Poor ole Ray Stevens is his own grandpa!
The nine-year-old me would be pretty excited about The Monkees appearing in an issue of The Archies. What’s amazing to me is that 50 years later, it’s happening. Check out Flickering Myth if you’re interested in the details.
Rocky’s theme, Gonna Fly Now by Bill Conti, Carol Connors and Ayn Robbins is arguably one of the greatest movie songs of all-time. Over 40 years later, Gonna Fly Now is still instantly recognizable by folks of all ages, is used at sporting events of all kinds and remains a popular (and inspirational) workout song.
Surprisingly, another song was set to be Rocky’s Theme! (One of the lyrics: “He has a Sunday punch that will knock you in to Monday!”)
Check out the short video below to learn how Gonna Fly Now made into into Rocky and film/music history.
Obviously Halloween is a better fit for monsters than Christmas, but I was surprised that Pickett’s Christmas song isn’t better known. If you’d like to learn more about Pickett and his songs check out The Monster Mash Guy… at PaleoFuture.
Me-TV presents 13 Intriguing Facts About the 1962 Graveyard Smash the Monster Mash. Here are three of my favorites…
THE CRYPT-KEEPERS FEATURED SOME KEY FIGURES.
“The Crypt-Kickers” band behind the original “Monster Mash” recording featured Gary S. Saxton, who wrote the 1960 smash hit “Alley Oop” that Pickett said inspired his song. The flip side of the record featured Leon Russell (whose “A Song for You” has been covered by more than 200 artists) on “Monster Mash Party.” Russell played piano, which he also did on songs for bands like the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean. Elton John calls Russell a mentor. Considering this track record, it makes even more sense why the “Monster Mash” single took off.
THE BEACH BOYS LOVED TO PLAY IT LIVE.
Several successful cover versions of “Monster Mash” exist, including a memorable version by the Beach Boys. They made it a feature of their live show, where Mike Love came out of “his cage” to step up on vocals and the audience would flip out. Later the punk band the Misfits would revive the song again for audiences in 1997, as it was a favorite childhood song of the band’s bassist, Jerry Only, who said the decision to cover it was a “no-brainer” for the heavily Halloween-themed band who performed on the holiday every year. We wonder whose fans loved it more. Hear Beach Boys fans lose their minds screaming in response to the song below. (Click over to see the video of the Beach Boys playing the Monster Mash.)
PICKETT APPEARED IN FILMS OF VARIED CLASSIC GENRES.
When Pickett wrote “Monster Mash,” he was also an aspiring actor. He went on to appear in a handful of films that matched his heavy sense of genre, including the beach party movie It’s a Bikini World (1967), a foray into biker culture in Chrome and Hot Leather (1971) a horror movie (of course) Deathmaster (1972), and a novelty sci-fi film, Lobster Man From Mars (1989). Additionally, he wrote a bunch of musicals like Frankenstein Unbound.
Give ’em a listen. You won’t be disappointed.
Glen Campbell has passed on. From his official website:
It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Glen is survived by his wife, Kim Campbell of Nashville, TN; their three children, Cal, Shannon and Ashley; his children from previous marriages, Debby, Kelli, Travis, Kane, and Dillon; ten grandchildren, great- and great-great-grandchildren; sisters Barbara, Sandra, and Jane; and brothers John Wallace “Shorty” and Gerald.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Glen Campbell Memorial Fund at BrightFocus Foundation through the CareLiving.org donation page.
I was and continue to be a Glen Campbell fan. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and fans.
Baby Driver (2017)
Director: Edgar Wright
Screenplay: Edgar Wright
Stars: Ansel Elgort, Jon Bernthal, Jon Hamm, Eiza González, Lily James, Kevin Spacey and CJ Jones.
The Pitch: “Hey, Edgar Wright has this cool idea for a crime love story wrapped around a killer soundtrack!”
Tagline: All you need is one killer track.
The Overview: Beware of Spoilers…
Baby is a young getaway driver working off a debt to a crime boss. Baby has one more heist to drive and he’s out debt-free. Then Baby meets the girl of his dreams and things get complicated, not because of her but because preparation for the job goes sideways. People die and Baby finds himself on the run from his team and the cops.
Edgar Wright has created a cool, action-packed love story wrapped around bigger than life characters all moving through life to their own internal soundtrack. The more I think about Baby Driver the more I like it. Wright’s story is a fable or yarn that has all of the characters you’d want, played by people you’d cast. Yeah, Baby Driver deserves an “A”.
Today he is no longer able to talk or understand speech. But before slipping into this last stage, he did decide to record one more album…
…Choosing the songs was easy. “It was about helping Glen check off his bucket list,” says Kim, 58. “Any time that Glen picked up a guitar at home, these were the songs he would play for fun: Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right, A Thing Called Love. They were always his go-to songs.
My heart goes out to Glen Campbell, his family and his fans.
Alex Maidy and JoBlo.com posted their choices for the Top 10 Movie Soundtracks of All Time. Using just their list here are my top three and my suggestions for soundtracks that should have made the cut….
#8 – SUPERFLY
#6 – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
#1 – PULP FICTION
How could these soundtracks not have made the cut…
– Saturday Night Fever: Biggest selling soundtrack ever.
– Nighthawks: So under-rated as a film and soundtrack.
– Sharkey’s Machine: see above
– From Dusk Til Dawn: Tarantino knows how to make a soundtrack.
– Jackie Brown: See above.
– Escape from New York: John Carpenter soundtrack!
– Sin City: Robert Rodriguez soundtrack
– Rocky: Bill Conti classic.
What did I miss?
Puddles the Sad Clown with the Golden Voice has the Folsom Prison Pinball Blues! There is no way these two songs should combine to create a song this good!
George Michael died yesterday. He was 53.
Like most folks, I first became aware of George Michael when “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” hit the charts back in the 1980s. At the time Michael was part of the duo Wham. The song was an upbeat, fun tune and featured Michael dancing as he sang giving us no insight into the artist we were viewing.
It wasn’t until Michael left Wham and began recording on his own that we would see his true talents emerge. Michael sold more than 100 million records worldwide, had seven number one singles in the UK and eight number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. Billboard ranks him the 40th-most successful artist to ever live.
Michael was a generous man performing in many concerts with the proceeds designated for charities, donating all of the proceeds from the single “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” among ten different charities for children, AIDS and education. Michael also supported the Elton John AIDS Foundation and gave to other charities anonymously.
George Michael always seemed to me the perfect example of a troubled artist. A good looking guy, who wanted to be seen as more than just another handsome face. A man who appeared to have it all but struggled with private issues. A generous man with talent and financial resources that he shared with the world.
Rest in Peace, George Michael. Your music and memory will live on.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to George Michael’s family, friends and fans.