Way Back 2019

June 27, 2019 - Rocketman and Movie Sequels Pets, Toy Story and Shaft Serve Up Timeless Tracks, Stevie Sneaks in Twice

Early rockers are represented among Elton John's influences in Rocketman, the biopic on the glittery-specs-wearing superstar's life; "Blue Suede Shoes" by Elvis Presley, "I Got a Feeling" by younger Elvis wannabe Ricky Nelson and "Move It" by U.K. Elvis counterpart Cliff Richard receive audio screentime in addition to 22 E. John originals in versions by actor Taron Egerton. Meanwhile, Stevie Wonder songs have popped up in two places: his 1966 hit "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" carries the mood for a current Bank of America commercial while his 1967 hit "I Was Made to Love Her" is featured, along with "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane, in the animated feature The Secret Life of Pets 2. Another animated film, Disney's instant-100-million-hit Toy Story 4, includes Judy Collins' signature number "Both Sides Now" and The Beach Boys' much-admired "God Only Knows." Classic soul and funk remain the obvious choice for any Shaft movie; the latest chapter starring Samuel L. Jackson offers up The Ronettes' renowned "Be My Baby" in addition to '70s hits by Bobby "Blue" Bland, James Brown and The Emotions.

May 25, 2019 - '60s Hits Hot in Theaters, Della Reese Reps McDonald's/Uber, Revere/Raiders Fuel QT/Hollywood Frenzy

Musically, May movies are flashing ticket buyers back more than half a century. Marvel's 800 million megahit Avengers: Endgame rocks with Traffic (title track "Dear Mr. Fantasy" from the band's 1967 debut album) and Steppenwolf ("Hey Lawdy Mama"), while Pokemon Detective Pikachu opts for lighter fare from the same period ("Happy Together" by The Turtles, "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong) and romantic drama The Sun is Also a Star goes the hallucinatory route with Tommy James and the Shondells' wild ride to the top of the '69 charts, "Crimson and Clover."

Long Shot must be a comedy (premise: Charlize Theron runs for president and hires Seth Rogen to help make it happen!?), but with The Crystals' 1963 hit "Then He Kissed Me" on the soundtrack, "rom" should be suitable as a prefix to "com." Then there's Pom, wherein Diane Keaton, Jacki Weaver and Pam Grier satisfy your curiosity about geriatric cheerleaders. This one doesn't hold back on cool hits by women: "Pata Pata" by Miriam Makeba, "The Clapping Song" by Shirley Ellis, "Sway" by Julie London and Tammy Wynette's warning "Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad" are all featured, along with current pop culture staple "The Oogum Boogum Song" by Brenton Wood.

And there's more: McDonald's and Uber Eats have joined forces for home delivery, using Della Reese's version of "Come On-a My House" as its theme. American Idol assigned a theme song for its season 17 winner Laine Hardy, an 18-year-old rockabilly-style singer from Baton Rouge: Creedence Clearwater Revival's region-appropriate "Born on the Bayou." Wrapping things up, it's back to the late '60s as the buzz gets stronger for Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood; "Good Thing" by Paul Revere and the Raiders propels the latest trailer, which also features "Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show" by Neil Diamond. The movie hits theaters in July.

April 18, 2019 - Once Upon a Time with Los Bravos, Cilla, Roy, Donovan and Bing, Plus Bonus Bo and Ricky

Madrid, Spain's top '60s band Los Bravos is about to have one of the big songs of summer '19! "Bring a Little Lovin'" rocked radio in 1968 and now it's electrifying trailers for director Quentin Tarantino's long-awaited Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, arriving in theaters July 26. As for films already in circulation, the new Hellboy features Cilla Black's 1964 U.K. chart-topper "Anyone Who Had a Heart" while civil rights drama The Best of Enemies, starring Taraji P. Henson, brings back the '60s classics "Blue Bayou" by Roy Orbison and "Hurdy Gurdy Man" by Donovan. Super hero spoof Shazam! (Captain Marvel done for fun) includes an unexpected out-of-season gem: "Do You Hear What I Hear?" by Bing Crosby.

On the home screen, two commercials make their point with well-chosen hits: "I'm a Man" by Bo Diddley can be found on a spot for Apple iPhone/Safari and Ricky Nelson's "Travelin' Man" lends a romantic spin to the launch of the Toyota Corolla Hybrid.

April 1, 2019 - Beach Boys, Shondells, Seeds, Etta and King Nat Improve Movies, Idol Offers Nancy, Fats, Annette and Dixie Cups

Those groovy movie moguls have made some intriguing and unexpected vintage song selections as of late. Three films feature late-'60s psych-rock classics: Oscar winner Jordan Peele has followed his breakthrough Get Out with another cleverly-conceived creepfest, Us, fluctuating even more by inserting "Good Vibrations" by The Beach Boys at an inopportune moment. Also, The Beach Bum starring Matthew McConaughey features "Crimson and Clover" by Tommy James and the Shondells and The Mustang works in the underrated "Can't Seem to Make You Mine" by The Seeds. Two other films take the high road with classy ballads: romantic drama The Aftermath includes Etta James' rendition of the Harold Arlen-Ted Koehler masterpiece "Stormy Weather" from her 1961 album At Last! and semi-sci-fi flick Captive State finds a spot for Nat "King" Cole's version of one of the most-recorded songs of the 20th century, the Hoagy Carmichael-Mitchell Parish-penned "Stardust."

American Idol's song selectors continue to reveal the depth of their oldies addiction. During last week's "Hollywood Round," Nancy Sinatra's signature stomper "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" was played for two guys named Walker who advanced to the next level of the Disney-owned series; "I'm Walkin'" by Fats Domino, on the other hand, represented the opposite. During the more recent "Final Judgment" segment, original Disney girl Annette Funicello's '63 recording of "Beach Party Tonight" was heard at an oceanfront celebration in Hawaii; recordings by the first Mousketeer-turned-houshold name would seem a logical choice for future inclusion. One other off-center choice, "Iko Iko" by The Dixie Cups, was used on the same episode.


Elvis Presley White Rabbit The Clapping Song Good Thing Travelin' Man Good Vibrations These Boots Are Made For Walkin' I'm Walkin'