Year: 2015

Eagle Rock Films for Smithsonian Networks

Duration: 50 minutes


Written, Directed and Produced by:

Alan Ravenscroft

Editor: Matthew Longfellow


Director of Photography: Graham Day


Supervising Producer: Peter Worsley


Executive Producers: Terry Shand & Geoff Kempin


Huddie Ledbetter was born into poverty, battled racism, and did time, but in spite of his early hardships, or perhaps because of them, he became one of the great musicians of the 20th century. We trace the life and career of Lead Belly, a man praised by critics and revered by artists, whose unique music crossed a host of genres and influenced countless industry legends, from The Beatles to Led Zeppelin to Nirvana and beyond.


See how his talent, humanity, and determination defeated all that stood in his way to make his voice heard, then and now.