Bang! The Bert Berns Story
ou may have never heard of Bert Berns, but you know the enduring songs he’s written and produced: Twist & Shout, Cry to Me, Tell Him, Piece of My Heart, Cry Baby, Hang On Sloopy, I Want Candy, Everybody Needs Somebody to Love – Berns’ career IS Rock and Roll. Berns sessions made legends of Solomon Burke, The Isley Brothers, The Drifters, Ben E. King, Wilson Pickett, Van Morrison, and Neil Diamond, and his songs became chart-topping covers for the likes of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Animals and Janis Joplin. His premature death at 38 cut short a seven-year streak of hits, rooted in his early Brill Building and 1650 Broadway days, through his tenure at Atlantic Records to the formation and success of his own labels Bang Records and Shout Records. Music meets the Mob in this biographical documentary about the exciting and tragic life greatest songwriter and record producer of popular and soul music of the sixties that you've never heard of, narrated by Steven Van Zandt. The film, which had its highly acclaimed World Premiere at SXSW, beats a peripatetic pace through the history of 60’s R&B-fueled rock as driven by the man who propelled the most emotive, dynamic and sublime soundtrack of the era. Together with his co-director Bob Sarles, filmmaker Brett Berns brings his late father's story to the screen with interviews with those who knew him best and rare performance footage. Included in the film are interviews with Cissy Houston, Ronald Isley, Ben E. King, Solomon Burke, Van Morrison, Keith Richards and Paul McCartney.