The Simpsons

I could write pages on this show but I’ll keep it short.

I’ve covered a lot of cartoons but this one is special. This Simpsons is probably my favorite of all time. It has influenced countless TV shows. This show appealed to young and older audiences alike.

The Simpsons was created by Matt Groening, who thought of the idea for the Simpsons in the lobby of James L. Brooks’s office. He named the characters after his own family members, substituting “Bart” for his own name. The family debuted as shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. In 1989, the shorts were spun off into the series The Simpsons which debuted on December 17, 1989.

The family members’ animated bodies have changed shape a bit since, but they have not aged much, aside from shows that looked into characters’ futures. In fact, most people would agree that Matt Groening’s goofy humor hasn’t gotten old either.

The town of Springfield has a cast of characters that really made the show. You get to know them weekly from Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Disco Stu, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Moe Szyslak, Marge, Lisa, and the list goes on.

Other shows such as Family Guy, American Dad, and South Park were influenced by The Simpsons but they are cruder and use more shock value. Nothing wrong with that but I always thought the Simpsons was more clever. The two cartoons that I have really liked since the Simpsons started are King of the Hill and Futurama, the later also created by Groening.

In the early stages, the show revolved around the young Bart Simpson’s trouble-causing antics, making it appeal to a younger crowd. Over the years, however, the writers, which have included Conan O’Brien, found viewers responded more to the father figure Homer Simpson, and he became the show’s main character.

In 2007, the family finally made its way to theaters in the Simpsons Movie.

The Simpsons have ran for 31 seasons and nearly 700 episodes (676 as of this writing). The show is the longest-running scripted series in TV history.

A few of the Catchphrases that have worked into our everyday life.

Don’t Have a Cow, Man

Eat My Shorts

Mmm, donuts

Release The Hounds

Hidely Ho…Okily Dokily

D’oh!

Woo Hoo!

Eeeeeeexcellent

Rosanne Cash/ Johnny Cash – Tennessee Flat Top Box

This is my favorite song that Roseanne Cash made. The song was written by her dad Johnny Cash and he released it in 1961 and it peaked at #11 on the Country Charts and #84 in the Billboard 100.

Rosanne released it in 1987 on her album King’s Record Shop. The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard Country Charts. The first time I heard it I liked it right away.

 

This is the only video I could find of them singing it together. It wasn’t professionally recorded. It was in 1989 after the song was a hit for Rosanne… it was videotaped at John & June’s house to celebrate June’s latest book about Mother Mabel Carter.

Tennessee Flat Box

In a little cabaret
In a south Texas border town
Sat a boy and his guitar
And the people came from all around
And all the girls
From there to Austin
Were slippin’ away from home
And puttin’ jewelry in hock to take the trip
To go and listen
To the little dark-haired boy who played the
Tennessee flat top box
And he would play

Well he couldn’t ride or wrangle
And he never cared to make a dime
But give him his guitar
And he’d be happy all the time
And all the girls
From nine to ninety
Were snappin’ fingers
Tappin’ toes
And beggin’ him don’t stop
And hypnotized
And fascinated
By the little dark-haired boy who played the
Tennessee flat top box
And he would play

Then one day he was gone
And no one ever saw him ’round
He vanished like the breeze
They forgot him in the little town
But all the girls
Still dreamed about him
And hung around
The cabaret until the doors were locked
And then one day
On the hit parade
Was the little dark-haired boy who played the
Tennessee flat top box
And he would play

Rosanne Cash – Seven Year Ache

I knew who she was and I knew this song well because it was played endlessly at the time on a pop/rock station I listened to. I really thought she would have gone on to have many pop hits but that didn’t happen…She was very successful in the country charts though.  It peaked at #21 in the Billboard 100 and #1 in the Country Charts in 1981.

Rosanne had 23 songs in the Country Charts and 11 number 1’s, and 15 top ten songs. This wasn’t my favorite of hers but it was a solid pop hit. This is by far the biggest hit for Rosanne Cash, whose only other Hot 100 chart appearance is Blue Moon With Heartache, which peaked at #104 in 1982.

