Format: TCM on DVR
Director: Steve Binder
A concert film featuring Jan & Dean as hosts, you get a look at 1964 as a watershed year in American music. The show features performances by:
- Chuck Berry
- Gerry and the Pacemakers
- Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
- Marvin Gaye
- The Blossoms (group featuring Signal Watch patron saint Darlene Love)
- Lesley Gore
- Jan and Dean
- The Beach Boys
- Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas
- The Supremes
- The Barbarians
- James Brown and the Famous Flames
- The Rolling Stones
There's a 10,000 word essay on what was happening in America in 1964 (Civil Rights Act), what Chuck Berry did to music in 1958, what co-option of R&B and Rock and Roll by white kids and white kids from England meant and what happened to the genres as a result.
But for the TAMI Show, it's looking at the past, present and future of music on one stage in a tight package. Not all of the acts will become legendary or household names - I never even heard of Billy J Kramer before this - and not everyone is amazing. The awards show was the Teenage Awards Music International - or, essentially, Teen-Choice Awards. Which is also a reminder that these genres were in the process of being turned into music for kids. Which is an idea people respond to violently, but when you see a room full of teenage girls screaming themselves hoarse at the mere sight of Mick Jagger, it's a reminder that your parents dragged that music into adulthood with them and institutionalized it.* This was new in the 1950's and 60's, when the very idea of a "teenager" was new in the wake of WWII and post-war prosperity/ marketing.
But that said - I'm a product of the generation that was screaming its head off at these acts (my mother graduated high school in '64, for example). All of this was more than a decade in the past by the time I was even born, but it was what was on the radio and in our parents' vinyl collections and played on soundtracks of movies as we were growing up, so it became our music, too.
Anyway - it's a hell of a movie. And if you want to see a very young The Supremes and James Brown before he became weighed down with legal issues and drama, or a chance to see The Stones as they seem to be realizing the extent of their power - this is an amazing bit of film.
Fun bonus - Toni Basil and Teri Garr are in this as dancers. I spotted Basil, but not Garr.
*And there's a pretty similar model for what happened to comics in the 1980's