TMZ is reporting that Sherwood Schwartz, the creator of the famed Gen X television staples The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island, passed away earlier today at the age of 94. It’s fair to say that those shows have two of the most recognizable and memorable theme songs in the history of television medium, and Schwartz (pictured above being kissed by Florence “Carol Brady” Henderson and Dawn “Mary-Ann” Wells) had songwriting credits on both of them! If there were a Hall of Fame for this sort of thing (and, frankly, it’s a shame that there isn’t), Schwartz would be a shoo-in to be inducted on the first ballot.
Of course, network television shows these days rarely utilize minute-long theme songs during their credit sequences as a way to ease viewers into the world that their characters occupy, mainly because that is time that the suits would rather sell to advertisers and the showrunners desperately need to develop their plotlines. However, at the time when Schwartz rose to prominence, the medium was still emerging from its primordial ooze stage, and theme songs were a handy narrative device carried over from the days of radio serials. To write just one of these legendary theme songs would surely place Schwartz in rare company, but to have TWO of them to his credit is just plain bonkers. Guess this means that Alan Thicke –yes, THAT Alan Thicke, the dad from Growing Pains, but also the same guy who is credited with writing the theme songs for The Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes– is responsible for carrying the TV theme song torch from here on out. Rest in peace, Sherwood.
Here’s the theme song for the Brady Bunch; bet you know every word by heart!
As we parallel park into July and officially hit the curb of this year’s halfway point, it’s time to take a quick look back at what the past six months have taught us. Not conventional life lessons, however; we’re talking about stuff that’s a little bit less intense and also involves YOU! That’s right, in the first installment of our Top 100 Videos of 2011… So Far, we’re spilling the beans on the #100-51 most clicked-and-viewed videos on VH1.com. You’ll see that this pi?ata-like list of content contains tasty treats and slippery surprises alike! We’ve got brand-new videos that just recently launched, some VH1 Classic leaning clips (hey there, Megadeth), repeat offenders, and of course, effervescent, essential vids from the music video cannon. So take a look at the first fifty videos below and don’t forget to come back later this week as we continue on our quest to discover what artist snags the #1 spot!
Joss Stone‘s website proclaims that her forthcoming LP1 is “the first album Joss has recorded with total creative freedom.” Her fans needn’t worry, though; Stone’s newfound freedom is directed into another album of blues-rock soul, if last night’s performance of “Karma” on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno is any indication. She was joined by Eurythmics cofounder Dave Stewart, who co-produced LP1 and who, with Stone, comprises 40% of Mick Jagger‘s supergroup SuperHeavy.
“Karma” is the latest entry in the long and proud tradition of female vocalists’ wronged-lover songs, though despite Stone’s soul chops, it’s guitar-heavy and horn-free. Perhaps it’s more inspired by country’s takes on the theme, albeit with much less anger than, say, Carrie Underwood‘s “Before He Cheats” or Miranda Lambert‘s “Gunpowder and Lead.” LP1 was, after all, recorded in Nashville. Stone’s narrator does wield a loaded gun, though, so who knows?
Black Eyed Peas Turn Themselves Into Split Peas
During a concert performance in England, will.i.am, Fergie and the other two guys told the crowd that the show was going to be the “last time we’re going to be in England for a long time”; they later expanded on that statement by announcing that they are taking an “indefinite break” from making music together. Sadly, this probably means that you are likely to see will.i.am once again appearing as a hologram on a television near you imminently. [HuffPo]
“Big Baseball Player Back In High School” From Springsteen’s “Glory Days” Identified
His name’s Joe DePugh, and he tried out for the Dodgers. He would probably amend his assessment about his glory days passing him by if asked today. [New York Times]
When Matthew Morrison stopped by VH1 to appear on Big Morning Buzz Live to promote his eponymous debut album back in May, we knew the Glee actor and solo artist would be a perfect subject for our Music Seen feature. As it turned out, his day was too jam-packed for him to explicitly show off his style to VH1 photographer Jen Marigliano, but these photos give a pretty good look anyway, as Morrison travels from BMBL to a VH1 Save the Music press conference to an interview with The Insider to a soundcheck and performance at the Hard Rock Caf?. That’s a lot of work?and a lot of wardrobe changes?without leaving Times Square. Our thanks to Morrison for being such a great sport.
Internet sensation Rebecca Black, fresh off a starring role in Katy Perry‘s Song of the Summer frontrunner, “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),” clearly isn’t your typical 14 year-old. Not only does her confidence belie her years—as she explained to us, she doesn’t get nervous because “I don’t see the point in it”—but she has no intention of spending her summer vacation simply marinating with friends. Instead, she’s looking to catch viral lightning in a bottle for the second time in less than six months.
