Classic movie site with rare images (no web grabs!), original ads, and behind-the-scenes photos, with informative and insightful commentary. We like to have fun with movies!
Archive and Links
grbrpix@aol.com
Search Index Here




Friday, December 30, 2016

Rock and Roll In Early Bloom



Go, Johnny Go! (1959) Glows On DVD

Now why would I have gone to the Liberty for Go, Johnny Go! on April 20, 1963? Answer: it played with Rodan, the trailer of which I saw but days before at parent-endorsed (and accompanied) To Kill A Mockingbird, latter satisfactory enough for child-scares sprinkled throughout, but no match for thrill that was glimpse of Rodan. These were days when you'd sit through a bum feature for sake of the good one you paid admission for. Go, Johnny Go!, however, had rock and roll numbers one after another, which was OK if heard off transistor radio, but no visual match for dinosaur birds hatched from mammoth eggs. Still, there was one song that struck lightning, and set me upon neighborhood search for anyone who had the 45 platter. It was Please Mr. Johnson, by the Cadillacs, which I thought the niftiest tune since David Seville and the Chipmunks did Witch Doctor in 1958. That was all I'd remember of Go, Johnny Go! at the theatre until Kit Parker released a widescreen (and stunner) DVD of this 1959 jive-jumper near invisible for the fifty-seven years since. Parker you'll recall gifted us of late with When Comedy Was King, and here is more of much-fun same (seen his site? Great stuff there). Go, Johnny Go! was the sort of show that jammed Saturdays once upon spent times, reliving it as here an especial joy thanks to Parker transferring off the original camera negative and including audio commentary to enhance our sit.




Rock/Roll movies were miser cheap, except where majors took a dip with Elvis or satiric dissect of youth culture like The Girl Can't Help It. Triumvirate of experts Richard M. Roberts, Randy Skretvedt, and Brent Walker tell us that Go, Johnny Go! was shot in five days. Work ethic among low-budget filmmakers must have been immense. We could learn much from them beyond making of fast films. Go, Johnny Go! has oodles of acts on crisp B/W and wide (proper 1.85 for a first time since theatrical). There is Chuck Berry, Jackie Wilson, aforementioned Cadillacs, Eddie Cochran. Ill-fated Richie Valens gets a look-in but months before plane-crashing with Buddy Holly and others, he plus Cochran a remind that R&R often walked tandem with untimely death (yet Berry's still with us --- at 90). Ringmaster of these is Alan Freed, another of short life (d. 1965), but immortal as sandpaper reverse to clean-liver Dick Clark, who'd pick up marbles Freed dropped or threw away during mutual climbs to Big Beat summit.




My favorite R&R is better called RR&R, or fuller put, Raffish Rock and Roll, as in all of rough edges there, these performers sprung from the street w/ precious little of handling to sap out talent that made them distinctive. Remember politeness imposed on pop acts from early 60's on? I'd play my hard-acquired single of Please Mr. Johnson, then ponder my sister's latest Bobby Vee album, where he'd exalt orange as a favorite sweater color (and to think, Vee was promoted to ease loss of Buddy Holly). Go, Johnny Go! seems to me a last call for mastodons of music served raw till corporate sent small labels and their artists to extinct-ville. I'll take this over what came to displace it, Go, Johnny Go! a museum walk through rock and roll before dread harness was slipped round its throat. Trouble, of course, was corrupting smell of dollars this stuff gave off where marketed on big enough scale. A movie like Go, Johnny Go! just couldn't be made once big dogs joined the hunt. A wonder such stomped-out goods, with later-depleted talent (those partings plus Berry jail-bound on morals charge) kept playing at least NC houses right through mid-60's. Bet Go, Johnny Go! could be had for $10 by time it rode Rodan's back for me and youngsters who'd barely recall rock and roll when it was still big enough tent for all who first made it vibrate.

3 Comments:

Blogger Reg Hartt said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6D-XRnC7Fk
Neat.

3:22 PM  
Blogger radiotelefonia said...

Happy new year with something not seen in the United States.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sY9rUEbbUGk

12:39 PM  
Blogger Mike Stewart said...

I have fond memories of seeing "Go Johnny Go!" in a US Army post movie theater at Camp Kaiser in South Korea in 1960. It was just the sort of pick up us homesick and rock and roll loving young GI's needed in that dismal year. I was at the post theater nearly every night (5 single feature changes a week, 25 cents admission!) but I don't recall any film getting that strong a vocal reaction from the audience. The African American soldiers went wild when Chuck Berry and Jackie Wilson came on and we all booed when Jimmy Clanton started his insipid wailing. Of course any young female on the screen made us miss "the comforts of home" even more...if you know what I mean and I think you do. Looking forward to this restoration in the proper aspect ration at last! Thank you Kit Parker!

12:50 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

grbrpix@aol.com
  • December 2005
  • January 2006
  • February 2006
  • March 2006
  • April 2006
  • May 2006
  • June 2006
  • July 2006
  • August 2006
  • September 2006
  • October 2006
  • November 2006
  • December 2006
  • January 2007
  • February 2007
  • March 2007
  • April 2007
  • May 2007
  • June 2007
  • July 2007
  • August 2007
  • September 2007
  • October 2007
  • November 2007
  • December 2007
  • January 2008
  • February 2008
  • March 2008
  • April 2008
  • May 2008
  • June 2008
  • July 2008
  • August 2008
  • September 2008
  • October 2008
  • November 2008
  • December 2008
  • January 2009
  • February 2009
  • March 2009
  • April 2009
  • May 2009
  • June 2009
  • July 2009
  • August 2009
  • September 2009
  • October 2009
  • November 2009
  • December 2009
  • January 2010
  • February 2010
  • March 2010
  • April 2010
  • May 2010
  • June 2010
  • July 2010
  • August 2010
  • September 2010
  • October 2010
  • November 2010
  • December 2010
  • January 2011
  • February 2011
  • March 2011
  • April 2011
  • May 2011
  • June 2011
  • July 2011
  • August 2011
  • September 2011
  • October 2011
  • November 2011
  • December 2011
  • January 2012
  • February 2012
  • March 2012
  • April 2012
  • May 2012
  • June 2012
  • July 2012
  • August 2012
  • September 2012
  • October 2012
  • November 2012
  • December 2012
  • January 2013
  • February 2013
  • March 2013
  • April 2013
  • May 2013
  • June 2013
  • July 2013
  • August 2013
  • September 2013
  • October 2013
  • November 2013
  • December 2013
  • January 2014
  • February 2014
  • March 2014
  • April 2014
  • May 2014
  • June 2014
  • July 2014
  • August 2014
  • September 2014
  • October 2014
  • November 2014
  • December 2014
  • January 2015
  • February 2015
  • March 2015
  • April 2015
  • May 2015
  • June 2015
  • July 2015
  • August 2015
  • September 2015
  • October 2015
  • November 2015
  • December 2015
  • January 2016
  • February 2016
  • March 2016
  • April 2016
  • May 2016
  • June 2016
  • July 2016
  • August 2016
  • September 2016
  • October 2016
  • November 2016
  • December 2016
  • January 2017
  • February 2017
  • March 2017
  • April 2017
  • May 2017
  • June 2017
  • July 2017
  • August 2017
  • September 2017