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Andy Sullivan: Against the Grain

I have yet another round of “Oh You Didn’t Know” with a few things that are interesting.  Some things you might know.  Quite a few you might not because I didn’t.  Our first entry is from the television show department.  Did you know that the theme song to the 1986-1993 CBS series Designing Women was an instrumental horns version of “Georgia On My Mind” by the late Ray Charles? During the first five seasons, the producers just used an instrumental version of the tune.  That was the horns instrumental most of us likely remember.  For the sixth season(1991), they filmed a leader in which Brother Ray performed the song-in a special one-minute arrangement.  (Designing Women’s Wikipedia page).

TikTok users will be familiar with “Oh No” by the Capones.  The sound-byte is used for a lot of videos users make on that app.  Are you aware of where it originated, though? I was listening to SiriusXM 60’s on 6 and, as often is the case, I learned something.  This song snippet is a sample of a song written by George “Shadow” Morton.  It was originally recorded by girl group The Shangri-Las, who had a top 5 hit with it in 1964.  A remake by Aerosmith in 1979 was a minor hit.  There have been many other versions of the song as well.  The song is called “Remember(Walking in the Sand)”. The Shangri-La’s version appeared on their Leader of the Pack album and reached #5.  Here’s an extra nugget I had no idea about until I researched the song: an at that time unknown session piano player played on the demo of the song.  That session player’s name? Billy Joel.  (www.wikipedia.com)

These last few bits came from AXS’ A Year in Music, 1987.  The monster INXS album Kick was almost never released.  Word has it that Atlantic Records wasn’t thrilled with it and offered the band a million dollars to just forget about it.  It’s a good thing they said no.  Their biggest commercial success came with the release of this album.  This album contained the hits “Need You Tonight”, “Devil Inside”, “New Sensation”, “Never Tear Us Apart” and “Mystify”.  (VH1’s Year In Music, 1987.  www.google.com)

George Michael’s song “Faith” was never meant to be a single.  When a new bridge was added with a ‘50’s style guitar solo, its potential was obvious.  It became the #1 single and #1 album of 1987.  Also in 1987, Aretha Franklin became the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  A drunk Keith Richards inducted her. 

I’ll finish with a wild but true story.  80’s band Jefferson Starship, later just Starship, had a big hit in 1987 with “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”.  Here’s where the wild begins.  The band was originally Jefferson Airplane in the ‘70’s.  In the meantime there were getting togethers, divorces, lawsuits, babies being born, a drag-racing near death experience and hit records.  After litigation, the remaining members became Starship.  A year later, they released “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”.  Clearly that was not just a song title, was it? This made the bands lead singer Grace Slick the oldest singer (48) at that time to sing on a hit record.  Slick left the band in a year and later to join the re-formed Jefferson Airplane.         That’s all for this week.  I hope there were some things you learned.  There certainly were things I learned!

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