The Classic/Retro Pop Culture Thread

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by The Old Mixer, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    _______

    50th Anniversary Viewing

    The Ed Sullivan Show
    Season 21, episode 36
    Originally aired July 6, 1969
    As represented in The Best of the Ed Sullivan Show

    I think Bobby is more of the oldsters' bag at this point. Anyway, he sings a medley consisting of past hits "Blue Velvet" (charted Aug. 10, 1963; #1 US the weeks of Sept. 21 through Oct. 5, 1963; #1 AC), "Take Good Care of My Baby" (charted Mar. 30, 1968; #33 US; #14 AC; was a #1 hit for not-to-be-confused-with Bobby Vee in 1961), and "Please Love Me Forever" (charted Sept. 30, 1967; #6 US; #39 AC):

    tv.com indicates that "Halfway to Paradise" (charted July 20, 1968; #23 US; #8 AC) was also part of this medley, though not shown in Best of or the clip above.

    The singer-actress performs an uptempo, swingish number for the easy listening crowd who were home watching Sullivan on balmy summer evenings. I couldn't find a thing about the song, given its ridonculously common title.

    Jackie's deadpan-delivered routine includes a bit about having an LSD trip in which he saw Ed in tights and other bits about an author and his father both dying at an automat while trying to eat cherry pie without taking it out of the slot...killed by the little glass door coming down.

    Previously mentioned when I first saw the Best of episode in fall of 2017 and discovered that the male singer of this obscure Canadian group was a young Victor Garber...and now available on YouTube!

    I recall noting at the time that the Laura Nyro-written song sounded 5th Dimensionish to me...I don't recall if I discovered then that the 5D would later do the song themselves, on their 1970 album Portrait and as a single release (charts June 13, 1970; #27 US; #10 AC; #41 R&B).

    In the spirit of the holiday weekend, the singer-actor does a rendition of "America the Beautiful" that includes a vaguely Shatneresque spoken-word section at the beginning. Say, why are we inside watching Sullivan in July when we could be outdoors watching fireflies and shooting off bottle rockets?

    Finally, Bobby Vinton returns to perform a swinging, big-band arrangement of "Those Were the Days" that could have been a lot better than it was. What we ultimately get is an earsore of a sonic mess. I couldn't find a clip of the performance, but here's a more subdued studio version that doesn't sound quite so bad from a then-recent album:


    Also in the original episode according to tv.com:
    _______

    50th Anniversary Fly-on-the-Wall Listening

    On July 9, another song to be released on Abbey Road takes shape:


    _______

    But in Nashville Skyline even the rhyming isn't as engaging. There's nothing resembling the crazy wordplay of "Subterranean Homesick Blues"...
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2019
  2. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    When I scrolled down to this video I took one look and thought, this is going to be a disaster. But to my surprise, it wasn't half bad. The 3 singers have great voices and Save the Country is a great song (love Laura Nyro). Would never have known that was Victor Garber.

    One last thing, the dude on keyboards is scary. :lol:
     
  3. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    It does have a groovy, sign-o-the-times vibe. Why weren't these kids at Woodstock?
    Only on full moons.
     
  4. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Ah, I love it when I'm just finishing a post and the power goes out for thirty seconds.

    Her follow-up hit was "Song."

    There's some Tales from the Crypt material.

    Hahaha, Victor Garber. :rommie: The best part is that he looks just like me as a teenager. :rommie:

    The original version is magic. It's tough to replicate that.

    Yeah, that's one of my favorites (the video is a classic, too). That's his Magnum Opus when it comes to rhyming. :rommie:

    They were on their way when he got recruited by the CIA.
     
  5. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    _______

    The Saint
    "The Time to Die"
    Originally aired November 10, 1968 (UK)
    The teaser features Simon getting a package with a snake in it and a threatening letter. Often the setup for the halo is really obvious visually. You can tell when they're putting Moore in the shot that will feature it. For once the guest heroine isn't really part of the plot, she's a reporter doing a story on him...Mary Ellen Brent (Suzanne Lloyd).More threats ensue, including a faux death announcement that leaves specific details blank.

    Templar consults with a Special Intelligence contact, Dinny Haigh (John Barcroft), to obtain a list of recently released foes, and runs through some of the names/situations...it would be interesting if there were continuity with previous episodes, but my memory of the ones I've seen isn't that sharp and it seemed pretty common for shows in this era to pull such references out of nowhere. Dinny is engaged in target practice, which gives Simon the opportunity to display that he's a marksman despite his general disuse of guns.

    Simon catches a shady acquaintance, Charlie Mason (Terence Rigby), rigging a lamp for electrocution in his apartment, but he's only a hireling. After questioning Charlie, Simon pays a visit to one of the likely suspects, Marty Sumrie. Marty has been described as having tried to abscond with a shipment of uncut diamonds that Simon was guarding, but when Simon is snooping around Sumrie's shop, he finds a group of clippings about a bank heist. Simon is confronted by Sumrie's vengeful wife (Monica Grey) and finds that Marty is dead (and conveniently for dramatic purposes, lying in state in the back room).

    After this visit, Simon gets a wreath announcing his death in two days. Charlie serves as a go-between in setting up an appointment to meet the mystery villain, but when Simon gets there he finds Charlie recently murdered and the killer having fled. Mary becomes a suspect when she's on the scene for that, but subsequently has shots fired at her in the street outside of Simon's apartment. Simon then gets a tip from Charlie's girlfriend (Linda Marlowe) about where the man who hired Charlie parks his car, but she takes a bullet meant for Simon and the killer gets away again.

    Following this, Mary is abducted from Simon's apartment. The villain leaves a tape of what sounds like a deep, raspy, but feminine voice. Following the taped instructions, Simon is driven to a cemetery, where inside a mausoleum he finds a set of clippings that matches the one at Sumrie's shop. He then learns that the villain is...Steven Lyall (Maurice Good), brother of Philip Lyall, who died in a car crash during the heist reported in the clippings. Steven survived the same crash and seems to have received a throat injury from it. Any connection to Sumrie isn't mentioned in dialogue, which further confuses the situation of Sumrie's encounter with Simon not sounding like the heist described by the clippings. Simon rescues Mary from a burning cellar, which Steven falls into via its open trap door during a tussle.

    This was an otherwise interesting episode with a surprisingly random villain with unclear set-up in the story. I thought for sure that the villain would be Sumrie's widow, though perhaps she was a deliberate red herring.

    _______

    The Wild Wild West
    "The Night of the Egyptian Queen"
    Originally aired November 15, 1968
    The ruby thieves break into the museum from a crate wearing special breathing suits, and knock out Jim with colorful gas. The museum's curator is Morgan Farley. There's an actual Egyptian princess/would-be queen involved, the ruby being part of her dowry, which is needed for an impending marriage that will mean peace between her country and another. Parties displeased about the theft include an American official named Finley (Walter Brooke) and the princess's steward, Heisel (Sorrell Booke).

    The agents get a ransom note with the specified locale being a bar called...the Blue Whale! Jim attempts to negotiate with Jason Starr (Tom Troupe) via a speaker, and learns the location of the ruby while Rosie (Penny Gaston) is dancing on a table where Artie is sitting, disguised as a British sea captain who'd look right at home in Collinsport. When Starr's man Ferret (Hal K. Dawson) takes a dagger in the back from an unseen party, a brawl ensues in which Rosie flees the scene and Cap'n Artie gets to deck Red West. Rosie ducks into an ice house, which is not the first place you'd look for a barefoot girl in a belly dancer's outfit.

    Cap'n Artie investigates the knife by going to an Arabian club run by Amalek (William Marshall), who shows an interest in it and consults with an unseen superior. Amalek tries to drug Artie via his drink, but Artie uses some magic tricks as a diversion to covertly dump it. Amalek is persistent and tries more direct persuasive tactics to learn about where Artie got the dagger, and Artie basically tells him while pretending to know where the ruby is.

    Meanwhile Jason tries to persuade Rosie to tell him where she left the ruby. Her unwillingness to talk allegedly has something to do with her blaming Jason for the death of Ferret, who was like a father to her. Jason tries to intimidate her with a tarantula, which is not the first thing that girl who's still in a belly dancer's outfit wants crawling on her, but Jim swings to the rescue and takes her back to the train. She maintains that she doesn't know where the ruby is, and Jim and Artie don't let on that they don't believe her. Artie also can't understand why everyone values the ruby so much, as he had a chance to examine it at the museum and found that it wasn't a particularly valuable specimen.

    Rosie slips out of the train and back to the ice house, still wearing her belly dancer's outfit, with the addition of an overcoat gallantly provided to her by the agents. She's followed by Jim, who chips it out of the block of ice in which it's become embedded...just in time for Jason to show up, take the ruby, and lock them in a chamber inside the ice house. Jim uses the old "bust out of the ice house vault with some thermite" trick and they find that Jason has been killed and the ruby taken again.

    Cap'n Artie pays another visit to Amalek while carrying a fake ruby, and finds that Amalek has the real one. Artie escapes some torture, which involves tussling with Red West again, just as Jim arrives. They go back to the museum, where Amalek and his secret boss, who turns out to be Heisel, are returning the ruby. The true value of the ruby is that it comes with the Indiana Jones Option, revealing the location of a treasure hidden in the chamber recreated by the exhibit only when the moon is in a specific position that occurs once every 12 years. Artie recreates the just-passed moonlight with moonlight reflected via mirror, the anticipated red beam indicates the location, and Boss H. opens the piece that contains the treasure, taking a fatal booby-trap knife.

    For once the story's heroine shows up at the train in the coda, and finally having changed into day clothes. She says that she's there to collect her things, though she originally visited the train with only the working clothes on her. When they learn that she wanted the ruby to open her own business and get out of the belly dancer trade, they sympathetically give her a diamond that the Egyptian princess had just sent them as a gift, which they couldn't keep anyway. In return, she opens her bag and gives them back the candle holders that she was stealing from the train.

    _______

    The video is iconic, and I don't use the word as loosely as so many do these days.

    _______

    Speaking of Collinsport, I was in Maine for part of the holiday weekend and passed by this street. Looks like a private drive.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  6. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Did it come from Amazon? Hahaha.

    Obviously not a real electrician, because he showed up on time.

    Revenge episodes really need to be especially well done to be worth it, because the revenge plot is one of the laziest there is. For a while in the late 70s, it seemed like every detective show I looked at was a revenge plot by some villain we had never seen before.

    I wonder if this is a deliberate homage.

    Or the first place you'd want to find her, for that matter.

    About freakin' time he figured that one out.

    So George Lucas was a Wild Wild West fan. Makes sense.

    Kind of a good news, bad news situation.

    Definitely agreed.

    That's cool. Not exactly Collinwood in the background, but more my bag anyway.
     
  7. TREK_GOD_1

    TREK_GOD_1 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Speaking of Collinwood, some tragic news about a former Dark Shadows cast member:
    Willy Wonka Star Denise Nickerson, 62, Taken Off Life Support After Suffering Severe Stroke

    She might be best known for Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, or her run on The Electric Company, but I believe it was her role as Amy Jennings (and Nora Collins) on Dark Shadows from 1968-70. Truth be told, her DS role was what brought her mainstream attention at a time (1968) when the series was riding high in the ratings.
     
  8. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    That's awful. 62 is not that old, and way too young for a fatal stroke. And she was looking forward to seeing her new granddaughter. :(
     
  9. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    _______

    55 Years Ago This Week


    Selections from Billboard's Hot 100 for the week:

    Leaving the chart:
    • "Beans in My Ears," The Serendipity Singers (8 weeks)
    • "Hello, Dolly!," Louis Armstrong & The All Stars (22 weeks)
    • "Love Me Do," The Beatles (14 weeks)
    • "My Guy," Mary Wells (15 weeks)
    • "Today," The New Christy Minstrels (13 weeks)

    New on the chart:

    "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love," Solomon Burke

    (#58 US; #4 R&B; #429 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time)

    "Ain't She Sweet," The Beatles

    (#19 US; #29 UK; recorded in 1961 during the German sessions with Tony Sheridan)

    "People Say," The Dixie Cups

    (#12 US; #7 R&B)

    "It Hurts to Be in Love," Gene Pitney

    (#7 US; #36 UK)

    "A Hard Day's Night," The Beatles

    (#1 US the weeks of Aug. 1 and 8, 1964; #1 UK; #153 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time)

    Total Beatles songs on the chart: 2

    _______
     
  10. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Not great.

    Not their best, but catchy and nice.

    Pleasant, and sounds like the 50s.

    I like this one.

    And an all-time classic.
     
  11. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    _______

    50 Years Ago This Week

    Apollo11Liftoff.jpg

    Click here for liftoff. The prophecy of Kennedy and Kramden has come to pass--To be continued in next week's post!



    And The Old Mixer is the size of an ear of corn. Now that's more like it...I'll always be a Midwestern boy at heart.


    Selections from Billboard's Hot 100 for the week:

    Leaving the chart:
    • "Don't Let the Joneses Get You Down," The Temptations (8 weeks)
    • "Everyday with You Girl," Classics IV feat. Dennis Yost (11 weeks)
    • "More Today Than Yesterday," Spiral Starecase (15 weeks)
    • "See," The Rascals (8 weeks)

    New on the chart:

    "I'm Free," The Who
    (#37 US)

    "Marrakesh Express," Crosby, Stills & Nash
    (#28 US; #17 UK)

    "Birthday," Underground Sunshine
    (#26 US)

    "Workin' on a Groovy Thing," The 5th Dimension

    (#20 US; #9 AC; #15 R&B)

    "The Nitty Gritty," Gladys Knight & The Pips

    (#19 US; #2 R&B)

    "Your Good Thing (Is About to End)," Lou Rawls

    (#18 US; #35 AC; #3 R&B)

    "Honky Tonk Women," The Rolling Stones

    (#1 US the weeks of Aug. 23 through Sept. 13, 1969; #1 UK; #116 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time)

    _______

    The contributors to the Rolling Stone list would disagree with you...as would The Rolling Stones, who'll be covering it on one of their early albums.

    John seemed to have a particular fondness for this 1920s standard. They recorded it in Hamburg because it was part of their live set in the early days, and in addition to this recording, at least two outtakes of John performing are officially available...one from the Abbey Road sessions, available on Anthology 3, and one from his 1974 Walls and Bridges sessions, available on John Lennon Anthology.

    RJ's goin' to the bookstore and he's
    gonna get a wall calendar...


    This is one of the songs that persuaded me to get Gene Pitney at the Top 10 level, though even some of his stuff that charted that high can be cringey. I was surprised to read that it wasn't written by Neil Sedaka….reportedly is was written for Neil Sedaka, but as he was a songwriter, I'm not sure why he needed other people selling him knockoffs of his own style.

    That iconic guitar chord intro heralds a new surge of chart activity for the Fabs, as we'll be seeing multiple singles from A Hard Day's Night and their B-sides charting at the same time. I imagine this has something to do with how the soundtrack album was being released by United Artists, so Capitol was apparently competing with them in pushing out their own releases of the same product...something that will be especially blatant with the misnamed American album Something New, which will come out hot on the heels of the soundtrack and contain many of the same songs! At any rate, it's great music.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019 at 12:53 AM
  12. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Gene Pitney was kind of a guilty pleasure for me even as a kid. He was a bit corny, even for the 60's, and he loved those big schmaltzy choruses, but so did I :lol:. He also did songs by a young Burt Bacharach. Both Liberty Valance and 45 Minutes From Tulsa were Bacharach songs.
    Lou Rawls was one of the great and unsung voices of the rock era. He had like a 3 or 4 octave vocal range (which is on display right here in "Good Thing"), and was one of the most versatile singers of his generation. He could easily jump between straight up pop, jazz, blues, r&b, and gospel and make any of them sound like his main genre. His voice is the second "Yeah" on Sam Cooke's classic begging song, "Bring it On Home to Me", and I also think he sang those high pitched backing vocals on Sam's "Wonderful World".
    Yeah, Mick and Keith knew a good one when they heard it.
     
    J.T.B. likes this.
  13. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    At which time I will have a contribution of my own to post.

    I always suspected you were one of them children of the corn.

    Love it. Hard to go wrong with The Who.

    Love this, too. Crosby, Stills & Nash (and Young) are great.

    Underground Sunshine. That would be a great name for a band.

    Not their best, but I love how they sound.

    Hmm, this is nice. I don't know if I ever heard it before.

    Lou Rawls is okay. Not my favorite.

    Not my favorite Stones song.

    Yeah, I saw that. It just didn't grab me.

    I forgot to mention that it always reminds me of Jack Elam. :rommie:

    I'm all wibbly wobbly timey wimey....
     
  14. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    _______

    The Saint
    "The Master Plan"
    Originally aired November 17, 1968 (UK)
    Simon's visiting a club where Jean Lane (Lynn Ashley)'s brother has been seen and runs into the owner, an acquaintance named Cord Thrandel (John Turner), who drugs Simon with a trick ring and has him dragged into a hidden cell off of his back office, with Jean obligingly following. This is the first time I've seen them do the Halo shot with Simon unconscious. I think Turner's supposed to be doing an American accent...whatever it is, it's distractingly bad.

    Turning Jean's rigid bead necklace into a stick, the revived Simon uses it to reach the secret lever for the cell door through the door's large, open peephole. He then roughs up one of Cord's goons and finds out where Tony (Paul Greenhalgh) is, but finds him unconscious from gas following an encounter with Cord. The medics get to Tony in time, and looking through his things, Simon finds a card that leads him to an Asian/Indian antique shop that he's staking out just as Cord brings by his associate from Hong Kong, Mr. Ching (Burt Kwouk, who had roles in Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice). Simon eavesdrops as they discuss the arrival of an important shipment.

    Cord pays a visit to the still unconscious Tony in the hospital, dressing as a doctor with a really fake American accent. His attempt to smother Tony with a pillow is interrupted by Jean, and by the time he's dealt with her, Simon's coming in, so he flees. Going to the warehouse with papers he'd pilfered from the antique shop, Simon finds the box of opium-filled statuettes, gets engaged in some tussles with Cord and an underling, and gets away. He then visits the now-conscious Tony, who confesses to how he'd been blackmailed by Cord into delivering the drugs to clubs. Cord catches Simon outside the hospital at gunpoint and brings him back to his office, where he uses the also-nabbed Jean to persuade Simon to help him retrieve the correct crate. Back at the office again, Simon entertains an offer of employment from Ching to rattle Cord, a fight ensues, and the police arrive, having been tipped off by a clue that Simon dropped while retrieving the crate.

    The title certainly isn't descriptive of anything going on in the story. This one was sort of entertainingly bad, as there wouldn't have been much of a plot if the main villain hadn't been such an overreactive buffoon. Even Ching describes him as a fool who's all brawn and no brains. albeit a bit late in the story for us to appreciate that the portrayal is on purpose.

    _______

    The Wild Wild West
    "The Night of Fire and Brimstone"
    Originally aired November 22, 1968
    Jim and Artie ride into the deserted town at the request of Prof. Colecrest (John Crawford), but he's down in one of the shafts being interrogated by the twin Trek baddies, Morton (Charles Macaulay) and Roach (Robert Phillips). The duo come up to meet West, with Morton pretending to be Colecrest. But Morton and Roach see through their seeing through his ruse, following which an announcement of the real Colecrest having escaped serves as a diversion, and a firefight ensues during which the agents duck into a mine entrance and find the real Colecrest...while being spied upon by the Civil War vet (Dabbs Greer), who looks a lot older than he needs to be considering the show is supposed to be set in the 1870s and it's part of Jim's backstory that he served.

    With Colecrest unable to move, Artie slips out to fetch a local doctor while Jim plays a game of cat and mouse with the baddies down in the mines, getting in the obligatory use of the piton pistol and obligatory decking of Red West along the way. Jim also uses some other specialized projectiles for his pistol that embed themselves in the mine walls, giving him handholds for dropping down on the baddies; and the still-unseen-by-the-other-characters vet provides a distraction, apparently with his saber, though the editing of the shots doesn't make this very clear.

    Meanwhile Artie enlists the aide of Dr. Sloane (Bill Quinn), who acts selfless about riding into danger despite his own illness, though some drama is milked via his protective daughter, Dooley (Leslie Charleson). Meanwhile Jim sees the vet, Captain Butler, and finds the hidden Confederate supply stash that he's been guarding. Butler not only thinks that the war is still on, with once-impending battles not having occurred yet, but that the skeleton of his sergeant is still alive.

    Dooley rides in to bring her father the medicine that he'd left behind, and the baddies take her hostage to get Dr. Sloane to come out. It's Artie who comes out in his place, not only having somehow put together a Dr. Sloane disguise complete with trick medicine bag while trapped in a mine shaft, but all inside of a five-minute deadline to boot! With a timely distraction from said bag, he and the since-captured Jim overcome all of the baddies in a brawl, following which they learn from Colecrest, who's regained consciousness, that the secret the baddies were trying to get out of him was the location of Butler and his stash, which includes a hidden treasure. All that's left to do after that is to get Butler to stand down, which Artie does by conjuring up a disguise of General Lee!

    _______

    Definitely a great voice...but unsung...?


    Nifty! :techman:

    This isn't where we find out that you're a Moon landing conspiracy theorist, is it...? :eek:

    The Who can go wrong when they don't make tracks from Tommy officially available on YouTube...! :scream:
    [ETA: Don't know why I wasn't finding it before, but I've replaced the linked audio clip with the official one.]

    Not as great a debut for them as their next single could have been. The thing this song always brings to mind is how Iggy Pop cited it as an example of the type of music he was trying to serve as an alternative to when he ventured into the musical territory that would be retronymed "proto-punk".

    They managed to take a perfectly good rocker off the White Album that was begging to be covered and do an astonishingly lame version of it. I couldn't even find this track digitally, so the only reason it's here is that it's a minor hit of a Beatles cover.

    Pretty much my thoughts. They're just keeping the bench warm for their next chart-topper at this point...which will reach its peak at the same time that The Old Mixer busts out of the produce section.

    Shirley Ellis did a #8 version of it in 1963, which I think I covered as 55th anniversary biz.

    Nor mine, technically...but it's still an awesome, classic number, showcasing the band in peak form.

    How's that?
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019 at 12:54 AM
  15. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    What I mean is, Lou was known for his string of pop/r&b hits, but I doubt many of even his biggest fans knew that technically, he could sing more popular guys like Marvin Gaye, Stevie, Smokey, under the table. In terms of vocal versatility and pure ability, I think he was right up there with Sam Cooke and Ray Charles.

    I have always liked Sweet Soul Music, but it always struck me as an odd song. He pays tribute to Wilson Pickett, James Brown, Otis Redding, Lou Rawls, AND Sammy Davis for some inexplicable reason. Every time I hear the song and he mentions Sammy, I just think, :shrug:

    And I'm not one of those folks who just hates Sammy. I think he was the most talented member of the Rat Pack as well as one of the most fascinating.
     
  16. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Will it increase your appreciation of the song to learn that he's singing about Sam & Dave in that part?

    Ah, don't they look great, y'all
    Singin' hold on I'm comin'

     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  17. gblews

    gblews Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    :lol: Okay, "Sam and Dave"."Sammy Davis".

    Well, looks like Arthur did get it. :) And I was enjoying that little "mystery".
     
  18. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    Happy to set the record straight after, what, 52 years...? :p
     
  19. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    Sarcasm? :rommie:

    Maybe they just realized how badly things were going and decided to throw that in.

    Maybe he was already senile when he enlisted, and that's why they stuck him in a mine-- I don't think they had age restrictions in the Confederate army.

    Nice creepy touch.

    He's a projecting telepath.

    See? "Conjuring up." You know. :D

    I'm here to tell you the good news from the Cheese People of the Moon.

    Really? How odd. I can't think what he meant by that. "Marrakesh Express" is not exactly granny music.

    Yeah, I just kept thinking "Why?" :rommie:

    Then I've heard it.


    :D
     
  20. The Old Mixer

    The Old Mixer Mih ssim, mih ssim, nam, daed si Xim. Moderator

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    _______

    50th Anniversary Cinematic Special

    Easy Rider
    Directed by Dennis Hopper
    Starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Jack Nicholson
    Premiered May 12, 1969 (Cannes Film Festival); July 14, 1969 (US)
    1970 Academy Award nominee for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Jack Nicholson) and Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Material Not Previously Published or Produced (Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Terry Southern)

    Well, I can certainly see where this film would have attracted attention in its time...for one thing, it's very in-your-face with the drug motif from the get-go. Phil Spector cameos as "Connection" in one of the early drug deal scenes, looking a lot like Mike Nesmith.

    Wyatt and Billy are emblematic of the counterculture, with their freewheeling lifestyle that sometimes involves bits of freeloading and often involves facing prejudice from more conservative locals. And tellingly, this also entails sometimes not being able to trust their own kind...e.g., "Stranger on Highway" (Luke Askew), whom Billy is initially guarded against. The Stranger leads them to a struggling commune whose members include Trek guests Sabrina Scharf and Robert Walker, as well as Luana Anders, who's shown up on Dragnet and Adam-12. At one point in the sequence, Walker's doing what looks like Tai Chi, I imagine before most Americans would have known what it was.

    The film provides a stark contrast by cutting immediately from the commune to the small-town parade where Wyatt and Billy are arrested. The Fandango movie clips don't even start until they pick up George (Jack Nicholson) in jail, halfway into the film.


    "It leads to harder stuff"--George has been watching Dragnet! Interestingly, George has his own utopian hippie visions, which he projects through his UFO theories, as shared during his first experience with marijuana:


    George's insightful speech about freedom--which, IIRC, falls between the diner sequence and George's murder by the locals involved--pretty much sums up the whole message of the film, and the times that it reflects:


    Following George's death, Wyatt and Billy treat themselves to a feast and a visit to the House of Blue Lights whorehouse in his memory. There's a very brief flash-forward to the end of the film in this sequence that I read was the last remaining vestige of a larger planned flash-forward motif. Toni Basil appears as one of the ladies, Mary.

    The Mardi Gras scene seems both low-rent and a little grotesque, and I have to wonder if that was a deliberate touch. This leads into one of the film's more striking sequences, the disjointed acid trip / orgy at a New Orleans cemetery, which I shan't be posting a clip of, because nudie bits. Not to make this All About the Beatles, but one thing that really struck me in this sequence was how one of the girls was going on about being dead, which has strong echoes of the inspiration for the song "She Said She Said"--which involved the Beatles having an acid trip with Peter Fonda! I have to wonder if this wasn't a coincidence.

    Very tellingly, Wyatt and Billy's goal of getting to Mardi Gras seems unfulfilling once it's accomplished:

    I'm unclear if they've actually blown their wad of drug cash on the experience, if Wyatt's speaking of a greater lack of fulfillment in the experience, or both.

    The film features strong echoes of the Southern racial violence of then-recent times in the behavior of the rural folk toward Wyatt and Billy, right down to their undignified deaths at the end of the film:

    If Wyatt and Billy didn't literally blow their wad in Orleans, those good ol' boys had no idea what they'd left burning on the side of the road.

    I read that substantially more was spent on the soundtrack licensing than on the rest of the film's production, and it shows. While a lot of them are relative obscuros, the film is chock full of sign-o-the-times numbers:
    • "The Pusher," Steppenwolf
    • "Born to Be Wild," Steppenwolf, featured prominently in the striking opening credits sequence.
    • "Wasn't Born to Follow," The Byrds
    • "The Weight," The Band...ah, I imagine that this would be where the song picked up popularity after its disappointing chart performance as a single.
    • "Bird Song," The Holy Modal Rounders--pretty cacophonous, but suits the surreal nature of the scene, with George riding along in his white suit jacket and football helmet. As I recall, these guys showed up on a Laugh-In.
    • "Don't Bogart Me," Fraternity of Man
    • "If Six Was Nine," The Jimi Hendrix Experience (still suffering from a lack of material available on YouTube)
    • "Let's Turkey Trot," Little Eva--played in the diner scene no doubt for deliberate contrast with the other music in the film, underscoring how behind the times that segment of America was.
    • "Kyrie Eleison," The Electric Prunes, in the House of Blue Lights sequence after George's death.
    • "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)," Roger McGuinn--written by Bob Dylan and originally featured on his landmark 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home, it demonstrates that rhyming talent that's conspicuously absent from Dylan's 1969 work.
    • "Ballad of Easy Rider," Roger McGuinn--Here's the Byrds version.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easy_Rider#Significance

    I find it quite interesting how closely related this film is to Head in terms of production, because you couldn't ask for a better contrast of the do's and don'ts of making a trippy film in the late '60s. Here it obviously worked, as evidenced by the in-the-times and historical acclaim that Easy Rider enjoys. This one is a must-see in the 50th anniversary immersive retro experience.

    _______

    It sounded like stock dialogue they'd write for a bigger villain describing the smaller villain, but proved to be particularly apt in this case.

    Ah, so you're with Kraft...or was that Velveeta...?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marrakesh_Express#Reception_and_current_appeal

    Ah. I would've focused on Isaac Hayes myself.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019