Another Brick in the Wall

My favorite song from 1979 is Another Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd.
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My favorite line from the song is: “If you don’t eat yer meat, you can’t have any pudding! How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat yer meat?!”
I was in the third of fourth grade when this song came out. So, I really like how the song also features a choir of school children singing in the second verse.
The producer of Another Brick in the Wall was Bob Ezrin. He is the guy who made Alice Cooper’s School’s Out. He had a thing about kids on record. This was fitting because the song is about kids. They sent their recording Engineer, Nick Grififths, to a school in North London. The school was near the Floyd studios. Ezrin wanted 24 tracks of kids singing the song. He said he wanted Cockney.
Cockney English refers to the accent or dialect of English traditionally spoken by working-class Londoners. The actor Michael Caine has an accent like this. Here are some attributes that Cockney contains:
• The sound of many vowels is said in a deeper tone
• The vowels are drawn together, as opposed to said separately. For example, mouth is pronounced “mauf.”
• The letter t often disappears from words. For example, water becomes wa’er and city becomes ci’y.
• The letter h is often dropped at the beginning of words. For example, house becomes ‘ouse.

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The recording engineer approached music teacher Alun Renshaw of Islington Green School, around the corner from Pink Floyd’s Britannia Row Studios, about the choir.
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According to songfacts.com:
“Though the school received a lump sum payment of £1000, there was no contractual arrangement for royalties from record sales. Under a 1996 UK copyright law, they became eligible for royalties from broadcasts, and after royalties agent Peter Rowan traced choir members through the website Friends Reunited and other means, they lodged a claim for royalties with the Performing Artists’ Media Rights Association in 2004.”

Top 15 Musical Saturday Night Live Skits

Top 15 Musical Saturday Night Live Skits
15. Mascots (Justin Timberlake) – October 11, 2003

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14. The Blues Brothers (Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi) – April 22, 1978
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13. John Belushi as Joe Cocker (1976)

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12. The Hanukkah Song-Adam Sandler-December 3, 1994
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11. “The Barry Gibb Talk Show”-Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Fallon-December 21, 2013

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10. “James Brown’s Celebrity Hot Tub Party”-Eddie Murphy-11/5/83
Eddie Murphy during his James Brown's Celebrity Hot Tub Party sk
9. “ Little Richard Simmons Show”-Eddie Murphy-October 2, 1981

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8. “Lunch Lady Land”- Adam sander and Chris Farley-January 14, 1994
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7. Buckwheat (Eddie Murphy) – October 10, 1981
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6. Season’s Greetings From Saturday Night Live (Christmas is Number One) (Horatio Sanz, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Kattan, Tracy Morgan) – December 16, 2000

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5. Tonto, Tarzan & Frankenstein’s Monster (Jon Lovitz, Kevin Nealon, Phil Hartman) – December 19, 1987
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4. MERRY CHRISTMAS, DAMMIT! (1982)
Eddie Murphy often played kiddie-claymation favorite Gumby as an aging, cranky entertainer, here as the host of a holiday special whose guests included Donny and Marie Osmond (Gary Kroeger and Julia Louis-Dreyfus), whose duet melted down into an incestuous make-out session.
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3. The Sweeney Sisters (Jan Hooks, Nora Dunn) – October 18, 1986

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2. The Culps (Ana Gasteyer, Will Ferrell) – November 2, 1996

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1. The Lawrence Welk Show (Fred Armisen, Kristen Wiig) – October 4, 2008

