Thursday, June 30, 2011

Movie Music

>>>Maybe you could invite your readers to identify their favorite Oldie used in a movie.
I would nominate Ivory Joe Hunter singing Since I Met You Baby (in Spanish) in the John Sayles movie 'Lone Star', a very good flick and a moving scene.  (Charlie Fraser)

>>>Easy enough for me to remember the most powerful oldies music I ever heard in a movie ... it TOTALLY blew me away and I had to go out and get the soundtrack album the very next day.  The song in question is "Since I Don't Have You" by The Skyliners and I heard it for the very first time in "American Graffiti" ... and to this day it's STILL one of my all-time favorites.  (Believe it or not, I heard "All Summer Long" by The Beach Boys for the very first time in that very same flick!)  kk  

Whoa! Kent, that soundtrack may be the single most, best ever soundtrack ... 42 songs,
I believe ... it's not fair to cite that one! ha ha
And the Twist Scene from Pulp Fiction is one of my very favorites also. Now that they have caught Whitey Bulger, the notorious criminal portrayed loosely by Jack Nicholson in the movie 'The Departed', the end of the movie shows a rat on a bannister as 'Sweet Dreams' plays to end the movie.
Keep it going,

Being 19 at the time (when "American Graffiti" first came out), I wasn't familiar with a lot of the music used in the film ... my first exposure to music came during The British Invasion ... and oldies radio hadn't really taken off yet ... so it was like a whole new world of music opened up to me.  That is why I continue to insist today that oldies music can have the same effect on TODAY'S teenagers if they're exposed to it properly.  There is SO much more to offer in the way of catchy, hook melodies than most of today's music ... it's feel-good music at its very finest. I defy ANY kid (from 8 - 80) not to be affected by the sounds of "Rock Around The Clock", "Sixteen Candles", "Runaway", "Why Do Fools Fall In Love", "That'll Be The Day", "At The Hop", "The Stroll", "Surfin' Safari'", "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", "Little Darlin'", "Peppermint Twist", "Barbara Ann", "Book Of Love", "Ya Ya", "The Great Pretender", "Ain't That A Shame", "Johnny B. Goode", "I Only Have Eyes For You", "Get A Job", "Do You Wanna Dance", "Come Go With Me", "You're Sixteen", "Love Potion Number Nine", "Since I Don't Have You", "Chantilly Lace", "Green Onions", "Only You", "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight" and "All Summer Long" ... and every one of those songs (along with at least a dozen others) are featured in this movie.  It's Rock And Roll History, 101.
This week's DeeJay Assignment:  "A Salute to 'American Graffiti'" ... pick 20 songs from this INCREDIBLE soundtrack and feature them on your show as some sort of an "American Graffiti" tribute ... plug it the day before and tell your listeners to "Tune in tomorrow ... and have your kids listen in, too!" 'cause this is music that they should NOT be denied the chance to hear ... yet look at your normal, regular oldies playlist ... and tell me how many of these GREAT tracks you still play today.  (kk)

My favorite oldies in movies are more like ancienties (new word) in movies, starting with both Nat King Cole's Star Dust and Les Paul & Mary Ford's How High The Moon both used within the first ten minutes or so of "My Favorite Year", the Peter O'Toole movie. Must be some more but since these sprung to mind, I consider them my favorites. Hmmm maybe because the movie is set in the 1950s, some of my favorite years.

Regarding Songs Used in Movies, one of my very favorite soundtracks is from the movie "I Am Sam" with Sean Penn. They are all Beatles songs by some famous and some not so famous artists. I listen to this CD all the time.
Yep, that's a good one.  (Another favorite is "Bye Bye Love" ... which the movie was as good as the soundtrack!  lol)  And how about "Across The Universe"?  But we're looking for an unexpected oldie that came on in a film that just COMPLETELY blew you away ... the PERFECT marriage of song and film.  (Earlier I thought of "Brown Eyed Girl" and "Runaround Sue" from "Sleeping With The Enemy", both unexpected surprises in an otherwise pretty dark film.  Heck, you're even treated to a little snippet of "When You're A Jet" from "West Side Story" when the guy is watering his lawn!!!  lol)  kk

A friend found this on Flickr ...
It's a photo of a real ad that someone found in a late '50s comic book.

DJ Stu Weiss
Yes, we've run these before ... and I used to see them every month when I'd pick up my brand new Superman or Batman comic!!!  (lol)  "Palisades Park" (and its use in the brand new X-Men flick) is the song that kicked off this whole conversation.  Then, after THAT film opened big at the box office, we saw back-to-back #1 Movies "Super 8" and "The Green Lantern", each of which ALSO featured classic oldies like "Undercover Angel" (by our FH Buddy Alan O'Day) and "Come Softly To Me" by The Fleetwoods, respectively.  (You'll find a comment from original Fleetwood Gretchen Christopher below!)  kk

