Harry Belafonte is not just the wide smile and pair of slim hips that seduced so many American women in the 1960s. A crack songwriter and singer who introduced Caribbean music to the United States, Belafonte is also an activist who has fought tirelessly for civil and human rights in the U.S. and around the world. He was instrumental in cracking the color barrier in the U.S., winning fame and fortune for his stage acting (including several Tony awards), his film work, an Emmy-winning television show, and a string of hit albums through the 1950s. Born to Caribbean-American parents, Belafonte spent part of his youth in Jamaica, where he was introduced to local songs like "Day-O." As his reputation grew, so did his interest in the folk music that brought him success. In 2001, Belafonte saw a long-time dream realized when Long Road to Freedom was released. It was a visionary collection of African-American music that spans everything from Yoruba chants and slave songs to early blues recordings by artists like Brownie McGhee. And Belafonte has become no less political with age; in recent years he has been a keynote speaker at peace rallies and other leftist gatherings.
Harry Belafonte Concert Films
Sing Your Song
Runtime: 1 hr 45 minTold with a remarkable sense of intimacy, visual style and musical panache, Susanne Rostock's inspiring biographical documentary SING YOUR SONG surveys the life and times of singer/actor/activist Harry Belafonte. From his rise to fame as a singer and his experiences touring a segregated country to his provocative crossover into Hollywood, Belafonte's groundbreaking career personifies the American civil rights movement. Rostock reveals Belafonte as a tenacious hands-on activist who worked intimately with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., mobilized celebrities for social justice, participated in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa and took action to counter gang violence, prisons, and the incarceration of youth.
Harry Belafonte Top Tracks
Classic Albums: Elvis Presley
Runtime: 50 min"It was like the world went from black & white to Technicolor," says Keith Richards of the emergence of Elvis Presley in the mid-'50s, and this look at the King's first official album (the legendary Sun Sessions weren't issued in album form until well after the fact) backs up that claim. The one-hour program (plus 40 minutes of bonus interview material on the program) combines performance footage (the early TV shows are not to be missed), photos, and more to limn Presley's early days, when he combined country, blues, and R&B to forge a unique, galvanizing style. Sun producer Sam Phillips, author Peter Guralnick, Presley's musicians, and others are on hand to provide insight and background. But in the end, of course, it comes down to the music--and when you're talking about the likes of "Blue Suede Shoes," "Tutti Frutti," "Money Honey," and "Heartbreak Hotel" (a single that actually wasn't on the album), "classic" hardly begins to cover it.
A Man and His Music: Part III
Runtime: 52 minFor his 1960s television special, Frank Sinatra organized the show around the loose theme of "rhythm," and chose for his exploration two artists of impeccable credentials: the scat stylings and jazz-influenced delivery of Ella Fitzgerald and the quiet Latin groove of Brazilian bossa nova legend Antonio Carlos Jobim. The program combines beautiful ballads ("Ol' Man River," "Put Your Dreams Away") with brassy up-tempo tunes ("Day In, Day Out," "Get Me to the Church on Time"), though one medley includes some forgivable but hardly memorable attempts at contemporary pop, mixing snatches of "How High the Moon" with "Up, Up and Away," "Don't Cry Joe" with "Ode to Billy Joe." The show slows for a relaxed medley with Jobim, who accompanies a lounging, cigarette-smoking Sinatra with guitar and whispering backing vocals while the Voice drops his volume to an intimate conversational tone for "Change Partners," "I Concentrate on You," and Jobim's own "The Girl from Ipanema." Ella duets with Sinatra on two medleys (contributing a fabulous scat rendition of "Stomping at the Savoy"), solos on "Body and Soul," "It's All Right with Me" and "Don't Be That Way," and finally the two burn up the program with one final duet, a high octane, show-stopping performance of "The Lady Is a Tramp," with Nelson Riddle's orchestra driving the brass to keep up.
Legends in Concert
Sammy Davis Jr.
Runtime: 43 minOnce again the legends in concert series captures all the atmosphere and magic enjoyed by millions in awe of Sammy Davis Jr. a.k.a (mr wonderful) in concert a must for any fan of his.
15 tracks live in concert by the original black Jewish rat-packer. Mr. Wonderful himself, Mr. Sammy Davis Jr. captured live in his prime, performing his best-known hits including 'Birth Of The Blues' and .You Rascal You.'
