These are some of the wonderful music documentaries, concerts, biographies, et. al. that I have in my personal collection: I highly recommend them all.
I will be updating the list as I get my video library in order.
- 2002 Induction Concerts – the Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation. Perf. The Temptations, The 5th Dimension, Jay & the Americans, plus many others. DVD. Kulter International Films, Ltd. DVD contains 18 performances (68 mins). 1 Bonus CD with 17 selections. Nice set.
- 30th Anniversary Special Edition: Wattstax. Dir. Mel Stuart. Prod. Larry Shaw and Mel Stuart. Perf. Isaac Hayes, The Dramatics, The Staple Singers and many many more historic performances from the 1972 concert and restores footage omitted from the 1973 original theatrical film release. DVD. Warner Brothers, approx 109 minutes, 2004.
- Apollo Presents the Motortown Reviw 1963. Very early, not too polished, performances from Martha & the Vandellas, The Contours, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Little Stevie Wonder (age 12), The Marvelettes (my favorites in this show, Mary Wells (backed by 4 smooth sounding Temptations that steal the show IMHO) and Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. Videocasette. The show is about 50 minutes long.
Atlantic Records: The House That Ahmet Built. Dir. Susan Steinberg. Prod. Susan Steinberg and Phil Carson. Perf. Ahmet Ertegun & wife Mica Ertegun, Chris Blackwell, Solomon Burke, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Jerry Butler, Mick Jagger and so many, many more. DVD. Rhino Entertainment Company, a Division of Warner Music Group Company, 2007.This two-hour DVD features rare, private and classic clips; performances and studio session of Atlantic recording artists; and is narrated by award-winning singer/actress Bette Midler. You will love this documentary!
- Behind the Legend: Marvin Gaye. Dir. Martin Baker. Perf. Marvin Gaye. DVD. Eagle Rock Entertainment Plc, 2000. Approx 80 mins. Produced with the full cooperation and support of his family, the incredible and tragic story of Marvin Gaye is told through exclusive interviews with family, friends and stars, each giving us insight into Marvin’s approach to his life, his music and his spirituality. Includes bonus live performance footage.
- Bob Marley the Legend Live: Santa Barbara County Bowl November 25, 1979. Perf. Bob Marley, the Wailers and the I-Threes. DVD. Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., 2003. Awesome 92 minute – 20 song set! Plus bonus tracks and other extras
- Dancin’ in the Street. Perf. Mary Wells, David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks and Martha Reeves. DVD. Purple Cow Productions, 1999. JLT9203DVD Color 90 mins live on stage! Four Motown Legends together for the last time. 28 classic hits from the 60s and 70s. 12 number one hits.
- Ed Sullivan’s Rock-N-Roll Classics: Motor City Magic. Perf. The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Stevie Wonder, the Four Tops, the Jackson 5 and the Supremes. DVD. Time Life Video, 2001. 42 minutes of historic performances from the Sixties.
- Ed Sullivan’s Rock-N-Roll Classics: Sweet Sounds of Soul. Perf. The Supremes, the Jackson 5, James Brown, the Righteous Brothers, the Temptations, the Ike & Tina Turner Review, the Four Tops, Jackie Wilson and Stevie Wonder. DVD. Time Life Video, 2001. 45 minutes of color & b/w historic performances from the Sixties.
- The Four Tops 40th Anniversary Special. Perf. The Four Tops. DVD. Heritage Entertainment, Inc., 2002. This 64 minute concert was digitally recorded on August 8, 1996, live from the Las Vegas MGM Grand. This concert marks the last performance of one of the original-founding members of The Four Tops, the late Mr. Lawrence Payton.
- Hullabaloo Volumes 1-4. Perf. The Animals, Chuck Berry, Sammy Davis Jr., Dionne Warwick and Many, Many More. DVD. MPI Home Video & Gary Smith Productions., 1995. DVD6370 Color & B/W Approx 4.4 hours of musical performances. A 1960s musical flashback!
- Hullabaloo Volumes 5-8. Perf. Frankie Avalon, Chad & Jeremy, Dobie Gray, The Toys, the Zombies and Many, Many More. DVD. MPI Home Video & Gary Smith Productions, 1996. DVD6389 B/W Approx. 4.5 hours. 7 complete television episodes and 18 bonus performances. A 1960s Music Flashback!
