Director Randal Kleiser’s big-screen adaptation of the Broadway hit Grease is celebrating its 40th anniversary this April. To celebrate the occasion, TCM Big Screen Classics Presents and Fathom Events are hosting special screenings of the Oscar-nominated film in theaters across the country. Although Jim Jacob’s and Warren Casey’s original Broadway production received seven Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, Best Choreography (Birch), Best Actor (Barry Bostwick), and Best Costume Design, it was Kleiser’s film adaptation that would go down in history as an American pop-culture icon, with John Travolta (Pulp Fiction, Face/Off) and Olivia Newton-John (Xanadu, Two of a Kind) in the roles of greaser Danny Zuko and good-girl Sandy Olsson. The film received several Golden Globe nominations, including Best Picture (Musical/Comedy), Best Actor (Travolta), Best Actress (Newton-John), and Best Original Song for Frankie Valli’s “Grease” and John Farrar’s “You’re The One That I Want,” neither of which is featured in the original musical. John Farrar’s “Hopelessly Devoted To You” also earned the film an Oscar-nomination for Best Original Song. For the anniversary event, special screenings will be played at select theaters on April 8th, April 11th, and April 14th. To find showings near you, visit Fathom Events at the link below and enter your Zip Code on your preferred date, and enjoy the show!
After recently discovering the LA producer, it is quite clear what his intentions are. Influenced by the jazzy beats like J Dilla and Nujabes, Aric possesses the quality of heart felt rhythms much like his predecessors before him had. Thick textures filled with original instruments, such as the piano, guitar and drums – Aric stands out as one of the realist producers. Press play and vibe out.
As the world turns and we move through the summer, The Sylvers make their way to our weekend classics. The soulful Sylvers started to see much of their success in the early 70s after changing their name from The Little Angels. Their first three LPs (The Sylvers, The Sylvers 2, and The Sylvers 3) were produced by R&B legends Jerry Butler and Keg Johnson, landing them numerous Billboard R&B Charts.
By 1966, the group released their top selling record with Something Special, reaching number 13 on Billboard album charts. It was this album that reached out to the teeny-bopper generation. One year later, The Sylvers changed their direction and wanted to reach a more mature crowd with New Horizons.
For the next 10 years, the group released a few more records, but never saw the same success as they had throughout the early-mid 70s. For now, we picked a personal favorite below to get aquatinted with (that is if you didn’t know The Sylvers). Enjoy.
Willie Hutch is sometimes overlooked throughout the Motown era by many of the bigger names such as, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and Smokey Robinson. A lot of the limelight was overshadowed by these artists, leaving Willie to be one of the most under-appreciated artists of his time.
Willie was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Dallas. In 1964, he began his music career working with Soul City Label. In 1969, he signed with RCA records and released two records before being spotted by the producer Hal Davis; shortly thereafter, he was signed by Motown CEO Berry Gordon as a writer, arranger, producer, and musician. Willie released six albums with Motown before leaving in 1979. He was such an important artist in the industry, being that he was multi-talented. Willie was co-writting for the Jackson 5, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, and a producer on the soundtrack to The Mack.
From scouring the streets of California, to making headlines, Lakeside has seen it all. Lakeside, which formed in south-side Chicago, (hence Lakeside), was a unique group from the mid-70s and 80s. The band consisted of 9 members, all of which decided to take their own route throughout this era. After a short stint with Motown, the group decided to switch directions by signing with a new record company in, Solar Records. By signing with Solar Records, it had allowed the group to write all of their own music and truly be whom they wanted.
After releasing their second album, Shot of Love, they began to see much success with the song ”It’s All the Way Live,” which reached #4 on R&B top 100. A few years later, Fantastic Voyage, was released, which reached the #1 spot on R&B top 100. It was then, the band was known for wearing unique and goofy costumes on stage. Lakeside performed as police officers, Arabian knights, pirates, cowboys, and yes, Robin Hood. The band would go on to release 6 more successful albums, and is still active to this day. Keep it up boys, Lakeside is truly classic, and one of a kind group.
The Los Angeles based group, Rose Royce, is no secret to anyone. The groups biggest success came from the ever popular song, Car Wash, but it is no where near the caliber of their other songs. The Soul/R&B group took to the stage in the early 70s, due to the motion picture film, Car Wash. Oddly enough, this is a rare instance in Hollywood where the music was composed after the fact. The group came up with the name Rose Royce, due to the films automotive theme, shortly thereafter releasing the hit song for the film.
Rose Royce, had much success from the very beginning of their career. Their first three albums sold a million copies each. Six singles in two years had gone top ten, allowing them to hit record sales platinum in under 30 days. Just as any group, their success came to a halt right in their prime years, as the group clashed, leaving lead singer Gwen Dickey to drop out from the group. After Dickey’s departure, Rose Royce tried to re-group, but never saw the same success. Dickey decided to go solo only in the UK, and the band continues to play to this very day, so keep on dancing!
Just last year, the Ohio Players were inducted into the Official R&B Music Hall of Fame. The American R&B and Funk band out of Dayton, Ohio, has a running list of very successful albums throughout the 70s. It took the group a few years before seeing this success, as they went through some struggles that most bands go through.
After forming in 1959 as the Ohio Untouchables, the group had disbanded twice before 1970. Right after the second disbandment, they formed a third time to make the Ohio Players. By 1973 the group finally saw success with their hit single “Funky Worm”, reaching #1 on the Billboard R&B Chart. The group then had gone through another change by adding keyboardist Billy Beck and Drummer Jimmy “Diamond” Williams. For the next few years to come (mid 70s), the Ohio Players became one of the more successful groups in the business.
With three U.S Platinum records and two reaching Gold in the 70s, this group was among the most listened to bands during their time. For more, start by checking out “Fire” and “Love Rollercoaster”, which both landed #1 spots on R&B and pop charts.
Minneapolis based clothing brand Phenom has released a new lookbook via their website. The “Core Classics” collection features a few nice pieces for those looking to stay fresh yet bundled up. No word on when these will begin hitting shelves, but you can bet that it’ll be soon. Phenom has been quiet as of late, however it appears that they’ve been designing some pretty dope newness for 2014. Click the link below to check out the complete collection and stay tuned for more.