American Masters http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters A series examining the lives, works, and creative processes of outstanding artists. Fri, 19 Sep 2014 22:25:13 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.4 en hourly 1 Bing Crosby Rediscovered: About the Film http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/bing-crosby-bing-crosby-rediscovered-about-the-film/3448/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/bing-crosby-bing-crosby-rediscovered-about-the-film/3448/#comments Fri, 19 Sep 2014 22:01:28 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3448 Bing Crosby. Photo Credit: Universal

Bing Crosby. Photo Credit: Universal

Bing Crosby (May 3, 1903-October 14, 1977) was, without doubt, the most popular and influential multi-media star of the first half of the 20th century. For more than three decades, through radio, film, television and records, he reigned supreme.

Thirty-seven years after his death, he remains the most recorded performer in history with nearly 400 hit singles, an achievement no one — not Sinatra, Elvis or the Beatles — has come close to matching. A brilliant entrepreneur, Crosby played an important role in the development of the postwar recording industry. As one of Hollywood’s most popular actors, he won the Oscar for 1944’s Going My Way and starred in the iconic “Road” films with Bob Hope.

American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered, premiering nationwide Tuesday, December 2, 8-9:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) and on DVD from PBS Distribution, explores the legend of an iconic performer, revealing a personality far more complex than the public persona he so carefully cultivated. The new documentary is the series’ Season 28 finale and there will be a “holiday” encore presentation Friday, December 26, 9-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). A companion soundtrack including many previously unreleased recordings heard in the American Masters film will be available this fall.

Crosby’s estate, HLC Properties, Ltd., granted American Masters unprecedented access to the entertainer’s personal and professional archives, including never-before-seen home movies, Dictabelt recordings, photos and more. The film features new interviews with all surviving members of Bing Crosby’s immediate family — wife Kathryn, daughter Mary and sons Harry and Nathaniel — as well as singers Tony Bennett and Michael Feinstein, record producer Ken Barnes, biographer Gary Giddins and writers Buz Kohan and Larry Grossman.

“Bing’s remarkable appeal, which continues to this day, was in his seemingly effortless ability to pull an audience in to his intimate, laid-back voice,” says Emmy-winning director Robert Trachtenberg, whose past films for American Masters include Mel Brooks: Make a Noise, On Cukor, Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer and Cary Grant: A Class Apart. “With the new material I’ve found, I think the breadth, depth and candor of his story will hopefully allow people to see him in a new light.”

“Much like his talent, Bing Crosby is a natural for the series. With more No. 1 recordings than anyone, it is easy to overlook all of his other achievements. Thankfully, this film delves deeply into all of his remarkable work, and will surprise many viewers with a unique perspective on his private life,” says Michael Kantor, executive producer of American Masters.

Launched in 1986 by series creator Susan Lacy, American Masters has earned 26 Emmy Awards — including nine for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series since 1999 and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 12 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards and many other honors. Now in its 28th season on PBS, the series is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET. WNET is the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York’s public television stations, and operator of NJTV. For more than 50 years, THIRTEEN has been a partner with the tri-state community, using its rich resources to inform and inspire the passionate people of New York and the world to better understand and address the issues that challenge our diverse communities.

American Masters: Bing Crosby Rediscovered is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC’s American Masters for WNET. Robert Trachtenberg is writer, director and producer. Gillian McCarthy is editor. Junko Tsunashima is supervising producer. Julie Sacks is series producer. Susan Lacy and Michael Kantor are executive producers.

American Masters is made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Rosalind P. Walter, Anne Ray Charitable Trust, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Rolf and Elizabeth Rosenthal, Jack Rudin, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation and public television viewers.

About WNET

As New York’s flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mike Schneider and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore iPad App where users can stream PBS content for free.

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The Boomer List: Film Outtake: Steve Wozniak – Why He Built His First Computer http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-outtake-steve-wozniak-why-he-built-his-first-computer/3443/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-outtake-steve-wozniak-why-he-built-his-first-computer/3443/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 20:47:47 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3443 View full post to see video)

Steve Wozniak (b. 1950) co-founder, Apple Computer, recalls the days when a computer cost as much as a house. He set out to build a computer he could afford, and in doing so, paved the way millions of others to afford one, too.

American Masters: The Boomer List, premiering nationwide Tuesday, September 23, 9-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), tells the story of this influential generation through the lives of 19 iconic boomers—one born each year of the baby boom.

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The Boomer List: Film Outtake & Playlist: The Powerful Memory of Music http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-outtake-playlist-the-powerful-memory-of-music/3441/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-outtake-playlist-the-powerful-memory-of-music/3441/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 18:37:20 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3441 View full post to see video)

Author Tim O’Brien (b. 1946) served in the Vietnam War in 1969. In this film outtake, he recalls the hard rock and roll he listened to that was a “partly embittered and partly idealistic soundtrack.”

“One of my most powerful memories of Vietnam has nothing to do with bullets and firefights,” O’Brien says before describing a moment when two platoons started singing together. One person began singing the Beatles’ “Hey Jude,” and everyone else joined in, “like a boys choir.”

