Sunday, September 29, 2013

"Alley Pat: The Music Is Recorded" will have a rare screening at The Plaza Theater, 1049 Ponce DeLeon Ave in Atlanta on Monday October 14 at 7:30PM. The documentary celebrates the outrageous era of classic Rhythm & Blues radio with the trailblazer who helped start it all, James 'Alley Pat' Patrick.

This laugh-out-loud film is full of infectious music, vintage graphics, and a trove of barrier-breaking ''airchecks.'' Pat is the last surviving DJ from the first black-owned radio station in the USA, Atlanta’s WERD-AM, which signed on in 1949.

Alley Pat sang and screamed over classic jazz and blues, and improvised his way through hilarious live commercials. But beneath Pat's clowning was deadly serious business; civil rights pioneers like Andrew Young praise Alley Pat's pivotal role in their shared struggle.

These new "Negro format" radio stations attracted open-minded white listeners, getting hip to the most exciting music of the day.

As DJ and promoter, he befriended many of the music greats of the era. And in the 1960's, as Atlanta's first black bail bondsman, he aligned with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, rescuing jailed civil rights marchers in the small Georgia towns on front lines of the battle.

The film explores Pat's close friendship with beloved civil rights activist Hosea Williams, and concludes with Pat's touching but hilarious eulogy at Williams' funeral on the
altar of Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church.

The film is a seven-year project directed and edited by Tom Roche, a filmmaker with such varied projects as early R.E.M. videos, Space Ghost Coast-To-Coast, and Spinal Tap Unplugged. Using decades-old radio recordings sonically restored, the film shares a scrappy, devil-may-care quality with Alley Pat’s unpredictable radio shows. Alley Pat is the righteously real ''Mouth of the South."

'Alley Pat: The Music Is Recorded’ came in in First Place in The Kansas City Cinema Jazz Festival, The BronzeLens Fest, and the Atlanta Film Festival 2010.

"Alley Pat on the air is hysterical and priceless. The film is a joy.  Pat is a fantastic character. "
- Peter Miller, co-producer, "Ken Burns Jazz"
"Amazing! The ALLEY PAT movie is inspirational!"
- Ryan Cameron, V-103FM, Atlanta
"Pat's radio shows - and his life - merged the sophistication of jazz with gut-bucket blues. I loved this film."
- Andrew Young, Former UN Ambassador

Contact: Tom Roche
YouTube Channel :

Monday, March 22, 2010

And the hits just keep on coming!

Hey.... At last, more stuff! How long has it been, dear internet?? Well I am pretty much going 7 days a week with this edit in New Orleans, so there hasn't bee a lot of time to post new Alley Pat Clips.... but now, four new ones. So get clickin' - here we go!


Here we have a little side bar about Kansas City Jazz. Now the film is 98% about Atlanta, but Pat told this KC story one afternoon, and I made a little segment out of it. In the back of my head at the time I was thinking maybe if there is a Kansas City Film Festival, this little piece would help the film win a slot. AS IF this film was going to any festivals at all, ha ha ha. Well, lo and behold, there IS a Kansas City Film Festival, and yes, as of last week WE”RE IN!

Next, in the 1980's Pat used to come with his jazz/R&B on at 3PM on WYZE, after they station had played gospel/religious all day up till then. Inevitably, he'd grab a preacher who was still in the studios, drag him on to his show, and they would tangle....

Next, the secret is revealed. Why the Alley Pat film has “The Music Is Recorded” in its title. I always wanted that line in there, even though it doesn't make a lot of sense on the face of it. Not even Alley Pat himself really gets it. It is kind of a half surreal non-sequitur, tangentially related, but a sort of a draw-you-in mystery. Am I over thinking this?

Finally, A slight departure in style from the rest of the film. Pat's old audio of a hotel commercial, juxtapositioned with contemporary stills of the hotel before it was torn down for condos.

OK back to work. For me. And maybe you.

tom in new orleans

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Here's the poster!

The film, proudly was done on a zero dollar budget, but we just spent $43 to have one poster printed, ha, so now I'm in the red. Thanks Darryl for the great design... so very cool IMHO.

Friday is premiere day, and Saturday too

ALLEY PAT: THE MUSIC IS RECORDED will screen at the Macon Film Festival tomorrow, Friday, at 6PM at the Macon Marriott City Center venue, and again on Saturday at the Cox Theater downtown Macon at 3:45 PM.

Im in New Orleans right now, still recovering from an astonishingly wonderful Mardi Gras day, thank you, but will fly in for this, as it is my first film festival screening for anything I've produced/directed.

The pressures of working on the documentary underway here have kept me from updating this blog very much, but I'll be happy to report back on how the screenings went.

Friday, January 22, 2010

78's - Beauty-ful things

Like I mentioned, when you make a movie about a DJ - a movie, not a radio special - you gotta fill the screen with something. And one easy way for some good looking visuals is to go to the record closet for some close up's of 78 RPM records from the 1950's, the 50's being the tail end of the 78 record as pop artifact.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Courtesy Of A Reply...

It sometimes seems that the proliferation of film festivals follows logically from the proliferation of good-to-excellent quality small-budget cameras and editing gear. Or maybe some festivals, with somewhat high entry fees, are around to make a nice pile of money. Likely, most of the former, some of the latter.

I'm noticing on my Withoutabox page that 4 festivals I entered have now chosen their line-ups. But so far, only 2 Official Selection notices (Macon and Swansea Wales) and zero rejection notices (Oxford MS and Beaufort SC) have arrived in the e-mail box. C'mon Oxford and Beaufort, you can send me a rejection letter, I can take it. It is better than nothing, and I mean that, esp in that I sent over $100 your way to put my li'l film in your consideration queue.

Granted, the last rejection note I got - last year from the Sarasota Film Festival for a different film - turned into a huge goat rodeo. An intern there accidentally sent a generic rejection note to some 300 e-address at once, and put all 300 in the TO field. Oopsie! I sat on that e-mail all day, and finally with some trepidation replied to ALL about our shared grief and woe over our rejection from this minor festival... and there was an outpouring of cyber bonding, and a Sarasota Rejects Fringe Festival was born.

Hmmm, re-reading these Sarasota Herald-Tribune articles remind me of just how much trouble I caused with that last rejection letter.

Maybe Oxford and Beaufort are not overwhelmed, just wise.

OK, lets watch a clip! Here's great two minute clip about how it all began, and how scared Pat was when he first started on the air. As noted previously, there ain't a scrap of surviving tape from the 1950's of Pat on the air. So we cue up Pat playing 50's blues in the 1980's, and line it up with some actual radio schedules from WERD provided by the Auburn Avenue Library Archives here in town... and we are good to GO!