Category Archives: awards

Lost Hits of the New Wave #16

“Love Is a Battlefield” by Pat Benatar

Another example of an established rock act getting on the new wave bandwagon, this example may well have had good intentions but went above and beyond them. While the previous studio album by Pat Benatar, Get Nervous was far more new wavey than this song, it didn’t do as well as it was intended to do, and the singles released did not sample that flavor.

“Love Is a Battlefield” was the first single from Benatar’s live greatest hits collection, Live from Earth. Written by Holly Knight and Mike Chapman, the drum and synth heavy tune was accompanied by a music video that featured Benatar as a runaway/taxi dancer who leads a rebellion against her pimp and walks off into the sunset victorious. The fashion, the dancing, and the story got the video honored with multiple awards, and earned Benatar her biggest US hit.

Andy Griffith 1926-2012

Andy Griffith was the multiple award-winning and nominated star of television, film, stage and song. The actor, writer, director, producer, comedian, musician and singer passed away this morning in North Carolina. He was 86.

Back in my preschool days, “The Andy Griffith Show” was my favorite show, second only to “Batman.” The opening of the program with Andy and his son Opie, played by Ronny Howard, going fishing and walking in the woods reminded me of my father and me. Especially the bit with that kid throwing rocks. I was that annoying kid throwing rocks whenever we went fishing or went for walks in the woods. My imaginary friend was even named ‘Opie.’ Hey, stop judging. I never said I was a bright kid. The point is, from an early age, “The Andy Griffith Show” and its spin-offs were a family tradition.

Just as I watched little Opie grow into Richie Cunningham and later a successful director, I also watched Andy in the largely forgotten but also fondly remembered ABC series “Salvage 1,” and later on the more palatable “Matlock.” When my brother-in-law gave me all his 45 RPM records (for the kids out there, think single MP3 iTunes purchases, only round and on vinyl), I discovered another facet of Andy Griffith with his down home comedy spoken word hit, “What It Was, Was Football.”

As an adult I discovered how his humor led to Andy’s role on the stage and then in film with No Time for Sergeants. The film not only firmly established his persona for the next few decades but also was the direct inspiration for later television spin-off “Gomer Pyle, USMC.” Andy also did a flick at this time called Onionhead, that was so bad, he stopped doing movies.

However, before that, he made the film that for me, earns Andy Griffith the most respect. 1957’s A Face in the Crowd, written by Budd Schulberg and directed by Elia Kazan, is one of my favorite films, easily in my top five, and Andy Griffith, as the charismatic but evil entertainer Lonesome Rhodes, is the star. This is an acting tour de force, and Griffith is a whirlwind. If you have not seen this phenomenal drama, I can’t recommend it enough.

We have lost not only one of our most beloved television icons, but also a visionary in the way TV is done, as well as one of America’s greatest actors and comedians. Rest in peace, Andy, we will miss you.

RIP Amy Winehouse

In early 2007 friends were chattering about a stunning new voice in music called Amy Winehouse. By the summer of that same year, the single “Rehab” was everywhere and she was a superstar. And by the end of 2007, and through to the end of her life, due to her erratic and self-destructive behavior, she had become a punchline to a bad joke.

Amy Winehouse passed away yesterday, at the age of 27, due to unconfirmed circumstances. Her interesting past with various illegal substances lead many to believe it was drug or alcohol related. The singer/songwriter was a fresh new voice crossing genres and garnering multiple awards and nominations. However you see her, talent, train wreck or media target, Amy Winehouse will be missed.

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