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Watch PBS » | About WLRN TV » | TV Schedules » | Producing for WLRN »About WLRN Public TelevisionWLRN-TV Channel 17 is a PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) member station licensed to the School Board of Miami-Dade County, Florida. During an average month, Channel 17 reaches over 600,000 TV households in the Miami - Ft. Lauderdale area with a viewing audience in four South Florida counties, from Palm Beach to Key West. WLRN is South Florida’s leading PBS Ready to Learn station airing thirteen hours of award-winning children’s programming daily. WLRN-TV also presents the best of the PBS nationally recognized series to compliment locally produced content. Our prime time schedule features an eclectic array of arts, performance, science, and WLRN original documentary specials to address the diverse interests of the South Florida community.Printable Monthly Schedules »WLRN Original DocumentariesProducing award winning original programs remains a high priority for WLRN. Take a closer look at some of the incredible stories that we have had the pleasure of producing for our South Florida viewers.Learn More »

Deep City: The Birth of the Miami Sound

Deep City: The Birth of the Miami Sound

An Original Documentary from WLRN

Deep City: The Birth of the Miami Sound tells the story of how two musical geniuses created the first black-owned record label in Florida and changed the face of soul music in Miami forever.

Johhny's Records Store
Willie Clarke and Johnny Pearsall introduced Deep City Records right out of Johnny's record store located in the heart of Overtown.

This one-hour film explores the early days of soul music in Florida, the era’s pioneers and their lasting contributions to the broader American musical landscape.

During the mid-1960s two musical geniuses Willie Clarke and Johnny Pearsall created the record label called Deep City Records.  Both from the streets of Miami, Clarke and Pearsall honed their  business and musical skills learned in college. From the back room of Johnny’s Record Store located in Overtown, they went on to change the sound of soul music in Miami and eventually the country.

Helene Smith
Interviewed for the Deep City documentary, Helene Smith was the first female vocalist that Willie Clarke and Johnny Pearsall recorded.

It was Deep City Records that brought local talent to the forefront, including singers Helene Smith and Betty Wright, groups such as Frank Williams & the Rocketeers and Johnny Killens & The Dynamites, guitarist/singer legend Willie “Little Beaver” Hale and Willie Clarke’s songwriting partner and singer Clarence “Blowfly” Reid.

"Deep City" delves into the life and times of these groundbreaking producers, their label, the artists they spawned and the remarkable era in which they accomplished it.

Deep City: The Birth of the Miami Sound has been well received by notable film festivals, such as SXSW Film Festival in Austin, TX, Cleveland International Film Festival and Miami International Film Festival.

Air Dates on WLRN Channel 17:

Tuesday, September 23 at 9 p.m. PREMIERE


Thursday, September 25 at 9 p.m. | Friday, September 26 at 8 p.m. | Saturday, September 27 at 2 p.m. | Saturday, September 27 at 10 p.m.


You can purchase a DVD copy here* »

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