Way Back 2022

December 21, 2022 - A Variety of Vintage Songs in English, French and Italian Supply Musical Backdrop for Award-Nominated Films

Movie awards season is upon us and nominations have been announced for the Golden Globe and Broadcast Film Critics' awards. TV series soundtracks are sprinkled with vintage songs; Wednesday (the Addams Family spinoff series on Netflix that has two Globe noms) features the 1960 classic "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" by Edith Piaf and Roy Orbison's 1963 hit "In Dreams." Apple TV's Bad Sisters (a double Critics' Choice nominee) features dozens of unusual music choices including mid-to-late-'60s pleasures "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" by Nina Simone, "Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)" by Irma Thomas, "You're Dead" by Norma Tanega, "The Snake" by Al Wilson and an early Melanie Safka recording, "Any Guy." Plus, there are two of Nancy Sinatra's many hits, "Lightning's Girl" and "Summer Wine" (the latter a duet with Lee Hazlewood).

Season two of HBO's popular series The White Lotus (in contention for honors from both groups), set in Italy, conveys a strong romantic resort vibe with a number of '60s tunes by some of the biggest Italo Pop stars. Mina is represented by her hits "Città Vuota," "Tu Farai" and "Un Anno d'Amore," as well as major hitmakers Fabrizio de André ("Bocca di Rosa"), Gino Paoli ("La Gatta") and Umberto Bindi ("Il Nostro Concerto"), in addition to many other songs in the exotic (to Americans) and glorious Italian language. Even opera great Maria Callas is featured in an original recording of Madame Butterfly. One English-language performance, Sam Cooke's live At the Copa rendition of "The Best Things in Life Are Free," wraps up the final episode. Finally, theatrical frontrunner Everything Everywhere All at Once (six Globe and 14 Critics' Choice nominations!) made room for "Rainy Day" by Susan ("I Love Onions") Christie from her seldom-heard 1969 album Paint a Lady.

December 3, 2022 - Movie and TV Treats Come From Ives, Kaempfert, Love, Beatles, Wray and Dale While Linda Scott Hit is Most-Heard

Horror movies and the Christmas season continue an uneasy coexistence. "A Holly Jolly Christmas" by Burl Ives, "Jingo Jango" by Bert Kaempfert and Darlene Love's "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)" are all featured in current cinema hit Violent Night, wherein an inebriated Santa graphically slashes the bad guys. Happy gory holidays.

"Glass Onion," from The Beatles' self-titled '68 LP, has become a theme for Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, even though the song's content and film's script don't align. But it just has to be! The Fabelmans, directed by Steven Spileberg and based on his own childhood, features James Darren's 1961 hit "Goodbye Cruel World" and Link Wray's '59 rocker "Raw-Hide," while another classic rock instrumental, Dick Dale and the Del-Tones' "Miserlou," embellishes the latest Adobe spot. The most-heard oldie-in-a-commercial these last few weeks is Linda Scott's 1961 hit "I've Told Every Little Star," the centerpiece of H&M's "unwrap the magic" campaign.

November 9, 2022 - TV, Baseball and Movies Give Us Etta, Alpert, Jimi, Jerry Lee, Isley Bros, Marvin and Tammi

Etta James' hit 1968 version of Otis Redding's "Security" comes blasting out of home screen speakers in a current commercial designed to suppress web trepidation while building Gmail's user base. Meanwhile, anyone who's hungry but simultaneously committed to avoiding exercise can hum Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass's rendition of Riz Ortolani's "Mae" (from the '65 film The Yellow Rolls-Royce) while they're waiting for delivery from a DoorDash driver.

The Major League Baseball season has finally ended. Noticeable songs of the vintage variety heard during televised postseason games include "All Along the Watchtower" by Jimi Hendrix on the night the Philadelphia Phillies dashed any hopes San Diego had of advancing...and "Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis (on the day of his passing, October 28) during the Houston Astros' first World Series step towards giving the Phils the same kind of punishment they'd inflicted on the Padres.

Movie fans are being treated to "This Old Heart of Mine" by The Isley Brothers in the Julia Roberts-George Clooney rom-com Ticket to Paradise. This isn't the first time Julia has gotten her groove on to a Motown classic (see 1998's Stepmom for more than one tear-jerking scene featuring "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell).

October 14, 2022 - Nilsson and Dee Dee on TV, Cole, Kitt, Chordettes, Simone, Stones and Watts Band Get Movie Spins

Creative (you could say unusual) use of vintage songs has become the norm. "Best Friend," Harry Nilsson's theme for the 1969 TV sitcom The Courtship of Eddie's Father, is plugged by Shaquille O'Neal on a current insurance commercial for the General and Dee Dee Sharp's "Mashed Potato Time" airs on an Airbnb spot. In the once-again-frequented world of the cineplex, '50s gems "Love is Here to Stay" by Nat "King" Cole and "Santa Baby" by Eartha Kitt are heard in the comedy Bros, while The Chordettes' 1958 hit "Lollipop" enters the dark side for the first time in Smile. Children's film Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile (he sings like Shawn Mendes?!) includes a pair of unlikely selections: "Sinnerman" by Nina Simone and "Express Yourself" by Charles Wright and the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. Meanwhile, promos for Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's latest action entry, Black Adam, are set to the sound of The Rolling Stones' downer '66 smash "Paint It Black."


Walkin' My Cat Named Dog Lightning's Girl Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) Great Balls of Fire This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak For You) Santa Baby Lollipop Paint It Black