The Guesthouse Tue 7th March 8pm
FILM LOVE presents
The American Music Show
Clips and highlights from the early years of a community television classic
There is nothing quite like The American Music Show. This community access cable television show, produced in various basements of Atlanta, Georgia and broadcast weekly from 1981 to 2005, was a heady mix of twisted talk show, drag queens gleefully portraying rural Georgia housewives and midtown urban women, music videos by the likes of the Smilin’ Mighty Jesus Singers and John Sex, and now-poignant video segments taped on the streets of a long-gone Atlanta.
In addition to all this, the show attracted a young RuPaul – then a denizen of Atlanta, now an international drag queen icon – who made dozens of early appearances on the show in many guises. The American Music Show also featured long-running characters performed by a devoted cast: the singing sisters Wanda and DeAundra Peek, southern matron Virginia McLendon, the terrifying spell-caster Conjure Woman, trailer park child Duffy Odum, and many more.
Hosted for twenty-five years by the unflappable Dick Richards and Potsy Duncan – along with one James Bond, who at the time was also serving on Atlanta’s City Council – the American Music Show was delivered to the cable company each week on VHS tapes for broadcast. With its one-take aesthetic and anarchic humor, the show is a classic of do-it-yourself media, and was a beacon for Atlanta’s underground, LGBT, and musical communities.
Curator Andy Ditzler of the Atlanta-based Film Love series will present a selection of clips and highlights from the American Music Show’s early years – specially chosen from the original broadcast tapes, now housed in the Special Collections library at Emory University.
The Film Love series provides access to great but rarely seen films, especially important works unavailable on consumer video. Programs are curated and introduced by Andy Ditzler, and feature lively discussion. Through public screenings and events, Film Love preserves the communal viewing experience, provides space for the discussion of film as art, and explores alternative forms of moving image projection and viewing.
Facebook group: Film Love Atlanta