New this week in ’70: June 27

(Above: If you take a walk on the University of Pittsburgh campus, you might find yourself in a former outfield.) June 27, 1970 It's the day after actors Sean Hayes, Nick Offerman and Chris O'Donnell are born, all in the Chicagoland area. Clearly there was something in the water. Two days later, on June 28, … Continue reading New this week in ’70: June 27

Rest in peace, Johnny Mandel: “Suicide is Painless” (1970)

Award-winning composer Johnny Mandel passed away on Monday at the age of 94. A classically-trained musician, Mandel was responsible for a wide variety of movie soundtrack music. His first notable work was 1958's I Want to Live!, which earned him three Grammy nominations. Mandel was no stranger to the Grammys; he was nominated for a … Continue reading Rest in peace, Johnny Mandel: “Suicide is Painless” (1970)

Rest in peace, Benny Mardones: “Into the Night” (1980)

(Above: Benny Mardones. Credit: Billboard/Getty Images) Billboard magazine is reporting the death of pop singer/songwriter Benny Mardones today at the age of 73 following a long battle with Parkinson's disease. Mardones was born in Cleveland in 1946. His musical career began after serving in the Vietnam War when he moved to New York City and … Continue reading Rest in peace, Benny Mardones: “Into the Night” (1980)

Rest in peace, Vera Lynn: “We’ll Meet Again” (1939)

  "Does anybody here remember Vera Lynn?" That line, in Pink Floyd's "Vera," was my introduction to the existence of Vera Lynn. At the age of 11, with a fresh copy of The Wall in hand, I didn't necessarily understand all of the references (or all of the material, for that matter) contained in it. … Continue reading Rest in peace, Vera Lynn: “We’ll Meet Again” (1939)

On a mission from God: Solomon Burke, “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” (1964)

Forty years ago today - June 16, 1980 - The Blues Brothers made its film premiere. It was the first R-rated film I ever saw. In an age just in line with the advent of home video recorders and the infiltration of cable TV, it just wasn't as easy to see an "under 17 not … Continue reading On a mission from God: Solomon Burke, “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” (1964)