I enjoy taking Slate’s weekly news quiz put together by Ken Jennings, but they recently put up some other quizes to test if you can identify a song with only 1 second of audio. I got 9 on the current songs, but 14 on each of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I did atrocious on the Hip hop one with 8, but see how you do on all of these. Leave your answers in the comments.
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I’ll probably see it.
I’m guessing because of the recent current events, Gil Scott Heron and his music, especially the great song The Revolution Will Not be Televised, has been featured on a few of the blogs I read along with a piece last night on NPR’s The World about protest songs. While I think he is a important artist and his words/music can be powerful right now, I will let better writers comment on that.
What I want this blog post to focus on is his other famous song, Johannesburg (That link is a great one from his appearance on SNL with Richard Pryor). The NPR piece brought up the interesting fact that because the South African apartheid regime banned the song, when Heron first performed the song in Johannesburg, people didn’t know the chorus and somewhat threw the band off when they didn’t yell it back. It also mentioned that part of the genius of the song was that the chorus was a parody of the jingle for Thunderbird wine, that was popular in poor, black communities.
So, of course, I went to the internet to hear the original jingle, but was unable to find it. I did find that it has a convoluted connection (but probably not) with the Trashmen’s Surfin’ Bird. Also, that there are a bunch of versions of the song, one of them done by this amazing saxaphonist Red Prysock. If you like the video below, check out the song Hand Clappin’ (you’re going to like it, Austin):
Also check out a version by Slim Gaillard that is pretty funny.
Matt Colletti alerted me to this great song of Bruno Mars and Mark Ronson doing their impressions of a Morris Day and the Time song.
Coincidentally, they were on SNL this past week following up last week’s great performance from Kendrick Lamar. Mystikal did the second performance doing his impression of a James Brown song. This cd could be really good you guys.