Category: Music

“Stairway to Gilligan’s Island”: Led Zeppelin & Classic TV Theme Mash-Up performed by Puddles!

How about a fun mash-up.  Originally performed by Little Roger and the Goosebumps, our version is by Puddles aka The Sad Clown with the Golden Voice.  If you ever get a chance to see Puddles perform live, you should take it.  I did and would do it again!  Yep, I’m a fan.

Get this single here: https://smarturl.it/s7pnpj

This mash up was created by Little Roger and the Goosebumps. I asked Roger Clark if he would be cool with me covering this and he said that was ok with him. He’s a swell fella. This video is from my Sequestered Summertime Streaming Show on VEEPS streaming platform. I’ll be continuing my streaming shows until I can get back on the road.

Get the original and more from Little Roger and the Goosebumps here: https://littleroger.bandcamp.com/albu…

Derek Ennis played guitars.
Tim DeLaney played bass, drums, keys, mixed and engineered.
Puddles sang it.

RIP: BJ Thomas

 

Billy Joe aka B.J. Thomas died yesterday at the age of 70 from lung cancer. 

B.J. first came into the public eye with his million-selling cover of the Hank Williams’ classic I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.  His second gold record came two years later with the pop hit, Hooked on a Feeling

The following year, Mr. Thomas was chosen to sing Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head which was featured in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford.  The song earned the Academy Award as Best Original Song and and hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 with sales of over one million copies.  This earned BJ Thomas his third gold record. 

BJ Thomas had another top ten hit that year with I Just Can’t Help Believing.  In 1975, BJ Thomas earned his fourth gold record with  (Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.  From the very start of his career, Mr. Thomas dealt with alcohol and drug dependence.  In 1976, BJ Thomas became a Christian and released his first (of several) gospel albums.  It became the first gospel album to go platinum.

Unless you were alive in 1970, you cannot imagine how popular Keep Fallin’ on My Head was.  It was all over the radio and tv.  That song along with I Just Can’t Help Believing are my favorite songs by BJ Thomas.  As impressive as his career was, it is equally as impressive that he was able to kick his dependency on drugs/alcohol and spoke freely about it.  I’m sure he gave hope to others caught up in the same out of control spiral.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to BJ Thomas’ family, friends and fans.

 

RIP: David Anthony Kraft

David Anthony Kraft, author and publisher, died yesterday from COVID pneumonia.  Mr, Kraft was 68 or 69 (depending on the source).  

David Kraft began his career as a rock and roll journalist.  In 1974, Kraft founded Fictioneer Books which would go on to publish works by Robert E. Howard, Otis Adelbert Kline. and Jack London among others.  In 1975, he began working for Marvel Comics as editor of FOOM and later a writer on many of Marvel’s most popular characters.  Mr. Kraft also worked as a writer for DC Comics in 1976 and again in 1983/84. 

In 1983, he began publishing David Anthony Kraft’s Comics Interview.  The magazine ran for 150 issues with each issue focused on in-depth interviews with comic creators.  The magazine was a favorite with fans and pros alike.  It was a great source of background information, previews of new stories and art in those days before the internet.

My first exposure to David Anthony Kraft was through his Fictioneer Books publishing.  Dragonflame was written by Don McGregor with several illustrations by Paul Gulacy.  My favorite David Anthony Kraft comics were his Captain America stories with Mike Zeck and John Beatty.  And like so many comic fans, I was a regular reader of his Comics Interview magazine.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to David Anthony Kraft’s family, friends and fans.

The Monkees: Behind the Music and Farewell Tour Coming!


I was the perfect age to enjoy The Monkees.  They already had a #1 single (Last Train to Clarksville) when their series premiered in September 1966.  I was a month away from turning 8.  The Monkees were instant stars.  In 1967, The Monkees sold more records than The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined.  

Little did fans know that behind the scenes there was turmoil.  The Monkees had some of the best song writers (Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart, Neil Diamond, Carole King to name a few) and studio musicians (Glen Campbell!) playing on their songs, but The Monkees weren’t allowed creative control or even allowed to play instruments for their records.  They were told what to sing, and when to sing.  Of course this didn’t sit well with them.  Tensions grew after The Monkees went on a sold out tour where they did sing and play their own instruments.  

Despite a popular television show, a feature film, and three number one albums in a row things were about to come off the rails.

The Monkees: Behind the Music is an extremely well done short documentary that looks at the rise and fall of The Monkees.  It’s interesting to note the number of comebacks the group has made over the years with different combinations of Davy, Mickey, Mike and Peter… as well as one outing with Davy, Mickey and song writers Boyce & Hart (who wrote some of the Monkees’ biggest hits).

