Concert film to premier July 4 on GPB featuring songs made popular by Otis Redding, Ray Charles, the Allman Brothers Band, R.E.M., Outkast, the B-52s, Brook Benton
A Night of Georgia Music, recorded for public television at Macon’s historic Grand Opera House and Capricorn Sound Studios in March 2022, dynamically showcases some of the Peach State’s most iconic songs, headlined by three of Georgia’s most well-known musicians.
The concert film will premiere on Georgia Public Broadcasting on July 4 at 7 p.m.
Set on a rock band and conducted by Ward Stare, the program features R.E.M. founding member and Macon native Mike Mills; students from Mercer University’s Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and its founder, internationally renowned violin soloist and Macon native Robert McDuffie; and former Allman Brothers Band member and current Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell.
A Night of Georgia Music includes songs of Georgia’s favorite contemporary artists, including Otis Redding, Ray Charles, the Allman Brothers Band, R.E.M., Outkast, the B-52s, and Brook Benton. The concert also incorporates elements from the Mills-composed Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra.
“Presenting these iconic songs of Georgia with legends Mike Mills and Chuck Leavell is a high point of my professional life. Being on stage with them makes this classical violinist feel ‘cool.’ The music resonates in a visceral way for so many people,” noted McDuffie. “Playing at The Grand for a national television audience makes me proud to be from Macon.”
The Macon production follows a successful concert tour in 2019 that included sold-out performances in Atlanta, Savannah, Augusta and Birmingham. Concerts in additional cities, including Macon, were planned until the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed live performances.
“Georgia is such a great state for music – the most fertile state in the country, as far as I’m concerned,” Mills said. “We’ve curated an hour of songs either about Georgia, by Georgia artists, or a combination of both. The only formula I used to build the set list is that you have a great starter to grab the audience’s attention and then it flows from there. It has movement, but at the same time it’s cohesive.”
“I thought it was a brilliant concept, because as Mike points out, Georgia has so many great songs and great artists,” said Leavell, who is currently on tour with the Rolling Stones in Europe. “The hard part was deciding what to leave out. It was an honor to be asked to join with Mike and Bobby to perform this show.”
Arrangements for A Night of Georgia Music were provided by award-winning composer David Mallamud.
The concert was filmed and produced by multiple Emmy Award-winner 7 Cinematics, which has previously produced live concerts for PBS and other national networks, including The Avett Brothers at Red Rocks and the Red Hot Chili Peppers at the Great Pyramids. In addition to taping at The Grand, one segment for the show was shot in Macon’s historic Capricorn Sound Studios, restored by Mercer in 2019.
Songs featured in the show include:
One Way Out
Rainy Night in Georgia
Rain in Spain
Give Me Back My Man
Georgia On My Mind
Losing My Religion
Learn more at anightofgeorgiamusic.com.