Apr 022019
 
fallon roots doo-wop

About a decade ago, I was walking down 23rd Street in Manhattan, when suddenly, without warning, a group of teenagers in front of me burst into song. To my surprise, they belted out the doo-wop classic “In the Still of the Night.” I immediately texted my father, a lifelong fan of the tune, saying I thought the scene was emblematic of just how well the track has endured.

“In the Still of the Night” was first recorded by the Five Satins in 1956. The song was not a huge hit upon its release. But with its memorable chorus and perfect doo-wop harmonies, it has grown more popular through time. In the ‘80s, WCBS-FM (New York City’s oldies station) repeatedly listed the song in the number one spot on its annual Top 500 countdown. Around the same time, the song appeared on the 1987 mega-selling Dirty Dancing soundtrack. There have been a number of covers over the years, most notably by Philly soulsters Boyz II Men, who gave it the “Cooley High” treatment in 1992.

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Nov 142011
 

We’ve seen him impersonate Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and the Boss with uncanny accuracy. On his show Friday night, Jimmy Fallon debuted his latest classic-rock icon: Jim Morrison. He fronted a Doors tribute band through, as always, a brilliant novelty cover: the theme from Reading Rainbow. Continue reading »

Oct 312011
 

Justin Timberlake appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon over the weekend. As it has twice before (here and here), the occasion necessitated a look at the “History of Rap.” The duo once more busted a move dropping lines from classic hip-hip tracks with the Roots backing. Continue reading »

Jul 202011
 

Last September, Justin Timberlake appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and blew all our minds with a hip-hop medley. Timberlake appeared on Fallon again last night and gave the crowd what they wanted: a sequel. Continue reading »

May 262011
 

After that brilliant “Whip My Hair” with Bruce Springsteen, it was hard to know where Jimmy Fallon’s spot-on Neil Young impression could go. Going back to solo performances would seem anti-climactic, and trying to one-up that performance – well, you can’t really one-up Bruce Springsteen. Continue reading »

Apr 042011
 

We’ve seen Friday reimagined as a dark narrative about loneliness. We’ve seen it parodied in songs like Thursday. We’ve even seen it played by an orchestra. Leave it to Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon to pay homage by doing the craziest thing of all: adding more fun.

The back story is slightly complicated, but the important thing is that Fallon’s fans were able to raise $26,000 for charity, forcing Colbert to come on the show and sing the maligned Rebecca Black “song.” Colbert starts by crooning alone, on a pitch black stage, his voice choked with emotion. This is the performance one might expect – as it seems completely unexpected. Of course Colbert would come on the show and totally make fun of the song by turning it into a broken-hearted, country-tinged love song. Continue reading »