SOURCE: Ryko Filmworks

November 07, 2006 17:08 ET

Ryko Filmworks to Release the 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition DVD/CD "Say Amen, Somebody" on January 30, 2007

Marks the DVD Release of This Legendary Documentary Film Exploring American Gospel Music

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 7, 2006 -- In support of February's Black History Month, Ryko Filmworks will release George T. Nierenberg's critically acclaimed documentary film about American gospel music, "Say Amen, Somebody." The 25th Anniversary deluxe edition features the glorious film in its entirety along with newly-recorded director's commentary, photo essay and theatrical trailer, deluxe hymn-book packaging, a special booklet featuring essays, lyrics and rare photos and a 15-song companion audio CD of the original live soundtrack. The CD will also be available for purchase separately. Both are set for release January 30, 2007.

Originally released in 1982, "Say Amen, Somebody" is a heart-warming and uplifting film that captures the lives and careers of some of gospel music's most luminous artists including Thomas A. Dorsey, Willie Mae Ford Smith and her long-time rival Sallie Martin, the Barrett Sisters and Zella Jackson Price. Roger Ebert said of the film, "'Say Amen, Somebody' is one of the most joyful movies I've ever seen. It is also one of the best musicals and one of the most interesting documentaries. And it's a terrific good time." And The New York Times raved, "The beauty of gospel music comes shining through in 'Say Amen, Somebody,' a rousing documentary..."

Directed and produced by acclaimed filmmaker George T. Nierenberg ("No Maps on My Taps," and "That Rhythm...Those Blues"), the film focuses on two of gospel music's pioneers, "Mother" Willie Mae Ford Smith, one of gospel's first soloists, and "Professor" Thomas A. Dorsey, hailed as the Father of Gospel Music. In scenes leading up to a St. Louis tribute to Mother Smith and to an annual Gospel Convention in Houston, we learn firsthand about the early days of Gospel, its development, the real challenges that faced its founders -- particularly the women -- and the humanity of those who felt compelled to answer a calling to spread the gospel through this powerful, soul-grabbing, transcendent and utterly joyful musical form. The Barrett Sisters, the O'Neal Twins and others deliver absolutely luminous performances in this film that can't help but leave the viewer moved and downright uplifted.

"Say Amen, Somebody" is a feel good, inspirational movie for all to enjoy. Full of humanity, tenderness and grace that would make "even a tone-deaf atheist say 'amen!'" Time Magazine.

Available January 30, 2007


Ryko Filmworks produces and markets soundtrack albums for specialty and independent films and is an offshoot of Rykodisc. Founded in 1983, Rykodisc was the world's first CD-only label and is the company that "reinvented the reissue." Ryko Filmworks, Rykodisc and their sister company Ryko Distribution are all headquartered in New York City and are subsidiaries of Warner Music Group. For additional information please visit

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