The Chitlin' Circuit

Episodes

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Broadcast
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20171004 (R2)
Cerys Matthews explores the music and stories of an incredibly important touring circuit.

During the years before the Civil Rights movement got underway, segregated American cities helped give birth to a touring circuit that provided employment for hundreds of black musicians and performers. These venues brought about the birth of rock 'n' roll.

The collective name given to these theatres and small venues was The Chitlin Circuit, which came from the word 'Chitterling' - a pig's intestine - a dish popular in southern cooking.

These venues were safe and acceptable spaces for African American musicians and comedians to perform - and for black communities to attend.

In the first of this two-part special, Cerys Matthews traces the roots of the Chitlin Circuit, to find out how it all began, which artists played the venues and how the music business in America has changed since the 40s and 50s. She'll look at how the venues changed from hosting mainly blues and R&B artists, to producing some of the best-known artists in the world today.

We'll hear stories from Mary Wilson, Tito Jackson, Beverley Knight, Bettye Lavette, Claudette Rogers Robinson, Tom Dreesen, Billy Cobham, William Bell, Doctor Lonnie Smith, Eban Brown and Zadie Smith - as well as archive material and music from the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Cerys Matthews explores the music and stories of an incredibly important touring circuit.

Cerys Matthews traces the roots of the Chitlin' Circuit.

During the years before the Civil Rights movement got underway, segregated American cities helped give birth to a touring circuit that provided employment for hundreds of black musicians and performers. These venues brought about the birth of rock 'n' roll.

The collective name given to these theatres and small venues was The Chitlin Circuit, which came from the word 'Chitterling' - a pig's intestine - a dish popular in southern cooking.

These venues were safe and acceptable spaces for African American musicians and comedians to perform - and for black communities to attend.

In the first of this two-part special, Cerys Matthews traces the roots of the Chitlin Circuit, to find out how it all began, which artists played the venues and how the music business in America has changed since the 40s and 50s. She'll look at how the venues changed from hosting mainly blues and R&B artists, to producing some of the best-known artists in the world today.

We'll hear stories from Mary Wilson, Tito Jackson, Beverley Knight, Bettye Lavette, Claudette Rogers Robinson, Tom Dreesen, Billy Cobham, William Bell, Doctor Lonnie Smith, Eban Brown and Zadie Smith - as well as archive material and music from the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Cerys Matthews explores the music and stories of an incredibly important touring circuit.

During the years before the Civil Rights movement got underway, segregated American cities helped give birth to a touring circuit that provided employment for hundreds of black musicians and performers. These venues brought about the birth of rock 'n' roll.

The collective name given to these theatres and small venues was The Chitlin Circuit, which came from the word 'Chitterling' - a pig's intestine - a dish popular in southern cooking.

These venues were safe and acceptable spaces for African American musicians and comedians to perform - and for black communities to attend.

In the first of this two-part special, Cerys Matthews traces the roots of the Chitlin Circuit, to find out how it all began, which artists played the venues and how the music business in America has changed since the 40s and 50s. She'll look at how the venues changed from hosting mainly blues and R&B artists, to producing some of the best-known artists in the world today.

We'll hear stories from Mary Wilson, Tito Jackson, Beverley Knight, Bettye Lavette, Claudette Rogers Robinson, Tom Dreesen, Billy Cobham, William Bell, Doctor Lonnie Smith, Eban Brown and Zadie Smith - as well as archive material and music from the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Cerys Matthews explores the music and stories of an incredibly important touring circuit.

Cerys Matthews traces the roots of the Chitlin' Circuit.

02Black And Blues2016101120171011
20171011 (R2)
Cerys Matthews continues her exploration of the Chitlin Circuit performers and music.

During the years before the Civil Rights movement got underway, segregated American cities helped give birth to a touring circuit that provided employment for hundreds of black musicians and performers. These venues brought about the birth of rock 'n' roll.

The collective name given to these theatres and small venues was The Chitlin Circuit, which came from the word "Chitterling" - a pigs intestine - a dish popular in southern cooking.

These venues were safe and acceptable spaces for African American musicians and comedians to perform - and for black communities to attend.

In part 2 of this documentary, Cerys Matthews traces the roots of the Chitlin Circuit, to find out how it all began, which artists played the venues and how the music business in America has changed since the 40s and 50s. She'll look at how the venues changed from hosting mainly blues and R&B artists, to producing some of the best-known artists in the world today.

We'll hear stories from Mary Wilson, Tito Jackson, Beverley Knight, Bettye LaVette, Claudette Rogers Robinson, Tom Dreesen, Billy Cobham, William Bell, Doctor Lonnie Smith, Eban Brown and Zadie Smith - as well as archive material and music from the 40s, 50s and 60s.

Cerys Matthews continues her exploration of the Chitlin Circuit performers and music.

Cerys Matthews traces the roots of the Chitlin' Circuit.

During the years before the Civil Rights movement got underway, segregated American cities helped give birth to a touring circuit that provided employment for hundreds of black musicians and performers. These venues brought about the birth of rock 'n' roll.

The collective name given to these theatres and small venues was The Chitlin Circuit, which came from the word ""Chitterling"" - a pigs intestine - a dish popular in southern cooking.

These venues were safe and acceptable spaces for African American musicians and comedians to perform - and for black communities to attend.

In part 2 of this documentary, Cerys Matthews traces the roots of the Chitlin Circuit, to find out how it all began, which artists played the venues and how the music business in America has changed since the 40s and 50s. She'll look at how the venues changed from hosting mainly blues and R&B artists, to producing some of the best-known artists in the world today.

We'll hear stories from Mary Wilson, Tito Jackson, Beverley Knight, Bettye LaVette, Claudette Rogers Robinson, Tom Dreesen, Billy Cobham, William Bell, Doctor Lonnie Smith, Eban Brown and Zadie Smith - as well as archive material and music from the 40s, 50s and 60s.

The collective name given to these theatres and small venues was The Chitlin Circuit, which came from the word "Chitterling" - a pigs intestine - a dish popular in southern cooking.