Archive for the ‘TV/MOVIES’ Category

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Rock & Roll Celluloid Pt. 1

May 25, 2013

Ever since the first dollar profit was made in rock & roll Hollywood producers have released films based on the rock & roll culture. Below is a random sampling of various rock & roll films that featured well-known performers. Some are great, some are entertaining, some are pure garbage. But that’s rock & roll…..

Click on images to enlarge!

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Akron Bands Documentary Online

November 11, 2010

Western Reserve PBS (WNEO/45 Alliance-WEAO/49 Akron) has been showing the 2005 documentary If You’re Not Dead, Play! The documentary is an awesome look back at Akron’s 1977-1983 era of New Wave and Rock bands that caused a bit of a sensation throughout the USA and Europe with some media back in the day dubbing Akron the “new Liverpool”. Lots of great insights, stories, reminisces with video and photos pack this documentary. You may even see yourself if you were a regular at JB’s, the Bank, Filthy McNasty’s, etc…

From the Western Reserve website:

“University of Akron documentary maker Phil Hoffman is rocking Akron again. His new production for Western Reserve PBS If You’re Not Dead, Play!! is a sequel to It’s Everything and Then It’s Gone, Hoffman’s documentary that chronicled the rise of Akron rock legends like Devo and The Waitresses.
If You’re Not Dead, Play!! documents the second wave of Akron “garage bands” that continued in the tradition of “the Akron sound” that began with bands like Devo, Tin Huey and The Waitresses. In the wake of this first wave of rock bands, whose story Hoffman told in It’s Everything and Then It’s Gone, a second group of bands formed and took over an old dilapidated bank in downtown Akron, which they dubbed The Bank. Soon, bands such as Unit 5, Chi Pig and Hammer Damage were drawing larger crowds than the first bands ever did, and it looked like the road to rock stardom would run right down Akron’s Main Street. “

Both documentaries are worth watching and even purchasing. Great fun! Great Memories!

Check the documentary out online at Western Reserve Public TV.

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‘Big Chuck’ Gets Literary

October 17, 2008
The Cleveland legend tells his story.

The Cleveland legend tells his story.

Here is the perfect Christmas gift for anyone who grew up in northeast Ohio during the last 48 years. A new book, BIG CHUCK – My Favorite Stories from 47 Years on Cleveland TV, is set to hit the stores next week. BIG CHUCK – My Favorite Stories from 47 Years on Cleveland TV is basically the autobiography of ‘Big Chuck’ Schodowski, a certifiable living legend in Cleveland television who started out working at WJW-TV with the likes of Tim Conway and Ernie ‘Ghoulardi’ Anderson. Most also know him from his decades as the co-host of the Hoolihan & Big Chuck Show with Bob Wells and later the Big Chuck & Lil’ John Show with Lil’ John Rinaldi.

The book, co-written with Tom Feran, is being published by Gray & Company Publishers and comes in hardcover, 288 pages with 93 photos included for only $19.95. The book will be available at most bookstores throughout northeast Ohio next week or, if you attend Ghoulardifest this weekend (October 17-19) you can pick up an advanced copy an I presume have it autographed by Big Chuck himself.

From the Gray & Company Publishers press release:
”Tune in as Cleveland TV legend “Big Chuck” Schodowski tells hundreds of funny and surprising stories from a lifetime in television—in his familiar,good-natured, Cleveland-to-the-bone style.

“Since 1960, Chuck has been on camera, behind the camera, and in the director’s chair. He collaborated with Ernie Anderson on the groundbreaking “Ghoulardi” show, and continued to host a late-night show across four decades—the longest such run in TV history. He wrote and directed two thousand hilarious sketches that were watched religiously by adoring fans.

“Revisit favorite characters including the Kielbasy Kid, Certain Ethnic Guy, Ben Crazy, and many more. Chuck’s stories will entertain fans—and anyone who enjoys behind-the-scenes tales of television and celebrities.”

Visit the publishers website for a sample chapter, but you already know it will be a fun, entertaining and interesting read.
And for those of you unfamiliar with Big Chuck and his cohorts, visit the Big Chuck & Lil’ John website for more info and details.
I can guarantee that this book will be a huge best seller in northeast Ohio and beyond.

For more info on this weekend’s Ghoulardifest see previous entries on this website or visit the Ghoulardifest website.

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Gene Carroll Show Remembered

October 13, 2008
Akron's Chrissie Hynde appeared on the Gene Carroll Show in the early 70's with her band JACK RABBIT before heading back off to England to eventually form The Pretenders.

