Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music, PBS’ highly anticipated music series, premieres Monday, Nov. 14, and explores the extraordinary impact of recorded music on the modern world in eight, one-hour episodes. The series combines unprecedented access to some of the most celebrated artists, producers and innovators from across the music spectrum with new interviews, rare archival studio footage and an extensive soundtrack.
The series was the final project of legendary music producer Sir George Martin, a connection Nashville-based Carter Little said made his job as music supervisor on the series easier. “The way we were able to bring all of this music and get all of these labels and publishers was that Sir George Martin and the Beatles were a major part of this show.”
Little addressed the audience at NPT’s October advance screening of Soundbreaking at the Belcourt Theatre and recently spoke with NPT about the series. His involvement with the project began while it was still in development and he worked with the filmmakers to identify songs and storylines in the show around which sequences were built. “It’s been many, many years in the making,” he laughed.
A self-described music and recording junkie, Little said it was a joy “to spend so much time investigating, exploring the records, the producers, the engineers and the artists and the songwriters that I love so much and that have had such a big influence on my life.” The project was a labor of love for Little and other members of the team. He added that despite spending the last 25 years immersed in music and recording, he has still learned much from Soundbreaking.
Highlights of the series include:
The Stevie Wonder segment is part of “Going Electric,” the fifth episode of Soundbreaking, and concerns the musician’s post-Motown discovery of the work of synthesizer pioneers Bob Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil. “[Their synthesizer] looked like eight airplane cockpits tied together with cables, ropes and electrical connections,” Little said. “Stevie Wonder loved the sound and ended up collaborating with them on the next string of records he made, which included Songs in the Key of Life, Inner Visions and Talking Book. This is a great story and unlikely story.”
Soundbreaking not only tells such little-known stories, it tells them in an innovative manner. “What Jeff [Dupre] and Maro [Chermayeff] did in this show, and what we were able to do with the licensing to match their creative vision, was to license the song so that if we wanted to have a whole song play for its entirety, we could,” Little said. In the episodes, the songs play longer than the usual snippet familiar to viewers of music documentaries. The idea, Little explained, is to give viewers an immersive experience minus extensive editorializing. “That is beautiful,” he said, “because what they’re saying is that the song speaks for itself and that we’re not going to hit you over the head constantly with commentary; that each of these eight hours will tell a story that’s compelling enough that we can back off for a few minutes and not say anything.”
Soundbreaking will air on NPT weekdays, November 14-23, 2016, at 9 p.m.; check our complete schedule at wnpt.org/schedule for replays.
Soundbreaking is presented by Higher Ground in association with the late Sir George Martin, and produced and directed by Emmy- and Peabody Award®-winning filmmakers Maro Chermayeff and Jeff Dupre of Show of Force (Half the Sky, A Path Appears, Carrier, Circus, Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present). The television series is the centerpiece of a multi-platform project that includes an extensive educational outreach initiative in partnership with PBS, The Grammy Museum® at L.A. LIVE and The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation. An interactive website, soundtrack CD and companion book with stunning photographs and unique interviews will also accompany the Soundbreaking series.
NPT’s Dr. Shawn Joseph: One on One premieres Sunday, Nov. 13, 6:30-7 p.m. In the program, NPT senior producer LaTonya Turner talks with the Metro Nashville Public Schools Director about the future of the city’s public schools.
In addition to Sunday’s premiere, the half-hour program will air on NPT2, our secondary channel, on Friday, Nov. 18, at 9:30 p.m. Dr. Shawn Joseph: One on One will be available for online viewing at http://video.wnpt.org/show/npt-specials/ as of Monday, Nov. 14.
This program is the second of NPT’s One on One interviews with community leaders; the first in the series, Mayor Megan Barry: One on One, premiered Oct. 23 and is available for online viewing at http://video.wnpt.org/video/2365872922/.
Dianne Oliver, executive director of the West End Home Foundation, stopped by NPT last week to notify us that we’ve been awarded a 2017 grant in support of our Aging Matters project. This new grant will help fund two new documentaries – including Aging in the Workplace – along with a wide range of community engagement activities that will further extend the impact of the Aging Matters project. The West End Home Foundation has been a major supporter of Aging Matters for the last four years and we’re grateful for the generous support of this important project.
The latest Aging Matters documentary, Abuse & Exploitation, was also made possible in part by the foundation’s support and premieres Thursday, Nov. 17, at 8 p.m. on NPT.
The West End Home Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life of seniors through support of nonprofit organizations that provide advocacy, food, housing, health and transportation services to seniors.
NPT will air special programming in observance of Veterans Day 2016, the 75th anniversary of the USO and the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Please join us in saluting veterans and their families.
Tuesday, Nov. 1, at 8 p.m. Aside from the antics of the hospital crew on “MASH,” the Korean War may be largely absent from the American historical psyche. But the first major military clash of the Cold War took place during that war. The two-hour Battle of Chosin on American Experience revisits that Thanksgiving Day, 1950, battle through archival footage and interviews with more than 20 veterans.
