BlueHighways TV completed the purchase of the Americana Television Network assets, including the programming library and trademark, from Inspirational Media Properties, officials said Thursday.
The programming library consists of a number of original roots music entertainment series, documentary features about American culture and pastimes, as well as a unique collection of historic music videos from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.
“The BlueHighways team originally helped to create this evergreen programming for Americana Television Network, and so we are uniquely familiar with the value this footage holds and how we can refresh it for future generations to enjoy,” said BlueHighways TV chairman and CEO Stan Hitchcock in a statement. “The roots music and back roads travel offerings fit perfectly with our BlueHighways TV theme.”
Hitchcock served as chairman and CEO of Americana Television Network until December 1994, when the network was sold to Liberty Media.
Among the Americana library's programming assets is Reno's Old Time Music Festival, a 30-minute program hosted by Ronnie Reno, BlueHighways TV's co-founder and vice president of entertainment industry relations.
The series celebrates the rebirth of bluegrass music with riveting live acoustic performances by a number of bluegrass legends, including Mac Wiseman, The Osborne Brothers, John Hartford, Charlie Waller, Dr. Ralph Stanley and Doyle Lawson. Reno continues to produce the series, which was nominated for a CableACE award in 1994 for Best Musical Series, with new episodes airing on BlueHighways TV.
The Americana library also includes:
* Old Country Church - an inspirational tribute to American roots told through traditional, country and bluegrass gospel music and stories from church elders and historians. BlueHighways TV has also produced and aired new episodes of this series;
* Branson Jam – a program that features the stars of Branson, Mo. performing their full stage shows, including Kenny Rogers, Mell Tillis, Boxcar Willie, Dino, Louise Mandrell, Shoji Tabuchi, John Davidson, The Osmonds, Mickey Gilley, Jim Stafford and Eddie Rabbitt.
* Roadshow - a concert and special series that highlights full performances of Jerry Jeff Walker, The St. Louis Blues Festival, Eureka Springs Blues Festival, Fiesta San Antonio, Denton, NC Bluegrass Festival, The Austin Music Scene and unique adventures such as cattle drives.
* Americana Documentary - Regional videographers provide portraits of U.S. culture and pastimes. Among the episodes: "The Artist of…," a look at fine arts communities; "Who Did The Demo?" showcasing how songwriters go from muse to music; and "In Praise of The Family Farm," a look at modern farm life.
* Storyteller's Theater – a series in which professional raconteurs recount classic stories. This program continues on BlueHighways TV, and the acquisition adds historical footage to the series' library.
* Backstage Pass – viewers get an up-close look and backstage tours of Branson theater performances by artists such as Tony Orlando, Moe Bandy, Mel Tillis, Jim Stafford, The Osmonds, John Davidson and Roy Clark.
* Writer’s Notes - a lively conversation and acoustic presentation with songwriters about how they find inspiration. Guy Clark, The Bellamy Brothers, Bill Miller, Fred Knobloch, Roger Murrah and John Berry are among the featured artists.
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