Off the Charts: The Song-Poem Story
Independent Lens Season 4

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Episode Info

"Off the Charts: The Song-Poem Story," a wry exploration of the industry in which record producers set amateurs' poems to music and record them (for a fee, of course). Included are interviews with producers, performers, observers and people who have submitted their poems for musical adaptation. And there's a sampling of the results (examples include "Non-Violent Tae-kwon-do Trooper" and "I Am a Ginseng Digger"). Most songs are "in one ear and out the other," says musician Ellery Eskelin (the son of a song-poem "auteur"). But, he adds, "There's the 10 or 20 percent that are from another planet."

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