The plot is the usual - backwoods boy Husky gets home from the war to find out that he is no longer the number-one singer in his small town. His rival, Faron Young, has gone to New York and started singing on TV. So Husky's army buddies, Al Fisher and Lou Marks (an Abbott and Costello type team), take him to New York to compete for fame. He gets a manager, Jesse White, whose assistant is ex-pug Rocky Graziano (as himself). Soon, he is painting the town with society dame Gabor - but what if June finds out?
The story is pretty pedestrian, as is the comic relief. But, asks the music fan, how about the songs? Well, Husky has a beautiful voice, but the arrangements are strictly squaresville, and I don't think this is his best material. Faron Young is a little wilder, with some almost rockabilly stuff.
And June Carter doesn't sing a single song. Aside: a young Patty Duke plays Husky's sister, and she is very cute.
Interesting to see the "country music on TV" phenomenon that Fred Astaire and Betty Hutton complained about in Let's Dance (made 8 years earlier, though).
Similar, but much better is Mr. Rock and Roll (1957). It stars Teddy Randazzo as himself, a rock 'n' roller being promoted by Alan Freed, as himself. Randazzo resembles Dick Contino from Daddy-O - he even sings a song called "Kiddio". We can safely ignore him and concentrate on the other musical acts, which include:
- Chuck Berry
- Little Richard
- Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers
- Clyde McPhatter
- La Vern Baker
- Lionel Hampton (?!?)
- Ferlin Husky (again, with better material)
Oh, and the comic relief is Fisher and Marks and Rocky Graziano, just like in Country Music Holiday. Maybe they are a package with Ferlin Husky.
Not a bad movie, and a great chance to see Alan Freed, who invented rock 'n' roll. He broke the color barrier by playing rhythm and blues by black and white acts, for black and white audiences. All hail!
Late Update: I just looked up Teddy Randazzo for some reason, and it turns out that he wrote, among other things: Gonna Take a Miracle, Hurts So Bad and Going Out of My Head! Wow! So sorry for the put-downs, honest, I rank those songs up with Burt Bacharach. Go, Teddy go!