MEMPHIS '69 film

Runtime: 72 minutes

Directors: Joe LaMattina


Long-lost concert film documenting the fourth Memphis Country Blues Festival and starring Sleepy John Estes, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Furry Lewis, Johnny Winter, Rufus Thomas, John D. Loudermilk, Bukka White, Jo Ann Kelly, John Fahey and Nathan Beauregard. "It’s the Summer of 1969. The temperature hovers around 105 degrees on a humid weekend in Memphis, Tennessee. It’s only been a year since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But on this particular weekend, everyone in town, all races, creeds and colors have come out for the Fourth Annual Memphis Country Blues Festival. The lineup is the most ambitious in years... This concert film could have easily remained undiscovered forever, but thanks to Fat Possum Records and filmmaking team Joe and Lisa LaMattina, these extraordinary artists—all of whom have now passed—have finally found the audience they so rightly deserve." - Michael Rubenstone. "Like Woodstock from the same year, Memphis ’69 is filmed with an archival perspective, as it attempts to capture not just the performances, but the spirit of the time—albeit, on a much smaller scale. Instead of vanilla reaction shots, we see a twelve-year-old smoking a cigarette, a pretty girl with dirty, Hobbit feet, and a guy eating watermelon with a chef knife. In terms of period personas, we have hippies, rednecks, and hippie rednecks. It’s a beautiful coalition of countryfolk for whom the blues was passed down and city kids who are working backward from Led Zeppelin." - Hunter Lanier, Special screening courtesy of Fat Possum Records (Oxford, MS). Filmed by Gene Rosenthal.