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Thursday, July 31, 2014

"Gloria" Umberto Tozzi (Original Version, 1979)

 ....and YOU thought it was a Laura Branigan ORIGINAL all this time, didn't you?....(Tsktsktsk! ;) ) Speaking of the late Laura Branigan, I have a forgotten Laura Branigan tune from the early 1970s coming next month.....

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Stoner Munchies

Now available in most retail pot shops in Washington State and Colorado. Coming soon eventually with legalization in YOUR state.....

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Before They Were Stars: Giorgio Moroder

When you think of Giorgio Moroder, you automatically think of kickass '70s and '80s electronic disco-synthpop. Most notably, his collaborations with Donna Summer.

Not '60s surf-bubblegum pop. But you gotta start somewhere and this 1969 single, "Looky Looky" was Giorgio Moroder's first big break in the music business (as "Georgio"). While largely ignored in America, the song went gold in Europe and Canada.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

"Let Me Take You Dancing" Bryan Adams (1979)

A lot of people don't know that Bryan Adams first hit was a disco tune....

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Worst 45 RPM Record In History?

Image: The World's Worst Records

Upon playing this YouTube link, you agree to not hold History's Dumpster or me personally liable for any and all damage, mental and physical or to property, including brain hemorrhaging, gnawing off limbs and extreme pain and suffering which may occur when hearing this song... 

I once thought I finally heard every godawful song the human imagination could create. This time however, I have found something so bad, I actually barfed for five minutes. I couldn't even make it past the first minute. I slammed down several anti-depressant pills. Just so I can type this.

Please don't take this lightly. You're reading this from a man who once had to write a review for the entire six CD Yoko Ono box set Onobox. I can take a lot. That was hell. But the entire Onobox was actually quite refreshing compared to this two and a half minute record. This one record nearly pushed me over the edge.

This record does not belong in any collection. It belongs in a sealed EPA drum and buried forever in a lead covered concrete box at Hanford, WA.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Pocket Hose

Image: Food Drive Item of The Day
Our latest As Seen On TV miracle is "Pocket Hose", "The Hose That Grows"

Bad advertising name and slogan. Even worse pick-up lines.

Only problem is the ends are plastic and they crack and leak, the lei-like outer covering tears easy. And they can pop from heavy water pressure.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

KOMO-TV's Boomerang

1977 KOMO-TV TV Guide ad for Boomerang. Image: Puget Sound Radio
Boomerang was a kids TV program that aired on Seattle's KOMO-TV 4 in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was an exclusive program of KOMO-TV although it has been syndicated to certain cable TV channels.

(The Boomerang Theme Song......Just TRY and get this out of your head...)

Bees keep on flying 'round the room.

Mother will help me if I ask her.

I will run faster than they can.

Put them together it’s Boomerang

Bing, Bong, Bang
Bing, Bong, Bang
It’s Boomerang!

Bing, Bong, Bang
Bing, Bong, Bang
It’s Boomerang!

(A KOMO produced 45 RPM record of the Boomerang theme song was released in the Seattle area around 1978 or '79.)

The show's host was Marni Nixon, a movie playback singer, Broadway actress and opera singer and mother of the late 1970s pop star Andrew Gold, best known for his hits "Lonely Boy" and "Thank You For Being A Friend", which became the theme song for the 1980s NBC sitcom The Golden Girls.

On the show, she regularly taught lessons to preschoolers using three child puppets, a mischievous, green nosed yellow male puppet named Norbert (who bears a suspicious resemblance to Bert of Sesame Street), a red haired, freckled pink female puppet named Melinda and a short dreadlocked, dark brown female puppet named Libby. A blue male puppet named Rookie was added shortly before the program was canceled.

The show covered 'wide-ranging and serious' topics, such as the death of a gerbil, and 'selling out your principals'.

In one episode, Marni is asked to do a commercial for silver polish, but after trying the polish and finding that it doesn't work, she decides not to do the commercial.

The show's budget was so low, Marni Nixon wasn't able to do rehearsals. It was a challenge, but Marni Nixon was able to handle whatever came her way.

