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Ponderosa Stomp Announces the Clandestine Celluloid Film Series Daytime, September 24 & 25th 2010 at One Eyed Jacks in New Orleans’ French Quarter August 20, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.

The Ponderosa Stomp music festival has been growing every year, giving birth to a music history conference and film series during the day before the concerts, then a record hop. This year’s Clandestine Celluloid film series moves to One Eyed Jacks, a few blocks from the Music History Conference being held in the Cabildo in Jackson Square.

For film series producer Madeleine Molyneaux, Clandestine Celluloid, the second incarnation of the moving image component of the Ponderosa Stomp “will expose Stomp attendees to film subjects and archival footage that have, due to circumstances often beyond filmmaker or audience control, remained secret, silenced or submerged …until now.”

The two-day series, with filmmakers Les Blank, Bradley Beesley and others in attendance,  includes the first ever public screening of “It’s What’s Happening, Baby!, a 1965 TV special hosted by the infamous East Coast DJ Murray the K, a sneak preview of the film-in-progress “Bayou Maharajah” about New Orleans piano legend James Booker, “Hot Pepper”, the story of Clifton Chenier , and some extremely clandestine films that have been scarcely seen and hotly pursued by those who have heard the whispers.  n addition to the film schedule below, the Stomp has just announced the schedule for the music history conference, visit here for full details.




“Heroes of the Ponderosa Stomp (Part One)” – (compiled by Joe Lauro, 30 min)

An all-new, all-star revue featuring classic performance clips of past and present Ponderosa Stomp musicians. A follow-up from last year’s presentation that had audiences rolling in the aisles. From Wanda Jackson to Frogman, we’ve got them front and center.

Ponderosa Stomp regular contributor, filmmaker and master archivist Joe Lauro of Historic Films Archive will be in attendance following each of his programs Friday and Saturday.

“Bayou Maharajah” – (dir. Lily Keber, work in progress, 2010, 30 min)

Special sneak preview of the feature-length documentary-in-progress on the life and music of New Orleans piano legend James Booker. Through interviews with friends and contemporaries, the film traces Booker’s life from child prodigy to his acclaimed work as session pianist, his solo career and infamous personal life to his early death and continuing legacy.  Illustrated with archival concert footage, still photos and promotional material, the film paints a portrait of this overlooked genius. The soundtrack brings to life Booker’s distinct style and includes his early R&B hits, his genre-defying medleys, and the ‘spiders on the keys’ complexity of his music.

Filmmaker Lily Keber and longtime Booker associate Bunny Matthews will be in attendance to discuss the ongoing project – and James Booker – after the screening.


“Crescent City Shadows” – (compiled by Joe Lauro60 min)

An extraordinary compilation, assembled exclusively for Clandestine Celluloid, of rare and unseen early New Orleans music and images, slices of everyday life and celebration circa 1900-1960’s, culled from private collections, raw newsreel coverage of Mardi Gras and other events. Think of it as the prequel to Always for Pleasure (1978), Les Blank’s classic paean to New Orleans.


“Hot Pepper” –(dir. Les Blank, 1973, 58 min)

A thrilling musical portrait of zydeco king Clifton Chenier, who combines the pulsating rhythms of Cajun dance music and black R&B with African overtones, belting out his irresistible music in the sweaty juke joints of South Louisiana. It contains this classic exchange between two customers: “People is people,” answered by “Everywhere you go.” Chenier’s longtime guitarist, Lil Buck Sinegal, also performs and gives a live interview this year at Ponderosa Stomp.

“J’ai Ete Au Bal/I Went To The Dance” – (dir. Les Blank, Maureen Gosling & Chris Strachwitz, 1989, 30 min/clips)

Unreleased selections, including performance and additional footage of featured musicians, from a true classic of its genre. Considered to be the definitive film on the history of the toe-tapping, foot-stomping music of French Southwest Louisiana, the film includes many Cajun and Zydeco greats, featuring Michael Doucet and Beausoleil, Clifton Chenier, Marc and Ann Savoy, DL Menard, and many others.

Filmmakers Les Blank and Chris Strachwitz in attendance; Discussion to follow screening about field recording, producing music, and documentary filmmaking.


