Category Archives: Nostalgia

’68 Comeback

Recorded in late June in ‘Burbank’, ‘California’, the special, called simply ‘Elvis’, aired on December 3, 1968. Later known as the ’68 Comeback Special’, the show featured lavishly staged studio productions as well as songs performed with a band in front of a small audience — ‘Presley’ first live performances since (1961).

The live segments saw ‘Presley’ clad in tight black leather, singing and playing guitar in an uninhibited style reminiscent of his early rock-and-roll days. ‘Bill Belew’, who designed this outfit, gave it a ‘Napoleonic’ standing collar (Presley customarily wore high collars because he believed his neck looked too long), a design feature that he would later make a major trademark of the outfits ‘Presley’ wore on stage in his later years. Director and coproducer ‘Steve Binder’ had worked hard to reassure the nervous singer and to produce a show that was far from the hour of ‘Christmas’ songs ‘Parker’ had originally planned.

The show, ‘NBC’ highest rated that season, captured 42 percent of the total viewing audience. ‘Jon Landau’ of ‘Eye magazine’ remarked, “There is something magical about watching a man who has lost himself find his way back home. He sang with the kind of power people no longer expect of rock ‘n’ roll singers. He moved his body with a lack of pretension and effort that must have made Jim Morrison green with envy.” Dave Marsh calls the performance one of “emotional grandeur and historical resonance.”

God Bless the USA

‘American’ patriotic song written and recorded by country music artist ‘Lee Greenwood’, and is considered to be his signature song. The first album it appears on is (1984) “You’ve Got a Good Love Comin'”. It reached No. 7 on the ‘Billboard’ magazine ‘Hot Country Singles’ chart when originally released in the spring of (1984), and was played at the (1984) ‘Republican National Convention’ with President ‘Ronald Reagan’ and first lady ‘Nancy Reagan’ in attendance, but the song gained greater prominence during the ‘Gulf War’ in (1990) and (1991), as a way of boosting morale.

The popularity of the song rose sharply after the ‘September 11’ attacks and during the (2003) invasion of ‘Iraq’, and the song was re-released as a single, re-entering the country music charts at No. 16 and peaking at No. 16 on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ pop chart in (2001). ‘Greenwood’ said that he “wanted to write it my whole life. When I got to that point, we were doing 300 days a year on the road, and we were on our fourth or fifth album on MCA. I called my producer, and I said I have a need to do this. I’ve always wanted to write a song about America, and I said we just need to be more united.” The reason behind the cities chosen in the song ‘Greenwood’ says, “I’m from California, and I don’t know anybody from Virginia or New York, so when I wrote it—and my producer and I had talked about it—[we] talked about the four cities I wanted to mention, the four corners of the United States. It could have been Seattle or Miami but we chose New York City and Los Angeles, and he suggested Detroit and Houston because they both were economically part of the basis of our economy—Motortown and the oil industry, so I just poetically wrote that in the bridge.”

A music video was released for this song in (1984), depicting ‘Greenwood’ as a farmer who loses the family farm. The video was produced and edited by ‘L.A. Johnson’ and directed by ‘Gary Burden’. A second video was released in (1991), also on ‘VHS’, and was directed by ‘Edd Griles’. A third music video was also released after the ‘September 11’ (2001) attacks.

“God Bless the USA” debuted on the ‘Hot Country Singles & Tracks’ chart for the week of May 26, (1984).

About Nothing

‘Seinfeld’ ran for nine seasons on ‘NBC’ from July 5, (1989), to May 14, (1998). It was created by ‘Larry David’ and ‘Jerry Seinfeld’.

Set predominantly in an apartment block in ‘Manhattan Upper West Side’ in ‘New York City’, the show features a handful of ‘Jerry’ friends and acquaintances, particularly best friend ‘George Costanza’ [Jason Alexander], former girlfriend ‘Elaine Benes’ [Julia Louis-Dreyfus], and neighbor across the hall ‘Cosmo Kramer’ [Michael Richards].

A critical favorite, commercial blockbuster and cultural phenomenon, the show led the ‘Nielsen’ ratings in its sixth and ninth seasons. ‘Seinfeld’ began as a 23 minute pilot named ‘The Seinfeld Chronicles’. Created by standup comedian ‘Jerry Seinfeld’ and writer ‘Larry David’, developed by ‘NBC’ executive ‘Rick Ludwin’, and produced by ‘Castle Rock Entertainment’.

The pilot was filmed at ‘Stage 8’ of ‘Desilu Cahuenga studios’, the same studio where ‘The Dick Van Dyke Show’ was filmed.

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Smart Society

Drama film “Dead Poets Society” directed by ‘Peter Weir’ in (1989) and starring ‘Robin Williams’. Set at the conservative and aristocratic ‘Welton Academy’ in ‘Vermont’ in (1959) it tells the story of an ‘English’ teacher who inspires his students through his teaching of poetry.

The film was critically acclaimed and was nominated for many awards. The critical reaction to this film has been favorable. ‘The Washington Post’ reviewer called it “solid, smart entertainment”, and praised ‘Robin Williams’ for giving a “nicely restrained acting performance”. ‘The New York Times’ also praised ‘Williams’ “exceptionally fine performance”, while noting that “Dead Poets Society… is far less about Keating than about a handful of impressionable boys”.

“Dead Poets Society” won the ‘Academy Award’ for ‘Best Original Screenplay’ (Tom Schulman). ‘Peter Weir’ received a nomination for Best Director and the film itself was nominated for ‘Best Picture’ of (1989). ‘Robin Williams’ received his second ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ nomination and it has since been widely recognized as one of the actor/comedian best roles.

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Jones Fantasy

‘Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom’ is a (1984) adventure film directed by ‘Steven Spielberg’.

Producer and co-writer ‘George Lucas’ decided to make the film a prequel as he did not want the ‘Nazis’ to be the villains again. After three rejected plot devices, ‘Lucas’ wrote a film treatment that resembled the film final storyline.

The film was released to financial success but mixed reviews, which criticized its violence, later contributing to the creation of the PG-13 rating. However, critical opinion has improved since (1984), citing the film intensity and imagination.