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September 22, 2017

Song of the Day #1515

Song of the Day: Disturbia, words and music by Brian Kennedy, Chris Brown, Robert Allen, and Andrew Merritt, is featured on Rihanna's 2008 album "Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded." This song went to #1 on four Billboard charts, including the Hot 100 and the Hot Dance Club Songs (almost 9 years ago to the day!). Check out the original video, the 12" remix, the Magnifikate Remix, the Daniel Brown remix, the Techno Remix, and finally, the DONK Remix, which makes the Techno Remix sound chill by comparison! Our Second Annual Summer Dance Series concludes today, since the season ends with the Autumnal Equinox at 4:02 p.m. But we ain't disturbia-ed... we're going out dancing!

September 21, 2017

Song of the Day #1514

Song of the Day: Make Me, words and music by Rodney Jerkins, Thomas Lumpkins, Michaela Shilo, Bernard Edwards, Nile Rodgers and Janet Jackson, was the 19th #1 Hot Dance Club single of Janet's career. The song appears on Janet's 2009 album, "Number Ones." Check out the video version (where Miss Jackson, if your Nasty, shows us she can still move and groove!). And her paean to her late brother Michael is clear; when she says "Don't stop til you get it up," she is, no doubt, tipping her hat to "Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough" [YouTube link]. Check out a few other remixes: the Moto Blanco Video Remix, DJ Dan Audio Remix, Dave Aude Club Mix, and Ralphi's Martini Mix. The Autumnal Equinox (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere) doesn't arrive in NYC till 4:02 p.m. tomorrow, so expect one final song as our Second Annual Summer Dance Series concludes.

September 20, 2017

Song of the Day #1513

Song of the Day: Turn Up the Music has ten credited writers, but the one I'll focus on is the man who recorded this super dance single: Chris Brown. It appears on Brown's 2012 album, "Fortune." Check out the video single, the Roc Hound Club Mix, the Miami Life Remix. and the remix version with Rihanna (yes, Rihanna!).

September 19, 2017

Song of the Day #1512

Song of the Day: Fantastic Voyage features words and music credited to the 9-member band that recorded it: Lakeside. This was the title song to the band's 1980 SOLAR-label album. This #1 R&B dance track offers us some early hip hop touches steeped in a deep bass line. Indeed, it makes you want to "come along, pack your bags, get on up and jam y'all," as we take that "fantastic voyage . . . to the land of funk." Check out the original extended mix [YouTube link].

September 18, 2017

Song of the Day #1511

Song of the Day: Diggy [YouTube link with lyrics], by Spencer Ludwig, is featured on the "Target" commercial "Vibes" [YouTube link] focusing on "Leggie Moves." Having just watched the Emmy Awards, honoring excellence in television, I figured it would be nice to note some danceable music on TV commercials! Check out the full video version as well, in keeping with the Summer Dance Party theme that started way back in June. We're in the final few days of the season, and promise to go out dancing every day until summer ends!

September 17, 2017

Song of the Day #1510

Song of the Day: Feud ("Main Theme") [YouTube link], composed by Mac Quayle, is heard in the title sequence to one of the best of this past season's TV minseries (as is another one of my favorites: "The Night Of"), focusing on the "feud" between legendary actresses Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, which reached its climax in the production of the classic horror-fest "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" Susan Sarandon (as Bette) and Jessica Lange (as Joan) deliver fine performances, and both are nominated in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Television Movie. And Quayle has earned nominations for "Outstanding Original Dramatic Score" and for "Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music"; in fact, the opening credits have been nominated for "Outstanding Main Title Design," giving "Feud" a total of 18 Emmy Award Nominations. Check out the Emmy Awards tonight on CBS.

September 16, 2017

WFAN-AM: My 2 Minutes and 30 Seconds of Fame

So let me report on my 2 minutes and 30 seconds of chit-chat on New York Sports Radio WFAN-AM (660), where I called the knowledgeable and hilarious sports commentator, Steve Somers sometime around midnight. I was a first-time caller, and once I was screened, I was put in the queue, as I waited for Steve to announce "Chris from Brooklyn."

The reason for my call was because a few nights ago, I was listening to his broadcast, and a gentleman had called from the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn (the neighborhood one step removed from my Gravesend section of the county of Kings). Steve remembered that Bensonhurst was home to Lafayette High School, famous for its many sports alumni. They mentioned Dodgers pitching Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, the wonderful Mets reliever John Franco, and Mets owner Fred Wilpon (whom Steve affectionately calls "Fred Coupon" for his unwillingness to spend any money to improve the Mets organization). And then, the guy from Bensonhurst got stuck and said something about another Lafayette alumnus, named "Marv," who ran with Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics. And Somers wondered, because the guy couldn't be talking about sports announcer Marv Albert, who was born six years after those Olympic games, and was actually a graduate of another Brooklyn educational institution: Abraham Lincoln High School.