Monday, Nov. 7, at 8 p.m. For many people, the USO brings to mind sounds of big bands and black-and-white newsreel images of Bob Hope and his contemporaries. However, the USO continues to play an integral role in the lives of military personnel. USO – For the Troops is a 75th-anniversary salute to the organization via a modern-day tour featuring NFL all-star Charles Tillman of the Carolina Panthers (himself a military brat); country singer and ex-Army member Craig Morgan, Miss America Betty Cantrell and others. The tour travels to seven countries in eight days aboard a C17 transport plane and shows that the current USO addresses the needs of wounded warriors and other veterans as well as military spouses. NPT hosted a preview screening of this documentary in October.
Wednesday, Nov. 9, at 9 p.m. ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff reports on military medical advances through interviews with injured soldiers, active duty personnel, physicians and scientists in Military Medicine: Beyond the Battlefield.
Thursday, Nov. 10, at 11 p.m. In June 2014, a handful of remaining members of the 29th Infantry Division made a final trip back to Normandy for the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Omaha Beach: Honor and Sacrifice shows these aging veterans sharing their stories and visiting Omaha Beach and the Normandy-American cemetery to say their final good-byes to their fallen friends.
Monday, Nov. 11, at 11:30 p.m. Sands of War is about the training center Gen. George Patton established in the Mojave Desert to prepare one million soldiers for World War II combat.
Monday, Nov. 21, at 11 p.m. By the time she died in 2015, Augusta Chiwy had been “re-discovered” by historian and author Martin King. Chiwy was visiting her Belgian village for Christmas in December 1944 when she was asked to help tend to American soldiers during the opening days of the Battle of the Bulge. Her actions earned her the nickname of Angel of Bastogne. Searching for Augusta: The Forgotten Angel of Bastogne is the story of how this nurse – a black woman – became a legend.
Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. PBS is observing the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor with two new documentaries. The first, Pearl Harbor – USS Oklahoma: The Final Story, investigates why this battleship capsized during the Dec. 7, 1941, attack when no others did.
Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 8 p.m. The second documentary, Expedition Pearl Harbor, goes inside the submerged lower decks of USS Arizona for the first time since 1941. Among the survivors interviewed in the program is Donald Stratton, who was 19 when he was assigned to the battleship.
Several of these programs will air more than once; please check http://www.wnpt.org/schedule/ for additional airtimes.
We’re back. NPT is once again available to all viewers.* Thank-you for your patience during our tower maintenance and the resulting outage to some of our viewers. Many episodes of our programming are also available for online viewing at wnpt.org/video.
We have scheduled re-broadcasts of Poldark on Masterpiece, Hamilton’s America and Indian Summers to accommodate viewers who may have missed episodes during our tower maintenance.
Poldark on Masterpiece
On NPT2, the additional airtimes are:
Indian Summers on Masterpiece
Mayor Megan Barry: One-on-One premieres Sunday, Oct. 23, at 6:30 p.m. and will re-air in prime time Thursday, Oct. 27. at 9:30 p.m.
On NPT2, the additional airtimes are:
For our complete schedule, please go to wnpt.org/schedule.
*If you still aren’t receiving our signal and you watch NPT via antenna, you may need to re-scan in order to find us. If you are a cable viewer and are still unable to receive our signal, please email NPT with your provider contact information.
NPT’s Mayor Megan Barry: One-on-One premieres Sunday, Oct. 23, at 6:30 p.m. In the program, NPT senior producer LaTonya Turner talks with Mayor Barry about Nashville’s pressing issues and the mayor’s vision for the city’s future.
In addition to Sunday’s premiere, the half-hour program will be shown Thursday, Oct. 27, at 9:30 p.m.
On NPT2, Mayor Megan Barry: One-on-One airs:
Mayor Megan Barry: One-on-One will be available for online viewing at video.wnpt.org from Monday, Oct. 24.
Great Performances’ presentation of the Hamilton’s America documentary kicks off the 2016 PBS Fall Arts Festival on Friday, Oct. 21, at 8 p.m. The documentary combines interviews with creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, President Obama and others; rehearsal footage and visits to historical sites to tell the story of the making of the award-winning musical.
Due to the great appeal of this program we are adding a prime-time broadcast of Hamilton’s America at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27, to accommodate those viewers who will be unable to receive our signal while our transmission tower is undergoing maintenance.
The documentary will also be live streamed during the 8 p.m. Oct. 21 premiere via NPT’s online video portal at video.wnpt.org, Facebook Live at the Great Performances Facebook page and also on the PBS website.
