Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Rocco's Rock n Roll Revue

It seems that more than a few of you might know one of our most valuable assets here at the Rock & Roll Library, my good friend MacDougall. (Pictured above with "Good Night Sweetheart" vocalist Pookie Hudson at the 2005 Doo Wop Hall of Fame inductions)

MacDougall taught US History and American Popular Culture at Newton North High School with his lovely wife and Math teacher Jo Ellen Hillyer for more than 35 years. He also produced Rocco’s Rock n Roll Revue, an annual 50’s Music Revue at Newton North for more than 25 years.

Years before I started the Rock & Roll Library, MacDougall was already pursuing our education mission on his own. He regularly referenced relevant songs in his classroom and taught students about the power of song. In a range of topics from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement his students learned that popular music could not only discuss important topics but that it could even affect change in our world.

Not to be limited by his classroom, MacDougall’s alter ego “Rocco” was born. Hundreds of students sang and danced their way through the annual Rocco show which gained Iconic stature in Newton, Massachusetts.

I met MacDougall through a mutual friend - Blue Suede Bopper, author and UMASS professor Reebee Garofalo. Reebee’s quite a character and music historian himself but when he introduced me to MacDougall I knew I was in for it.

MacDougall has been a Rock & Roll Library in-house historian, member of the Music Archive Advisory Board, Education Advisory Board, Song Lesson Contest review panel and general reference resource ever since.

I spoke with him earlier today and he was very excited to hear that so many friends, colleagues and former students were supporting our fundraising efforts. When you donate you have the option to dedicate your contribution to someone, many of you dedicated yours to MacDougall.

I also promised him that I’d let everyone know that his 2007 pick for Album of the Year is Bette LaVette’s The Scene of the Crime and that he’s also raving about Shelby Lynne’s new album, Just A Little Lovin' on Lost Highway Records that includes interpretations of nine Dusty Springfield songs.

If you'd like to reconnect with MacDougall email and I'll be happy to forward messages to him

For friends and fans of MacDougall I give you Rocco and the Celestials singing “1,000 Miles Away” from 1983

Thank you for your generous contributions.

We only have until 3PM tomorrow (Thursday) 1/31 to collect as many donations as possible.

If you haven’t already done so, please make your donation now!
More later,


1 comment:

slkinsey said...

How cool is this? I just happened upon this post via some random googling. I was a Celestial in 1986 and participated in the shows starting around 1984. Glad to see that the memory is still alive. Is there any more video?

Sam Kinsey