The Blues: The Road to Memphis

Overview

One of the most engaging contributions to producer Martin Scorsese's series of documentaries on blues music, Richard Pearce and Robert Kenner's The Road to Memphis takes a look at the Tennessee town and its near iconic role in blues history, especially Beale Street, once the center of the city's African-American community, but now a nearly unrecognizable tourist trap filled with theme-oriented clubs and shops. The film also offers memorable snapshots of Memphis-based performers B.B. King, Rosco Gordon, Ike ...
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Overview

One of the most engaging contributions to producer Martin Scorsese's series of documentaries on blues music, Richard Pearce and Robert Kenner's The Road to Memphis takes a look at the Tennessee town and its near iconic role in blues history, especially Beale Street, once the center of the city's African-American community, but now a nearly unrecognizable tourist trap filled with theme-oriented clubs and shops. The film also offers memorable snapshots of Memphis-based performers B.B. King, Rosco Gordon, Ike Turner, and the irrepressible Bobby Rush. The film has been given a fine letterboxed transfer to disc in the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and the lively audio is presented in two formats: a surround mix in Dolby Digital 5.1 and an uncompressed two-channel mix in PCM stereo. No subtitles or multiple language options have been included. Bonus materials include an interview with filmmakers Pearce and Turner, as well as a filmography of their screen credits and a commentary track in which they discuss the film and the music. The disc also includes three bonus performances, a pair of tunes from B.B. King and a team-up with guitarist Hubert Sumlin and singer David Johansen. Finally, there's a menu option that allows fans to jump to individual music performances within the film, as well as a trailer for The Blues series, and a Volkswagen commercial created to cite the company's sponsorship of the documentaries. In short, this disc is a well-executed release of an entertaining and thoughtful film.
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Special Features

Four full-length performances not seen in the film: B.B. King "Blues Boys Tune," B.B King "Key to the Highway," Hubert Sumlin and David Johansen "Smokestack Lightning"; On-camera interview with Richard Pearce and Robert Kenner; Director commentary; Director biography and filmography; Special menu option to scan for music performances; 5.1 and stereo mixes; The Blues trailer
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/4/2004
  • UPC: 602498604038
  • Original Release: 2003
  • Source: Hip-O Records
  • Region Code: 0
  • Aspect Ratio: Alternate Wide Screen (1.78:1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen / Stereo
  • Sound: stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:59:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
B.B. King Participant
Bobby Rush Participant
Ike Turner Participant
Little Milton Participant
Rosco Gordon Participant
Rufus Thomas
Calvin Newborn Participant
Hubert Sumlin Participant
Chris Spindel Participant
Don Kern Participant
Louis Cannonball Cantor Participant
Cato Walker III Participant
Little Milton Campbell Participant
Sam Phillips Participant
Jim Dickinson Participant
Howlin' Wolf
Technical Credits
Richard Pearce Director, Cinematographer
Melissa Adelson Co-producer
Robert Kenner Producer
Charlton McMillan Editor
Stewart Pearce Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Gordon Associate Producer, Screenwriter
Jeff Scheftel Associate Producer
Martin Scorsese Executive Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Blues Series Credits [1:11]
2. Are Y'All Ready for Bobby Rush? [3:23]
3. The Road to Memphis [2:17]
4. Coming Home: B.B. King [1:18]
5. Memories of Memphis [4:21]
6. Beale Street: Heaven for the Black Man [1:27]
7. Who Knows Rosco? [2:42]
8. "You Never Would Wanna Be White Anymo!" [1:53]
9. Amateur Night: Throw This Dog a Bone [1:58]
10. Black Spot on the Dial: WDIA Radio [:50]
11. In Came Bee Bee: One Worried Woman [3:05]
12. A Black Man Can Do That! [3:59]
13. A King's Blues [:32]
14. B.B. King - "The Thrill Is Gone" [2:08]
15. The Chitlin Circit: Bussin' the Blues [7:00]
16. Roadside Blues [1:34]
17. Sam Phillips: Deliverers & Borrowers [7:59]
18. Like Being Black Twice [2:33]
19. Saturday Night, Sunday Morning [1:40]
20. Bobby Rush - "Hen Pecked" [3:22]
22. On Time for Church [:36]
23. Reverend Charles E. Polk & the Saint Luther Choir - "Stand Still/Stay Right Here" [1:42]
25. Reverend Charles E. Polk & the Saint Luther Choir - "Dance for the Devil" [1:26]
26. White Boy: The Code Is Up Three and Down Four [3:54]
27. The White Embrace: 1968 [2:11]
28. Reconstruction Blues [2:11]
29. Rev. Gatemouth Moore - "Beale Street Ain't Beale Street No More" [:55]
30. Homecoming [1:40]
31. I Heard That... [1:15]
32. Ike Check One, Two [:21]
33. Ike Turner & Rosco Gordon - "Ike's Theme" [:59]
35. Behind the Blues: W.C. Handy Awards Show [1:11]
36. Memphis All-Stars [1:34]
37. B.B. King and the All-Star Band - "Three O'Clock Blues" [1:00]
38. B.B. King and the All-Star Band - "Nobody Loves Me but My Mother" [1:47]
40. We Hardly Knew You: Rosco's Gone [1:28]
41. Big, Bad, & Blue [1:48]
42. Bobby Rush - "Hoochie Man/End Credits" [2:17]
43. Music Credits [1:52]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Film
   Chapters
   Songs From Film
      Play All Songs
      B.B. King - "The Thrill Is Gone"
      Bobby Rush - "Hen Pecked"
      Reverend Charles E. Polk & the Saint Luther Choir - "Stand Still/Stay Right Here"
      Reverend Charles E. Polk & the Saint Luther Choir - "Dance for the Devil"
      Rev. Gatemouth Moore - "Beale Street Ain't Beale Street No More"
      Ike Turner & Rosco Gordon - "Ike's Theme"
      B.B. King and the All-Star Band - "Three O'Clock Blues"
      B.B. King and the All-Star Band - "Nobody Loves Me but My Mother"
      Bobby Rush - "Hoochie Man"
   Audio Selections
      Stereo
      5.1 Surround Sound
   Special Features
      Bonus Performances
         B.B. King - "Blues Boys Tune"
         B.B. King - "Key to the Highway"
         Hubert Sumlin and David Johansen - "Smokestack Lightning"
      Director Interview
      The Blues Trailer
      Director's Biography
      Director's Filmography
      DVD Credits
      Volkswagen Commercial: Proud Sponsor of The Blues
      Web Links
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