With beautiful Arkansas photography and film clips, Song of Arkansas sings the often surprising praises of The Natural State and her people. Here you will meet the heralded and unsung heroes, the artists and athletes, the movers and shakers who have shaped Arkansas throughout her history. The 30-minute film takes you on an Arkansas culture and history tour, showing how the land shaped the music ... and how the music of the land shaped the people who give Arkansas meaning and its unique character. From the Ozark Mountains to the timberlands and from the delta prairie to the western frontier, this Arkansas film introduces you to the many areas of human endeavor upon which Arkansans have left their imprint.
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The film begins with an overall introduction to Arkansas and emphasizes the diversity of Arkansas culture through a tour of the music found in Arkansas and profiles of blues musicians, symphony orchestra conductors and country singers. Arkansans featured include: country singers Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Collin Raye and Tracy Lawrence; folk singer Jimmy Driftwood; R&B performers Louis Jordan and Junior Walker; William Grant Still, composer and first black conductor of a major U.S. orchestra; renowned opera conductor, Sarah Caldwell; and more. Also mentioned are the "Lum and Abner Show" and attractions such as Pine Bluff's Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame.
It continues with a glimpse of Arkansas's political figures, athletes and artists. Those mentioned include Arkansans such as: Hattie Caraway, the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate; influential U.S. Senators J. William Fulbright, Wilbur Mills and John McClellan; former President William J. Clinton; WWII General Douglas MacArthur; legendary football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant; baseball Hall-of-Famers Jerome "Dizzy" Dean and Brooks Robinson; basketball star Scottie Pippen; golf champion John Daly; writers John Grisham and Maya Angelou; Ebony publisher John Johnson; and many more. Also highlighted are the events pivotal to the civil rights movement that took place at Little Rock's Central High School during the late 1950s.
Arkansas's assets - from natural beauties such as the Buffalo National River and Hot Springs National Park to businesses such as Wal-Mart and Tyson - are emphasized in the closing segment of Song of Arkansas. Other Arkansas treasures mentioned include people such as William O'Darby, leader of the fearless Darby's Rangers during WWII, and the one-of-a-kind Crater of Diamonds State Park. The oldest settlement west of the Mississippi, Arkansas Post, and Judge Isaac Parker, also known as the "Hangin' Judge," are also included. The conclusion of Song of Arkansas shows the state is blessed with variety, but united "naturally."