Saturday, June 26, 2010


There's just a little bit of plot in Jamboree that holds the musical performances together. The story centers on a girl, Honey Wynn (Freda Holloway), and a boy, Pete Porter (Paul Carr), trying to break into the music business as solo acts. Their managers, Grace (Kay Medford - think Penny Marshall crossed with Eve Arden) and Lew (Bob Pastine), used to be married to each other. The managers come up with a plan to make them a duo and they're a big success. Pete's manager Grace conspires to break them up and make him a solo star. Through some underhanded dealings she succeeds, but he's not happy without his girl, who by the way hasn't had any success as a solo act. Eventually Pete's manager realizes that she has made a mistake and with the help of her ex-husband they reunite the couple for a happy ending.

The plot is used to wrap around the musical performances. First up is Carl Perkins. He's doing a recording session and since he never uses all of his studio time, Honey and Pete get their first tryout in the recording studio after Carl has finished. It should be noted that Connie Stevens voice is dubbed in for Honey's singing. The duo record a hit song and we don't get another musical act until we find Honey's manager auditioning Frankie Avalon in the studio.

Next up is a device the movie makers obviously thought up in order to give them a lot of free publicity. They use DJ's from across the U.S. and Canada, and a few international ones, to introduce acts at a big telethon hosted by Dick Clark. Dick says my favorite head scratching line in the movie: "they have raised $70,000 to help in the fight against this terrible disease".....WHAT one ever says! Most of the DJs are pretty run-of-the-mill, except for Jocko Henderson who appears in a spaceman's suit! The marathon includes performances by Jodie Sanders, Jerry Lee Lewis or The Jerry Lee Lewis Trio as they are introduced in this movie, Louis Lymon (Frankie's brother) and The Teenchords, and Ron Coby.

Pete goes on his solo tour to England and we get performances by Slim Whitman (with that mustache, he always reminds me of a used car salesman) and The Four Coins. After Pete's tour, we then return to the U.S. and get the final offering of musical stars at the Music Operator's Convention. Here we get to see Count Basie, Joe Williams, Buddy Knox, Jimmy Bowen, and Fats Domino. The fake duo of Honey and Pete close the show and are joined on stage with their managers singing along.

The main reason for this movie being made was to showcase the musical talent and it was great seeing SOME of the stars in this movie, others could have been left out completely, in my opinion; but I guess everyone would have their own favorites when viewing Jamboree. My favorites in the film were Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Louis Lymon, and of course, Fats Domino. I was in New Orleans once when Fats was performing at a free show outside The Riverwalk Mall. I had never seen Fats live in concert, but the closest I could get was a view from the side of the stage, and then all I could see was Fats' leg pumping his piano.....That was still a thrill for me!!

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