So I'm sitting home, and screaming at the radio: "Not Marv Albert"---it was that other voice of New York Knicks basketball (for 21 years), mentor to Albert, and famous also as the radio voice of the football New York Giants (for 23 years), among other sports: Marty Glickman. And Glickman was not a graduate of Lafayette High School, but of James Madison High School. I should know, because my Mom was in the same graduating class as Glickman, and she remembered what a great athlete he was.

So I called for two straight nights and couldn't get through; lo and behold, I got through after midnight today, and finally spoke to Steve on the air! It was a hoot. First I told him, very sincerely, that I thought he was the most entertaining guy in sports commentary, and that anyone who uses snippets from films like "The Ten Commandments" to make fun of sports moments was out of this world. He couldn't thank me enough.

So we finally turned to the nature of my call, and I reported the facts to him. I told him that the guy from Bensonhurst was actually referring to Marty Glickman; of course, Steve knew immediately about the Great Glickman, and we spoke a bit about the superb HBO documentary on his life. It was actually Glickman and fellow runner Sam Stoller, who were removed at the last minute from the track and field events at the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics. We recalled that the U.S. didn't want to embarrass or offend Adolf Hitler, the host of the games by having two Jewish American athletes on the Olympic field. Of course, Hitler ate dirt anyway, because one of the athletes who took the place of Glickman and Stoller was Owens, who went on to win the Gold Medal.

When I told Steve that my Mom had been a member of Glickman's senior class at Madison High, he mentioned "Ah! Six Degrees of Separation." He added that Brooklyn had given the world so many famous people, including Barbra Streisand from Erasmus Hall High School.

So my 2 minutes and 30 seconds were over, and knowing I was a first-time caller, he told me to call back anytime.

Now that was a lot of fun!

Song of the Day #1509

Song of the Day: Jealous features the words and music of Nolan Lambroza, Simon Wilcox, and Nick Jonas, who was born on this date in 1992. God, they're getting younger and younger in this survey of dance music, aren't they? The 25-year old scored a #1 Hot Dance Club Hit in January 2015 with this song. Check out the video, the version featuring Tinashe (along with the E-man and Ikon remix of it), a gospel rendition, the Anda Remix, the hot Rooftop Boys Remix, House Remix, Club Killers Deep House Mix, Ugo Remix, and the DYAGO remix.

September 15, 2017

Song of the Day #1508

Song of the Day: Look What You Made Me Do features the words and lyrics of Jack Antonoff, Fred Fairbass, Richard Fairbass, Rob Manzoli, and Taylor Swift, whose video of this song made its debut on the MTV Video Music Awards on August 27th. The lead single from Swift's forthcoming "Reputation" album is already #1 on the Hot 100. Check out the killer video [YouTube link] to this infectious song, which broke the all-time record for views within a 24-hour period. And then listen to a few remixes by Vylet, Vincy, and Tom Damage [YouTube links]. Even young Andrew Foy is fingerpickin' this one already [YouTube link]. And Look What Taylor Made Me Do: Expect a song a day right up until the last hours of summer!!!

September 11, 2017

WTC Remembrance: Sue Mayham - Not Business as Usual

At a time when so many are suffering the effects of Hurricane Irma, a force of nature, I return to my annual series, "Remembering the World Trade Center," on the anniversary of a time when so many suffered the effects of the force unleashed by human beings against other human beings.

My series returns this year to recording the recollections of those who lived through the nightmare that was September 11, 2001.

In previous years, my interviews have focused on those within the Twin Towers, and those who witnessed the horrific events of that day; those who were first responders and those who worked on the pile at Ground Zero. I have even featured various pictorials of the memorial, museum, and the new One World Trade Center that opened in late 2014.

This year, I interview Sue Mayham, who provides an entirely different perspective on the events of that day, and the days and weeks and months that followed. Sue is an example of a different kind of heroism: the kind of heroism that symbolizes the work of those who kept aspects of the real world running even when the global capital of finance and culture had taken a direct hit from those who sought its utter destruction.

And as I have done in previous years, I provide this index for those readers who would like easy access to the previous entries in this series:

2001: As It Happened . . .

2002: New York, New York

2003: Remembering the World Trade Center: A Tribute

2004: My Friend Ray

2005: Patrick Burke, Educator

2006: Cousin Scott

2007: Charlie: To Build and Rebuild

2008: Eddie Mecner, Firefighter

2009: Lenny: Losses and Loves

2010: Tim Drinan, Student

2011: Ten Years Later

2012: A Memorial for the Ages: A Pictorial

2013: My Friend Matthew: A 9/11 Baby of a Different Stripe

2014: A Museum for the Ages: A Pictorial

2015: A New One World Trade Center Rises From the Ashes: A Pictorial (This essay has been translated into Portuguese by Artur Weber and Adelina Domingos.)

2016: Fifteen Years Ago: Through the Looking Glass of a Video Time Machine (This essay has been translated into Portuguese by Artur Weber and Adelina Domingos.)

2017: Sue Mayham: Not Business as Usual

Never forget.

