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PBS documentary includes music written by Las Cruces musician/songwriter Randy Granger


“His contribution was very valuable to the film,” the editor of PBS’ upcoming film “American Buffalo” said about Las Cruces musician Randy Granger.

“It’s essential to our storytelling,” editor Craig Mellish said about the six songs written by Granger that Mellish picked for the two-part, four-hour film directed and executive produced by Emmy award winner and Academy Award nominee Ken Burns. “American Buffalo” premieres on PBS television stations nationwide in October.

Mellish said he began an online search for music for the film because nothing he had access to “had the weight I thought it should. The film is about the murder of 30,000 animals. It’s about everything that went with it,” Mellish said.

“They really speak to me,” Mellish said about Granger’s songs.

“Some of Randy’s stuff had tension to it.” 

Mellish said “The Dog Star” was the first piece of Granger’s music he found online.

“The song spoke to me,” Mellish said. “It had a haunting quality to it. It just worked perfectly,” he said.

“Let’s see if Randy has something else I can use,” Mellish said he told himself.

He found “a wealth of music that I could dip into,” and chose five other songs Granger had written: “Apache Tears,” “Crane Dance Song,” “Ghost Dancers,” “Comanche Riding Song” and “Full Moon Insomnia.”

“Whatever song I’m going to use, I have to love it,” Mellish said.

“I’ve watched many of Ken Burns’ documentary series and have always thought the music was such an integral part of the storytelling, not just background,” Granger said. “So when I heard from them about using some of my songs I was humbled and honored. My own Native American ancestry and my music in this film means I am honoring their sacrifices and perseverance and only hope I make them all proud. I remember driving from Hobbs to Carlsbad weekends to visit relatives. We would see herds of buffalo along the way. I never knew what happened to them. What an amazing story of despair and hope is ‘American Buffalo.’ Maybe our descendants will again see these majestic creatures who have been in North America over 200,000 years roaming free.”

Granger is an award-winning recording artist and performer.

Visit https://kenburns.com/films/the-american-buffalo/ and www.pbs.org/about/about-pbs/blogs/news/new-ken-burns-film-explores-history-of-the-american-buffalo/.  Also visit https://www.randygranger.net/.

Randy Granger, American Buffalo