Rivertown Rock! by Jim Boston | Script Revolution

Rivertown Rock!

It's Sunday, February 9, 1964...when the Beatles' appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" inspires a Sioux City, IA teenager to start her own rock group and show that girls can play the music, too.



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Sixteen-year-old high school student CASEY LAUTENBAUGH, of Sioux City, Iowa, watches "The Ed Sullivan Show" on the magic Sunday: February 9, 1964. Drawing inspiration from Those Four from Liverpool, Casey decides to start her own rock-and-roll group.

After buying an expensive electric guitar, energetic Casey combs her school, Central, for talent. First to join up is KAREN DOUGLASS, a hip, cocky drummer in one of the school's pep bands, who pledges at a basketball game. Central's orchestra yields tough-as-nails guitarist ROBYN GAGE; tiny-voiced, painstaking KERRY O'NEILL, a multiinstrumentalist who settles in on trumpet; and LOU-ANNA MORLEY, a bookish bass player.

They all make it to the band's first rehearsal, in March. So do Kerry's clever twelve-year-old cousin, alto saxophonist DEANNA SCHOETTELKOTTE, and best buddies GLORIA RUSSELL and MITZIE HARRIS...a wisecracking trombonist and an activist guitarist, respectively.

It's not music to the ears of Casey's brother DAVID, who unplugs the combo's amps, among other things...and the band must find another place to practice besides the Lautenbaughs' house. It does, and picks up two new members: Heelan High School students GEORGIANNA BROWN and MARY ELIZABETH CHARBONNEAU, who double as ragtime musicians at Lucky's Pizza Parlor...and who give the band much-needed spark.

Even so, the band can't get gigs until Casey, hard-working-and-sarcastic Georgianna, and gentle-and-thoughtful Mary Elizabeth talk MATT KIRKEGAARD, the pizzeria's manager, into a gig. But this July 4 debut for the newly-christened Bankers bombs.

KSUE-TV likes the Bankers, though, and puts them on its "Siouxland Bandstand" show on August 8.

Result: More bookings, including a September 19 post-football-game dance at Central; at the dance, David's forced to examine his attitude toward female rock musicians. The Bankers also find the strength to audition for the next January's Rhythm Festival.

THE FESTIVAL COMMITTEE turns the Bankers down, though, over the band's wardrobe: Casey and her bandmates perform in men's suits, not dresses or gowns.

But this combo licks its wounds, sees David drop his opposition to the band's existence, and enters the first annual Rock and Roll World Championships, taking place eight months later in Lambertville, New Jersey. Armed with the blessing of the Bankers' PARENTS, Casey and Co. beat out eighty-seven other groups to win the contest...and make it abundantly clear that you don't have to be male to effectively play rock.

And they make a believer out of David.

Video Lookbook- "Rivertown Rock!" (2020)
Submitted: October 7, 2019
Last Updated: October 12, 2021

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The Writer: Jim Boston

I first got interested in screenwriting as a college student in 1979 (Iowa State University); an additional impetus was the paperback version of the "American Graffiti" screenplay. From 1980 to 1994, I pursued screenwriting with a vengeance...but other things happened in my life. Since 2016, I've been back chasing the dream...and it's only because I inherited a Power Mac from one of the codirectors (Nick Holle) of a documentary I was in: "The Entertainers," about the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest and Festival. (Nick received the computer from the husband-and-wife couple who helped produce the film, Brent and Jackie Watkins.) The Power Mac has a copy of Final Draft 6... Go to bio

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