Special Sub-Topic: Song Titles (Parenthetically Speaking) II
|What early Elvis hit actually used parentheses in the title?|
(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear. "Teddy Bear" reached number one (U.S. Billboard) and stayed there for a remarkable seven weeks in an eighteen-week stay on the charts in 1957. My source is Joel Whitburn's "The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits 1955-Present ", but it's interesting to note that in Whitburn's earlier Work, "Top Pop Artists & Singles 1955-1978," he lists the song only as "Teddy Bear." I have to believe he corrected himself in the second book.
None of the other options, although all Elvis songs, included any parentheses at all.
|Rod Stewart had four parenthetically titled hit songs prior to 1983. Which one of the following options was one of them?|
Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright). This song spent 17 weeks on Billboard's Pop Chart in the U.S., peaking at number one (seven weeks) in 1976.
The not-so-veiled lyrics of "Tonight's the Night" describe the singer's foundation-laying patter attempting to seduce a young French woman into having her first sexual experience with him. I hope she held out!
|Good Heavens! Rod Stewart had another parenthetically titled song in 1977 that spent fifteen weeks and reached number four on the (U.S.) Pop Chart. I was surprised to see this song fit this category; I guess I'd never heard the parenthetical part announced on the radio, and I don't own the album/CD. Maybe you can name the song. |
You're In My Heart (The Final Acclaim). To find some interesting information for you, I Googled "You're in My Heart" + Rod Stewart, and one of the options was Songfacts.com, where someone lays out "the facts" regarding the lyrics, and anyone can post an opinion. The controversy over the lyrics and the import of "You're in My Heart (The Final Acclaim)" is fascinating. Is the song about (a) ex-wife (or is it ex-girlfriend? a sub-controversy!) Britt Eklund; (b) every woman Rod ever had a fling with, or (c) a football team? All of this hoo-hah stems from the lyric, "You're Celtic United, but baby I've decided you're the best team I've ever seen." Is THAT who's in his heart and in his soul; who'll be his breath when he grows old? Well, you know men and football!
|Which Italian language song with a parenthetical phrase received a lot of air time between 1958 and 1975, charting by four different artists?|
Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto di Blue). A guy named Domenico Modugno (I swear!) took "Volare" to number one on the U.S. Pop Chart in 1958; his version was actually titled "Nel Blu di Pinto di Blu (Volare)" -- or at least, that's what's printed in Joel Whitburn's "The Billboard Book of Top 40 Songs" under the guy's name. Under the song title, all four singers are listed as singing "Volare (Nel Blu di Pinto di Blu)". Man! You could have pulled out every one of my eyelashes and toenails and I still wouldn't have come up with that guy's name.
Interestingly, Dean Martin released his version of this song just one week after Domenico's record broke through; Dino's peaked at number 12. Bobby Rydell was next; his "Volare" went to number four in 1960. Al Martino's version reached only number 33 in 1975. My guess is we were all pretty sick of the song by then.
For extra points in some future trivia contest: "Volare. Nel blu dipinto di blu" translates roughly as "Flying. In the blue sky, painted in blue." Sounds a lot more romantic in Italian, doesn't it?
|The Moody Blues had two songs with parentheses in the titles between 1965 and 1981. One was "I'm Just A Singer (In A Rock And Roll Band)". What was the other?|
Tuesday Afternoon (Forever Afternoon). For those who weren't around in 1965, I have to tell you, this band was a jolt to Rock and Roll-dom. Justin Hayward, Ray Thomas, Graeme Edge, John Lodge and Mike Pinder were part of The British Invasion, but after "Go Now!" they started sounding very un-rockish; much more eloquent than the usual fare. As their website states, as "pioneers of concept-rock, ... they bridged the gap between classical and pop-rock genres."
The Moody Blues scored fourteen platinum and gold records. Their remarkable albums included "Days of Future Passed," "In Search of the Lost Chord," "On the Threshold of a Dream," "A Question of Balance," and "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour."
The incorrect answers were Moody Blues hits; those titles just didn't include parentheses.
|The Temptations had a parenthetically-titled hit in 1971 which spent two weeks at number one in the spring of 1971. Name that tune!|
Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me). "Just My Imagination" is the only option, of the four Temps songs listed, that used parentheses. It was one of many (at least seven by my count) songs to use the visual "aside" punctuation. Must be a Detroit thing; Aretha used them a bunch, too.
This song was one of four number one hits between 1964 and 1975 for the fantastic fivesome of David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Otis Williams, Mel Franklin, and Paul Williams.
|Three of the four Beatles released solo songs with parentheses. Let's do George Harrison first. Which of George's hits utilized the double moon-slivers that we Yanks call parentheses and the Brits call brackets (or so I'm told)?|
Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth). "Give Me Love" sat at number one for only a week in 1973, but was George's second chart-topper. ("My Sweet Lord" hit number one in 1970.) Apple label, of course.
|Okay, it's time for the Paul McCartney parenthetical song title. Which of Sir Paul's many hits used this form of punctuation?|
Coming Up (Live at Glasgow). None of the incorrect answers above utilizes parentheses. "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey" incorporates the slash, as if each half is an alternative title -- which works because the song is a medley.
"Coming Up" spent three weeks at number one on the U.S. Pop Chart (Billboard) in late spring/early summer of 1980.
