Thursday, August 25, 2016

August's Underappreciated Music: Various Artists, "Am I The Same Girl/The Soulful Strut"

Growing up on oldies radio as a kid, I would often come across this 1960s instrumental by the soul group Young-Holt Unlimited, appropriately titled "Soulful Strut."

Then in 1992, British group Swing Out Sister released their hit "Am I The Same Girl," which featured the same music arrangement but with lyrics.

Hearing their version threw me for a loop. I wondered what made them add lyrics to this classic instrumental (as good as the vocal version is)? I've since learned earlier this year that Swing Out Sister did not, in fact, create these lyrics, but that these lyrics have been part of the song from the beginning.

The version recording of the song was by Barbara Acklin in 1968, with her singing these lyrics along with the music that became "Soulful Strut." However, for whatever reason, the producer/record label, stripped Acklin's vocals from the recording, added the piano solos, and released the song under the artist name Young-Holt Limited (who actually had nothing to do with the recording) in 1968. Acklin's recording "Am I The Same Girl" was released in its original form in 1969, and it is this version that Swing Out Sister covered.

Here is the original by Barbara Acklin. You can easily tell that the music track is exactly the same one released as "Soulful Strut" minus the piano solo.

Here also is a blue-eyed soul version of the song by the legendary Dusty Springfield.

As NBC would say, the more you know. Thanks!

Friday, July 29, 2016

List O' Links for Friday, July 29, 2016

This is the last weekend of July, so the summer of 2016 is getting grayer at the temples. Enjoy the summer sizzle with these links!

Did you know that back in 1963, before they hit worldwide acclaim, the Rolling Stones wrote and recorded a jingle for Rick Krispies to air in the UK? Now you do!

Techno Luddites lament! This month, the last company making VCRs is discontinuing production. Truly the end of an era. Now how will be play those old VHS copies of License to Drive?

1990s nostalgia is underrepresented at my blog, so here's a step in correcting that oversight. Here are ten 1990s cartoons you may not remember. See if they give your memory a jog!

Nintendo is making a mini version of their classic home video game system with 60 games built into the system. Want!

Finally, remember earlier when I said this summer's days are numbered? That means we're that much closer to Halloween (you will now see a Halloween countdown counter along the right side of the blog), an annual major celebration here at the blog. One man wishes to take Halloween celebration a step further. He wants Halloween to be declared a federal holiday.  Unfortunately for him, his petition didn't garner nearly the signatures necessary to be addressed by the government. Better luck next year!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

June's Underappreciated Music: Shark Alley Hobos, "Off The Deep End: A Musical Tribute to Jaws"

This week, The Discovery Channel is hosting it's most famous programming event of each year, Shark Week. I've been a fan from Day 1, so I'm always in the mood for quality shark programming this time of year.

Yes, I just used the phrase "quality shark programming" in a sentence. I defy you to find that anywhere else.

I came across this gem yesterday thanks to Spotify. The album is called Off The Deep End: A Musical Tribute to Jaws by a group called the Shark Alley Hobos, a San Fransisco-based band that obviously has an affection for the best shark movie ever made. Here you will find tongue-in-cheek ballads and lyrics all related to Jaws. Some songs are even from the point of view of the characters.

I've been a fan of "nerdcore" music for some time now, and this Jaws-based effort is a delight. I'm happy to have found it and to share it with you here.

To learn more about the Shark Alley Hobos and purchase the album for yourself, visit their Web site.

"Here's to swimmin' with bow-legged women!"

Monday, June 27, 2016

Summertime Fun with WHAM-O!

Summertime! The season of cookouts, swimming pools, the beach, and other outdoor entertainment. One company that's aided us in our summertime amusement is legendary toy company WHAM-O! Here are just a few of their childhood-inspiring inventions!

Water Wiggle! Try not to get whipped and maimed by this thing.

In the same vein, and perhaps slightly less malicious, is the Fun Fountain. A more tame alternative to the Water Wiggle, this still could be traumatizing for those with a pathological fear of clowns.

Then again, if you prefer to live dangerously, what's more harrowing in your backyard during the summer months than ye olde Slip 'N' Slide?

Of course, not all summertime toys are water-related. Relive the simple fun of the classic Frisbee!

Here is WHAM-O's Super Balloon. I don't know if I recall anyone in my neighborhood having one of these, and I have a hard time imagining that users didn't get bored with this after five minutes. Feel free to prove me wrong in the comments!

Lastly, an all-time classic toy I've never been able to master for very long--the hula hoop!

Of course, all of these pale in comparison to everyone's childhood favorite--Log!

Now get away from whatever screen you're reading this on and GO OUT AND PLAY! IT'S SUMMER!

Friday, May 27, 2016

List O' Links for Friday, May 27, 2016

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! I hope you have a safe and happy one. Start the Summer of 2016 right with these fun links!

The Discovery Channel kicks off Shark Week earlier than ever this year, starting Sunday, June 26th through Sunday, July 3rd. Here's the lineup!

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Gen-X movie classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The city of Chicago celebrated in style by recreating the most famous scenes from the movie in real life. Sweet!

Many viewers, including me, are mourning the death of yet another beloved character from the HBO hit series Game of Thrones this week. But what exactly caused this to happen? A theoretical physicist makes the case for how this tragedy was sealed years beforehand.

How does your current mobile phone plan stack up to CellularOne's plan from back in the late 80s? Crunch the numbers and find out!

Your favorite band and mine, The Monkees, release their latest album today! Check it out!

Finally, Golden Girls pins. They're a thing.

Have a great holiday weekend! Remember those who sacrificed their lives for our country.


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