I met Beth Harrington at the Portland Creative conference last year where we were both honored to be speakers, and we clicked immediately. I knew she would make a great guest for my podcast, and last week I had the pleasure of interviewing her on All Access Radio.
Beth is an independent producer, director, writer, singer, and guitarist. Her love for American history, music and culture has led to a series of award-winning and critically acclaimed films including her most recent film, The Winding Stream, The Carters, The Cashes and the Course of Country Music.
One of the questions I ask all of my guests at the beginning of each show is who have been your mentors along the journey to your success? Beth’s were a handful of women, not necessarily well-known, who went out of their way, early in her career, to nurture, encourage and support her. She commented that while she didn’t fully appreciate them at the time as the concept of mentorship was not common then, their influence undeniably helped her become the balanced, objective person and filmmaker she is today.
Mentors are often the unsung heroes of our success, and Beth has a special talent for telling the story of the unsung hero – people we never hear about but who have rich, multi-dimensional and impactful lives. During our conversation we talked at length about her experience in filming The Winding Stream, and the Carter family, who’s legacy is widely unknown but who were responsible for “launching the 1000 ships” that launched country music. She shared her experience meeting Johnny Cash during the filming, just three weeks before his passing, and meeting Janette Carter (June Carter’s cousin), who is the keeper of the family legacy. Without this film an important part of music’s history would likely be lost, and I encourage everyone to watch it.
We also discussed; her fascination with religion and spirituality and the making of her film, The Blinking Madonna – the “miracle”, the controversy and media frenzy that followed, how it affected her personally and transformed her life; why she considers Mister Rogers to be a holy man; the absolute importance of balanced, objective, journalism and integrity; and the lost concept of critical thinking.
Tune in here for the entire interview and learn what Beth is up to next!