Make ‘em Dance: The Hackberry Ramblers Story (2003)

About the Film

The legendary Hackberry Ramblers served up a spicy blend of Cajun music mixed with western swing, classic country, blues and rockabilly, with a dash of Gulf Coast swamp pop. MAKE ‘EM DANCE: The Hackberry Ramblers’ Story is the story of the band's incredible 70-year odyssey. Between playing venues ranging from a crawfish boil to MTV, these real-life "soggy bottom boys" recall the wild and woolly early days of life on the road and live radio: touring in a 1928 Model-A over unpaved marsh roads and shows in honky-tonks where, according to lead vocalist and guitarist Glen Croker, "they checked if you were carrying a knife, and if you didn't have one, they gave you one." Produced by John Whitehead and Ben Sandmel and narrated by Billy Joe Shaver, the program first aired in 2004 on the PBS series Independent Lens. Featured subjects include Rodney Crowell, folk experts Barry Ancelet, Nick Spitzer, and Arhoolie Records founder, Chris Strachwicz.


For licensing, film rights and permissions, contact John Whitehead, the distributor, or Folkstreams.

Film Details

  • Film by: John Whitehead
  • Produced by: John Whitehead, Ben Sandmel
  • Cinematographer: Matt Ehling
  • Editor: John Whitehead
  • Other Credits: Narrated by Billy Joe Shaver
  • Funding: Vetter Communications Corporation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Louisiana Division of the Arts
  • Original Format: Betacam SP
  • © 2003 Fretless Films
  • 53mins, Color
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