THIRTEEN’s American Masters Presents the World Premiere of Patsy Cline Documentary Beginning March 4 on PBS During Women’s History Month

Features Exclusive Access To The Cline Estate, Rare Performances And New Interviews With Reba McEntire, LeAnn Rimes, Kacey Musgraves, Wanda Jackson, Beverly D’Angelo And Others, With Narration By Rosanne Cashscreen-shot-2016-01-07-at-9_37_54-am

Born Virginia Patterson Hensley in Winchester, Virginia, The late Patsy Cline (September 8, 1932-March 5, 1963) defined modern country music by using her singular talent and heart‐wrenching emotional depth to break down barriers of gender, class and genre. In her music and her life, she set a standard of authenticity towards which artists still strive. After years of hard work to overcome industry gender biases and her own personal hardships and professional missteps, she achieved success, only to have it punctured by uncanny premonitions and her untimely death at age 30. The new documentary Patsy Cline: American Masters premieres nationwide beginning March 4 on PBS (check local listings) during Women’s History Month as part of the 31st season of THIRTEEN’s American Masters series. 2017 marks the 85th anniversary of Cline’s birth.

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Patsy Cline. Credit: Courtesy of Universal Music Enterprises

Cline boldly bucked female conventions of the 1950s with her fashion sense, her decision to divorce, her support of fellow female artists, and her assertive ambition to get opportunities equal to those of her male Nashville peers, such as the same kind of headliner billing and radio airplay, particularly after breaking free of her unfavorable contract with Four Star Records. Six years after her national breakthrough on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts (CBS, 1957), she died in a plane crash returning home from a benefit performance. Her many posthumous honors include being the first solo female performer to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and a U.S. postage stamp. She was also portrayed in the Oscar-winning feature film Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980) by D’Angelo and in Sweet Dreams (1985) by Jessica Lange.

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Patsy Cline. Credit: Courtesy of Universal Music Enterprises

Narrated by Rosanne Cash, Patsy Cline: American Masters examines the roots of Cline’s impact in both personal and cultural terms to illuminate how she arrived at a pivotal moment in the evolution of American culture and, with Decca Records producer Owen Bradley, synthesized country, pop and rock in a new way to create the Nashville Sound. With exclusive access to the Cline estate, the film features rare performances of such Cline classics as “Walkin’ After Midnight” “Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray,” “Come On In,” “I Fall to Pieces,” “Crazy,” “You Made Me Love You” and more.

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Patsy Cline. Credit: Courtesy of Universal Music Enterprises

The documentary also features exclusive archival interviews with Cline’s contemporaries and new interviews with a wide range of artists who have been influenced by Cline: LeAnn Rimes, Kacey Musgraves, Rhiannon Giddens, Wanda Jackson, Bill Anderson, Beverly D’Angelo, Callie Khouri, Reba McEntire, Mickey Guyton and more.

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Country music singer-songwriter Mickey Guyton, who was influenced by Patsy Cline, is interviewed in “Patsy Cline: American Masters.” Credit: Peggy Sirota

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Country music singer-songwriter Mickey Guyton, who was influenced by Patsy Cline, is interviewed in “Patsy Cline: American Masters.” Credit: Peggy Sirota

It’s been such a privilege to tell the story of Patsy Cline. For me, her story exceeds her musical accomplishments. She is in a rare class of women who simply set out to achieve their dreams and through those efforts left an indelible mark,” said Emmy-nominated director and producer Barbara J. Hall. Continue reading

THIRTEEN’s American Masters Presents Exclusive U.S. Broadcast Premiere of Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, February 21 on PBS During Black History Month

First Feature Documentary On The Author/Activist Features Exclusive Interviews With Dr. Angelou, Oprah Winfrey, Common, Bill And Hillary Clinton, And Others

Year-Long #InspiringWomanPBS Online Campaign Launches This Week At pbs.org/americanmasters

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Dr. Maya Angelou on the set of “Oprah’s Master Class,” circa January 2011. Credit: OWN

Distinctly referred to as “a redwood tree, with deep roots in American culture,” Dr. Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928-May 28, 2014) led a prolific life. As a singer, dancer, activist, poet and writer, she inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought that pushed boundaries. Best known for her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Random House), she gave people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before. The first feature documentary about her life, American Masters – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, premieres nationwide Tuesday, February 21 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) during Black History Month as part of the 31st season of THIRTEEN‘s American Masters series. PBS Distribution will release the film on DVD the same day, with additional bonus features, and on Digital HD February 22. The film title is based on one of our favorite poems by Dr. Angelou, “Still I Rise” from her poetry collection And Still I Rise (Random House).

