By Monique Gooch
NASHVILLE, TN — A new Mahogany Hallmark story was launched on February 23 that took place right in the heart of Nashville. The movie follows Naima and Damian, as they meet and begin to get close with each other, sharing their love for music and their desire to leave their respective marks on the world. Naima moves to Nashville to uncover secrets about an undiscovered music group. Starring Andrea Lewis, Pooch Hall, Stan Shaw and Roz Ryan. With cameos by Curt Chambers, Ruben Studdard and Nashville’s own The Shindellas. Several scenes from the movie were filmed at the National Museum of African American Music.
The leading man in the film, Pooch Hall plays the role of Damian. Hall says he got the role because Senior Vice President of Hallmark Toni Judkins from Hallmark and executive producer Silvia Mathis were trying to work with him. “It was just a matter of availability and feeling that I was right for the part of Damian. That’s what Silvia said. She said she felt I was Damian.”
Hall said what made him want to do the film was finally getting able to come into music from our perspective, “dealing with our culture and going in on how deep it is from where it originated from in a sense. And how important it is to where we find the history of music that kind of manifested itself into songs today.”
Unfortunately, Hall himself is not musically oriented, although the actor says his daughter Jada loves to sing and that his father was musically talented. “My father was very musically inclined. He played the guitar and the harmonica. He tried to get me to play the drums, but it was a little too boring. I was too busy cutting up and making people laugh and role playing.”
The film also features The Shindellas. The Shindellas comprise of three beautiful, talented women: Kasi, Stacy and Tam. The group said their favorite part of the movie was writing the songs. “It was so much fun working with Carvin Haggins. We actually were in separate places [when writing the songs], Stacy was on cruise, I was on a family trip, and Kasi was home. It was so much fun because we always wanted to write this way in this capacity, so it was a great opportunity and we had so much fun.” said Tam. The Shindellas play the role of the musical girl group, The Loving Cups in the film. All musical vocals were done by them. You can find their music anywhere music is served, just type in the Shindellas. “Grammy award winning songwriter/producer Carvin Haggins scored the entire film,” said Senior VP of Hallmark Media Toni Judkins.
The film is called “A Nashville Legacy” when asked what the word “legacy” meant to Hall, The Game actor responded with, “I think legacy is important because it’s who you are. And the work that you’ve put in in your name and a lot of people may take legacy for granted, meaning I think certain choices in life, you want to make sure you’re making good choices because sometimes a good choice can define you and sometimes a bad choice can define you depending on how it can impact a situation.” Hall followed up with, “you just want to make sure you’re putting the best version of you out there and that also manifests itself into choices and how you carry and present yourself and whatever happens from that, that is how you start to define your legacy. Because what happens is people start to take notice of that and then they want to have you be apart [of it], invite you back, or [want you to] show them what you did, and they want to put that on display. So, I definitely think legacy is important because it is something that you can be remembered by and defined by.”
Since the film deals with Black music and upholding Black legacy and how to keep that legacy alive, Hall said, we’ve been fighting for a long time for equality and legacy is important when people finally listen, and we get an opportunity. “We don’t want to regret them giving us an opportunity or a platform by coming off looking and acting crazy or taking advantage of an opportunity. I feel when we’re given an opportunity, that’s the chance to be great and show greatness [and] to show, here is why we should’ve had the equality we deserved way back when. There was a lot of greatness that came out of history that we had to fight for. I want to fight to keep working and achieving greatness, but I don’t want to have to fight to prove myself to get the opportunity. I want to show greatness at every opportunity I can. So I think that’s important to Black people, when we get an opportunity to be great.”
The film is a feel-good movie that is family friendly, and can be enjoyed by all. People can expect laughs, music, and of course Nashville pride. “I think people are going to leave this with a feel-good feeling knowing that something was done that was a little shady, but it doesn’t mean we can’t make that wrong right and we’re going to see what it means to fight for family and to make sure that people are held accountable and to make good on something,” says Hall.
Senior Vice President of Hallmark Media, Toni Judkins also said, “What I hope people walk away with is they like the love story, they appreciate the musical story and they get an understanding of the rich music history that were putting forth is authentic to us, so it feels like a hallmark movie and it feels like all the richness that is the mahogany brand and that it feels really, truly authentic to us.”
Be sure to check your local listing to see A Nashville Legacy if you missed it on Sunday, February 26, 2023. Or visit online at https://www.hallmarkmoviesandmysteries.com/schedule.