Airs Friday, February 21 at 9 p.m. "Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio" examines the legacy of Black radio, focusing on the legendary WDAS in Philadelphia. The story of Black radio in Philadelphia is actually the story of Black music, of civil rights and progress in the African-American community, and of how the radio medium has changed in the last century. The documentary special is hosted by legendary Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP) music producer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Kenny Gamble.
Airs Friday, February 14 at 11 p.m. Langston Hughes, an enduring icon of the Harlem Renaissance, is best-known for his written work, which wedded his fierce dedication to social justice with his belief in the transformative power of the word. But he was a music lover, too, and some of the works he was most proud of were collaborations with composers and musicians. Hosted by Terrance McKnight, WQXR host and former Morehouse professor of music, I, Too, Sing America will dive into the songs, cantatas, musicals and librettos that flowed from Hughes’ pen. As he did with his poetry, Hughes used music to denounce war, combat segregation and restore human dignity in the face of Jim Crow. His musical adventures included writing lyrics for stage pieces such as Black Nativity and Tambourines to Glory, works that helped give birth to the genre of Gospel Play, as well as songs for radio plays and political campaigns, and the libretto for Kurt Weill’s Street Songs.
Airs Friday, February 14 at 10 p.m. Still Singing the Blues features musicians in New Orleans and South Louisiana who continue to perform both traditional blues and rhythm-and-blues—often despite poverty, ill health, and the impacts of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina. The hour-long, music-rich documentary burrows into the lives of three outstanding older performers: Carol Fran of Lafayette, Harvey Knox of Baton Rouge, and Little Freddie King of New Orleans.
Airs Friday, February 7 at 11 p.m. On two days in the spring of 1959, after a string of critically acclaimed and successful albums, Miles Davis recorded what would become Kind Of Blue. Nothing would ever be the same – for Jazz or for Miles Davis. There’s no real way to tell why a record captures the imagination and attention of the world. Some do, some don’t. Miles Davis constantly recorded music, and almost all of it added to his popularity and critical acclaim. But over the years, Kind Of Blue found a larger and larger audience. Soon enough, it became the best selling Jazz album of all time. Through the host Josh Jackson and interviews with musicians Herbie Hancock, Jimmy Cobb, Jackie McLean, David Amram and others, you will hear the story of the making of Kind Of Blue, as well as the lasting impact of this classic Jazz staple.
Airs Thursday, February 6 at 9 p.m. Despite disability, poverty, isolation and prejudice, a surprising number of blind African American musicians who came from the gospel tradition influenced not just gospel music, but blues, bluegrass, and American vernacular music up to and beyond rock and roll. Using narrative, archival audio, interviews, scholarly commentary and music, Heavenly Sight tells this little known story through broadcast and a comprehensive, interactive web site.