It was JFK's birthday celebration concert at the old Madison Square Garden. The cast included some of the greatest performers of all time: Jack Benny, George Burns, Peter Lawford and the unpredictable Marilyn Monroe. I was quite young when I was hired as the sound designer. The entire crew was so envious of my assignment to rehearse so closely with Miss Monroe. She was absolutely charming, teased me a bit, and said, "You just tell me what you need." Who wouldn't be overwhelmed to hear those words from Marilyn Monroe? Needless to say, I took my time, not only to insure perfection, but to relish in the moment. A moment that at the time none of us knew would become so iconic. Watch and listen to "Happy Birthday Mr. President."
The Kinks are known for being part of the English Invasion. So when they released a 12" disco single in 1979, it was a surprise. Enjoy a little four on the floor with "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman".
Genre: Disco / Rock
Artist: The Kinks
Song: (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman
Album: Come Dancing With The Kinks: The Best of The Kinks 1977-1986
Producer: Ray Davies
These guys are from Iceland. We're not quite sure what they are singing about as we don't speak Icelandic and we don't really care because it is just so beautiful. Hvarf-Heim was released in November 2007. These recordings are part of a movie coming out soon. Get the full album.
Genre: Ethereal Rock
Artist: Sigur Rós
We all listen to music because we want to feel something. We look at photographs and watch film for the same reason. Images of music have great power. Photographer / filmmaker Danny Clinch has documented so many greats of rock n roll. See how he sees music.
"Funky President (People It's Bad)" was written and produced by James Brown. This song was influenced by Gerald Ford's presidential takeover after Richard Nixon's departure. Sara Jane Moore, convicted for her assassination attempt on Gerald Ford's life, was released from prison last week. Download "Funky President."
Genre: Funk / Soul
Artist: James Brown
Song: Funky President (People It's Bad)
Album: JB40: 40th Anniversary Collection
Producer: James Brown
George Michael's Songs From The Last Century, an album reflecting music from the 20's through the end of the century, includes a rendition of the song "Roxanne" written by Sting. With it, he creates a documentary-esque look at the life of a girl from the red light district - a song overlooked at the time and banned in the U.S because of controversial images.