Musical Monday: Jamboree! (1957)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 600. To celebrate and share this musical love, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

jamboreeThis week’s musical:
Jamboree! (1957) – Musical #672

Studio:
Warner Bros.

Director:
Roy Lockwood

Starring:
Paul Carr, Freda Holloway, Kay Medford, Bob Pastene
Themselves:
Fats Domino, Frankie Avalon, Jerry Lee Lewis, Count Basie and His Orchestra, Jimmy Bowen, Buddy Knox, Charlie Gracie, Carl Perkins, The Four Coins, Jodie Sands, Louis Lymon and the Teenchords, Cauby Peixoto (as Ron Coby), Slim Whitman, Joe Williams
Deejays:
Dick Clark, Ed Bonner, Joe Finan, Milt Grant, Werner Goetze, Jocko Henderson, Jack Jackson, Chris Howland, Barry Kaye, Howard Miller, Gerry Myers, Jack Payne, Ray Perkins, Keith Sandy, Zenas Sears, Robin Seymour, Sandy Singer, Joe Smith, Dick Whittinghill

Plot:
Teen singers Honey Wynn (Holloway) and Pete Porter (Carr) aren’t doing well on their own. Their agents (Medford, Pastene) —who were previously married — hatch the idea that they should be a singing duo.

Trivia:
• Frankie Avalon’ first film appearance
• Connie Francis dubbed Freda Holloway
• Only feature film of Freda Holloway

jamboree2

Paul Carr and Freda Holloway

Highlights:
• Appearances of performers and deejays

Notable Songs:
• “One O’Clock Jump” performed by Count Bassie
• “Don’t Want To Be Teacher’s Pet” performed by Frankie Avalon
• “Wait and See” performed by Fats Domino
• “Sayonara” performed by Jodie Sands
• “Great Balls of Fire” performed by Jerry Lee Lewis
• “Your Last Chance” performed by Louis Lymon and the Teenchords
• “Unchain My Heart” performed Slim Whitman
• “I Don’t Like You No More” performed by Joe Williams and Count Bassie
• “Hula Love” performed by Buddy Knox

jamboree teenchordsjamboree fats dominojamboree buddy knox

My review:
If you are looking for a musical with a solid plot, JAMBOREE (1957) isn’t your film. But if you are interested in a time capsule of 1950s performers and radio deejays, this movie may interest you.

JAMBOREE is one of several films around this time that mainly focuses on rock and roll performances. This includes ROCK, ROCK, ROCK; ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK and DON’T KNOCK ROCK.

The minor plot in JAMBOREE is that two teens Honey Wynn (Holloway) and Pete Porter (Carr) can’t make it as solo singers, so their agents (Medford, Pastene) — who happened to be divorced from each other — decide to make the two a singing duo. Honey and Pete become successful together and also fall in love. But their greedy agents decide to use the new fame to launch solo careers, turning Honey and Pete against each other.

Throughout this plot are rock performances. They are worked in as either other singers recording in studios, performing on shows that the teens are singing on, and largely in a major telethon that the teens take part of.

The musical performances include: Fats Domino, Frankie Avalon, Jerry Lee Lewis, Count Basie and His Orchestra, Jimmy Bowen, Buddy Knox, Charlie Gracie, Carl Perkins, The Four Coins, Jodie Sands, Louis Lymon and the Teenchords, Cauby Peixoto (as Ron Coby), Slim Whitman, and Joe Williams.

I wasn’t familiar with some of these names prior, and really enjoyed Slim Whitman, Joe Williams and Buddy Knox as new-to-me performers.

As for our teen stars, Paul Carr appears to be doing his own singing, but Freda Holloway is dubbed by Connie Frances, who is given vocal billing in the credits. Frances also dubbed Tuesday Weld in ROCK, ROCK, ROCK. So Frances later acted in films, I’m curious why she didn’t appear in these films. Incidentally, this was Freda Holloway’s only feature film.

Another major highlight is the radio deejays from around the country who participate in the telethon—from Dick Clark to Jacko Henderson who wears a far out, space-like outfit.

Overall, don’t worry about the plot of this film. I forgot the plot half the time, because I got lost in the music. If you are a 1950s rock n’ roll fan, this is a must see.

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