Blog Archives

RECORDED FOR FILM

As you will no doubt be aware, the Academy Awards are coming up and in honour of the Oscar tradition of jazzing up a long-running format with dubious gimmicks, this week’s Theme Park was dedicated to Original Songs Recorded For Film.  Here at BayFm we’re always on a budget so you just have to imagine the red carpet, the paparazzi and my fabulous outfit.

J’aimee Skippon-Volke from the Byron Film Festival also paid us a visit and we had a chat about what’s screening at the festival this year. She kindly gave away some tickets to our loyal subscribers, as did the wonderful people at the Dendy Cinema who are screening most of the Oscar nominees at the moment. Thanks guys and congrats to the lucky listeners who won those.

STAYIN’ ALIVE was written and recorded by The Bee Gees in 1977 for the film ‘Saturday Night Fever’ and the album defined the Bee Gees as they ushered in the disco era. None of the songs from this best selling album were nominated for an Oscar, with the Best Original Song of 1977 going to “You Light Up My Life’ from the widely panned film of the same name. Go figure.

Another oversight by the Academy is WHEN DOVES CRY from Prince’s brilliant album ‘Purple Rain’ which supported the film of the same name. Funky, sexy and totally rockin’ the album was nothing short of revolutionary and probably far too much for the staid Academy committee to take in. Prince doesn’t like to have his music on YouTube so it was difficult to get a good video of him performing the song, but here’s an extract from a DVD called ‘Prince – The Glory Years’:

Simon & Garfunkle wrote MRS ROBINSON especially for the film ‘The Graduate’. Thanks Judi, all the way from Cairns, for suggesting that one.

The Beatles A HARD DAY’S NIGHT is so iconic that many of us forget that all eight original songs plus four instrumentals are from the Beatles first movie.

And then it was one of my guilty pleasures, TONIGHT I’M GONNA ROCK YOU TONIGHT, from ‘This is Spinal Tap’. Not nominated for an  Oscar either! What was the Academy thinking!

Prior to Bob Marley, nothing did more to make reggae popular than the soundtrack to THE HARDER THEY COME. Jimmy Cliff’s title song does the work of the film in less than four minutes. Gotta be the best reggae song ever written for a movie. The year was 1972 and the Oscar for Best Original song that year went to The Morning After from ‘The Poseidon Adventure’. Jimmy was robbed!

Here’s a song that actually did win an Oscar. Another guilty pleasure, I’m afraid,  but in 1987 while all else around us was synth-pop, we fell hard for the film ‘Dirty Dancing’. The song? I’VE HAD THE TIME OF MY LIFE from Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes.  Oh, stop it, you know you were waiting for this one!  R.I.P. Patrick Swayze.

Ok, I’m on a roll…. Yet another song that won an Academy Award for Best Original Song, and who would have thought a rap song could pull it off?  Eminem’s LOSE YOURSELF was written for his hit film 8 MILE, released in 2002.


Stevie Wonder’s I JUST CALLED TO SAY I LOVE YOU pipped two songs from the film ‘Footloose’ at the post to take out the Best Original Song in 1984. But he wasn’t the first black artist to take out the award. Back in 1971 Isaac Hayes’ soul and funk style THEME FROM SHAFT won the Oscar, making Hayes the first African American to win that honor (or any Academy Award in a non-acting category, for that matter). Check out the opening credit sequence from the film, which uses the theme so superbly. Damn right!

Danny Boyle’s amazing film ‘127 Hours’ is nominated in various categories this year, including Best Original Song and Best Film. He also directed ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ which in 2008 walked away with 8 Oscars. That year two of the songs from the film were nominated and JAI HO won the Oscar, but I prefer the song that missed out, O…SAYA by A.R. Rahman and M.I.A.

By having the actors write and perform their own songs, director Robert Altman managed to capture the sprawling heart of the ’70s Nashville music scene, the good, the bad and the just plain hokey. And while the album has its high and low points, the high points got their due: Keith Carradine’s I’M EASY won an Oscar for Best Original Song in 1975.

Zoe suggested that I play the whole album from the film INTO THE WILD. Ah yes, if only I had the time. But we definitely had to play something from this wonderful soundtrack, which was composed by Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam fame. So, my pick was SOCIETY.

