HANCEVILLE, Ala. — Few can doubt the influence the Carter Family had on country music, as it was their music broadcast from a tiny radio station on the Virginia/Tennessee border that birthed the genre. The later alliance between June Carter and Johnny Cash only intensified the legacy and kept it alive for future generations.
Though their history is well known, in “The Winding Stream: The Carters, The Cashes and The Course of Country Music” filmmaker Beth Harrington reveals a story that has never been told in its entirety. The film covers the epic sweep of this family’s saga all in one film, and is told by Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash, Janette Carter, as well as musicians they influenced. Roots music practitioners like John Prine, George Jones, Sheryl Crow, Kris Kristofferson and many others vividly illustrate their musical contribution in studio performances.
The film, part of the Southern Circuit Independent Film Series by South Arts, will be shown at 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., on Thursday, April 10, in the Recital Hall of the Burrow Center for Fine and Performing Arts on the campus of Wallace State Community College. The films are free and open to the public, and the series is sponsored by the Evelyn Burrow Museum.
“This is the last film in our series and we think it will be the most well attended of them all,” said Donny Wilson, director of the Evelyn Burrow Museum. “Country music has such deep roots in this area and I think the film will be both entertaining and educational.”
The 9:30 a.m. showing is part of the college’s Learning Communities program, which provides for students in a number of courses cultural and educational events they can attend during their regular class time. The 6 p.m. showing was added to give students and members of the community to another opportunity to see the film.
Beth Harrington will be on hand to answers questions after both showings. The 90-minute film made its world premiere at the South X Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas in March. Rolling Stone Magazine called the film ‘A 2013 SXSW: Best of Fest Music Film.” Variety said the film is “an impressively researched and deftly crafted feature that doubtless will find an appreciative audience.”
Harrington’s productions often focus on work that explores American history, music and culture. Her “Welcome to the Club – The Women of Rockabilly” earned a 2003 Grammy nomination. Her work with PBS shows, including NOVA, Frontline, The Health Quarterly and two PBS specials, were honored with a Peabody Award and two Emmy nominations.
Harrington began shooting “The Winding Stream” in 2003. In a 2012 blog posting, Harrington wrote about her perseverance with the film and how she believed it was a story that needed to be told.
“It the last nine years I have amassed a treasure trove of what I consider to be important interviews with people who were witnesses to some of our most important share cultural history,” she wrote in 2012. Many of those she interviewed, including Janette and Joe Carter and Johnny Cash, have passed away in the meantime.
“I started to view this film as a sacred trust,” she wrote on the blog. “These folks had taken their time to share this with me. This material couldn’t just languish on a shelf. It had to be made into the film I’d promised.”
For more information about the film and to see video clips, visit www.thewindingstream.com. For more information about the upcoming shows, call Wallace State at 256.352.8457 or visit www.wallacestate.edu/artscalendar.
The film screening is part Wallace State’s Arts in April events. The list of events planned for Arts in April include:
– Community Concert Series with the New York Theater Ballet, 4 p.m., April 6, Betty Leeth Haynes Theatre, $20, $10 students, free for season pass holders and WSCC students with student I.D.
– Columnist John Archibald, 9:30 a.m., April 8, Burrow Recital Hall
– Photography Lecture by John Dersham, 2 p.m., April 9, Burrow Recital Hall
– “The Winding Stream: The Carters, The Cashes and the Course of Country Music” film, part of the South Arts Film Festival, 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., April 10 at Burrow Recital Hall
– Art Exhibition, April 14-26 in the Burrow Center, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday
– Piano performance by Katherine Vest, Piano 1st place winner at the 2014 Alabama Federated Music Clubs Auditions, 12:15 p.m., Burrow Recital Hall
– WSCC Jazz Band’s Big Band Ballroom Dance, 7 p.m., April 18 at Burrow Center, $15 donation
– WSCC Jazz Band at Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, April 19 at Carver Theatre, Birmingham; time to be announced
– Musician and composer Kurt Heineke (Veggie Tales), 9:30 a.m., April 21 at Betty Leeth Haynes Theatre
– Mezzo Soprano Margaret Gill and Tenor Shane Bloemetji, with Mike Sparks accompanying, 12:15 p.m., April 22, Burrow Recital Hall
– Student Convocation, 12:15 p.m., April 24 at Burrow Recital Hall
– Beatles Revolution, 9:30 a.m., April 24 at Betty Leeth Haynes Theatre
– Beatles Revolution, 7 p.m., April 24-26 at Betty Leeth Haynes Theatre, $7 adults, $5 students, free ages 5 and under
– Art Exhibition Artists’ Reception, 10 a.m. to noon, April 26, Burrow Center
– WSCC Concert Band, 9:30 a.m. April 29, Burrow Recital Hall
– WSCC Concert Band, 7 p.m., May 1, Burrow Recital Hall
For updates and more information about Arts in April, visit www.wallacestate.edu/artsinapril, or call 256.352.8277 or 866.350.9722.