Saturday night NPT-Channel 8 presents one of the first and greatest concert films ever made a magical event that enjoyed a brief theatrical run, but has mostly languished in near-obscurity for decades.
The T.A.M.I. Show featured magnificent performances from James Brown, The Rolling Stones, The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Lesley Gore, Chuck Berry and The Beach Boys, among others. Some 12 acts filed into the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on Oct. 28 and 29, 1964 for what was billed as the Teen Age Music International show. The concert was envisioned as part of a series of events presented by the Teen Music Age International organization, but the group never really came together.
Directed by Steve Binder, who used the same crew that filmed Steve Allen's weekly program, The T.A.M.I. Show was co-hosted by Jan and Dean, who also performed the theme song. Binder's film combined the best performances from the two nights, and he did no post-production, intent on faithfully recapturing the event's intensity live on screen. Binder's later achievements included the 1968 Elvis Presley comeback special and Diana Ross massive concert at Central Park.
The results of the concert were astonishing, particularly Brown's remarkable singing and dancing. He was so spectacular the Rolling Stones, set to come on afterward, initially refused and had to be coaxed by Binder into coming on stage. In response to what they'd just seen, Mick Jagger subsequently performed one of the most exacting Brown imitations ever, in the process revealing both his own showmanship and performance survival skills.
Other than bootlegs, The T.A.M.I. Show hasn't been seen for many years. But on March 23, Shout! Factory is releasing a restored, complete version. Prior to its release, those who weren't fortunate enough to catch it during its brief theatrical run in the '60s or haven't seen the bootleg version can savor this amazing event Saturday at 8 p.m. No serious music fan would miss it.
'Not Just Country' back for third season
Ricky Toran, aka Hypeman Rick, personally discovered how difficult getting exposure for non-country acts in Nashville was when he was a member of the VC Strut Band in 2005. But rather than simply complain about it, he decided to do something. Toran's efforts, along with those of others, eventually led to the creation of the weekly television program Not Just Country, a half-hour show designed to provide publicity and a forum for all types of Music City sounds and styles.
The locally produced Not Just Country returns for its third season July 2. It will air 12:30 a.m. Saturday nights on WZTV-Channel 17, with repeat telecasts 9:30 a.m. Sundays on MyTV30 (WUXP-30). Fans can attend tapings for the 2010 edition at the downtown Hard Rock Cafe on April 12-14 and May 19-22. The cover charge is $10.
Not Just Country's live segments will be hosted by Kyhil, who's been the show's principal host since its earliest incarnation in 2005. He'll be joined this year by Metromix's Heather Byrd, who will be offering her "Byrd's Eye" view of Music City entertainment and interviewing key artists, producers and managers. Toran's particularly excited about the array of talent that will be on display during the two upcoming taping sessions.
"We're going to be spotlighting 28 bands over seven days of taping," Toran says. "There's going to be something for everybody this season. We'll have rock bands, jazz groups, hip-hop acts, even some gospel and some country, maybe some bluegrass. We try to change it up each year and make sure we have a lot variety. The whole point of the show is to present the broad spectrum of musical entertainment in Nashville."
Some of this year's scheduled performers include Reeves Gabrels and His Imaginary Friends, Damien Horne, Joe Johnson, Hank Williams III, Forgotten Fable, Flavio Martinez y Sus Complices, Mike Hick & The Funk Punc, Black Catfish, Mario "Rio" Moore, November, Philos, Lovers & Liars, Halo Stereo, and Enjoy The Zoo. Each show will spotlight four bands, and Toran adds there will also be some programming surprises.
"We look for entertainment value and those bands that have that 'it' factor," Toran says. "There are certain bands or performers that when you see them you immediately know they've got something special. But the goal in terms of the fan base is really providing something that can attract people from all age ranges and groups. There is so much talent out there that there's no shortage in terms of what we can offer."
The show's audio is provided by Purple Dog Productions, and the video supplied by NouVeau Photo. Culver Post & C-Squared Creative Media handles post-production while the Not Just Country website is being updated by WV Magic Inspired Web Design.
Besides Toran, who serves as executive producer alongside producer Robert Eva, the creative team includes new member Michael West, aka Max Fabulous, director of marketing and development. Toran is also happy about adding the contributions of Byrd and the program being shown on WZTV and MyTV30.
"We're really excited about the new season," Toran says. "I think the audience will be very pleased at the quality of the bands and the variety that we're presenting. It's really a way to show people that it's not just a cliché when you talk about there being many other types of music besides country in Nashville."
Music book of the week
And Party Every Day The Inside Story of Casablanca Records, by Larry Harris (Backbeat)
Larry Harris got his start in the music business as a promotions guy for Buddah/Kama Sutra Records in 1971. But two years later he joined his cousin Neil Bogart as they began a venture that would eventually become the premier label of a movement. Casablanca Records was home to Donna Summer and the Village People, and those two acts helped disco rule the pop charts throughout much of the '70s. But they also had Kiss, who were their first signees, and Parliament/Funkadelic, which made them big players in the rock and funk worlds as well.
And Party Every Day The Inside Story Of Casablanca Records details the rapid rise and eventual fall of both the company and the sound it helped champion, along with many other exploits, encounters, misadventures and scandals in an era of spectacle and payola. Harris' account is neither sanitized nor bitter, as it's clear he enjoyed his time in the business. Yet he's also willing to reflect on the mistakes and bad judgment that eventually toppled a multimillion-dollar empire.
Harris' volume is not only a thorough and informative insider's account, but a primer on greed, self-indulgence and the conduct that has nearly destroyed an industry.
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