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The Untold Story of a ’60s Hitmaker

 Writer and producer Bert Berns finally gets his due at the Mill Valley Film Festival.

Janis Joplin may have brought “Piece of My Heart” and “Cry Baby” to the flower children, but the man behind those tunes—as well as dozens of other hits—was a Bronx-born, mobbed-up, Jewish R&B aficionado. Bert Berns, one of the unheralded musical heroes of the ’60s, will finally get his due this month as the documentary Bang! The Bert Berns Story makes its California premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival (Oct. 6–16). The documentary, codirected by San Francisco filmmaker Bob Sarles and Berns’s son, Brett, includes interviews with Paul McCartney, Keith Richards, Ronald Isley, and Van Morrison—the latter of whom wrote “Brown Eyed Girl” under Berns’s watch. The MVFF Music Series will also honor Berns with performances of many of his songs at Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley. saluting a 60s musical hero / new music doc missing from pantheon of music greats / wants you to feel the Berns

Originally published in the October issue of
San Francisco 

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