Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Valentine

Music History Monday: Frankie and Johnny, and Helen and Lee

I am aware that Valentine’s Day is already 5 days past, but darned if the romantic warm ‘n’ fuzzies aren’t still lingering with me like a rash from poison oak. As such, I will be excused for offering up what I will admit is a belated, but nevertheless Valentine’s Day-related post. Gratitude We should all be grateful that the following Valentine’s Day-related post is not on the lines of those blogs I wrote in 2010 and 2011, blogs written for various websites in my attempt to drum up sales for my Great Courses/Teaching Company Courses. For example, I wrote a couple of Valentine’s Day-themed blogs in 2011, one for Huffpost and the other for J-Date, as in “Jewish-Dating.” For those posts – entitled “Romantic Music” – I was tasked with recommending appropriately “romantic” music for an intimate, tête-à-tête Valentine’s Day evening. This is how they began: “Fresh flowers, chilled champagne, and a candlelight dinner for two; the stereotypical trappings of a successful Valentine’s Day evening. But the sensual menu is still incomplete: smell, taste, touch, and sight are covered, but proper sound is still wanting. Yes indeed, music, the purported feast of the gods, the indispensable aural lubricant for romance, […]

Continue Reading

Music History Monday: Worst Love Songs (A Few at Least!)

On February 14, 1992 – an even 30 years ago today – the Paramount Pictures movie Wayne’s World was released in the United States. It was both a critical and commercial success. It became the tenth highest grossing film of 1992, raking in $183,097,323 at the box office. (For our information, number one that year was Disney’s Aladdin, which brought in a most respectable $504,050,219 at the box office; that’s over half-a-billion 1992 dollars!) To this day, Wayne’s World remains the highest-grossing film based on a sketch from Saturday Night Live. (The list of such other SNL-inspired flicks includes The Blues Brothers [with John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd, 1980; to be discussed in next week’s Dr. Bob Prescribes post], Coneheads [with Dan Ackroyd and Jane Curtin, 1993], It’s Pat [with Julia Sweeny, 1994], Stuart Saves his Family [with Al Franken, 1995]; and A Night at the Roxbury [with Will Ferrell, 1998].)  With my own fond memories of the film, I played Wayne’s World last year for my then 12- and 14-year-old kids. Sadly, it did not go well, as the movie has not aged well. Then again, neither has Mike Myers nor yours truly. Wayne’s World featured appearances by the […]

Continue Reading