- Hullabaloo Volumes 9-12. Perf. Simon & Garfunkel, Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs, the Four Tops, the Ramsey Lewis Trio and Many, Many More. DVD. MPI Home Video & Gary Smith Productions, 1995. DVD 6335 B/w Approx. 4.5 hours of some of the greatest musical artists of the 1960s. 6 television episodes with 17 bonus performances included.
- Let the Music Play: the Barry White Story. Dir. George Scott. Perf. Barry White. DVD. An Isis Production for Eagle Rock Entertainment and Channel 4, 2006. 73 minutes. Fully authorized by the estate of Barry White, this biography is illustrated throughout by footage of Barry White in concert.
- Love Memories – Jeff Barry and Friends. Perf. The Dixie Cups, the Crystals, Brian WIlson, Ronnie Spector, Mary Wilson, Ray Peterson, Ron Dante, Andy Kim and Many More. DVD. Made in Brazil, 2000.
- Marvin Gaye: Searching Soul. Perf. Marvin Gaye. DVD. Beverly Wilshire Film Works, 2000. Real life first person documentary: his music, his life, his philosophy of life.
- The Miles Davis Story. Dir. Mike Dibb. Perf. Miles Davis. DVD. Sony Music Entertainment, 2001. I have watched this often since I made the purchase. Every time I screen this 125 documentary I learn something new. I love it!
- Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever. Dir. Don Mischer. Perf. Adam Ant, Cindy Birdsong, Dick Clark, Richard Pryor, Marvin Gaye and Many, Many More. Videocassette. MGM/UA Home Video, 1983. Approx time 2 hrs. & 8 mins.I am sure every Motown fan is aware of this tv special so I will only add that I hope that any and all deleted footage is someday added to a new and expanded version of this tape in my lifetime. I own the tape, but it was later made available in a DVD version as well. But I believe that both versions are identical. If anyone knows more please contact me. Thank You.
- Music Scene: the Best of 1969-1970. Dir. Stan Harris. Perf. James Brown, Crosby Still Nash & Young, Buck Owens, Three Dog Night, Tom Jones and Many, Many More. DVD. MPI Home Video, 2000. DVD6334 Color Approx. 3.5 hours NR. Four live television shows from 1969. 21 bonus performances. Four Music Scene promos by the Rolling Stones.
- One Love – the Bob Marley All-Star Tribute. Perf. Lauryn Hill, Chrissie Hynde, Jilly Cliff, Erykah Badu, Darius Rucker, Tracy Chapman, Ben Harper, Queen Latifah and Many, Many More,. DVD. Brazilian Release. Complete show and lots of extras for approx 145 minutes of total entertainment. Could not find year of release on the non-English language credits.
- The Original Leads of the Temptations with Special Tribute to Eddie Kendrick & David Ruffin. Dir. Dave Tucker. Perf. Eddie Kendrick, David Ruffin, Dennis Edwards and More. Videocassette. Street Gold Entertainment, 1993. This 92 minute expose treats the viewer to a rare glimpse at the heart and soul of the legendary David Ruffin and Eddie Kendrick… 20 of their songs weave through this musical journey. This is my most treasured tape. I hope it becomes available on an expanded DVD some day soon – if it is not already. I reserve viewings for special times because I always end up crying during the film. RIP Eddie and Davis. (BTW that is not a typo, but David’s given name – Davis.)
- Ready Steady Go! Special Edition: the Sounds of Motown. Perf. Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, the Temptations and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. DVD. Dave Clark (London) Ltd. Licensed to EMI Records Ltd., 1985. Black & White 50 minutes Original 1965 footage from the fabulous British TV smash. Special guest host Dusty Springfield with the Earl Van Dyke Band.
- Respect Yourself: the Stax Records Story. Perf. Rufus Thomas, Booker T & the MGs, Sam & Dave, the Staple Singers, Johnny Taylor, Isaac Hayes and Many More. DVD. Tremolo Productions for Concord Music Group, Inc., 2007. Total Running Time = 1 Hour 54 Minutes.Funky. Emotional. Raw. Powerful. That was soul music in the Civil Rights Era and Stax Records did it like no other. “Respect Yourself”, narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, traces the astonishing history of Stax, from a modest neighborhood hangout to a cultural and political empire.
