The American Legion and the Boy Scouts denounced it. The New York Times called it “nightmarish and bloodcurdling.” And after it incited a near riot in a local theater, the city of Memphis banned it. 50 years ago, when The Blackboard Jungle hit screens across the country, the controversial opening salvo of the film was […]
The story behind the Grammy-award winning “From A Distance” and the miracles a song can bring, as told by the writer, Julie Gold. In 1978, at the age of 22, I came to New York in pursuit of my dream of being a songwriter. And while dreams are essential, they don’t pay the rent. For […]
It’s safe to say that Roger Waters was not entirely satisfied with his childhood education. “Oh, it was awful, really terrible,” the then-principal songwriter, singer and bass player for Pink Floyd told BBC Radio 1 in 1979, upon the release of a new single by his band drawing on those classroom experiences. “It’s not meant […]
Sixty-eight years ago today, on November 26, 1942, the classic film Casablanca premiered at Hollywood Theater in NYC to coincide with the Allied invasion of North Africa and the capture of Casablanca. The film, staring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Paul Henried, focuses on a man torn between love and virtue—Bogart’s character must choose between […]
This week in 1974 John Lennon’s “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night” became his first and only chart-topping solo single during his lifetime. It was from his Walls and Bridges album and featured Elton John on harmony vocals and piano. The song was written during Lennon’s 18-month separation from Yoko Ono and involvement with May […]
Throughout history songwriters have given voice to our fears and frustrations, joys and sorrows. They’ve put words to feelings the rest of us have a hard time expressing. And when the songs are written well, they unite us and propel us forward. This past week’s online poll asked what your favorite activism/protest song was, and […]
This week’s online poll of favorite TV theme songs found a winner in Cheers’ “Where Everybody Knows Your Name,” written by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo in 1982 (and sung by Portnoy).
Jack Norworth never cared much for baseball, but he wrote a song about the game that sports fans have been belting out for 102 years
Last week’s poll results for your favorite Joni Mitchell song is “Chelsea Morning” … good choice! When asked the story behind that 1967 song, Joni told the Los Angeles Times: “I wrote that in Philadelphia after some girls who worked in this club where I was playing found all this colored glass in an […]
Here’s the story behind “Dock of the Bay” in Steve Cropper’s own words: One of the things that’s unique about “Dock of the Bay” is that almost every time Otis [Redding] came in to work, to write with me and to record, he would always go check into the hotel or motel first, get settled […]
It’s a tale of two torch songs. The original, written in French as “Les Feuilles Mortes” (literally, “Dead Leaves”) was a dark lament of lost love and regret. The translated version, “Autumn Leaves,” touched on the same theme, but in a gentler, more wistful way.
Fifty-nine years ago today, in 1951, the very first episode of the I Love Lucy show aired on CBS and became the most watched TV show in the U.S. for four of its seven-year run. Fun trivia about the opening theme song is that during the first season the show opened with their sponsor Philip […]
Justin Hayward’s role as the singer, songwriter, guitarist and composer for The Moody Blues literally resulted from the luck of the draw. After a year of writing and demoing his own songs, Hayward answered an ad for Eric Burdon’s lead guitarist. Burdon’s group The Animals found someone else, but gave a bagful of leftover replies […]
In February 1967, John Lennon’s four-year-old son Julian came home from nursery school with a painting that he’d done of his classmate, Lucy O’Donnell. When John asked his son about the picture, which showed a girl floating among the stars, Julian replied, “It’s Lucy, in the sky, with diamonds.” “I don’t know why I called […]
The world’s most infamous party song was penned by Richard Berry, a 21-year-old L.A. sideman and songwriter. Ot was originally conceived as a sailor’s lament.