It has been a long journey to complete this film. Since learning of the Rhythm Night Club fire in 2009, it has been an integral part of my personal as well as professional life. I have come to love my home away from home, Natchez Mississippi and the great residents who live there. There are many for without whom this documentary would not be possible.
Our journey began in 2009 while my daughter was at Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida. I had to make a trip to the local store and while on my way back to the hospital my radio happened to be on a low power A.M. radio station. They were discussing the blues musician Muddy Waters and how he was discovered by Alan Lomax. As their story went, Mr. Lomax was told that could find this young guitar player named Muddy Waters. He was “from a town near where that club burned down in the 40’s and killed all those people” I had never heard this story so my interest was peaked. I spent the next couple days in ICU with my daughter looking for the story. I didn’t know the exact town, just the general area of Mississippi.
After finally finding a small article from The Natchez Democrat I knew the name, The Rhythm Club. With 2 weeks in ICU, it gave me plenty of time to look up as much information on the event as possible, and there wasn’t much. I spent the next few months doing research on the fire. It became apparent and shocking that there had never been a documentary film on the subject. One of the names from the article in the Natchez Democrat was Darrell White of the NAPAC museum. NAPAC is the acronym for Natchez Association for the Preservation of Afro-American Culture. I told him my story and that I thought this story needed to be told in a documentary, he agreed. The rest is history.
Status of the film: For Sale
Director: Bryan Burch
Run time: 30 minutes