“Because genius isn’t enough, it takescourage to change people’s hearts.”
Oleg Malakhov in “Green Book”
In the early 1960s, black entertainers risked violence on the road, especially in the South. Don Shirley and Tony Vallelonga knew the dangers but embarked on their tour anyway, challenging Jim Crow just by traveling together.
By all odds, “Green Book” shouldn’t even exist. Everything about the film is unlikely, from the friendship that it depicts to the team that crafted it. Yet it’s a hit and boasts five Academy Award® nominations, including Best Picture.
Anthony “Tony Lip” Vallelonga lived an only-in-America story. With the help of the Vallelonga family, Viggo Mortensen was able to evoke the late actor’s humor and spirit with uncanny accuracy.
Known for an eclectic roster including such chart-topping pop acts as the Everly Brothers and Andy Williams, Cadence Records released many albums of Don Shirley’s unique blend of classical, jazz and pop and helped him get on the pop charts.
Piano prodigy Kris Bowers may have had the toughest job in movie music for 2018: re-create the music of Don Shirley starting from only the original recordings, teach Mahershala Ali a musician's movements and write the film’s original score.