Let’s Shine a Light on “The Midnight Special”

(via Culture Sonar) by John Visconti

Before MTV, VH1, or, for that matter, YouTube and Vevo, chances to watch footage of your favorite musicians in action were fairly rare. Sure, bands would occasionally pop up on The Dean Martin Show and Sonny & Cher or lip sync on American Bandstand or Soul Train, but one of the only showcases for live rock was NBC’s weekly late night series The Midnight Special (1973-81). While there are DVD compilations from the show, frustratingly no easy streaming of the entire series exists. Below are six videos — from the “Legendary Performances” DVD set — suggesting that someone needs to stream these shows in their entirety pronto. Who owns a DVD player nowadays?

Read more: http://www.culturesonar.com/midnight-special/

Video of the Week: What is Jazz? Ella Fitzgerald and Mel Torme Explain

Video of the Week: Michael Winslow’s Amazing Hendrix Impersonation

Video of the Week: The Beatles, Barbershop Style

Julien Neel (aka Trudbol) is a one-man barbershop quartet. Check out his sublime take on the Beatles’ “If I Fell” and visit his YouTube page for lots more:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRbIKMyRCDT-J47uJ26ehqw

Video of the Week: Ray Manzarek and the Origins of ‘Riders on the Storm’

Ray Manzarek tells the story of the origin of the Doors’ classic “Riders on the Storm”. Manzarek passed away in 2013.

Tommy James’ Real-Life Story Makes “Vinyl” Look Tame

(via CultureSonar)

How would you feel if a mobster cheated you out of $30 million, and threatened your life in the process? “Grateful” might not be your top answer, but that’s how 60’s/70’s hitmaker Tommy James really feels. James enjoyed a career most anyone would envy. With his band, The Shondells, Tommy sold over 100 million records worldwide and enjoyed 32 Billboard Hot 100 charting hits, 23 gold singles and 9 platinum albums. His hits include “Crystal Blue Persuasion”; “Mony, Mony”; “I Think We’re Alone Now”; “Hanky Panky”; “Draggin’ The Line”; and “Sweet Cherry Wine.” His songs have been covered by major artists including Prince, Joan Jett, Billy Idol, Bruce Springsteen, Carlos Santana, REM, Kelly Clarkson, Dolly Parton, Boyz ll Men and even the Boston Pops.

But before all of that, there was Morris Levy and Roulette Records…

Read more and hear the podcast here: http://www.culturesonar.com/podcast/tommy-james-podcast/

Video of the Week: Simon & Garfunkel Perform ‘The Sound of Silence’ Like Only They Can

With the popularity of the recent cover version by Disturbed, it might be worth reminding young people the song is a little older than 2015. Even half a century later, no one can perform the song like Simon & Garfunkel.

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