CLANDESTINE!!! A scarcely screened documentary about Mississippi blues featuring R.L. Burnside. (dir. Bradley Beesley, 1999, 60 min)

Bradley Beesley’s scarcely seen documentary tells it how it really is. This is a foot-stomping work about a small record label’s chase to find “real” blues: Gutbucket Mississippi blues. According to the film, the further you get from Mississippi, the worse the music gets. What is ultimately revealed are the conditions from which the blues were born. The film focuses on R.L. Burnside, a late bloomer who didn’t dedicate his time to music until he was in his late 50s. Also featured is  T-Model Ford, who didn’t pick up a guitar until the tender age of 77. The soul and pain of those who live in the northern Mississippi hill country shines through in its music, as well as this film. Under their living circumstances, it is obvious what helps these folks get through the day: music and humor.

Filmmaker Bradley Beesley in attendance; Q&A to follow screening.SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 25th


“Heroes of the Ponderosa Stomp (Part 2)”  (compiled by Joe Lauro, 30 min)

An all-new, all-star revue featuring classic performance clips of past and present Ponderosa Stomp musicians. A follow-up from last year’s presentation that had audiences rolling in the aisles. From Wanda Jackson to Frogman, we’ve got them front and center.

“The Zakary Thaks Cover Songs” (courtesy Cicadelic Records and Zakary Thaks, 1967, 30 min)

Super secret selections from a July 1967 film…the legendary Zakary Thaks performing cover songs from their playlist, with the intention of using it to promote the group to club owners along the Texas coast and beyond. (The potential club owners wanted to hear what was being played on the radio, so selections included songs by Jefferson Airplane, Love, Byrds, Mitch Ryder, Eric Burdon & the Animals, Wilson Pickett and others).


“It’s What’s Happening, Baby” –(courtesy Peter Altschuler/Historic Films Archive, 1965, 89 min)

A television special on CBS-TV hosted by East Coast iconic deejay/concert promoter Murray the K., which aired on June 28, 1965. The special featured performances by many of the popular artists of the day like Jan & Dean, Mary Wells, the Dave Clark Five, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, The Supremes, Tom Jones, Bill Cosby , Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles, The Drifters, The Miracles, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye, The Ronettes, The Four Tops and The Temptations, occasionally interspersed with Murray the K’s public announcements urging the youth of America to pursue education and summer employment. Much of the performance footage was shot live on the stage of the Brooklyn Fox Theater. This will be the first time the show has been screened in its entirety since its original broadcast on Channel 5 in New York.


“Teen-A-Go-Go” – (dir. Melissa Kirkendall, 2008, 86 min)

Subtitled “A Little Film about Rock and Roll History”, an entertaining, exuberantly nostalgic and informative trip to the garages, basements and rec rooms of the fearless teens of the mid-1960’s rock and roll scene in Fort Worth Texas. Interviews with bands and fans, including The Elites, Larry & the Blue Notes, Lenny Kaye, Billy Miller, Ira Robbins, King Coffey, the 5,6,7,8’s, the Cynics, Johnny Reno and many more.  What happened to these bands? Who were the kids that played in these bands? What were the scenes like? Who made it big? Who didn’t? Why? Focusing on one particularly unique Teen Scene in Fort Worth, Texas, as an example of the phenomena that crossed the Atlantic and took hold across America, the film sheds light on the undeniable, yet unconscious, impact this community of ground breaking teens had on the shape and sound of rock and roll.

Director Melissa Kirkendall and producer Mark A. Nobles in attendance, in conversation to follow the screening with Fort Worth music historian William Williams and veteran of the Fort Worth teen scene, Billy Miller of Norton Records


CLANDESTINE!!! So secret we can’t call it by name…A rarely screened film about a rock and roll legend (dir. Les Blank 1974, 72 minutes)

Called by the Washington Post the “best film ever made on Rock and Roll”. Think Oklahoma. Piano player. Fans of the geniuses of ivory tickling will not want to miss this opportunity to see this uncompromising days-in-the-life dispatch of a rock and roll legend who has only recently been drawn out of seclusion to record with his acolyte, Elton John.

There is a suggested donation of $20 per day for the Clandestine Celluloid film series. The donation will also give attendees entry to the Stomp Music History Conference, “Unsung Heroes” Music Exhibit.

For information about the Ponderosa Stomp contact Heather West, Western Publicity, 773/301-5767, westernpublicity@gmail.com


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