Bluegrass Country Soul DVD – an update

Further to our report relating to a set of playing cards that have images from the Bluegrass Country Soul video on the reverse, there is news about the actual DVD.  

Bluegrass Country Soul presents the sights and sounds of a bluegrass music festival – Carlton Haney’s legendary, 1971 Labor Day festival at Blue Grass Park in Camp Springs, North Carolina – and is recognized as the first bluegrass movie. 

Orders are now being accepted for a limited-edition box-set at one of five levels – effectively a contribution to the production of the film – starting at $100.00 (friend of Bluegrass Country Soul) up to $10,000.00 (co-executive level). Incrementally, there are additional premiums the greater your sponsorship.

Ellen Pasternack, Executive Director, Bluegrass Country Soul, provides some background information about what has been happening during the past six months 

“In August 2018, we announced our plans to restore Bluegrass Country Soul and promoted this by selling the poker deck of custom playing cards. We’ve considered all along putting together a box-set to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the festival. Knowing that it would take some time to put it all together, we started early. In estimating the cost of this project, we decided to try a crowd-funding campaign that would include naming opportunities in the film and book. As we are donating an archival copy of the restored film to the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, we hope that many bluegrass music lovers will want to have their name, or the name of someone they would like to honor or memorialize, in the film.

The timeline for producing the restored film, making of documentary, and book, meant that we had to put a deadline of April 30th on this limited edition. It will be numbered and come out in advance of the 50th anniversary.

After the limited edition box-set has been released, we will focus on further plans for the 50th anniversary that may include the screening of the restored film at Blue Grass Park in Camp Springs, North Carolina, in September 2021.”

This is a limited, exclusive, numbered edition.

For those who order The Golden Anniversary, Legacy Edition of Bluegrass Country Soul before April 30, 2019, your name (and/or the name of someone you wish to honor) will be included in the film’s final credits. 

The first 1,000 customers will receive a bookplate with your name and the number of your limited edition.

Each box-set comes carefully packed with:

  • A high-definition, Blu-ray DVD of Bluegrass Country Soul in enhanced surround sound and the wide-screen format in which it was originally shown in movie theatres.
  • A standard DVD.
  • A newly revised commentary track by noted bluegrass music historian Fred Bartenstein, and a surprise guest artist (to be announced).
  • A brand-new documentary, The First Bluegrass Movie, about the making of Bluegrass Country Soul and featuring behind the scenes photos and interviews with musicians and filmmakers who were there.
  • A 168-page, hardcover coffee table book with hundreds of colour photos and information about the festival musicians, telling the stories behind Carlton Haney’s legendary, 1971 Labour Day festival. 
  • Two CDs of “Additional BGCS Music” that was not in the film, including stage announcements, and musician introductions (artists TBA).
  • A selection of pages reproduced from the summer and fall, 1971 issues of Muleskinner News magazine, including the original schedule of performances.
  • A reproduction of one of the original movie posters for Bluegrass Country Soul.
  • A recipe card with step-by-step instructions on the preparation of five gallons of Carlton Haney’s Blue Grass Park Brunswick Stew that was sold in the refreshment stand by the bucket full.

Here is a taster – for some a reminder – showing some of the highlights from the film. The commentary is from filmmaker Albert Ihde …   

A purchase of this special, advance sale box-set is part of the crowdfunding campaign that will help to make this project possible. 

The box-set will be shipped on or before September 1, 2019. 

For international customers Ms. Pasternack offers this advice …. 

“For our friends outside the United States, the second line in the order box on the Shop Now page now says “International Friend of BGCS at $155 USD.” This is the option that anyone outside the United States should choose.”

She adds … 

“Blu-Ray and standard discs will be region-free. For the standard DVD, please let us know if you will require NTSC or PAL.”

The premiere of the high-definition, digitally restored version of Bluegrass Country Soul will take place at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, Owensboro, Kentucky, in the Terry Woodward Theatre on November 2, 2019. 

The 3.5 lbs box-set that measures approximately 11” X 10” x 1.5” will be available through other channels in the future. 

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.