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Ring-a-Ding Rhythm! (1962)
"It's Trad, Dad!" (original title)

Approved  |   |  Musical, Comedy  |  September 1962 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 213 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 4 critic

The hero and heroine want to popularize a trad jazz in their town. Some older people feel displeased about a trad jazz, and prevent their trying. The hero and heroine go to London ... See full summary »


(as Dick Lester)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Helen Shapiro ...
Craig Douglas ...
The Brook Brothers ...
Chubby Checker ...
Del Shannon ...
Gary U.S. Bonds ...
Gene Vincent ...
The Paris Sisters ...
The Dukes of Dixieland ...
Chris Barber ...
Chris Barber's Jazz Band ...
Ottilie Patterson ...
Acker Bilk ...
Himself (as Mr. Acker Bilk)


The hero and heroine want to popularize a trad jazz in their town. Some older people feel displeased about a trad jazz, and prevent their trying. The hero and heroine go to London television studio to ask trad jazz musician to support their trial. Written by Rena Okada <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The newest, most frantic fad! - a jazzed-up, mixed-up musical that's got "trad", dad!


Musical | Comedy


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

September 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ring-a-Ding Rhythm!  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?


Helen Shapiro receives an "introducing" credit. See more »


When Acker Bilk's band is playing "In a Persian Market", the drummer twice hits the cymbals, yet we never hear it. See more »

Crazy Credits

"and introducing Helen Shapiro" See more »


Lonely City
Written by Geoff Goddard
Performed by John Leyton
See more »

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User Reviews

The Way Rock Movies Should've Been!
13 April 2001 | by (Hollywood, CA) – See all my reviews

I first saw this movie as "Ring-A-Ding Rhythm" in 1963 and have revisited it several times since. "It's Trad Dad" was Richard Lester's first film, and many of the humorous and surreal touches he later brought to the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" are clearly in evidence here. This British film essentially borrows the basic plot of all those terrible 1950s American rock 'n' roll movies: The mayor and town council try to banish the music that young people are listening to, so the kids try to get major disk jockeys and musical artists to come to town for a liberating concert. But Lester and writer Milton Subotsky (who wrote the earlier U.S. film "Rock, Rock, Rock") spoof the plot throughout and acknowledge that the main appeal of this type of film was that it presented musical performances by charting artists in the days before MTV. The only drawback is that when "It's Trad Dad" was shot in late 1961, trad jazz (known as Dixieland in the U.S.) was sweeping England, which means we're treated to a seemingly endless series of British retro-jazz cats like Acker Bilk and Chris Barber. Fortunately, a couple of Yank expatriates, Del Shannon and the great Gene Vincent, were having second careers in the U.K. at the time, so Lester worked them into the story. (Gene Vincent's performance of "Spaceship to Mars" itself recommends this movie.) Lester also had the presence of mind to fly to America to shoot several cutaways of U.S. artists like Chubby Checker (who was on the verge of storming the U.K. with the Twist), Gary "U.S." Bonds, the Paris Sisters (with soft-focus attention paid to enchanting lead singer Priscilla Paris) and Gene McDaniels, although their material is not up to par with their earlier hits. But the real star of the show is the sense of fun that Lester brings to the proceedings. The scenes literally crackle with wit and energy totally lacking in the earlier Alan Freed/Sam Katzman-style rock films. Topping it all off is the amateurish but utterly charming leading lady,15-year-old Helen Shapiro, whose foghorn singing voice and giant beehive hairdo easily steal the show. Though Shapiro was a big pop star in England at the time, she never clicked in America, which is too bad because she made some very effective records. (After starring in a second film, "Play It Cool," with Bobby Vee and Billy Fury, her singing career went into decline.) "It's Trad Dad" is ultimately an interesting museum piece that captures the British entertainment industry in its last innocence before the Beatles arrived. Not only would Richard Lester go on to direct their two films, but Helen Shapiro would headline their first big tour--during which Lennon and McCartney wrote "Misery" for her. "It's Trad Dad" is highly recommended despite all the Dixieland music.

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