Music, Movies, TV – An Insider’s Perspective

Great Documentaries – Part 2

Music Documentaries – The biggest sub-genre of documentary film making for good reason.

Everyone loves music and many of us have favorite genres of music and favorite artists. I suppose this is why “music documentaries” are the biggest sub-genre of documentary films. We all like to take a closer look into the lives of our favorite artists and the music they create. We want to know everything about “our artists” or our favorite type (genre) of music. Great documentary filmmakers have a responsibility to paint a full and truthful picture of their topic and in this case, artist, band, or genre of music.

Many people make documentaries and often upload them to YouTube but there are some filmmakers that work on their film for years and they also have big budgets to create the “perfect” documentary that will please the fans and often get them to the theatre.

Documentaries “document” reality, history, and periods of time. They educate while also entertaining us. I personally can’t get enough of documentaries. They have grown to be my favorite genre of films. They are usually made by experts and authorities on certain topics but what I admire most is the heart and love that most of the filmmakers pour into their documentary films.

I love MUSIC……..

Music has been my life and my savior at times. It has been with me through happy and sad times. I made music my career since it is something I knew best and loved the most. I am living proof of the old saying……..

 “If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life”

I also love sharing music with others. I am “beyond” pleased to share some of my favorite “music docs” with you. I hope you will take the time to watch the film trailers that I have included. Even if you are not a fan of the artist or the genre you can learn something about each one of them….And who knows, you may find something new that you will soon LOVE!


Summer of Soul

(…Or When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

This film won 2 Academy Awards in 2022 for “Best Documentary” feature and for “Best Music Film”

Director Questlove’s music documentary explores and reclaims the legacy of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival: a watershed six-week event of the civil rights movement.

Here is a taste of this stunning , soulful piece of history: Summer of Soul – Official Trailer (2021) Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder – YouTube

I especially loved this feature that aired on CBS Sunday Morning: “Summer of Soul”: Rescuing a historic Harlem music festival – YouTube

Click here to add it to your collection: Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) Dolby, AC-3, Subtitled on


The Beatles: Get Back

An incredible look into the twilight days of the Beatles

Gaining access to 60 hours of footage shot for the 1970 album and making-of documentary “Let It Be,” and utilizing innovative restoration techniques, Peter Jackson delivered an astonishingly comprehensive window into the twilight days of The Beatles. John, Paul, George, and Ringo are revealed as never before. This is 7 3/4 hrs. on three discs and I still wanted more.

I loved the sneak peek from the director Peter Jackson so I thought you might enjoy it too: The Beatles: Get Back – A Sneak Peek from Peter Jackson – YouTube

And here is the finished trailer: The Beatles: Get Back | Official Trailer | Watch in Dolby – YouTube

If you are a Beatles fan or know one, this documentary will be an amazing addition to any music collection….If you want to give a meaningful gift, it just does not get better than this! “GET BACK” IS A MUST HAVE!

Get it here: The Beatles: Get Back 3 Pack, Dolby, AC-3 on


Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story

It is a delicious gumbo of music and celebration!

Jazz Fest celebrates all GENRES OF MUSIC & ALL CULTURES

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is the signature annual music and cultural event of the city and has been called America’s greatest festival. Since 1970 local music heroes are joined on 14 stages by some of the most influential figures in entertainment, highlighting the connections between Louisiana culture and the world. This film not only captures the Festival in all of its beauty and glory, but also delves deep into the rich culture of “The Big Easy.”

Check out this sample of one of my favorite music festival of all-time: JAZZ FEST: A NEW ORLEANS STORY | Official Trailer (2022) – YouTube

Click this link to add it to your collection: Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story Manufactured on Demand, Dolby, AC-3 on


American Experience: Woodstock:

Three Days That Defined a Generation

This PBS documentary examines the personal and cultural effects of Woodstock. “3 Days of Peace and Music” marked a change in generational American values and this film turns the focus away from the performers and onto the audience.

View the amazing trailer of the most legendary festival of all-time, on YouTube with this link

And if you want to own it, here it is & on sale: American Experience: Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation on


No Direction Home: Bob Dylan

Many call this one of the best music documentaries of all-time.

This 2005 documentary film by Martin Scorsese traces the life of Bob Dylan between 1961-1966.

Watch the trailer: No Direction Home (10th Anniversary Edition Trailer) – YouTube

If you like what you see, pick it up here: No Direction Home: Bob Dylan on


Imagine: John Lennon

A motion picture portrait of a legend.

The legendary musician’s own private collection of more than 240 hours of film and videotape, much of it never seen by the public until this film was released in 2005.

Experience a taste of “Imagine” here: John Lennon Imagine Offical Trailer – YouTube

Get it now for 26% off: Imagine: John Lennon Deluxe Edition, Widescreen, Subtitled, Amaray Case on


Ken Burns: Country Music

A story of America one song at a time.