Rebecca suggested PLAYGROUND LOVE from the Virgin Suicides soundtrack. it’s  by the group Air and it has to be one of the most beautiful love songs written. An Oscar? No, of course not.

In 1969 the film ‘Midnight Cowboy’ won three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. But no best song, not even a nomination. It was a strong year with Raindrops are Falling on my Head from the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid taking out the honours, but I do have a soft spot for Harry Nilsson, so we had to play EVERYBODY’S TALKIN’. Here’s the opening sequence with Jon Voight as Joe Buck. Not even a nomination, what gives?

Bruce Springsteen’s STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA from the 1993 film ‘Philadelphia’ did go on to win Best Original Song for Springsteen. So, sometimes the Academy does get it right, it seems. As it did last year with  THE WEARY KIND from a film that I also adore, ‘Crazy Heart’. The song was sung by Ryan Bingham.

MEMO FROM TURNER is a song written by the Rolling Stones for Nic Roeg’s film ‘Performance’. Ry Cooder provides slide guitar on the track, which was enough reason for me to include it, despite it not even being nominated for an Oscar. The film starred Mick Jagger as a sex-crazed rock star. I think it probably should have been awarded an Oscar for type-casting, surely! Love the fact that Mick lip-syncs to himself…

Like James Brown’s Black Caesar and Marvin Gaye’s Trouble Man, Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Superfly’ album typified the blaxploitation tradition of soundtracks that eclipsed, and in this case outgrossed, their original inspirations. FREDDIE’S DEAD was my pick from this soundtrack.

It would have been remiss of me not to play at least one of the nominated songs from this year’s Academy Awards. So I went  to go out on a limb and forecast that IF I RISE from ‘127 Hours’ should take the guernsey on Oscar’s night. With music by A.R. Rahman and lyrics by Dido and Rollo Armstrong, I think its the best of the bunch. Great footage from the film as well, on this clip:

We finished the show with a divine song from Louis Armstrong. WE HAVE ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD was one of the themes for the James Bond film ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’, starring George Lazenby and Dianna Rigg. Composed by John Barry, with lyrics by Hal David, Barry has been quoted as saying that this is the finest piece of music he ever wrote.

Next week the theme will be SMOKING. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a big fan of nicotine or other smoking substances, for that matter. But gee, there are some good songs on the topic, aren’t there? So I have no shame. Smoking it is. Or maybe we should call it THANKS FOR NOT SMOKING. Put your thinking caps on and get in touch, especially if you have an anti-smoking song for our list.

While you’re pondering your choices, take a look at the playlist from this week:

Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees, Bee Gees Greatest

When Doves Cry – Prince, Purple Rain

Mrs Robinson – Simon & Garfunkel, The Graduate

A Hard Day’s Night – The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night

Tonight I’m Gonna Rock You Tonight – Spinal Tap, Back From the Dead

The Harder They Come – Jimmy Cliff, The Harder They Come

(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life – Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes, Dirty Dancing

Lose Yourself – Eminem, 8 Miles

I Just Called To Say I Love You – Stevie Wonder, The Very Best Of

Theme From Shaft – Issac Hayes, Shaft

O…Saya – A R Rahman & M.I.A., Slumdog Millionaire

I’m Easy – Keith Carradine, Nashville

Society – Eddie Vedder, Into The Wild

Playground Love – Air, Virgin Suicides

Everybody’s Talkin’ – Harry Nilsson, Midnight Cowboy

Streets of Philadelphia – Bruce Springsteen, Philadelphia

The Weary Kind – Ryan Bingham, Crazy Heart

Memo From Turner – The Rolling Stones, The Stones

Freddie’s Dead – Curtis Mayfield, Superfly

If I Rise – Dido, AR Rahman, 127 Hours

We Have All the Time In the World – Louis Armstrong, The Best of Bond

Next week:  SMOKING

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 4-6pm, Sydney time
Also streaming via BayFM
Tragically also on Facebook and Twitter
Email me at: lyn.themeparkradio@gmail.com

SONGS ABOUT EYES


This week the EYES had it as I created a playlist about what poets call the ‘window of the soul’.  Our 100TH PROGRAM showcased a diverse range of artists, from the 50’s right through until some more recent releases.  We also celebrated this important milestone with a couple of fantastic giveaways for our loyal listeners: tickets to a private screening of the new David Fincher film, The Social Network, courtesy of the Dendy Cinemas, and a copy of the Red Army album from hot reggae band The Red Eyes, courtesy of Ku Promotions. Thanks to everyone for listening (and reading!) during this period. Here’s to the next 100!

