Friday, March 18, 2005
glisten: FAMILY VALUES TWO
For more info about the FAMILY VALUES series, go here.
Family Ties Theme Song
Dad: TV theme songs are to music as billboards are to painting.
Sis: TV theme songs are always fun, but I must say that hearing 'Family Ties' brought back plenty of uncomfortable memories of the distinctly bad taste in TV viewing that characterized our many wasted youthful hours.
Mom: As sappy as this is, it made me cry. I don't know why; I never watched the show. I like the frisson between their voices; it's gentle and romantic, but the questions they're asking each other make me sad.
Whose voice is the man's? Aaron Neville?
Ouch. No, Mom, not Aaron Neville. This version of "Without Us" is performed by (believe it or not) Johnny Mathis and Deniece Williams.
I was never a fan of this show, but I _DID_ watch it for some reason; I remember my father was always easily worked up by the smarmy uber-republican ethics of Alex. Maybe it was just what he represented.
Visit this Family Ties fanpage for more information than you could possibly need on this 80's sitcom cornerstone, along with numerous soundfiles including the original theme!
When did it jump the shark?
Sitcoms Online has hundreds of sitcom opening and ending themes.
Sir Lancelot - "Scandal in the Family"
Dad: My friend Ray Funk met and interviewed Sir Lancelot as part of his duties writing the informative liner notes for the 1995 CD reissue of this track (Flyright, CD 942). Ray points out that Lancelot Victor Edward Pinard had extensive training as a singer of classical music; he didn't start singing calypsos until he came to New York in 1940.
Mom: What's the scandal and where the hell did you find this song? It's hard to get next to. Is it calypso? It's a funny track because even though it's clearly about a very serious subject, it's such a light and danceable tune. I like the clarinet especially, but let us not forget I used to play the licorice stick myself.
Sis: Beautiful, whimsical horn sounds. I often have trouble following Lancelot's narratives. It is, however, clear from this track that something untoward has occurred...
Here's some info on Sir Lancelot from Brad Beshaw's Hollywood DeathWatch Obit:
"Born Lancelot Victor Edward Pinard in Cumuto, Northern Trinidad, the boy who would become the vanguard exponent of Calypso music (years before Harry Belafonte) was already giving classical vocal recitals at age 6... "
The music I'm posting here would have hit the market in the early to mid-40's. Lancelot's honeyed, nasal tenor couldn't be more dated; but his lyrics would fit snugly into any Sean Paul single. Lancelot's singing has a distinct theatrical edge to it, hardly surprising given his extensive film career:
"His first credited role arrived courtesy of RKO producer Val Lewton, for whom Lancelot would make three pictures beginning with 1943's 'I Walked With a Zombie'. In a role more Greek Chorus than character part, Sir Lancelot provides running commentary for cast and audience alike, courtesy of the Calypso number Fort Holland (later covered by folk singer Odetta)...Following his involvement in Lewton's 'Ghost Ship' (1943) and 'Curse of the Cat People' (1944). Lancelot's acting mettle was tested under the direction of Howard Hawks, in Lauren Bacall's auspicious debut (opposite Humphry Bogart), 'To Have and Have Not'. The perfect counterpoint to this sober drama was provided by 'Zombies on Broadway' (1945), an RKO vehicle for its Abbot and Costello knock-offs, 'Carney and Brown' featuring a parody of the Fort Holland song, and a "zombie expert" played by, who else, Bela Lugosi."
Lancelot lived to the ripe old age of 98.
Buy "Trinidad Is Changing", the Lancelot greatest hits album and quite possibly the only album of his work available, from Amazon.
Explore this exhaustive Sir Lancelot fansite.