Behind The Music - Season 1

Sunday 9:00 PM on VH1 Premiered Aug 17, 1997 In Season




Episode Guide

  • Behind The Music: Nas
    From the Queensbridge projects to seven consecutive platinum albums, Nas is cemented as one of the greatest hip hop artists of all time.
  • Behind The Music: Gym Class Heroes
  • Behind The Music: Carrie Underwood
    Watch Behind The Music on Sunday at 9/8c.
  • Gloria Gaynor
    Gloria Gaynor
    Episode 39
    This is a profile of disco singer Gloria Gaynor, who topped the charts with the women's lib anthem, 'I Will Survive'. After a near-fatal accident on stage, and the savage beating murder of her younger sister, Ms. Gaynor became a born-again Christian, and we hear how she coped with weight problems, the disco drug scene, and other indignities. Her husband/manager and other friends and family are on hand to lend their thoughts.moreless
  • Harry Chapin
    Harry Chapin
    Episode 38
    Here is the story of folk-rock singer/songwriter Harry Chapin, who set short stories to music, and landed a #1 pop hit with "Cat's in the Cradle". He was a stauch advocate of the socially disenfranchised, but died young in a car accident July 16, 1981, while on his way to a benefit concert.moreless
  • Jan and Dean
    Jan and Dean
    Episode 37
    This is the story of the popular '60's surf-rock duo which saw one member suffer life-threatening injuries in a car wreck.
  • Gloria Estefan
    Gloria Estefan
    Episode 36
    This is the uplifting story of the Cuban-born pop/adult contemporary singer who battled back after suffering devastating spinal injuries in a tour bus accident. Gloria also discusses her father's death, the birth of her son, and her involvement with charities involved with hurricane Andrew.
  • Tony Orlando
    Tony Orlando
    Episode 35
    This is the story of Tony Orlando, the soft pop singer and '70s variety show host who went into a downward spiral, then became born again, after losing his best friend, Freddie Prinz. We hear Tony talk candidly about his bout with cocaine addiction, and the loss of his sister to cerebral palsy.moreless
  • Def Leppard
    Def Leppard
    Episode 34
    This is the story of British pop metal band Def Leppard, which released such multi-platinum albums as Pyromania and Hysteria. Despite selling over 20 million albums during the '80's, the excessive liquor, sex, and drugs took a devastating toll. Here we learn how the group coped with the death of guitarist Steve Clark, and the car wreck which took the left arm of drummer Rick Allen, who continues to record and perform despite his handicap. This part of the story is relived in graphic detail, even recreating the accident, which Rick calmly recalls, and we see interviews with the people who discovered him and saved his life.moreless
  • Train
    Episode 33
    "Watch Behind The Music on Sunday at 9/8c.
  • Robbie Robertson
    Robbie Robertson
    Episode 33
    The guitarist for The Band, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Robertson describes his career with the group. After a decade of critically acclaimed albums and tours, with drugs eroding the essence of what they were, Robbie disbanded the group. Their final performance captured by Martin Scorcese in the theatrical film The Last Waltz, they called it quits on Thanksgiving Day, 1976. Although the other members did regroup later, Robbie has taken his own path. Here he discusses his film scores, his solo releases, and his Native American Activism.moreless
  • Culture Club Reunion
    In a companion piece to the earlier episode about Boy George, the entire band reunites and plans a world tour. George and drummer Jon Moss talk together candidly about their personal relationship for the first time publicly.
  • Bonnie Raitt
    Bonnie Raitt
    Episode 31
    This is the story of Bonnie Raitt, the blues-rock singer/guitarist who battled alcoholism for years, then recovered to find mainstream success and critical acclaim in the 1990s. Her heartfelt and depressing, yet catchy songs strike a nerve with mass audiences today, but when she was a struggling blues artist in the 1970's, she was not given the respect she deserved, because of her gender.moreless
  • Keith Moon
    Keith Moon
    Episode 30
    Look into the life of Keith Moon, drummer for the legendary British rock group The Who, who suffered an early demise due to a drug overdose.
