (The Shirelles), “Up on the Roof” (The Drifters) and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” (Aretha Franklin).

"American Masters," THIRTEEN's award-winning biography series, explores the lives and creative journeys of America's most enduring artistic and cultural giants. With insight and originality, the series illuminates the extraordinary mosaic of our nation's landscape, heritage and traditions. Watch full episodes and more at http://pbs.org/americanmasters. (PRNewsFoto/WNET)

“American Masters,” THIRTEEN’s award-winning biography series, explores the lives and creative journeys of America’s most enduring artistic and cultural giants. With insight and originality, the series illuminates the extraordinary mosaic of our nation’s landscape, heritage and traditions. Watch full episodes and more at http://pbs.org/americanmasters. (PRNewsFoto/WNET)

Now, King tells her own story in the new documentary American Masters – Carole King: Natural Woman, premiering nationwide Friday, February 19 at 9 pm. on PBS (check local listings) as part of the 30th anniversary season of THIRTEEN’s American Masters series. This year also marks the 45th anniversary of King’s landmark solo album Tapestry, which was released February 10, 1971, and spawned the hits “It’s Too Late,” “I Feel the Earth Move,” “You’ve Got a Friend” and “So Far Away.”

Carole King. Photo Credit: Elissa Kline

Carole King. Photo Credit: Elissa Kline

Weaving previously unseen and rare performances and home movies with a new, exclusive interview with King, American Masters – Carole King: Natural Woman delves into her life and career. New interviews with friends and colleagues, including fellow songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Tapestry producer Lou Adler, drummer Russ Kunkel, guitarist Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar, daughter and manager Sherry Goffin Kondor, lyricists Toni Stern and Carole Bayer Sager, and former manager Peter Asher, complete the biographical tapestry. Continue reading

Showtime® To Debut New Michael Jackson Documentary On Friday, February 5th At 9 Pm ET/PT

Off The Wall: Michael Jackson’s Original Album And The Documentary “Michael Jackson’s Journey From Motown To Off The Wall” Set For Release As A CD/DVD Bundle On February 26, 2016

On February 26, during Black History Month, the Estate of Michael Jackson and Sony Legacy Recordings will release exclusive CD/DVD and CD/Blu Ray editions of Michael Jackson’s revolutionary 1979 recording, Off The Wall. The package will include the original version of the album bundled with the new documentary Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall,directed by Spike Lee. The documentary will make its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2016, and its world television premiere on Showtime on Friday, February 5th at 9 P.M. ET/PT on-air, on demand and over the internet. After its premiere on Showtime, it will be broadcast in territories around the world.

On February 26, during Black History Month, the Estate of Michael Jackson and Sony Legacy Recordings will release exclusive CD/DVD and CD/Blu Ray editions of Michael Jackson's revolutionary 1979 recording, Off The Wall. The package will include the original version of the album   bundled with the new documentary Michael Jackson's Journey from Motown to Off the Wall, directed by Spike Lee (PRNewsFoto/Legacy Recordings)

 (PRNewsFoto/Legacy Recordings)

THE ALBUM – The importance of Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall cannot be overstated. Recorded when he was just 20 years old, the album heralded Michael’s stunning emancipation as a singular musical force and creative visionary. It was one of the first musicial albums that smashed the ceiling (in the 19280’s) on record sales for black artists, ushering in an exciting new era of R&B-to-pop crossover airplay, chart, marketing and sales trends not seen before in modern pop music. It’s the record that “invented modern pop as we know it,” wrote Rolling Stone.  For fellow black artists of the day, Michael served as an illuminating inspiration.

To Black America, Off The Wall transcended music and entertainment altogether. The success of the album marked a level of national and international achievement that conjured pride in a culture that as late as the end of the 1970s was still fighting for the kind of social acceptance that Michael’s album received. Because of Off the Wall’s indelible influence, 21st century artists as disparate as Beyonce, Pharrell, Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd all have a blueprint they turned to for creating their superstardom.

