New to VOD this week:
SYL JOHNSON: ANY WAY THE WIND BLOWS
DOC NYC, Big Sky Doc, Montclair, BlackStar, Nashville, Florida, Newport Beach, Sidewalk, Indie Memphis, Sound Unseen, Cork, Doc ‘n Roll
A retired, overlooked soul singer finds new opportunities when his song is embraced by a new generation of musicians.
The film screened at DOC NYC, for which our program notes read:
Despite a couple of minor hits, soul singer Syl Johnson retired from the music industry in the 1980s, never quite having achieved the success for which he longed. But with the dawn of hip hop came the unexpected, widespread embrace of his 1967 song “Different Strokes” – sampled by artists as diverse as Run-DMC, Michael Jackson, the Wu-Tang Clan, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, A$AP Rocky, Kid Rock, En Vogue, Usher, and Kanye West, among many others – and new opportunities for the savvy performer emerged, as detailed in Rob Hatch-Miller’s lively chronicle of the ups and downs of Johnson’s career.