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Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Nov 6 2012
$1,222
pledged of $75,000pledged of $75,000 goal
10
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Nov 6 2012

About

SOUL… RHYTHM & BLUES…FUNK… DOO WOP… DEEP SOUTHERN SOUL…. GO-GO….NEW JACK SWING…HIP HOP…NEO SOUL…MOTOWN….. STAX…. THE SOUND OF PHILADELPHIA…. ATLANTIC RECORDS….  HI RECORDS….. CHESS…. BRUNSWICK….WARNER BROTHERS…EPIC…COLUMBIA…..CAPITAL…TK…VEE- JAY….MALACO…LAFACE….SOLAR…TABU…SUSSEX...DUKE…PEACOCK…MINIT..ALADDIN…SPECIALTY…LU-PINE…SUE…DAP-TONE!

From back in the day to soul music today, The Rhythm & Blues Project’s ORAL HISTORY ARCHIVE DRIVE is doing what no one has done before: Telling the full story behind all the great Soul, Rhythm & Blues and Funk music made during the last 65 years in the words of the men and women who have created this astounding body of work.  From artists to songwriters, producers to disk jockeys, publicists to record promoters, their stories must be heard. 

Soul, Rhythm & Blues and Funk have been the most powerful and transformative music made in America during the last three generations, defining forces in the Civil Rights struggle, the Women’s Movement, Fashion, Dance, Entertainment and so many other social, political and cultural watersheds of the second half the 20th Century.  Who better to tell the stories of this music than the people who created it? 

We mean to celebrate the lives and music of Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Prince, Booker T Jones, George Clinton, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Bootsy Collins, Gladys Knight, Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, Nile Rogers, Steve Cropper, Patti Labelle, Gamble & Huff, Aretha Franklin, Earth, Wind and Fire, Sly & The Family Stone, Chaka Khan, The O’Jays, Quincy Jones, and so many others. 

Once completed, these interviews will become a permanent oral history archive to be housed at The Grammy Museum

The Grammy Museum
The Grammy Museum

and other outstanding cultural institutions. The archive will be used to create museum installations, exhibitions, and educational materials, so that this story lives on for generations to come. 

But none of this can happen without your help. Kindly help us record this story before it is too late. Over the past year, the music has lost such luminaries as Etta James, Don Cornelius, Whitney Houston and Donna Summer. The cameras need to get rolling now. 

Our production team is outstanding. It includes the talents of Executive Producer Ed Eckstine

Ed Eckstine and Vanessa Williams
Ed Eckstine and Vanessa Williams

(the son of Billy Eckstine, and former president of Mercury Records and Quincy Jones Entertainment), Executive Producer Phil Michelson of Moondog Films, and directors Sam Pollard

Sam Pollard
Sam Pollard

(“Slavery By Another Name,” and HBO’s “By the People: The Election of Barack Obama”) and Bruce Sinofsky (“Metallica: Some Kind of Monster,” HBO’s “Brothers Keeper” and “Paradise Lost”). 

Bruce Sinofsky
Bruce Sinofsky

Collectively, we have spent years researching this story, locating the artists, and aligning the production with strategic partners so that we can go out and film the necessary interviews. But we now need the funding necessary to go and plan and shoot all the interviews we hope to capture. Your generous contributions will go a long way to ensuring that we can accomplish this goal. 

But interviewing the creators of this music is only half of our goal. Keeping this music alive is what matters most. And with that in mind, we have made available a number of Rhythm and Blues Project Insider Benefits to those who chose to support us now. From great music to food to a unique event featuring James Poyser of The Roots and Civil Rights icon Julian Bond, to an evening of documentary filmmaking tips featuring multiple award winning directors Sam Pollard and Bruce Sinofsky, to an evening with veteran record men (like Tom Vickers, P-Funk's former Minister of Information and Dominic Treniers, Manager of DeAngelo) where you will hear stories of recording sessions, artists and songs, to an intimate dinner with the legendary former STAX Records president Al Bell.

Al Bell
Al Bell

For those who love Soul, Rhythm & Blues and Funk music, who care about its history and want to make sure that its legacy does not fade away, now is your chance to step up and get down! Please get on the good foot and make a donation today. This is AMERICA’S MUSIC and its stories need to be celebrated. 

THE RHYTHM AND BLUES PROJECT: THE SOUL OF AMERICA!

Risks and challenges

Like any project that includes physical production, there is the risk that it may take a bit longer than anticipated to get people to sit down and talk to us. We are working diligently to arrange as many interviews as our budget will allow, but these things do take time. As to our events planned, we do anticipate being able to pull these off in the time scheduled. Our other offers (T-Shirts, Hats, CD's) should be to you within a reasonable period of time.

To us, Our greatest risk is that we wait too long to get our cameras going! Since we started on this journey to bring The Rhythm and Blues Project to life, we have lost Charles Brown, Ruth Brown and James Brown: And these are only the Browns!

