WPON-AM 1460 - Insane World Of Mike Sain - A Fifth Of Beethoven - September 27, 2006

The "Insane World Of Mike Sain" airs every Wednesday at 9:00 AM Eastern Time on WPON-AM 1460 Detroit. Today's program featured oldies pop tunes based on classical music compositions by Ludwig van Beethoven, Frederic Chopin, Amilcare Ponchielli, George Gershwin, Gioacchino Rossini, Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky, and Richard Strauss. Also, Happy Birthday wishes go out to Crazy Al whose birthday is today.

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  • Walter Murphy's "A Fifth Of Beethoven," which topped the charts in 1976, is a disco version of the first movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony. "A Fifth Of Beethoven" was used as part of the soundtrack for the 1977 movie, "Saturday Night Fever."

  • The Seekers' "Emerald City" is sung to the melody of the last movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony (a.k.a. "Ode To Joy"). "Emerald City" was released as a single in 1967 (Columbia DB-8313 b/w "Music Of The World A-Turnin'"). This song never charted in the US but reached #50 on the UK charts in 1967.

  • The Beatles' noncharting "Because" is from their "Abbey Road" album (1969). "Because" was inspired by the first movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.

  • Barry Manilow's 1975 smash hit, "Could It Be Magic," starts and ends with Chopin's Prelude in C Minor. Donna Summers later also charted with a disco version of "Could It Be Magic" in 1976.

  • "A Song Of Joy" by Spanish-born singer Miguel Rios is another pop tune that is based on the last movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. "A Song Of Joy" was a Top 40 pop hit in 1970 and it topped the Adult Contemporary charts that same year.

  • Allan Sherman debuted on the charts in 1963 with the smash hit, "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! (A Letter From Camp)." This song is a funny letter sung to the tune of Amilcare Ponchielli's "Dance Of The Hours" (from his 1876 opera, "La Gioconda"). Allan Sherman charted in 1964 with another song, "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! (A Letter From Camp) (New 1964 Version)." This sequel has the same tune but different words from the original 1963 song.

  • The Marcels are best remembered for the oldies classic, "Blue Moon." Their 1961 hit, "Summertime," is a doo-wop rendition of the George Gershwin song which is from his opera, "Porgy and Bess" (1935). "Summertime" also charted for Billie Holiday (1936), Sam Cooke (1957), Rick Nelson (1962), the Chris Columbo Quartet (1963) and Billy Stewart (1966). It also became a hit for Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass in 1971 on the Adult Contemporary charts.

  • Spike Jones and His City Slickers was a zany band from the 1940s-early 1950s that specialized mainly in funny renditions of old classics. Their "William Tell Overture," which was a Top 10 hit in 1948, is a horse race commentary with music from the famous "Lone Ranger" theme in the background. The "Lone Ranger" theme is an adaptation of the overture from Gioacchino Rossini's 1829 opera, "Guillaume Tell" (William Tell).

  • "Nut Rocker" (1962) by B. Bumble and the Stingers is an instrumental rock and roll version of Tchaikovsky's "March of the Wooden Soldiers" from the Nutcracker Suite. Jack B. Nimble and the Quicks had a minor hit with this song in 1962 (peaking at only #115). This song later also charted for Emerson, Lake and Palmer in 1972 (as "Nutrocker").

  • Deodato's 1973 smash hit, "Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)," is a funky orchestral arrangement of the Richard Strauss symphonic tone poem, "Also Sprach Zarathustra" (1896). The original Strauss composition was used as the main theme for the 1968 movie, "2001: A Space Odyssey." The Berlin Philharmonic also charted with a symphonic version of "Also Sprach Zarathustra" in 1970.

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