Based on the all-girl swing bands of the 1940’s, it was a time of war, heroism and women liberated by high-energy music in the face of male domination.
Loosely based on the story of Tobey Butler, a white female sax player raised in the South by a musical black family, Sweethearts of Rhythm features an era rich in story for a new generation and nostalgia for the old.
Winning a spot in a fledgling, all-black and all-female local band in 1943, Toby Wilson befriends the bandleader, Ina Mae Wilson, and the pair go on to create the “Sweethearts of Rhythm”, the first female big band. Booking tours that traveled the nation—including the segregated South—the band becomes an international sensation (as well as an artillery target) when they win a spot on a USO tour in German-occupied France.
In addition to dodging artillery shells, KKK aggression, and over-sexed tour managers, conflict between band members cause irreparable rifts and the reveal of an ugly family secret that threatens the future of the group.