Invites America to Celebrate The First Decade of Rock In American
Soundtrack: ‘Rock at Fifty’ (1955-1965)
will be joining an SRO audience by dancing in the den, swaying
in their seats, and there’ll be a “whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on” as
fans of rock and roll help celebrate the latest PBS production
of American Soundtrack: “Rock at Fifty (1955 – 1965).” This
is the 12th installment of one of the most successful series of
productions in public broadcasting history.
musical montage of doo wop, pop, and rock is hosted by Gary Puckett,
lead namesake of the 60’s rock band Gary Puckett
and the Union Gap, and one of American Soundtrack’s most
popular hosts, Jerry “The Iceman” Butler, who makes
his seventh appearance. Puckett and Butler are part of a star-studded
cast of artists who helped to make what is called “the first
decade of rock” a piece of American history.
in “Rock at Fifty” are the “Killer” himself,
Jerry Lee Lewis, guitar legend, Bo Diddley, and diva Darlene Love,
who performs her memorable classic “He’s A Rebel” and “Winter
on the bill are the eternal young lovers, Paul & Paula,
with their 1963 chart-topping hit, “Hey, Paula”; Gary
U.S. Bonds, singing “A Quarter To Three”; Johnny Tillotson
with “Poetry In Motion”; Brian Hyland’s “Sealed
With A Kiss”; The Fiestas mellow “So Fine”; Jack
Scott performing “What In The World’s Come Over Me” accompanied
by the smooth vocals of Elvis Presley’s backup singers, the
Jordonaires; and singer/songwriter Lesley Gore with “Maybe
I Know.” Danny and the Juniors, featuring Joe Terry, close
out the show promising the audience and viewers that “Rock
and Roll Is Here To Stay.”
Rock at Fifty”--in true-to-form PBS style--features three special
musical segments highlighting artists and their classic music.
The first features Executive Producer T.J. Lubinsky traveling to
London to pay tribute to the 1964 British invasion and The Mersey
Beat with featured artists The Manfreds (“Do Wah Diddy Diddy)
and Gerry Marsden of Gerry and the Pacemakers fame (“Don’t
Let The Sun Catch You Crying” and “Ferry Across the
The second special segment is a memorial tribute to several artists
who died recently but were featured in the past four years of American
Soundtrack. In many cases, the PBS specials were the last time
these men and women performed in public so this special helps to
capture their legacy and talent for future generations.
no special saluting rock would be complete without a tribute to
doo wop sound, which got its roots in rhythm and
blues. Featured in the street corner segment are The Jaguars (“The
Way You Look Tonight”); Terry Johnson’s Flamingos (“Mio
Amore,” “I Only Have Eyes For You” and “Lovers
Never Say Goodbye”); The Avalons (“My Heart’s
Desire”) and The Heartbeats (“1000 Miles Away”).
Soundtrack series is preserving American music culture from doo-wop
to folk to rock and roll to rhythm and
blues. It is the most successful series of fundraising specials
in public television history. Over 250 groups have either been
reunited or have performed for the first time for the tapings.
In four years, nearly $80 million has been raised for PBS.
Soundtrack concert series is a production of WQED Multimedia Pittsburgh,
in association with SHOUT! Entertainment. Creator
executive producer is T.J. Lubinsky.
Rock at Fifty (1955-1965)” was taped this past May at Pittsburgh’s
Airways is the official airline of the American Soundtrack concert