August 19, 2016 - Edwin Starr, Human Beinz: Current TV Ads Tap Ohio's Heritage
While the summer's Olympic Games in Rio have slipped in some intriguing music selections, only one vintage 1960s standard sticks out, and it's on an event-related commercial for Visa featuring (as usual) the voice of Morgan Freeman. The song: Cleveland, Ohioan Edwin Starr's foot-blistering "Twenty-Five Miles." If the lyrics (and title) of the 1969 hit could somehow be altered to accomodate an extra one-point-2188 miles, it would be marathon-ready!
Dish Network has plucked a '60s smash off the list of saturated TV spot songs of late, and its performers have one thing in common with the soulful walker mentioned above: "Nobody But Me" by Youngstown, Ohio band The Human Beinz is arguably getting as much exposure as it had in its original '68 run!
August 9, 2016 - Vintage Songs Done Suicide Squad-Style Strike
Filmmakers continue finding ways to place half-century-old stereo and/or mono masterpieces in disturbing futuristic context. Current box office leader Suicide Squad, with its villians-as-heroes (or are they?) premise based on an extreme 21st century reworking of a late-'80s revival of a late-'50s DC comics miniseries, recycles crowd-pleasers like The Animals' "House of the Rising Sun" and The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy For the Devil," adds less obvious selections "Fortunate Son" by Creedence Clearwater Revival and "I'd Rather Go Blind" by Etta James, and seasons the mix with notorious new versions of the Lesley Gore hit "You Don't Own Me," performed by Grace, and The Bee Gees' "I Started a Joke" (hasn't it always had potential to be a "disaster" song?), eerily reimagined by ConfidentialMX featuring Becky Hanson.
The Skyliners' melancholic 1959 hit "Since I Don't Have You" has somehow worked its way into Nerve, the creepy fake-computer-game invasion-of-privacy movie starring Emma Roberts.
July 20, 2016 - Beach Boys for VPs, Little Richard, Durante and the Stones on Spots, More Throwback AGT Picks
The Beach Boys are doing their part to help promote Vice Principals starring Walton Goggins and Danny McBride; "Be True to Your School" plays on vid promos for the new HBO comedy series. Little Richard belts out "Tutti-Frutti" on a TV spot for the Farm Heroes Super Saga game app; blink and you'll miss a falling Josh Holloway (the direction his career has been going in since starring on Lost?). Other commercials featuring vintage hits: Jimmy Durante croons "Young at Heart" for Gatorade as only he can and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones keeps closing in on the trillion-spin mark in an ad for Hilton.com.
Updating the parade of America's Got Talent oldies, there were two this week from Elvis, "A Little Less Conversation" and "Return to Sender." Playing catch-up on recent installments, the number one-rated summer series has used "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by The Tokens, "Son-Of-A Preacher Man" by Dusty Springfield and "Land of 1000 Dances" by Wilson Pickett to enhance the stories on its wildly diverse and often sideshow-like lineup of auditioners.
July 2, 2016 - Vintage Tunes in Theaters and on DVD: Dory, Conjuring, 45 Years
Pixar-Disney's Finding Dory, tops at the big screen box office the last couple of weeks, pulls "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong off the shelf (as many have done before) because, well, few songs do a better job of conveying that warm, sentimental feeling. Horror flick The Conjuring 2 coerces the opposite kinds of emotions from viewers, supplying a creepy backdrop for some vintage favorites including "Bus Stop" by The Hollies, "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Elvis Presley and "I Started a Joke" by The Bee Gees.
45 Years, the 2015 U.K. film that became Charlotte Rampling's ticket to an Oscar nomination for Best Actress more than 50 years into her career, had a limited run in U.S. theaters the first three months of this year. Its recent release on DVD provides exposure to a larger audience, who'll discover several "wedding anniversary classics" figure into the plot, particularly The Platters' number one hit "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes." Other songs: "I Only Want to Be With You" by Dusty Springfield, "Stagger Lee" by Lloyd Price, "Tell it Like it Is" by Aaron Neville, "To Sir With Love" by Lulu, "Happy Together" by The Turtles and a "turn off the radio" excerpt from Gary Puckett and the Union Gap's "Young Girl." Spoiler: "Go Now!" by The Moody Blues sums up the ending.