The Monkees (Mickey and Mike, Davy died in 2012, and Peter passed in 2019) are doing a farewell tour that starts in September 2021, runs for over 30 performances and concludes on November 14th.  I just might have to see them live.  I know that would thrill the 7 year old in me.

 

 

RIP: Tawny Kitaen


Tawny Kitaen, the model and actress, died yesterday at the age of 59.  No cause of death has been released.

Born Julie Kitaen, she began using the nickname Tawny while still in junior high.  Kitaen, who was dating Ratt band member Robbin Crosby while she was still in high school, appeared on Ratt’s first two album covers.  In 1984, she earned a part in the Tom Hanks’ comedy, Bachelor Party.  In 1987, Kitaen rocketed to fame after appearing in three Whitesnake music videos.

Tawny Kitaen’s career spanned 36 years with 45 acting credits.  She was a regular on The New WKRP in Cincinnati which ran for 2 seasons.  Other notable roles included characters on Seinfeld, Married with Children, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.  

Tawny Kitaen’s private life got as much press as her professional career.  In 1989, she married Whitesnake lead singer,  David Coverdale.  They divorced in 1991.  She had an affair with O.J. Simpson while he was married to Nicole Brown Simpson.  In 1997, she married professional baseball player, Chuck Finley.  They had two daughters during their five year marriage which ended in 2002.

I’ll always remember Tawny Kitaen from her appearances in the Whitesnake videos.  I was teaching junior high at the time and 9 out of 10 boys had pictures of her on their notebooks and in their lockers.  According to Marty Callner, who directed the famous Whitesnake videos:  “She (Tawny Kitaen) had so much magic, so much charisma, so sexy, so sweet, I loved her immediately, and I knew, and was right that she would be not only the first, but the ultimate video vixen.”  Who can argue with that?

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tawny Kitaen’s family, friends and fans.

The Greatest 1 Hit Wonders


Ellen Gutoskey decided to take a look at The 50 Most Streamed One Hit Wonders.  Using just her list here are my five favorites and five more that didn’t make the list but would have made mine.  

First up my fav five from the top 50…

  • “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass
  • “Play That Funky Music” by Wild Cherry
  • “Escape (Pina Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes
  • “Walking in Memphis” by Marc Cohn
  • *Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede

And now the five that didn’t make the list…

  • “Born to be Alive” by Patrick Hernandez
  • “Me and Mrs, Jones” by Billy Paul
  • “Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas
  • “Funkytown” by Lipps, Inc.
  • “Venus” by Shocking Blue

RIP: Johnny Crawford

Johnny Crawford, best known as one of the original Mouseketeers and for his role on The Rifleman, died yesterday at the age of 75.  Mr. Crawford had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, COVID-19 and pneumonia, but his cause of death was not specified.

Crawford first rose to fame as one of Walt Disney’s original Mouseketeers.  He would then go on to play roles on The Lone Ranger, The Frank Sinatra Show, Have Gun – Will Travel, The Danny Thomas Show, Wagon Train and many other popular television shows before getting his co-starring role on The Rifleman with Chuck Connors.  At the age of 13, Johnny Crawford was nominated for a Prime Time Emmy for his portrayal of Mark McCain, on The Rifleman.  Crawford and Connors developed a friendship that would continue throughout their lives.  When The Rifleman ended, Crawford appeared on an episode of Connor’s follow-up series, Branded.  Johnny Crawford even spoke at Chuck Connors’ funeral decades later.

Johnny Crawford had a brief career as a singing star.  He had four top forty Billboard hits on Del-FI records.  Throughout his life Crawford acted in television and feature film roles, and in 1992, he formed the JCO (Johnny Crawford Orchestra) which performed at festivals and special events.  Johnny Crawford was an extremely talented individual with a career that spanned over 60 years of performances on stage, television and silver screen.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Johnny Crawford’s family, fans and friends.

“Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story” Teaser is Here!

Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story teaser looks wonderful.  I think the time is right for a film like this – one that will take us to another time and place filled with great music, dancing and a story of forbidden love.   I look forward to seeing Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.

Directed by Academy Award® winner Steven Spielberg, from a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Tony Kushner, “West Side Story” tells the classic tale of fierce rivalries and young love in 1957 New York City. This reimagining of the beloved musical stars Ansel Elgort (Tony); Rachel Zegler (María); Ariana DeBose (Anita); David Alvarez (Bernardo); Mike Faist (Riff); Josh Andrés Rivera (Chino); Ana Isabelle (Rosalía); Corey Stoll (Lieutenant Schrank); Brian d’Arcy James (Officer Krupke); and Rita Moreno (as Valentina, who owns the corner store in which Tony works). Moreno – one of only three artists to be honored with Academy®, Emmy®, GRAMMY®, Tony® and Peabody Awards – also serves as one of the film’s executive producers.

Bringing together the best of both Broadway and Hollywood, the film’s creative team includes Kushner, who also serves as an executive producer; Tony Award® winner Justin Peck, who choreographed the musical numbers in the film; renowned Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor and GRAMMY Award® winner Gustavo Dudamel, who helmed the recording of the iconic score; Academy Award®-nominated composer and conductor David Newman (“Anastasia”), who arranged the score; Tony Award®-winning composer Jeanine Tesori (“Fun Home,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie”), who supervised the cast on vocals; and Grammy®-nominated music supervisor Matt Sullivan (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Chicago”), who served as executive music producer for the film. The film is produced by Spielberg, Academy Award®-nominated producer Kristie Macosko Krieger and Tony Award®-winning producer Kevin McCollum. “West Side Story” has been adapted for the screen from the original 1957 Broadway show, with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and concept, direction and choreography by Jerome Robbins.

From 20th Century Studios, The Walt Disney Company will release “West Side Story” in U.S. theaters on December 10, 2021.

RIP: Jim Steinman

Jim Steinman, lyricist of million-selling hit records, died yesterday at the age of 73.  No cause of death was released.

Steinman is best known for his collaborations with Meat Loaf on the albums Bat Out of Hell (1977) and Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell (1993).  Bat Out of Hell produced two top ten hits: “Two of Three Ain’t Bad” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” and became one of the best-selling albums ever.  Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell released one single: “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” that spent five weeks at No. 1.  Steinman also penned the music and book for Bat Out of Hell: The Musical which ran from February through April in Manchester, England.

Steinman may have been known best for his two collaborations with Meat Loaf, but he composed and produced hits with many other artists including…

  • “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” performed by Air Supply
  • “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (which he also produced) performed by Bonnie Tyler
  • “Nowhere Fast” performed by Fire, Inc. for the Streets of Fire Soundtrack
  • “Left in the Dark” performed by Barbara Streisand
  • “Hulk Hogan’s Theme” for the WWE
  • “Holding Out for a Hero” (which he also produced and co-wrote with Dean Pitchford) performed by Bonnie Tyler
  • “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” performed by Celine Dion
  • and many more.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jim Steinman’s family, friends and fans.

Elvis Presley’s Graceland – Facts You Might Not Know!


I like Elvis Presley’s music and maybe even a few of his movies.  So I’m not what you’d call an Elvis fanatic, but truth be told, I wouldn’t mind visiting Graceland.  There’d be something cool to be able to walk around in Elvis’ mansion (now a tourist hot spot) that has been kept like it was when Elvis lived there.  

Ellen Gutoskey posted 9 Rockin’ Facts About Elvis Presley’s Graceland and it was a fun read.  Before you click over for the full story, here are my three favorites…

ELVIS BOUGHT GRACELAND WHEN HE WAS ONLY 22 YEARS OLD.  (Elvis paid $102,500.00 for the mansion and almost 14 acres of land.  $102,500 in 1957 dollars equals $950,127.58 in 2021.  That shows you how popular and how much dough Elvis was bringing in at such an early stage in his career.  – Craig)

GRACELAND’S JUNGLE ROOM DOUBLED AS A RECORDING STUDIO.  (This is probably the most famous room in the mansion.  Elvis recorded his second to last studio album in the Jungle Room.  It’s cool to know that John Cougar Mellencamp, Kid Rock, and Lisa Marie Presley (Elvis’ daughter) also recorded albums in the Jungle Room. – Craig)

ELVIS KEPT GRACELAND’S KITCHEN STOCKED WITH VERY SPECIFIC ITEMS.  (A lot has been made over the years of Elvis’ love for fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches.  Other items that Elvis wanted to always be available included: banana pudding, ingredients for meatloaf, fudge cookies, fresh orange juice, ice cream, brownies, shredded coconut, hot dogs, ground round steak, biscuits, and gum. 

Looking at that list I’d  say: banana pudding only if it contained Nilla Wafers, meatloaf is a good idea for leftover sandwiches, I’d substitute chocolate chip for fudge cookies, fresh orange juice is good but with Elvis money I would have a McDonald’s Iced French Vanilla Coffee maker installed, ice cream is a must and make sure we have Hershey’s syrup, brownies are a big YES, pass on the shredded coconut, yes to hot dogs (all beef), yes to ground round steak, big YES to biscuits and pass on the gum. – Craig)

“No Ordinary Man: The Billy Tipton Documentary” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Here we have the poster and trailer for No Ordinary Man: The Billy Tipton Documentary.

