LPB has spent the last four months recording some of Louisiana’s most talented musicians for a new special called Sunshine by the Stars: Celebrating Louisiana Music. The show will premiere Sunday, December 9 at 7PM on LPB and WLAE-TV32 in New Orleans.
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne and Harry Connick, Jr. are partnering with LPB on the project which features Louisiana’s biggest music stars performing versions of one of Louisiana’s most popular songs, You Are My Sunshine, originally recorded by Governor Jimmie Davis. The show is being underwritten by BP.
“Louisiana’s bicentennial would not be complete without a musical extravaganza featuring our state’s most renowned performers.” Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said “This collaboration is the grand finale of a wonderful year of celebrating all things great about the place we call home.”
In addition to the musical aspect of the documentary, vignettes written by renowned author and journalist Chris Rose highlight the major industries of Louisiana including agriculture, ports and waterways, oil and gas and tourism.
Viewers will see Harry Connick, Jr. and his band second-lining through the French Quarter, the Rebirth Brass Band marching through the Lafayette Cemetery No. 2, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews performing with his band on the St. Charles Avenue streetcar and country music star Tim McGraw leading his audience in a spirited rendition of the song during his concert at the New Orleans Arena. As if that isn’t enough, you will also see Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Jerry Lee Lewis performing at his house in Memphis, Blues legend Buddy Guy playing at his club in Chicago and Cajun singer/songwriter Zachary Richard singing in French in Acadiana. Throw in a gospel version by the Zion Harmonizers at the St. James AME Church in New Orleans, Mickey Gilley at his theater in Branson, and Irma Thomas and Buckwheat Zydeco and you have a Louisiana “Dream Team” of musicians. Did we mention that Grammy winners Wynton and Branford Marsalis joined with their dad Ellis and brother Jason for a unique jazz version of the state song?
“BP is very pleased to partner with the Louisiana Office of Tourism, Louisiana Bicentennial Commission and Louisiana Public Broadcasting on this initiative to bring national attention to the rich musical heritage of Louisiana,“ BP’s Iris Cross said. “We are confident that this program will bring a renewed passion for Louisiana’s music and musicians, and raise awareness of other equally important elements of Louisiana’s natural beauty and vital economic resources.”
Here are all the videos from our contest:
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Check out some of the great photos from our taping and the premiere!