A.K.A. Doc Pomus

(USA, 2012, 98 mins, DCP)
FEATURING Dr. John, BB King, Joan Osborne, Shawn Colvin, Dion, Leiber and Stoller, Ben E King. Narrated by Lou Reed.

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"One Man Connects Elvis, Ray Charles, Lou Reed, Bob Dylan and Dion…His Name Is Doc Pomus."

Paralyzed with polio as a child, Brooklyn-born Jerome Felder reinvented himself first as a blues singer, renaming himself Doc Pomus, then emerged as a one of the most brilliant songwriters of the early rock and roll era, writing “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “This Magic Moment,” “A Teenager in Love,” “Viva Las Vegas,” and dozens of other hits. For most of his life Doc was confined to crutches and a wheelchair, but he lived more during his sixty-five years than others could experience in several lifetimes. A.K.A. Doc Pomus brings to life Doc’s joyous, romantic, heartbreaking, and extraordinarily eventful journey.

In his later years, Doc was a mentor to generations of younger songwriters, and a fierce advocate for downtrodden rhythm and blues musicians. He wrote a thousand songs – including some of the most recorded songs in the history of popular music – but his most lasting gift may have been his uniquely generous spirit. “If the music industry had a heart,” the record producer Jerry Wexler remembered, “it would be Doc Pomus.”Packed with incomparable music and rare archival imagery, A.K.A. Doc Pomus features interviews with Doc’s collaborators and friends, including Dr. John, Ben E. King, Joan Osborne, Shawn Colvin, Dion, Leiber and Stoller, and B.B. King. Passages from Doc’s private journals are read by his close friend, Lou Reed. Doc Pomus’ gripping life story makes for a powerful and lively film that introduces this unique American character to a new, much wider circle of admirers.

"The thrilling story of Brooklyn’s most beloved polio-stricken white boy r&b genius, Peter Miller and Will Hechter’s A.K.A. Doc Pomus bops along with the simple, sturdy power of a good Doc Pomus song: It’s constructed with techniques familiar to anyone with a passing awareness of its genre—but also with such wit and insight and serious longing that it moves as much as it grooves…" Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice