The continued homage to Jean-Michel Basquiat from the Bywater in New Orleans (part two of three):
The sound of the ’70s was punctuated by the collaborations of this R&B band: The Ohio Players.
Formed in 1959, the band broke up and reformed twice before ever charting a hit.
In 1971, the band scored a minor hit with the song “Pain”, which reached the Billboard top 40 on the R&B charts, and propelling the album sales to certify this disc gold.
The band followed up with another hit single/album “Pleasure” and the album/single Ecstasy in 1973, which spawned the hit “Funky Worm”, influenced after a meeting with fellow funk player George Clinton. The song was their first single certified gold and led to the band signing with Mercury Records.
With a new lineup, the band recorded several successful albums with Mercury Records – Skintight, Fire, Honey and Contradiction, which spawned well-known hits such as Fire, I Want to be Free, Sweet Sticky Thing, Love Rollercoaster, Who’d She COO, Feel the Beat and O-H-I-O.
The albums reflected the freewheelin’ ’70s with sultry album covers that were not easily ignored – but also were showing their sexy soul.
The band achieved seven top 40 hits in the time period, fusing R&B, funk, soul, disco and pop sounds into music that easily went from basement parties to uptown nightclubs and from urban radio stations to stereos across the USA.
The band’s compilation album Gold turned gold selling a million plus records in 1976.
By the end of the decade, the band had transformed again, but the hits weren’t happening. Through the next decade, the band continued to perform, play and record, but its the 1970s were the band’s sounds were easy found on the car radio and when you hit the floor at the dance club.
The romance of Lloyd and Diane – the 1989 film: Say Anything.
The first film written and directed by Cameron Crowe, the story centers around two students who have just graduated from highschool – Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) and Diane Court (Ione Skye).
He’s an ordinary guy, she’s the smarty pants valedictorian.
Intrigued by Lloyd, Diane decides to start dating him, although she’s leaving at the end of the summer to go to university in England. While her father doesn’t like her dating an underachiever, Diane appreciates Lloyd’s view of the world.
Lloyd is coached by his female friends, since this is his first major relationship, and he slowly begins to change Diane’s view of the world from her dedication to academics to doing what’s right for her.
With a supporting cast of now well-known actors including Lili Taylor, Eric Stoltz, Jeremy Piven and Joan Cusack, Diane’s father is played by John Mahoney and Bebe Neuwirth plays Mrs. Evans.
Released in April 1989, this little film got a lot of notice – including rave reviews for its modern view of romance and a strong viewing at the box office. And thanks to Crowe’s music past, the soundtrack of the film included songs from Cheap Trick, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Replacements, Depeche Mode and Living Color.
I remember seeing this film on the big screen and to this day, I remember the scene of Lloyd holding up a boombox outside Diane’s house. Any fan of this film probably dreams it will happen to her one day too.
In the mid ’70s, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang faced up to the day devoted to hearts in the tv special Be My Valentine Charlie Brown.
Released in 1975 prior to Valentine’s Day on CBS TV, this was the 13th special based on characters from the Peanuts comic strip and written by Charles Schulz.
In this story, Linus decides to give candy to his favourite teacher, Miss Othmar, while Sally makes a special card for Linus, in hopes that he will give her the candy.
Charlie Brown prepares for the big day by bringing a suitcase of Valentine’s Day cards to school, hoping to get as many in return. Lucy watches Snoopy’s puppet show about Valentine’s Day, which she just doesn’t understand.
But the story is bittersweet – Linus watches Miss Othmar leave the school with her boyfriend and doesn’t give her the candy. Charlie only gets one Valentine, which says Forget it kid. And Sally feel rejected since Linus doesn’t give her the candy.
Linus angrily tosses the candy one by one off the bridge, while Snoopy and Woodstock hide out below, catching and eating the candy.
And to make Charlie feel better, Violet offers him a used card the day after Valentine’s Day.
A typical Charlie Brown storyline – with Charlie suffering rejection – and the viewers laughing and feeling bad for the Peanuts gang. After its first airing, kids across America sent valentines to Charlie Brown.
The half hour episode became a yearly release, and although its not just a happy storyline, now ABC TV airs the special every year.