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Dr. Maya Angelou, circa late 70s/early 80s. Credit: Getty Images

MAYA ANGELOU

Dr. Maya Angelou is best known for her best-selling autobiography “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” (Random House), photo taken November 3, 1971. Credit: © WF/AP/Corbis

With unprecedented access, filmmakers Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack trace Dr. Angelou’s incredible journey, shedding light on the untold aspects of her life through never-before-seen footage, rare archival photographs and videos and her own words. From her upbringing in the Depression-era South and her early performing career (1957’s Miss Calypso album and Calypso Heat Wave film, Jean Genet’s 1961 play The Blacks) to her work with Malcolm X in Ghana and her many writing successes, including her inaugural poem for President Bill Clinton, American Masters – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise reveals hidden facets of her life during some of America’s most defining moments. The film also features exclusive interviews with Dr. Angelou, her friends and family, including (in alphabetical order) Diahann Carroll, actress; Hillary Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State; Bill Clinton, 42nd President of the U.S.’ Common, hip-hop artist/actor; Jules Feiffer, writer/cartoonist; Nikki Giovanni, writer; Louis Gossett, Jr., actor; Guy B. Johnson, Dr. Angelou’s son; Quincy Jones, musician/producer/composer; Robert Loomis, Dr. Angelou’s editor; Don Martin, dancer/opened for Dr. Angelou; Louise Meriwether, writer; Eugene Redmond, professor of English literature; Valerie Simpson, singer/songwriter; John Singleton, director; Cicely Tyson, actress; Alice Windom, friend/roommate in Ghana (1963-65); Oprah Winfrey, global media leader/philanthropist and Alfre Woodard, actress.

Photo of Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou, circa 1970. Credit: Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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Dr. Maya Angelou called Sonoma, California, home in the late 70s/early 80s. Credit: Magnum

“It was a unique privilege to be the first filmmakers to tell Dr. Angelou’s full story and exciting to uncover stories that most people hadn’t heard,” said co-director and co-producer Bob Hercules.

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Louis Gossett, Jr., is interviewed in “American Masters – Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise.” He and Dr. Angelou were part of the casts of off-Broadway play “The Blacks” (1961) by Jean Genet and TV miniseries “Roots” (1977). Credit: © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders | Photo credit required at all times.

The film reflects on how the events of history, culture and the arts shaped Dr. Angelou’s life, and how she, in turn, helped shape our own worldview through her autobiographical literature and activism,” said co-director and co-producer Rita Coburn Whack.

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Dr. Maya Angelou. Credit: Getty Images

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Dr. Maya Angelou. Credit: Ron Groeper

Maya Angelou

Dr. Maya Angelou, San Francisco, CA, circa 1970. Credit: Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS. Courtesy of Caged Bird Legacy

It is bittersweet that Dr. Angelou takes her rightful place in the American Masters series posthumously,” said executive producer Michael Kantor, Co-Executive Producer and American Masters series Executive Producer. “We are fortunate that Bob and Rita captured these insightful interviews with her just prior to her death so we can all learn from her wisdom firsthand.” Continue reading

THIRTEEN’s American Masters Kicks Off Season 31 with Exclusive U.S. Broadcast Premiere of By Sidney Lumet, Tuesday, January 3 on PBS

Exclusive Interview With Treat Williams, Star Of Lumet’s Prince Of The City, And Emmy-Winning Filmmaker Nancy Buirski Follows The Documentary

Prolific and versatile filmmaker Sidney Lumet (1924-2011) made 44 films in 50 years, earning the Academy Honorary Award for lifetime achievement after four Oscar nominations. Considered a quintessential New York filmmaker, Lumet frequently used New York City’s urban mettle to infuse his films with a realism and intensity that kept audiences in suspense while prodding them to consider their own morality. In American Masters: By Sidney Lumet, he tells his own story in a never-before-seen interview shot in 2008 by late filmmaker Daniel Anker and producer Thane Rosenbaum. With candor, humor and grace, Lumet reveals what matters to him as an artist and as a human being. Launching Season 31, American Masters: By Sidney Lumet premieres nationwide Tuesday, January 3 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) and features a new, exclusive interview with Golden Globe- and Emmy Award-nominated actor Treat Williams, who starred in Lumet’s Prince of the City, afterward.by-sidney-lumet_poster_goldposter_com_1-jpg0o_0l_800w_80q

Peabody and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Nancy Buirski (Afternoon of a Faun, The Loving Story, Loving) weaves Lumet’s personal stories and commentary with scenes from his films to create a portrait of one of the most accomplished, influential and socially conscious directors in the history of cinema. Clips spanning his canon, from 12 Angry Men, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Network, Prince of the City, The Verdict, and many more, reveal the spiritual and ethical lessons at the core of his work.