 

From Songfacts

The Seven Year Itch was the name of a particularly irritating skin complaint; by the mid-19th Century the phrase had become a metaphor for an annoying form of behavior. In 1952, it was transformed into a play in which the lead character, played by Tom Ewell, who worked for a publishing company, was reading a book called The Seven Year Itch which claimed that after seven years of marriage, many men started extra-marital affairs. In 1955, it reached the big screen, with Ewell again in the title role, and Marilyn Monroe as his leading lady.

Unlike the play and the film, this song by Rosanne Cash is no romantic comedy. The daughter of Johnny Cash met Rodney Crowell at a party on October 16, 1976, and they married on April 7, 1979. Like most relationships, this one was less than perfect, and after a fight with Crowell at a French restaurant on Ventura Boulevard, she penned this semi-auto-biographical number as a poem; she said it took her about six months to write, but clearly it was worth the labor, because it topped the Country chart in May 1981, as well as reaching #22 on the Hot 100.

It is unclear if Crowell was “playing away.” Probably not, because he produced the song, the title of which indicates that its subject matter is a world away from the whimsical Ewell/Monroe dalliance. 

Cash wrote this song in 1979. When she was looking for ideas for the album, she decided to construct a theme around this song. Based on the concept of lovers who fight, break up, then reconcile, the Seven Year Ache album included songs that dealt in some way with the feelings of falling apart and coming back together as a couple. Most of the songs were written by other artists: “What Kinda Girl?,” where she asserts her independence, was written by Steve Forbert; “I Can’t Resist,” where the couple comes back together, is the only Rodney Crowell composition on the set.

Cash never went for mass appeal in her songwriting, which makes her stay on the Top 40 an anomaly. “Seven Year Ache,” however, proved that she could generate a hit song, which led to more creative opportunities and a step outside of her father’s shadow.

Seven Year Ache was Cash’s second album (at least in America – a self-titled set from 1978 that she has since disowned was issued in Europe), but the first one she toured for. Her first album, Right or Wrong, was released in 1979 when she was pregnant, so she stayed off the road. She had been on stage as a backup singer for her father and for Rodney Crowell, but it wasn’t until the release of this second album that she began performing live as a solo artist.

Seven Year Ache

You act like you were just born tonight
Face down in a memory but feeling all right
So who does your past belong to today?
Baby, you don’t say nothing when you’re feeling this way

The girls in the bars thinking, “who is this guy?”
But they don’t think nothing when they’re telling you lies
You look so careless when they’re shooting that bull
Don’t you know heartaches are heroes when their pockets are full

Tell me you’re trying to cure a seven-year ache
See what else your old heart can take
The boys say, “when is he gonna give us some room”
The girls say, “God I hope he comes back soon”

Everybody’s talking but you don’t hear a thing
You’re still uptown on your downhill swing
Boulevard’s empty, why don’t you come around?
Baby, what is so great about sleeping downtown?

Splitting your dice to be someone you’re not
You say you’re looking for something you might’ve forgot
Don’t bother calling to say you’re leaving alone
‘Cause there’s a fool on every corner when you’re trying to get home

Just tell ’em you’re trying to cure a seven-year ache
See what else your old heart can take
The boys say, “when is he gonna give us some room”
The girls say, “God I hope he comes back soon”

Tell me you’re trying to cure a seven-year ache
See what else your old heart can take
The boys say, “when is he gonna give us some room”
The girls say, “God I hope he comes back soon”

Prince – I Wanna Be Your Lover

This song is sometimes forgotten in the shadows of his Prince’s hits but this was his first hit single. Prince was only 21 when this song peaked in January of 1980.

I Wanna Be Your Lover was the first single from Prince’s second self-titled album Prince. It was his breakout hit, going to #1 on the R&B chart, #11 on the Billboard 100, #2 in New Zealand, #62 in Canada, and #42 in the UK. The song became a live favorite and a staple of his early setlists.

