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Music History Monday: February 24

Posted by Jeff Harris, February 24, 2014 09:00am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

On this day in music history: February 24, 1973 - "Killing Me Softly With His Song" by Roberta Flack hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks, also peaking at #2 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written by Norman Gimbel and Charles Fox, it is the second number one pop single for the North Carolina-born singer, songwriter, and musician. Originally recorded by singer Lori Leiberman, the song is inspired by a poem she writes after seeing singer Don McLean ("American Pie") perform at The Troubadour nightclub in West Hollywood. She'll show the poem to her friend, lyricist Norman Gimbel, who will craft them into finished lyrics. Flack will see a picture of Leiberman in a magazine article about her and the song while flying from LA to New York. After hearing Leiberman's version, Flack will decide that she wants to record it herself. Her belief in the song's hit potential will be confirmed when she performs it live for the first time. In September of 1972 while appearing as Marvin Gaye's opening act at the Greek Theater, she'll perform "Killing Me Softly" during her encore and the crowd's reaction will be wildly enthusiastic. After her set, Gaye will tell her not to perform the song again live until she records it. Once in the studio, she'll spend nearly three months fine tuning the song before feeling that it's ready for release. Released as a single in January of 1973, it is an instant smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #54 on January 27, 1973, it will rocket to the top of the chart four weeks later. "Killing Me Softly With His Song" will win three Grammy Awards, including Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female and her second consecutive win for Record Of The Year. Gimbel And Fox will also win the award for Song Of The Year. In 1996, The Fugees will revive "Killing Me Softly," reaching #2 (for three weeks) on the Billboard Airplay Chart on June 22, 1996, and winning two Grammy Awards for their album The Score. Flack's version of "Killing Me Softly With His Song" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA, and is inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.

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(In which we lose our cool.)

Posted by Job O Brother, September 13, 2011 10:58am | Post a Comment
suicide is painless
My idea of a romantic comedy!

Last night I had the pleasure of introducing the boyfriend to the 1971 film Harold & Maude. How he managed to make it to age thirtysomething without ever seeing it sooner shows an utter lack of regard from his friends and family, and we can only praise Allah that I showed up in his life.

Oddly enough, we seem devoted to cinema circa ’71 this week, as the films featured in our fetching living room all hail from that year. Before Harold & Maude was The Andromeda Strain, a movie which may well be the most boring sci-fi thriller ever to be shot, but was so beautiful we couldn’t stop looking. Oh, so boring! Imagine the longest, highest budget, fantastically designed instructional video ever, or if Stanley Kubrick had decided to make 2001: A Space Odyssey without all that pesky meaning.



Before that was Ciao! Manhattan, the enigmatic art film that accidentally became a biographical piece on tragic, subculture superstar, Edie Sedgwick. I hesitate to comment further on this particular work, because it presently consumes me in my career and I’m sure I’ll be devoting an entire blog to it someday soon. But if you’re a fan of all-things-touching Warhol’s Factory, the film is a must-see. Or if you just want to see a lot of full frontal nudity from a former Vogue model who’d recently gotten a boob job, there’s that.

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Kurt Cobain's F-You Letter to MTV

Posted by Amoebite, September 30, 2010 11:03am | Post a Comment
A man after our own heart, Kurt Cobain scrawled this f-you letter to MTV in 1993 and unfortunately never sent it.

kurt cobain letter

It's interesting to think what the consequences would have been if he actually had...maybe nothing would have changed at all, or maybe he would have gone down in history as one of the most popular musicians in the world who really took an active stance against corporate idiocy...maybe his label would have dropped him and he would have gone back to Sub Pop. Who knows. Most people who actually listen to music these days don't seem to have much to do with MTV anyway; heck, they don't even show videos anymore! A lot has changed, and in some ways the old-school has gone down, but you are still missed, Kurt.

Best Mash-Up Of The Week: Smells Like Rockin Robin (Nirvana vs Michael Jackson) by Go Home Productions

Posted by Billyjam, August 18, 2010 10:57am | Post a Comment
Go Home Productions - "Smells Like Rockin' Robin" (Nirvana vs Michael Jackson) (2010)

On paper it may not seem like it would work, but in reality (on audio and video) the melding of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" with Michael Jackson's hit version of the Bobby Day popular single "Rockin Robin" works like a charm. The unlikely mashup mix was recently done by the UK's Mark Vidler for Go Home Productions.

Happy Birthday Joe Pop-O-Pie! Legendary 1980's SF Punk Music Figure Celebrates His 51st Birthday by Reforming the Pop-O-Pies on a Bill with Faith No More, the Group With Whom He Was the Original Singer

Posted by Billyjam, April 12, 2010 05:55pm | Post a Comment
Pop-O-Pies
Today, April 12th 2010, is Joe Pop-O-Pie's 51st birthday. And to celebrate the occasion, the key figure behind the legendary SF punk outfit The Pop-O-Pies, who formed in 1981 and disbanded sixteen years ago, decided to reform the group and perform on a bill at the Warfield in San Francisco tonight (they play tomorrow & Wednesday also), along with another recently reformed SF group -- Faith No More. Coincidentally, Joe was an original member of Faith No More!

Besides being a unique way to celebrate his birthday, another reason Joe chose this time to reform the group was that he recently found himself with a lot of free time on his hands and needed to fill that void. "This is what recessions are good for. If you get laid off and you've got nothing to do, you gotta do something," laughed the long time San Francisco resident, speaking by phone a few days ago from his new home in Reno, Nevada.

After living in the deep and gritty heart of San Francisco for three decades, including having spent the past eighteen Pop-O-Piesyears in the Tenderloin, the New Jersey born and raised Joe Pop-O-Pie has embraced his recent move to Nevada. "One of the things that is so fantastic about Reno, NV is that cockroaches can't live up here. Yeah, the Tenderloin is just rife with cockroaches. It was such an amazing thing. Cockroaches can survive a nuclear war but they won't follow you up the mountains to Nevada," he said. Shortly after finishing college in NJ Joe packed up and moved west to the city by the Bay, where, in September of 1981, he formed The Pop-O-Pies. Labeled 'punk,' the Pop-O-Pies, which essentially consisted of Joe and an ever rotating list of musicians, were really a concept band. For the first two years of their existence at their live performances the band played only one song for their entire set, the Grateful Dead's "Truckin.'"

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