We are in a race against time and there is no downside to helping us. Every interview completed brings us closer to our goal. And with our partnership with The Grammy Museum (and more to follow), these interviews will be seen, studied and enjoyed for years to come. We are ready to roll and we must get going as soon as possible so don't wait before it's too late: Spread the word and make a joyful noise!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    I GIVE A BUCK ABOUT SOUL MUSIC-
    You will receive a personalized copy of our original "Soul Buck" artwork, suitable for framing. Accept our dare and show you care:
    Say It Loud, I give a BUCK about Soul music!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Right On! Every bit helps and your donation is a gift that will keep on giving. Your name will be put on our new websites “Soul Brothers-Soul Sisters Wall of Fame” page. As we are creating an archive, think of this as your “screen credit” for this effort.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    All Access "Fan Club" pass. By coming in at this level, you will have exclusive access to "behind the scenes" footage as we begin our interview process. We will share with you (via our new web site) select takes from our interviews as we begin the production process. Stay in the loop and up to date as we work to tell this story.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Be the first on your block with funkiest T around, the official Rhythm and Blues Project T-Shirt. Wall of Fame credit and Fan Club included also.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Keep a lid on your love for Soul music with our very own R&B Project hat. Wear it with pride (Wall of Fame and Fan Club included too!)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Keep It Funky- As we here at The Rhythm and Blues Project like to expose our fans to great, current Soul and R&B music, we offer you an autographed copy of the new CD “What The World Needs Now” from Brooklyn’s own Dap Tone Records, The Sugarman Three. Keep the music flowing by coming in at this level. (Wall of Fame and Fan Club included too!)

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Food for the Soul Music Fan: After getting Funky all night long, you may need a bit of nourishment. Enjoy the official "Soul Cake" of The Rhythm and Blues Project, baked lovingly by the folks at My Grandma's Of New England: The world’s most critically acclaimed coffee cake. An R&B Project backer can not live by music alone, there must be a nosh somewhere along the line! (Wall of Fame and Fan Club included too!)

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Not hungry, no problem as we also have "Food for thought" for the soul music fan: A personally autographed copy of noted author Peter Guralnick's Sweet Soul Music: Rhythm and Blues and the Southern Dream of Freedom. Peter Guralnick is widely regarded as the nation's preeminent writer on twentieth-century American popular music. His books include Feel Like Going Home, Lost Highway, Sweet Soul Music, Searching for Robert Johnson, the novel Nighthawk Blues, and a highly acclaimed two-volume biography of Elvis Presley, Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love and his most recent
    Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke. Feed your mind and your ____will follow! (Wall of Fame and Fan Club included too!)

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    SAY IT LOUD: THE MUSIC AND THE MOVEMENT. An invitation to a "one-time only" event to be held in New York City (date and location TBD) featuring James Poyser of The Roots and hosted by Civil Rights icon Julian Bond. Hear how Soul and R&B music were a driving force for change during the Civil Rights era and beyond. A music seminar not to be missed.

    James Poyser is a multi-Grammy winning songwriter, musician and multi-platinum producer who has written and produced songs for various legendary and award-winning artists including Erykah Badu, Mariah Carey, John Legend, Lauryn Hill, Common, Anthony Hamilton, D'Angelo, The Roots, and Keyshia Cole. During his career, Poyser has toured, and played live with such distinctive artists as Jay-Z, The Roots, Erykah Badu, and Aretha Franklin. An active session musician, he has contributed to the works of Adele, Norah Jones, Eric Clapton, Joss Stone, Ziggy Marley, Macy Gray and Femi Kuti. Poyser received a Grammy for Best R&B Song in 2003 for co-writing Erykah Badu and Common's hit "Love Of My Life." James was also the executive producer on Badu's highly celebrated albums, Mama's Gun and Worldwide Underground. A longtime collaborator and member of The Roots, James has joined them on stage, performing live as the houseband for NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

    Julian Bond is an American social activist and leader in the American civil rights movement, politician, professor, and writer. While a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, during the early 1960s, he helped to establish the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He was the first president of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Bond was elected to four terms in the Georgia House of Representatives and later to six terms in the Georgia Senate, having served a combined twenty years in both legislative chambers. From 1998 to 2010, he was chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Julian is also a huge fan of Soul and Rhythm & Blues music and looks forward to sharing his knowledge on the subject with you! (Wall of Fame and Fan Club included too!)

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Can't make it to the show, no need to worry as you can show your love with our very own R&B Project hoodie. Stay warm this winter by wrapping yourself in our funky love. (Wall of Fame too!)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    $250.00- SAY IT LOUD: THE MUSIC AND THE MOVEMENT plus our not be missed official T-Shirt and Wall of Fame credit.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    An evening with our filmmakers (One night, New York City only). Come meet and hear multi-award winning directors Sam Pollard and Bruce Sinofsky discuss the art of making world-class documentary films. (We’ll also throw in a T-Shirt & the Wall of Fame too!)

