Stone & Stine (City of Angels)

Music by Cy Coleman Lyrics by David Zippel Book by Larry Gelbart ''It's as though I was hit by a wrecking ball wearing a pinky ring'' -- Stone City of Angels was an ambitious and well-received musical comedy that wowed them on Broadway in 1989, written by Larry (M*A*S*H) Gelbart, with music by Cy Coleman and lyrics … Continue reading Stone & Stine (City of Angels)

“Babes and Bullets” by Lou Rawls

1989, Words and Music by Desiree Goyette and Ed Bogas Performed by Lou Rawls Hardly the most impressive track from Lou Rawls' long and distinguished career, but this little earworm served its purpose.  Clocking in at just a minute and change, it was the theme (and only song) in the 1989 animated television special, Garfield's … Continue reading “Babes and Bullets” by Lou Rawls

Hidden Tracks

Private Eye TV Shows... with Real! Live! Rockers! Yeah, we all know it's only rock and roll. But we like it. Still, in the decades before Midnight Special and MTV, the fusion of rock and TV drama had always been iffy, if not downright embarrassing. Think of rock and roll and television as fraternal twins, … Continue reading Hidden Tracks

Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice Playlist

As Chosen By the Master Himself Thomas Pynchon actually compiled a playlist of sorts for his 2009 novel, Inherent Vice, as an Amazon Exclusive. It was definitely and infinitely weird and eclectic, a wide-ranging hodge-podge of musical digressions, rounding up everyone from Roy Rogers and Frank Sinatra to The Doors and The Beach Boys, from bossa … Continue reading Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice Playlist

“Call on Me” by Glenn Frey

1993, Words and Music by Glenn Frey and Jack Tempchin To be honest, this isn't all that great a song, but it has the distinction of being the theme song for a television private eye show that was not just sung by the star, but WRITTEN by the star. Not that the TV show in … Continue reading “Call on Me” by Glenn Frey

“Hank Janson Blues” by Anne Shelton

1953, Words and Music by Peter Cornish and George Korel As recorded by as recorded by Anne Shelton & Hank Janson With Johnny Franz (piano) & Wally Stott and his Orchestra The Hank Janson books, about a hard-boiled Chicago newspaperman (and later, a hard-boiled private eye) were so popular in the U.K. in the 1940's … Continue reading “Hank Janson Blues” by Anne Shelton

D Hunter

Created by Nelson George Stop me if you've heard this one before... Professional bodyguard D HUNTER (no period after the "D," please) is a tough, street-smart African-American cat with a penchant for wearing shades and black clothing. He's alternately angry and cryptic, distrustful of authority but, of course, stone cold fucking cool; the strong, silent … Continue reading D Hunter

How Does It Feel?

Bob Dylan and Crime Fiction The man in the trench coat Badge out, laid off Says he's got a bad cough Wants to get it paid off... -- Subterranean Homesick Blues (aka "The Case of the Missing Pump Handles) Bob Dylan and his music have always had ties to crime and detective fiction. On his … Continue reading How Does It Feel?

How Does It Feel? Revisited

Private eye titles lifted from Bob Dylan lyrics The Dylan/private eye connection continues. I've just started fooling around with this one, so any suggestions and/or comments are more than welcome.... Amphetamines and Pearls (1976, by John Harvey, featuring private eye Scott Mitchell) From "Just Like a Woman" The Geranium Kiss (1977, by John Harvey, featuring … Continue reading How Does It Feel? Revisited

My Scrapbook: Bob Dylan, Private Eye?

My Scrapbook Bob Dylan, Private Eye? Back in September 2018, Ayun Halliday (no relation to Brett) and Todd Alcott of Open Culture (the self-proclaimed "best free cultural and educational media on the web") had a little (okay, a lot of) fun at Bob Dylan's expense, presenting "Classic Songs by Bob Dylan Re-Imagined as Pulp Fiction Book Covers," featuring text … Continue reading My Scrapbook: Bob Dylan, Private Eye?