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Great Performances

John Lennon's Jukebox (#3001)

This program is a glimpse inside the musical development of one of the 20th century's greatest songwriters: John Lennon's personal, portable jukebox from the early 1960s. Its track list, scrawled in Lennon's own handwriting, cataloged 41 records of American soul, R&B and rock 'n' roll -- the songs that inspired his rock 'n' roll dreams and that ultimately shaped the Beatles' sound. "Narrated" by Lennon himself, via archival radio interviews, this performance-documentary takes the jukebox on tour to meet some of the artists whom Lennon strove to emulate as a young rocker. On the way, viewers are treated to visits with The Isley Brothers, whose screaming vocals resurfaced in "Twist and Shout"; blues guitarist Bobby Parker, whose classic guitar lick figured in "I Feel Fine"; Delbert McClinton, whose harmonica inspired Lennon's arrangement of "Love Me Do"; and Donovan, whose folk fingerpicking style Lennon employed in "Dear Prudence." Also on hand are Gary "U.S." Bonds, Fontella Bass, John Sebastian of The Lovin' Spoonful, Steve Cropper of Booker T. & The MGs, songwriters Leiber & Stoller, and pop superstar Sting, reflecting on the music that Lennon absorbed and then transformed to become himself one of rock's most influential figures. [56 minutes] Closed Captioning

This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.

PBS Video

Information For Teachers

Grade Levels
Curricular Areas
The Arts
Series Length
263 episodes
Average Episode Length
97 minutes
Record Rights
Sch/until 3/24/16; ncc; simul. ;7-day cached rights
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Series Description: GREAT PERFORMANCES, the longest-running performing arts anthology on television, continues to feature the best in the performing arts.

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