September 09, 2017

Song of the Day #1507

Song of the Day: No Frills Love, words and music by Arthur Baker, Gary Henry, and Tina B., was recorded by "Dreamgirls" Broadway star, Jennifer Holliday. The recording went to #1 on the Billboard Dance chart in 1986 and hit #1 again a decade later with the 1996 Anthem Mix [YouTube link]. Check out the original 12" remix, the Love to Infinity Mix, and even one that is dedicated to Channing Tatum [YouTube links].

September 08, 2017

Song of the Day #1506

Song of the Day: Places features the words and music of Greek DJ Xenia Ghali and singer-songwriter Raquel Castro, who recorded this song and hit the #1 position on the Billboard Dance Club chart on May 6, 2017. Check out the official video, the Extended Mix, and Lynn Wood 'We Love the '90s' Club Mix.

September 05, 2017

Song of the Day #1505

Song of the Day: The Fugitive ("Judgment Day, Part 2, Finale") [YouTube TV clip, Spoiler Alert!], composed by Dominic Frontiere, is the music that highlights the climax of the 120 episodes of one of the most iconic "TV Noir" shows in the history of the medium: "The Fugitive," which ended its four-season run on Tuesday, August 29, 1967, in front of over 78 million viewers. It was the largest audience to watch any show in TV history up to that date [YouTube, Leonard Goldberg interview]. But in the "Epilog" of that famed Quinn Martin production, narrator William Conrad tells us that it was "Tuesday, September 5th, the Day the Running Stopped" [YouTube TV clip]. And in those closing moments, the haunting theme of the show, composed by Pete Rugolo, re-emerges, as it must. Frontiere, who was a great fan of Rugolo from the days when he arranged and composed for the Stan Kenton Orchestra, got the chance to complete the score to the climactic finale. Cheers to a great series, its great score, and its unforgettable finale [YouTube link to the final two episodes in their entirety], which concluded, in narrative legend, fifty years ago, on this date.

September 04, 2017

Song of the Day #1504

Song of the Day: Crazy in Love features the words and music of Rich Harrison, Eugene Record, Shawn Carter (aka Jay Z), and Beyonce Knowles, who was born on this date in 1981. This was the lead single from Beyonce's 2003 debut solo album, "Dangerously in Love," and it is highlighted by a guest rap from the man she'd marry in 2008, Jay Z. The song went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and reached the peak of the Dance Club chart on September 13, 2003 due to a few stylish dance remixes. Check out the original video single, the Pat.No. 2K13 Mix, the Fare Soldi Remix, and the DJ Stylezz Mix, and for those who want to slow it up a bit, there's the "Fifty Shades of Grey" rendition (re-recorded in 2015 for the soundtrack to that hit film) [YouTube links]. Happy birthday, Queen Bee!

September 03, 2017

Song of the Day #1503

Song of the Day: Let Me Love You features the words and music of Andrew Watt, Ali Tamposi, Brian Lee, Louis Bell, and William Grigahcine, aka DJ Snake, on whose 2016 album, "Encore" this song appears. The song, written in C-minor, hit the Top 5 on five Billboard charts, while also breaking the Top 20 on two additional charts, including the Hot Dance Club Songs chart. It features vocalist Justin Bieber and can be heard in a plethora of mixes. Check out the official video and a video with Bieber and Selena Gomez, as well as the remix featuring Sean Paul and R. Kelly. And then the DJs Take Over the World with: the Marshmello Remix, Tom Westy Remix, R3hab Remix, Don Diablo Remix, Slander & B-Sides Remix, Danny Dove vs. Offset Remix, Audio/Zedd Remix, Murper Future House Remix, Faruk Sabanci Remix, Tom Budin Remix, Albert Yam C.B. Remix, JustinTechN9 Deep House Mix, DJ Kavesh Latin House Remix, and finally, the Andry J Future House Remix.

September 02, 2017

Song of the Day #1502

Song of the Day: Fine China, words and music by Eric Bellinger, Leon "Roccstar" Youngblood, Sevyn Streeter, and Chris Brown, whose throwback sound on this lead single from the album "X" is inspired by the likes of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and Sam Cooke. Check out the official video with its storyline, and then listen to the bluesy dance single, with its sensual sleaze beat, a version featuring the rapper, Common with its "Rock with You" and "Billie Jean" MJ samples), and the Chris Madem Disco Remix. For some, this is "Atlas Shrugged Day"; but it's also the birthday of someone I love very dearly... and you know who you are. Just like "fine china."

September 01, 2017

Song of the Day #1501

Song of the Day: I Specialize in Love words and music by Lotti Golden and Richard Scher, was an international dance hit by Sharon Brown. In 1982, it peaked at #2 on the Billboard Dance Club chart. Check out the classic 12" remix and a later "Dirty House" remix [YouTube links]. In 1995, the girl group Expose released a rendition of the song that hit the Top Ten of the Hot Dance Club Play chart. Check out the album version and the dance remix [YouTube links]. Today, we kick off an extended Labor Day Summer Dance weekend.