This is my entry for “X” in the Blogging A to Z Challenge. It’s hard to find good documentary film starting with the letter X so I’m using the algebraic principle of substituting a number for the letter X. Throughout April I will be watching and reviewing a documentary movie from A to Z. Previous documentaries I’ve reviewed that actually start with X include Xavier and XXXY.
Title: 20 Feet From Stardom
Release Date: June 14, 2013
Director: Morgan Neville
Production Company: Tremolo Productions | Gil Friesen Productions
This movie focuses on the role of the background singer in popular and rock music from the 1960s to today. Particularly, it examines the role of black women – many with gospel music backgrounds – in redefining the sound and look of background singers. The movie documents the artists who lent there vocals to numerous hit songs across genres with a special focus on Darlene Love, Judith Hill, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Táta Vega and The Waters family. While background singers get little to no credit for their contributions, and some people see it as a stepping stone to becoming a lead vocalist, the movie recognizes that particular skillset and artistry that goes into their singing. In addition to interviewing many background singers, the movie also interviews rock stars like Mike Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Bette Midler, and Stevie Wonder who offer their kudos to the work of background singers on their songs.