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Monster Mash – Bobby Boris Pickett

Monster Mash – Bobby Boris Pickett

Halloween is one of the greatest American holidays. “Monster Mash” is one of the greatest one-hit wonders. Except it’s not. “Monster Mash” actually charted on the Billboard Top 40 two separate times in two separate years. With eleven years between the hits. The first time is 1962 when the novelty song was first released and “Monster Mash” reached #1 on the Billboard Top 40. Listeners lapped up the Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi references and the song became … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1960s, 1970s

1 Million Bucks to Create a Hit Song

1 Million Bucks to Create a Hit Song

I read a fascinating article this weekend by Zoe Chace from NPR about the costs behind crafting a hit single. She digs into the background of one of Rihanna’s singles (“Man Down”) from her latest record titled, Loud. One of the most intriguing points she makes in an article full of intriguing points is the estimated costs for all the behind-the-scenes players who turn songs into records into money. I’ve included a graphic from the article … Read entire article »

Filed under: 2000s, Pop

A Whole New World – Regina Belle and Peabo Bryson

A Whole New World – Regina Belle and Peabo Bryson

If you have young kids in the house. If you have young kids in the neighborhood. If you were a young kid in the 1990s, you know this song. That’s because “A Whole New World” is the title track to Disney’s animated 1992 film, Aladdin, that has earned more than $500 million dollars worldwide. That’s half-a-billion dollars for an animated movie. That’s simply astounding. It’s also the kind of broad reach and wide appeal that can transform … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1990s, Pop

Shake You Down – Gregory Abbott

Shake You Down – Gregory Abbott

“Shake You Down” by Gregory Abbott is a complete mystery to me. It’s a number one hit. It’s soulful. It’s smooth. It evokes the spirit of Marvin Gaye and Al Green, two of my favorite soul singers. In fact, one of my favorite albums is What’s Goin’ On by Marvin Gaye. Yet in the 1980s and today, “Shake You Down” leaves me cold. I’m simply indifferent about the song. I don’t like it. I don’t hate it. I could care less … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1980s

Butterfly – Crazy Town

Butterfly – Crazy Town

Some people credit Run D-M-C with the first rap rock song. If you’re thinking of their collaboration with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry on Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way,” you are mistaken. The first rap rock hit is “Rock Box” by Run D-M-C. But yes, “Walk This Way” is the song that made the boys famous way back in 1986. Who would have ever guessed Steven Tyler would go on to judge American Idol back then? Watch “Rock … Read entire article »

Filed under: 2000s, Rock

You Light Up My Life Songwriter Commits Suicide

You Light Up My Life Songwriter Commits Suicide

“You Light Up My Life” by Debby Boone was an inspirational love song and the biggest-selling song of 1977. In fact, it’s one of the top-10 biggest-selling songs of all time according to Billboard Magazine. Sadly, the life of “You Light Up My Life” songwriter Joseph Brooks wasn’t quite as inspirational as the successful songwriter committed suicide on May 22, 2011. Brooks was facing 91 counts of rape, sexual abuse, criminal sexual act and assault … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1970s