November 21, 2012 - Impressions "Pushing" Samsung, James Brown's Farmland "Bag," More Horror Oldies
Two current TV commercials are riding the '60s soul express: LeBron James spreads the word about the Galaxy Note II, as much a promotional tool for the Miami Heat's star player as it is for the Samsung smartphone; The Impressions' classic "Keep on Pushing" plays throughout the current ad. James Brown has shown up in the wouldn't-have-guessed-it category as "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" provides the soundtrack to a "Dinner's in the Bag" TV spot for Farmland Oven Perfect Fresh Pork.
FX's American Horror Story: Asylum, with a story line set in 1964, keeps using some of our favorite songs in disturbing context. Dusty Springfield's "Wishin' and Hopin'" was heard a few weeks ago in a scene featuring a killer called "Bloody Face." "You Don't Own Me" by Lesley Gore figures into the frenzy of the latest episode. Which mid-'60s hits will the show wield in a frightening way in the coming weeks?
November 9, 2012 - Singing Nun Has High Horror Story Rotation,
X Factor Rappers Adapt Signature Mary Poppins Song
The Singing Nun's number one 1963 hit "Dominique" has found its way to the dark side on the FX series American Horror Story: Asylum. So far this season it's been featured in every episode, shown playing on a well-worn 45 as apparently the only song the institution's unfortunate inmates are allowed to hear.
The music of the '50s and '60s continues creeping into the current talent competition shows. The Voice most recently highlighted Melanie Martinez's jazzy interpretation of Ray Charles' "Hit the Road Jack." On The X Factor, Vino Alan vocalized the Percy Sledge classic "When a Man Loves a Woman" nearer to the style of the abominable Michael Bolton remake, while Emblem3 mashed up The Temptations' "My Girl" with the 2010 Katy Perry/Snoop Dogg hit "California Gurls." The most out-of-left-field entry was by hiphop trio Lyric 145, who did a wild and almost exact lyrical rap adaptation of "Super-cali-fragil-istic-expi-ali-docious," originated by Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke and The Pearlies in the 1964 Disney film Mary Poppins.
October 4, 2012 - Connie Francis is "Fallin'" for Target, Ray Charles Adds "Sunshine" to Trouble
"Fallin'," the great Connie Francis single from 1959 written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, is getting overdue exposure in commercials touting Target's "Falling For Fall" campaign. Congratulations to the music-minded believers in charge of advertising for the chain! At the multiplex, only one major current release features a '60s hit: Ray Charles' excessively soulful 1962 remake of "You Are My Sunshine," the Jimmie Davis-Charles Mitchell standard dating from 1939, shows up in Trouble With the Curve, starring Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, John Goodman and Justin Timberlake.