Tom Snyder – The Tomorrow Show

People seem to have really liked Tom Snyder or really disliked him. I’ve watched many of Tom’s interviews and he is quirky and quick to laugh (and laugh) at his own jokes but many of his interviews are remembered. The show lasted from 1973 to 1982. It was canceled to make room for David Letterman.

This was no Tonight Show. You didn’t see skits or monologues, you only saw Tom interviewing his guests and joking with his off-camera assistants. He wasn’t hip nor was he completely square. Someone called him at the time a hip square. It was just him and his guest on a dark set.

I liked Tom because he seemed real and genuine. He could laugh at himself and conducted some really good interviews. After this show ended he did a radio show out of Los Angeles, a few tv guest appearances and he guest hosted the David Letterman Show a few times.

David Letter quote

“Tom was the very thing that all broadcasters long to be — compelling,” “Whether he was interviewing politicians, authors, actors or musicians, Tom was always the real reason to watch. I’m honored to have known him as a colleague and a friend.”

One of the many SNL skits I liked was Dan Ackroyd imitating Tom Snyder…this is Ackroyd as Tom interviewing Mick Jagger.

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The John Lennon interview in 1975. This would be the last TV interview he gave. John is battling his immigration status and has his lawyer Leon Wildes with him to explain what is going on. John comes off open and honest in this interview.

 

The Saturday Night Live cast before the first show. This is a partial look at the interview.

 

This is one a good one. Tom has KISS as guests and I just love how a drunk Ace Frehley (The Trout Player) takes over the interview and infuriates Gene Simmons. You can see Gene’s eyes shooting daggers at Ace and Peter.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Snyder

 

The Members – Working Girl

This song was released in 1981 and got some MTV play. I was at my cousin’s house when I first heard it and I liked it right away. When the chorus kicks in it’s bright and a good hook. The Members started as a punk band from England.

Working Girl peaked at #34 in the Billboard Mainstream Charts and #41 on the UK Indie Chart. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Members)

 

Working Girl

See her laughing, talking as she’s walking to the factory
She don’t look that much
But I tell you, she’s a ticket to the easy life for me

If she works nine to five
Sure to keep my love alive
If she works nine to five
That’s okay with me

Hey, I’m in love with the working girl
Hey, I’m in love with the working girl

I walk up to her
Tell her how we must have been made for each other
And I’d take her home
Why, I’d even take her ’round for tea with my mother

Then she can go out to work and I’d
Lie around the house in the dirt and
She could go out to work
Bring her money home for me

Hey, I’m in love with the working girl
Hey, I’m in love with the working girl

(Working girl)
We got a love so pure
(Working girl)
She pays the rent
(Working girl)
Once in a lifetime chance in her
(Working girl)
Must be heaven-sent

Hey, I’m in love with the working girl
Hey, I’m in love with the working girl

We go out at night
She can buy all the drinks with the money she’s earned
I dazzle her with science
And grace her with all this truth and knowledge I’ve learned

Then we can come back to her place
I’d put on my “hate to borrow money” face
We get a cab to her place
She’d do alright by me

Hey, I’m in love with the working girl
Hey, I’m in love with the working girl
Hey, I’m in love with the working girl
Hey, I’m in love with the working girl

Hey, I’m in love with the working girl
Hey, I’m in love with the working girl
Hey, I’m in love with the working girl
Hey, I’m in love with the working girl

Warren Zevon – Werewolves of London

Warren Zevon was a very clever songwriter. He went were other songwriters don’t often go. This song was off his critically acclaimed album “Excitable Boy” released in 1978. It peaked at #21 in the Billboard 100.

This track was produced by Jackson Browne. The songwriters were LeRoy Marinell, Waddy Wachtel, and Warren Zevon. John McVie and Mick Fleetwood played on this song.

From Songfacts.

Zevon wrote this with guitarist Robert “Waddy” Wachtel. When Zevon was working with The Everly Brothers, he hired Wachtel to play in their backing band. At one point, Phil Everly asked them to write a dance song for the Everly Brothers called “Werewolves Of London.” Wachtel and Zevon were good friends and were strumming guitars together when someone asked what they were playing. Zevon replied, “Werewolves Of London,” and Wachtel started howling. Zevon came up with the line “I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand,” and they traded lyrics back and forth until they had their song.

In 2000, a fight broke out while Zevon was performing this at the Bowery Ballroom in New York. Zevon stopped, waited for the fight to end, said “I bet this never happens at Sting concerts,” and continued the song.

