IMAX Film to Showcase Country Music’s Rich History

A host of country stars are part of a new large-format film being shot by Nashville video director Steven Goldmann, reports The Tennessean. The 45-minute movie is the fictitious story of an Irish boy’s time-travels through the history of country music, with stops centering on subgenres of the music including honky-tonk, rockabilly, bluegrass, gospel, western swing, mountain, countrypolitan and contemporary country. In vignettes, Martina McBride sings Patsy Cline’s hit “Walkin’ After Midnight”; Alan Jackson does his rendition of Hank Williams’ “Hey Good Lookin'”; Vince Gill lifts up his voice in a country church for the gospel gem “How Great Thou Art”; Tim McGraw, clad in leather, does a send-up to the Outlaw Movement as he runs from police on a motorcycle; and western outfit Riders in the Sky do a silent-movie tribute to yodelling cowboys. Near the end, the Irish boy — portrayed by 12-year-old Austin Stout — stops at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, where a cast of more than 25 singers performs the Carter Family classic, “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” Artists appearing in the film include the Dixie Chicks, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Dwight Yoakam, Kathy Mattea, Trisha Yearwood, Lyle Lovett, Guy Clark, Joe Diffie, Sara Evans, Ricky Skaggs, Earl Scruggs, Alison Krauss, Asleep at the Wheel, SHeDAISY, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, LeAnn Rimes, Billy Gilman and Jessica Andrews. The Byrd’s Roger McGuinn also makes an appearance in one scene. Marty Stuart, President of the Country Music Foundation, appears and will host a companion video for students to be used as a study guide in conjunction with the film. The movie will premiere next June at the Opry Mills IMAX Theatre in Nashville as part of Fan Fair festivities and will remain there as a “destination” film for Nashville tourism. It will also be released next fall at 45 to 60 theaters nationally and will eventually be shown worldwide at some 130 IMAX theaters. As yet untitled, the movie is a joint venture of Gaylord Entertainment Company and director Goldmann.