June 25, 2014 - "Good, Bad, Ugly" Tributes to Eli Wallach, Jersey Boys Factors In a Few Non-4 Seasons Songs
As if the current TV ads for Nissan haven't provided enough exposure for "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," Ennio Morricone's classic theme from the 1967 film of the same title, the death at age 98 of acting great Eli Wallach has led to inevitable tributes featuring the film's theme. Eli, who was nearly 30 when his breakthrough came in the 1945 Broadway production of The Rose Tattoo, developed a movie-fan following during the '50s and '60s with Baby Doll, Seven Thieves, The Magnificent Seven, The Misfits and many more in addition to literally dozens of dramatic television roles. His bad-guy characterization of "The Ugly" in director Sergio Leone's abovementioned western classic left a lasting impression in a career spanning more than 60 years; Wallach was presented with an honorary Academy Award for lifetime achievement in 2010.
Broadway's Jersey Boys have hit the silver screen and it should be noted that, in addition to the long list of hits by The 4 Seasons performed by the cast, a few non-Seasons songs sneaked in, including "Silhouettes" (written by 4 Seasons producer Bob Crewe with Frank Slay, it was a hit for The Rays in 1957), "Earth Angel" (a 1955 hit for The Penguins), "My Boyfriend's Back" (The Angels' chart-topper from '63) and the actual recorded versions of "Short Shorts" by Royal Teens (Bob Gaudio's pre-Seasons group), "If You Don't Think I'm Leaving" (a little-known 1962 B side by Frankie Avalon) and several original 4 Seasons recordings including "Sherry," "Rag Doll" and "Bye Bye Baby (Baby, Goodbye)."
June 4, 2014 - Kinks Kleverly Used by Yoplait, Reality Shows Slip In Flamingos, Joe Cuba
The Kinks supply the soundtrack to the latest Yoplait commercial, driving home the idea that your fridge will play "All Day and All of the Night" (similar to how the interior light goes on and off) as long as it's stocked with yogurt (when the Yoplait runs out, the Kinks stop playing)! Vintage tunes have come out of left field on recent reality show installments: the American Idol finale featured a mock-prom bit with finalists Jena Irene and Caleb Johnson dressing up and acting out to The Flamingos' 1959 hit "I Only Have Eyes For You" (the top two followed through when Caleb escorted Jena to her prom in Dearborn, Michigan). More recently, America's Got Talent had a longer-than-usual segment featuring a team of auditioning salsa dancers with Joe Cuba's 1966 Latin Boogaloo benchmark "Bang Bang" setting the tone.
May 14, 2014 - The Other Woman has Etta, Edith and Lalo While "The Big E," Louis and Keely Liven Up TV
The Other Woman, the latest Cameron Diaz comedy to invade 3000-plus movie screens, makes use of nearly two dozen songs spread across the last six decades, ranging from hits to pop culture oddities. The three most vintage: "Sunday Kind of Love" by Etta James, "La Vie en Rose" by "The Little Sparrow," Edith Piaf, and Lalo Schifrin's theme from the original TV series Mission: Impossible.
The new commercial for Target stores ("Sara's Backyard Bridge Party") features Louis Prima and Keely Smith's "Hey Boy! Hey Girl!" from the 1959 film of the same title, which stars the husband-and-wife team. One of many in an eclectic series of TV spots for Heineken Beer has a version of Elvis Presley's 1963 hit "Bossa Nova Baby" from his 13th feature film Fun in Acapulco, remixed for the 2010 album (and Cirque du Soleil show) Viva Elvis.
April 26, 2014 - Brenda Holloway: Friskies SpokesSinger, Shangri-Las Remixed for Victoria's Secret
Current television commercials are providing frequent exposure for a pair of fabulous '60s female acts. "Suddenly" by the underrated Brenda Holloway, from her 1964 Tamla Records debut album Every Little Bit Hurts, comes on like a breath of fresh air in an unlikely place: peddling Friskies SauceSations cat food. A remixed version of The Shangri-Las' 1965 hit "Give Him a Great Big Kiss" adds spice to the latest ad for Victoria's Secret...as if any was needed.
April 15, 2014 - Fargo Flips for Patsy, Louie Leaps to Doris, Muppets Sip to Harry
Patsy Cline's classic hit from 1963, "Sweet Dreams (Of You)," popped up in the middle of the premiere of Fargo, the FX series based on Joel and Ethan Coen's 1996 film of the same title. A promo for the upcoming fourth season of Louie, also on FX, shows creator and star Louis C.K. jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge while Doris Day's recording of "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps" (from her 1965 album Latin For Lovers) fills the flat screen's stereo speakers. Meanwhile, Kermit and The Muppets are sipping Lipton Tea in a TV spot promoting Muppets Most Wanted (a PG-rated family movie) while listening to Harry Nilsson's 1969 hit "Everybody's Talkin'" from Midnight Cowboy (originally an X-rated Best Picture Oscar winner).