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Arts & Culture

Great Performances: Paul Simon's Graceland Journey

Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Francis Fuster, Paul Simon, Okyerema Asante and Ray Phiri perform on stage.
Courtesy of Paul Simon Private Collection by Luise Gubb
Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Francis Fuster, Paul Simon, Okyerema Asante and Ray Phiri perform on stage.

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

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.

Miriam Makeba and Paul Simon.
Courtesy of Paul Simon Private Collection
Miriam Makeba and Paul Simon.
Joseph Shabalala, Miriam Makeba, Okyerema Asante, Paul Simon and Ray Phiri.
Courtesy of Paul Simon Private Collection by Luise Gubb
Joseph Shabalala, Miriam Makeba, Okyerema Asante, Paul Simon and Ray Phiri.
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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.

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