Soundtracks

All posts in the Soundtracks category

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Jeri Southern

Published May 2, 2021 by biggayhorrorfan

Late fall and early spring often find me, in some sharp sense of contemplative bliss, immersed in the music of numerous husky voiced jazz dames. This year, as the March days in Chicago alternated between gray & windy and unseasonably warm, I took special comfort in the seemingly casual, throaty stylings of Peggy Lee, Chris Connor and Jeri Southern. Their smoky tempos seemed to perfectly echo the prospect of winter’s slow yet hopeful fade.

Southern, a favorite of Frank Sinatra who retired in her late 30s due to paralyzing stage fright, became my favored discovery. Her albums like Southern Comfort not only feature amusing titular word play, but tend to highlight obscure, inventive material. Her take on Cole Porter’s well-known Dancing on the Ceiling, meanwhile, is near perfection – an expert blending of smart tune and adept stylist. 

Of course, I was soon researching her life and happily discovered that her filmography included vocalizing on A Taste of Ivory, the theme song from the twisted 1978 psychological horror show Die Sister, Die. While that performance is difficult to track down, her simple, haunting version of Every Time We Say Goodbye is sure to delight both lovers of the finely romantic and the lushly gothic, as well.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Hopelessly Devoted to: Patti LaBelle

Published January 1, 2021 by biggayhorrorfan

I have been binging the CW’s Supergirl lately. Now beginning Season Four, I think I am proficient enough in the world of otherworldly heroine-based antics to propose that if there truly were a magnificent extraterrestrial creature living among us in real time – it would most definitely be the divine Patti LaBelle.

From her electric ‘70s space age costuming to her otherworldly soprano accented vocalizing, she can even take such iconic performer identified songs like Somewhere Over the Rainbow and make them totally her own.

It’s also been rumored that countless hardcore rock ‘n roll mommas have bowed down and backed ass first out of grungy nightclubs upon hearing Labelle’s raucous Love Symphony piped over the jukebox.

Indeed, I’d place my money on Patti being the only diva that could cancel out the shitstorm of 2020 with one energetic, elastic note, ringing in 2021 with resounding, enthusiastic might.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Peter Lorre

Published December 13, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

I have mad love for all those quirky character actors from the ‘30s and ‘40s. Often cast as ne’er do wells and sophisticated villains, their talents were often broader than they were given credit for.

For example, even though he was best known for his sinister turns in M, The Stranger on the Third Floor, The Beast with Five Fingers and The Raven, the unforgettable Peter Lorre truly shone as a comic impresario. In particular, he excelled in the glorious MGM musical Silk Stockings, a reworking of Greta Garbo’s famed comedy Ninotchka.

Here, Lorre gamely attacked clever lyrics by Cole Porter…

…and even engaged in a dance specialty or two!

Now, one has to wonder what Boris Karloff and Vincent Price might have added to the mix here.

Ponder that…and until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Connie Francis

Published November 29, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

In Great Pretenders – My Strange Love Affair with ‘50s Pop Music, her emotionally engaging memoir about her surprise life resurrection via the oft criticized radio hits of simpler times, critic and poet Karen Schoemer talks of the romantic, operatic essence of many Connie Francis love ballads, particularly Where The Boys Are.

But Schoemer also smartly makes note of the wild range of Francis’ material. Indeed, Francis knew how to add a little stomp and growl to a recording, making her a true, often unheralded rock ‘n roll momma.

This eclectic singer was even honored in one of the most memorable scenes in 1996’s The Craft. There, Helen Shaver’s recently economically liberated Grace buys a jukebox that plays nothing but Connie Francis singles!

But considering Francis’ otherworldly talent (and Asimov-ian choices in romantic partners), that celluloid sequence really comes as no surprise…

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Chris Connor

Published November 22, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

With her dusky warble and effortless sense of restraint, jazz icon Chris Connors is the height of nighttime cool. Of course, as chill evening turns to desolate midnight, danger often lurks. Sometimes, that hazard even comes from within.

Connors’ take on Margo Guryan’s somber Lonely Woman truly embodies that notion. With a foreboding shriek, this number perfectly highlights the haunted reality of an all too solitary type with too many vanquished dreams.

Sharply atmospheric, this meeting between two femme wunderkinds* would fit perfectly in the background of a number of women-on-the-verge horror pieces – whether it be a modern take on Rosemary’s Baby or simply played on repeat while watching Let’s Scare Jessica to Death with that film’s sound pulled down to zero.

*Guryan is a highly regarded cult figure who wrote a number of successful ‘60s singles. Her oft reissued recording Take a Picture is loftily regarded by many music connoisseurs, as well.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Vanessa Williams

Published November 1, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Initially gaining fame as a model and television actress, the uber talented Vanessa Williams eventually branched out into the worlds of pop music…and Broadway stardom! Grimm’s Brothers aficionados were probably awestruck by her witch in the revival of Into the Woods, while the rest of the world may have still been reeling from her sexy attack on the pop laced numbers from her debut album.

