Deep Ellum Blues (1985)

About the Film

Deep Ellum is a place -- a part of Dallas, Texas. Deep Ellum, along with its legendary music scene built by the likes of Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Willie Johnson, Lead Belly, and Bill Neely, all but disappeared with the construction of Central Expressway in the 1950s. This film is one of three short films in the Living Texas Blues series which explores the 1920\'s and 1930\'s night life in Dallas through the music of Bill Neely. For more information, see Alan Govenar, Meeting the Blues: The Rise of the Texas Sound (Da Capo, 1995) and Alan Govenar, The Early Years of Rhythm and Blues (Schiffer Publishing, 2004).

The Deep Ellum Community Center opens in the fall of 2023. When You Go Down in Deep Ellum brings to life the history of Deep Ellum through themes that span 150 years – Migration, Music, Business and Commerce, and Art and Culture – and highlights Deep Ellum’s vast musical legacy with a listening room and operational 78 rpm recording studio – the first of its kind in the nation.

For an in depth look at Deep Ellum and North Dallas' Freetown, Folkstreams recommends Kevin Pask's Deep Ellum Blues, in the internet journal Southern Spaces.


For licensing, film rights and permissions, contact Alan Govenar, the distributor Documentary Arts, Inc., or Folkstreams.