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This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Goodnight everyone, and have a someone to cling to you, sing to you weekend!

Goodnight everyone!


"Aaah, summer - that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days, free of responsibility and rife with possibility. It's a time to hunt for insects, master handstands, practice swimming strokes, conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies, and make new friends."

Darell Hammond, founder and CEO of KaBOOM!, an innovative nonprofit based in Washington, D.C, that brings volunteers and community members together to build playgrounds for children across the country



It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night feature on This Just In.

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

Let's smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday. We do this EVERY Friday to show that despite what’s being passed off as art today that there’s still all kinds of great music at your disposal.

Summer, glorious summer is here, although it certainly hasn’t felt like it all that much. Bright, warm times are ahead. Tonight, after a long dreary dreadful winter and spring, we celebrate those lazy, hazy, crazy days.

One of the biggest popular recordings of all-time was about summer. A beautiful instrumental, it surged to # 1 in early 1960 and stayed there for nine straight weeks.  The record sold more than any other in 1960 and won a Grammy Award. The bandleader released another version in 1969 featuring a female chorus. And still another rendition was released in the mid 70’s.

You know what was happening in pop music at that time. Like it or not, disco was hot, and everybody, everybody was getting involved, even Percy Faith. So what happens when you take a lush, lovely movie theme, one of the most well-known melodies ever and give it a disco theme?


 





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Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve always enjoyed that bouncy, up-tempo transformation of a classic. Lending to disco’s success was a formula that contemporized famous old songs by injecting a modern sound that was danceable. Suddenly kids were out on the floor dancing to all new versions of tunes from eras decades ago that their parents and grandparents first enjoyed.

Some might consider Summer Place ’76 butchery, a travesty. But Percy Faith may have thought differently, viewing it as a chance to expose his gigantic smash to a whole new audience, or an effort to keep up with the times. Summer Place ’76 was released just a few months before Faith died in February of 1976.

Just before that disco period, a group of over 30 studio musicians was formed called MFSB, or
Mother Father Sister Brother. They provided the orchestrated Philly soul sound that was so popular there was plenty of session work available. The huge ensemble backed the O'Jays, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, the Stylistics and the Spinners. Their theme song to the nationally syndicated dance show Soul Train, "T.S.O.P." ("The Sound of Philadelphia"), soared to #1.

MFSB’s version of a George Gershwin standard opens with a sultry sax and soft strings that eventually lead to exploding guitar licks, percussion and horns and a treatment of “Summertime” like you’ve never heard before.


 






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Time now to slow it down with another summer classic, this one also from a movie. An internet movie site offers this brief synopsis of the 1971 film:

“During his summer vacation on Nantucket Island in 1942, a youth eagerly awaiting his first sexual encounter finds himself developing an innocent love for a young woman awaiting news on her soldier husband's fate in WWII.”

When you think of soundtracks, a few names immediately come to mind. One of them is Henry Mancini.






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To be clear, Mancini did not do the original soundtrack. That honor goes to Michael Legrand. But who can argue with Mancini’s arrangement.

We head from Nantucket to Rio and a live concert with the wonderful Diana Krall and a 60’s hit, “So Nice,” also known as “Summer Samba.”



 





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Yes, that is so very nice!

We’ve featured legendary artist Ramsey Lewis on our Friday night feature in the past. He’s been performing, according to one bio, since he was 15 back in 1950. Already an established musician in the mid-60’s, Lewis saw two of his band members leave to form their own group. The pianist brought on Cleveland Easton
to play bass and Maurice White to play the drums. Then in 1970, White left to start his own band. But they’d collaborate again.

In 1972, Lewis moved from Chess records to Columbia where White was recording with his group. You may have heard of Earth, Wind and Fire. White would produce Lewis' 1974 album “Sun Goddess.” Other members of EW&F also joined in and “Sun Goddess” gave Lewis’s career another big boost.










http://www.connollyco.com/discography/ramsey_lewis/sungoddess_hi.jpg


That’s it for this week’s segment.

Goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a…

Psst.

Just a minute, folks.

Psssssst.

There’s someone wanting my attention.

Daddy?

Yes, Kyla?

Can I ask you a question?

Well, Kyla, I’m kind of busy right now.

Are you doing music?

As a matter of fact, I am.


Can you do a song for me?

I’m just finishing up here…

Can you do a song for me?

But…

Please?

Kyla. I’m…

Please?


Kyla, I’ll play all the music on the computer for you that you want after I’m done.

But I want a song now.

I just put together a theme.

A theme? What’s a theme?

Well, a theme is a topic that is repeated. In a way, it’s the same.

The same?

Yes. All the songs I’m sharing have something that’s similar about them.

Like what?

The music I picked for this theme has something to do with summer.

SUMMER?

Yes, summer.

SUMMERRRRRRRR?

Yes, summerrrrr.


You mean, when it gets warmmmmmmm?

Yes, when it gets…wait a minute.

Daddy, I know!

What?

Could you play (whisper whisper whisper)?

You mean you want to hear that…again?

AGAIN!

Ahem. As I was saying. Goodnight everyone and have a great weekend.

I present, by request, our close.


YAY DADDY!

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Note: Next week's Goodnight feature will be posted on Thursday, July 3.
 

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