Netflix is delving into the history behind some of the most legendary names in music with ReMastered, an eight-part investigative docuseries from Emmy and Peabody Award-winning brothers Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist (The Two Escobars, Favela Rising), Triage Entertainment and All Rise Films.
Each of ReMastered‘s eight installments will roll out monthly on Netflix beginning October 12. Created by the Zimbalist brothers and helmed by directors Kief Davidson, Barbara Kopple, Sara Dosa, Brian Oakes, Stuart Sender, B.J. Perlmutt, Kelly Duane de la Vega and Sam Cullman, each episode seeks to reveal answers about seminal events in the lives of artists such as Bob Marley, Johnny Cash, Jam Master Jay and Sam Cooke. You can watch a first-look clip above.
The episodes include “Who Shot the Sheriff?”which probes the violent political suppression of the roots reggae movement in Jamaica and the CIA’s involvement in the mysterious shooting of Bob Marley. And “Tricky Dick and the Man in Black”, which focuses on Johnny Cash’s visit to the Richard Nixon White House and Cash’s political transformation that followed.
ReMastered is produced by Triage Entertainment and All Rise Films for Netflix. Jeff and Michael Zimbalist executive produce with Irving Azoff and Stu Schreiberg.
“We’re thrilled to be releasing the first season of ReMastered with Netflix,” said Jeff and Michael Zimbalist. “In creating a slate of investigative stories about music’s impact on society, our hope is that audiences tune in not only because they know and love the artists, but also because they come to trust the journalism and promise for new, meaningful insight.”
“I’ve long thought I heard just about every music industry tale but this team’s investigations, led by the Zimbalists, delved deeper than anything I’ve seen,” added Azoff, Chairman & CEO, Azoff MSG Entertainment.
Complete descriptions of each of the eight installments with premiere dates follow below.
“Who Shot the Sheriff?” – Launches October 12
Directed by: Kief Davidson (Open Heart, The Ivory Games)
The violent political suppression of the roots reggae movement in Jamaica told through an investigation into Jamaican politics and the CIA’s involvement in the mysterious shooting of Bob Marley.
“Tricky Dick and the Man in Black” – Launches November 2018
Directed by: Barbara Kopple and Sara Dosa (American Dream, Harlan County USA)
Concerned by a rising rock-n-roll influence on a growing liberal fanbase, President Nixon invited Johnny Cash to the White House to solidify his base in the traditionally more conservative genre of country music. What Cash did instead was subversive and surprised everyone. Cash’s political values had begun to take a new shape after his famed prison concerts at Folsom and San Quentin and this night marked the climax of his political transformation.
“Who Killed Jam Master Jay?” – Launches in December 2018
Directed by: Brian Oakes (Jim: The James Foley story, Abstract)
Run DMC’s Jam Master Jay was shot and killed in a Jamaica, Queens recording studio in 2002. Despite six witnesses present at the murder, no one has ever been convicted. This track steps into the murky world of hip hop in Hollis, Queens to understand Jay’s loyalties to his roots and investigate this iconic whodunnit.
“Massacre at the Stadium” – Launches in January 2019
Directed by: B.J. Perlmutt (Havana Motor Club)
Known as Chile’s Bob Dylan, Victor Jara was a fearless political singer who led the historic Nueva Cancion folk movement in Chili during the CIA-backed Pinochet dictatorship. Pinochet’s regime eventually would torture and kill Jara – along with 3000 others – in the National Stadium, for writing a song about the covert killings. The Chilean army official who was convicted of pulling the trigger and ending Jara’s life is living in hiding in Florida. He is convinced he can prove his innocence…and that’s where this story begins.
“The Two Killings of Sam Cooke” – Launches in February 2019
Directed by: Kelly Duane de la Vega (Better This World)
Sam Cooke was one of the most influential black musicians of the Civil Rights Movement and made a huge impact on the rights of black musicians, frustrating the white establishment. An investigation into the circumstances and controversy surrounding his murder uncovers a deeper question — did the record industry try to suppress the story of Cooke’s death? And to what extent did they suppress the politics of his life?
“The Miami Showband Massacre” – Launches in March 2019
Directed by: Stuart Sender (Harmony: A New Way of Looking at Our World)
In 1974, while on the way home from a gig, the apolitical rock group, The Miami Showband, fell into the crosshairs of a Protestant unionist paramilitary group that planted explosives on their bus when it was stopped at a fake checkpoint. The explosives detonated prematurely and the paramilitary group machine-gunned down the band. But bassist Stephen Travers survived. This film tracks Travers’ efforts and recent discoveries to tie the bombing and subsequent attacks to direct orders given by the British government.
“Devil at the Crossroads” – Launches in April 2019
Directed by: Brian Oakes (Jim: The James Foley story, Abstract)
The short, mysterious life of the most enduring legend of blues music, Robert Johnson, is one of elaborate myth. Johnson was said to have made a deal with the Devil at a crossroads in rural Mississippi, and many believe that everything the impassioned blues icon touched was cursed. This film examines more worldly interpretations of these myths and how they might explain the depth and beauty of later blues musicians who were heavily influenced by Johnson.
“Lion’s Share” – Launches in May 2019
Directed by: Sam Cullman (If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front)
This film tracks South African journalist Rian Malan’s journey to find the original writers of the legendary song “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” which earned more than 15 million dollars in royalties for American groups like The Tokens, Pete Seeger and the Weavers, as well as Disney. Malan discovers the original writer, a black South African named Solomon Linda, whose family currently lives in poverty in the slums of Sweto, didn’t receive royalties. Driven by his own guilt that his uncle was one of the architects of apartheid, Malan goes after businessmen in the US music industry to force them to pay their fair share to Linda’s family.