Way Back 2023

June 23, 2023 - Asteroid City's Loaded with Mid-Century Melodies

Wes Anderson's sci-fi/atomic paranoia comedy Asteroid City is jam-packed with mid-century musical selections, many of the country and bluegrass variety. In addition to '30s and '40s songs by Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys and Burl Ives, the 1950s are represented by C&W troubadours Tex Ritter ("High Noon"), Eddy Arnold ("The Cattle Call"), Tennessee Ernie Ford ("Sixteen Tons") and Slim Whitman ("Indian Love Call" and "Rose Marie"). Pop smash "How High the Moon" by Les Paul and Mary Ford is there along with Les Baxter's exotic 1953 instrumental hit "April in Portugal." Bing Crosby's sagebrush-style storytelling skills are evident on "Streets of Laredo" while two British hits invade the soundtrack: "Freight Train" by The Chas Devitt Skiffle Group with Nancy Whiskey and 1963's "Island of Dreams" by Tom and Dusty's folk group The Springfields. So how does all this meritorious music figure into the star-studded film? See it...or call upon your preexisting impressions of Anderson's work for answers.

In other developments: based on the trailer, Mama Cass Elliot's 1969 hit "Make Your Own Kind of Music" seems to be the main theme for the soon-to-arrive Barbie movie starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling..and actor Timothée Chalamet is the "new ambassador" (a.k.a. face of) an ad campaign for Bleu de Chanel at Macy's. The Moody Blues' 1968 recording (and 1972 hit) "Nights in White Satin" supplies the ambience.

June 2, 2023 - Hey, Zorba: "Get Ready" for "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" and "Wooly Bully" to Infiltrate Your Mind

The Temptations' crowd-pleasing "Get Ready" is the latest in a string of 1960s hits featured in commercials for Applebee's restaurants (coaxing viewers with images of juicy grilled steaks) while the original theme by Mikis Theodorakis from 1964's triple-Oscar-winning "Zorba the Greek" sets a European tone for the latest Adobe/Acrobat's Got It ad. Also, two classic "nonsense title" songs are making the rounds: Fairy Godmother Verna Felton's original vocal version of "Bibbibi-Bobbidi-Boo" from Disney's animated 1950 feature Cinderella is on a spot for the Hyundai Tucson and "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs is featured on the soundtrack of Koko: A Red Dog Story, a 2019 Australian documentary just released to theaters and on-demand.

May 4, 2023 - Dylan, Cass, Champs, Chubby, the Shirelles, Clarence Carter and a few Italian Favorites Crash Current Pop Culture

Under the ever-widening category of "songs that are altered forever after being featured in a horror movie," or in this case TV series, season two of From on MGM+ has included Bob Dylan's 1963 Freewheelin' classic "A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall" on its soundtrack and the 1968 Mama Cass hit "Dream a Little Dream of Me" in a creepy trailer for the show.

In theaters: Somewhere in Queens, starring Ray Romano and Laurie Metcalf, offers a grab bag of tunes including Italian favorites "Buona Sera" by Louis Prima, "Luna Mezzo Mare" (a.k.a. "Lazy Mary") by Lou Monte and Dean Martin's classic version of a song everyone has sung (the first word, at least) at one time or another: "Volare." Two famous early-'60s body-contortion songs are also heard in the film: "Limbo Rock" by The Champs and the biggest dance ditty of all, "The Twist" by Chubby Checker. Polite Society, a U.K./Pakistani action flick, makes room for The Shirelles' 1961 hit "Mama Said." Meanwhile, Clarence Carter's '68 ode to unfaithfulness, "Slip Away," is being heard in a commercial for Microsoft's Together Mode.

April 6, 2023 - Movies, TV, Video Music: LZ, Stones, Lou Reed, Doris Day, Beatles, Canned Heat...and the Chordettes

Rocking in theaters now: "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin can be heard in box office leader Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, while the latest John Wick installment (Chapter 4) has "Paint It Black" by The Rolling Stones. Director Zach Braff made a solid decision to include Lou Reed's sweetly sensational 1969 Velvet Underground track "After Hours" on the soundtrack of A Good Person starring Florence Pugh and Morgan Freeman.

Looking ahead, trailers for Evil Dead Rise have taken another virtuous hit song, Doris Day's "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)" from '56, and squished its soul into horror film fodder...a perfectly logical move for the genre. The FX network's upcoming wannabe-rapper series Dave is being hyped to the sound of "Going Up the Country" by Canned Heat while Verizon hawks its +Play wares via The Beatles' singalong "All Together Now." In the music video realm the public is witness to a Chordettes-Kardashians crossover: the resilient girl group's 1954 chart-topper "Mr. Sandman" further strengthens its position as one of the most high-profile 1950s recordings; the 'bum-bum-bum-bum...' song is heavily sampled in Meghan Trainor's latest single, "Mother," with a video that features ultra-famous 21st century mom Kris Jenner.


The Hit Makers! Get Ready Limbo Rock The Twist Paint It Black Mr. Sandman