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Go, Johnny Go! Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

Go, Johnny, Go! was second and last of a proposed trio of jukebox movies built around and co-produced by DJ Alan Freed. He plays himself in this rags-to-riches tale, told in flashback, of a young rock & roll singer named Johnny Melody (Jimmy Clanton), whose rise from life in an orphanage where no one wanted him to his "discovery" by Freed through an unsolicited demo recording sent to the disc jockey's office is told in 75 minutes, in a dramatic time frame that's impossible to determine. Along the way, Johnny meets a girl (Sandy Stewart) with whom he falls in love, and nearly gets himself arrested when it looks as though everything has turned against him. The plot is a threadbare reprise of the kind of juvenile delinquency-with-music stories that Elvis Presley had been doing, but it offers glimpses of several very worthwhile (and a couple of legendary) music acts of the era who were otherwise undocumented on film: Jimmy Clanton himself, who was one of the best white singers to come out of that New Orleans R&B/rock & roll sound; Sandy Stewart, who was (and is still, 40-plus years later) a serious vocal talent; Chuck Berry, in a pair of performing clips that are brilliant; Ritchie Valens, in his only film appearance, doing a hot rocking number called "Oh, My Head"; Harvey Fuqua of the Moonglows; the Cadillacs, in a pair of killer comic-relief numbers; Jo-Ann Campbell; and Jackie Wilson, showing how little Michael Jackson actually brought to performing that was new more than 20 years later. No, Go, Johnny, Go! isn't A Hard Day's Night, but it is a lot of fun to watch, and is easily the best of Freed's handful of feature films, before his downfall in the payola scandal. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

  • Release date:June 1, 1959

Cast

Herb Vigran
as Bill Barnett
Jimmy Clanton
as Johnny
Margo Woode
as Mrs. Arnold
Ritchie Valens
as Himself
Sandy Stewart
as Julie Arnold
Milton Frome
as Mr. Martin
Joe Flynn
as Head Usher
Chuck Berry
as Himself
Eddie Cochran
as Himself
Frank Wilcox
as Mr. Arnold

Crew

Paul Landres
Director
Edward Fitzgerald
Cinematographer
Jack Etra
Cinematographer
Leon Klatzkin
Composer (Music Score)
McClure Capps
Art Director
Rudy Butler
Set Designer
Joel Moss
Sound/Sound Designer
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