Additional airtimes for Hamilton’s America on Nashville Public Television are:
On NPT2, the additional airtimes are:
More ways to experience and explore Hamilton’s America:
The 2016 PBS Fall Arts Festival airs Friday nights Oct. 21 through Dec. 23 and includes Bill Murray: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize (Oct. 28); Lincoln Center at the Movies: Alvin Ailey American Dance (Nov. 4); and Live from Lincoln Center: Lang Lang’s New York Rhapsody (Nov. 25). More information about the festival is available here.
Vivian Howard has chronicled her adventures as a farm-to-table restaurateur for three seasons of A Chef’s Life. Howard won the 2016 James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Television Personality; A Chef’s Life has also received a Daytime Emmy Award (2015) and a Peabody Award (2014). In the fourth season, Howard continues her culinary trek through ingredients, among them cabbage, catfish and peas. Onions and Avetts kicks off the season on NPT on Saturday, Oct. 8, at 10:30 a.m. and features a performance by the Avett Brothers, whose “Will You Return” plays during the show’s opening titles.
This season also includes scenes of Howard hard at work on Deep Run Roots, her first cookbook. NPT is giving away a copy of Deep Run Roots via the Nashville Scene’s Free Stuff and viewers will have the chance to meet Howard at Parnassus Books on Oct. 6.
To be fair, “cookbook” doesn’t quite define Deep Run Roots, which is really a food-themed memoir. As recounted in the TV series, Howard grew up waiting to flee her eastern North Carolina home and made her way to New York, where her “smoldering obsession” with food led to various restaurant jobs and the goal of becoming a food writer.
“I always wanted to be a storyteller, I never gave up on that,” Howard said. “This is the first attempt to continue to follow that dream.” Howard spoke by phone just a few days after taking part in the Music City Food + Wine Festival. Her idea was to make Deep Run Roots as much about the stories as the food. She didn’t feel restricted by any rules for writing a cookbook because she didn’t know them. The nearly 600-page book is a wonderful read, highlighting Howard’s deep connection to region, family and food. She is as forthright in print as she is in her series, revealing the insecurities she felt as a country kid trying to make her way in the big city and how she learned to accept her life on its own terms and in its own place.
Howard is also throwing out the rules when it comes to promoting the book. “I wanted to cook for people and talk to people in an informal, affordable setting,” she explained. She also liked the idea of traveling with her own kitchen to avoid the stresses of working in different spaces over the course of a tour.
On the menu for her food truck’s Nashville stop is Tom Thumb (that’s sausage-stuffed pig appendix, as viewers might recall); Shrimp Stew with Poached Eggs; Watermelon Pickles Wrapped in Bacon; Pimento Cheese Grits with Salsa; and her mother Scarlett’s Chicken and Rice. For dessert there’s Warm Banana Pudding; Pepsi and Peanut Ice Cream Floats and Pecan-Chewy Pie. As photographed in the book, the latter is topped with a scoop of chocolate ice cream melting enticingly over the side of a slice and onto the saucer.
The photographs in Deep Run Roots were shot by Rex Miller, the Emmy Award-winning director of photography on A Chef’s Life. Miller’s images are beautiful and compelling, while also convincingly realistic; they look as though they were taken at a comfortable dinner party for friends. Howard plans to bring a taste of that party to Nashville.
Season 4 of A Chef’s Life premieres 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, on NPT. Find our complete schedule at wnpt.org/schedule.
NPT was presented with a 2016 NETA Award for its “Do Your Part for NPT” promotional campaign during the National Educational Telecommunications Association annual professional development conference in Baltimore. NETA honored 17 of its members with 24 awards for excellence in content production, promotion and marketing, community engagement, and instructional media during the mid-September conference.
NPT’s campaign was designed to encourage viewers to get involved with their public television station and consisted of two spots that were used on air and on social media.
The first featured then-Mayor Karl Dean stuffing envelopes at NPT and began airing the night of the September 2015 runoff election to name Dean’s replacement. The second spot featured Americana music legend Jim Lauderdale (host of Music City Roots: Live from the Factory at Franklin) providing hold music for incoming phone calls to the station. Both videos are available for viewing on NPT’s YouTube channel.
NPT’s Justin Harvey, Matt Emigh and Paul Mojonnier created the “Do Your Part for NPT” spots.
NPT’s broadcast tower is currently undergoing structural maintenance. NPT will be unavailable to some viewers during this time. Viewers who watch NPT using an antenna and subscribers to Dish Network, DirecTV and some smaller cable companies will be affected. AT&T Uverse and Comcast subscribers should not be affected.
We apologize for the inconvenience. If you have questions, please contact NPT at 615-259-9325.
In the meantime, you can watch many of our programs including Tennessee Crossroads, Volunteer Gardener and PBS NewsHour through our online video portal, the PBS app on mobile devices, Roku and Apple TV.
Poldark fans please note: You will be able to watch Sunday’s episode online at http://video.wnpt.org/ beginning Monday morning.