Country Music: A Film By Ken Burns is a 16-hour docu-series  that chronicles the history of a uniquely American art form, focusing on the biographies of the fascinating characters who created it. More than eight years in the making, the film follows the evolution of country music from its diverse and humble origins as it emerged, by the end of the twentieth century, into a worldwide phenomenon. No one has told the story in this way before. Length: 960 minutes / 8-disc set

Check out the: Official Extended Trailer | Country Music | A Film by Ken Burns | PBS – YouTube

Save 35% NOW on the Deluxe version: Ken Burns Country Music Deluxe 5 CD / 8 Blu-ray Bundle on

And…SAVE 56% on this version: Ken Burns: Country Music Boxed Set on


Jazz On A Summer’s Day

The Chicago Reader called it “one of the greatest concert movies ever made.”

This precursor to Monterey Pop and Woodstock is the granddaddy of all concert films, a chronicle of the 1958 Newport, Rhode Island Jazz Fest where music greats like Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, Anita O’Day, Chuck Berry, Mahalia Jackson, George Shearing, Gerry Mulligan, Art Farmer, and Dinah Washington gave electrifying performances. 

Watch the trailer here: Jazz On A Summer’s Day (2020) Trailer | Documentary | Bert Stern – YouTube

Available at: Jazz on a Summer’s Day on


Jazz (A Film by Ken Burns)

From the creator of the Civil War, Baseball and many other acclaimed documentaries comes this epic series celebrating that most American of art forms, “JAZZ.” From its Blues and Ragtime roots through Swing and into Bebop and Fusion, the growth of Jazz is charted as you watch 75 interviews, more than 500 pieces of music and rare, unseen photos and footage! Jazz is on 10 DVDs with over 19 hrs. of jazz bliss!

Check out this interview with Wynton Marsalis and Ken Burns about his masterpiece doc “Jazz”:  Ken Burns and Wynton Marsalis interview on “Jazz” (2001) – YouTube

Get it now for a whopping 55% off: Jazz (A Film by Ken Burns) Boxed Set on


Rolling Thunder Revue:

A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (Criterion Collection)

Taking copious archival footage from Bob Dylan’s smaller-venue, career-reenergizing 1975 tour accompanied by Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell, Allen Ginsberg, and others, and framing it with sly mockumentary sequences featuring the recollections of many who were there (and many who weren’t). Martin Scorsese delivers an intriguing perspective on the artist and this momentous time in “Dylan” history. This is 142 minutes of live Dylan at his best.

Check out the trailer: Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story By Martin Scorsese | Trailer | Netflix – YouTube

Get the Criterion edition on sale here: Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (Criterion Collection) on


The Defiant Ones

An unlikely duo rise to prominence…together.

“The Defiant Ones” chronicles the unlikely partnership between Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. This revealing, compelling and often gritty story takes place in recording studios, humble homes, and massive mansions, in criminal courts and in the highest corridors of corporate power. The docu-series highlights how the two men rose to prominence in the 80s and 90s and eventually launched their billion-dollar headphone and speaker business, Beats by Dre.

I was proud to be an A&R Consultant for Interscope…The GREATEST MODERN DAY ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY & RECORD LABEL

This is one of the BEST Music Docs….PERIOD! Just take a look:

THE DEFIANT ONES Official Trailer (HD) HBO/Dr. Dre Docuseries – YouTube

Get ALL four parts here for an amazing price: The Defiant Ones Boxed Set on


Nas: Time Is illmatic

Twenty years after the release of Nas’s groundbreaking debut album “Illmatic,” Nas: “Time is Illmatic” takes his fans into the heart of his creative process. This doc is a thrilling account of Nas’s evolution from a young street poet to a visionary MC & HIP HOP LEGEND!

Here is the trailer: Nas: Time Is Illmatic Official Trailer 1 (2014) – Nas Documentary HD – YouTube

Get this amazing Doc here:  Nas: Time Is Illmatic on


It Might Get Loud

A documentary on the electric guitar from the point of view of three significant rock musicians: The Edge, Jimmy Page, and Jack White.

I love this trailer: It Might Get Loud | Official Trailer (2009) – YouTube

Get it here: It Might Get Loud Widescreen, Dolby, AC-3 on



An unprecedented, personal look into the life of a rock goddess.

In the wake of the hit Broadway musical based upon her life, the legendary Tina Turner delivered unprecedented personal access for this stunning documentary portrait. Between personal reflections at 80 from the rock goddess, as well as never-before-seen archival interviews, Tina holds forth on the meteoric career resurgence that followed the end of her problematic union with Ike Turner, plus observations from Oprah Winfrey, Angela Bassett, and Kurt Loder.

EXPERIENCE IT HERE: TINA (2021) Official Trailer | HBO – YouTube

Get the full doc here: Tina Manufactured on Demand on


Kurt Cobain About a Son

This is the story of Kurt Cobain in his own words.

