Way Back 2018

November 2, 2018 - The Mood Has Been Set by Ray, Patsy, Elvis, Aretha, Andy and West Side Story

Classic tracks have blanketed the airwaves for the last week or so. In Major League Baseball's wee wee hours, "(Night Time Is) The Right Time," the great 1959 hit by Ray Charles (featuring Raelet Margie Hendrix at her most splendiferous), ushered in the seventh hour of game three, an 18-inning Red Sox-Dodgers fracas that became history's all-time longest-running World Series game. Meanwhile, Patsy Cline's definitive recording of Wille Nelson's "Crazy" supplied the mood in promos for a new fairy-tale-twist series, Tell Me a Story, that premiered Halloween night on CBS All Access.

A commercial for L.L. Bean implements the Leonard Bernstein-Stephen Sondheim "Prologue" (the famous "rumble in the streets" Jets-versus-Sharks theme), conducted by Johnny Green for West Side Story. "The King," Elvis, can be heard doing his 1968 call-to-action "A Little Less Conversation" in the current Humana commercial, while "The Queen," Aretha, graces a Levi's spot with her '68 feather-ruffler "Think." And at least one Christmas standard didn't wait for December, or even November, to get going: Andy Williams' annual reminder that "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" is driving Disneyland Resort's current push for vacation patrons.

October 18, 2018 - Stones Sell Acuras While a Wealth of Vintage Material Upgrades Entertainment Value of Current Movies

Current TV spots for Acura feature a seldom-used Rolling Stones hit, "She's a Rainbow." Meanwhile, two current movies are piling on the oldies. Fantasy-comedy The House With a Clock in its Walls, starring Cate Blanchett and Jack Black, gets into some rare '50s tunes: "Must Be Fallin' in Love," an early single by Little Anthony's group The Duponts, "Doggone That Moon," a snappy pop tune by country duo Johnny and Jonie Mosby, "What'll You Do Next," a breezy 1954 folk blues song by the usually-somber (and incarcerated) Sun Records quintet The Prisonaires, "Hey Lolly Lolly" by Oscar McLollie and the Honey Jumpers and one bona fide hit, "Long Tall Sally" by Little Richard.

A Simple Favor, the latest crime comedy involving housewives, asserts an international preference with "Laisse Tomber Les Fille," a fab 1964 track by the following year's Eurovision winner France Gall, "Les Cactus" by Jacques Dutronc from '66, "Ca S'est Arrange" by Jean Paul Keller (in the U.S. we know it as the '67 instrumental hit "Music to Watch Girls By" by The Bob Crewe Generation), Francoise Hardy's catchy "Comment te Dire Adieu" from 1968, and three by Brigitte Bardot, "Une Histoire de Plage," "La Madrague" and "Bonnie and Clyde" with Serge Gainsbourg. Plus, Lou Donaldson fits in there somewhere with his instrumental cover of Bobbie Gentry's notorious "Ode to Billie Joe."

October 10, 2018 - Fall Offerings Enhanced by Gene Allison, Dino, Etta, the Isleys, Deep Purple, Valli, Redding and Franklin

Hit songs from the 48-plus-years past are plentiful right now. On TV, an ad for Under Armour sportswear features Gene Allison's 1957 gem "You Can Make it if You Try," while Applebee's tempts the tastebuds with its new "Neighborhood Pastas" set to "That's Amore" by Dean Martin and "At Last" by Etta James. Corona Premier keeps the bottled beer flowing while "I Turned You On" by The Isley Brothers plays. At the movies another Isley hit, "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak For You)," moves the action forward in Bad Times at the El Royale starring Jeff Bridges, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm and a slew of suspicious character actors; also included are the hits "Hush" by rockers Deep Purple and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" by Jersey's Frankie Valli. Across the multiplex hallway, Otis Redding's "Mr. Pitiful" has a moment in the "bad times trying to get a high school GED" comedy Night School. Meanwhile, the big broadcast networks continue offering far less interesting recycled fare: Candice Bergen is back as Murphy Brown; promos for the series have latched onto the Aretha Franklin classics "Respect" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman."

She's a Rainbow This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)