Akron’s Chrissie Hynde appeared on the Gene Carroll Show in the early 70’s with her Akron-Kent based band JACK RABBIT before heading back off to England to eventually form The Pretenders.

Anyone who lived in northeast Ohio during the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s is more than likely well aware of the Gene Carroll Show, a local variety/talent show that aired from April 1948 until sometime in 1979. First known as the Giant Tiger Amateur Hour, Carroll (April 1897 – March 1972) quickly morphed it into the Gene Carroll Show that aired every Sunday at noon and featured, well, ‘talent’. Some good, a lot of them bad and some of them very, very bad. I can imagine the line of pushy wanna-be stage mothers hauling their next superstars to Cleveland for their big break.

 

I didn’t watch it too often, too many accordion players for my tastes, too many baton-twirling majorettes and too many five-year-old tap dancers trying to become the next Shirley Temple, but the show had its moments as it occasionally presented local and regional rock bands. Think of the Gene Carroll Show, which was a big hit on WEWS TV 5, as a forerunner of American Idol.

 

The show is noted, however, for the first ever television performance of the Cowsill brothers in 1960, a few years prior to the family becoming ‘The Cowsills’.  Other notables who appeared included The Womack Brothers (Bobby Womack), U.S. Male, Jill Colucci who is a well-known songwriter, Candice Francisco, Canada’s The Crew Cuts and Jack Rabbit, an Akron-Kent area rock band featuring Chrissie Hynde prior to her return to England and eventual formation of The Pretenders.

 

Andrea Carroll (no relation to the host), who appeared semi-regularly on the show for about a decade, is now known as Andrea Hill, Ph.D., MFT. But during the 60’s, after a local release, she eventually landed recording contracts with labels like RCA, Epic and United Artists and toured with the likes of Stevie Wonder. She had several hits, especially locally, including Why Am I So Shy? That was recorded at age 16 with The Chiffons providing backing vocals.

 

I can vaguely remember one or two area bands from the Wayne County and Ashland County, Ohio appearing in the late 60’s and early 70’s but for the life of me I can’t remember the band names. I am almost positive one from Wooster appeared (Me & The Guys, maybe?).
Gene Carroll died in 1972 but WEWS standby star Don Webster, late of the popular Upbeat TV Show, took over as host and it stayed on the air until 1979.
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

Gene Carroll Show mainstay Andrea Carroll's Big Top Records release in the early 60's.

Gene Carroll Show mainstay Andrea Carroll’s Big Top Records release in the early 60’s.

 

 

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Buying A DVD For All The Right Reasons

September 1, 2008

Not long ago my youngest son moved into his own apartment but not without first borrowing some DVDs as the cable company informed him it would be at least a week before they could stop by and install his cable for television. As he was going through our DVDs he brought in the movie SPEEDWAY starring Elvis Presley and Nancy Sinatra and asked why it was still sealed and unopened after I explained I bought it a couple years ago for $4.99. He also asked why I would want that movie as even a 25-year-old knows that the majority of Elvis films aren’t….well, they just aren’t that good.

There were several reasons to purchase SPEEDWAY. I saw the movie in the Orr Theatre in Orrville, OH back when it was released (released on June 12, 1968) and it holds nostalgia for me. It’s also a racing movie for crying out loud and features such legendary NASCAR drivers like Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Tiny Lund (those three I have met each at least once including having dinner with Cale), Buddy Baker, Dick Hutcherson and Roy Mayne.

Besides Elvis and Nancy Sinatra the cast also included Bill Bixby, Gale Gordon and Carl Ballentine and William Schallert.

(Sonny & Cher were offered the script first before landing in Col. Parker’s lap.)

The racing scenes were shot at Lowe’s Motor Speedway (I have been there several times) in Charlotte, NC and Riverside International Raceway in Riverside, CA.

You know the plot, Elvis is a race car driver and Bixby is his manager who squanders all the money and fails to pay the IRS. The IRS sends an agent (Nancy Sinatra) to investigate and recoup their money and insanity and hi jinx ensues with some forgettable Elvis tunes.

And then the wife interjected the history lesson I was giving my son.

“Tell him the real reason you bought that DVD!”

OK, OK…. It has Nancy Sinatra in it. N-A-N-C-Y S-I-N-A-T-R-A!

In miniskirts!

And go-go boots!

‘Nuff said!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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