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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

Chuck Berry - Hail! Hail! Rock ‘n’ Roll
Directed by Taylor Hackford
Universal Music & Video Distribution 1987 DVD/VHS Documentary
PG

This is a documentary directed by Taylor Hackford about the black singer/songwriter and guitarist who has been designated by most as the founding father of rock and roll. The film is centered around the rehearsal and concert performance at St. Louis’s Fox Theatre to celebrate Chuck Berry’s sixtieth birthday. Keith Richards, who organized the band, offers colorful commentary on his mentor. So do Bruce Springsteen, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Eric Clapton. Chuck Berry talks about his life and musical career with tasty bits on the origin of his famous "duck walk," his battle against racism, and his pleasure in having made a lot of money. The concert itself is a delight with Berry and the gang performing his greatest hits, including "Johnny B. Goode," "Roll Over Beethoven," and "Sweet Little Sixteen."

 

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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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