Cinedigm Partners With Quincy Jones’ Qwest TV to Launch Music Channel on Cineverse

Cinedigm has inked a partnership with Quincy Jones’ Qwest TV to bring the linear channel to its flagship streaming service Cineverse.

Qwest is a free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channel focused on jazz, blues, soul, funk and global music. The channel curates content from concerts, documentaries, interviews and archive films. Programs available on the streaming channel include interviews and documentaries with performers such as Gregory Porter, Anderson Paak, Questlove, Erykah Badu, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Carl Cox, Marcus Miller and Miles Davis.

“Qwest TV will bring Cineverse viewers an experience of high-end and diverse music, with top content spanning ‘from bebop to hip-hop’ jazz,” Reza Ackbaraly, CEO of Qwest TV, said in a statement.

Qwest TV joins a growing lineup of FAST channels and on-demand TV shows and films available on Cineverse. They include Screambox TV (horror) and RetroCrush (anime), The Dove Channel (faith & family), Shout! Factory TV (comedy), Gusto TV (food), Crime Hunters (true crime), AsianCrush (pan-Asian), The Bob Ross Channel, The Elvis Presley Channel, Johnny Carson TV and The Carol Burnett Show, among others.

“Quincy Jones is an icon in the music industry, and we can’t wait for fans to discover and experience his hand-picked, premium music content for themselves,” added David Chu, EVP & GM, Cinedigm Networks.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

‘We Are the World’ Commemorated 35 Years Later

Participants, family and fans gathered Jan. 28 at Studio “A” at Henson Studios (formerly A&M Records and the original Charlie Chaplin Studios) on La Brea Avenue in Hollywood, Calif., to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the recording of the song “We Are the World,” which over the years has raised millions to feed the hungry.

“We Are the World” producer Ken Kragen, Gina Belafonte (daughter of “We Are the World” organizer/artist Harry Belafonte), singer Dionne Warwick, and USA for Africa board president Lloyd Greig unveiled a commemorative plaque to be placed at the studio. The plaque reads, “On January 28, 1985, 45 superstar recording artists checked their egos at this door and joined together as one to record ‘We Are the World.’ 35 years later, the people’s anthem they created has raised over $100 million for USA for Africa. The song still lends a helping hand.”

As part of the celebration, Stadium Media has just released a documentary We Are the World: The Story Behind the Song to digital outlets, including Amazon Prime Video, FandangoNow, Google Play, Vudu and TubiTV. It is also available on InDemand on Cox and Comcast.

At the event, participants shared stories of the genesis and experience of creating the song. It was a call from legendary performer Harry Belafonte, who wanted to raise money to fight hunger in Africa, that got Kragen involved. In addition to lining up the performers, Kragen enlisted Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson to write “We Are the World” and Quincy Jones — who famously put up a sign at the studio to “check your egos at the door” — to produce.

“It seemed impossible,” Kragen recalled at the event. “We did that in five weeks. We put this whole thing together in five weeks from the day I got the call from Harry Belafonte. One of my philosophies is that it’s easier to accomplish the impossible than the ordinary, and the reason is people pay attention when you’re trying to do the impossible.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

It also helped that the recording was done the night of the American Music Awards.

“It got all the artists in town and we didn’t have to worry about getting them here, and they all came in their limos from the American Music Awards, one after the other, and I was standing out here welcoming people,” Kragen said. “A guy pushed his way through the crowd in a leather jacket and he came up to me and said, ‘Hey, I got a great parking place across the street on La Brea.’ It was Bruce Springsteen.”

Dionne Warwick, who also drove herself to the recording studio, recalled, “I had never seen as many limousines lining La Brea.”

“Quincy Jones wanted Dionne Warwick to be part of this song — and I specifically remember him telling me this — because she was such a great singer,” Kragen recalled. “He said, ‘We’ve got to have Dionne. She has just a fabulous voice.’”

Follow us on Instagram

The limos and crowd of luminaries weren’t the only surprises for Warwick that night.

She recalled, “Quincy said, ‘Guess who your duet partner’s going to be?’ I said, ‘Who?’ And he said, ‘It’s Willie Nelson’ — which was quite a surprise to me, but it was a wonderful duet as it turned out.”

Gina Belafonte also related a funny anecdote her father told her about the night: “Stevie Wonder needed to find the restroom, and when he needed to find the restroom, I believe he asked Ray Charles. And I believe it was Ray Charles that guided him to the restroom.”

On a more serious note, she said her father, who could not attend the plaque unveiling, “finds great reward in what USA for Africa has been able to do with the proceeds” from the recording of that song 35 years ago.

Cold War Doc and Thrillers Coming on DVD From Mill Creek in April

The documentary Minutes to Midnight: The Cold War Chronicles and a six-in-one DVD of Cold War Thrillers are coming to DVD plus digital in April from Mill Creek Entertainment.

Minutes to Midnight: The Cold War Chronicles is a documentary filmed over a two-year period that deals with the early years of the Cold War and one of the U.S. Air Force formations that stood on the ramparts of the free world. The DVD also includes 15 government propaganda films from the 1950s featuring narration and appearances from Glenn Ford, Edward R. Murrow, Lowell Thomas and John Wayne.

Cold War Thrillers includes six films about the period. Man on a String (1960) stars Ernest Borgnine, Kerwin Mathews and Alexander Scourby and was directed by Andre De Toth (House of Wax). The Deadly Affair (1966), directed by Sidney Lumet, features James Mason, Maximillian Schell and Simone Signoret with a score by Quincy Jones. Otley (1968), directed by Dick Clement, stars Tom Courtenay and Romy Schneider. A Dandy in Aspic (1968), directed by Anthony Mann, stars Mia Farrow, Laurence Harvey and Tom Courtenay with a score by Quincy Jones. Hammerhead (1968), directed by David Miller, features Peter Vaughan, Vince Edwards and Diana Dors. And The Executioner (1970), directed by Sam Wanamaker, stars George Peppard, Joan Collins, Oscar Homolka and Judy Geeson.