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“The TAMI Show” Screens 8/26

18 August 2010

The film of the legendary rock and roll revue, The TAMI Show, unavailable lo these many years, is back!

As part of our ongoing music series (File Under: Eclectic), we’ll be screening the film in the Community Room at the Oswego Public Library on Thursday evening, August 26, at 7 PM. The show is free and open to all.

James Brown and Mick Jagger, backstage at the TAMI Show. Photo by Bob Bonis.

Here’s some background on the concert and the film:

…[Due] to a strange, tangled web of ownership, … [the] concert film called “The T.A.M.I. Show,” hasn’t been officially available for more than four decades. The film has been celebrated in song lyrics, enjoyed an afterlife on the bootleg market and occasionally surfaced on the film festival and museum circuit….

Of the 12 acts in the movie, 7 went on to become members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, including the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, Chuck Berry and the Supremes. And incredible for the time, not only did black and white artists share the spotlight, but the audience and even the onstage go-go dancers were integrated. Filmed on October 29, 1964, at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in California, the show has had an air of mystery from its conception through its muddled distribution and subsequent disappearance.

T.A.M.I. stands for the clunky Teenage Awards Music International, and William Sargent, the executive producer, initially thought that it would become an annual concert filmed for network broadcast. Mr. Sargent connected with Joseph Bluth, who had developed an electronic camera with greater resolution than standard television cameras, so the show also became a spotlight for this Electronovision technology. To the artists, though, what really mattered was that it was going to be a genuine rock ’n’ roll concert film, considered the first of its kind….

Steve Binder, who worked on the “The Steve Allen Show” and would later direct Elvis Presley’s comeback special in 1968, was brought in as the director. Jack Nitzsche — a member of Phil Spector’s studio team known as the Wrecking Crew, who went on to work with the Rolling Stones and Neil Young — was tapped as the show’s musical director….

The roster for “The T.A.M.I. Show” was a remarkable snapshot of a wide-open moment in pop music, just as the Beatles’ arrival was transforming the rules. Taking the stage were representatives of Motown (Gaye, the Supremes, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles), the British Invasion (the Rolling Stones, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas), surf music (the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean), first-wave rock ’n’ roll (Berry), hard-core soul (Brown), Brill Building pop (Lesley Gore) and even proto-garage rock (the Barbarians).

(Excert from “Pop History Revealed! Doing Splits!” by Alan Light, March 19, 2010, The New York Times.) Check out the entire article at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/21/arts/music/21TAMI.html?_r=1

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