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Go, Johnny, Go! (1959)

 -  Musical  -  June 1959 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 246 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 2 critic

Rock-n-roll promoter Alan Freed holds a talent search to develop a new rock star, then must find the elusive, mystery contestant (Jimmy Clanton) who doesn't know he has won.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Freed ...
Jimmy Clanton ...
Johnny Melody
Sandy Stewart ...
Julie Arnold
Jackie Wilson ...
The Cadillacs ...
Jo Ann Campbell ...
The Flamingos ...
Harvey Fuqua ...
Himself (as Harvey)
Eddie Cochran ...
Jimmy Cavallo ...
Himself (as Jimmy Cavalio and the House Rockers)
Herb Vigran ...
Bill Barnett
Harold Arnold
Barbara Woodell ...
Mrs. Harold Arnold


Rock-n-roll promoter Alan Freed holds a talent search to develop a new rock star, then must find the elusive, mystery contestant (Jimmy Clanton) who doesn't know he has won.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You know- like I mean- it's way out!







Release Date:

June 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dai Johnny dai!  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Flamingos are known mostly for their R n B ballads. In 1959 their mellow version of "I Only Have Eyes for You" became their biggest hit,though in this film their versatility is evident as they perform only upbeat numbers such as "'Jump Children". See more »


References Son of Paleface (1952) See more »


Performed by Chuck Berry
Courtesy of Chess Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Required viewing for fans of early rock and roll
27 March 2006 | by (cramlington u.k.) – See all my reviews

In what was to be his last movie,legendary 50s DJ Alan Freed(1921-1965), 50s DJ Alan Freed,once again presents us a host of early rock and roll stars,hung together with a threadbare perfunctory plot(just as in "Rock Rock Rock","Rock around the clock" and "Dont knock the rock").Shot at the Hal Roach studio in Culver City Los Angeles(where Laurel and Hardy once romped)in January 1959,"Go Johnny go" is one of the most interesting and enjoyable of the early rock films.Chuck Berry features,not just as a performer but an actor as well,he's seen hanging out with Freed,accompanying him it appears wherever he goes!As was usual in Freed's cheap and cheerful films,the rock and roll stars on display are some of the best.The movie has the only big screen performance of Richie Valens,who died very shortly after he filmed this appearance,in the notorious 1959 plane crash,which also claimed Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper.Another tragic rocker here is Eddie Cochran,a car accident victim about a year and a half after he made the film.The story,such as it is,concerns Freed's desire to make a star out of a talented nobody-this means we get a lot of crooning from lanky teen idol Jimmy Clanton,playing the aforesaid nobody(the "Johnny" of the title).I can never make up my mind about Clanton,he was competent actor,though he is certainly surrounded by his betters as performers in the line up here.

Look out for scene with Alan Freed jamming on drums along with Chuck Berry and his group on the marvellous "Little Queenie",Freed looks like he's having a ball.Sadly the good times were not to roll much longer for Freed as personal and career problems mounted.He became embroiled in the payola scandal and was pursued relentlessly by the tax man.Dropped from his TV and radio shows,moving to the west coast to get work,his drinking was turning him into a serious and sick alcoholic,he died broke,killed by Uraemia in 1965.

Performers(alphabetical)- Chuck Berry-"Go Johnny go","Little Queenie" "Memphis Tennessee" The Cadillacs-"Jaywalker","Please Mr Johnson"(They may have been the poor man's Coasters,but they're great here,acting out their song stories on the stage in a club). Jo-Ann Campbell-"Momma can I go out?" Jimmy Clanton-"Angel face","It takes a long time","My love is true","Ship on a stormy sea" Eddie Cochran-"Teenage Heaven"(watch Eddie dance with his guitar!) The Flamingos-"Jump children"(a performance of breathtaking exuberance) Harvey Fuqua-"Don't be afraid to love me" Sandy Stewart-"Heavenly father","Playmate"(the last one a perky piece performed in a recording studio) Sandy Stewart/Jimmy Clanton-"Once again" Richie Valens-"Ooh my head""(performed for Freed and his pals and a tiny group of teens) Jackie Wilson-"You'd better know it"(Wilson,a reliable showstopper as always-and one of the coolest rockers ever.If you've seen stills or clips of Jackie performing in front of a silly coffee pot with a face backdrop,this is where it's from!)

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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