The Judy Garland Show
Runtime: 48 minThis CBS special, filmed in 1962 and colorized in this version, brings together three legends in a once-in-a-lifetime concert. Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin indulge in their usual Rat Pack high jinks, swilling drinks, trading barbs and crooning catchy tunes. But it's Judy Garland in the spotlight here, the crown jewel among gems, belting out classics such as "The Man That Got Away," "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" and more.
Runtime: 1 hr 11 minWorld-renowned vocalist and all-around cool guy Tony Bennett brings a touch of old-school class to MTV's Unplugged . Includes guest performers Elvis Costello and K.D. Lang and the songs It Had to Be You, Fly Me to the Moon, They Can't Take That Away from Me, Rags to Riches and more.
The Everly Brothers
Runtime: 1 hr 15 minWhen asked recently for the most memorable moment of his career, Phil Everly replied “the Albert Hall reunion”. It was September 1983, and ten years on from one of the most acrimonious splits in popular music history, when the Everly Brothers, Don and Phil, took to the stage at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The Everlys had dominated the charts in the late fifties and early to mid sixties. Their close harmony singing, acoustic guitars and brilliant songwriting had become instantly recognisable and inspired millions of fans worldwide. On an emotional night in London, the reunion was a success and led to the renewal of their partnership and many more years of success, which continue to this day. Bonus Features: “Rock ‘n’ Roll Odyssey” – this documentary, made at the same time as the Albert Hall reunion, tells the complete story of the Everly Brothers up to that point in time. Don and Phil tell their story with additional contributions from Linda Ronstadt, Chet Atkins and many more.
Legends in Concert
Runtime: 57 minBobby Darin, was an American singer who performed in a range of music genres, including pop, rock, jazz, folk, and country.
Through the 1960s he became more active politically and worked on Robert Kennedy's presidential campaign. He was present with his campaign at the hotel in Los Angeles on the evening of his assassination. Occurring during the same year as he learned of the true nature of his birth, these events deeply affected Darin and sent him into a long period of seclusion.
Although he made a successful television comeback, his health was beginning to fail, as he had always expected, following bouts of rheumatic fever in childhood. This knowledge of his vulnerability had always spurred him on to exploit his musical talent while still young. He died at 37, following a heart operation in Los Angeles.
Legends in Concert
Runtime: 42 minSelling over 100 million records worldwide over 6 decades, with hits such as "hey good looking" and "papa loves mambo" both performed here in front of the cameras and presented on this fabulous dvd compilation
The Show Goes On: Live At The Royal Albert Hall
Runtime: 1 hr 54 minNeil Sedaka is one of the most successful songwriters and performers of all time with a career stretching from the fifties to the present day. This concert, filmed in the grandeur of Londons Royal Albert Hall, shows Neil Sedaka entrancing his audience with his characteristic humour and charm while turning in great performances of his best loved hits, introducing new songs and showcasing his talents as a classical pianist.
Legends in Concert: The Gentle Man
Runtime: 44 minJames Travis "Jim" Reeves was an American country and popular music singer-songwriter. With records charting from the 1950s to the 1980s, he became well known as a practitioner of the Nashville sound (a mixture of older country-style music with elements of popular music). Known as "Gentleman Jim", his songs continued to chart for years after his death. Reeves died at age 40 in the crash of a private airplane. He is a member of both the Country Music and Texas Country Music Halls of Fame. Jim Reeves performs at his best in this television special, entertaining a delighted audience with twenty one of his most classic, timeless hits. A must watch for lovers of country and western music and includes best selling hits 'Dear Hearts,' 'Have I Told You Lately That I Love You,' 'Bimbo,' 'Gentle People' and many more.
75th Birthday Concert
Runtime: 2 hr 18 minOn 14th October 1940, a star was born. 75 years to the day the birthday boy performed a very special concert at the iconic Royal Albert Hall to celebrate this momentous occasion.
This amazing live performance will allow you to relive this spectacular night over and over again and enjoy Cliff doing what he loves best, performing his many, many hits and favourite classics spanning his amazing career in front of his incredible fans. Get ready to share your own congratulations with Sir Cliff Richard as he entertains you (along with some Very Special Guests) on this truly unique evening.
Legends in Concert
Runtime: 46 minIn the 1950s, the easy listening singer embarked on a solo career with a string of hits, propelling him into the limelight as a star. Andy Williams also hosted his own TV show which ran for nine years and this show features him singing with the elite of that era. Also featured on this show are fifteen of Wiliiam's all time classics, including "Just In Time," "You Do Something To Me," "I've Grown Accustomed To Your Face" and many more.