Boomerang won over 2 dozen Emmy Awards during its long run on-air, which included over 150 episodes.

Contrary to the Seattle local urban legend, the original 'Norbert' puppet from KOMO-TV's Boomerang show was NOT sold at a West Seattle yard sale. It (as well as the Melinda, Libby and Rookie puppets) have been donated to the Seattle Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI)
The show ran until 1981 when it was canceled. The early 1980s were the sunset years of the locally produced children's TV show. Mostly due to deregulation that put less emphasis on children's programming. Many TV stations across the nation would drop their locally produced kids shows in favour of expanded news programming, an extra syndicated program. Or replaced them with an informercial. A few perennial favourites in some areas lingered into the '90s, but the vast majority disappeared by 1985.

Boomerang links:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"No More 'I Love You's'" The Lover Speaks (1986)

Betcha thought it was an Annie Lennox song all this time, didn't ya? ;)

Don't worry, you're in good company. A lot of people don't know about this lost gem. Or who The Lover Speaks were.

It was released in 1986 and didn't fare too well on the UK charts and didn't appear at all on the US charts and quietly disappeared.

They did get some American alternative rock radio airplay, including on Seattle's KJET. Playlist courtesy of Mike Fuller.
The Lover Speaks were a New Wave duo from England, made up of two former members of the punk band The Flys, David Freeman and Joseph Hughes. Their self-titled first album The Lover Speaks was produced by Dave Stewart of Eurythmics and the duo were the opening act on the Eurythmics world tour of 1986 for their new album Revenge.

Sadly, the poor sales and chart performance of their first LP led to A&M Records dropping the duo after completing their second album The Big Lie in 1987 (again with Dave Stewart producing.) The Big Lie as far as I know remains unreleased to this day. And The Lover Speaks disbanded.

The Lover Speaks (A&M, 1986)
However, their partnership with Eurythmics paid off handsomely nine years later in 1995 when Annie Lennox covered "No More 'I Love You's'", and made it the lead single on her Medusa album. It became a monster worldwide smash hit and the biggest solo hit of her career.

David Freeman went on to a solo career in the 1990s and is currently retired. Joseph Hughes became a producer and songwriter and is currently active today.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Overlooked Americana

I was going through my blog post drafts (I have something like 200 of them in varying stages of completion) and I had intended to put this up on July 4th, but it somehow got lost in the pile. It's about a couple of odd America related songs. One a near hit, the other a gay rights anthem for something that is now the law of the land (and it's not marriage.)

"The Voice of Freedom" Jim Kirk & The TM Singers (1980)

If Jim Kirk & The TM Singers sound familiar, you probably heard them on any given radio station jingle of the 1970s and '80s. Because that's what Jim Kirk & The TM Singers were; jingle singers for radio stations. And what's TM? TM is a company that makes radio station jingles (of course), but also supplies radio stations with music libraries, voice overs, imaging and commercial production materials.

They scored a near hit with this patriotic song which made the Billboard Hot 100 and got a good amount of airplay on Adult Contemporary and Country stations for a couple weeks. But like all songs with little kids featured on vocals (as in parts of this song), it just didn't last long. Jim Kirk & The TM Singers continued making radio station jingles well into the 1980s and beyond. TM today is now TM Studios.

The next song is REALLY different.

"There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere" Peter Grudzien (1974)

You were probably expecting the traditional version, weren't you?

Long before the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" debate over gays and lesbians serving in the armed forces (in spite of the fact they were always there - just not openly. That part was the automatic disqualification), there was Peter Grudzien's rendition of "There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere". Perhaps the first song to even address that topic. And this was in 1974. This was from his self released album The Unicorn and quickly it became an underground gay/lesbian music classic.
Footnote: Speaking of radio, many thanks to Radio Insight and Puget Sound Radio for linking to my Seattle's KJET 1600 AM blog post this weekend.  And welcome aboard readers. There's lots of radio related posts here with all the usual junk. Cheers!