The Blind Boys of Alabama are a five-time Grammy Award-winning gospel group who first sang together in 1939. The Blind Boys have toured for seven decades, and created an extensive discography. In 2016 the on-stage configuration of the group consists of eight people: four blind singers—Jimmy Carter, Ben Moore, Eric “Ricky” McKinnie, Paul Beasley – guitarist and musical director Joey Williams, and a keyboard player, a bass player, and a drummer.
The Blind Boys of Alabama sing mainly spiritually uplifting songs, as well as giving encouragement to those with disabilities. In the words of one of the group’s blind members, Ricky Mckinnie, “Our disability doesn’t have to be a handicap. It’s not about what you can’t do. It’s about what you do. And what we do is sing good gospel music.
The feature trailer documentary “How Sweet the Sound: The Blind Boys of Alabama” tells the story of the Legendary gospel quartet The Blind Boys of Alabama, the award-winning gospel group that met at a state-run, segregated vocational institute for the blind in the 1930s, and have toured continuously, amassing five Grammy Awards and universal acclaim.
They soared through the golden era of gospel in the 1950s, experienced difficult times when rock ’n’ roll took over, and would eventually enjoy a resurgence. Now, as the group enters its seventh decade, they are as artistically vital as ever, collaborating with musicians like Peter Gabriel, Ben Harper, and others.
Directed by Leslie McCleave, and shot over a 10-year period, the film features the surviving group members recounting their unlikely success story, as we see a rare, remarkable view of life on the road and in the studio with a group of renowned performers.