Johnnie Be Good

Our second annual Johnnie Be Good Rock and Roll Trivia Night is set for Saturday March 14 to raise completion funds for the music documentary JOHNNIE BE GOOD. Photos from last year’s successful event are below. This year’s event is at The Grand Hall, 2319 Chouteau Avenue. A portion of proceeds goes to my non-profit fiscal sponsor Play It Forward, which gifts donated musical instruments to kids who cannot afford them. If you have a musical instrument that’s not being used, bring it with you to the trivia night. Thanks for your support

This is the most challenge phase of post-production: contacting rights holders and licensing music. The money raised will go toward a music supervisor and an intellectual property attorney. 

A recent and exciting development for JOHNNIE BE GOOD is that award-winning actor John Goodman has agreed to do some of the narration for the documentary. As production of JOHNNIE BE GOOD winds down, I’m still looking at ways to make the film great. The goal is to make the film as good as it can be and start submitting to film festivals in 2019. No one wants to cross the finish line more than I do, but in the case of a music documentary that contains a lot of copyrighted material, it’s a tremendous challenge from a legal standpoint. Preparation for a “fair use” argument continues, which would allow the use of copyrighted material.

JOHNNIE BE GOOD examines the musical relationship between two rock and roll architects, Johnnie Johnson and the guitarist he hired in 1952, Chuck Berry. Chuck Leavell, keyboardist for the Rolling Stones appears in the film and this is what he said about JOHNNIE BE GOOD after watching a prior edit: “…congrats on the piece…just awesome and a fab job. I think you have been very fair in the ‘controversy’ of Johnnie/Chuck Berry….and I think that is really important. While there is obviously some thought that Johnnie should have received some royalties for his contributions, it is important to have that balance of pointing out the incredible influence and genius of Chuck. I just wanted to give you my initial thoughts and accolades for doing such a fantastic job.”

In 2005 when Johnnie Johnson died, David Fricke of Rolling Stone Magazine wrote that Johnson “…went on to become the greastest sideman in rock and roll, at the very moment the music was being born.” Should Johnson also be recognized as a partner in one of rock and roll’s great song-writing teams? Not even a lawsuit settled the debate.

Art Holliday Director/Writer/Producer