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Song by Song

Song by Song

  • Premiered: 
    October 7, 2012
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: Ovation
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Biography
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
  • Subject Matter: Musical
  • Tags:

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Plot Synopsis

Each season of SONG BY SONG documents the life of a different music legend, revealing the ups and downs of each artist's career through the lens of their most enduring hits. Using vintage photographs, archival footage, and interviews with artists, colleagues and friends, each song's story provides insight into the unparalleled drama of a passionate life and a bold career, while illustrating this remarkable artist's resilience, fortitude, love, and compassion. Each half-hour episode focuses on a different song, with the song title used as the episode name. The first season, JOHNNY CASH: SONG BY SONG, focused on these six songs from The Man in Black: "I Walk the Line," "Ring of Fire," "Jackson," "A Boy Named Sue," "Sunday Morning Coming Down" and "Hurt." Plus, the Johnny Cash series featured interviews with Billy Bob Thornton, Grace Potter, David Wild, Kris Kristofferson, Merle Haggard, Marty Stuart, Rodney Crowell, George Jones, Shooter Jennings, Chris Issak, Ben Folds, Shelby Lynn, Yelawolf, Justin Townes Earle, and many others. SONG BY SONG: DOLLY PARTON premiered on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 8:30pm ET/5:30pm PT on Ovation. The show's six-episode second season included Parton's most enduring hits: "I Will Always Love You," which Whitney Houston recorded; "9 to 5," the Oscar-nominated song; "Coat of Many Colors," often called her autobiographical song; "Jolene," ranked on the "Rolling Stone" list of 500 Greatest Song of All Time; "Travellin' Thru," the Oscar-nominated song from TRANSAMERICA; and "It's All Wrong," which was Dolly's seventh #1 country single as a solo artist. In addition to Dolly Parton, the series also featured interviews with many artists, colleagues and friends who have known and worked with her over the years, including Lily Tomlin, Kristin Chenoweth, Carrie Underwood, Kellie Pickler, Miley Cyrus, Mac Davis, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Rogers, Vince Gill, Brad Paisley, Janis Ian, record producer Kent Wells, recording executive Jody Williams, record producer Steve Buckingham, Dolly's band leader Michael Davis, director Duncan Tucker, singer/songwriters Lindi Ortega, Marty Stuart, Mindy Smith, Brandi Carlile and Jim Lauderdale, the Bluegrass group Grascals and biographer Alanna Nash. Ovation aired back-to-back sneak-peek episodes on Monday, March 4, 2013 at 8pm ET -- and repeated those two episodes multiple times throughout the week -- before presenting the same installments as the official series premiere on Sunday, March 10, 2013 at 8pm ET. Ovation premiered Season 3, SONG BY SONG: SHERYL CROW, on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 10pm ET/7pm PT. This four-episode season chronicled the life and career of Grammy Award-winning Sheryl Crow, focusing on these four hit songs: "Strong Enough," which makes a powerful statement about finding a partner who can truly be her equal; "If It Makes You Happy," her first hit after years of singing backup for other artists and contending with envious collaborators; "My Favorite Mistake," which is an intimate song about a past relationship, creating speculation over her unnamed muse; and "Redemption Day," inspired by her trip to war-torn Bosnia -- later recorded by Johnny Cash -- ultimately igniting her interest in recording country music. Interviewees include: Willie Nelson, Amy Grant, Rascal Flatts, Lissie, Jimmy Iovine, David Wild, Andrew Hampp, Scooter Weintraub, and Jeff Trott. On Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 10pm ET/7pm PT on Ovation, SONG BY SONG returned for its four-episode fourth season, focusing on the iconic band Blondie, currently celebrating its 40th anniversary. In Season 4, four of Blondie's biggest chart-topping hits --- "One Way or Another," "Heart of Glass," "Call Me," and "Rapture" -- are highlighted, with in-depth and behind-the-scenes insights from Debbie Harry, Chris Stein and Clem Burke of Blondie, as well as interviews with fellow music icons Iggy Pop and Joan Jett and NYC downtown legend Miss Guy. The season also includes new music acts, like Betty Who and Los Rakas, who have been influenced by Blondie.
Ovation premiered the two-episode fifth season of SONG BY SONG on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 10pm ET/7pm PT, as the new season highlighted Lindsey Stirling, a classically trained electronic violinist, dancer and composer, who has become an internet phenomenon. Stirling composes, choreographs and directs all of her original music and videos -- merging unique violin stylings and electronic dubstep beats with animated contemporary dance. Her wide array of videos are all available on her Lindseystomp YouTube channel, which rings in at over 5.5 million subscribers and has tallied over 760 million hits. Viewership is overwhelmingly enthusiastic: the ice-themed "Crystallize" has over 106 million views, her fiery "Elements" has over 49 million and the silhouette-performing "Shadows" has over 44 million. Her most recent album, "Shatter Me," debuted at #2 on Billboard's Top 200. Interviewees include: choreographer Laurianne Gibson; Lzzy Hale, the lead singer of rock band Halestrom; singer-songwriter Dia Frampton; Andrew Hampp from "Billboard"; David Wild from "Rolling Stone"; YouTube's Margaret Hart; Lindsey herself and her sister Brooke, as well as her drummer Drew Steen, her keyboardist Jason Gaviati and her tour manager Erich Jackson.


Other Titles

  • Season 1 title: Song by Song: Johnny Cash
  • Season 1 alternate title: Johnny Cash: Song by Song
  • Season 2 title: Song by Song: Dolly Parton
  • Season 3 title: Song by Song: Sheryl Crow
  • Season 4 title: Song by Song: Blondie
  • Season 5 title: Song by Song: Lindsey Sterling

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by TH Entertainment