What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Well… 2015 is coming to a close. I hope it has been a year filled with love, laughter, and unforgettable experiences for everyone. For my final TuneBack of 2015, I have one question (well, actually Ella Fitzgerald does)… “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?”

Let’s take a listen to this incredible voice as we reflect on the past year.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 1960

TRIVIA: Originally written in 1947 by Frank Loesser as an independent song—not written for a particular movie or musical. It first charted for The Orioles, peaking at No. 9 on Billboard‘s Best-Selling Retail Rhythm & Blues chart in December 1949. Other charted versions include Danté & The Evergreens (No. 107 on Billboard‘s Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles in December 1960) and Nancy Wilson (No. 17 on Billboard‘s Christmas Singles chart in December 1965 and No. 24 on the same chart in December 1967).

It has been recorded by many other artists, including Margaret Whiting in 1947, Dick Haymes & the Les Paul Trio in 1947, Spike Jones in 1956, Ella Fitzgerald in 1960, Ramsey Lewis in 1961, Lena Horne in 1966, King Curtis in 1968, Johnny Mathis in 1969, The Carpenters in 1978 (released in 1984), Patti LaBelle in 1990, Andy Williams in 1990, The Stylistics in 1992, Harry Connick, Jr. in 1993, Carol Sloane in 1994, The Whispers in 1994, The Persuasions in 1997, Donny Osmond in 1999, Barbra Streisand in 2001, Barry Manilow and Lee Ann Womack in 2002, Clay Aiken in 2004, Diana Krall in 2005, Bette Midler in 2006, Mindy Smith in 2007, Ledisi in 2008, Chicago and Deana Martin in 2011.

In 2012, Rod Stewart recorded the song as a “virtual duet” with Ella Fitzgerald for his first holiday album, Merry Christmas, Baby.

See you next Tuesday and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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Christmas Vacation

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Christmas is only 3 days away so I’m tuning it back to a couple songs from one of my favourite Christmas movies, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

CHRISTMAS VACATION:

MELE KALIKIMAKA:

MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I hope your holiday is filled with love and laughter.

See you next Tuesday!

The Star Wars Holiday Special

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! This week the much-anticipated Star Wars sequel, THE FORCE AWAKENS, will be released in theatres. So today I’m tuning it back to one of the worst holiday specials ever made, The Star Wars Holiday Special. In this video posted on YouTube some elements have been removed due to certain copyright issues (ie. the intro song, a song by Jefferson Starship, and a cartoon segment), but several of the songs remain. It is a truly awful viewing experience and I couldn’t bring myself to watch the whole thing. However, here are two of the songs in the special that have to be seen to be believed:

1:08:00 – “Good Night, but Not Good Bye”, sung by Bea Arthur
1:23:00 – “Life Day”, sung  by Carrie Fisher

IMPORTANT NOTE: In order to view the video, you must watch it on YouTube (as it isn’t permitted to be embedded on websites).

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: November 17, 1978

TRIVIA: The Star Wars Holiday Special was critically panned, both by Star Wars fans and the general public. David Hofstede, author of What Were They Thinking?: The 100 Dumbest Events in Television History, ranked the holiday special at number one, calling it “the worst two hours of television ever.”

George Lucas himself disliked the special and reportedly said, “If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.”

On the 2010 television program Times TalkNew York Times columnist David Carr asked Carrie Fisher about the special; she said that she made George Lucas give her a copy of the special in exchange for recording DVD commentary for the Star Wars films. She added that she shows it at parties, “mainly at the end of the night when I want people to leave.”

See you next Tuesday and may the force be with you!!

Instant Karma!

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! 35 years ago today, December 8th, 1980, John Lennon was shot and killed. His death still reverberates as a defining moment for a generation and for the music world. In honour of his memory, I’m tuning it back to “Instant Karma!”.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: February 6, 1970

TRIVIA: “Instant Karma!” was written, recorded and released within a period of ten days, making it one of the fastest-released songs in pop music history.

Together with his wife, Yoko Ono, John Lennon spent New Year 1970 in Aalborg, Denmark, establishing a relationship with Ono’s former husband, artist Tony Cox, and visiting Cox and Ono’s daughter Kyoko. The visit coincided with the start of what Lennon termed “Year 1 AP (After Peace)”, following his and Ono’s much-publicised Bed-Ins and other peace-campaign activities throughout 1969.

To mark the new era, on 20 January 1970, the couple shaved off their shoulder-length hair. Lennon and Ono pledged to auction the shorn hair for a charitable cause, having similarly announced on 5 January that they would donate all future royalties from their recordings to the peace movement. Also while in Denmark, the Lennons, Cox and the latter’s current partner, Melinde Kendall, discussed the concept of “instant karma”, whereby the causality of one’s actions is immediate rather than borne out over a lifetime. Author Philip Norman writes of the concept’s appeal: “The idea was quintessential Lennon – the age-old Buddhist law of cause and effect turned into something as modern and synthetic as instant coffee and, simultaneously, into a bogey under the stairs that can get you if you don’t watch out.”

See you next Tuesday!!

Children of the Revolution

Happy TUNEBACK TUESDAY!! Today I’m tuning it back to 1972 with this classic song from T-Rex, “Children of the Revolution”.

ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: September 8, 1972

TRIVIA: The song is about teenage rebellion, and upon its release, some critics blasted the song, as it marked a change in the band’s overall tempo.

The song was heavily sampled in the film, Moulin Rouge!.

BONUS VIDEO: The song was included in the film Born to Boogie, in the famous Apple Studios jam with Elton John on piano and Ringo Starr joining the band on drums. During the jam, Marc Bolan puts his head through a grand piano while John is playing.

See you next Tuesday!!