On this day in 1957 (no I don’t remember it) A film called “Don’t Knock The Rock” opened.
In the late 50s and during the 60s rock was regarded with suspicion (to say the least) by the establishment. As a consequence films trying to show the positive side of real rock and blues tried to make rock ‘comfy and non threatening. Some Hopes.
This film was in that tradition. The star was Alan Dale, and the plot is pretty flimsy. AD is a rock star who returns to his hometown to rest. He is dismayed to discover that the responsible adults have banned Rock & Roll in the local theatres. To show that Rock is a positive thing he enlists his friend Alan Freed to show that Rock is A Good Thing. Not so much the plot thickens as the plot sickens. Anyway, film makers wanted to cash in on Rock in those days and this type of rubbish plot was common.
I can not help thinking of some film in the 60s during which one of the characters shouts “Hey Kids! Why don’t we put on a show?” The kids then clean up an old theatre, put on the show, and prove that Rock is A Good Thing……. I ask you, urgh.
Back to Don’t Knock the Rock. It also included the usual suspects, Bill Haley, Little Richard, Dave Appell, and the Applejacks. Perhaps the most interesting of the acts to take part in the customary show in the film were The Treniers. They were a teen beat combo, as Zappa might have said, R&B when R&B was R&B. They recorded some fantastic stuff that certainly helped lay the foundations for Rock and Roll. Their Rock-A-Beatin’ Boogie still stands up. It was written by Bill Haley, but none the worse for that.