|Index||4 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This may wind up as my favorite episode in this 10-series set, only
because I love this period in rock 'n roll history and love the
performers that were featured in it. I grew up listening to these
On this disc, for instance, we hear Chuck Berry doing "Roll Over Beethoven;" Elvis Presley singing his famous "Hound Dog;" Carl Perkins, ditto for "Blue Suede Shoes;" Jerry Lee Lewis, "Whole Lotta Shaking' Going On;"
In addition are goodies like Buddy Holly's "Oh, Boy;" The Everly Brothers' "Bye Bye Love;" Roy Orbison's "Only The Lonely;" Danny And the Juniors' "At the Hop;" The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling;" The Ronettes "Be My Baby," and Ben E. King's "Stand By Me."
Orbison, by the way, was seen with light hair and no glasses! During most of "At the Hop" we saw the kids wildly dancing away on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand" TV show.
Discrimination against early rock stars - black and white - was shown. The "n-word" was used by people who were afraid their white kids were being poorly influenced by the black singers, whose rhythm-and-blues songs were the real beginnings of rock music. It was pointed out that this was the first time of separation between kids and parents regarding music. (Yeah, I can relate - my father busted by first Elvis LP in half and gave me my money back!)
As Don Everly of the Everly Brothers comments, "the first five years of rock n' roll were really tough on the performers. Parents, the media, religious and social groups - about every adult, it seemed, was dead set against rock 'n roll and banned it wherever they could. The singers and musicians didn't have it easy." . We are shown a short video in which some junior high school parents give us a demonstration (and they are serious) of how kids should NOT for school - leather jackets, tee-shirts, tight skirts, dropped earrings, etc.) Looking at it today, It's pretty funny.
By the way, what rock song did both kids and parents finally like?" Chubby Checker's "The Twist" in 1960. We are shown videos of old folks twisting the night away at "The Peppermint Lounge."
I found it also interesting to see Fabian again, and reflect on his days and what is was like as a "teen idol." The same goes for Neil Sedeka, who talks about about a building in New York City (the Brill Building) where songwriters were put in cubicles and told to crank out hit songs.....and, amazingly, they did!
As for a touching moment in this second episode, Carl Perkins gives a wonderful tribute to Elvis Presley. That's fitting, as Perkins was probably the nicest guy you'd ever want to meet. Sadly, he died shortly after these interviews. You could tell he was in trouble as his voice was a little raspy.
It was a wild, short era, and was about to become wilder when the British "invaded." However, that's the next episode.
The ten episode series of documentaries, "The History of Rock & Roll" moves along with momentum with the second episode, "Good Rockin' Tonight". The series really begins to hit it's rhythm after a first hour that works mostly as an introductory first act by comparison. Like the first episode, these sixty minutes crosscut legendary rock and R&B artists with archival footage, including some great hard-to-find live performances. This episode continues to explore America's racial issues that led to many white artists like Pat Boone re-recording songs recorded by black artists, as well as the continued importance of Chuck Berry and those famed Sun Records artists Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley.
This episode shows after the formative years, Rock n Roll becomes a
main stream media with more integration going on with white musicians
taking in black influence and vice a versa. There was still fear of
integration by the status quo, but Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and
Jerry Lewis crossed the racial barrier, and rock n roll music was
coming into mainstream America.
Rock n roll was still pretty much an American phenomena in the '50s, and as rock n roll gained wide acceptance, producers and composers were writing for both black and white artists. Most notable of these producers was Phil Spector. With his many hits and introduction of Ronettes, rock n roll music sees its first golden age.
As the '50s rockers stopped playing (Little Richard becoming a priest, Chuck Berry going to jail, Jerry Lewis marrying his teenage cousin, and Buddy Holly getting killed in a plane accident), early '60s rock gets filled with manufactured stars such as Bobby Vee, Fabien, Rick Nelson, Paul Anka, and Niel Sedaka in which America was about to get a wake up call from a country across the Atlantic.
Far superior to "The History of Rock 'n' Roll Vol. 1", in both depth and
style. With deep interests in early rock groups, Volume 2 is a must for all
This excellent documentary most definitely puts it's pre-quel in it's shadow.
A must for any music fan.
|Ratings||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|