The Winding Stream

The Winding Stream - Beth Harrington

The Winding Stream – Beth Harrington

Beth Harrington is an award-winning independent producer, director and writer, born in Boston and transplanted to the Pacific Northwest. She has been making media professionally since 1977. She most often focuses on work that explores American history, music and culture.

The Winding Stream: The Movie: There is a stream that courses through American roots music.  Its source is in the Appalachians in a place called Maces Springs, Virginia.  There, A.P. Carter, his wife, Sara and his sister-in-law Maybelle began their careers as three of the earliest stars of country music. A.P. was both song collector and composer, crafting and arranging snippets of ancient melodies into commercial American popular music.  Maybelle took the then-underplayed guitar and made it into the cornerstone of country instrumentation. And Sara became the first well-known woman’s voice in country music, stamping it with the eerie Gothic quality we find in so many of that genre’s canon now.The stream these three created has turned into a rushing river and has moved through several generations of musicians. And yet, the Carters suffered periods of obscurity, with AP and Sara divorcing and, despite trying to keep the act alive, all three going their separate ways.  AP died never fully realizing the impact he had on American music. Sara moved to California vowing to live a quiet life with her new husband, AP’s cousin Coy.  Maybelle, fiercely devoted to music, struggled to envision what the next step would be. No one would have guessed that a young man, who, at first blush, seemed more renegade than reverent adherent, would be the one to lift up the Carter legacy.  That man was Johnny Cash, and his love for the Carter music dated back to nights as a boy in Arkansas listening to the Carter Family perform on the air, their melodies blasting across the Mexican border into his bedside radio.  It was a wonderful twist of fate when Cash, as a Sun Records artist, first met Mother Maybelle and her girls, the Carter Sisters and vowed to June that “I’m gonna marry you someday.”

April 1:  Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, GA
April 3: Miramar Cultural Center Artspark, Miramar, FL
April 6: Clifton Center, Louisville, KY
April 7: The Palace Theater, Gallatin, TN
April 10: Wallace State Community College, Hanceville, AL
April 12: Serenbe Institute for Art, Culture, and the Environment, Chattahoochee, GA
April 13: Winder Cultural Arts Center, Winder, GA

Trailer for The Winding Stream – The Carters, the Cashes and the Course of Country Music from Beth Harrington on Vimeo.