|Big Band Magic: Press Release|
KQED Public Television Revives Dance Hall Nostalgia with "BIG BAND MAGIC!"
One-Hour High-Definition Special Looks at Bygone Era
with Music, Memories and More
San Francisco, CaliforniaIn the early 1900s, war and the Depression melted away when the big bands started to play, and a generation forgot their troubles on the dance floor. Electric, elegant, thrilling and fun, the dance hall became the only way to spend Saturday night. Those same dance halls and ballroomslike the El Patio at Market and Van Ness, the Mural Room in the St. Francis Hotel, Sweet's Ballroom in Oakland, among othersonly live in memories, until now.
Premiering on Saturday, March 1 at 6:30 p.m. (and repeating Monday, March 3 at 8 p.m.), KQED Public Television 9 and Digital Television 30 will bring these memories to life with Big Band Magic! This new special celebrates a historic era, with never-before-seen archive films and photos, classic music and dance sequences that recall the spirit of the age, the program tells a story that has remained untold for far too long. Narrated by KQED personality Greg Sherwood, the program will revive the memories of an entire generation and treat younger viewers to a glimpse at a fabled period in Bay Area history as a new generation of dance enthusiasts keep the music and dancing alive.
"I danced my way through World War II in San Francisco," one woman recalls in Big Band Magic!
Taped in high-definition television, Big Band Magic! is the latest in a series of KQED specials taped and broadcast with new digital technology. It follows Lonely Island, Hidden Alcatraz and Sin, Fire & Gold: The Days of San Francisco's Barbary Coast, as well as national broadcasts of Great Performances "The Merry Widow from San Francisco Opera" and "Lar Lubovitch's Othello from San Francisco Ballet" (coming in June). The technology gives viewers who tune in to HDTV sets a crisp presentation of the program with unparalleled clarity.
"KQED is pleased to announce the premiere of our seventh locally produced high-definition television program, Big Band Magic!," said John Boland, KQED's executive vice president and chief content officer. "KQED has invested in converting all of our broadcast and production facilities to digital technology in order to better serve Northern California in this new digital age of broadcasting."
"As more people upgrade to digital television sets and cable providers begin to offer HDTV transmission, KQED is producing and acquiring an array of HDTV and standard digital programming for our multi-channel digital television service."
The Big Band Magic! Web site (kqed.org/bigband) will feature explorations into the big band music and dance culture of the time, as well as four popular Bay Area dance halls. Visitors also will be able to watch bonus footage from the program and take a swing-dancing lesson from local instructors.
Big Band Magic! is an original production of KQED. The production team is comprised of Bud Gundy (producer), Rick Butler (director), Hanna Lin (associate producer), and Norm Levy (editor). Kurt Mendelsohn is the executive producer. DeAnne Hamilton is the vice president and television station manager.
KQED operates KQED Public Television 9, the nation's most-watched public television station, and Digital Television 30, Northern California's only public television digital signal; KQED Public Radio 88.5 FM, the most listened-to public radio station in the nation; the KQED Education Network, which brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and media professionals through workshops, seminars and resources; and kqed.org, which harnesses the power of the Internet to bring KQED to communities across the Web.