Way Back 2018

September 6, 2018 - Way Back Protocol: Crazy Rich Asians, BlacKkKlansman, The Spy Who Dumped Me and The Nun Conform

The late summer films of '18 are full of 50-(or more)-year-old pop and soul classics! Comedy Crazy Rich Asians boasts three weeks at the top of the box office; duet sweethearts Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell come along for the ride with "You're All I Need to Get By." The film also recycles Neal Hefti's "Blues for Jean" from Harlow, the 1965 biopic starring Carroll Baker as legendary screen siren Jean Harlow. BlacKkKlansman, the latest from director Spike Lee, features James Brown's '68 anthem "Say it Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud," along with gospel million-seller "Oh Happy Day" by The Edwin Hawkins Singers and early 1970s hits by Looking Glass, Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose, The Temptations and Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Henry Mancini's famous "Pink Panther Theme" and Elvis Presley's Sin City sing-along "Viva Las Vegas" have their moments in The Spy Who Dumped Me, while horror feature The Nun skewers the once-lovely sentiment of Jo Stafford's 1952 chart-topper "You Belong to Me."

August 31, 2018 - Funeral Recap: Farewell to Dear Aretha

Ariana Grande had the honor of being the one and only performer of a classic Aretha Franklin hit at the Queen of Soul's funeral...and her rendition of "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" (written by Gerry Goffin, Carole King and Jerry Wexler) didn't disappoint. The eight-hour service was a sincere tribute to the great (perhaps greatest ever) singing star. Those in attendance hung on every word; many at home watched live on a variety of streaming services and witnessed a great many speakers, including former President Bill Clinton, who played Aretha's "Think" straight from his cell phone.

Smokey Robinson, Fantasia Barrino, Stevie Wonder and Aretha's son Edward Franklin all gave memorable performances of non-Franklin songs. Rousing gospel selections were the main musical focus, delivered by a who's-who of diverse and simply fantastic singers; Faith Hill, The Clark Sisters, The Williams Brothers, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Shirley Caesar, Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Chaka Khan, Ronald Isley, Jennifer Hudson and Jennifer Holliday all brought the spirit into Detroit's Greater Grace Temple. Meanwhile more than 3,700 miles away across the Atlantic, the Changing of the Guard ceremony at Buckingham Palace respectfully honored America's national treasure by modifying its routine with a marching band version of Aretha's signature song: "Respect."

August 7, 2018 - Christopher Robin Rekindles Fondness For Winnie the Pooh Songs, Ellington, Coltrane and Springfield Get Action Movie Exposure

Ewan McGregor stars in Walt Disney's Christopher Robin, the latest big screen production based on the characters introduced by author A.A. Milne in the Winnie-the-Pooh books of the 1920s. The film combines live action and animation and features new versions of "Winnie the Pooh," "Up, Down and Touch the Ground" and "The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers," composed by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman for the 1966 Disney short Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree and its 1968 sequel, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. Other current movies giving audio screentime to '60s songs include The Equalizer 2 starring Denzel Washington with the 1962 piano-and-sax instrumental "In a Sentimental Mood" by Duke Ellington and John Coltrane and Marvel's Ant-Man and the Wasp, which features Dusty Springfield's cover of the 1968 Classics IV hit "Spooky."


Oh Happy Day The Pink Panther Theme Viva Las Vegas Hall of Fame