A Musical Road Trip Through Film is a short course for fans of music and film to explore these mediums in-depth with Dr. Tom Shaker, a retired professor who has focused his career on music and pop culture. This three-week course will take place on Wednesdays, November 6, 13, 20 from 4 to 6:30 pm.
Free and open to all
For advanced syllabus information please register by phone or online using the form below.
This short 3-week film course will transport you to some unique, amazing places where the soundtrack of our lives was recorded. Places like rural Alabama, where the most unlikely pop stars went to capture an incredible “sound” from the house band there. And Detroit, Michigan, where a former boxer created “The Sound of Young America” by using the assembly line production techniques of Henry Ford. We’ll wrap up our road trip on the West Coast visiting an unlikely group of musicians called “The Wrecking Crew” who played behind literally every Top 40 recording artist on the radio in the 1960s & 70s.
NOV 6 - Standing in the Shadows of Motown starring Andre Braugher, Richard "Pistol" Allen, Jack Ashford, Bob Babbitt, and Bootsy Collins
Rated PG (2002) 1 hr 25 mins
A documentary film that recounts the story of The Funk Brothers, the uncredited and largely unheralded studio musicians who were the house band that Berry Gordy hand-picked in 1959.
NOV 13 - Muscle Shoals starring Gregg Allman, Bono, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, and Mick Jagger
Rated PG (2013) 1 hr 22 mins
A documentary film about FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. It features numerous recording artists as well as the staff and musicians associated with the studio.
NOV 20 - The Wrecking Crew starring Herb Alpert, Brian Wilson, Don Randi, Cher, and Nancy Sinatra
Rated PG (2008) 1 hr 10 mins
A documentary film covering the story of the Los Angeles–based group of session musicians known as the Wrecking Crew, famed for having played on numerous hit recordings throughout the 1960s and early 1970s.
We’ll watch one film each class and discuss American music in the context of the film. There will be a minimum of lecture. Interaction (and singing along) is encouraged. Student questions, experiences and reflections are what will make this course fun, interesting and informative.
Dr. Tom Shaker is an independent scholar and filmmaker. He recently retired from teaching after thirty years, directing the Communications Program at Dean College in Franklin, MA and lecturing at Northeastern University in Boston and WPI in Worcester, MA. His research interests include music history, pop culture and film and television. Tom has been hosting “The Soul Serenade” on WICN for over a decade, keeping classic soul, funk and R&B music alive on the airwaves. He is co-author of A Treasury of Rhode Island Jazz & Swing Musicians (2015) and co-producer of the award-winning documentary Do It Man! The Story of The Celebrity Club (2018).
Sponsored by the Friends of Barrington Public Library.