A couple weeks ago I went to a screening of Beth Harrington’s 2015 documentary, The Winding Stream: The Carters, The Cashes, and the Course of Country Music. Having recently watched all 16 hours of Ken Burns’s Country Music on PBS, I was primed for this in-depth recounting of the story of the Carter Family. I agree with what Joe Ely says in the trailer up top: The names of A.P., Sara, and Maybelle Carter should be as well known to Americans as our first President.
It’s an emotional story, and many of the people telling it are members of the family, which seems to have music—and plain speaking—in its very DNA. It’s priceless oral history—Johnny Cash was interviewed for this documentary in the last months of his life, which is both painful and beautiful to witness. The film also shares a wealth of old and new recordings of Carter Family songs.
It’ll do you good.
The film is streaming at various sites, including Amazon and YouTube.