Nicely, this number even made it into a Perry Mason television film. (Talk about a flashy take on recycling!)

Most recently, this modern day diva brought her years of performing experience to a gloriously demented fruition in Bad Hair, a delightfully twisted original Hulu horror extravaganza.

https://www.vanessawilliams.com/

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Scott Free

Published September 6, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

On the rare moments when one is able twist a thought or two away from the many social disasters that are plaguing us, it’s easy to remember that the world is actually populated with a ton of cool people. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you got to associate with one or two of them. LGBTQIA musician and activist Scott Free has been a longstanding voice for queer artists in Chicago, hosting a decades long performance showcase called Homolatte and being a very loud reminder to queer festival organizers that actually booking gay acts is a necessity for their events to be a true source of pride and awareness.

A few years ago, we spent a lot of time together working on a show called Zombie Bathhouse: A Rock Musical. To this day, friends still tell me how his lyrics for that project totally nailed aspects of their own lives, a true testament to his empathy and talent. His latest work, The Last Revolution, is a social call to arms that has deservedly gotten tons of praise and attention and, as with the majority of his work, really raises an eye on the tremulous circumstances that we are now facing as a nation.

Obviously, it almost goes without saying, that It’s truly been my honor to know Scott as a collaborator and friend and it’s truly my pleasure to welcome you to visit more of his fine output at http://www.scottfree.net/ and http://www.zombiebathhouse.net/.

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!www.facebook.com/biggayhorrorfan

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Isaac Hayes

Published July 26, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Isaac Hayes_Courtesy of Stax Archives (2)

A generation knew the iconic Isaac Hayes as the deep voiced patriarch behind South Park’s love-fetching Chef. Music fiends, meanwhile, adored him for his revolutionary soundtrack to Shaft, perhaps one of the most cherished and influential celluloid musical foundations of all time.

Perhaps surprisingly to some, Hayes had a large body of acting credits, with many notches on his genre belt, as well. Films like Escape from New York, Guilty as Charged, Acting on Impulse and the Larry Cohen-William Lustig partnered Uncle Sam all benefited greatly from his unique and powerful presence.

Dying at the (far too young) age of 65 in 2008, Hayes’ multi-faceted career is thankfully and continually being honored at www.isaachayes.com and https://www.facebook.com/isaachayes.

Isaac Uncle Sam

Hayes in Uncle Sam

 

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Music to Make Horror Movies By: Theresa Harris

Published June 15, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Theresa Harris Main

Theresa Harris should reside fondly in the hearts of those who adore classic horror. After making bright appearances in two moody terror fests from legendary producer Val Lewton, Cat People and I Walked with a Zombie, she went on to appear on an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and in such noir-flecked extravaganzas as The File on Thelma Jordan.

Unfortunately, prejudice kept her from ascending to the cinematic heights that she deserved. But those in the know recognize her as a true triple threat – a fine actress, dancer and singer!

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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Theresa I Walked With A Zombie

Music to Make Horror Movies By: Lou Rawls

Published June 7, 2020 by biggayhorrorfan

Lou Rawls

As protests against this country’s deadly racism rightfully rage on, it almost feels wrong to post about favorite instances of entertainment. But I thought that maybe in acknowledgement of these injustices, I could highlight some of the world’s amazing Black talent this week…those amazing individuals who have given us joy throughout the good and the bad, the fair and the (all too frequently) unfair.

Lou AutographIn the summer of 1984, I won a scholarship to study acting for the summer at Chautauqua Institution in Western New York. The students were given free passes to all of the theater and concert events that occurred throughout those two months on campus and, when I wasn’t in classes or rehearsal, I was often at the outdoor amphitheater. One night, Lou Rawls was performing his show. It was a number of years after his songs like Lady Love and You’ll Never Find had ruled the AM airways, but he was still a major star. After the show, my buddy Steve and I went to the stage door and he kindly chatted with us for a moment and signed our copies of the institute’s paper that had announced his presence for the evening. For a kid from a small farm town of 600, it was an exciting night, and Rawls has always had a special place in my memories in the many years since.

Of course, the fact that Rawls made appearances in such ‘90s genre films as Watchers Reborn, Morella and The Code Conspiracy, throws him into a special category, as well. Significantly, he also sang the theme song for Laurence Harvey’s odd 1974 cannibalism shocker Welcome to Arrow Beach. His songs have been featured in Disturbia and an episode of Ash Vs. The Evil Dead as well.

Rawls (1933-2006), an activist with a special interest in the education of minorities and the disadvantaged, performed with dignity and style for over 50 of his 72 years. I hope the songs that I have selected here not only highlight the uncertain hope of these times, but the breadth of his talent, as well.

http://www.lourawls.com/

Lou Rawls Watchers Reborn

Rawls and Mark Hamill in Watchers Reborn

Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

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