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You’re the One that I Want

1978 Musical Highlights
As Saturday Night Fever becomes a cultural phenomenon, the soundtrack hits #1 on the Billboard Charts.
By request, Ted Nugent autographs his name into a fan’s arm with a bowie knife in Philadelphia.
Steve Martin performs the original “King Tut” on Saturday Night Live; also that night, The Blues Brothers make their first appearance on the show.
The film adaptation of the musical Grease opens in theaters and is a box office hit.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a much-hyped musical film starring Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees performing the music of The Beatles, opens in theaters
Def Leppard’s permanent drummer Rick Allen joins the band at the age of 15.
Kenny Rogers continues his highly successful solo career with the single (and album) “The Gambler” and will go on to star in no less than 5 movies based around the song.
My favorite song from 1978 comes from the movie, Grease.
”Summer Nights” is the name of the song. I distinctly remember going to see the movie with my mom. It was at Fairlane Mall in Dearborn, MI. I remember walking to our car in the parking lot, and telling my mom that I wanted to be Sandy when I grew up. She asked if I meant the Sandy at the beginning of the movie or at the end of the movie. I said both!

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fairlanehttp://www.pressandguide.com

Some little known facts that I found out about the movie(huffingtonpost.com):
-Before John Travolta landed the role of Danny Zuko, Henry Winkler was being considered for the part.
-Most of the cast were well beyond their high school years. Olivia Newton-John was 29. John Travolta was 23, Jeff Conaway (Kenickie) was 26, and Stockard Channing (Rizzo) was the oldest in the group at 33. The youngest members of the cast were Eddie Deezen (Eugene) and Dinah Manoff (Marty), who were both 19.

-The hickeys that are seen on Rizzo’s neck during a scene at the diner were real! According to Channing they were planted on her off-camera by her love interest in the film, Jeff Conaway.

-Filming of the scene where the rivals assemble at the bridge for the car race made several cast members and extras ill. The water on the ground was apparently stagnant and filled with trash.

-Olivia Newton-John had to be sewn into those skin-tight pants for the carnival finale after her zipper broke.

-Originally, there was talk of Lucy Arnaz playing the part of Rizzo.

-The scene at Frenchy’s house was taped the day that Elvis died. Rizzo sings a line about Elvis in the song.

-Jeff Conaway stated in an episode of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew (2008) that while filming the scene/song “Greased Lightning” he was dropped by his fellow cast members and injured his back leading to his addiction to prescription painkillers.

-Jeff Conaway (6′ 1½”) had to walk slightly stooped so that John Travolta (6′ 2″) would appear taller.

-Susan Dey was considered for the roll of Sandy.

On a Dark Desert Highway

I guess I am attracted to loooong songs. My favorite song from 1977 is “Hotel California” by The Eagles. It is six minutes and 30 seconds long.
This was the first song that I learned all of the words to. This was not an easy task back in the day. We did not have the internet to look up the lyrics. I had to use my Panasonic tape recorder to record it off of the radio. I had to listen, stop, and rewind over and over, and still got some of them wrong.

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One of the lyrics that I had messed up was “smell of colitas”. According to songfacts.com many people have wondered about those lyrics. I looked this up a long time ago and found it is a desert plant. Some believe it is a reference to marijuana.
Many wonder what the meaning of the song is. There are a lot of ideas from various people as to what the song is referring. They include: Satan worship, death, prison, marriage, cancer, addiction, and a mental hospital. I found an interpretation that interested me. It was a comparison to Proverbs 7:6-27 –At the window of my house I looked down through the lattice.
7 I saw among the simple,
I noticed among the young men,
a youth who had no sense.
8 He was going down the street near her corner,
walking along in the direction of her house
9 at twilight, as the day was fading,
as the dark of night set in.
10 Then out came a woman to meet him,
dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.
11 (She is unruly and defiant,
her feet never stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares,
at every corner she lurks.)
13 She took hold of him and kissed him
and with a brazen face she said:
14 “Today I fulfilled my vows,
and I have food from my fellowship offering at home.
15 So I came out to meet you;
I looked for you and have found you!
16 I have covered my bed
with colored linens from Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed
with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;
let’s enjoy ourselves with love!
19 My husband is not at home;
he has gone on a long journey.
20 He took his purse filled with money
and will not be home till full moon.”
21 With persuasive words she led him astray;
she seduced him with her smooth talk.
22 All at once he followed her
like an ox going to the slaughter,
like a deer[a] stepping into a noose[b]
23 till an arrow pierces his liver,
like a bird darting into a snare,
little knowing it will cost him his life.
24 Now then, my sons, listen to me;
pay attention to what I say.
25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways
or stray into her paths.
26 Many are the victims she has brought down;
her slain are a mighty throng.
27 Her house is a highway to the grave,
leading down to the chambers of death..
Don Henley put it this way: “We were all middle-class kids from the Midwest. Hotel California was our interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles.” Glenn Frey: “That record explores the under belly of success, the darker side of Paradise, which was sort of what we were experiencing in Los Angeles at that time. So that just sort of became a metaphor for the whole world and for everything you know. And we just decided to make it Hotel California.” I found
This song won the 1977 Grammy for Record Of The Year. The band did not show up to accept the award, as Don Henley did not believe in contests. Timothy B. Schmit had just joined the band, and he says they watched the ceremony on TV while they were rehearsing.

