Legacy Recordings Readies Veteran's Day Release To Radio Of Norah Jones's Performance Of 'American Anthem,' The Musical Touchstone From 'The War,' The Acclaimed Documentary Directed & Produced By Ken Burns & Lynn Novick
Centerpiece Recording from 'The War - A Ken Burns Film - The Soundtrack' Impacting AAA, AC, NPR & News/Talk Radio Stations Nationwide During Veteran's Day Weekend
7-Part 15-Hour WWII Documentary Series, Directed & Produced By Ken Burns & Lynn Novick, Slated For National PBS Pledge Drives In November & December
Nov 9, 2007
In honor of Veteran's Day, Legacy Recordings is releasing Norah Jones's performance of "American Anthem," the emotionally-charged musical touchstone from the critically-acclaimed WWII documentary, "The War," directed and produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, to AAA, AC, NPR and news/talk radio stations nationwide.
Recorded in December 2006 especially for "The War," Norah Jones' piano- and-vocal interpretation of "American Anthem," written by American composer Gene Scheer, became an emotional centerpiece for the documentary.
"American Anthem" was premiered in 1999 at the Smithsonian Institution's unveiling ceremony for the restored original flag which inspired Francis Scott Key's "Star-Spangled Banner." "American Anthem" has also been performed at subsequent presidential inaugurations. Jones's haunting rendition of "American Anthem" appears on THE WAR, A KEN BURNS FILM - THE SOUNDTRACK, a CD companion to the documentary available now.
"Norah Jones's performance of my song, 'American Anthem,' is stunningly beautiful," said composer Gene Scheer. "I have been blessed to have some wonderful singers sing the song in the past, but her performance stands out not only for its beauty, but for the almost mystical way in which she has distilled the essence of the song. The song was meant to be a celebration of our past, but at the song's core is a sense of yearning to be a part of not just our own personal stories, but the American Story. When I wrote the song about ten years ago I could not have imagined that the distinguished director Ken Burns would one day call and ask to use the song in a film he was doing about World War II. I have been a huge fan of Burns's work and was deeply honored by his response to my song. When I saw Burns's and his co-director Lynn Novick's magnificent film, 'The War,' and heard Norah sing, 'American Anthem,' I was overwhelmed by the feeling that the song had mysteriously found its way to the right place. There is a synergy between the film and Norah's soulful, sensitive rendition, which echoes and then amplifies the simple notion from which the song was born: We are in this together."
Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, directors and producers of "The War," echoed Scheer's sentiments regarding Norah's sublime performance. "We were honored and humbled when we found out that the incomparable Norah Jones was willing to record Gene Scheer's haunting and inspiring tune, 'American Anthem,' for our film, 'The War,'" said Burns and Novick. "But we could not, in our wildest dreams, have imagined what a priceless gift we were going to receive. Norah's extraordinary performance of this song touched our souls, deepened our understanding of the human condition, and expressed more beautifully than anything we can think of what it means to be an American. She created a profoundly powerful work of art that will resonate in our lives forever."
"I was very happy to be part of the series," said Norah Jones, "and to be able to work with Ken Burns."
Norah Jones is an eight-time Grammy Award winner. NOT TOO LATE, her third album for Blue Note Records, and the first to exclusively feature Jones' songwriting, was released this past January to both critical and commercial success. The Associated Press called it "her most adventurous -- and arguably finest -- CD to date." The album spent three weeks at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and has gone on to sell over four million copies worldwide.
The most eagerly awaited television event of the fall season, "The War" premiered to widespread critical acclaim on PBS on September 23, 2007, and drew record-breaking audiences in its premiere broadcast. The full 15-hour 7- part series will play an integral part in PBS Pledge Drives nationwide in November and December 2007.
"The War" tells the story of the Second World War through the personal accounts of a handful of men and women from four quintessentially American towns. The series explores the most intimate human dimensions of the greatest cataclysm in history, and demonstrates that in extraordinary times, there are no ordinary lives.
Music is an integral element in the success of the award-winning documentary films produced and directed by Ken Burns, and three of his most recent projects have been accompanied by soundtrack albums released by Legacy Recordings: JAZZ (2001, certified multi-platinum), Mark Twain (2001), and Horatio's Drive (2003).
Six years in the making, the series is nothing less than "a new masterpiece," declared TV Guide. "'The War' promises to be an unforgettable experience and could well rival Burns's breakthrough landmark 'The Civil War' in its simple yet profound artistry and universal appeal," referring to the landmark 1990 series which won four Emmy Awards and two Grammy Awards.
Simultaneous with the release of "The War" soundtrack album, Legacy also issued three companion collections:
-- Sentimental Journey: Hits From The Second World War -- I'm Beginning To See The Light: Dance Hits From The Second World War -- Songs Without Words: Classical Music From The War
"The War" soundtrack album and the three companion albums are available individually or packaged together in a special commemorative box set featuring a 24-page booklet essay by Ken Burns interspersed with 17 rare and moving images from the period, and a PBS Series Viewers Guide.
First Call Analyst:
SOURCE: Legacy Recordings
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