What can one add about Paul McCartney that's interesting but obscure? I have it! And you'll never read this anywhere else, I promise: I was the perfect age when The Beatles arrived: thirteen. I was a "Paul" fan from the git-go. (Fortunately, my best friend was in love with George.) About eight years later, I got engaged (briefly) in college to a guy named David McCartney who looked so much like Paul that I think I agreed to marry him so that I could fulfill my adolescent dream of being "Mrs. McCartney." True story! (David, if you're reading this, sorry!)
|Our final former-Beatle-solo-song-with-parentheses question is this: What John Lennon hit followed Paul McCartney's parenthetical hit by six months?|
(Just Like) Starting Over. This number one song came out just barely a year before John Lennon was assassinated on December 8, 1981. John also had another parenthetical song title -- "Instant Karma (We All Shine On)"-- which was a hit in 1970, ten years before "(Just Like) Starting Over."
The wrong answers: No parentheses in "Whatever Gets You Through the Night"; "Woman" is a one-word title; and "Give Peace a Chance" stands alone.
|Change up: I'll give you the artist and parenthetical part of the title, and you supply the rest.
B.J. Thomas had a crossover number one hit in 1975: "(Hey Won't You Play) _____ _______ ______ _________ ______ Song"|
Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong. This last Top Ten hit of B.J.'s spent fourteen weeks on the (U.S.) Pop Chart, including one week at number one.
Born Billy Joe Thomas in Hugo, OK, in 1942, B.J.'s first hit was a remake of the classic Hank Williams tune, "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry" in 1966. It shot to number eight on the pop chart, and Dick Clark recruited B.J. for his "Cavalcade of Stars." (I saw that show!) The artist's solid link to fame was singing the Academy Award-winning Best Song, "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head," from "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." B.J.'s last Top Ten hit (number nine and 15 weeks on the charts) was "Rock and Roll Lullaby," where he was joined by the likes of Duane Eddy and The Beach Boys. The B.J.-Beach Boys segue: B.J.'s last charted song (only rose to number 17) was a cover of Brian Wilson's "Don't Worry Baby." Then B.J. Thomas slid head-first into country and from there into gospel.
|How about some '70s pop? K.C. & The Sunshine Band had five number one hits. Two of them used parentheses. One was "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty." What was the other one? |
That's The Way (I Like It). Harry Wayne Casey (KC) is lead vocalist, with two backup singers, two dancers, and nine musicians forming the "Sunshine Band." Their website calls their music "a unique fusion of R&B and funk with a hint of Latin percussion groove." Was it this band that started the "pea soup" disco beat? Uh-huh, uh-huh.
There are no parentheses in the two other songs. I hope if you picked (That's The Way), it was just a fluke. I'd hate to know you suffer from the "50-50-90 syndrome" as do I. (That's where you get down to two choices so you have a fifty-fifty chance of getting it right, but 90% of the time you pick the wrong one.) Uh-huh, uh-huh.
|What was the parenthetical addition to Paul Revere & The Raiders' 1971 number one hit "Indian Reservation"?|
(The Lament of The Cherokee Reservation Indian). Lead Singer Mark Lindsay left the band long ago, but "Paul Revere & The Raiders" are still working. The group had 15 consecutive Top 40 hits between 1961 and 1971, including "Kicks," "Hungry," and "Good Thing," but "Indian Reservation" was their only number one. They were also the featured band on "Where the Action Is," a daily after-school music fest on ABC hosted by Dick Clark.
|Movies have included several songs with parenthetical titles. The theme song to "Dirty Dancing" was sung by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. What's the title?|
(I've Had) The Time of My LIfe. All of the songs listed were in the film, but none of the incorrect options contains parentheses, and none of them was sung by Medley and Warnes.
Franke Previte (of "Franke and the Knockouts") co-wrote "The Time of My Life" with John DeNiccola. Previte was asked to write a song "about seven minutes long, starting slow, finishing fast, and having a mambo beat." No prob!
"The Time of My Life" won the Oscar for Best Original Song and a Grammy for best duet in 1987.
|Barbra Streisand wrote the melody for an Oscar-winning song for a film in which she starred. What is the name of the song that precedes the parenthetical phrase "(Love Theme From 'A Star Is Born')"?|
Evergreen. Streisand's lyricist was none other than the diminutive blonde composer, Paul Williams. It must have been a daunting task to be hired as the composer for a film starring two legendary singer/songwriters themselves: Barbra and Kris Kristofferson.
"Evergreen" won the "triple crown": an Oscar, a Grammy, and a Golden Globe.
|Two members of the 5th Dimension left the group and formed their own duo. They had a number one hit in 1977 with "You Don't Have to be a Star." What was the rest of the title? |
(To Be in My Show). Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr.'s duo wasn't as successful as the group they left, but they certainly made the rounds on the variety show/lounge circuit for years.
And who can forget Marilyn's soulful, plaintive, "Billllll! ... Come on and marry me, Bill!" from Laura Nyro's "Wedding Bell Blues" when the couple was still part of the group. Great song, and it worked; Bill married her.
Did you find these entries particularly interesting, or do you have comments / corrections to make? Let the author know!
Send the author a thank you or
Submit a correction