45 years ago today, ABC aired a TV special which brought together three of the most talented women in the “M” section of the Famous Musicians Phone Directory of 1969: Mama Cass, Mary Travers, and Joni Mitchell.
Okay, so maybe we’re stretching it a little bit by putting Ms. Travers in the “M” section – not to mention by suggesting that there might be such a thing as a Famous Musicians Phone Directory – but if such a publication did exist, we’d like to think that, if you tried just looking up “Mary,” you’d be directed to “See ‘Peter, Paul and Mary.” Moving on…
On June 26, 1969, The Mama Cass Television Program made its debut on ABC, one of two solo variety specials done by Cass Elliott during her career (the second, Don’t Call Me Mama Anymore, aired on CBS in 1973), and if you look beyond the musical guests, there was actually a fourth “M” involved in the proceedings: Martin Landau, who turned up on the special with his then-wife, Barbara Bain, doubtlessly as a bit of cross promotion for Mission: Impossible. But as for the segment featuring the aforementioned threesome, Ms. Mitchell kicks things off with a lovely acoustic rendition of a song which has proven to be one of her most enduring compositions: “Both Sides Now,” from the Clouds album, which had hit stores a little less than two months earlier.
Hey, kids, have you been wondering when you could finally celebrate the 26th anniversary of the date when the first single from America’s 1976 album, Hideaway, hit the top of Billboard’s adult-contemporary chart? Well, wonder no more, because…
Oh, forget it. Once you’ve telegraphed a joke that much, why even bother with the punchline?
Seriously, though, today really is the 26th anniversary of “Today’s the Day” topping the AC charts, making for America’s third time in the top spot, having already achieved that pinnacle with “Tin Man” and “Lonely People,” both singles from their 1974 album, Holiday. Unfortunately, the band wouldn’t have another song hit the AC Top Five until 1982’s “You Can Do Magic,” but that certainly doesn’t diminish the accomplishment of having pulled a #1, now, does it?
Who’s ready for some toe-tappin’, finger-poppin’ rhythms, with a dash of sophistication? Ok, well how about some smooth vocals and lead lines, with phrasing to die for? Excellent! Because this week at Dr. Rhino’s Picks, we has jazz. C’mon and dig it with me all you hep cats!
New this week in the Rhino Room at iTunes:
112, Peaches & Cream – To kick off this week’s column, we’ve got the first of a few new additions to our digital catalog from the Bad Boy Entertainment archives, and this particular song remains the biggest Billboard Hot 100 hit to date from the Atlanta R&B quartet known as 112, having made it all the way to #4 back in 2001. In addition to the original version the guys did with P. Diddy, you’ll also find the radio and club mixes of the track, which feature Ludacris, as well the club mix of “Dance with Me,” which was actually a #1 hit in Belgium. (True story!)
Faith Evans, You Used to Love Me – Now’s your big chance to revisit Ms. Evans’ debut single in its original form as well as in two separate club mixes and in instrumental form. Remember how they used it to score the scene in Notorious where she catches Biggie with another woman? Good times.
Faith No More, Live at Brixton Academy – Released as the band was still riding high on the out-of-nowhere success of “Epic,” this is the 10-track UK version of the album, which means that it’s actually eight live tracks (“Falling to Pieces,” “The Real Thing,” “Epic,” “War Pigs,” “From Out of Nowhere,” “We Care a Lot,” “Zombie Eaters,” and “Edge of the World”) and two additional tracks taken from the recording sessions for The Real Thing (“The Grade” and “The Cowboy Song”).
Here’s a piece of information that’ll make you go crazy: today marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Prince and the Revolution’s Purple Rain.
Now, when we say Purple Rain, in this particular instance we’re talking about the soundtrack to the film rather than the film itself, which didn’t hit theaters until July 27, 1984, but you probably already guessed that. Either way, though, the second you saw this post pop up, we’d guess that you instantly had at least one of the album’s songs running through your brain, most likely the title track, if only because, well, the title’s right there in front of you. That said, it’s not like there aren’t enough other unforgettable options to choose from, starting with the very first track.
Seriously, do opening salvos get any better than the opening moments of “Let’s Go Crazy”? Even presented in paragraph form, it reads like a life-affirming sermon.
Say, have you heard about this Jersey Boys movie?
Yeah, yeah, we know, there’s been just the teensiest bit of publicity about it, but we hope you’ll forgive us if we offer a little bit more today…and, uh, then some more next week, come to think of it. (Look, it’s kind of a big deal, y’know?) After next week, though, we’re pretty sure we’ll probably be done talking about it…at least ‘til it hits home video, anyway.
Today, though, we wanted to make sure that you were aware that the soundtrack to Jersey Boys is now available for your purchasing pleasure, and – better yet –it feature a mix of the music from Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons that’s featured in the film as well as performances from cast members John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza, and Kyli Rae. And don’t give us that “but I just wanted the original versions” or “but I just wanted the cast’s versions,” because, what, like you don’t have the options to get those already? (The answer, of course, is “yes, you do.”) Besides, this way, you get a nice healthy blend of the two, which makes for a very nice sampler if you’re looking for a gateway drug into the group’s music, so you’re welcome.