Steve Simels
December 20, 1991 AT 05:00 AM EST

Sweet Talkin' Guys

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
genre
Documentary

We gave it an C+

This documentary on Top 40 disc jockeys of the ’50s and ’60s — men who were, as several interviewees note, often as popular with audiences as the hit records they played — is a bumpy nostalgia trip. Sweet Talkin’ Guys captures the period details nicely: the station jingles, the goofy promotion stunts (such as a ”Draw the Mona Lisa” contest judged by Salvador Dali), the frenzy to appear connected to the Beatles, and the speed-rap catch-phrases of the deejays themselves (Murray the K’s ”It’s what’s happening, baby,” Bruce Morrow’s ”Hello, cousins”). But the history is sanitized to the point where the legendary Alan Freed’s fall from grace after his payola scandal is barely suggested. The major problem with Sweet Talkin’ Guys, however, is that it confines itself to New York radio personalities. These sweet talkers may be well worth hearing again, but those with fond memories of their own local jocks might find Guys‘ myopia unnerving. C+

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