A Singing Stream

This is a short preview trailer. You can watch the entire film at no charge on the Folkstreams website. Folkstreams is a nonprofit whose mission is to find, preserve, contextualize, and stream documentary films on American folklife.

Watch the entire film at Folkstreams

With interviews and stories, and scenes from daily life, reunions, gospel concerts, and church services, the film traces the history of the Landis family of Granville County, North Carolina, over the lifetime of its oldest surviving member, 86-year-old Mrs. Bertha M. Landis. Particularly featured are performances by her sons’ gospel quartet The Golden Echoes of such songs as "Troubles of the World," "Going up to Meet Him," and "The Old Rugged Cross," and family and church performances of "Mighty Close to Heaven," Come and Let's Go to that Land," and "There's Union up in Heaven."

This film was released in 1985. It is the first of two documentaries that follow the story of a gifted African American family from the rural South. The sequel The Singing Stream: Reunion (2016) follows the grandchildren into the 21st century.

  • Film by: Tom Davenport
  • Produced by: Davenport Films with Dan Patterson, Allen Tullos, and UNC Curriculum in Folklore
  • Cinematographer: Tom Davenport with Zach Kreiger and Tom Rankin
  • Sound: Allen Tullos with Barry Dornfeld and Brett Sutton
  • Editor: Tom Davenport and Marcia Neidley
  • Original Format: Film: 16mm
  • © Copyright 1986, Tom Davenport
  • 57mins, Color