Way Back 2015

January 22, 2015 - Martha Reeves, Rolling Stones and Steam Enliven TV Teasers

The History Channel is using vintage tunes to spread the word about two current programs. Swamp People emphasizes its beware-of-alligators theme with "Nowhere to Run" by Martha and the Vandellas on its promotional spots; Sons of Liberty, a dramatization of events surrounding the American Revolution, gets a 200-years-later twist with a British Invasion track, "Paint It Black" by The Rolling Stones. Meanwhile, Sprint commercials are using Steam's 1969 hit "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" to encourage would-be customers to give their current wireless phone plans the kiss-off.

January 15, 2015 - Simon, Garfunkel, Nina, Dinah, the Shangri-Las and the Stones Sound Superb

In Wild, Best Actress Oscar nominee Reese Witherspoon's character walked more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail hearing Simon and Garfunkel songs ("El Condor Pasa," "Homeward Bound") in her head and The Shangri-Las ("I Can Never Go Home Anymore") on the radio (while taking the occasional shortcut by hitchhiking). Two of the great divas show up elsewhere: a promo for Tyler Perry's OWN series The Haves and the Have Nots includes a remix of Nina Simone's explosive version of "Feeling Good," the 1965 Roar of the Greasepaint Broadway song that has gained recent notoriety through use in movies, TV drama series, reality shows, commercials and singing competitions. In addition, Dinah Washington's 1960 hit "This Bitter Earth" can be heard in The Gambler starring Mark Wahlberg (while The Rolling Stones' "Gimmie Shelter" accents the film's trailer).

January 2, 2015 - Oldies Fans Are in Danger of Developing an
Inherent Vice Vice

Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice, starring Joaquin Phoenix, has the highest vintage-song count of any movie released in the last twelve months. Three instrumental album tracks figure heavily: The Marketts' "Here Comes the Ho-Dads" (from the studio group's 1962 Liberty LP The Surfing Scene) is heard in the film and on current promotional spots. "Dreamin' on a Cloud" by The Tornadoes (from the U.K. band's Telstar album) and "Simba," from Les Baxter's 1956 exotic island music entry, Tamboo!, are also in the mix.

Going into wide release this week, the film also includes six '60s hits: "Rhythm of the Rain" by The Cascades, "Burning Bridges" by Jack Scott, "Never My Love" by The Association, Kyu Sakamoto's chart-topping "Sukiyaki," Sam Cooke's "Wonderful World" and the never-too-often-heard "Any Day Now" by Chuck Jackson. Many later songs add to the unique flow, including selections by Neil Young, Minnie Riperton and Radiohead; to top it off, the infamous mid-'60s TV sitcom Gilligan's Island and its theme are plot points in the offbeat storyline that is typical of Anderson's work. As diverse as this sonic assortment seems, the 2010 Inherent Vice novel by Thomas Pynchon, on which the film is based, references more than one hundred songs and artists, from Dick Dale and Dion to Frank Zappa and Antonio Carlos Jobim, from Webb Pierce, Johnny and the Hurricanes and The Byrds to The Olympics, Miles Davis, Fats Domino, Liberace, The Archies...

Paint it Black Rhythm of the Rain Sukiyaki