“I Wanna Be Your Lover” was written after Warner Bros. requested a follow-up to Prince’s debut album For You, which had underperformed commercially. In response, Prince recorded “I Wanna Be Your Lover.”

From Songfacts

According to the liner notes in the Prince compilation album The Hits / The B-Sides, this song was inspired by Patrice Rushen, an R&B singer/songwriter (“Forget Me Nots”) who did some work programming synthesizers on Prince’s debut album For You. Apparently, Prince was smitten, but nothing came of it.

He offered both “I Wanna Be Your Lover” and “I Feel For You” to Rushen, but she turned them down.

Prince is rather humble in this song, explaining off the top that he’s not a rich man, but he’s the guy who won’t let her down. Unlike his first single, “Soft and Wet,” this one is far more innocent and radio-friendly. This being Prince, there is still some sexual double meaning, as he sings, “I wanna be the only one you come for.”

This was the first Prince song to get a video. It’s a fairly basic clip showing Prince performing the song with a variety of different instruments.

I Wanna Be Your Lover

I ain’t got no money
I ain’t like those other guys you hang around
It’s kinda funny
But they always seem to let you down
And I get discouraged
‘Cause I never see you anymore
And I need your love, babe
That’s all I’m living for, yeah

I didn’t want to pressure you, baby
But all I ever wanted to do

I want to be your lover
I want to be the only one that makes you come, running
I want to be your lover
I want to turn you on, turn you out
All night long, make you shout
Oh, lover, yeah!
I want to be the only one you come for

I want to be your brother
I want to be your mother and your sister, too
There ain’t no other
That can do the things that I’ll do to you

And I get discouraged
‘Cause you treat me just like a child
And they say I’m so shy, yeah
But with you I just go wild, ooo ooo ooo

I didn’t want to pressure you, baby, no
But all I ever wanted to do

I want to be your lover
I want to be the only one that makes you come, running
I want to be your lover
I want to turn you on, turn you out
All night long make you shout
Oh, lover, yeah!
I want to be the only one you come for, yeah

Tales From The Darkside TV Series

In the eighties, I would watch this as much as possible. It was a good Twilight Zone type show that had some hits and misses but even when it missed it could be creepy. The show combined horror, science fiction, and comedy. The series was made in the 1980s and boy can you tell! The music, the sets, and the hair.

Each episode of this TV series depicts a short, strange tale…with a twist! With eerie stories that were most of the time smartly written. The usual plot formula is comprised of an initial normal, mundane situation that gradually begins to get off-kilter, with suspense building up to the final, chilling, surprise conclusion.

Some episodes are gruesome, a few are of a lighter comedic style. Like many such shows, they were adapted from the work of famous genre authors of the period such as Harlan Ellison, Stephen King, and Clive Barker. Many episodes also featured veteran actors of the 40’s and 50’s.

The show ran from 1983 to 1988 and had a total of 90 episodes.

So…listen very carefully… get some popcorn, put some 80’s acid-washed jeans on, and binge watch this show at night time to make the atmosphere a little creepier.

Thanks to Lisa for recommending this show!

Martin Briley – Salt In My Tears

With a line like “You Ain’t Worth The Salt In My Tears” in a song…how could you not listen? This song was released in 1983 and reached #36 on the Billboard Charts. I liked the song because it had a catchy guitar riff that stood out at the time with all the synth music going on.

This was Briley’s only charting single as a solo artist. He released 3 albums on the Mercury label in the early 1980s and was in the groups Mandrake Paddle Steamer, Liverpool Echo, Greenslade, and Ian Hunter’s band. He also worked as a session guitarist and singer for artists like Andy Williams and Meatloaf. He wrote songs for Kenny Loggins, Pat Benatar, and Celine Dion.

