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Go, Johnny, Go! (1959)

G | | Musical | June 1959 (USA)
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.


Paul Landres


Gary Alexander


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


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!




G | See all certifications »






Release Date:

June 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dai Johnny dai! See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hal Roach Studios See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Ironically the song performed by Ritchie Valens, "Ooh My Head", contains a reference to a Buddy Holly song with the line "No more Peggy Sue". Curiously, this line was left out when "Ooh My Head" was performed in the Ritchie Valens biography La Bamba (1987). See more »


Featured in The Cinema Snob: Go, Johnny, Go! (2018) See more »


Written by Chuck Berry (uncredited)
Performed by Chuck Berry
Courtesy of Chess Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

It's different! But I guess It's still music!
26 March 2007 | by sol-kaySee all my reviews

On top of the world of Rock & Roll teenage heart throb Johnny Melody is without a doubt the hottest thing that ever hit the music charts since "The King" Elvis Aaron Presley himself hit the charts back in 1954.

Johnny almost didn't make it and it was his own arrogance and out and out stupidity that would have landed him in the can, jail, if it wasn't for his mentor and supporter manager and music promoter Alan Freed.Freed took the rap for him, by playing drunk, when Johnny tried to rob a jewelry store on Christmas Eve some two years ago. On that cold and dark evening the love sick kook slammed a brick into the storefront window of a jewelry store and just stood there like he forgot what he was supposed to be doing, robbing a $45.00 gold heart pin for his girlfriend, and waited like a brainless moron for the cops to come and arrest him.

We go into a long flashback as Freed, after Johnny finishes his act, reminds Johnny how fate is really strange and how if it wasn't for him going out of his way to save Johnny's sorry a** he would have ended up a hardened criminal instead of the new American Idol. A singer that wild and hysterical teenage girls, as well as women in their twenties and thirties and even forties, by the tens of thousands would like to go out on a date with; and even more fantastic pick up the tab.

Being orphaned, he was left at the steps of the orphanage, at an early age Johnny was into music but the music, Rock & Roll, he was into wasn't exactly what the head, Mr. Martin, of the church quire that Johnny was trying out for cared for. Hurt and humiliated at being kicked off the quire Johnny ran away from home, or the orphanage, determined to strike out for himself as a Rock & Roll singer. With no job, he was fired as an usher in a theater, or money he didn't even have enough cash to make a demo recording to sent the Rock & Roll promoter Alan Freed to hear his great and untapped talents.

Freed interested in Johnny's singing ability is more then willing to give him a chance but has other things on his mind like the big Rock & Roll show he has planned at the Brooklyn Paramount. That causes Johnny to feel that he was given the cold shoulder and brush off by the legendary Rock & Roll promoter and acts accordingly, like the big jerk that he is. Sulking in his beer and not wanting to have anything to do with improving himself Johnny doesn't take the time to notice that people, Alan Freed included, have their own problems and commitment to attend to and take care of like he should do for his own.

Freed does with the encouraging of his top honcho Bill and assistant, as well as member of his troupe, Rock & Roll singer Chuck Berry play Johnnys, he somehow got the cash to make one, demo record "My Love is Strong" on his radio show. After he heard it Freed was so impressed by it that he decided to get whoever this Johnny is to hear it on the radio and call in to identify himself. This so he can give him the opportunity to strut his stuff on the stage in front of a live and cheering crowd of Rock & Roll music fans.

Johnny as you would expect seems to be the only person in NYC to not listen to the show as he's in the car with his girlfriend Sandy and turns off the radio, broadcasting The Alan Freed Rock & Roll Radio Show. Johnny is still ticked off at Freed for not letting him do his thing, which Freed was just about to do, in showing what a Rock & Roll sensation he's capable of being.

Feeling like a sack of horse manure in not being able to get Sandy the Christmas present that he promised her, the golden heart pin, Johnny plans to rob the jewelry store where the pin is on the display in the window. In the end Johnny gets his butt saved from being thrown into prison by Alan Freed and Sandy who got to the scene, the jewelry store, before the cops did. That saved the bumbling klutz from blowing the big chance, becoming a Rock & Roll teenage Idol, that he always dreamed off but was just too dim-witted to see it even when it was right in front of him!

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