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I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman – Whistling Jack Smith

I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman – Whistling Jack Smith

I love everything about “I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman” by Whistling Jack Smith. Here’s why: none of what you believe about the song is true. First, the guy whistling on the record is not actually Whistling Jack Smith. His name is John O’Neill. Second, John O’Neill didn’t actually appear as Whistling Jack Smith. Whistling Jack Smith was actually performed by a guy named Billy Moeller. Third, Whistling Jack Smith was not actually Kaiser Bill’s Batman. I assume … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1960s, Pop

Movin’ – Brass Construction

Movin’ – Brass Construction

Disco is the greatest form of music in really tiny doses. Or the most disposable. A song like “Movin’” by Brass Construction is exhibit A in that argument. When people first heard this song on the dance floors of disco clubs, they lapped it up like a starving kitten snarfs Meow Mix. Then they let it settle in, percolate a bit, and discovered they liked it. A lot. Movin’ by Brass Construction reached #14 on the … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s, Pop

Morning Dance – Spyro Gyra

Morning Dance – Spyro Gyra

Smooth jazz gets a bad rap. “It’s not real jazz,” people say. “It’s warmed-up elevator music,” others claim. “It’s the music that spawned Kenny G and should be outlawed,” jazz purists will say. If you don’t like the smooth jazz sounds created by artists like Dave Koz, Bob James and one-hit wonder artists like Candy Dulfer (“Lily Was Here”) and Grover Washington Jr (“Just the Two of Us”). If you think jazz should demand your attention and shock … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s

Dynomite Part 1 – Tony Camillo’s Bazuka

Dynomite Part 1 – Tony Camillo’s Bazuka

Disco started in the gay night clubs of New York City in the mid-1970s. It became mainstream following Saturday Night Fever’s success in 1977 and was a cursed and hated genre by 1979 when “Disco Sucks” slogans appeared on everything from t-shirts to bumper stickers. One of the biggest complaints is that disco was produced by studio groups who didn’t tour, didn’t perform but merely churned out records that all sounded the same. If you were … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s

Music Box Dancer – Frank Mills

Music Box Dancer – Frank Mills

Every year, thousands of kids start piano lessons. The first lesson begins with great enthusiasm. Then the teacher throws a little theory, a few sharps and flats the student’s way, and the battles begin. Battles to perfectly master the music if you’re mom happens to be a Tiger Mom or former concert pianist. Battles to convince a parent that “piano is too hard” or “piano is too boring.” Battles to convince a parent that football or … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s, Pop

Pump Up the Volume – M/A/R/R/S

Pump Up the Volume – M/A/R/R/S

Another instrumental one-hit wonder for you today. Well, maybe it’s not a “pure” instrumental one-hit wonder because you hear vocals in the mix. But nearly all the vocals are samples from other records. So I’m considering them “instruments” instead of “vocalists.” The people behind the Grammy Awards clearly agreed since they nominated “Pump Up the Volume” by M/A/R/R/S for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. It lost to sax player David Sanborn. Click to hear more Grammy Award … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s, Hip Hop