by Julia Burch
Fifty years ago today, Godfather of Rock & Roll and St. Louis legend Chuck Berry played his famous hit "Johnny B. Goode" for the Teen Age Music International Show. The groundbreaking program was one of the the first rock-music concerts filmed and released in theaters featuring many famous musicians of the era, including the Supremes, James Brown, the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones. Tickets for the event were distributed for free to local high school students, and the show was filmed over two nights. It became an immediate success as rock-addicted teenagers from all over the U.S. were given a chance to see their favorite musicians play live.
The film is also considered to be a precursor for modern music videos, and its success helped pave the way for future music films. In 2006 the National Film Registry added it to its list of films to be preserved, deeming it "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
At age 88, Berry is still rockin' St. Louis at Blueberry Hill once a month, having played his 200th show at the Duck Room earlier this year.
Nifty fact: This was the second film made using the then-experimental "Electronovision," which became the equivalent to high-def film in the '60s. Check out the video below:
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