Over the last year we’ve continued to keep you updated on the craziness and creativity that is Our Hit Parade. The live top-ten countdown show is a cabaret created by Tony nominee and Obie winner Kenny Mellman (Kiki & Herb), Bridget Everett, Neal Medlyn, producer and MTV cameraman Brendan Kennedy, and writers Ada Calhoun and Peter Schjeldahl. It is inspired by the musical sketch series Your Hit Parade that ran on radio and then television from 1935 to 1959. On that show, cast members performed the week’s most popular songs as comically literal skits. Today the show is performed as cabaret with a rotating cast of guest musicians in New York City.
Take one part punk, mix in one part glam, one part heavy metal and a whole lot of teenage sass and you get the perfect rock’n’roll band: The Runaways. Remarkably young – the oldest members of the band were 17 upon the release of their eponymous first record – the band dissolved amongst a haze of drug abuse and musical differences after four studio albums. Joan Jett continued to hold the punk torch post-breakup, building a successful career backed by the Blackhearts. Now indie rock’n’punk connoisseurs Main Man Records have compiled an extensive two-disc tribute celebrating the music of the Runaways.
The release is not without controversy. Jett and singer Cherie Currie have sued to block the release complaining that the label has used their names to promote the album without permission. Somewhat fitting given that in their time the stories that swirled around the band often overshadowed the music they made.