Friday, May 23, 2008


Listen to THE RIDDLER by Mel Tormé.
Listen to WONDER WOMAN by C. Fox, N. Gimbel.

Jason dropping in.

What a strange coincidence. In my last post, I referred to Scopitone - the jukebox that projects 16mm film and is forever associated with French film and the swinging 60s....

....and for this post, I wanted to share two tracks from a compilation made by the owners of the "Sounds of Seduction" nightclub that has been running in Sydney, Australia, for more than 10 years. I used to love that club when I lived there. I just couldn't remember the name of the venue that housed it. Google not only found me the name - the Landsdowne Hotel -but also told me that they now run Scopitone nights as well.


Sounds of Seduction was (is?) basically one big wig out to an Austin Powers vibe. And the two tracks I chose from this compilation are worth calling out for their interest as much as their groove.

With "The Riddler", you need to put aside the lame gags from The Riddler himself - Frank Gorshin. Focus instead on the music of Tormé - the jazz legend known as "The Velvet Fog". Surely the lyrics were the only thing stopping this from becoming a classic!

If it surprises you that Tormé had a hand in this (I have no idea about the backstory on this one), then check out the next song as we move from Batman to Wonder Woman. The theme song from the TV show with Lynda Carter. Oh Lynda....we'll always have '76....

Charles Fox composed the theme tune to that 70s television show. But its the lyricist, Norman Gimbel that provides the interest. Wikipedia describes it best:

"In 1963, Gimbel was introduced by music publisher Lou Levy to a group of young Brazilian bossa nova composers, including Antônio Carlos Jobim, Luiz Bonfá and Baden Powell, for whose works he started writing English-language lyrics. Most notably, he created the lyrics for...."The Girl from Ipanema" (turning it into a top hit for Astrud Gilberto).
Fox and Gimbel had other collaborations: they did the theme tunes to "Laverne and Shirley" and "Happy Days". But its strange to think they could go from "Wonder Woman" to "Killing me Softly" by Roberta Flack (although not Roberta Flack originally)....

This clip will give a small taste of what Sounds of Seduction was like (and the Aussies will recognise the guy with the mic - with whom I had a very bizarre "incident" over an object of his affections - but that is not for print).

Photo: Music knowledge.



bill said...

i love the frank gorshin gags!

Jason said...

you would