- Sam Cooke Legend. Perf. Sam Cooke. DVD. ABKCO Music & Records, Inc., 2003. 1 hr. 10 mins. Written by best selling author Peter Guralnick, this first ever biography of the definitive soul singer looks at his extraordinary career and personal life – from his gospel-singing roots through his R&B and pop music career Featuring rare and never-before-seen performance clips, TV footage and family photos plus 2 hours of exclusive bonus interviews.
- Say Amen Somebody: A Film By George T. Nierenberg. 1982. Featuring Willie Mae Ford Smith, Thomas Dorsey, The Barrett Sisters, The O’Neal Twins and others. DVD. Xenon Pictures, 2001. 100 Mins. Time Magazine summed it up best saying “A movie to which even a tone-deaf atheist will say Amen.” The music is awesome and the Barret Sisters are the best! When this film first aired on PBS years ago I immediately went out to purchase all the Barrett Sisters music I could find: those were some of the best musical purchases I ever made.
- Shindig! Presents Motor City Magic. Perf. Jr. Walker & the All Stars, Mary Wells, Marvin Gaye, the Blossoms, the Temptations, the Supremes, the Four Tops, Martha & the Vandellas and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles. Videocassette. Rhino Home Video, 1991. RNVD 1451 Approx. 30 mins. B&W. Live Rock ‘n Roll performances from the hit 60s music series.
- Soul Comes Home: a Celebration of Stax Records and Memphis Soul Music. Dir. Milton Lage. Perf. Eddie Floyd, Jean Knight, William Bell, Percy Sledge, Isaac Hayes, Rance Allen, Al Green and Many More. DVD. K2 Pictures & the Stax Museum of American Soul, 2003. Total running time +/- 112 minutes. 18 performances recorded April 30,2003 at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis. Also 7 DVD special features.
- Standing in the Shadows of Motown. Dir. Paul Justman. Perf. The Funk Brothers. DVD. Artisan Entertainment, 2002. 110 min. Winner – Best Film of the Year Non-Fiction by the National Society of Film Critics. In 1959 Berry Gordy gathered the best musicians from Detroit’s thriving jazz and blues scene for his new record company. This film is their story.
- Stax/Volt Review Live in Norway 1967. Perf. Otis Redding, Booker T. & the MGs. Sam and Dave, Eddie Floyd and More. DVD. Concord Music Group, 2007. Includes feature length commentary by Sam Moore, Jim Stewart, Wayne Jackson and Steve Cropper. Also includes 24 page booklet featuring extensive liner notes and rare photographs.
- Teen Town Salutes Motown 1965. Perf. The Marvelettes, The Supremes, The Temptations, Little Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Videocassette. CET Production Co. In this special editions of the Detroit based music variety show, host Robin Seymour interviews Berry Gordy and Barney Ales about the history of Motown and shows fabulous film footage of behind the scenes at Hitsville USA.
- The Supremes Reflections: the Definitive Performances 1964-1969. Perf. The Supremes. DVD. Universal International Music BV, 2006. 16 full-length performances plus 5 bonus tracks.
- The Temptations Get Ready: Definitive Performances 1965-1972. Perf. The Temptations. DVD. Universal International Music BV, 2006. 16 classic full-length performances from American television appearances during Motown’s golden era. By Reeling In The Years Productions LLC.
- The True Story: The Temptations. Dir. Allan Arkush. Prod. Jay Benson. Perf. Terron Brooks, Christian Payton, Charles Malik Whitfield, DB Woodside & Leon. DVD. Hollywood DVD. Approx 166 minutes. This is the uncut version as originally show on TV as a miniseries., 2001.
- We Love Ella! Perf. include Natalie Cole, Wynonna, Dav Koz & Reuben Studdard, Patti Austin, Take 6, Stevie Wonder and more. DVD. The Verve Music Group, 2007. 17 performances from an All-Star concert paying tribute to the great jazz vocalist, Ella Fitzgerald. Taped 4/29/07 as part of NY’s Great Performance Series on PBS.
- “Weird Al” Yankovic – the Ultimate Video Collection. Perf. “Weird Al ” Yankovic. DVD. Volcano Entertainment, Ltd., 2003.
Thanks for reading.
Updated 4/1/09, 4/6/08, 12/31/08