Saturday, May 23, 2015

Riots at Newport Jazz Festival, caused by..."Gidget," "A Summer Place," and "Jazz on a Summer's Day"

These would appear to be the most anodyne of pop culture artifacts, the antithesis of what would cause a riot. I mean, Gidget?

A Summer Place?

Jazz on a Summer's Day? (A documentary of the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival.)

An article in the Wall Street Journal called "Riot in Newport" (July 1, 2010), explains.

As for Jazz on a Summer's Day: 'Filmed at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, "Jazz on a Summer's Day" was released in late March 1960. The color documentary glamorized jazz and its hip audience, inadvertently creating the impression that seating was limitless and free.' It does look terminally cool, especially the footage of Anita O'Day (above). To me, that's the most memorable segment of the film.

As for the other two films: 'Also at movie houses that spring was "A Summer Place," starring Troy Donahue and Sandra Dee as teenage lovers rebelling against hypocritical parents. Percy Faith's yearning instrumental, "Theme From a Summer Place," was No. 1 on Billboard's pop-singles chart for a staggering nine weeks.

And then there was "Gidget." Released a year earlier, the film starred Sandra Dee and was the first in a series of popular teens-know-best beach films. While the Beach Boys' first hit song was still nearly two years off, "Gidget" instantly established the beach as a teenage proving ground.'

No comments: