Monday, August 30, 2010

Behind the Hits -- Bob Shannon & John Javna

This is my kind of book, nearly 250 pages of anecdotes and interviews about how hundreds of songs came to be written and recordings came to be made. There's the story of how a #1 hit was written to kill time during a blackout in NYC and the one about how Tommy Boyce got "Be My Guest" to Fats Domino" and the one about how a #1 song from 1965 was actually recorded as a practice track at 4:00 A. M. The stories, like the hits, just keep on coming. I can't resist stuff like that. since the book was published in the mid-1980s, there are no stores from after that time, but that didn't bother me at all. I'm an Old Guy, so the era I care about is covered quite well.

Thanks to Jeff Meyerson for calling this one to my attention.


Anonymous said...

I knew you'd love it. Bob Shannon has a zillion of these stories and he's a great guy too; he once took my request and played "Hey Leroy, Your Mama's Calling You" by the Jimmy Castor Bunch.


Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

Javna is an expert on TV theme songs and he also wrote a great book entitled Cult TV.

Bob Shannon said...

Bill and Jeff: Thanks for the very kind words! Although the book is long out of print it seems to maintain a following -- and I continue its heritage with Behind The Hits features on my radio shows.

P.S. Credit to John Javna too -- he is an extraordinary pop culturalist!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the comment, Bob. I loved the book.

Brian Phillips said...

I still have this book. At the time of it's printing, it was one of the few of it's kind and I still refer to it, now that I have my own internet radio show.

Thank you Mr. Shannon and Mr. Javna for many months of enjoyment and information. Who would have thought that a hamburger would have indirectly inspired, Melanie's "Brand New Key"?

dq said...

Great book! You can hear more stories about the songs from the 50's and 60's on The Ultimate Oldies Show, heard on seven radio stations and archived at Enjoy!