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March 28, 2011

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Radio.Video.Jazz

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Richard Salvucci

CBS wanted to toss this????? God have mercy on our national Philistine soul.

Ed Leimbacher

Thanks to you, Marc, and Mr. De Felitta for a revelatory slice of Blues and television history. The clip and complete documentary have special meaning for me; in 1969 and 1970 with two friends I tried to interest the three commercial networks (no PBS back then, and no cable programming) in a series of six hour-long works devoted to The Musics of the South, and I wrote a treatment for the pilot devoted to Louisiana's multi-varied scene. There was no discernible interest at the time. But I had no idea that a one-off program had been produced over a decade earlier. (In 1956, I was 13 years old, and we had moved overseas by the time the Odyssey program aired.)

Coincidentally, in 1970 I was also trying to sell in Hollywood the feature screenplay I had written on the life of Blues great Robert Johnson. I was likely the first to suggest that subject, but whatever the merits of the idea or script it too went nowhere. Anyone curious can find my 40-year-old screenplay posted serially in sort-of chapters at www.robertjohnsonhellhound.blogspot.com

Anyway, I'm very glad the documentary has surfaced and been generously released to the public. Hats off to all concerned!

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  • Marc Myers writes on music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (Univ. of California Press). Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a Jazz Journalists Association's "Blog of the Year" winner.
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