All Shook Up

Aug 30, 2012

“Miami was like a Mecca for three or four months in the winter, everything happened in Miami.  It was the center of the entertainment world really.”
-Dick Cami - Night Club Owner/Entertainment Manager
In the days before heavy metal and hip hop, Miami was a melting pot for the growing music industry.  Miami was considered America’s winter playground, the land of palm trees and sunshine.  It was a hotspot for tourists, entertainers and locals seeking a taste of the good life.  Hailed by many musicians and recording stars as the “most unbelievable place to be”, Miami’s rich musical background is waiting to be discovered by a wider audience.

All Shook Up: Miami’s Glory Days of Music is a one-hour documentary that traces this rich history of music in Miami. Told by those who lived it, witnessed it, played it and created it, this musical journey will be categorized by geographical areas and divided into four locations: Downtown, Overtown, Coconut Grove and Miami Beach.  Through in-studio interviews, rare photos, original recordings and archive film, the musical landscape of South Florida will unfold.

In Miami, the 50’s marked the highpoint of glamour.  Live music could be heard nightly, spilling out of hotels and clubs that lined Miami and Miami Beach.  It drew the attention of some of Hollywood’s greatest performers.  It also captured the interest of public relations magnate Hank Myer who convinced Jackie Gleason to bring his television show to Miami Beach. With these famous visitors, more hotels emerged; as did recording studios and record promoters.

1960 marked a decade of change in the music business.  Glamour and sophistication gave way to the caged antics of dancing go go girls.  The cutting edge sounds of Rock-n-Roll and Rhythm-n-Blues re-invented music and marked the birth of two of popular music’s most influential archetypes, Motown and The Beatles. Miami, with its solid reputation as “the place to see and be seen” was at the forefront of this musical odyssey.

From the Downtown Olympia Theater where Elvis Presley had the audience “All Shook Up” to Overtown’s Lyric Theater where racial tensions were combated by the revolutionary voice of Billie Holiday, popular music was abundant throughout South Florida.   In the hippie Mecca known as Coconut Grove, the political landscape was changed forever by the folk music of David Crosby, Joni Mitchell and Richie Havens.  Redefining the term American Royalty, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra set Miami Beach ablaze.  The Beatles Invasion of the 60’s brought screaming teens to their knees as the Fab Four brought their signature sound to South Florida along with Ed Sullivan who recorded two episodes with the Beatles at the Deauville Hotel in Miami Beach.   Miami had fame and the famous had Miami.