Werewolves of London

I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand
Walking through the streets of Soho in the rain
He was looking for a place called Lee Ho Fook’s
Gonna get a big dish of beef chow mein

Aaoooooo!
Werewolves of London!
Aaoooooo! (Repeat)

If you hear him howling around your kitchen door
Better not let him in
Little old lady got mutilated late last night
Werewolves of London again

Asoooooo!
Werewolves of London!
Aaoooooo! (Repeat)

He’s the hairy-handed gent who ran amuck in Kent
Lately he’s been overheard in Mayfair
Better stay away from him
He’ll rip your lungs out, Jim
I’d like to meet his tailor

Aaoooooo!
Werewolves of London!
Aaoooooo! (Repeat)

Well, I saw Lon Chaney walking with the Queen
Doing the Werewolves of London
I saw Lon Chaney, Jr. walking with the Queen
Doing the Werewolves of London
I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic’s
And his hair was perfect

Aaoooooo!
Werewolves of London!
Aaoooooo! (Repeat)
Draw blood…

The 50’s Revival in the 1970’s

When the Beatles arrived in 1964, the short hair and car hops of the fifties were going away. The sixties in some ways liberated people from the fifties for better or worse. The crew-cuts and simple times were giving way to Vietnam and the social unrest of the sixties.

Related imageImage result for Hippies 60s

Slowly as the sixties started to come to a close the fifties started to peak in again.

In the late sixties, Sha Na Na started their act and even toured with well-known acts. Fats Domino, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis’s popularity grew and Elvis started to make music again instead of soundtracks with his 1968 comeback special. In 1971 a disc jockey name Jerry Osborne started an “oldies” format on FM radio in Phoenix, Arizona and it was successful and other emulated it around the country.

Image result for elvis comeback

In 1972 “Grease” a musical that took place in 1959 debuted on Broadway. In 1973 George Lucas came out with  American Graffiti and boom really started. The soundtrack to American Graffiti peaked at #10 in the Billboard 100 in 1973. Happy Days debuted the following year and fifties music was gaining in popularity.

Image result for american graffiti musicImage result for happy days

A spin-off from Happy Days Laverne and Shirley, also set in the fifties, was a huge success and still is syndication to this day. In 1974 the 50s era movie The Lords of Flatbush with the pre-Rocky Sylvester Stallone and Henry Winkler of Happy Days.

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In 1977 Sha Na Na started a variety show…unfortunately I remember this…

In 1978 two big fifties era movies were released. Grease and American Hot Wax which featured performances by Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. Styles seem to recycle every 20 years or so but in the 1970s the fifties revival was really strong. Maybe it was a want for a more simpler time.

The 1972 London Rock and Roll Show

Rufus – Tell Me Something Good

Great song great music great voice. This song was performed by Rufus with Chaka Khan and written by Stevie Wonder. The song peaked at #3 in the Billboard 100 and #21 in Canada in 1974. The Talk-Box which Frampton later used sounds great in this song.

Rufus evolved from a group called The American Breed, who had a hit with “Bend Me, Shape Me.” They took their name from a column in Popular Mechanics magazine called “Ask Rufus,” later shortened to Rufus when Chaka Khan joined the band in 1972.

From Songfacts.

Stevie Wonder wrote this song and recorded it himself on December 13, 1973 – he copyrighted it on January 3, 1974. His version was never released, as he gave it to Rufus, since Stevie was a fan of their lead singer, Chaka Khan. Around this time, Wonder was turning many of his best songs over to female singers with otherworldly voices: Aretha Franklin recorded his “Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” and Minnie Riperton did “Lovin’ You.”

The story Chaka Khan tells is that Wonder was going to bring them a song in the studio, and when he dropped by and played her the song, she stunned her bandmates by telling the mighty Stevie Wonder she didn’t like it; Chaka says she was 19 and pregnant, so she was a little prickly at the time. Wonder asked her astrological sign, and when she told him Aries, he delivered “Tell Me Something Good.” According to Chaka, she loved it and they worked out the song together in the studio, although Stevie is the only credited writer on the song.

Tell Me Something Good

You ain’t got no kind of feeling inside
I got something that will sure ‘nough set your stuff on fire
You refuse to put anything before your pride
What I got something will knock all your pride aside
Tell me something good 
Tell me that you love me, yeah
Tell me something good 
Tell me that you like it, yeah
Got no time is what you’re known to say
I’ll make you wish there was forty eight hours to each day
The problem is you ain’t been loved like you should
What I got to give will sure ‘nough do you good
Tell me something good 
Tell me that you love me, yeah
Tell me something good 
Tell me that you like it, yeah
You ain’t got no kind of feeling inside
I got something that will sure ‘nough set your stuff on fire
You refuse to put anything before your pride
What I got something will knock all your pride aside
Tell me something good (oh, yeah, yeah)
Tell me that you love me, yeah
Tell me something good 
Tell me that you like it, yeah
Tell me something good (tell me baby baby, tell me)
Tell me that you love me, yeah, yeah, yeah yeah
Tell me something good (oh, tell me, tell me, tell me)
Tell me that you like it, yeah, yeah, don’t you like it, baby?

