June 21, 2016 - AGT Oldies Update: Perry, Isley, Dino and Frankie Plus Cole and Faith
The powers that be at NBC's America's Got Talent, the summer's top-rated TV series again this year, are either music fans with a knack for matching popular hits from all eras to specific situations...or old guys clinging desperately to their childhood memories. My vote is for the former. Last week we heard a diverse selection of artists and songs: Perry Como ("Magic Moments"), more Isley Brothers ("It's Your Thing"), Dean Martin ("That's Amore") and Frankie Valli ("Can't Take My Eyes Off You"). This week's audition stories benefited from Nat "King" Cole's 1955 hit "Smile" (arguably the most popular song penned by movie legend Charlie Chaplin) and Percy Faith's smash '60s instrumental "(Theme from) A Summer Place."
Over at Fox, So You Think You Can Dance featured an impressive brother-sister dance routine set to "Tea For Two Cha Cha," the 1958 hit by The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra starring Warren Covington.
June 8, 2016 - Kinks, Roy, Marvin, Kim, Otis, Isley, Fab Four...Need More?
The Kinks' 1965 rocker "All Day and All of the Night," most recently heard hawking Yoplait Yogurt, has made the jump from the fridge to a warm mattress on a current TV spot for Sleep Number Beds. Walgreens has opted for Roy Orbison's "Oh Pretty Woman" as the applicable track for its beauty products commercials. Heard on NBC's America's Got Talent, week two: "It Takes Two" by Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston, "I've Got Dreams to Remember" by Otis Redding and The Isley Brothers' top-choice party song "Shout." Played as a bumper song, NBA Finals broadcast, Warriors/Cavs, game three: "Day Tripper" by The Beatles.
May 31, 2016 - Got Talent: Joe Cuba, Mickey and Sylvia, Chiffons and Sandie Shaw For Sure
The eleventh season of America's Got Talent is off and running on NBC, and it's obvious the show's musical staff has been working overtime in efforts to cleverly insert vintage songs into the show's audition segments. Party fave "Bang Bang" by N.Y. conga man Joe Cuba came up early in the premiere episode, then the much-used Mickey and Sylvia gem "Love is Strange" provided the backing track for a couple who did a wild, loungy/semi-striptease version of "Viva Las Vegas." Tape Face, a sensationally weird/funny one-man mime act, led into The Chiffons' appropriately ironic "Sweet Talkin' Guy." Sandie Shaw's 1967 European smasherooney "Puppet on a String" popped up late in the proceedings; it would have made more sense on parent series Britain's Got Talent, figuring its lack of widespread familiarity to U.S. audiences...but aren't ya glad Sandie's getting some love on the west side of the pond?
May 1, 2016 - Fitness Tracker Oldies Battle: Delfonics Versus Domino, Elvis & Nixon Brings the Soul, Rock and Gospel
Nick Jonas is seen pushing his running routine to the limit while The Delfonics' 1968 hit "Ready or Not Here I Come (Can't Hide From Love)" supplies momentum in a current TV commercial for Apple Watch and its fitness app (one of the device's many uses). Apparently competition is fierce, as Fats Domino's 1957 rock classic "I'm Walkin'" serves a similar function on Fitbit's latest spot for its fitness wristband.
Elvis & Nixon (Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey, respectively), a new movie based on an actual meeting in 1970 between the two iconic personalities, offers a great selection of soul and rock hits: "Hold On! I'm a Comin'" by Sam and Dave, "Suzie Q" by Creedence Clearwater Revival, "(Do The) Push and Pull" by Rufus Thomas, "Spinning Wheel" by Blood, Sweat and Tears and Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle," in addition to Sister Rosetta Tharpe's gospel recording of "Peace in the Valley"...but no Elvis songs!
April 8, 2016 - American Breed's "Bend Me" is Back, Tempts and Bernstein Factor into Hardcore Thrills
The bed that moves you: a remix of The American Breed's 1967 hit "Bend Me, Shape Me" points out how to get "the best sleep of your life" while sending out a subliminal message that it helps if you're athletically built. Great to hear the Breed back in the loop! Action flick Hardcore Henry has two '60s standards to contrast the film's frantic pace: The Temptations' "My Girl" and the original theme from "The Magnificent Seven" by Elmer Bernstein, the composer of the classic 1960 movie soundtrack.