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Great Performances: Paul Simon’s Graceland Journey

Airs Friday, August 16, 2013 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Francis Fuster, Paul Simon, Okyerema Asante and Ray Phiri perform on stage.

Paul Simon’s "Graceland" album, an experiment in cross-cultural collaboration, was also commercially popular, selling 14 million albums worldwide and winning Grammys for “Album of the Year” and “Song of the Year” for the title track.

Courtesy of Paul Simon Private Collection

Miriam Makeba and Paul Simon.

Courtesy of Paul Simon Private Collection by Luise Gubb

Joseph Shabalala, Miriam Makeba, Okyerema Asante, Paul Simon and Ray Phiri.

Today, it’s considered one of the most significant recordings of its time. But why was "Graceland" so controversial in 1986? Why did Simon face such vehement criticism?

In 2011, filmmaker Joe Berlinger accompanied Simon on his return to South Africa to reunite and perform with several of the musicians involved in the original album, capturing Simon’s unique homecoming as he reflects on the landmark events.

"Paul Simon's Graceland Journey" includes revealing interviews with Simon and such musical legends as Quincy Jones, Harry Belafonte, Paul McCartney and David Byrne.

GREAT PERFORMANCES is on Facebook. Paul Simon is on Facebook, and you can follow @PaulSimonMusic on Twitter.

Video

Preview: Great Performances: Paul Simon's Graceland Journey

Above: An epic journey following Paul Simon back to South Africa, where, decades earlier, he created his seminal album "Graceland." The film includes revealing interviews with Simon and such musical legends as Quincy Jones, Harry Belafonte, Paul McCartney and David Byrne. "Paul Simon's Graceland Journey" airs January 4, 2013 on PBS.

Comments

Avatar for user 'rowen35'

rowen35 | August 16, 2013 at 9:37 p.m. ― 8 months ago

What a time, a frozen moment in South
African music and history!

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