The Six Million Dollar Man

Voice #1: It looks good at NASA One
Voice #2: Roger
Voice #1: B.C.S. Arm switch is on
Steve Austin: Okay, Victor
Voice #2: Lighting rods are armed. Switch is on. Here comes the throttle
Circuit breakers in
Steve Austin: We have separation
Voice #2: Roger
Voice #1: Inboard and outboards are on. I’m comin’ forward with the side stick
Voice #2: Looks good
Voice #1: Uh, Roger
Steve Austin: I’ve got a blow-out in Damper Three!
Voice #2: Get your pitch to zero
Steve Austin: Pitch is out! I can’t hold altitude!
Voice #1: Correction, Alpha Hold is off. Turn selectors–Emergency!
Steve Austin: Flight Com, I can’t hold it! She’s breaking up! She’s break–
(Impact)
Rudy Wells: Steve Austin, astronaut–a man barely alive
Oscar Goldman: Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We
Have the capability to make the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man
Rudy Wells and Steve Austin: Will be that man
Oscar Goldman: Better than he was before: better, stronger, faster

So began one of the biggest television shows of the mid-seventies. Steve Austin, astronaut (Lee Majors) was in a terrible accident in an experimental aircraft. He was near death and operated on and he had parts replaced such as two bionic legs, bionic eye, and a bionic arm.  Steve Austin was essentially a superhero. He could lift and toss around almost anything, he had an eye with super focus and night vision and he could run up to 60 mph and jump 2-3 stories. He worked for the Office of Scientific Intelligence (OSI) with Oscar Goldman as his boss. The Oscar character was popular also.

Oscar Goldman

Image result for oscar goldman

The series was on for 5 seasons (99 episodes) 1974-1978 with 6 TV movies…with the last one coming in 1994.

The show had a huge impact on kids. We would imitate him at school and with kids in the neighborhood. We would also imitate the noise that was made when he did some terrific stunt (da da da da da da da). Back in the seventies, some of us kids thought this would really work.

Merchandising was huge for the show. Everything from lunch boxes and running shoes to children’s eyeglasses through to jigsaws, coloring books, comic books, trash cans, slide viewers, board games and bedsheets.  I don’t have the statistics on the most merchandised tv show in the 1970s but this show has to be near the top. A little later on Star Wars would take merchandising it to another level.

Image result for six million dollar man toy merchandiseImage result for six million dollar man toy merchandiseRelated image

The merchandising didn’t stop with Steve Austin either. Lindsey Wagner (Jamie Sommers) stared as the Bionic Woman and out came the merchandise again. Jamie was Steve’s girlfriend and they went skydiving and Jamie’s parachute malfunctioned and Steve asked Oscar Goldman to use bionic parts on her to save her. Her body rejected them but she pulled through and ended up and working for the OSI also.

lindseywagner.jpgImage result for bionic woman 70s merchandiseRelated image

The Bionic Woman lasted three seasons with 58 episodes airing from 1976 – 1978. In the final season, a bionic dog was introduced named Maximillian. There was a thought of another spinoff show with Maximillian but it did not happen. The dog could run 90 mph and bite through steel…Maybe it was good they drew the line.

maximillian.jpg

In the 1994 TV Movie, “Bionic Ever After” Steve and Jame ties the knot.

Bev wedding

The Intro

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Six_Million_Dollar_Man

 

Phantom 309

I never thought I would ever post a trucker song but…it was one of the first singles I remember playing as a child…plus it is getting close to Halloween so here you go.

This song creeped me out when I was a kid. It’s about a hitchhiker that is thumbing a ride and gets picked up by a Truck with a driver named “Big Joe”.

He drops him off safely at a truck stop at night and the hitchhiker tells the waiter the story. The waiter then tells the hitchhiker that he got picked up by a ghost named “Big Joe”.

10 years before, Big Joe was driving his rig and had to swerve at the intersection where he picked up the hitchhiker to miss a school bus full of kids. Big Joe was killed and since then he occasionally picks up stranded people and gives them a ride to the cafe. Apparently, Big Joe is a cool ghost.

How this record was in my house when I was 4 is a mystery to me. My dad had Merle Haggard music and my mom had Elvis albums and my sister would never have this. Not one of them were into trucking songs…but there it was all the same. It was sung by Red Sovine in 1967… The song peaked at #9 in the Country Charts.

Tom Waits covered the song also…

It even has a connection to Pee-Wee Herman… from Wikipedia

In the movie Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, protagonist Pee-wee Herman, hitchhiking at night, is given a ride by trucker Large Marge, who proceeds to tell him of a horrible accident that occurred on the night in question years before, scaring him so that he requests to be let off sooner than he planned. Arriving at a truck stop, she advises him to tell the wait staff that Large Marge sent him, and drives away cackling. When he walks in the restaurant and mentions her name, the staff and regulars confirm that Marge perished in that very accident.

 

The Tom Waits version