Way Back 2021

August 8, 2021 - Suicide Squad, Jungle Cruise, Escape Room, Kevin Himself - and MLB Games - Offer Up a Grip of Classic Hits

The Suicide Squad (just one word separating the current sequel from 2016's first installment, Suicide Squad) includes a couple of popular vintage songs on its soundtrack: the famous live version of "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash in addition to Louis Prima's "I Ain't Got Nobody; Just a Gigolo" medley (second time this year in a major film, it was recently heard in Nobody). "Run Through the Jungle" by Creedence Clearwater Revival predictably kicks off Disney's Jungle Cruise starring Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson and Emily Blunt. Less obvious is Petula Clark's chart-topping "Downtown" tune on the soundtrack of game-gimmick flick Escape Room: Tounament of Champions.

AMC's disturbing comedy-drama Kevin Can F*** Himself recently wrapped season one after featuring several oldies throughout its eight episodes. Nancy Wilson's 1964 hit "(You Don't Know) How Glad I Am" plays over the premiere episode's closing credits; subsequent installments include '64's "Please Be Honest With Me" by Stax Records girl group Barbara and the Browns, Duane Eddy's ominously twangy 1958 instrumental "Stalkin'" (the original flip of his hit single "Rebel-'Rouser") and The Fleetwoods' delivered-softly-to-us rendition of "Unchained Melody" from the trio's 1959 album Mr. Blue.

While we're on the subject of Stax tracks, the great "Green Onions" by everyone's fave Memphis band Booker T. and the MG's has been getting increased exposure on the field at various Major League Baseball games, a "why didn't they drop this jam sooner?" addition to perennial sports tunes like "Let's Go," "Zorba the Greek" and countless others.

July 22, 2021 - McCartney 3,2,1: 'Heaven Sent' from Hulu to All Music Lovers

Hulu is currently streaming the six-part documentary series Paul McCartney: 3,2,1, which reveals far more than one new '...clue for you all,' as Sir Paul tells stories about his days with The Beatles and Wings. Award-winning record producer Rick Rubin is not so much the series' host as a friend and discussion activator, playing bits and pieces of great Beatles songs, original and alternate versions from the master tapes, incuding "All My Loving," "Baby's in Black," "Eleanor Rigby," "Tomorrow Never Knows," "Penny Lane," "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," "Lady Madonna" and many others. McCartney goes into depth on the many facets of creating the group's timeless music, frequently augmenting his banter playing various tunes on piano. 'It's certainly a thrill' and a must-see for Fab Four fans and all way back music aficionados.

July 5, 2021 - Now everyone can celebrate the Summer of Soul...52 Years Later

A groundbreaking event took place on six separate weekends between June and August 1969. Many who lived outside the New York City area were unaware of it...but now this historic series of concerts has found its place in history. Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson of The Roots (seen nightly on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon) has directed Summer of Soul (...or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), which documents the Third Annual Harlem Cultural Festival held in Mount Morris Park, originally organized by singer and local entrepreneur Tony Lawrence, who also served as host.

The 5th Dimension ("Aquarius; Let the Sunshine In") headlined the first show on June 29. Up to 50 thousand people attended each of the six Sundays, which were divided into themes, such as the Gospel Festival with The Edwin Hawkins Singers featuring vocalist Dorothy Morrison ("Oh Happy Day"), The Staple Singers, Clara Walker and the Gospel Redeemers, Mahalia Jackson (who performed a duet of "Take My Hand, Precious Lord" with Mavis Staples) and others. Week three was a Soul Festival, which attracted a huge crowd on July 20, the same day as the historic Apollo 11 moon landing. Stevie Wonder ("Shoo-Be-Doo-Be-Doo-Da-Day"), The Chambers Brothers ("Uptown"), David Ruffin ("My Girl"), Chuck Jackson, Gladys Knight and the Pips ("I Heard it Through the Grapevine") and Sly and the Family Stone ("Sing a Simple Song," "Everyday People") performed.

The Caribbean Festival included the Mongo Santamaria Band ("Watermelon Man"), Herbie Mann ("Chain of Fools") and Ray Barretto, while the Blues and Jazz Festival had B.B. King ("Why I Sing the Blues") and Hugh Masekela ("Grazing in the Grass"). Nina Simone's politically-charged set was a highlight with intense performances of "Backlash Blues," "Are You Ready?" and "To Be Young, Gifted and Black," the latter becoming a hit in the months following the festival. Original footage of the series shot by Hal Tulchin was stored in a basement for decades; Questlove secured rights to the project and directed the Oscar-worthy film, which is currently streaming on Hulu and is simply amazing!


Downtown How Glad I Am Four by the Beatles Dgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band Aquarius; Let the Sunshine In Everyday People Watermelon Man Grazing in the Grass