Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Tag: Humor and satire

"Whatever Happened to Us"
Zeroto180

“Whatever Happened to Us”: You Broke My Proverbial Heart

While Loudon Wainwright III may not be known as a “rocker,” this track from his 1975 album, Unrequited, rocks along most satisfyingly and contains a lyric with enough comical force for it to officially merit the designation “Humor & Satire“: “Whatever Happened to Us“ Loudon Wainwright III (1975) So many

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"TV Commercials"
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“TV Commercials”: ‘Mad Men’ Cautionary Tale

Don Bowman, in February 1961, presciently grasped the enormity of Madison Avenue and advertising’s outsized influence on American attitudes and marketplace behavior in his first single, “T.V. Commercials“: “T.V. Commercials” served as the B-side of “Coward at the Alamo” and, judging by its catalog number, appears to be among the last

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"Frankenstein of '59"
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“Frankenstein of ’59”: Roots of Sampling

Dickie Goodman, in partnership with Bill Buchanan, produced a series of comedic “break-in” records – newscast spoofs in which a fictitious reporter’s questions are met with carefully-selected snippets taken from the latest radio hits (i.e., early sampling).  Buchanan & Goodman‘s groundbreaking partnership, which started in 1956, sadly lasted only lasted

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"Frequency Response Test"
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Frequency Response Test – A Public Service from Zero to 180

I would love to know just how many hi-fi enthusiasts back in vinyl’s heyday relied on stereo demonstration recordings to test the performance caliber of their stereo sound system. I get the sense that National Lampoon’s Ed Subitzky found this whole business of scrutinizing the quality of your stereo output

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"Vitamin L"
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“Vitamin L”: Musically Nutritious

I remember fondly the 1970s soap opera spoof, Mary Hartman Mary Hartman — so named because show creator, Norman Lear, and his writers believed that “everything that was said on a soap opera was said twice.” Mary Kay Place recorded a Grammy-nominated album, Tonite! At the Capri Lounge, Loretta Haggers,

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"20th Century Blues"
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Lily Tomlin’s Got the 20th Century Blues

This 45 came into our household as a result of my mom, who worked in the 1970s at a mild-mannered classical music radio station by day (WGUC) that switched over to a hard rock format at the stroke of midnight (WFIB) when it ceased programming for the broadcast day.  This

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"Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga Sewing Circle, Book Review & Timing Association"
Zeroto180

Jan & Dean: Avant-Pop Pioneers?

I picked up a double album anthology of Jan & Dean‘s best work and found myself rather bemused by one particular track — and outright befuddled by an entire album side. First, the song — 1964’s “The Anaheim, Azusa & Cucamonga Sewing Circle, Book Review and Timing Association,” one of

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