NPR

'BANG! The Bert Berns Story': The Complicated Man Behind 'Twist And Shout'

A new documentary examines the short life — and shady business practices — of the songwriter/producer behind hits like "Tell Him," "Here Comes the Night" and "Hang On Sloopy."
Bert Berns (left) and Jerry Wexler (right) wrote The Drifters' "I Don't Want to Go On Without You" in 1964. (But when the music business drove them apart, they did anyway.) Source: Abramorama

There are many explanations for Bertrand Russell Berns' relative obscurity. The subject of Bang! The Bert Berns Story flopped as a performer, and so turned to songwriting and producing. He sometimes composed under aliases such as Bert Russell and Russell Byrd. And several of his tunes became associated with their performers, who were widely assumed to have written them.

Also, Berns died young, succumbing to the

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