In 2001 the list of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame included such superstars as Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, and Aerosmith. Further down the list in terms of public recognition were The Flamingos, who were best known for their 1959 hit  I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU.  They are rightfully ranked as one of the most sophisticated doo wop groups in American popular music.

Charles Edward Anderson Berry, otherwise knows as “Chuck” turned 84 on October 18. I don’t think anyone would argue when I claim that he is one of the most influential musicians of his time. He contributed BROWN EYED HANDSOME MAN to the mix. Elvis Costello, surely one of Chuck’s disciples, had his first hit single in 1977 with a song about a girlfriend who couldn’t stop watching television. The song, of course, is WATCHING THE DETECTIVES. “She’s filing her nails while they’re dragging the lake”. Brilliant.

The Chi-Lites also had a huge hit in 1971 with HAVE YOU SEEN HER. Check out this clip for a PBS special featuring guest artist Eugene Record. Loving the zoot suits!

Jazz singer Ernestine Anderson has some good advice on KEEP AN EYE ON LOVE. She reckons that you just have to keep looking for it and eventually it turns up. I’d be careful if I was her though. If the Hall and Oates song PRIVATE EYES is any indicaton, there are a few stalkers out there ready to pounce. These boys are continually watching the object of their affection. But we already know that love makes you do silly things. Right?

LOOK AT THE FOOL is from Tim Buckley’s album of the same name, his ninth and final album before his untimely death in 1975.  Jackson Browne’s  DOCTOR MY EYES was featured on his debut album Jackson Browne, released in 1972. Here he is singing live, with an awesome band, in 2009. As well as DOCTOR MY EYES, this clip includes ABOUT MY IMAGINATION. Browne is still a great performer and his looks don’t seem to have diminished either!

We followed the terrific 1967 funk track,  I SPY FOR THE FBI, from Jamo Thomas, with (See) HOW FAR WE’VE COME, from Matchbox 20’s Exile on Maintream album, released in 2007. The song has been used to promote everything under the sun. But we won’t hold that against them.


Jamesetta Hawkins is better known to us as Etta James. This rendition of  I’D RATHER GO BLIND, where she duets with Dr. John, practically brought me to tears. See if it has the same effect on you:

And as Etta would say ‘At Last!’ we have some nice weather up here in the Northern Rivers, after months of rain. (Although as I write this the rain is back…..aarrggghhhhh). Nevertheless, I had to celebrate a couple of days of brilliant sunshine with I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW from Jimmy Cliff.

Let me ask you this: What do David Bowie, George Washington and Louis Pasteur have in common? Well they have what’s called heterochromia: i.e. each of their eyes is a different colour. In Bowie’s case one eye is blue and the other brown. Aren’t you glad to know that?

When it comes to songs about eyes, you can’t go past 60’s soul, and our next triple play more than proved the point: Doris Troy was seduced with JUST ONE LOOK, The Contours went gold-digging on FIRST LOOK AT THE PURSE and The Temptations sang I WANT A LOVE I CAN SEE.

Van Morrison’s 1967 single BROWN EYED GIRL would prove to be the impetus for his whole career as a solo artist. It was to be his first single after leaving the band Them and it led to his relocation to the United States and an eventual contract with Warner Brothers Records where he would record his career-defining album Astral Weeks.  In the same year The Who released I CAN SEE FOR MILES AND MILES, the only single from the The Who Sell Out album. Recorded in several separate sessions in studios across two continents, the recording of I CAN SEE FOR MILES exemplifies the increasingly sophisticated studio techniques of rock bands in the late 1960s. The backing tracks were recorded in London, the vocals and overdubbing were performed in New York at Talentmasters Studios, and the album was mastered in Los Angeles at the Gold Star Studios.

The Beatles 1965 hit I’M LOOKING THROUGH YOU was written mainly by Paul McCartney and it first appeared on their Rubber Soul album. It was written about Jane Asher, McCartney’s girlfriend of five years: “You don’t look different, but you have changed,” the lyrics declare, reflecting his dissatisfaction with their relationship.

When I announced that this week’s theme was to be EYES, I was inundated with requests for the Platters version of SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES. Well, of course, it had to make the list – an absolute classic.