Billy Tipton was an American musician who played in jazz bands from the 1930s through 1950.  In 1951, he formed the Billy Tipton Trio (along with Dick O’Neil and Kenny Richards).  The trio’s popularity earned them a contract for two albums: Sweet Georgia Brown and Billy Tipton Plays Hi-Fi on Piano.  The records did well enough for a new four album contract, but surprisingly, Tipton declined the offer.  Tipton instead moved to Spokane, where he became a talent agent and performed occasionally.  Tipton retired from music in the late 1970s.

Over the years Tipton had several different woman who went under the title Mrs. Tipton, but the title was without legal standing since he didn’t marry any of them.  In the early 60s, Tipton and one of his “wives” adopted 3 sons.

In 1989, as paramedics worked to save Billy Tipton’s life, they discovered he was a female!   Sadly, the paramedics were unable to save Billy Tipton.

The story that Billy Tipton was actually a woman who lived life as a man undetected by his fellow musicians, his children and even his “wives” made national news.  In 1989, there was little discussion in the main stream media about transgender people, so Billy Tipton’s story was shocking.  Truth be told, it would probably still be considered shocking.  I remember when the story broke about Billy Tipton and I couldn’t understand how so many people close to Billy would have no idea of his secret.

For decades, the life of American Jazz musician, Billy Tipton, was framed as the story of an ambitious woman passing as a man in pursuit of a music career. In No Ordinary Man, Tipton’s story is re—imagined and performed by trans artists as they collectively paint a portrait of an unlikely hero. Together, the filmmakers join Tipton’s son, Billy Jr. to reckon with a complicated and contested legacy: how do you tell the story of someone who was hiding in plain sight yet desperate to be seen? On demand April 2nd.

RIP: Lou Ottens

It has just been announced that Lou Ottens has died at the age of 94.  If Mr. Ottens name doesn’t ring a bell, don’t fell bad.  Mr. Ottens wasn’t famous, but I promise if you’re a certain age, you’ll appreciate his invention because of the hours you spent with it and the enjoyment it brought you.

Mr. Ottens invited the first cassette tape!

Mr. Ottens wanted music to portable, assessable and affordable.  He succeeded on all counts.  I can remember how exited I was to get my first cassette player and blank tapes.  If you’re of a certain age, I’m sure you remember making mix tapes for different occasions and friends.  How cool was it to be able to take your music with you and play it anywhere?  Very cool.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lou Ottens’ family, friends and fans.

RIP: Frank Lupo

It has been announced that Frank Lupo, the creator, writer and producer of many popular television series, died on February 17, 2021, at the age of 66.  No cause of death was given.  Lupo started as a writer on Battlestar Galactica and BJ and the Bear.  Lupo then teamed with Stephen Cannell to create The Greatest American Hero, Hunter, Riptide and my personal favorite, Wiseguy.  Other productions that Lupo was involved in as a writer or producer include The A-Team, Walker, Texas Ranger, and Magnum, PI and those are just the highlights.  What a career!

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Frank Lupo’s family, friends and fans. 

 

RIP: Joan Weldon

Joan Weldon’s family announced yesterday that the singer and actress, died on February 11, 2021, at the age of 90.  No cause of death was given.

Weldon was best known for her co-starring role in the sci-fi, horror classic Them!  Weldon’s career began her singing in the San Francisco Grand Opera Company. She later sang in the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera and on Broadway,  Weldon’s acting career began in 1953.  She appeared in eleven films and made eleven guest appearances on television shows including roles on Cheyenne, Perry Mason, Have Gun Will Travel and Maverick.

After her acting career, Weldon returned to her first love, singing. She appeared in many road show productions including The Music Man and Oklahoma.  Joan Weldon retired in 1980.

I had no idea that Joan Weldon was a singer.  I knew her best from her role in Them!  I thought she was excellent.  I appreciate that she came off as smart (if not smarter) than the men in the movie and she wasn’t there to be saved.  Weldon’s career in movies and television was relatively short, but what an impact she made.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, friends and fans.

The Top 10 All-Time Most Memorable Movie Songs (and One That Should Have Made the List)!

Jonathan Blaauw at Listverse recently posted his choices for the Top 10 Memorable Movie Songs.  His list is a good one.  I was happy to see that Eye of the Tiger by Survivor for Rocky III came in at the number one spot.  Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gees for Saturday Night Fever came in at #9.  I would have put Stayin’ Alive in the top spot, but who am I to quibble.  The songs in Blaauw’s Top Ten were all excellent choices.

If I was making the list however, I would have found a place for Queen’s Who Wants to Live Forever from the movie  Highlander.  I think that Who Wants to Live Forever is not only a cool song, but perfectly fit the film.  There are many other songs that I also might have picked for my top ten but watch the video below and tell me if you don’t agree, Who Wants to Live Forever is one of the great movie songs of all time.