On July 18, Rebecca Black will make her new single, “My Moment,” available on both her YouTube channel and on iTunes. It seems highly unlikely that she’ll be able to grab the cultural zeitgeist by its proverbial cojones once again, but you never know! One thing we do feel fairly certain of is that, regardless of the quality of her song, she’ll quickly outpace Lexi St. George, the girl handpicked by Ark Music Factory CEO Patrice Wilson to be his company’s Next Big Thing™. Despite getting a week’s worth of promotion on ABC’s Good Morning America, “Dancing To The Rhythm (With Me)” has stalled out at 194,000 views and failed to crack either the Billboard or iTunes 100.
When Lil Waynespoke to MTV News last Thursday, he revealed an August 28 release date for Tha Carter IV and promised that the Sorry for the Wait mixtape would drop Tuesday or Wednesday (that is, tomorrow or the day after). The next day, the first mixtape track, “Tunechi’s Back” (based on the “Tupac Back” beat) hit the web. [HT Rap Radar]
When Lady Gaga‘s music video for “Edge of Glory” premiered, we liked the stripped-back aesthetic, but we quickly found ourselves in the minority. Gaga acolytes who had been anticipating a high-concept spectacle from director Joseph Kahn, based on rumors of mermaid-Gaga (as she was costumed when she performed “The Edge of Glory” on French TV), fumed on social media until Gaga and Kahn responded directly (and for a while afterward, too). Lest her fans consider the mermaid concept scrapped, she tweeted the following:
In an interview with Taiwan’s V News on Saturday, Gaga confirmed that the concept would live on: “Yuyi is in incubation, for anyone who knows what that means.” She then added, “Yuyi may just be born in the next video.” Fans are speculating that the mermaid’s name (not mentioned until after the “Edge of Glory” video premiered) is a clue to the next single: Yu + y + i = “Yo? and I,” which is a clever bit of wordplay that could just as easily be coincidental. There is no word on who the new clip’s director will be, but we suspect Kahn didn’t get the call this time.
The radio-station festival gets a big-budget upgrade this fall as Clear Channel celebrates and promotes the relaunch of their online music-streaming service iHeartRadio. The two-night iHeartRadio Festival, announced this morning by Clear Channel’s highest-profile music-show DJ, Ryan Seacrest, will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on September 23 and 24. Its claim as “biggest live music event in radio history” may be a stretch, but the star-studded lineup (see below) is certainly a significant cross-section of pop in 2011, and tickets start at a fairly reasonable $45 plus fees. The shows start at 7:30pm each night, which suggests short sets from each performer, but it is taking place in Vegas, after all, so perhaps the show will just run extremely late into the night.
The festival is a canny move by Clear Channel, who in addition to promoting the centralized streaming of each of their stations in one place, are battling the strong brand-association Pandora has with “streaming, create-your-own radio” (the announcement above even describes iHeartRadio’s custom functions as being “like Pandora”). Clear Channel will likely prove a strong opponent to turntable.fm for similar reasons.
You know the moment when, near the end of horror movies, the seemingly-dead killer pops back to life, only to be shot/stabbed/poked-in-the-eye-with-a-wire-clothes-hanger by the protagonist? Well, if the Song of the Summer Countdown were a horror movie –this analogy is admittedly a stretch, but just follow us here for a sec– and Katy Perry were the doe-eyed Final Girl, then Adele would have to be the villain of our race.
Last week, after being unseated the week prior by “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),”“Rolling In The Deep” came back from the grave to make one final (?) run at the #1 position. However, on this week’s just-updated Song of the Summer countdown, Katy Perry once again asserted her dominance as the Queen of the Summer Songs to claim the top spot back from the British songbird. However, the race is nowhere near over yet.
Pitbull and Ne-Yo’s ode to joys of pre-apocalyptic nookie, “Give Me Everything,” continues to climb its way up the charts; its third-place position this week marks the song’s best performance on the charts to date. LMFAO‘s “Party Rock Anthem” is currently sitting atop the Billboard and iTunes charts, and OneRepublic‘s “Good Life” burst into the Top 10 in its first week on this chart, no doubt propelled by Ryan Tedder’s recent appearances on NBC/Universal linear properties, The Voice, Platinum Hit and the Today Show (corporate synergy at its finest!). It’s entirely possible that the zeitgeist could blow in the direction of any of these songs and put some serious wind behind their sails (and sales), but at this point, it sure seems like Katy is once again the girl to beat!