Sing, Boy, Sing
|Sing, Boy, Sing|
|Directed by||Henry Ephron|
|Produced by||Henry Ephron|
|Written by||Claude Binyon|
|Based on||teleplay The Singin' Idol by Paul Monash|
|Edited by||William Mace|
20th Century Fox
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|February 21, 1958|
The film was an expansion of the January 1957 Kraft Television Theatre episode "The Singin' Idol", also starring Sands. Sands, billed by the studio as a potential new teen idol, played an Elvis Presley-type singer.
The film was Gentle's only starring role, and her penultimate film appearance. 20th Century Fox had plans to promote Gentle as its new dashing red-head, but the right type of roles to offer her did not materialize.
Sand's soundtrack of songs from the film was released in 1958 and produced a # 24 hit on the US charts wight he title song.
Virgil Walker is a popular singing star who is managed by Joseph Sharkey. Sharkey is very controlling of Walker's life.
- Tommy Sands as Virgil Walker
- Lili Gentle as Leora Easton
- Edmond O'Brien as Joseph Sharkey
- Nick Adams as C.K. Judd
- John McIntire as Rev. Farley Walker
- Diane Jergens as Pat Barry
- Josephine Hutchinson as Caroline Walker
- Jerry Paris as Arnold Fisher
- Tami Conner as Ginnie
- Regis Toomey as Rev. Easton
- Art Ford as Disc Jockey
- Bill Randle as Disc Jockey
- Biff Collie as Disc Jockey
The Singing Idol
|"The Singing Idol"|
|NBC Kraft Television Theatre episode|
|Episode no.||Season 10|
|Directed by||Paul Bogart|
|Written by||Paul Monash|
|Cinematography by||Lesley Barrett|
|Original air date||30 January 1957|
The movie was based on the TV program "The Singing Idol". This episode in turn drew heavily on The Jazz Singer.
Elwell Walker is a singing star under the control of his manager. He visits his hometown where his father, a reverend, is ill. His father dies after pleading for Elwell to take up his job of preaching for the Lord. Elwell is tempted to return home and do this, especially after reconnecting with a childhood sweetheart, Leora. His manager talks him out of it.
The script was an original by Paul Monash but very much based on the Elvis Presley story. Tommy Sands had been discovered by Colonel Tom Parker who also managed Elvis Presley. Sands and Presley had toured together and Sands had sung on Louisiana Hayride on the night Presley was discovered.
"I prefer the school of realism," said Sands. "I'd like to play dramatic teenage parts because I feel I know this kind of boy. Like him, I have many inhibitions and I'm not exactly sure what makes me tick."
Songs on the show included "Teen-Age Crush" and "Hep Dee Hootie" as well as "Rock of Ages".
A song from the episode, "Teen-Age Crush", went to number two on the charts and sold over a million copies.
Production of Film
20th Century Fox had enjoyed success with films starring Elvis Presley and Pat Boone. In February 1957 they bought the film rights to the television play and in July they signed a contract with Sands to appear in the film. Henry Ephron was assigned to produce.
Ephron said Claude Binyon had written "a first rate script" which "could be made at a price". He wanted Orson Welles to play the manager and approached him. Welles was enthusiastic and also wanted to direct the movie. He explained his ideas to Ephron who thought they were "electric" and pitched the idea of Welles directing to the executives at Fox. Spyros Skouras said Ephron could have Welles if he personally guaranteed any cost over-runs incurred by the director. Ephron ended up directing the movie himself
Filming started in September 1957. Sands' co star was Lili Gentle, a Fox contract player who had been in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?.
Buddy Adler head of Fox was reportedly so excited by a preview of the film he signed a new contract with Sands which tripled his salary.
- Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p251
- "Tommy Sands - Sing Boy Sing at Discogs". discogs.com. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
- Whitburn, Joel The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, Billboard Books, New York, 1992 p. 404
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- By THOMAS M PRYOR Special to The New York Times. (1957, Jul 22). STAGE DIRECTOR SIGNS FILM PACT. New York Times
- Ephron, Henry (1977). We thought we could do anything : the life of screenwriters Phoebe and Henry Ephron. Norton. p. 172-173.
- Special to The New York Times. (1957, Sep 07). FILM TO BE MADE OF ALGREN NOVEL. New York Times
- By THOMAS M PRYOR Special to The New York Times. (1957, Nov 12). WALD CONFIDENT OF FILMS' FUTURE. New York Times
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