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Alberta Hunter: My Castle's Rockin' (1988)

This music biography portrays the life of the legendary blues singer and songwriter Alberta Hunter. After 40 years of show business success beginning in the 1920's, Alberta became a nurse. ... See full summary »

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Credited cast:
Alberta Hunter ...
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Barney Josephson ...
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John Hammond ...
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Harry Watkins ...
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This music biography portrays the life of the legendary blues singer and songwriter Alberta Hunter. After 40 years of show business success beginning in the 1920's, Alberta became a nurse. Twenty years later, when the hospital thought she was 70, she was forced to retire. Still anxious to do something with her life, she returned to singing, to enjoy an acclaimed comeback. Her age was really 82! MY CASTLE'S ROCKIN' traces Alberta's remarkable career through the 20th Century, incorporating her best live performances from New York's famous downtown night spot, The Cookery. Ms. Hunter opened her personal archives to the producer for this documentary, sharing never before seen photos and other momentos from her celebrated career. The film features Alberta Hunter's final interview before her death in 1984; plus interviews with her manager, nightclub entrepreneur Barney Josephson; her record producer, the legendary John Hammond, and others. Written by Stuart A. Goldman

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Documentary | Music

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1 August 2001 (USA)  »

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A lesson in how to live.
2 May 2006 | by (Vancouver, BC, Canada) – See all my reviews

Alberta Hunter was singing with King Oliver's band when they hired 15-year-old Louis Armstrong, she wrote Bessie Smith's first hit, she starred opposite Paul Robeson in "Showboat" in London, the first use of Dufay Colour in Britain was for a musical segment of hers.

Then, despite touring the world, work died off and she became a nurse until mandatory retirement, at which point she made a comeback singing — at age 82!

The woman lived, and the spark still in her makes this documentary irresistible. You don't have to like blues, or the jazz age, or music — just life.

Anytime I watch this film, I feel charged and ready to take anything on. The same has been true for anyone I've shown it to.


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