The celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Rock and Roll has passed about a month ago, does this DVD titled “The Birth Of Rock And Roll” add anything?
The design of Elvis in a tuxedo from one of his early television appearances is done in the style of the “50th Anniversary of Rock And Roll” and seems to take a free ride on the publicity of that anniversary. Inside the same design on a sheet for the chapters (something the big movie companies seem to forget on Elvis releases). Basic, good looking.
The presenter asks us to try to forget about all of Elvis’ achievements, and go back in a time capsule. Although that is impossible with a story we all know by heart, the way this documentary is presented and the pleasure you can see on Scotty Moore’s face when he shares his memories make this DVD fun to watch and you go back in time with the story easily.
The documentary shows some nice details on Elvis early performances; for example we never knew he was booked to celebrate the addition of a new air conditioner to a building (the first in a region). But Elvis made these kind of appearances like all starting artists.
Scotty Moore tells the story of the first twelve months, and the answer to the question why he waited 30 years before telling it is simple too, “nobody asked”. On the birth of rock and roll itself Scotty is very brief; “Elvis, Bill and I performed it, Sam heard it, liked it and recorded it”, and after two takes rock and roll was born.
It is of course hard to come up with new persons to interview about these early days as so many documentaries have covered this. But they found many people who met Elvis in that first your touring the US for many one night appearances as fan, DJ, booking agent and so on. The comparison between the original versions of “Good Rockin’ Tonight”, “That’s All Right” and “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” and Elvis renditions is fun, and shows that Elvis probably had the same impact which JXL and Paul Oakenfold had with their renditions of Elvis’ performances.
In stead of using the standard pictures this documentary used some re-enactments which look o.k. The producers even filled the Grand Ol’ Opry with a fifties audience a three piece band behind a fifties impersonator, fortunately they used the old Hayride recordings of Elvis for sound.
The title on the end says (c) 1992, so this is probably an old documentary in a new jacket, but it is still very enjoyable to watch as it illustrates the stories which we all read in the books on these early days.