The Winding Stream: A Carter Family Film That Needs Our Help

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Beth Harrington, director of Welcome to the Club: The Women of Rockabilly, started shooting The Winding Stream in 2003. It’s an ambitious project, a documentary looking at the impact of two families – the Carters and the Cashes – on the history of country music. She’s at a crossroads now, and needs money to continue post-production work on the film.

The original Carter Family cut their first records at the epochal Bristol Sessions in 1927. Since then, we’ve heard from at least three generations of Carters. Johnny Cash started his recording career at Sam Philips’s Sun Studios in Memphis, and now his daughter Roseanne and her daughter, Chelsea Crowell are continuing the family business. Those of us who have been listening to this music for most of their lives (my old man sang Carter family tunes as part of his “long car ride repertoire”) often take it for granted, but there are way too many Americans who don’t realize how beautiful, and how important, this music is. The Winding Stream can become an essential and unique document of that importance – but only if it gets released.

Ms. Harrington is trying to raise $50,000 on Kickstarter to get this film through editing and some other post-production work. Abandoning this project now would be a terrible loss – the interviews alone (including one of the last Johnny Cash ever gave) are an irreplaceable resource.

Please, go over to The Winding Stream’s Kickstarter page and, if you can, give them some money (the minimum pledge is $1). Since the project is backed by a non-profit organization, all contributions are tax-deductible to the extent of the law, minus, of course, the value of the rewards associated with each pledge level. And while the biggest and best reward is helping this film get made, some of the perks you get for contributing aren’t too shabby, either: a reception with Roseanne Cash? Tickets to the LA, NY or Boston premieres of the film? DVDs of Welcome to the Club? These and other wonders are only a couple of clicks away.

Here’s Beth Harrington’s Kickstarter pitch, including the film’s trailer – Beth Harrington has a great story to tell and needs just a little help to be able to tell it to a much wider audience. As of right now (June 25th, 9:30 PM, EDT) they need about $7,000. They’ve only got three days to get it. Put them over the top, will you? And tell them Harry sent you!

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