  • Studio 54
    Studio 54
    Episode 29
    This is the story of one of the most famous hot spots of the disco era. Co-owners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrader opened Studio 54 on April 26, 1977, and quickly created an atmosphere that was 'the' place for the in-crowd to be and be seen.
  • Frank Sinatra: News Special
    This 'phantom' episode was hastily assembled following the death, in May, 1998, of the legendary crooner and actor. 'Ol Blue Eyes' is, as VH1 states, arguably the most popular and influential musical figure of the 20th century. Only The Beatles, Elvis, and Bing Crosby could seriously rival him for the title. The story takes us from his childhood in Hoboken, New Jersey, to big success with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, then to the 'Columbia Years' of massive adoration as a solo artist. Beginning his recording career in 1939, Frank had his first number one hit in 1940, and was still releasing million sellers in the mid-90's. And, just as it was with Elvis, death didn't slow down his career one bit.moreless
  • Joe Cocker
    Joe Cocker
    Episode 27
    This chronicles the up and down career of the raspy-voiced pop-rock singer who endured a long, public battle with drugs, dropped out of music for several years, and overcame it all to look and sound as great as ever.
  • Ted Nugent
    Ted Nugent
    Episode 26
    This is a look at the outspoken hard rock guitarist and hunting activist. Ted started performing at 13, and became one of the biggest live draws in the mid '70's. Ted also tells us in no uncertain terms about his strong feelings toward sex and hunting, and against drugs, alcohol, and violence at rock shows. He is a political conservative, who repeatedly preaches family values and anti-drug messages. We are witness to some hypocritical statements, but whether right or wrong, Ted definitely has a strong opinion about virtually everything.moreless
  • Behind The Music: Game
    Behind The Music: Game is a VH1 documentary show featuring the rapper. Game grew up in Compton, California, and led a very dangerous life before becoming a successful west coast rapper. In this episode, viewers are shown how this unlikely candidate was able to turn his life around, and create multi-platnium records.moreless
  • Ozzy Osbourne
    Ozzy Osbourne
    Episode 25
    This is a look at the popular but troubled heavy metal icon and former lead singer of Black Sabbath, who battled drug and alcohol problems that nearly cost him his career and family.
  • Takin' It to the Streets
    This is a look at street musicians, featuring five segments, from L.A., New York, Chicago, and New Orleans. We see and hear some original music compositions, and stories about the experiences of the people who make it their life. The New Orleans portion features a profile of clarinetist Doreen Ketchens, and some performance footage of her in the French Quarter with trombonist Keith "Wolf" Anderson and others.moreless
  • Jefferson Airplane/Starship
    Here is the story of Jefferson Airplane, the '60s hip rock group that featured 'Wild Child' Grace Slick, and sang about mind-altering experiences. They underwent several lineup and format changes over the course of two decades. By the mid-'80s, they had evolved into the production pop group Starship. Since then, Paul Kantner has assembled the original Airplane several times, but Grace Slick vows never to be a rock star again.moreless
  • Selena
    Episode 22
    At age 23, Selena Quintanilla Perez was a Tejano superstar who was about to make her English-language crossover debut, which would propel her even further to global fame. Tragically, she was murdered by her fan club manager just before the album was to be released. We hear a gripping interview with her convicted killer, Yolanda Saldivar, and some emotional statements from her family members, husband, and manager.moreless
  • David Crosby
    David Crosby
    Episode 21
    This is the story of the folk-rock singer/guitarist and member of the Hall-of-Fame trio Crosby, Stills and Nash who faced severe legal and health crises due to his decades of drug abuse.
