Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Bluestime Prime Hour Videotapes

Collection ID:
Coleman, Cinthea T., 1947-
McCracklin, Jimmy, 1931-
Kenner, Sonny
Shorty, Guitar
Stovall, Beverly
Physical Description:
1.6 Cubic feet
6 boxes

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
49 VHS videotapes containing the Bluestime Power Hour television shows. The programs document the music and culture of such local American blues musicians as Jimmy McCracklin, Sonny Kenner, Guitar Shorty and Beverly Stovall.

Collection is arranged into two series.
Series 1: Field Recordings,
Series 2: Broadcast Tapes, 1997-1998

The Bluestime Power Hour is a series of non-commercial documentaries designed primarily to showcase locally prominent blues musicians from around the country. The shows, produced during 1997 and 1998, include footage of live performances by the featured artists, and many include interviews with the performers.
The Bluestime Power Hour videotapes were the concept of Cinthea T. Coleman, an entrepreneur, music enthusiast and semi-professional producer. Coleman was born in Long Beach, California, in 1947. Her father was a chemical engineer, and her mother was a big band singer who preformed predominately with local northern California bands in the early 1940's. She was first exposed to blues and jazz music while growing up in Southern California. In the early 1970's Coleman met bass player Walter M. ABookie@ Booker, Jr., while he was recording the album "Inside Straight" with Cannonball Adderly and began a 9-year relationship with him. During this period she lived with Booker in New York and became acquainted with many blues and rock musicians.
After ending her relationship with Booker, she returned to California and eventually settled in the Central Coast town of Los Osos. With a friend, Dee Grayson, she formed Blues Diva Music Productions, a company that sold blues recordings over the Internet. As part of this venture, which subsequently folded, Coleman came upon the idea of using streaming technology to broadcast live or taped performances over the Internet. From this concept came the Bluestime Power Hour show.
The Bluestime Power Hour series was produced with a limited budget. The format of the half-hour shows is simple. The programs consist of live performance footage of the featured artist along with an introductory and closing comments by the shows host (usually Coleman). The shows often included an interview with the artist. Coleman began the series with performers from the Oakland/East Bay area. She subsequently took her production on the road, featuring artists from Kansas City, St. Louis and central California. Coleman hopes to expand The Bluestime Power Hour series to include musicians from Memphis, New Orleans and Austin, Texas, and to "ferret out" the remaining real Blues people, still living, playing and respected in their own neighborhoods. She is currently working on "Full Moon/Midnight Sky," a project devoted to documenting the music of white blues musicians, primarily guitarists.

Amanda Whitehead
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection donated by Cinthea T. Coleman, July 28, 1998.
Processing Information
Collection processed by Amanda Whitehead, intern and Midori Okazaki, intern; supervised by Scott Schwartz, archivist, 1999.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
The Bluestime Power Hour Videotapes, 1997-1998, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Copyright restictions. Contact staff for information.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Blues (Music) -- 1990-2000 -- United States Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
DVDs Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Music -- 20th century Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Television programs Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Videotapes -- 1990-2000 Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings -- 1990-2000 Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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