Jamboree (1957 film)
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Mexican movie poster
|Directed by||Roy Lockwood|
|Produced by||Max Rosenberg
|Written by||Leonard Kantor
Jerry Lee Lewis
|Music by||Neal Hefti|
|Edited by||Robert Broekman|
|Distributed by||Warner Brothers|
Jamboree, known as Disc Jockey Jamboree in the United Kingdom, is the name of a black and white 1957 rock and roll film, directed by Roy Lockwood. Its story is about a boy and girl, Pete Porter and Honey Wynn, played by Paul Carr and Freda Holloway, who become overnight sensations as a romantic singing duo who run into trouble when their squabbling managers, played by Kay Medford and Bob Pastine, try to turn them into solo acts. Against this backdrop in cameo performances appear some of the biggest names of rock and roll in the 1950s lip-syncing to their recordings.
Jamboree is a film that was built upon the popularity of a name which at the time was becoming associated with rock and roll music and it appears to have derived its name from a show starring disc-jockey Alan Freed that began airing over Radio Luxembourg in 1956 (the year before this movie was released). Freed recorded his featured segment while working for WINS in New York City. A great rivalry developed during this time between Alan Freed and Dick Clark who appears in this film. Freed was the pioneer of rock and roll movies (Rock Around the Clock; Don't Knock the Rock; Rock, Rock, Rock), however, Congressional Hearings into payola practices and radio broadcasting eventually ruined Freed's career, while Clark's career continued uninterrupted.
Jamboree was essentially a music film in the manner of music videos that followed many years later on MTV where the storyline was secondary to the musical performances, with the amateurish acting taking a definite back seat to the musical performances. However, this movie is of historical importance due to the cameo performances by various musical acts that are featured.
Included in Jamboree are Buddy Knox, who performs "Hula Love", a no. 9 hit on the Billboard pop singles chart; Jimmy Bowen, who performs "Cross Over"; Dick Clark acting as the host for a show within the film, which was released shortly after first appearing as host of American Bandstand on TV; Fats Domino, who performs "Wait and See"; Charlie Gracie (who became an even bigger hit in the UK than he was in the USA), who performs "Cool Baby"; Jack Jackson (British bandleader who acted as the disc jockey host of the Decca records show on Radio Luxembourg; Jerry Lee Lewis (who belts out "Great Balls of Fire" in a version that is different from the Sun 45 release); Lewis Lymon and the Teenchords; Jack Payne (another British band leader); Carl Perkins (who sings "Glad All Over"); Jodie Sands, who performs "Sayonara"; Frankie Avalon, who sings "Teacher's Pet"; Slim Whitman, who gathered a tremendous following in Europe, who performs "Unchain My Heart"; Aaron Schroeder in a cameo role as the Songwriter; The Four Coins, who perform "A Broken Promise"; and, Count Basie and his Orchestra, featuring Joe Williams on vocals. Connie Francis overdubbed her vocals for Freda Holloway.
Brazilian singer Cauby Peixoto has a cameo appearance in the film under the name "Ron Coby". Cauby had a brief rock and roll phase is in his career, recording "Rock'n'Roll in Copacabana".
The film's premise for Perkins' performance, during which he plays a Gibson Les Paul Goldtop with a Bigsby tremolo bar, which ostensibly occurs in a studio used by "Pop Records", is that he is "cutting (a record) at 2:30. He rarely ever uses all of his time." Pete and Honey, "America's Sweethearts", are to use Perkins' unused time. The Carl Perkins band consisted of Carl Perkins on vocals and lead guitar, Jay Perkins on rhythm guitar, Clayton Perkins on upright bass guitar, and W.S. "Fluke" Holland on drums. Perkins was initially reluctant to appear in the film, but did so for the $1,000 it would earn him. He was given the choice of performing "Glad All Over" or "Great Balls of Fire", and thought "both of 'em was junk", but performed "Glad All Over", leaving "Great Balls of Fire" for Jerry Lee Lewis. Released as a single in November along with the movie, Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls of Fire" was number 2 on the national charts for four weeks. Perkins' "Glad All Over" sank "without fanfare". "Glad All Over" was recorded by The Beatles, however, who performed the song in their concerts and first on the BBC program Pop Go The Beatles on August 20, 1963. The Beatles recorded a second version of "Glad All Over" for the Saturday Club program at London's Playhouse Theatre, which was broadcast on August 24, 1963. George Harrison and Paul McCartney sang the lead vocals. The Beatles Pop Go The Beatles version appeared on the Live at the BBC collection. John Lennon and Paul McCartney also based their 1964 composition "I'll Cry Instead" for the movie A Hard Day's Night, on Carl Perkins' version of "Glad All Over". The Jeff Beck Group also recorded Carl Perkins' version of "Glad All Over" on the 1972 album, Jeff Beck Group, produced by Steve Cropper. Brian Setzer recorded "Glad All Over" on his 2005 album Rockabilly Riot!: Volume One. George Harrison sang lead on "Glad All Over" when it was performed on the 1985 HBO/Cinemax cable concert special "Blue Suede Shoes: A Rockabilly Session". "Glad All Over" was more suitable to Carl Perkins' style than "Great Balls of Fire". "Glad All Over" backed with "Lend Me Your Comb" would be the last single released on Sun Records by Carl Perkins in 1957. In an ironic twist, Carl Perkins' "Glad All Over" became one of the most well-known and most influential songs to emerge from the movie.
Dick Clark is the host of the "second hour" of a "United Charities" Telethon to raise money to fight what is described only as "this dreaded disease". Clark is listed as a DJ for WFIL Philadelphia in the credits (at the time this was filmed, he was also hosting the original Philadelphia edition of what eventually became American Bandstand). Clark introduces a number of disc jockey's from across the US and Canada. These DJs then introduce the featured stars. Later in the film DJs in Europe: Jack Jackson (ATV) and Chris Payne (BBC) in London, England; Werner Goetze (Bayerischer Rundfunk) Munich, and Chris Howland (Westdeutscher Rundfunk) Cologne, Germany are shown introducing "Pete and Honey" records on the air. Finally, performances are the entertainment at a "Music Operators" convention supper. Music Operators of America was an influential group of jukebox owners. In 1950 there were fifty-five hundred jukebox operators servicing four hundred thousand jukeboxs in the US. They bought 150 records a week, while the average phonograph owner bought fewer than 10 per year.
- "Doo-Wop". Tracy_prinze.tripod.com. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- Go, Cat, Go! by Carl Perkins and David McGee 1996 Hyperion Press pages 253-254 ISBN 0-7868-6073-1
- "Glad All Over". The Beatles Bible. Retrieved 2013-07-12.
- Hank Williams: The Biography By Colin Escott, Contributor William Macewen, George Merritt. 2004. Back Bay. page 137; ISBN 0-316-73497-7