American Hot Wax

Director: Floyd Mutrux
Year Released: 1978
Rating: 2.0

Affectionate biopic of Pennsylvania-born DJ Alan Freed (Tim McIntire) who actively fought to put rock and roll on the radio and encouraged white audiences to listen to songs performed by black entertainers, which naturally makes the authorities go after him (for promoting "smut"); there for some comic relief are his secretary Sheryl (Fran Drescher), driver Mookie (Jay Leno) and the Kid President of the Buddy Holly Fan Club (Moosie Drier).  There's very little there in terms of plot and it mostly dodges the controversy around the whole "payola" scandal at the time - where stations were paid money to play records without disclosing how much was given - but the music is fantastic and features the likes of Chuck Berry, Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Jerry Lee Lewis.  The stress and drinking did Mr. Freed in at the too young age of 43, but in his own words, "It's not goodbye ... it's just good night."