Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock n Roll by Peter GuralnickThe author of the critically acclaimed Elvis Presley biography Last Train to Memphis brings us the life of Sam Phillips, the visionary genius who singlehandedly steered the revolutionary path of Sun Records. The music that he shaped in his tiny Memphis studio with artists as diverse as Elvis Presley, Ike Turner, Howlin Wolf, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash, introduced a sound that had never been heard before. He brought forth a singular mix of black and white voices passionately proclaiming the vitality of the American vernacular tradition while at the same time declaring, once and for all, a new, integrated musical day. With extensive interviews and firsthand personal observations extending over a 25-year period with Phillips, along with wide-ranging interviews with nearly all the legendary Sun Records artists, Guralnick gives us an ardent, unrestrained portrait of an American original as compelling in his own right as Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, or Thomas Edison.
Johnny Hallyday : Rock'N'Roll Man!
Rock and Roll Man: The Alan Freed Story
The musical, led by Alan Campbell in the title role, takes the form of a fictional trial, in which iconic figures like Little Richard Richard Crandle and J. Edgar Hoover George Wendt state their case in defense of and against historic disc jockey Alan Freed. The Berkshire Edge J. Peter Bergman and Dan Dwyer. Berkshire On Stage Barbara Waldinger. Theater News Online Jeremy Gerard.
If you enjoy singing and dancing in your theater seat to the sound of good music while learning a bit about American cultural history and its personalities, you will enjoy this show. If you think frothy old-fashioned musicals like Bye Bye Birdie and Grease are a waste of time, and Beautiful — the Carol King bio-musical — a crock of nostalgia, read no further. Like Beautiful , Rock and Roll Man boasts a dramatic, if far darker, storyline and a treasury of fabulous music and dance that dates back to the s. Seeing it in the restored, year-old Colonial Theatre, with its heavy velvet curtain and deep revolving stage, is a treat. Unlike Beautiful , the book by writer and editor Larry Marshak and Gary Kupper eschews a realistic biographical structure. The multi-level courtroom, luridly lit by Matthew Richards, morphs into cheery record store, swanky club, and modest local and big city radio stations; the prosecutor is J.
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In the summer of , in a small radio station in Cleveland, an unknown disc jockey heard the sound that would change America. And the rest is music history. Rock and Roll Man is the new musical about the incredible rise and fall of Alan Freed, the man who coined the phrase "rock and roll" and brought its sound to the world. He discovered black artists — and got them record deals. He traveled the country — and got them heard from coast to coast.
Like it or not, we walked in its rhythms; its melodies were hummed constantly; its lyrics infested every decision we made. The man responsible for bringing us all to something of a frenzied mob for music was Alan Freed, a disc jockey on the radio WINS in New York City for me , and this new musical is his story, a story he made mine. And now, like it or not, its presence at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, is bringing it all back home again, everything from rhythm and blues to payola. Through his actions and his choices, he left one woman for another, revolutionized the radio and its usefulness to the entertainment industry, altered our perceptions and our hearing losses, and ended up a federal target in the payola case. Freed made movies; produced live music events; hosted a marathon of radio shows; did early TV; married thrice; became a national treasure and a national threat; was an object of J. He even ramped up interest in a New York phenom, a modern-day blind Viking named Moondog whose music got loads of airplay thanks to Freed.
The playlist is extensive and smartly handled. I appreciated that Early Clover, A. Davis, Jerome Jackson, and Dr. Eric B. Turner are all middle-aged plus, their years contributing to their utter authenticity. Ah, but the book. This Freed is simply a charmer, a lovable Joe in the Jimmy Stewart vein, and the script does cartwheels to equivocate as to whether he was guilty of payola, or grabbed undue songwriting credit, or abused substances.