I enjoyed seeing your comments about Jimmy Beaumont and The Skyliners, and how their song Since I Don't Have You is still one of your favorites, and how it made such an impression on you when you heard it that you went out and bought the album the day after seeing American Graffiti. 
I had the exact same feeling the first time I heard that song. It was like it 'haunted' me for hours and days.  I was COMPELLED to buy it and play it over and over.  There is something about it that can't be described.  It's a production to live with and never get tired of and one I know I'll take to the grave in my head. 
I was a little unhappy when a  recent Oldies PBS Special I was watching featured The Skyliners but featured the girl singer doing the solo work on a song I thought was good but just not the same as Jimmy singing what, in my opinion, The Skyliners do best, Since I Don't Have You. 
The PBS Producers of those shows might have great promotional sense, but in my opinion it was a BIG mistake to substitute the song The Skyliners performed on that show for Since I Don't Have You.  
That PBS Special is a recent release so you might have not seen it yet, but I want to tell you, Jimmy Beaumont, God Bless him, did his best to be nonchalant and professional as he did his bit to be 'backup singer' for her.  Her song was well done but WAY below the caliber of Since I Don't Have You.  Maybe he had lost his voice before the concert or something and so they had no choice about it. 
Anyway, it was great to see them all on stage together, but THAT song, Since I Don't Have You, with Jimmy Beaumont singing it in his inimitable way, THAT in my opinion is one of the high points of True American Music, and he is the ONLY singer who could EVER carry that song and make it the unforgettable hit that it was and IS.  What a talent, and what a cool guy.  I hope he knows what an amazing 'Performer and Interpreter of Music' that he is.  
Veeder Van Dorn
I haven't seen the show you're referring to ... and I'm sure at SOME point during the show they performed their best known hit (although maybe it wasn't broadcast on the PBS Television version ... sometimes they do that on purpose, too ... edit these things out to get you to pay the higher subscription fee and get the "bonus material" on the DVD!!!)  From what I understand, Beaumont (now 70!!!), still sounds great!  But you're absolutely right about this being a haunting recording ... without question, one of the best performances ever waxed.  (kk)

Hi Kent -
Just wondering if you got my link to my version of "Since I Dont Have You" ? It will be coming out on Gonzo Records' Merrell Fankhauser "The Best Of" 2 CD set with songs from 1964 to now, some unreleased and a two volume DVD set of 12 episodes of my TV show Tiki Lounge. It includes a great oldies show with Vessie Simmions of "The Ribbons" ( I Aint Gonna Kiss You), Val Paliuto of 'The Jaguars", Ronnie Height, Marvin Spencer and others... All slated for release July 10 and August 2nd.
Click on the link below.
All My Best,
Merrell Fankhauser
Sure did ... in fact, we sent it out a couple of weeks ago ... but here it is again ... 'cause a great song is a great song!  (Don McLean and Art Garfunkel also charted with outstanding versions of this tune.)  kk

Thanks for the heads up about our "Come Softly To Me" being in THE GREEN LANDERN!  
My daughter Kimari teaches pre-school and asked if I'd sing "Graduation's Here" for her students' graduation.  I sang "Graduation" and, on request, "Come Softly To Me" for an encore, with Kimari and the parents backing me by singing the 'dom doms'.  
Next morning, one of the parents excitedly called Kimari and said, "My husband and I saw the movie THE GREEN LANTERN last night and there was your Mom's song! It was in a bar scene - and it was "their song!"  I was so excited, because I'd just heard your Mom sing it live, yesterday!"
What fun!
Of course, both "Graduation's Here" and "Come Softly" are among the 16 self-penned songs on my CD, GRETCHEN'S SWEET SIXTEEN (SUITE 16).  My goal for July is to make them available for digital download at the usual places.  
But the actual CD and 16 page booklet of liner notes and photos can still be obtained - Signed (to whomever is the lucky recipient :o), gold Sealed (A Billboard Critics' Pick for 10 Best Albums of the Year), and Delivered (in a foil gift box, if desired) from (where all may hear sound clips, and learn a bit more about this romantic album - like the sound track of a musical - which tells the story of my first love at age 16, reunited four decades later and celebrating my 16th Leap Year Birthday!
Of course, now I've turned 17, and next year (Vos, my first love, says) I'll be legal! (:o) 
Please feel free to share this message and welcome all the fans of Forgotten Hits who say, "They just don't write music like that anymore."  I hope they'll be pleasantly surprised when they 'come softly to me' and sample the six decades of songs at or or (see SUITE 16 CD link).
Thanks for keeping in touch, and Happy Independence Day!!!!

Do you know anyone who has ever seen the original movie "Unchained" from 1955?
It's not on DVD on VHS, and although I've heard / read people discussing it for years, has anyone ever actually viewed it and told where in the movie the theme is used?
I went right to our resident film buff with this one ... (aka THEONEBUFF!!!) ... a TRUE connoisseur of film ... and, he was actually AROUND when this movie came out and knows it well.  (In fact, he even sent us a little soundtrack clip to share!!!)  Check it out!  (kk)
Unchained, a 1955 low budget movie, is about a man imprisoned. I have seen the movie and I have it on DVD and VHS but neither is a copy to make a fuss over. It is blurred and shaky. I bought it from one of those online "hard to find" movie places, mainly to get the song. The movie stars Chester Morris, a tough guy type from early 30s films and into the 70s. He plays a warden trying to create a model prison where the inmates are treated decently with the hopes of rehabilitation. The focus is on an inmate played by Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch, a football player with Hollywood ambitions that never materialized. The theme is by Alex North, on of Hollywood's finest composers, whose work can be heard in such movies as Viva Zapata and The Long Hot Summer. While the theme is played throughout, the song is in the hands of one of the most cliched characters in movie history, the black prisoner with a guitar. Here he is played by one time Porgy actor Todd Duncan. In the movie itself it is sung without the famous bridge beginning with "Lonely river flows ... ". It was nominated for Best Song Oscar and lost to the highly popular but not long-standing "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing". Time and countless artists recordings have demonstrated over time which is the better song. Here's an mp3 I made. You now have the original version of Unchained Melody. Take my word for it. It is a classic song. It is NOT a classic movie. I feel its low budget, lack of star power and absence of any studio push kept the song from winning an Oscar.
Link to the movie for more information is below.