The idea of "covering" hit songs, other artists quickly recording their own versions when the song was hot and popular, was nothing new from the 1920's to the 1960's. It resulted in multiple versions of some songs sitting on the pop or country charts at the same time. In other cases, the songs would be recorded by artists in other genres, Time might would pass before these versions were recorded and released. The practice eventually faded as the nature of pop music changed, unless the songs were interpreted in a completely different way (like easy listening or orchestral versions of Beatles songs).
Adam West will be missed. His film and TV career pre-Batman led to the role that in some ways made him and in others, eternally stereotyped him. West's ability to break those shackles with comedic roles, most notably as the loopy, bizarre version of himself he played as the Mayor of Quahog, RI in Family Guy, was a study in persistence.
Harry Belafonte, singer, actor and political activist, turns 90 today.
Born March 1, 1927, the Harlem-born Harold George Bellanfanti, Jr. was the child of biracial parents. His mother had Jamaican and white roots; his father was of Jewish and Martinique ancestry. After World War II Navy service, he gravitated to the black theater and became friendly with unknown actor Sidney Portier, studying drama with Portier, Tony Curtis, Bea Arthur, Rod Steiger and Marlon Brando.
To fund his schooling, he sang in New York City clubs including the famous jazz club the Royal Roost, leading to the first phase of his musical career. We'll look at his music and activism and shed light into some obscure aspects of his musical career.