Do It Man: The Story Of The Celebrity Club

"Do It, Man! The Story of The Celebrity Club" is a documentary about many things.
It's about music, history, racism, crime and urban renewal, but most of all, it's about the people of Rhode Island. It's about the power of music bringing people together.

This film tells the story of Providence's legendary Celebrity Club, located in an African-American neighborhood, Randall Square, and owned by an Italian-American, Paul Filippi. The Celebrity Club is believed to be the first interracial nightclub in New England and featured top national jazz and R&B acts as well as local talent throughout the 1950s. Music royalty such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday and Fats Domino would come to Providence and stay for weeklong engagements.

Rhode Island's rich musical culture is on display in this documentary. Jazz reigns supreme here, from nationally known Rhode Island musicians Bobby Hackett (Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman) to pianist Dave McKenna (Woody Herman, Rosemary Clooney) to saxophonist Paul Gonsalves (Duke Ellington, Count Basie) to vocalist Carol Sloane (Larry Elgart, Kenny Burrell) and many, many more. Local Rhode Island music legends Duke Belaire, Clay Osborne, Randy Ashe and Ed Coates share their personal stories about the club, racism, and growing up in little Rhody.

"Do It, Man! The Story of The Celebrity Club" is a film about a forgotten club with an unforgettable story!

  • Tom Shaker
    Director
  • Norm Grant
    Director
  • Tom Shaker
    Writer
  • Norm Grant
    Writer
  • Tom Shaker
    Producer
  • Norm Grant
    Producer
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Genres:
    Music
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 13 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 25, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Jukebox International Film Festival
  • Rhode Island Black Film Festival
  • Shawna Shea Film Festival
    Southbridge
    United States
    October 4, 2018
    Best Documentary
  • 2018 Peter C. Rollins Award For Best Documentary (PCA/ACA)
  • Miami Independent Film Festival
Director Biography - Tom Shaker , Norm Grant

Norm Grant is a videographer for the Marketing and Communications department at the Community College of Rhode Island. He began his career as a photojournalist.  His photos have appeared in the New York Daily News, Boston Globe, New England Magazine, Hartford Courant, USA Today, Sailing World and Bloomberg Finance. Norm is also a documentary filmmaker and teaches CCRI communication courses as an adjunct instructor. He enjoys music, travel and being near or on salt water.

Tom Shaker has been a college professor for 30 years. He has worked in radio, television and film production in Los Angeles, Boston & Providence. He has co-authored "A Treasury of Jazz & Swing in Rhode Island” with Dennis Pratt. He also hosts "The Soul Serenade" featuring classic soul and funk music on WICN in Worcester, MA. Tom’s on the Board of Directors of the New England Jazz Alliance & the American Diner Museum.

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