Category: Music

RIP: Michael Nesmith

Michael Nesmith died today from heart failure at the age of 78. Nesmith was a singer, song writer, actor, producer and novelist!  He was best known for his role as a member of The Monkees.

The Monkees [Mike, as he was called then, along with Davy JonesMickey Dolenz, and Peter Tork] took the world by storm in 1966.  The group was hand-picked by Screen Gems in an effort to create a tv show about a group of young musicians.  Lightning struck and the group not only had a hit tv series but became one of the biggest selling bands of the 60’s.  In 1967, The Monkees sold more albums than The Beatles and The Rolling Stones combined.  The Monkees even appeared in a feature film called Head that was co-written by Jack Nicholson!

I was a huge Monkees fan like many kids my age [7].  I collected their albums, trading cards, comic books and magazines.  I had a model of The Monkeemobile.  I even followed The Monkees after Peter, then later Mike, quit the band.  Sadly, I never got to see them perform live when they reunited for several reunion tours.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Michael Nesmith’s family, friends and fans.

“Mr. Saturday Night” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

I don’t think the poster or the trailer for Mr. Saturday Night are all that great, but Saturday Night Fever and that era hits a sweet spot for me.  If you’re old enough to remember how the film and soundtrack exploded you’ll understand.  Saturday Night Fever quickly began to influence everything from the way we dressed to clubs we hung out in.  I’ll tune in to Mr. Saturday Night just to get a taste of that bygone time and if the documentary is good that will be a bonus.

#MrSaturdayNightHBO, an HBO original documentary and #MusicBoxHBO film about Robert Stigwood’s gamble that turned Saturday Night Fever into a cultural touchstone, premieres December 9 on HBO Max.

“Cowboy Bebop” Original Title Track & Steve Aoki Remix! Let’s Jam!

Even though I’ve never seen a single episode of the Cowboy Bebop anime (which I am going to rectify soon), I know and like the theme song.  The original artists recently reunited to perform it again!

Yoko Kanno + Seatbelts reunite to perform Tank! — the phenomenal title sequence and theme song of Cowboy Bebop for the live action series. Intros don’t get much better than this. OK. 3, 2, 1… Let’s jam!

From Netflix Geeked, COWBOY BEBOP: UNLOCKED is fans’ one-stop spoiler-filled destination digging into the story secrets, adaptation process and making of Cowboy Bebop.

Featuring fan-favorite Cowboy Bebop characters Jet Black, Spike Spiegel, Faye Valentine, Ein, Vicious and even Radical Ed, live action Cowboy Bebop Netflix release date is available to stream now!

I have seen every episode (and become a huge fan) of the new live-action Cowboy Bebop.  Steve Aoki created a remix of the title track.  Let’s jam!

Now, more than ever, 3, 2, 1… LET’S JAM to Steve Aoki’s remix of Yoko Kanno and Seatbelts’ iconic jazz piece TANK! Watch Cowboy Bebop, now streaming on Netflix.

“Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road” – The Official Trailer is Here!

I’ve never been a big fan of The Beach Boys.  I like several of their songs, but was more into other bands.  It has always intrigued me how people in the music industry talk about the genius of Brian Wilson.  I like the look of this trailer and look forward to learning more about the man behind the band.

Join The Beach Boy’s Brian Wilson on an intimate journey through his legendary career as he reminisces with Rolling Stone editor and longtime friend, Jason Fine. Featuring a new song written and performed by Wilson and interviews with Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Nick Jonas, Linda Perry, Jim James, Gustavo Dudamel and Al Jardine.

brianwilsonlongpromisedroad.com

“The Beatles: Get Back” Docuseries Poster and Trailer are Here!


I’m all-in for The Beatles: Get Back docuseries!

The official trailer for #TheBeatlesGetBack is here! The Disney+ original docuseries, directed by Peter Jackson, will be arriving on Disney+ just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Made entirely from never-before-seen, restored footage, it provides the most intimate and honest glimpse into the creative process and relationship between John, Paul, George, and Ringo ever filmed. Be sure to check them both out, and don’t forget to watch “The Beatles: Get Back” when it rolls out over three days, November 25, 26, and 27, 2021, exclusively on Disney+.

Directed by three-time Oscar®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson (“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, “They Shall Not Grow Old”), “The Beatles: Get Back” takes audiences back in time to the band’s January 1969 recording sessions, which became a pivotal moment in music history. The docuseries showcases The Beatles’ creative process as they attempt to write 14 new songs in preparation for their first live concert in over two years. Faced with a nearly impossible deadline, the strong bonds of friendship shared by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr are put to the test. The docuseries is compiled from nearly 60 hours of unseen footage shot over 21 days, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg in 1969, and from more than 150 hours of unheard audio, most of which has been locked in a vault for over half a century. Jackson is the only person in 50 years to have been given access to this Beatles treasure trove, all of which has now been brilliantly restored. What emerges is an unbelievably intimate portrait of The Beatles, showing how, with their backs against the wall, they could still rely on their friendship, good humor, and creative genius. While plans derail and relationships are put to the test, some of the world’s most iconic songs are composed and performed. The docuseries features – for the first time in its entirety – The Beatles’ last live performance as a group, the unforgettable rooftop concert on London’s Savile Row, as well as other songs and classic compositions featured on the band’s final two albums, Abbey Road and Let It Be.

An exciting new collaboration between The Beatles and Jackson presented by The Walt Disney Studios in association with Apple Corps Ltd. and WingNut Films Productions Ltd., “The Beatles: Get Back” is directed by Peter Jackson, produced by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon, Olivia Harrison, Peter Jackson, Clare Olssen (“They Shall Not Grow Old”) and Jonathan Clyde (“Eight Days a Week”), with Apple Corps’ Jeff Jones (“Eight Days a Week”) and Ken Kamins (“The Hobbit” trilogy) serving as executive producers. Jabez Olssen (“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”) serves as the film’s editor, the music supervisor is Giles Martin (“Rocketman”), Michael Hedges (“The Adventures of Tintin”) and Brent Burge (“The Hobbit” trilogy) serve as the series re-recording mixers, and the music is mixed by Giles Martin and Sam Okell (“Yesterday”).

“Learning To Live Together: The Return of Mad Dogs & Englishmen” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!


I’m interested in seeing Learning To Live Together: The Return of Mad Dogs & Englishmen.  I was never a huge fan of Joe Cocker or Leon Russell so there’s a lot I don’t know about them other than I’ve enjoyed their music over the years.  Yep, deal me in.

Watch the official trailer for “Learning To Live Together: The Return of Mad Dogs & Englishmen,” an electrifying documentary and concert film spotlighting the reunion of the celebrated “Mad Dogs & Englishmen,” Joe Cocker’s short-lived tour featuring a mammoth thirty-two piece band. The original members (including the late Rock’n’Roll Hall of Famer Leon Russell) and the reunion organizers (Grammy Award-winning Tedeschi Trucks Band’s Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi) tell the story of the original tour and the reunion, both highlighted by inspired performances.

Official selection of the Woodstock Film Festival (2021) and the Raindance Film Festival (2021)

“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.