Markia Thompson, of Irmo, South Carolina, isn’t as big a fan of country music as her grandmother Linda Martell, an 82-year-old groundbreaking African-American country artiste, but she’s a pioneer in the genre. is a person.
However, she is an independent filmmaker. Her latest independent project, her 4th iMpact Media Group’s “Bad Case of the Country Blues,” is the culmination of her grandmother’s ill-fated mainstream from 1969 to her 1975 country tour of her music career. is drawing
For more information on the documentary, including a new trailer, please visit https://www.lindamartell.com.
This project is scheduled to be completed by the fall. This article features Grammy-nominated artist Lysie Palmer, writer and co-writer of Trisha Yearwood’s “XXXs and Ooos,” Alice Randall, author Andrea Williams, and Dr. Jada Watson. Scholars such as Amanda Martinez have been interviewed.
Director Thompson has released an official trailer for the film to try to raise more money to cover the final filming costs, is working to resolve legal issues related to the film’s distribution, and is planning to release the film domestically and internationally. The company hopes to submit the film to film festivals and private screenings and sign a distribution contract. .
Two years ago, Mickey Guyton, Maren Morris and Palmer on Apple Music Radio’s “Color Me Country” show honoring her 1970 album released on Shelby Singleton’s Plantation Records. ) and others directly addressed her grandmother’s name and legacy many times, Thompson said in her GoFundMe campaign:
“My family and I are working on a documentary film about artist Linda Martell. Describing a time when people were fighting for the right to simply sit and enjoy a meal in a restaurant, this documentary explores who she was and who she is outside of country music, and why she It’s a more honest look at how she’s been neglected during her short-lived career, and why she’s suddenly gotten so much attention in the last three or four years.”
To date, the campaign has exceeded its initial goal of $25,000. A $5,000 donation from Morris and a $10,000 donation from CMT equals 2021 with Martell at the 2021 CMT Music Awards as an “advocate for elevating diverse and underrepresented voices in country music.”・This is due to winning the Play Award. .
In 1969, Martel became the first black female artist to reach the Top 20 of Billboard’s country chart with her cover of The Winstons’ “Color Him Father.” Her other singles “Bad Case of the Blues”, “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” and “You Are Crying Boy Crying” were released from the album. Additionally, she made her 11 appearances at the Grand Ole Opry between her 1969 and her 1975 years. She was the first black woman to appear on stage at the Opry.
Martel sacrificed the label’s name (which she felt was racist, which Singleton denied) and the career of “Harper Valley PTA” singer Jeannie C. Reilly at the expense of her career. Displeased with both Singleton’s decisions to focus, he left Plantation Records in 1970. In an interview, Martel said that after fulfilling her one-year deal with Plantation, when she tried to sign to another record label, Singleton threatened to sue the label for pursuing Martel, effectively declaring the country’s record label. It claims it has kept her out of the mainstream.
The filmmaker, realtor and mother, described the documentary’s completion process as “challenging” for Tennesseans, as it involved attempting to overcome issues surrounding Martel’s original Plantation Records deal and her rights to Martel. “It was chaotic,” he says. Licensing issues related to the music, as well as the music and videos in which she appears.
Thompson did not disclose the status of negotiations between the 4th iMpact Media Group and the current rights holders of Martell’s master recordings. But of the ongoing talks, she said, “Record companies are really unreliable. They’re predatory. It’s time for people to take a different approach to releasing mainstream music while preserving artists’ rights.” There are,” he said.
When asked to summarize the documentary’s overall significance, Thompson spoke hopefully.
“Minorities, women and marginalized artists have the right to play on a level playing field in the country music industry. My grandmother was a courageous artist who followed her passion and challenged the industry. Anyone who wants to reflect should definitely know her history.”