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All 'Hail' Berry Doc at Music DVD Confab

7 Mar, 2007 By: Jessica Wolf



Director Taylor Hackford's Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll, a documentary about legendary rock pioneer Chuck Berry, won top honors at the third annual Music DVD Awards, presented March 6 in West Hollywood, Calif.

The film, released by Image Entertainment in two-disc and four-disc configurations, was named Best of Show, beating more than 100 contenders that were entered into the annual contest, produced by Home Media Magazine. Hail! Hail! also won in two other categories, for best vintage concert and best special features/bonus materials.

Judges praised the 1987 film for capturing Berry's fire and passion on stage, as well as his at times outrageous exploits before, during and after his concert that year at the Fox Theatre in St Louis, Missouri, organized by Rolling Stone Keith Richards to celebrate Berry's 60th birthday.

Berry was backed by a pickup band that included Robert Cray, Joey Spampinato, Eric Clapton and veteran Berry sideman Johnnie Johnson on piano. Berry was joined on stage by such legendary guests as Etta James, Linda Ronstadt and Julian Lennon.

Sandwiched between the musical performances are behind-the-scenes interviews with Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bruce Springsteen, the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison and others.

“Chuck put us through hell making this movie, and he was the producer,” Hackford, who personally accepted the award during a presentation at the Bel Age Hotel, said with a laugh.

He praised Image's flexibility in letting him play a key role in the production of the DVD and praised the two-disc and four-disc versions of the film as an even truer reflection of his artistic vision than the original movie.

“The great thing about the DVD format is that it has allowed us to get into the depth of the production,” Hackford said. “This is history, and I was crazy enough, or smart enough, to interview all these legends. I have almost all the founding fathers of rock ‘n' roll. In the future, this DVD will be a real history lesson on the influence of black American music on white American culture. People won't need to read a book — they can see and hear the original people.”

A panel of entertainment journalists judged the contest, in which music DVDs released in calendar 2006 competed in eight categories.

The other winners:

  • Best Compilation: Kiss Vol. 1, VH1 Classic Records
  • Best Music Documentary: New York Doll. Vivendi Visual Entertainment/First Independent Pictures
  • Best New Concert: Neil Young: Heart of Gold, Paramount Home Entertainment
  • Best TV Concert: The Tomorrow Show With Tom Snyder, Shout! Factory


Rhino Entertainment and Barry Manilow received a special award for their series of concert-video DVDs, the first two of which, "Music and Passion" and "First and Farewell," each soared well past the platinum level.

The third annual Music DVD Awards were part of the third annual Music DVD Conference, produced by Home Media Magazine in partnership with The Hollywood Reporter, DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group and the Entertainment Merchants Association.

Home Media Magazine is published by Questex Media Group.


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