Rock, Rock, Rock!
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"Rock, Rock, Rock!" Made in 1956, this small-scale look at the then new phenomenon of Rock & Roll takes a page from the books of many of the big scale musicals made by Hollywood studios. Like them, the musical performances more than make up for the thin plot and occasional weak dialogue. The biggest bonus is that the last half of the film is all music, when Alan Freed brings his show to the hero's prom. Before the advent of music videos promoting record sales, this film is essentially a 76-minute commercial for the top Rock 'n' Roll and R & B artists of the time. Starring Alan Freed (at the peak of his power and influence as the man who actually coined the term "Rock 'n' Roll") it also marks the screen debut of Tuesday Weld - albeit that her singing was actually the angelic voice of Connie Francis. On Screen performances include those from Chuck Berry, Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers, The Johnny Burnette Trio, LaVern Baker and The Freed Band.
Bonus Material: The Alan Freed Story The dean of rock music historians, Michael Ochs, describes the 'innocence' of the early Alan Freed concerts when 50% of the audience was black and 50% white. He chronicles the rise and fall of Freed as the voice of Rock 'n' Roll and the payola scandal the ended the DJ's career. Veteran musician Red Holloway speaks of America's narrow-mindedness when radio stations across the country decided to destroy records of this Rock and R&B music they considered to be damaging to the morals of American teenagers. Cornelius Grant, Motown's Music Director for Marvin Gaye, Mary Wells and The Temptations, credits Alan Freed with giving legitimacy to R&B by taking it to the mass music market and dubbing it Rock & Roll. Singer Bobby Vinton describes from his own experience how records were turned into hits in these early days of the Rock Era. In 1986 Alan freed was among the original Inductees to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and, in 1991, he received the ultimate accolade of a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.
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If you don't know who Alan Freed is, it's time for you to do some research if you ever hope to define yourself as a devotee of rock.
BUT (I repeat, BUT) it is filled with some of the best 1950s rock and roll that you will ever find put together (and on film no less!)- Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, Chuck Berry, Johnny Burnette Trio, The Moonglows, Lavern Baker, etc.
When watching this movie, you will find that you will have to skip through the movie just to watch the rock and roll acts. But boy are they worth it!
Get this film for the great performances and music. There's nothing like seeing some 1950s rock and rollers in their prime!