Standing in the Shadows of Motown

Standing in the Shadows of Motown
The much anticipated movie, Standing in the Shadows of Motown opened on November 15. The film is based on the Funk Brothers, the little-known backing band that provided the music for Motown record label’s hit singles from the Detroit era. The band’s story is told through archival footage, narration, interviews and re-creation scenes. There are also 12 new live performances of Motown classics with the Funk Brothers backing up Chaka Khan, Ben Harper, Bootsy Collins, and others.
Thank you David for your comments. We saw the film yesterday at the Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley and it looks like it will be playing there for another week. What is unfortunate is that this film did not get the same hype as Harry Potter which opened the same day. The film is playing at limited theatres around the country and the length of the stay is based on ticket sales. It only played in Chicago for one week. If you missed it, get it when it comes out on DVD next year. Standing in the Shadows of Motown is an excellent documentary on the Funk Brothers band, the heartbeat of the Motown sound. It was a moving tribute and wonderful to see this band get their much deserved recognition. It is very much overdue. Their sound was often imitated but never duplicated. In addition to the band, there were excellent performances by Chaka Khan, Joan Osbourne, Montell Jordan, Gerald Levert, and Meshell Ndegeocello. Oh yeah, the background vocalists for the band were off the hook. You have got to see this film.
Checkout the official movie website,

3 Responses to “Standing in the Shadows of Motown”

  1. David says:

    My Friend, George, and I went to see this delightful documentary. Unfortunately, it played just one day on two or three screens in the Bay Area, so there was not much opportunity for many people to see it. The film was an eye-opening journey that focused on the “studio” musicians that were TRULY responsible for establishing the “Motown Sound” during the Detroit years.
    The movie was very entertaining and informative. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who has the opportunity to see it. Hopefully, it will be out on DVD and video sometime next year.
    The film was an important piece of history documenting important events in the lives of black folks in the 20th century. It’s a shame we were the only ones in the audience.
    (By the way, Joan Osborne, did an excellent job covering a couple of familiar Motown titles.”

  2. js says:

    “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” is now playing at the Grand Lake Theatre in Oakland. It is a thoroughly entertaining, enlightening, and enchanting film. The performances are strong, the history is vital, and gives us an intimate look at the people whose work we have enjoyed and admired for years, though we never knew who they were… until now.
    Motown is such an integral part of this country’s musical heritage. It is nice to now have the faces and names that formed the backbone (and the backbeat) of the “Motown Sound.” js

  3. LaNita says:

    The DVD is out now 4/22/03 and includes a 2-cd set. Check it out. It should be in everyone’s collection.

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