“We made it [the song] ours,” says O’Brien who quotes the lyrics, “Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders.”

American Masters: The Boomer List, premiering nationwide Tuesday, September 23, 9-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), tells the story of this influential generation through the lives of 19 iconic boomers—one born each year of the baby boom (1946 to 1964).

PBSAmericanMasters Playlist: Music of the Boomer Generation

Our PBSAmericanMasters Spotify Playlist: Music of the Boomer Generation includes icons of American pop, folk and soul, including American Masters like Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Jimi Hendrix, Carole King, Paul Simon and more. Sign up for a free Spotify Account to listen to the playlist.

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Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work: About the Film http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/joan-rivers-a-piece-of-work/about-the-film/3438/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/joan-rivers-a-piece-of-work/about-the-film/3438/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 16:49:37 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3438 View full post to see video)

Immediately following the premiere of American Masters: The Boomer List, American Masters will present an In Memoriam tribute broadcast of Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (2010) on Tuesday, September 23, 10:30 p.m.-12 midnight on PBS (check local listings).

This broadcast of Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work marks the PBS premiere of the documentary for which PBS now has exclusive broadcast rights. After the broadcast, the film will be available here on the American Masters website for a limited time.

“I interviewed Joan Rivers for my PBS series Make ‘Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America back in 2006 and she was not only hilarious, but incredibly insightful,” said Michael Kantor, American Masters series executive producer.

“A familiar face in past American Masters films about Johnny Carson and Mel Brooks, Joan Rivers was a pioneer worthy of her own place in the series’ distinguished library. I’m pleased we’re able to bring Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg’s moving documentary to audiences during this time of remembrance, and pay tribute to Joan.”

Film Synopsis

Amms-JoanRivers-610
American Masters – Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work takes the audience on a year-long ride with Joan Rivers in her 76th year of life; it peels away the mask of an iconic comedian, laying bare both the struggle and thrill of living life as a groundbreaking female performer. Filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg (The Devil Came on Horseback, The Trials of Darryl Hunt) expose the private dramas of this irreverent, legendary comedian as she fights to keep her career thriving in a business driven by youth and beauty. 90 minutes.

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The Boomer List: Film Outtake: David LaChapelle on Being Gay in the 1970s and 80s http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-outtake-david-lachapelle-on-being-gay-in-the-1970s-and-80s/3432/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-outtake-david-lachapelle-on-being-gay-in-the-1970s-and-80s/3432/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:52:52 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3432 View full post to see video)

Starting in seventh grade, artist David LaChapelle (b. 1963) was so bullied for being gay that he dropped out of school by ninth grade. He moved to New York City, where being gay was accepted. He recalls there was even social cache to being bisexual, but when AIDS broke out “it changed everything and suddenly everything became very segregated.”

American Masters: The Boomer List, premiering nationwide Tuesday, September 23, 9-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), tells the story of this influential generation through the lives of 19 iconic boomers—one born each year of the baby boom.

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The Boomer List: Quiz: Have You Met the Boomer Generation? http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/quiz-have-you-met-the-boomer-generation/3427/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/quiz-have-you-met-the-boomer-generation/3427/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:00:14 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3427 BL_Quiz_Graphics_Cover

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The Boomer List: Film Outtakes: Women and Power http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-outtakes-women-and-power/3430/ http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/the-boomer-list/film-outtakes-women-and-power/3430/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 18:11:39 +0000 knightc http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/?p=3430 Three powerful baby boomer women — journalist Maria Shriver, playwright Eve Ensler, and historian Julieanna Richardson — speak about their personal lives and the place of women in society in outtakes from American Masters: The Boomer List, directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders.

Maria Shriver: Know Your Own Power

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Journalist Maria Shriver (b. 1955) remembers that her accomplished mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, didn’t feel she had any real power, at least not in comparison to the men in her family, many of them elected officials. Yet her mother received much recognition in her lifetime. Shriver observes, “It taught me that people don’t often know their own power, they can’t see themselves.”

Eve Ensler on Physical Empowerment

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“So much of patriarchy and capitalism has been about taking women in particular out of their bodies,” says playwright Eve Ensler (b. 1953). The writer of The Vagina Monologues says, “When enough women really get back into their bodies, something is going to happen on this planet that will be very, very powerful and we’re seeing the very beginning signs of it.”

Julieanna Richardson on Sexism and Careers

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Julieanna Richardson (b. 1954), historian and founder of HistoryMakers, says that before she worked for a black administration under Chicago’s Mayor Harold Washington (1983 – 1987), she wasn’t familiar with sexism. “I could only see the world in black and white and racism, I did not understand sexism at all … I’ve always felt that black females were at the bottom of the heap, that we got it from both sides, in many ways.”

Richardson admits she’s had to struggle with prejudice and sexism in her career. “I’ve waited until I could be the age I am now, so that people would sort of accept me for who I was.”

American Masters: The Boomer List, premiering nationwide Tuesday, September 23, 9-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), tells the story of this influential generation through the lives of 19 iconic boomers—one born each year of the baby boom.

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