Looking back over his career, Lumet speaks intimately about the experiences that informed his work, which he loved. His Depression-era, working-class Lower East Side beginnings as a child actor with his father in Yiddish theater, on Broadway, and his gradual transition to directing live TV, informed the stories he chose and his ability to translate important stage works into film, such as The Sea Gull, The Fugitive Kind and Long Day’s Journey into Night. In clips from these films, American Masters: By Sidney Lumet underscores Lumet’s own journey: his relationship with his father mirrored in Long Day’s Journey into Night, Daniel, Running on Empty and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.

Marching for workers’ rights in the 1930s, standing up to McCarthy-era blacklist interrogation and finding ways to employ his blacklisted friends, Lumet developed an appreciation for people who question authority. His movies often featured characters fighting for justice, standing up to the crowd and questioning personal responsibility. First and foremost a storyteller, Lumet’s strongly moral tales captured the dilemmas and concerns of a society struggling with essentials: how does one behave to others and to oneself? (You can read the full biography here.) Continue reading

The Stars Come Out to Honor Neighborhood Stars From Across the Country at the 13th Annual Ford Neighborhood Awards

Emmy Award-winning Family Feud host, talk show and radio star Steve Harvey hosted a star-studded evening at the 13th Annual Ford Neighborhood Awards on Saturday August 8th in Atlanta, GA. In a dynamic at the Philips Arena, stars, nominees, and fans came together in celebration for an unforgettable night filled with fiery performances, comedy and poignant moments of inspiration in an awards show for the everyday men and women across the country who are making a powerful impact in their neighborhoods. Music icon Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds kicked off the show with a passionate opening set that quickly had the crowd on its feet, chart-topping recording artist and movie star Tyrese Gibson performed beloved crowd favorites, and GRAMMY® winning singer Usher delivered a blowout closing set to cap a special evening of honors.

Steve Harvey and Marjorie Bridges-Woods attend the 2015 Ford Neighborhood Awards Hosted By Steve Harvey at Phillips Arena on August 8, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images for Neighborhood Awards)

Steve Harvey and Marjorie Bridges-Woods attend the 2015 Ford Neighborhood Awards Hosted By Steve Harvey at Phillips Arena on August 8, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images for Neighborhood Awards)

Harvey and television/radio/film producer Rushion McDonald created the one-of-a kind Neighborhood Awards show (formerly the Hoodie Awards) and Neighborhood Awards Weekend, to recognize and celebrate men and women nationwide who uplift their neighborhoods through their contributions and excellence as entrepreneurs, religious/community leaders, educators and more.

Usher performs at the 2015 Ford Neighborhood Awards Hosted By Steve Harvey at Phillips Arena on August 8, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images for Neighborhood Awards)

Usher performs at the 2015 Ford Neighborhood Awards Hosted By Steve Harvey at Phillips Arena on August 8, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Moses Robinson/Getty Images for Neighborhood Awards)

Driven by public nominations, the show bestows 12 non-traditional awards in the following Neighborhood Awards categories: Best High School CoachBest Nail SalonBest School TeacherBest Car Wash Detail ShopBest Church ChoirBest Soul Food PlaceBest Barber ShopBest High SchoolBest Barbecue Place,Best Beauty SalonBest Church, and Best Community Leader.  The 2015 Neighborhood Awards Weekend includes support from Ford Motor Company, State Farm, Masterbuilt, AARP, McDonald’s, Express Employment Professionals, Tracfone, and DHerbs

The winners are:

Best High School Coach, sponsored by Masterbuilt: Kenneth Lockett, Franklin Senior High School (KBZE 105.39-FM, Baton Rouge, LA)

Best Nail Salon: Salon Couture (WHUR 96.3-FM Washington, DC)

Best School Teacher, sponsored by Express Employment Professionals: Melanie Griffin Hamlin, Manor High School (KKMJ 96.3-FM Austin, TX)

Best Car Wash/Detail Shop: Goodson’s Auto Detailing (WWLD 102.3-FM Tallahassee, FL)

Best Church Choir, sponsored by AARP: St. Mark 4B Missionary Baptist Church (WWDM 101.3 Columbia, SC) 

Best Soul Food Place: Dusties Southern Style Buffet (WVAZ 103.3-FM Chicago, IL)

Best Barbershop: Platinum Cuts Barbershop (V101.9-FM Charlotte-Gastonia, NC)

Best High School, sponsored by State Farm: Charles Herbert Flowers High School (WHUR 96.3-FM Washington, DC)

Best Barbecue Place: Kenny’s Ribs & Chicken (V103-FM Chicago, IL)

Best Beauty Salon, sponsored by Dherbs: Platinum Stylz Hair Studio (WVKL 95.7-FM Norfolk, VA)

Best Church, sponsored by McDonald’s: First Baptist Church of Glenarden (WHUR 96.3-FM Washington, DC)

Best Community Leader, sponsored by Ford: James L. Jones Sr., Simply United Together (Majic 107.5/97.5-FM Atlanta, GA) Continue reading