In the 1940’s, the U.S. Military built an airbase on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia and they brought with them their love of country music. The airbase is long gone, but the country music never left. 60 years later, American country music is still more pervasive than any other style of music. Legendary artists such as George Jones, Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Charley Pride and more are among the voices from the Golden Era of Country Music that is still celebrated St. Lucia today. Local radio stations broadcast their music into homes and businesses at all hours of the day and night. It’s performed live in bars and clubs across the island. It’s the choice of every young person at the karaoke clubs, older people tap time on their porches to it’s infectious beat, and recording artists lay down their own faithful adaptations of their favorite American country music songs.
MAKE MINE COUNTRY, a feature length documentary, will tell the story of the people of St. Lucia and their intense love for American country music. Through the oral histories of the inhabitants of the island, our audience will learn the unexpected history of how American country music came to prevail upon the hearts and minds of the population. The political, economic, and social factors that have worked to create and maintain what borders upon national obsession will be examined to further get to the root of what it is about this music that so stirs the soul of St. Lucia.
The history of contemporary American music is rife with instances of the mainstream stealing sounds, movements, and fundamental ideas from other cultures and minorities. It’s been said that Elvis, Led Zeppelin, and The Rolling Stones literally stole the blues from African Americans, building their signature sounds on the shoulders of less acknowledged musical styles. Country music, which is thought to be quintessentially American, grew out of the blues, which grew out of religious hymnals and, of course, the slave songs of the south. The slave trade literally began in the Caribbean, and so, in some bizarre way, the circle closes in St. Lucia. This is the story of MAKE MINE COUNTRY.
Director Ian Berry made an exploratory trip to St. Lucia in June of 2011. During that trip, Berry shot upwards of 5 hours of footage, conducted interviews with potential subjects, and established the visual approach of the film. We're raising money now in order to return to St. Lucia for 6-weeks of principal photography.
- (21 days)