Kurt Cobain About a Son

This intimate and moving portrayal of the late musician and artist Kurt Cobain is told entirely in his own voice, without celebrity sound bytes or sensational tabloid angles. This landmark film draws upon more than 25 hours of previously unheard audiotaped interviews conducted with Cobain. This is the story of one of rock’s greatest icons as it’s never been told before.

See the trailer here: Kurt Cobain About A Son: Trailer – YouTube

I just picked this doc up here: Kurt Cobain About a Son Widescreen on


All Things Must Pass:

The Rise and Fall of Tower Records

This historic musical documentary, explores the rise, fall of Tower Records, and chronicles it’s legacy, forged by its rebellious founder, Russ Solomon. Featuring exclusive footage and behind-the-scenes interviews with rock legends including Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, and Dave Grohl.

Here is the trailer: All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records Official Trailer (2015) HD – YouTube

Search results for All Products : “the rise and fall of tower records” (


The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?

Distinctive harmonies driven by their unmistakable voices have made the brothers Gibb musical forces to be reckoned with since the late 1960s. Now, their incredible story is told in this informative documentary that covers everything from sibling strife to their enormously successful disco era to the passings of Maurice, Robin, and their younger brother Andy, and much more.

The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart (2020) | Official Teaser | HBO – YouTube

The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? on


Amy on Blu-ray

AMY is the incredible story of six-time GRAMMY® Award winner Amy Winehouse – in her own words. Featuring extensive never-before-seen archival footage and previously unheard tracks, this strikingly modern, moving, and vital film shines a light on the world we live in, in a way that very few films can.

I LOVE THIS FILM: Amy | Official Trailer HD | A24 – YouTube

This is worthy of any music lovers collection: Amy on


Searching for Sugar Man

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN tells the incredible true story of Rodriguez, the greatest 70s rock icon who never was. After being discovered in a Detroit bar, Rodriguez’s sound struck 2 renowned producers and they signed a recording deal. But when the album bombed, the singer disappeared into obscurity. A bootleg recording found its way into apartheid South Africa and over the next two decades, he became a phenomenon. The film follows the story of two South African fans who set out to find out what really happened to their hero.

Watch the trailer here: Searching for Sugar Man Official Trailer #1 (2012) – Documentary HD – YouTube

Get the Doc here: Searching for Sugar Man on


Twenty Feet From Stardom

They are the voices behind the greatest Rock, Pop, and R&B hits of all time, but no one knows their names. This award-winning documentary shines the spotlight on the untold stories, the triumphs, and heartbreaks of music’s greatest unsung talents. See rare behind-the-scenes footage, vintage live performances, and interviews with superstars Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder and Bette Midler.

Sample it here: Twenty Feet From Stardom Official Trailer #1 (2013) – Music Documentary HD – YouTube

Get it here: Twenty Feet From Stardom on


The Last Waltz

On Thanksgiving Day 1976, five thousand cheering fans gathered for the historic farewell concert of “The Band”. Directed by Martin Scorsese and featuring superstars Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and Van Morrison join the musicians on-stage, along with one-time collaborator Bob Dylan, and Ringo Starr in an unforgettable finale.

Enjoy this trailer of this Martin Scorsese film: The Last Waltz Official Trailer #2 – Richard Manuel Movie (1978) HD – YouTube

Get it on sale here: The Last Waltz Special Edition, Dolby, Subtitled on


Monterey Pop

Serious Music Collectors will want to check this out:

The Complete Monterey Pop Festival (Criterion Collection) on Blu-ray….Make sure you look in the product description to see all the bonus features of this historic 3-disc set.

In 1967, at the beginning of the Summer of Love, the first and only Monterey International Pop Festival captured a decade’s spirit and ushered in a new era of rock and roll. Monterey featured career-making performances by Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Otis Redding, but they were just a few performers in a wildly diverse lineup. This film immortalized moments that have become legend.

The Criterion Collection is proud to present the most comprehensive document of the Monterey International Pop Festival ever produced.

Here is the trailer: Monterey Pop Official Trailer – YouTube

The Complete Monterey Pop Festival (Criterion Collection) on

Check out all versions here: Search results for Movies/TV : “Monterey Pop” (


I hope you have enjoyed reading about and watching the trailers of these AMAZING Music Documentaries.

Come back for Part III of my feature on Documentaries and Special Interest Films. Will I feature Crime, History, Politics, Animals, the Environment, or something I like to call “TWISTED TOPICS.” Twisted topics could be dark, shocking, edgy or anything my twisted mind finds appealing at the time.

What’s Next….come on back to see!

1 Comment

  1. Mark Hudson

    Great list Vi. I share your love (well, obsession) with music docs. I would add The Kids are alright – The Who (1979), Iron Maiden: Flight 666 (2009), Rush – beyond the lighted stage (2010) and The Sparks Brothers (2021) and oh, lots more!