Way Back 2014

December 18, 2014 - Tom Jones, Eartha Kitt and Phil Phillips Caught Endorsing Coffee, Vodka and Rum

Memories of a certain 1993 Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode featuring guest star Tom Jones have come rushing back thanks to a new Starbucks commercial with a jerkily-looped clip of Carlton (newly-mirrorballed Dancing With the Stars star Alfonso Ribeiro) geekin' out to Tom's breakthrough 1965 single "It's Not Unusual." TV ads for other stimulating beverages have also been appearing frequently: Eartha Kitt purrs her '53 hit "C'est Si Bon" for Grey Goose Vodka and The Kraken Black Spiced Rum has added a spot set to the sound of "Sea of Love," the influential 1959 hit by Phil Phillips, to supplement the Bobby Darin ("Beyond the Sea") variation. A definite and logical Kraken pattern is emerging.

November 24, 2014 - "America" Encourages Shoppers, Crime to Remember Twists Flamingos Hit

"America," Simon and Garfunkel's intimately magnificent slice-of-life song, released in 1968 on the album Bookends and on a single in 1972, is being used by American Express on commercials for "Small Business Saturday" in hopes of inspiring shoppers to support independent merchants during the weekend-long Black Friday frenzy. Meanwhile, The Flamingos' 1959 hit "I Only Have Eyes For You" is being presented in an unsettling way in TV promos for Investigation Discovery's "true crime" reenactment series A Crime to Remember.

October 30, 2014 - Eat, Drink with Youngbloods and Bobby D.,
"What'd I Say" and "Kansas City" Spell Sports

"Get Together" by The Youngbloods has been popping up regularly on Kentucky Fried Chicken's "KFC Favorites" commercials, while Bobby Darin's "Beyond the Sea" continues airing for The Kraken Black Spiced Rum. Professional sports knows what's crackin': The NBA is warming up for the new basketball season with promos featuring a remixed, rap-infused version of Ray Charles' 1959 party jam "What'd I Say." Baseball's Kansas City Royals came up short against the San Francisco Giants in game seven of the World Series, but versions of Leiber and Stoller's classic "Kansas City," including prominent placement of Wilbert Harrison's million-selling '59 smash and The Beatles' '64 remake, enhanced the October atmosphere.

October 9, 2014 - Horror Story Distorts '50s Hits, Jeter Retires With "My Way" Playing

FX Network's American Horror Story continues to weave vintage songs into its storylines, matching disturbing images to romance-oriented hits. The premiere of season four, set in a Freakshow circa 1952, contains hits from a trio of the era's premiere pop divas: "With My Eyes Wide Open I'm Dreaming" by Patti Page from 1950, in addition to "Kiss of Fire" by Georgia Gibbs and "Auf Wiederseh'n, Sweetheart" by Vera Lynn, both chart-toppers from '52.

Shortstop Derek Jeter's 20-year Major League Baseball career has reached its finale. This year's Yankeeless postseason playoffs are running a tribute spot, sponsored by Gatorade, that features Frank Sinatra's 1969 hit version of Paul Anka's "My Way."

October 1, 2014 - Plant and Fallon do "Duke," Knightley's "Not There" for Chanel

Robert Plant joined Jimmy Fallon last week on The Tonight Show for a casual a cappella duet, taking on the 1962 Gene Chandler classic "Duke of Earl" (and giving credit to Gene...as it should be!), with a little help from house band The Roots and iPad's "Loopy" app to create the doo woppin' 'duke, duke, duke' hook on the fly. Former Led Zeppelin frontman Plant ad-libbed a favorite from his childhood, ending with the first line of The Heartbeats' '56 hit "A Thousand Miles Away."

From the world of high fashion and exotic foreign locales: Keira Knightley's been teasing some guy all summer, driving a speedboat while The Zombies' 1964 smash "She's Not There" blasts out of TV set speakers, stylishly stimulating sales of Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle fragrance.


Sea of Love Kansas City Duke of Earl A Thousand Miles Away She's Not There