Martin Briley is a talented musician… below is from Wikipedia

Briley has received orchestral commissions, and has written songs for such artists as Céline Dion, *NSYNC, Dream, Michael Bolton, Mietta, Kenny Loggins, Pat Benatar, Jessica Andrews, Five Star, Jeff Healey, Rebecca St. James, Nana Mouskouri, Willie Nile, Gregg Allman, Night Ranger, David Hasselhoff, Patrick Swayze, Michael Monroe, Chastity Bono, Peter Tork, Nikki Webster, Hope Partlow, Natascha Sohl, Ballas Hough, Phil Stacey, Orianthi, The Maine and Barry Manilow.

Salt In My Tears

I never did it, no, I won’t admit it
Why should I lie for you anymore
You never loved me
You pushed and shoved me
I see the woman I never saw

I saw you laugh when the knife was twisted
It still hurts but the pain has shifted
I’m looking back at the time that drifted by
But I won’t cry for the wasted years
Cause you ain’t worth the salt in my tears

Feeling neglected, used and rejected
You need a shoulder to lean upon
Baby you picked him, found your next victim
Don’t worry, someone will come along

I broke the spell that you kept me under
I had enough of the rain and thunder
I lost track of the time and I wonder why
But I won’t cry for the wasted years
Cause you ain’t worth the salt in my tears

I’ll sit around and drink a few more beers
Until the memory just disappears
Cause you ain’t worth the salt in my tears

I saw you laugh when the knife was twisted
It still hurts but the pain has shifted
I’m looking back at the time that drifted by
But I won’t cry for the wasted years
Cause you ain’t worth the salt in my tears

Cause you ain’t worth the salt in my tears
Cause you ain’t worth the salt in my tears

Greg Kihn – The Breakup Song ….Powerpop Friday

The great hook here that keeps you listening…then comes the catchy chorus that is hard to forget.

The Breakup song was released in 1981 and peaked at #15 in the Billboard 100. Greg Kihn would later have a top hit ten hit “Jeopardy” when it reached #2 in 1983. Kihn had 7 songs in total in the top 100.

The song was off of the album  RocKihnRoll.

This is an interview with Greg Kihn in 2011 about writing the song.

Oh, yeah. There are times in your life that the way is clear. I remember coming home from a gig with the guys. We were in a van, and we pulled up to where I used to live. All of my stuff was piled up on the lawn, and it was raining.

I thought, “Oh, God. My first wife had done it.” We pulled up to the house, and I remember Steve, the bass player, looked at me and just went, “Well, you might as well just keep on going. You’re not going in there.”

There was a Japanese restaurant. I went up there with Stevie, and we were pounding down hot sake. I didn’t know where else to go. It was a cold, rainy night, and we were getting toasted. There was an old Japanese dude there at the sake bar, and he kept saying, “They don’t write ‘em like that anymore.” I thought, Yeah, damn. They don’t, do they? So we got the idea, we wrote that song probably in 15 minutes. All of the great songs are written quickly, by the way.

You have to take a lesson that the stuff that’s real, it’s in you and it’s got to come out like that song. I’d really broken up that very day. It wasn’t like I was trying to feel like what’s a guy like when he’s broken up. I was living it. When things are real, they’re always better than when they’re fiction, if you can dig what I’m saying.

 

The Breakup Song

We had broken up for good just an hour before
Ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah ah
And now I’m staring at the bodies as they’re dancing ‘cross the floor
Ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah ah
And then the band slowed the tempo and the music took me down
Ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah ah
It was the same old song, with a melancholy sound
Ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah ah

They don’t write ’em like that anymore
They just don’t write ’em like that anymore

We’d been living together for a million years
Ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah ah
But now it feels so strange out in the atmospheres
Ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah ah
And then the jukebox plays a song I used to know
Ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah ah
And now I’m staring at the bodies as they’re dancing so slow
Ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah ah

They don’t write ’em like that anymore
They don’t write ’em like that anymore
Oh

Hey
Now I wind up staring at an empty glass
Ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah ah
‘Cause it’s so easy to say that you’ll forget your past
Ah ah ah, ah ah ah ah ah

They don’t write ’em like that anymore, no
They just don’t write ’em like that anymore
They don’t write ’em like that anymore
They just don’t write ’em like that anymore
They just don’t, no, they don’t
No, no, uh-uh