BAUHAUS - BELA LUGOSI'S DEAD
Bela Lugosi's Dead was the first single from Bauhaus in 1979. The lyrics of the song were written by bassist David J, who was inspired after watching a marathon on horror and vampire movies on British television. The release of this dark 9-minute long song is considered to by many to mark the start of the goth subculture. Bauhaus was known to often set the stage with a coffin and gloomy lighting, and lead singer Peter Murphy would be made up like a vampire. Murphy had a successful solo career on the side, and the other band members had their own band on the side - Love and Rockets.
CURTIS MAYFIELD - Freddie's Dead
Freddie's Dead was the first single from Curtis Mayfield's spectacular soundtrack to the movie Super Fly. The song was released in 1972, just before the movie was released. Only the instrumental version is used in the movie, and it appears several times throughout the movie. In 1972, Freddie's Dead was nominated for a Grammy, but lost to The Temptation's hit Papa Was A Rolling Stone.
Every year around halloween, I Put A Spell On You by Screamin' Jay Hawkins become's a popular song. Hawkins recorded this song in 1956, he wrote the song after being dumped by his girlfriend, and his longing for her to take him back. The original version was banned on most radio stations because of it's grunts and groans. The producers created an intentionally "weird" sound by having the musicians consume food and liquor during the recording session. The song was particularly popular among teenagers because it's sound was considered forbidden. The song has been covered numerous times, and was famously sampled by Notorious B.I.G. on 1997's Kick In The Door. Hawkins died in 2000, and is rumored to have over 50 children across the country.
STEVIE WONDER - Do I Do
Stevie Wonder introduced Do I Do on his 1982 album Stevie Wonder's Original Musiquarium 1. The album is a collection of Wonder's hits, which featured Do I Do as one of the album's four new songs. The 10 and half minute long song features a Dizzy Gillespie solo, and a rare rap by Stevie Wonder at the end of the track. Do I Do was sampled in 2000 by rapper Ja Rule on his hit song Livin' It Up, which is featured on his 2001 Pain Is Love album
Happy Days Are Here Again was written in 1929 by Jack Yellen and Milton Ager. The song was introduced in the 1930 film Chasing Rainbows, where it was performed by violinist and bandleader Leo Reisman and His Orchestra, with vocals by Lou Levin. The song has since appeared in dozens of films. The song was also prominently used in FDR's 1932 presidential campaign. Reisman formed his own band in 1919, and he had more then 80 popular hits in his career. Happy Days Are Here Again has been covered hundreds of times, and the song continues to be used in television and film.
CAMP LO - Luchini AKA This Is It
In 1997 rap duo Camp Lo released their debut album Uptown Saturday Night. The album's lead single - Luchini (This Is It) - became their biggest hit. The song samples Adventures In The Land Of Music by Dynasty in 1980. Luchini, and most of the album, was produced by Ski, who was also working on Jay-Z's debut Reasonable Doubt album at the same time. On that all-time classic album, Ski produced Jay-Z's Dead President's, Feelin' It, Politics As Usual and 22 Two's.
JOE BATAAN - Rap-O Clap-O
Filipino-African American Latin soul singer Joe Bataan was born in Spanish harlem in 1942. He grew up on 103rd and Lexington in East Harlem, where he led a Puerto Rican street gang before ending up in prison. After he was released in 1965, Bataan started his first band, and by 1966 he was signed with New York-based Fania Records. In 1973, Bataan's first solo album - Salsoul - coined the name of the record label he co-founded in 1974. In 1979 he had a early hip-hop hit with the single Rap-O Clap-O, which was later featured on Mestizo, his second solo album on the Salsoul label. After his next album in 1981, Bataan retired from the music business until he recorded a final album in 2005. In 2009, he appeared in the film City Of God's Son, where he portrayed an older Nas narrating the experimental star-studded film. (see film HERE)
Average White Band - Cut The Cake
In 1975, Average White Band released their Cut The Cake album - the follow-up to their hugely successful AWB album, which included their first number one hit. The recording of the Cut The Cake album was plagued with problems and tension among the band's members. In addition to artistic and creative differences, the band was mourning over the loss of their founding drummer Robbie McIntosh, who had recently died of an accidental heroin overdose. McIntosh was replaced with drummer Steve Ferrone, well-known as the former drummer for Bloodstone. Before joining with AWB Ferrone had left Bloodstone to join English jazz-rock group Brian Auger's Oblivion Express - the band McIntosh had been with before forming AWB. Currently, Ferrone is drummer for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.
On a Saturday morning, February 3rd, 1973 the first episode of Schoolhouse Rock aired on ABC. The original run of the series ran from 1973-1985. The show was a collection of educational short films inspired by a song written by jazz pianist and composer Bob Dorough - 3 Is The Magic Number. Dorough had written the song after a request was passed on to him through a friend to put the multiplication tables to music. Dorough later pitched the idea for a children's show to vice-president of ABC's children's programing division Michael Eisner. Cartoonist Chuck Jones was recruited by Eisner for the project, and Three Is The Magic Number became the pilot episode of the series and Dorough became the main composer and performer of the songs featured in the animated shorts.
THE DRAMATICS - In The Rain
In 1972 The Dramatics released the single for In The Rain - their most successful song. After having a big hit in 1971 with the single for Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get, many considered the group to be a one hit wonder. The Dramatics silenced their critics by swiftly releasing In The Rain as a follow-up single. Both songs had appeared on the group's 1971 Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get album released on Volt and Stax Records. In The Rain hit number one on Billboard's Best Selling Soul Singles chart for 4 consecutive weeks, and it peaked out at number five on Billboards Hot 100 chart. The song, which is known for the incorporating the sound of rain and thunder, has been covered by many artists, including Keith Sweat, Xscape and Boney James.
"If you like to lounge