This Girl’s On Fire

If Thompson Twins are remembered for anything, it’s for being on of the weirder-looking 80’s bands. When we look back with a cringe at the depths of 80’s hairstyling depravity, Alannah Currie is never far away. Besides her massive curls, Currie also favored gaudy makeup … Continue reading This Girl’s On Fire

This Could Be the Start of Something Big

I thought I knew most of the movers and shakers both behind and in front of the cameras, but there’s always an unsung entertainment industry great who I’ve never heard of. For example, I had no idea who Steve Allen was until today, and now I know, because I was researching an Ella Fitzgerald song, and thought I knew most of the composers of the Great American Songbook. Well, then there’s Steve Allen. In the 1950’s he created America’s first-ever, and for a many years, only, late night talk show: The Tonight Show, still going strong since 1954. Besides creating an entertainment format that is now ubiquitous, being its first host and writing his own theme song, Allen was a prolific composer who frequently wrote for film and television. His best known song is the one he wrote for his nascent talk-show project; although the show moved on to different intro music, the song was picked up and popularized by vocalists like Fitzgerald, and joined the canon of jazz standards. It seems like a pretty inauspicious beginning for a great standard; television was far from a prestigious gig back then, and no one expected a talk show aimed at night-owls, or its theme song, to make a cultural impact on anyone except said insomniacs. I don’t watch a lot of late night talk shows, but I’ve seen enough to have an opinion about who’s hosting The Tonight Show, and it seems that a lot of people who don’t even like the format still know enough about it to have an opinion too. So that’s what you call cultural impact.