Thursday, October 16, 2008

Down To Earth: New Documentary On Soul Music And Civil Rights In Memphis

David Moreu who is a freelance music jounalist and independent filmaker has been in touch to tell me about an exciting new documentary he has made about soul music and and the Civil Rights movement in Memphis called Down To Earth.

Here is the publicity blurb:


Title: Down to Earth
Country: Spain
Year of production: 2008
Length: 27 minutes

Written and directed by David Moreu
Photography: David Moreu & Nuria Andres
Edition: Carlos Padilla
Sound: Nuria Andres
Audio mix: Marcos Casademunt
Radio voice: Tim Sampson (recorded at the Ardent Studios, Memphis, TN)
Producer: David Moreu

A unique glimpse at a key period in the history of the United States that can not be understood without its soundtrack.

On April 4 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on the eve of a peaceful march. On the 40th anniversary of this tragic event, we present “Down to Earth”, a short-film documentary about the almost magical relationship that flourished between the civil rights movement and soul music in the 60s, when the black community fought for equal rights in a country that still lived under racial segregation.

A fascinating story told in first person by some famous musicians and local celebrities in Memphis, like the Rev. Samuel Billy Kyles (civil rights activist), Deanie Parker (Stax Records), David Porter (Stax composer and musician), Willie Mitchell (Hi Records president, awarded with the Grammy Trustee Award this year) and Zelma Redding (Otis Redding wife).

“Down to Earth” also talks about the legacy of that convulsive era thanks to the participation of anonymous characters and young musicians who have been interviewed in some of the most famous barber-shops in Memphis. It is the sincere vision of a generation that did not live directly those days of struggle, but it has inherited his ideals and continues to enjoy its music.

“Down to Earth” was first screened last September at The Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis and it will be screened at the opening act of the Barcelona Blues & Boogie Festival (23rd October).


"Down to Earth is utterly charming, informative and a true look at the people of Memphis who lived the Civil Rights struggle and the music that was its soundtrack."
Tim Sampson (Communications Manager Stax Museum of American Soul Music)

David has sent me a short clip of the end titles to the film which are mouth-watering. I hope he is able to get distribution into the UK. I share David's affinity with Memphis having visited the city many times to research the rich soul history and wish him every success with the film.


  1. This sounds like a wonderful documentary - I am fascinated by this period in time!

    I loved the video snippets.

    It would be great for it to get world wide distribution.

  2. David Moreu7:49 AM

    Hello Diane and thanks for your nice words.

    I am also fascinated by this period in time and the music that emerged from it, that's why we made this short- film... but I don't know if we will be able to arrange any screening out of Spain, because many people does not understand the "importance" of this issue.

    Anyway, thanks for the post!

  3. David -
    I would love to talk to you about screening your film in the 2009 On Location: Memphis Int'l Film Fest...I had spoken to Tim about it last January...our fest is April 23-26,2009. Please contact me

  4. I had the pleasure to watch this very interesting documentary and agree with other comments published here.
    I reviewed it in French along with photos on my site

    Jean-Claude MORLOT
    Paris (France)