Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Chuck Leavell performs “Honky Tonk Women” with Gov. Sonny Perdue on cowbell

June 1, 2013

About five years ago, my friends at Hibbotte and I filmed a show by my father-in-law Chuck Leavell at a beautiful old theater in Hawkinsville, Georgia.  For the song “Honky Tonk Women,” Chuck was joined onstage by the sitting Governor Sonny Perdue, who agreed to play cowbell on the song.  As you can tell from the video below, the Governor’s cowbell skills are not exactly top notch.  The footage from this concert was never posted and, like a lot of other stuff that I shoot, the video was put on a hard drive in a closet and basically forgotten about.

A couple months ago, my friend and 11Alive reporter Doug Richards contacted me because he was working on a story about Chuck on the road with the Rolling Stones for the band’s 50th anniversary tour. Doug remembered me mentioning the infamous cowbell performance a couple years before and wondered whether he could use this footage in his story.  I said it was fine with me, as long as he cleared the use of it with both Chuck and Sonny, which he did.  This past week, Doug’s story aired, and, as you can tell, the Perdue angle was a big part of it. So, for those that might be interested, here is the entirety of the “Honky Tonk Women” video with Gov. Perdue’s cowbell accompaniment in full effect.

“VMC vs. the Radio Star” screening at ATL Film Fest

May 2, 2011

I’m delighted that my short documentary “VMC vs. the Radio Star” is screening as part of the Documentary Shorts 2 program of this year’s Atlanta Film Festival this Wednesday night at 9:45 at the Landmark Midtown Theater.  If you can, come check the VMC film out on the big screen, along with some other great short docs.  If you can’t make it, here it is again:

VMC vs. The Radio Star

January 27, 2010

Back in December I posted a video I put together about Atlanta’s old Video Music Channel.  The interview subject in the segment is Tom Roche, who is now an editor at Crawford Post Production.  Tom asked whether he could take a crack at the video and add some more of the great old footage of the VMC.  Tom is a pro editor, so I was more than happy to let him work on it.  He crafted an amazing re-edit:  he added lots of new footage and titles and generally smoothed things out.  It now feels more like a documentary and less like an extended oral history.  It’s a great testament to the heady days  of the VMC.

To view the video in a larger size, click here.

A Short History of Atlanta’s Video Music Channel

December 5, 2009

The Video Music Channel was added to Atlanta’s cable system on July 4, 1982.  The VMC studio was located in the basement of the Center Stage Theater, which was exclusively a venue for plays back then.    The VMC operated on a shoestring budget and its production value was often raw, but its producers and VJ’s were clever music lovers who seized the opportunity and created some really amazing television.  The channel developed a loyal following—including me and my two brothers—but its weak ad revenue could hardly keep the station in the black.  When the VMC was offered the chance to shift to broadcast channel 69 in 1984, they happily agreed.  Despite gaining a broader potential audience and a more high-tech studio, the ratings for the VMC at channel 69 weren’t great and management began to phase out music video programming in 1985.

Tom Roche arrived at the VMC in 1983 and served as its Production Manager until 1985.  In this segment he shares some of his memories of working at the channel.  Big thanks to Tom for providing some great archival footage for this segment.

Vintage Atlanta tv commercials #2: Video Music Channel

November 5, 2009

If you lived in Atlanta between 1982 and 1986 and were of a certain age, you undoubtedly remember the Video Music Channel.  The weird videos and wacky VJ’s on the VMC warped my impressionable adolescent mind.  Unlike the placelessness of MTV, the VMC was firmly rooted in Atlanta and all its musical happenings.

I recently interviewed Tom Roche, who was the Production Manager for the VMC, and I’ll share some of his comments in a subsequent post.  For now I’ll pass along a VMC commercial which promoted four of their special shows.

Vintage Atlanta tv commercials #1: Plaza Drugs

August 25, 2009

There are a ton of old tv commercials on YouTube, but they’re generally not locally specific.  I’d like to start assembling vintage Atlanta tv commercials in a series for this blog.  Vintage is an arbitrary term, but let’s just say anything produced before 1990.  I certainly need help locating these commercials.  If there’s an old Atlanta tv spot on YouTube (or some other video sharing site), please post the URL in the comments section and I’ll embed it on the site.  If you have a copy of a commercial on disc, tape, or film and need some help digitizing and uploading it to the web, I’d be willing to assist.

The first video in this series is a commercial for the old Plaza Drugs on Ponce de Leon Avenue (in the first post of this blog, George Mitchell discussed Plaza Drugs).  From the clothing and the look of the film stock, I’m guessing this commercial was produced in the late 60s or early 70s.

Doug Richards on Steve Polk Plaza

March 30, 2009

Doug Richards was a tv reporter in Atlanta for over twenty years.  He now runs a full-service production company and also writes a funny and insightful blog about Atlanta tv news.  In this segment, he talks about the Steve Polk Plaza and its connection to local tv news.


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