  • Rick James
    Rick James
    Episode 20
    This is about Rick James, the R&B/funk singer, whose outrageous behavior, both at live shows and offstage, led to his career decline, and cost him his freedom, due to a severe cocaine habit. Rick talks with complete openness about all phases of his life, and describes how prison actually saved him. He candidly states how, under the influence, he involved himself and his wife in the bizarre sex, kidnap, and torture incident of which he was convicted. We also hear from former girlfriend Linda Blair, his new wife Tanya, and some Motown executives.moreless
  • Jerry Lee Lewis
    Jerry Lee Lewis
    Episode 19
    The story of Jerry Lee Lewis, the Hall-of-Fame singer/songwriter/pianist, who faced a severe career backlash after marrying his 13-year-old second cousin, has been well documented. What is not as well known is all of the death and tragedy this man has suffered. He lost his second son in a swimming pool accident, and after divorcing, his first son died in a car crash. Still a giant in the early history of rock and roll, he turned to country to rebuild his career, which has now come full circle. Along the way, there is the obligatory foray into booze and pills, and he almost died from a bleeding ulcer in the 1970's, after which he checked in to the Betty Ford Clinic. Here he tells us in his own words, what he has endured.moreless
  • Willie Nelson
    Willie Nelson
    Episode 18
    This story of Willie Nelson, the country singer/songwriter known for his battles with drugs and long-standing fight against the IRS as well as his musical output, is one of longevity. When he had his first big hit, 'Redheaded Stranger', in 1975, he had already been in the music business for 32 years. Earlier he had worked as a janitor and a vacuum salesman. Then in 1978 he began his IRS battle, which culminated in him being charged with owing $10 million. He discusses all of those issues, and we hear from his friends and colleagues in the country music field.moreless
  • Gladys Knight
    Gladys Knight
    Episode 17
    The story of Gladys Knight, the legendary R&B singer/actress known for hits such as "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "Midnight Train to Georgia" and "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)", is not filled with the tragedies that have befallen many of her contemporaries, but she certainly has had her share of setbacks. She eloquently describes her bad marriages, racial barriers, and a big gambling addiction, all of which took their toll. She candidly discusses her first experience with racism, after winning a singing contest at age 7, a sexual assault suffered when 15, then a pregnancy and miscarriage at 16. She then goes into detail about her court battle with Motown, and another court battle in which she lost custody of her youngest son.moreless
  • Meat Loaf
    Meat Loaf
    Episode 16
    This episode features the corpulent singer/actor, who rose to fame in the 1970s and fell off the radar for two decades before incredibly rebounding in 1993, with the sequel to his successful album "Bat Out of Hell". His wife and daughters are interviewed, along with Todd Rundgren, producer, and other associated musicians. While not delving too deeply into the 'missing decade', following Meat's nervous breakdown, we see a triumphant return to superstardom after he reunites with "Bat" creator, Jim Steinman.moreless
  • The Mamas and the Papas
    This tumultuous 1960s folk-pop group, best known for hits like "California Dreamin'" and "Monday, Monday", rival Fleetwood Mac for it's internal romantic turmoil, and its members' battles with drug addiction. Even though John and Michelle Phillips are not speaking to each other, they each speak fondly and honestly about the relationships within the group. Everyone gets teary-eyed when discussing the memory of Mama Cass Elliot, and the myth surrounding her death.moreless
  • Sonny Bono
    Sonny Bono
    Episode 14
    This episode covers the singer/actor/comedian turned politician, best known for his association (both on and off stage) with Cher. Although Sonny couldn't read music, he wrote some classic songs. Shooting to fame after hooking up with then-16 Cher, the couple became household names. Their TV teasing became all too real bickering, and after they divorced, she went on to bigger stardom. Sonny regrouped, however, to open his own restaurant, and become mayor of Palm Springs. Tragically, he lost his life in a skiing accident, just six days before this episode aired.moreless
  • Carpenters
    Episode 13
    This is the story of the brother-sister soft rock duo that dominated the charts throughout the 1970s while one of its members hid a deadly eating disorder. Although Richard himself discusses an addiction to pain pills which he fought, the main thrust is the death of his sister, one of the smoothest and warmest pop female voices ever. Karen did not disclose the struggle with anorexia, which eventually led to her heart attack at age 32, in 1983. Olivia Newton-John and Dionne Warwick provide their viewpoints on one of music's sad losses.moreless
  • Jim Croce
    Jim Croce
    Episode 12
    Here is the story of Jim Croce, the singer/songwriter who died in a plane crash just before his best-known hit, "Time in a Bottle," was released. A loving, sensitive family man was Jim, and his wife and friends reminisce about his communal singing and playing sessions. There is not a dark side to Jim - some marijuana use for sure, but not a big problem like many other stars have to deal with. This makes it all the more sad that he died, and the timing couldn't have been worse for him.moreless
  • Andy Gibb
    Andy Gibb
    Episode 11
    This is the story of the handsome disco singer and younger brother of the Bee Gees whose life was cut short by drug use.