Written by Michael Jackson, the first single from Off The Wall, “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough“, was Michael’s first Grammy and first single to hit #1 in the U.S. and internationally as a solo artist. With the singles “Rock With You“, “Off the Wall” and “She’s Out of My Life” Jackson became the first solo artist in history to have four singles from the same album peak inside the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. The album was an enormous commercial success; as of 2014 it is certified eight times platinum in the United States and has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time.

The Music: “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough“; “Rock With You“, “Workin’ Day and Night“; “Get on the Floor“; “Off the Wall“; “Girlfriend“; “She’s Out of My Life“; “I Can’t Help It“; ” It’s the Falling in Love“; “Burn This Disco Out“. Continue reading

ELVIS PRESLEY – THE ALBUM COLLECTION, the Definitive 60-CD Deluxe Limited Edition Box Set, to be Released on Friday, March 18, 2016

The Album Collection Commemorates the 60th Anniversary of the Original Release of Elvis Presley, the King’s First Album for RCA

The Ultimate Collection Includes Restorations of 57 Elvis Presley Albums Originally Released on RCA from 1956-1977 PLUS 3 New Discs of Rarities from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s

In commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the release of Elvis Presley’s first album for RCA Records, Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release ELVIS PRESLEY – THE ALBUM COLLECTION, a monumental 60CD limited edition box set anthology, on March 18, 2016.592384

ELVIS PRESLEY – THE ALBUM COLLECTION is available for pre-order now: http://smarturl.it/AlbumCollection_Amzn

Elvis Presley, the singer’s first album for RCA Victor, was released on March 23, 1956, with its successor, Elvis, following in October 1956.  Both albums reached #1 on the US charts and achieved RIAA platinum status.

ELVIS PRESLEY – THE ALBUM COLLECTION includes album titles recorded by Elvis and released by RCA during the artist’s lifelong association with the label.  The deluxe set features Elvis’s fabled Sun Sessions(recorded 1954 and 1955 at Sun Studio in Memphis, prior to Presley’s signing with RCA), his first RCA sessions (January 10, 1956), and significant official Elvis album releases including studio, soundtrack and live titles in addition to compilations featuring unreleased songs or tracks new to the LP format.

Highlights of ELVIS PRESLEY – THE ALBUM COLLECTION include: Elvis Presley and Elvis, the 1956 RCA studio album releases that rocketed Elvis into the pop culture stratosphere; all 17 of his film soundtrack LPs including Loving YouKing CreoleG.I. BluesBlue HawaiiRoustabout and more; the 1969 American Sound session albums Elvis In Memphis and Back In Memphis; Elvis’s stunning 1960s Nashville albums; the King’s 1970s triumphant live concert recordings On Stage (1970), Elvis As Recorded Live At Madison Square Garden(1972) and Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite (1973); compilation albums–including the Elvis’ Golden Recordsseries released between 1958 and 1968–offering many of Elvis’ non-album hits; the rare RCA Camden “budget” series which feature songs recorded for Presley films but not included on the traditional soundtrack albums in addition to other hard-to-find material.

Original album packaging has been meticulously restored for each of the discs included in ELVIS PRESLEY – THE ALBUM COLLECTION.  Details include gatefold/die cut sleeves, original RCA Victor inserts and stickers, CD labels replicating original Side 1 labels and more.

The lavish ELVIS PRESLEY – THE ALBUM COLLECTION collector’s box includes a 300-page fully illustrated hard cover book featuring insightful commentary penned by Elvis Presley scholar John Jackson, discographies and recording session details (dates, locations, personnel, etc.) and more.

The definitive treasure trove for seasoned fans or newcomers to these classic recordings, ELVIS PRESLEY – THE ALBUM COLLECTION presents Elvis and his music the way he was originally heard during his lifetime by contemporary audiences, through the medium of long-playing albums.  This 60th anniversary anthology lovingly compiles albums and compilations of new material released by RCA during Elvis’s lifetime into the definitive Elvis Presley album library. Continue reading