Mellencamp Featured in Johnny Cash Documentary
10.22.2008 - John Mellencamp is among several music and political luminaries featured in “Johnny Cash’s America,” a documentary that explores the Man in Black’s politics, beliefs, influence and patriotism. It premiered on the Biography Channel on Oct 23rd. Watch for future repeats. A DVD release is due on Oct. 28th from Sony/Legacy.
An inductee into both the Rock and Roll and Country Music Halls of Fame, the late Cash touched on some of the most contentious issues of his time--war, prison reform, youth discontent, religion, Native American rights -- while remarkably retaining an audience spanning vastly different political, economic, and social standings. In his comments, Mellencamp relates Cash’s concerns to today’s political climate in personal recollections that run throughout the program. Click HERE to learn more about the documentary and Johnny Cash.
Others interviewed for the documentary include former Vice President Al Gore, TN Senator Lamar Alexander, Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, and Snoop Dogg. Directed by award-winning documentary filmmakers Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon (“Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story,” “Muddy Waters Can’t Be Satisfied” and “Shakespeare was a Big George Jones Fan,”) “Johnny Cash’s America” is narrated by Academy Award-winner Chris Cooper.
BIO CHANNEL PRESENTS “JOHNNY CASH’S AMERICA”
A HISTORIC FIRST TIME PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE CASH ESTATE, SONY MUSIC, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER JOHN CARTER CASH AND AWARD WINNING FILMMAKERS
TO SHED NEW LIGHT ON THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE ‘MAN IN BLACK’
TWO-HOUR DOCUMENTARY PREMIERES THURSDAY, OCTOBER 23 AT 9 PM EST
NARRATED BY OSCAR-WINNING ACTOR CHRIS COOPER WITH INTERVIEWS WITH
CASH FAMILY, AL GORE, SHERYL CROW, SNOOP DOGG & MORE
New York, NY – September 23, 2008 – Bio Channel brings viewers inside the unique story of one man, his music and the country that embraced him with the two-hour documentary special “Johnny Cash’s America,” premiering on Thursday, October 23 at 9 PM EST.
A first time partnership between the Cash Estate, Sony Music, Executive Producer John Carter Cash and Award-winning filmmaking team Morgan Neville (Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues) and Robert Gordon (Muddy Waters Can’t Be Satisfied, with Morgan Neville), the special sheds new light on the life and legacy of the “Man in Black.” Narrated by Oscar-winning actor Chris Cooper (Adaptation), viewers will have unprecedented access to a wealth of rare materials, including never-before-seen footage and photos, intimate interviews with Cash’s family, children, and several life-long friends, and 27 of Johnny Cash's recordings, many used here for the first time.
At the time of his death in 2003, no other entertainer in history had brought together people of such diverse creeds, politics, and persuasions as Johnny Cash. With hits spanning six decades from the 1950s into the 21st century, Cash sought to advocate his beliefs and unify people through his music. Wading in the controversies of his time, Cash was a man who believed in God but was a friend to the Devil, a patriot and a drug addict, a friend to Presidents and an ally to prisoners. His America was not red, white or blue; it was black.
The documentary explores the prominent themes of Cash’s life including love of the land, freedom, justice, family, faith and redemption through exclusive interviews, photos and unreleased music and footage. Interviews include Cash’s sister Joanne, son John Carter Cash and daughters Cindy Cash and Rosanne Cash, childhood friends and fellow band mates as well as Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, Sheryl Crow, Al Gore, Tim Robbins, Loretta Lynn, Snoop Dogg, Vince Gill, Ozzy Ozborne, Steve Earle, Merle Haggard and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) all of whom are connected to Cash in surprising ways.
The special features 27 of Cash’s songs as well as unreleased and never-before seen footage including the 1965 “Johnny Cash Show” featuring solo performance of “Five Feet High and Rising,” outtakes from the recording studio with Cash and Bob Dylan from his elusive Eat the Document documentary and rehearsal footage for a Highwaymen recording session. The Cash family – Johnny’s sister, son, and other relatives – take viewers to rural Dyess, Arkansas to Cash’s childhood home and visit brother Jack’s grave which elicits a moving, impromptu singing of “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.”
“Johnny Cash’s America” will premiere at the Woodstock Film Festival on Saturday, October 4 and screen at the Country Music Hall of Fame on October 11, the American Cinematheque in Hollywood, CA on October 13, the Memphis Indie Film Festival on October 15 and the Paley Center in New York, NY on October 17. Sony BMG’s Legacy Recordings will release the CD/DVD on October 28.
“Johnny Cash’s America” is produced and directed by Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon from Tremelo Productions for Bio Channel. Executive Producers for Bio Channel are Robert Sharenow and Andy Berg.
"JOHNNY CASH'S AMERICA" will air as the nation prepares to elect its next president ...
WOODSTOCK: Saturday, Oct. 4 @ Woodstock Film Festival
LOS ANGELES: Tuesday, Oct. 14 @ The American Cinematheque at the Egyptian, 7:30 pm (RSVP info below)
MEMPHIS: Wednesday, Oct. 15 @ Memphis Indie Film Festival
NEW YORK: Friday Oct. 17th @ The Paley Center (25 W. 52nd., MTR.org)
NASHVILLE: Sunday, Oct. 19 @ Country Music Hall of Fame
ON TV Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008 on Biography Channel (Check local listings)
ON DVD Tuesday, Oct. 28 from Sony/Legacy
JOHNNY CASH'S AMERICA was not red, white or blue, but black. This documentary ties together Cash’s politics, beliefs, influence and his patriotism. How did personal, national and political events shape Cash and how did he reflect it back to the country? How can one man unify so many? Cash navigated some of the most contentious issues of our time — war, prison reform, youth discontent, religion, Native American rights — without losing his audience. What lessons can be learned from his story? How can one man speak his mind without losing his voice? Most broadly, Johnny Cash was able to unite people of vastly different political, economic, and social standings; in 2008, what can we take from Cash that may help us unite as a country, as Cash was able to unite his audience? Featuring Al Gore, Sheryl Crow, Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, Snoop Dogg, Sen. Lamar Alexander. Narrated by Academy Award Winner © Chris Cooper.
Directors Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon are the award-winning filmmakers behind such notable documentaries as "Respect yourself: The Stax Records Story," "Muddy Waters Can't Be Satisfied" and "Shakespeare was a Big George Jones Fan," the cult documentary on legendary producer “Cowboy” Jack Clement, Cash’s longtime friend. Neville's other films include documentaries on The Brill Building, Sam Phillips and Sun Records, Brian Wilson, Leiber & Stoller and Burt Bacharach. He directed the Award-winning “Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues” and last year’s “The Cool School” on the Los Angeles Art Scene. Gordon is the author of several books, including "It Came From Memphis" and "Can't Be Satisfied: The Life and Times of Muddy Waters." He also wrote and produced "The Road to Memphis," an episode of "Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues."
Directed and Produced by Morgan Neville & Robert Gordon
Written by Morgan Neville
Executive Producers: John Carter Cash, Lou Robin
Edited by Chris Perkel, Blake West
Photography by David Leonard
Narrated by Chris Cooper
Supervising Producer: Brenna Sanchez
Original Music Composed by Dan John Miller
Executive Producer for Sony: Steve Berkowitz
Executive Producers for A&E: Rob Sharenow, Andy Berg
Associate Producers: Jennifer Ellen Mohr, Anne Lilburn