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Documentary Film Highlights Hillbilly Band

The City of Springfield and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board will host Big Smith at a free concert Saturday night at Jordan Valley Park. The concert will be followed by the Springfield screening of a documentary film featuring Big Smith.

On on todays Morning Edition, KSMU's Mike Smith talked with Springfield Public Information Director Louise Whall, and "Homemade Hillbilly Jam" co-writer and editor Matt Sweetwood about the film.

The public is invited to enjoy a special evening of music and a movie featuring the Springfield-based Big Smith band beginning at 7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 12, at Jordan Valley Park.

Big Smith will perform a free concert at 7 p.m., Saturday, which will be followed by the Springfield premiere of the film "Homemade Hillbilly Jam," an 80-minute documentary featuring Big Smith that has been shown at film festivals in Europe, Canada and the United States.

This free event is hosted by the City of Springfield and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board as part of the annual series of summer activities in Jordan Valley.

The film's co-writer and editor Matt Sweetwood will attend the event and will be available for discussion after the film. The documentary was produced by a German-based company as an exploration of the modern "hillbilly" culture personified by the extended Bilyeu/Mabe families, whose roots include the Branson Baldknobbers as well as Big Smith.

A sample review of the film describes it this way: "(Homemade Hillbilly Jam) captures how an unyielding faith in music, family and religion keeps one family grounded enough in the past to ensure that their heritage and culture will have a future. Entertaining, enlightening and special." ... Winston-Salem, (N.C.) Journal

Co-sponsors of the event include MayApple Records, GO magazine, Bass Country radio 92.9 FM, and the Moxie Cinema. "Homemade Hillbilly Jam" will show at the Moxie from Aug. 23-Sept. 5.

The rain date for the event is Sunday, Aug. 13. Any updates will be posted on 864-1010 or

For more information, call 864-1010 or visit: or

For information, contact: Louise Whall, Director of Public Information, 864-1010 or 880-9151.