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Smithsonian Channel To Debut Lead Belly Special

The Smithsonian Channel in February will premiere a documentary special on the life of legendary musician Huddie Ledbetter, otherwise known as Lead Belly, the network said Tuesday.

The special, debuting Feb. 23 as part of the network’s Black History Month lineup, The Legend Of Lead Belly follows the life of the iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee who battled through poverty and a post-slavery Louisiana to become one of the musical giants of the 20th century, according to the network.

The Legend Of Lead Belly features interviews with Van Morrison, singer/songwriter Judy Collins, Robby Krieger of The Doors, Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, and other musicians, who talk about how they were and are inspired by Lead Belly.

Legend Of Lead Belly  is produced by Eagle Rock Entertainment for Smithsonian Channel, said network officials.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.