Winonie Harris reckons that he can tell all sorts of things from looking into a set of BLOODSHOT EYES while Little Milton was out to prove that you can’t always judge a book by its cover on JUST BECAUSE YOU SEE ME SMILING

Billy Idol’s EYES WITHOUT A FACE is from his 1983 album Rebel Yell. Reportedly filmed in a marathon 30-hour session, the video’s extensive filming used fog machines, lighting, and fire sources that nearly fused Idol’s contact lenses. At the conclusion of filming, Idol attempted to leave, and promptly passed out on the studio lawn from exhaustion. Initially mistaken for a vagrant, a police officer who roused Idol was alarmed at his reddened eyes. The officer immediately brought Idol to a local hospital, where doctors were able to coax out the lenses, saving his vision. OMG.


Captain Beefheart was unusually restrained on HER EYES ARE A BLUE MILLION MILES and we followed with Sinead O’Connor’s DAMN YOUR EYES from her 1990 album I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got. No matter what you think of her political viewpoints, there is no denying the power in her voice.

Being our 100th show, I gave myself a gift and closed the show with two of my favourite artists: As regular listeners know,  according to me Roy Orbison can do no wrong. And how could I resist when he tells me  “One look from me and he drifts away”, on YOU GOT IT.


Tim Buckley is also a favourite and we said goodbye with DEVIL EYES from the outstanding album Greetings From LA.

Next week’s program will be on CARNIVALS, CIRCUSES AND FUNFAIRS. Ooh I’m really looking forward to this one. Let me know if you have any suggestions for the playlist. I can always do with your help!

Until next week, remember what Gandhi said: “An eye for an eye turns the whole world blind.”

Here’s this week’s complete list:

  • I Only Have Eyes For You – Heart of Rock ‘n’ Roll: 59, The Flamingos
  • Smoke Gets In Your Eyes – The Missing Chapters Vol. 5: Glenn Miller Orchestra
  • Brown Eyed Handsome Man – 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection, Chuck Berry
  • Watching The Detectives – My Aim Is True, Elvis Costello
  • Have You Seen Her – Greatest Hits, The Chi-Lites
  • Inside Out – Red Army, The Red Eyes
  • Keep An Eye On Love – Testify, Ernestine Anderson
  • Private Eyes – Top Hits Of The 80’s, Hall and Oates
  • Look At The Fool – Twentyfourseven, Tim Buckley
  • Doctor My Eyes – The Next Voice You Hear: The Best Of Jackson Browne, Jackson Browne
  • I Spy For The FBI – Soul Cargo Vol. 1 (The Early Years Of “Groove”,  Jamo Thomas
  • How Far We’ve Come – Exile On Mainstream, Matchbox Twenty
  • I’d Rather Go Blind – The Sweetest Peaches – Part Two (1967-1975), Etta James
  • I Can See Clearly Now – Definitive Collection, Jimmy Cliff
  • Just One Look – Mermaids, Doris Troy
  • First Look At The Purse – This Is Soul, The Contours
  • I Want A Love I Can See – My Girl: The Very Best Of The Temptations, The Temptations
  • Brown Eyed Girl – Best Of Van Morrison, Van Morrison
  • I’m Looking Through You – Rubber Soul, The Beatles
  • I Can See For Miles – The Who Sell Out, The Who
  • Smoke Gets In Your Eyes – Easy Listening Gold: 1958-1959, The Platters
  • Bloodshot Eyes –  The Best of Wynonie Harris, Wynoni Harris
  • Just Because You See Me Smiling – Movin’ to the Country, Little Milton
  • Eyes Without A Face – Top Hits Of The 80’s, Billy Idol
  • Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles – Clear Spot, Captain Beefheart
  • Damn Your Eyes – I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got (Special Edition) Sinéad O’Connor
  • You Got It – Mystery Girl, Roy Orbison
  • Devil Eyes – Greetings From L.A., Tim Buckley
Next week:  SONGS ABOUT CARNIVALS, CIRCUSES & FUNFAIRS

Listen to Lyn McCarthy at the Theme Park on BayFM, Tuesdays 4-6pm, Sydney time
Also streaming via BayFM
Tragically also on Facebook and Twitter
Email me at: lyn.themeparkradio@gmail.com
%d bloggers like this: