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RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World

Sundance Film Festival World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Prize winning documentary Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World, tells the story of the Native American influence on popular music.

RUMBLE traces the melodies, rhythms, and beats of traditional Native music as they took different forms across the spectrum of 20th-century American rock. Native Americans such as Robbie Robertson and Buffy Sainte-Marie helped to define its evolution, while Native guitarists and drummers such as Link Wray -- the electric guitar pioneer whose titular instrumental hit was banned from the radio, Hall of Famer Jimi Hendrix, who was part-Cherokee, Jesse Ed Davis, and many more forever changed the trajectory of rock and roll. Their stories are told by some of America’s greatest rock legends who knew them, played music with them, and were inspired by them, including George Clinton, Taj Mahal, Slash, Jackson Browne, Taboo, Buddy Guy, Quincy Jones, Derek Trucks, Tony Bennett, Iggy Pop, Steven Tyler and Stevie Van Zandt.

Among the musicians the documentary highlights the influence of are blues music pioneer Charley Patton of Choctaw and African-American ancestry. And jazz vocalist and Native American Mildred Bailey, whose music blended Native American vocals and jazz.

Watch the trailer above or the full documentary at PBS.


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The two writer/directors are Canadian and it was produced by a company out of Montreal that is described as specializing in First Nations productions. A summary lists at least two Canadian musicians: Buffy Sainte-Marie and Robbie Robertson.

Unfortunately the PBS stream doesn't work in Canada.
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Very American... as if nothing else exists. Look up Kashtin, the Innu (Canadian) group who sang rock-n-roll in their own language.
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