The hotel on the album cover is the Beverly Hills Hotel, known as the Pink Palace. It is often frequented by Hollywood stars.

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Besides the length some other things that make “Hotel California” unique are: The introduction is a minute long, you can’t really dance to it, It stops in the middle when the drums stop: “mirrors on the ceiling,” section, and it has a two minute guitar solo at the end.
Picture credits:
http://www.toledoblade.com
song-story.ru
ebay.com

Sing us a Song

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In my opinion the hits from 1973 do not compare to ’70 or ’71. However, there were great songs: “Taking Care of Business”, “Free Bird”, “We’re an American Band”, “No More Mr. Nice Guy”, etc. I was surprised with some of the songs from ’73, thinking that they had come out later.
There were awesome performers in 1973: Roberta Flack, Pink Floyd, Chicago, Kool and the Gang, etc.
My favorite song from 1973 is “Piano Man” by Billy Joel.

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Here is something interesting that I found out about Billy Joel from Songfacts.com: When he was 21, after his band broke up and his girlfriend left him, he tried to kill himself by drinking furniture polish (he “took the Pledge”). He learned that furniture polish doesn’t kill you, it just gets you really sick. After the incident, he checked himself into a hospital for depression, which he later said was a great experience, since he saw people who had far worse problems and learned to stop feeling sorry for himself.
I also learned from songfacts.com the history of “Piano Man”: It was inspired by Joel’s experiences playing at a piano bar. The characters in the song are based on real people Joel encountered while working there. Joel played under the name Bill Martin, which explains why the patrons in the song call him Bill. Martin is his middle name.
Weird Al has a song that goes: “Sling us a web, you’re the Spider-Man.”
I have always been fond of Billy Joel. He is an awesome piano player. He and Elton John (another awesome piano player) have toured together. I lost some interest in Billy Joely when he started doing classical music. He has composed a number of classical songs and even reworked older ballads with an orchestral backing. But, Billy Joel’s “awesomeness” earned him his own channel on satellite radio.
I really like how Joel paints a picture with this song. It reminds me of the show “Cheers” and its theme song. That is how the regulars are there every night. My favorite lines from the song are:
                                                  Makin’ love to his tonic and gin
                                                                     and
                                             When I wore a younger man’s clothes.
I like the “tonic and gin” line because it reminds me of best friend, Michelle. She got me into drinking these in my early twenties. I like the “younger man’s clothes” line because I think it is a really creative way to talk about the earlier years of one’s life.

cheers

The greatest memory I have of this song comes from three years ago. It was during the spring piano recital. It was one of my best “mom moments”. Everyone was playing hymns and sonatinas . My daughter, Casey, got up there and started playing “Piano Man”. I was so proud.  It was awesome!

cpianoPhoto Credits:  en.wikipedia.org http://www.ericscheske.com