Nashville Film Festival 2014: Carter Family Doc The Winding Stream 7 p.m. Sunday



Director Beth Harrington will be on hand 7 p.m. Sunday at the 2014 Nashville Film Festival for the local premiere of The Winding Stream, her documentary about the legendary Carter Family and its influence on successive generations of country, folk and Americana artists. A former Frontline and Nova associate producer, Harrington previously made the 2001 documentary Welcome to the Club: The Women of Rockabilly.

From the NaFF website:

The Winding Stream is a feature documentary that tells the story of the dynasty at the heart of Americana music - The Carters and the Cashes. The film showcases interviews and performances with Johnny Cash, Rosanne Cash, George Jones, Kris Kristofferson, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Sheryl Crow and many others. The story starts in the Appalachian foothills of Virginia. There, A.P. Carter, his wife, Sara and his sister-in-law Maybelle began their careers as three of the earliest stars of country music. A.P. was both song collector and composer, crafting and arranging snippets of ancient melodies into popular music. Maybelle took the then-underplayed guitar and made it the cornerstone of country instrumentation. And Sara became the first well-known woman’s voice in country music. The stream these three created has turned into a rushing river and has moved through several generations of musicians. And yet, the Carters suffered periods of obscurity, with AP and Sara divorcing and all three going their separate ways. AP died never fully realizing the impact he had on American music. Sara moved to California vowing to live a quiet life with her new husband. Maybelle, fiercely devoted to music, struggled to envision what the next step would be. No one would have guessed that a young man, who, at first blush, seemed more renegade than reverent adherent, would be the one to lift up the Carter legacy. That man was Johnny Cash, and his love for the Carter music dated back to nights as a boy in Arkansas listening to the Carter Family perform on the air, their melodies blasting across the Mexican border into his bedside radio. It was a wonderful twist of fate when Cash, as a Sun Records artist, first met Mother Maybelle and her girls, the Carter Sisters, and vowed to June that “I’m gonna marry you someday.” The film’s goal is to illuminate the foundation-forming history of this multi-generational “first family” of country music.

The movie has a repeat screening 12:30 p.m. Tuesday. Ticket information here.

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