    Sam Pollard served as documentary producer of Blackside production’s Eyes on the Prize II: American at the Racial Crosswords, and Co-Executive Producer/Producer of I’ll Make Me a World: Stories of African-American Artists and Community. He directed Zora Neale Hurston: Jump at the Sun for American Masters. Pollard has also worked extensively on Spike Lee’s films, including When the Levees Broke. His productions have won multiple Emmy Awards, George Foster Peabody Awards, the George Polk Award, the NAACP Image Award, and the Pare Lorentz Award from the International Documentary Association. Sam also served as the editor of the Edward Norton feature length documentary, By The People: The Election of Barack Obama, airing on HBO. Pollard currently is also a Professor of Film Studies at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts.
    Bruce Sinofsky is a 2012 Academy Award nominated (Paradise Lost 3), Emmy award-winning documentary film director, who began his career at Maysles Films. Working with partner Joe Berlinger they jointly produce, edit, and direct documentary films which have appeared on over 50 critics choice lists, including Paradise Lost, Brother's Keeper, Hollywood High and Metallica: Some Kind of Monster. Sinofsky has won a Directors Guild Award and two Emmys.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    A night of "inside the music business" stories by those responsible for some of the biggest hits of the past 30 years. Hear about Funkadelic from their former "Minister Of Information" Tom Vickers. Ever wonder about the recording of Michael Jackson's Thriller? Hear some great "behind the scenes" stories from one who was there (Ed Eckstine). How about working with Aretha Franklin? (Preston Glass can fill you in on Who's Zoomin' Who). More names of participants to come.

    Now is your chance to ask the questions you have always wanted answered by joining a small group of fellow fans for a evening of music, stories and fun. To he held in Los Angeles (date and location TBD).

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    A personal A&R session with The Rhythm and Blues Project Executive Producer (and music industry luminary) Ed Eckstine. Over the course of a 30 year career in the music business Ed Eckstine has served as a senior executive at Quincy Jones Productions,Vice President of A&R for Clive Davis at Arista Records, and President of Mercury Records. Working with a wide range of hit-making artists, musicians, producers, and songwriters , including Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, The Brothers Johnson, Vanessa Williams, Brian Mcknight, Tony,Toni,Tone, Raphael Saadiq, James Ingram, Patti Austin & Narada Michael Walden (to name a few) Ed's worked with some of the biggest selling artists in the business. With the plethora of singing contest based television shows (i.e. The Voice, American Idol) there has never been a stronger interest in finding out if YOU have the goods to make it in show business. This is your chance to share your music and talents with a proven hit maker.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    A Private Evening with Stax Records Al Bell. (New York & LA only, space is limited).

    Enjoy a private evening with Mr. Al Bell. In the 1970's, two of the largest African-American owned businesses in America were Motown Records and Stax Records. Al Bell is the former owner of Stax Records.

    During his years as head of Stax Records, Al Bell introduced marketing and promotional innovations, which changed the direction of the nation's music industry. Stax produced gold and platinum hits on such varied artists as Isaac Hayes, the Staple Singers, Johnny Taylor, Sam And Dave, Booker T and the MG's, the Bar Kays, Otis Redding, The Emotions, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Richard Pryor, Bill Cosby, Billy Eckstine, Albert King, The Dramatics and a host of others.

    Stax Records worked with Melvin Van Peebles on the release of his revolutionary film "Sweetback" and with MGM Studios on the release of the film "Shaft," demonstrating marketing and promotional techniques that woke the film industry to the potential in the black marketplace and led to the black film renaissance of the 1970's.

    Al Bell added to the roster of box office hits with the landmark 1973 film "Wattstax," a documentary based on a Stax Records concert that entertained 100,000 people, in the Los Angeles stadium, from Los Angeles and Watts. This was the largest musical event ever presented to Black America.

    In the 1980's, Al Bell became head of the Motown Records Group and worked with Berry Gordy in the sale of Motown to the MCA/Boston Ventures Group. After Motown, he discovered the music group Tag Team and released "Whoomp! There It Is" which sold over 5,000,000 single units. This record was one of the biggest selling singles in the history of the music industry.

    Al Bell was asked by "the artist" formerly known as Prince to release a single record for him, after his label Warner Brothers Records turned him down. Using his unique style of marketing and promotion, Al Bell released "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World" and gave Prince his biggest selling single ever.

    In the recently published book by Rob Bowman chronicling the history of Stax Records titled "Soulsville USA: The Stax Records Story," Jesse Jackson is quoted saying that, "Stax was not just a record company. It was a sound. It was a piece of culture. It was a moment of conscience and experience of mankind. At the right time, it meant a lot to us. People still heavily borrow upon the tradition of Stax and the lineage laid down by the very special genius of Al Bell."

    Over the years, Al Bell has received many honors and awards, including Executive of the Year, Bill Gavin Radio Program Conference, 1971; National Leadership Award from the National Business League in 1972 and 1973; NAACP Founder’s Award, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, 1975; Inductee, America’s Music and Entertainment of Fame, 1980; Gospel Music Award of the Year, Southeast Music Conference, 1993 and NARM INDIE Best Seller Award ("Whoomp! There It Is"), W. C Handy Lifetime Achievement Award, and in 2011 the Grammy Trustee’s Award.

    This is a special, unique opportunity to spend quality time with the man behind some of the greatest Soul and R&B music ever made!

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Funding period

- (32 days)