The incredible rise of 62-year-old aspiring soul singer Charles Bradley, whose debut album rocketed him from a hard life in the Brooklyn Housing Projects to Rolling Stone Magazine's top 50 albums of 2011.
A documentary that celebrates Rick Hall, the founder of FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and the signature sound he developed in songs such as "I'll Take You There", "Brown Sugar", and "When a Man Loves a Woman".
Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we've had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now.
In 1959, Berry Gordy Jr. gathered the best musicians from Detroit's thriving jazz and blues scene to begin cutting songs for his new record company. Over a fourteen year period they were the heartbeat on every hit from Motown's Detroit era. By the end of their phenomenal run, this unheralded group of musicians had played on more number ones hits than the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones, Elvis and the Beatles combined - which makes them the greatest hit machine in the history of popular music. They called themselves the Funk Brothers. Forty-one years after they played their first note on a Motown record and three decades since they were all together, the Funk Brothers reunited back in Detroit to play their music and tell their unforgettable story, with the help of archival footage, still photos, narration, interviews, re-creation scenes, 20 Motown master tracks, and twelve new live performances of Motown classics with the Brothers backing up contemporary performers. Written by
The mere fact that these 13 people created so much of the best of American music in virtual anonymity is reason enough to watch this movie. But the performances of those great songs...lots of them, make it a really special movie. I think they could have found some better current singers to perform with them in the concert but even Joan Osbourne can sound good with the Funk Brothers playing behind her. Maybe that's the point of the movie. Steve Jordan said it best though when he said that Deputy Dog could have sung to their tracks and made hits. And just for the record, I was kind of proud that at least 2 of the 13 were Caucasian. :-)
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