Jimmy Carter: Rock and Roll President

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Jimmy Carter the 39th President of the United States, had great taste in music, and was not afraid to use it. The charming, lightweight celebration of Carter’s affinity for the likes of the Allman Brothers and Bob Dylan is full of endearing testimony from many of the musicians who were pivotal in helping Carter secure the youth vote, although the title is something of a misnomer: The Georgia peanut farmer who stormed the White House liked gospel, jazz, and country, too. His eclectic interests spoke to the complexity of a leader who to this day remains under-appreciated in those terms, and as the movie embraces the warmth and creativity of Carter’s mind through the music, it’s a nice reminder of American leadership with sincere interests at heart.

“It was the Allman Brothers who put me in the White House,” Carter says, recalling the Allman’s efforts to raise awareness for Carter’s candidacy. And they weren’t alone: A young, energetic Bob Dylan makes one of his rare on-camera appearances to call Carter his best friend, singling out the way the former Georgia governor invited the singer to his mansion to show sincere gratitude for his work. Their dynamic was a reciprocal one, as Dylan says he first realized his music had permeated the establishment through the politician’s support, and Carter explains that Dylan’s music helped the busy leader bond with his children.

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