Rest in peace, The Great Daryl Nathan: “Freaky Freaky Girl” (circa 1996)

Word circulated on social media today that Daryl Q. Nathan passed away in Grand Rapids, Michigan on July 22 at the age of 54. That sentence, by itself, tells a story. But that story is incomplete. Anyone who spent time in and around Grand Rapids in the 1990s was aware of The Great Daryl Nathan. … Continue reading Rest in peace, The Great Daryl Nathan: “Freaky Freaky Girl” (circa 1996)

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, Peter Tork: The Monkees, “Words” (1968)

Peter Tork, best known for his work in the Monkees, has passed away at the age of 77. Tork had been diagnosed with cancer about ten years ago, and had beaten it for a long time, but succumbed to the disease yesterday. I'm reluctant to say "ex-Monkee Peter Tork" in a piece like this. For … Continue reading Rest in peace, Peter Tork: The Monkees, “Words” (1968)

Fast away the old year passes: Barry Manilow, “It’s Just Another New Year’s Eve” (1977)

(Feel free to add your own caption.) A few random thoughts as we close out 2018: The year-end retrospectives have begun from mass media, and social media is no different. My various feeds are inundated with looks-back, best-ofs, and various videos. I'm not sharing any of them. Here's why: -I'm afraid that my Instagram "top … Continue reading Fast away the old year passes: Barry Manilow, “It’s Just Another New Year’s Eve” (1977)

Elvis comes back: “If I Can Dream” (1968)

The most-watched television show of the 1968-1969 television season aired fifty years ago tonight. Singer Presents... Elvis was assembled from performance footage that had been taped earlier that summer, edited down to a 50-minute special, and aired on NBC. It gathered 42 per cent of the television audience on December 3, 1968. Perhaps more importantly, … Continue reading Elvis comes back: “If I Can Dream” (1968)

Bedrock and roll: The Beau Brummels, “Laugh Laugh” (1965)

(Above: Hitting the prehistoric big time.) Back in the day when we had a broadcasting major at GVSU, we had a course called "Life on Television." (Remind me to bring one or both of those things back one of these days.) In the end days of the course, I evolved it into a television history … Continue reading Bedrock and roll: The Beau Brummels, “Laugh Laugh” (1965)

Rest in peace, Don Sandburg: The Banana Splits, “Tra-La-La Song” (1969)

(Above: The original Bozo's Circus cast: Ringmaster Ned Locke, bandleader Bob Trendler, Bozo [Bob Bell], Oliver O. Oliver [Ray Rayner], Sandy [Don Sandburg].) Don Sandburg, the last surviving original cast member of the Chicago edition of Bozo's Circus, passed away over the weekend in Oregon as a result of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was … Continue reading Rest in peace, Don Sandburg: The Banana Splits, “Tra-La-La Song” (1969)

Greatest misses: Barbara Acklin, “Am I The Same Girl?” (1969)

(Above: Hidden in this album is a great song.) Sometimes, what may be the best version of a song is the one that finishes in third place. 1n 1968 session musicians at Brunswick Records went into the studio and laid down a jam. That track was released by Brunswick and first hit the Billboard Hot … Continue reading Greatest misses: Barbara Acklin, “Am I The Same Girl?” (1969)