This August, SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL gets in tune with INSIDE THE MUSIC, a series of specials that tell stories about the music and musicians that have had an enormous impact on some of the most listened to sounds of our time. From the creative genius who designed the album cover of The Beatles’ “Revolver,” to the Colombian music festival where Latin America’s best known performers congregate, to the invention of the instrument that changed the look, sound and volume of music forever, INSIDE THE MUSIC has something that everyone can listen to.
The featured INSIDE THE MUSIC premiere, ALL YOU NEED IS KLAUS, premiering August 22 at 8pm ET/PT, is a journey into the incredible life of Klaus Voormann. Respected as one of the finest bass guitarists of all time, Voormann is best known for his association with the most popular and most influential band in rock ‘n roll history, The Beatles. ALL YOU NEED IS KLAUS also features Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Carly Simon, and Randy Newman, Joe Walsh and Simon are also interviewed in the film with Simon recounting Voormann’s influence on her biggest hit, “You’re So Vain.”
In 1960, Klaus Voormann met The Beatles, who at the time were completely unknown, in Hamburg, Germany, where he was an art student. Three years later, when Klaus moved to London and lived with George Harrison and Ringo Starr in their apartment, The Beatles had already become the embodiment of a new youth culture. In 1965, Voormann, who was working as a graphic designer at the time, was asked by John Lennon to create the album cover for their latest album. The highly influential piece of cover art for “Revolver,” earned Klaus a Grammy Award. That same year, he became the bassist for the Manfred Mann Band and, in 1969 for John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band. Klaus Voormann was on the frontlines of the pop era's meteoric rise and played on all the Beatles’ solo albums.
Other INSIDE THE MUSIC Premieres:
THE ACCORDION KINGS – Sunday, August 1 at 8pm ET/PT
This 90 minute film featuring music greats that include Grammy Award winner Carlos Vives, explores the infectious music of Colombia’s Magdalena Valley and a legendary contest to crown a “King of Kings.” In the remote Magdalena Valley, known as cowboy country, the local music is the rage and the accordion is king. Once every ten years, Colombia’s top accordion players descend there for the legendary Vallenato Festival, a six-day musical melting pot and celebration of accordion music, featuring the finest musicians that Latin America has to offer, including, who is featured in the film. Two songs from Vives' new album “Classicos de la Provincia II” are also heard in the film. The author Gabriel Garcia Marquez once said that his Nobel Prize winning classic One Hundred Years of Solitude was nothing more than a 400-page vallenato song. THE ACCORDION KINGS captures the mesmerizing fusion of African, European and indigenous rhythms of vallenato music, which has been called “the blues of Colombia.”
ELECTRIFIED: THE GUITAR REVOLUTION – Sunday, August 15 at 8pm ET/PT
Without it, there would be no Hendrix, Clapton, The Beatles or rock n’ roll for that matter. This 60 minute high-wattage history lesson salutes the inventors, pioneers and gods of the electric guitar. The electric guitar was invented to be heard among the brass instruments of the big band era, but it soon took on a sound and life of its own. How did this assemblage of wood, wire and metal go on to ignite a new era of music, transform background musicians into guitar heroes and become a symbol of freedom and rebellion? From the early days of the Model U and the Frying Pan to the guitar wars of Fender and Gibson, experience its evolution through vintage footage, interviews with rock historians and rousing live performances. Virtuosos like G.E. Smith of the Saturday Night Live Band bring to life the sound innovations of the electric guitar.
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Smithsonian Networks (SNI/SI Networks L.L.C.) is a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, formed to create channels featuring programs largely inspired by the assets of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum complex. Smithsonian Channel features award-winning original documentaries, series, and groundbreaking programs highlighting America’s historical, cultural and scientific heritage. Smithsonian Channel brings the American experience home in high definition and Dolby Digital 5.1 and is currently available to customers of DirecTV, Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications, Cablevision, Verizon, AT&T, and more. Learn more at www.smithsonianchannel.com.