Tuesday, May 20, 2014


Lyn reviews 50s and 60s Sights and Sounds

Guest blogger Lyn Price is back with her second YouTubeStars post! Lyn is a talented singer who is here to review a Garage Rock Music Video from the 1960s, a movie about the 60s and a TV show from the 50s! Read what Lyn says about the Garage Rock song Stop And Listen, the Dirty Dancing movie and the Honeymooners TV show.

Classic Sights and Sounds!

THE SHAG - Stop And Listen - 60s Garage Rock song!

This is a powerhouse of a garage track written and performed by a band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin called at first Shags, then Shag.

The band consisted of 4 musicians. They began performing folk and blues music. However, they became eager to move on when they heard the music of the Rolling Stones and other rock bands of that era. Shag performed their own material and were known for wearing outlandish costumes. They also used special effects After playing parties, schools and small clubs, they moved on and in 1967 they were signed by Capitol Records. They recorded "Stop and Listen" on Capitol.

This track is one of the fist anti-drug rock songs to be recorded. In 1969 they appeared at the Midwest Rock Festival in Milwaukee which featured a number of known musicians.

Shag split up in 1971. But in the 1990's and later, "Stop and Listen" was included on several CD compilations of 60's Garage Band Recordings. On "Boulders" they are featured in Volume I and "Highs in the Mid-Sixties volume 10.

Becoming more current, in 2005, the bands 1969 recordings were released on Gear Fab Records. It's no surprise that the track called "Stop and Listen" has made many rock music lovers do just that.

1960's inspired movie DIRTY DANCING achieves spectacular success

The soundtrack to this film gave a 1960's flair since it is supposed to take place in the Summer of 1963, where the summer wind, the carefree days of ice pops and rock n roll bring people to the hotel for family and friends and activities. One such activity offered is dancing lessons (like Mambo). One of the guests (Jennifer Grey) falls for the dancing instructor (Patrick Swayze) and they begin a relationship.

The film was made in 1987 with a limited 5 million dollar budget. So here was this low budget film with no major stars except Broadway legend/TV star Jerry Orbach in a supportive role. It's the Summer of 1963 and the scene is a Catskill Mountain hotel. Actually it was filmed in Lake Lure, North Carolina and Mountain Lake. The weather turned out to be very hot and sticky and a portion of the cast passed out after 20 minutes of filming. Then the weather became very cold. Conditions were not that great and to complicate matters, the film was on a tight schedule - two weeks for rehearsals and 44 days for filming.

Dirty Dancing was based on the childhood/teen years of one of the screenwriters. The next step was finding backing, financial and promotion. They did their rounds and after hearing "no" finally found the company that liked the idea.

The soundtrack really moves this film - "Be My BAby" by the Ronettes, "Big Girls Don't Cry" by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, "Do You Love Me" by the Contours, "In the Still of the Night" by the Five Satins, "Hey Baby by Bruce Channel, "Hungry Eyes" by Eric Carmen and more. In the "final dance" scene, the song (I've had) The Time of My Life, a great dance number that became very popular and won both the Golden Globe and an Academy Award for best original song. Also, a Grammy was won for best duet. The "Dirty Dancing" soundtrack generated two multi platinum albums and multiple singles. This was the first film to sell more than a million copies on home video.

On YouTube, "Dirty Dancing" has well over 250 million hits. The music carries the story with the drama that takes place at the mountain hotel. The two stars of the movie, Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swazye, had worked together on other films and had trouble relating to each other. The screenwriter had a brilliant idea. She suggested "parties" that go on after the daily filming, this way the actors began to "feel their roles". Everything fell into place. After the movie was released, a stage version was popular in Australia, Europe and North America.

I think the dancing AND the music brought this film it's great everlasting success. Many who watch the film once, will watch it again and again.

Mama Loves Mambo - The Honeymooners

The show that has a lot of nostalgia is called "The Honeymooners". It can be watched on YouTube, and it's worry free as far as paying for the viewing of the "Classic 39", well - it can be bought in a video store. There is a lot of fascinating merchandise - cookie jars, salt & pepper shakers, posters, calendars and more. The 39 episodes are on YouTube and the average YouTube rating is according to episode. A total of all episodes shows how appreciated the American sitcom is. The Honeymooners was built on The Jackie Gleason Show. Jackie Gleason was a well known comedian and creator of the show and it's sketches from start to finish.The first show aired October 31, 1955. The story is one of the first U.S. TV shows to portray working class married couples living in a rundown Brooklyn apartment house. The final episode was on September 22, 1956. The show was very popular, in it's first season it became the #2 show in the USA. With the Perry Como show, there was competition that pushed The Honeymooners to the 19th spot. Production ended after only 39 episodes. The Honeymooners were filmed before a live audience in New York City, in the Park Sheraton Hotel.

I always loved this show. It opens with a theme song and a beautiful picture of Brooklyn nights, complete with nostalgic brownstones, stars and a full moon. The show is meant to be funny - Jackie Gleason plays a NYC bus driver. He & his wife Alice Kramden live in a run down Brooklyn apartment house but have many friends, a few live in the same building. Alice occasionally works but basically is a stay at home wife. Despite the financially squeezed characters, there is glamour and artistic beauty in the basic story, the episodes and the background. There is jazz music, a new tenant gives the neighbors Mombo lessons in the Kramden apartment, and there is mention of the "Hong Kong Gardens" where Alice likes to go dancing and have Chinese food. The Kramden's apartment faces the back of a Chinese restaurant. The comedy was and still is loved by many. People who weren't born when the show was airing have found it to be interesting in a lot of different ways.

To keep the show going, Jackie Gleason sometimes did hour long specials or sketches until 1978. At one point, CBS network worked with the Honeymooners & Jackie Gleason. Though there were some changes, the show remains strong in the USA. Viewers find it refreshingly humorous and nostalgic.

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