Hullaballoo! Too!

"Movie Magazine International" Special Report

(Air Date: Week Of 3/13/96)

By Monica Sullivan

MPI Home Video unleashes four more volumes of the "Hullaballoo!" television series later this month, giving 1996 audiences a chance to see what all the fuss was about thirty years ago today. We start out by seeing a glowing young Frankie Avalon, 25, & Annette Funicello, 22, launch their hosting chores with a duet from 1959's "Gypsy". And then, the built-to-last Kinks, led by Ray and Dave Davies, bring us up to date with their first two chart toppers, "You Really Got Me" and "All Of The Night". Dobie Gray, 22, introduces "The In Crowd", followed by the Brothers Four, the fraternity brothers who were briefly in vogue in 1960, but were very big in Japan (translation: not in America) by 1965.

Freddie and the Dreamers were a British novelty act whose Billboard chart activity lasted less than three months, but they did have a number one hit with "I'm Telling You Now", recorded when Freddie was just 24. Sue Thompson entered the music business a bit later in life: she was 34 at the time of her first hit and 38 when she did "Paper Tiger", her last big hit, on the show. She later went on to establish herself as a country singer.

Next up: who were the Band of Angels? There are a few mysteries like that on the collection. A couple of the Hullaballoo dancers tried to capitalize on their national visibility by releasing records: one was Lada Edmunds, another was an appealing young man identified only as Patrick who sings a number called "(I'm In Love With) Five Different Girls" entirely off-key. Takes guts! Whatever became of these two? Comedy actor Dick Kallman, then 32, struggled through a number called "Looking Around": His destiny was to give up show business, become an antiques dealer & get killed by a burglar 15 years after his appearance on "Hullaballoo!" Joe Tex, also 32, died young, too, of an apparent heart attack in his late forties: his moving version of "The Love You Save" is followed by "You're Gonna Hurt Yourself". Who sings that? None other than Andy Warhol superstar Baby Jane Holzer, then 26, who surfaced from the underground to become a real estate developer.

And we move on to other survivors like Petula Clark, then 32, who reinvented herself time and again in her long career from child actress of forties films to pop diva of the sixties to durable stage star of the nineties. Peter Noone, 17, light years away from a one-night-stand in the 90's at the San Mateo County Fair, gleefully bounces all over the stage. Noel Harrison (can he rally be all of sixty?) sings the surprisingly feminist "A Young Girl"! And the unbelievably young and beautiful Marianne Faithfull sings "As Time Goes By" many years before her life-soaked voice would give it even deeper resonance. That was Hullaballoo in the 60's: The good, the bad, the wretched and the sublime. And MPI Home Video has unreeled it all for time travelers to savour for hours on end in the 90's.

Copyright 1996 Monica Sullivan

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