Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Oldies for your Wednesday

I've been pretty busy this week, and consequently, ain't got nothing but some oldies. I know you kids just love that stuff! :P


Trivia time: How many of you knew that Dionne is Whitney Houston's aunt? I think their voices are very similar, but of course, we know who is first and best.

Walk on by - Dionne Warwick

Speaking of voices, this voice always made me swoon. (You can see Johnny Cash playing guitar in the background.)

I very nearly named my daughter after this song, but I somehow knew that she'd get pissed at me over being named for a country song. (Note: I was right.)

Amanda - Waylon Jennings

The Partridge Family TV-show was based on this band, The Cowsills, also a family. This song is a real gem! I don't mind telling you I think it's one of the best and sweetest pop songs of the 60s! (The ersatz singing TV-family never even came close.)

Trivia: Little Susan Cowsill was 9 years old, making her the youngest singer to sing on a top-ten song to date (1967). I was Susan's age, and wanted so badly to be her!

Barry Cowsill died in Hurricane Katrina, at age 51.

The Rain, The Park And Other Things - The Cowsills

I was upset that this song was used in JACKIE BROWN for the scene where Samuel L. Jackson pulls into a junkyard with a dead body in his trunk. Honestly, does Quentin Tarantino have to ruin EVERY damn thing? Certainly, I would have used the song for some sexy, steamy scene.

Quincy Jones, producer, made this sound super-pretty and dazzling; an aural cotton-candy confection. I'm sure it was quite the disappointment when performed in person! (Although you must admit: the outer space jumpsuits really make the song, too!)

Rainbows and waterfalls run through my mind.

Strawberry Letter 23 - The Brothers Johnson


ZenDenizen said...

Sweet tunes! I also like the Average White Band and Isaac Hayes versions of Walk on By.

JoJo said...

Strawberry Letter 23 is one of my alltime fave songs. I still have the 45 of it. Came out in the fall of '77 when I was in the 8th grade.

John Powers said...

I don't know what to make about being a fan. I was much older than nine when I first heard Shuggie Otis sing Strawberry Letter 23. Maybe I wanted to be him, but I think it's more I imagined I could relate to him. I sure was impressed with his talent. The Brothers Johnson cover is very faithful to the original

Meowser said...

Second John Powers. If you like the Brothers Johnson's "Strawberry Letter 23" (and I do), you might want to check out Shuggie Otis's Inspiration Information. It's got the original version of that song (which Otis wrote), plus lots of others in that cool lite-funk vein.

Whitney versus Dionne? I always thought Whitney was more like Liza Minnelli, or maybe even Ethel Merman, in that she couldn't sing anything with subtlety if she tried. And her soul-music roots were way more Diana Ross (or shit, even Marilyn McCoo) than Dionne Warwick. Her true home is the musical-comedy stage, if one still actually existed. Dionne was all nuance; Whitney thinks nuance is a cologne. Although in Dionne's case, it seems like she was made for Bacharach-David and they for her. Neither was the same once they split (though I love "Then Came You").

As for "Amanda," you could have told her you named her after the song by Boston, which came out in 1986. (Assuming she wasn't born until then, of course.) I do like that song, though. I wouldn't have minded being named after it. It beats being named "Sloopy," right?

queen emiliana said...

I *did* know that about Dionne. And that her mum sang back-up for Elvis. No wonder she's got the pipes!

sheila said...

Love the videos! Thanks for some wonderful memories! I did know that about Whitney Houston. Amazing how much talent can run in one family!

I did NOT know that about the Partridge Family though! So interesting! I loved in the video how the little boy sitting on the stool keeps swinging his legs. Funny. Great trivia in this post!

mikeb302000 said...

Great videos and great memories associated with them. I can't bring up that scene in jackie Brown though. But that's a good reason to watch that great film again.

Marion said...

Ahhhh. Waylon and Amanda! Wonder if we're leading parallel lives, Daisy, as I almost named my first born Amanda as well, after this song. I still love it...and my daughter has told me she would rather have been named Amanda than the name I finally picked. Oh time, lol!

nancy =) said...

i knew about whitney/dionne...jerzey girls, like me =)

but i didn't know about the cowsills guy/katrina...very sad, that...

cool post =)

Meowser said...

Re the Cowsills: The Partridge Family happened because the Cowsills had been approached to do their own series, but the network wanted to replace Barbara Cowsill with Shirley Jones (presumably because they thought Barbara Cowsill wasn't telegenic enough), and the group said no. So then they went ahead and hired David Cassidy, et al.

Cassidy said in his autobiography that, contrary to what was told to the press, he was the only one who actually sang on those records (and even he wasn't allowed to sing himself very early on -- they found out after they hired him and shot a few episodes that he could carry a tune and gave him the lead vocalist's job). He said they were "contractually obligated" to record Shirley Jones' voice (I guess so they could maintain the facade that everyone was lip-syncing except Cassidy), but "only rarely did we mix her in."

My favorite P-Family song, though, was one that wasn't such a big hit: "Looking Through the Eyes of Love." But I was exactly the right age to be hit between the eyes by them, and yeah, I had a David Cassidy poster, too. What can I tell you.

(Incidentally, Billy Cowsill, who sang lead on "The Rain, The Park..." and most of their other hits, also passed away a few years ago from natural causes.)

DaisyDeadhead said...

Meowser, did you see this post?

I still get lots of hits on that photo!

Meowser said...

Oh yeah, that photo and the article accompanying it ("Naked Lunch Box"!) was David Cassidy's attempt to Be Taken Seriously By Adult Fans Already. Unfortunately for him, it backfired big time. (It probably would have helped if at that time he had made any music Rolling Stone fans would have been interested in.) But it's a great picture.

And I, too, remember that it's Cassidy's birthday whenever April 12 rolls around. One of these days when I can't even remember my name any more, I'll still remember that. Very annoying.

Rosa said...

I always get to the party late..

Love Strawberry Letter 23-Brothers Johnson version. Never heard of Shuggie Otis before this, OMG, LOVE him. Very funky & melodic, I'm checking out his songs right now on youtube. I'm glad I stopped by here today, got something new (to me) to listen to!