  • Lilith Fair
    Lilith Fair
    Episode 10
    This episode examines the all-female concert tour assembled by Sarah McLachlan. Included are interviews with many of the participants, who explain what it means to them, and why it is important to demonstrate that girls can sell out arenas and succeed against contemporary wisdom. Also featured is an impromptu dressing room jam session, and footage from some of the shows.moreless
  • Billy Joel
    Billy Joel
    Episode 9
    The career of popular New York-based singer/songwriter/pianist, Billy Joel, is spelled out here. Despite writing and recording enough hit songs to fill three greatest hits volumes, he almost went broke by signing away the rights to his songs, then getting swindled by his manager, a family member, to the tune of about $8,000,000.moreless
  • Teddy Pendergrass
    Teddy Pendergrass
    Episode 8
    This episode stars the sultry R&B singer who continued his career despite being paralyzed in a car accident. As he calmly and philosophically talks about growing up listening to soul legends, his success as a solo artist, and of course, his struggle to recover from the crippling 1982 accident. Though the narration features Teddy's appearance at 1985's Live Aid concert, he informs us that just being alive is far more important.moreless
  • Watch Behind The Music Remastered on Saturdays at 9/8c.
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd
    Lynyrd Skynyrd
    Episode 7
    The tragic plane crash that killed three member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the tremendously successful Southern rock band, is detailed here, with interviews from the surviving members and the families. Interestingly, there are issues about the conduct of the survivors in the moments immediately following the disaster, which led to internal conflict, and power struggles surrounding the reformation of the band into the touring force it is today.moreless
  • Watch Behind The Music Remastered on Saturdays at 9/8c.
  • Imagemakers
    Episode 6
    This episode examines the world of music photographers. Not the paparazzi, but visionaries such as Andy Warhol, some of the people who create the cover pictures for Rolling Stone magazine, and the German photographer who gave the Beatles their moptop hairstyles. We also hear about the conversion from stills to video, and the importance of album cover art.moreless
  • Nowhere to Hide
    Nowhere to Hide
    Episode 5
    This episode documents the gravity of stalking, and the menacing issues that celebrities must face. It takes a detailed look at the events leading up to the killing of John Lennon, and we hear from two real-life stalkers, who discuss what motivates them.
  • Fleetwood Mac
    Fleetwood Mac
    Episode 4
    The legendary rock group, known best for the classic multi-platinum album Rumours, experiences turmoil due to drug use and tumultuous inter-group romances.
  • Boy George
    Boy George
    Episode 3
    This is the story of the flamboyant British singer and frontman for the '80s band Culture Club, who battled heroin addiction following the breakup of the band.
  • M.C. Hammer
    M.C. Hammer
    Episode 2
    This is the story of the energetic rapper/dancer who sold millions after crossing over to the pop market, but later shocked all by filing for bankruptcy.
  • Milli Vanilli
    Milli Vanilli
    Episode 1

    This is the story of the photogenic dance pop duet that was disgraced after it was revealed that it did not sing on its album. Filmed just months before Rob Pilatus' death, his interviews eerily describe his despair and heavy drug abuse.

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