GRAMMY-winning producer/actress and former Recording Academy Los Angeles Chapter Board member Deborah Raffin died Nov. 21 following a battle with leukemia. She was 59. As an actress, Raffin landed several starring roles in films such as 40 Carats (1973), Once Is Not Enough (1975) and Death Wish 3 (1985), among others, and TV series incuding "Haywire," "Noble House" and "7th Heaven." In 1985 Raffin launched Dove Books-On-Tape with her then-husband, producer Michael Viner. The company published several audiobooks, including Stephen Hawking’s bestselling A Brief History Of Time and Norman Cousins' Anatomy Of An Illness and The Healing Heart. Raffin earned the sole GRAMMY of her career in 1993 for Best Spoken Word Album For Children as a credited producer on Audrey Hepburn’s Enchanted Tales. Raffin also served as executive producer on additional albums and reissues by artists including Howlin' Wolf, Lightnin' Hopkins and Sarah Vaughan, among others.
For many music buffs, studying the rich history of recorded music can uncover a wealth of information, inspiration and entertainment.
The latest resource in this endless deep dive into our past is PBS' insightful look at the earliest days of American recordings, aptly entitled "American Epic." This newest historical exploration, which comes on the heels of another PBS series, the successful "Soundbreakers," focuses on the 1920s and incorporates original photos and video with new interview and performance footage to create an undeniable link between modern music and a sometimes overlooked era.
At the helm of "American Epic" are two familiar names: T Bone Burnett and Jack White, both multiple GRAMMY winners and each former honorees at The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing GRAMMY Week celebration.
A three-part historical documentary, the first episode spotlights the significant role the original Carter Family and Will Shade's Memphis Jug Band played in advancing the culture and influence of rural and urban music, respectively. The second episode takes a look at how music provided a refuge in difficult times, from gospel church to the coal mines of West Virginia and cotton fields of Mississippi.
Narrated by Oscar winner Robert Redford, "American Epic" will air in full on PBS May 30, followed by "The American Epic Sessions" on June 6. A commemorative DVD is available for those wishing to own this precious piece of American music history.
— Lionel Richie (@LionelRichie) August 18, 2015
i think we are all born for different roles, different purposes. none of them of lesser or more value than the other.
— Alanis Morissette (@Alanis) August 15, 2015
— The Band Perry (@thebandperry) August 19, 2015
One year ago today, 'Shake It Off' was released and I told you my album would be called 1989. Just.... Thank you. For everything.
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) August 18, 2015
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In light of the recent attack in Manchester, U.K., The Recording Academy joins the rest of the music community in sending our heartfelt condolences to everyone impacted by this tragic event.
"As details continue to unfold, we remain deeply saddened by the tragic event that took place last evening in Manchester," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "Our community of music creators will band together, as we always do in the face of adversity, to continue to make and offer music that forms the soundtrack of our everyday lives, and which continues to provide inspiration — and hope — to so many. Our sincerest condolences go out to the victims, their families and everyone impacted by this horrific act."
My thoughts, prayers and tears for all those affected by the Manchester tragedy tonight. I'm sending all my love.
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) May 23, 2017
every musician feels sick & responsible tonight—shows should be safe for you. truly a worst nightmare. sending love to manchester & ari
— Lorde (@lorde) May 23, 2017
Sending love to the U.K., @ArianaGrande and all of her supporters who were caught up in this awful attack. Heartbreaking.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) May 23, 2017
No words can describe how I feel about what happened in Manchester. I don't wanna believe that the world we live in could be so cruel.
— Bruno Mars (@BrunoMars) May 23, 2017
I am so saddened to hear the news about what happened @ #ManchesterArena...Sending prayers to all & their families during this trying time
— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) May 23, 2017