Synopsis by Mark Deming
A handful of youthful rock & roll fans take on organized crime in this vintage rock musical. A rundown Dallas dance hall has been rented by a pack of high-school kids who've turned it into the Texas Hot Rock Club, where they host jam sessions and dance the bop to their favorite records. However, money has been tight for the teens, and after they fall two months behind in their rent, they get a warning from their landlord and a visit from some suspicious characters who make it clear they want to take over the place. The Hot Rock kids decide to hold a benefit to pay off the bills, and approach well-known rock & roll dancer Kay Lee (Kay Wheeler) to appear at the show. When Kay's lawyer hears about the club's troubles and the repeated (and increasingly menacing) appearances of some tough-talking thugs, he does some investigating and learns the prospective new tenants are actually gangsters setting up a wire operation with the Detroit mob. Produced on a shoestring budget with a mostly non-professional cast, Rock, Baby, Rock It has gained a passionate cult following among fans of '50s rock for the hot boppin' dance moves of the teenage cast and energetic musical performances by some great Texas acts, including frantic rockabilly rebel Johnny Carroll, R&B stompers Rosco Gordon and Preacher Smith and the Deacons, and up-tempo harmonies from the Belew Twins, the Five Stars, and Don Coates and the Bon Aires; also keep an eye peeled for Kay Wheeler's swinging dance number.
teenagers, rock-music, benefit [event], bookie, musical [play], gangster, behind-the-scenes, concert