For obvious reasons the 1976 song entitled The Rubberband Man has found itself back in the spotlight. Since it makes a memorable appearance in a very popular film that was released recently. However I can certainly say that I knew the song very well before the film. That was due to my Grandmother and her record collection. I have mentioned before that as a baby and wee lad, I listened to the likes of The Mills Brothers. As well as members of the Rat Pack and of course The Spinners which included The Rubberband Man.
Yeah if that is not in fact the height of being cool on stage, I don’t want to know what is. Besides, for all you know I might wearing that sequin outfit while I type this.
The Rubberband Man was released as a single as well as on the album Happiness is Being with the Spinners. For myself I listened to the album version, which is the full version. The single besides having Now That We’re Together on the B-side. Is only three minutes and thirty seconds long with the album version running almost seven and a half minutes.
While The Rubberband Man has been classified as Soul, Pop, as well as Funk. There can certainly be no denying that it deserves to be on greatest lists. Which is in fact what the Detroit Free Press did, listing it in “Detroit’s 100 Greatest Songs“. The catchy tune came in at number 70 in that list I should add.
Were you aware though that the song title started out quite differently? That is an absolute fact, friends. Songwriters Thom Bell and Linda Creed originally wrote a tune entitled “The Fat Man”. Because at the time Thom’s Son was being mercilessly picked on at school due to his weight. The duo had intended the song to help the young man strengthen his self-esteem so it became The Rubberband Man. If you listen to the lyrics closely you can hear that original intent. Actually, why not watch the 1976 performance by the Spinners on The Midnight Special?
Pops Restaurant is in Arcadia, Oklahoma, right off Route 66 not fifteen minutes from my home. Pops is known around these parts for two things: their vast selection of bottled pop, and the giant pop bottle that stands outside. Let’s start with that.
As you’re coming down Route 66 you’ll see this pop bottle over the horizon before you get to the restaurant itself. The bottle stands 66 feet tall; during the day it’s white, but at night the bottle is lit up with multi-colored LED lights.
The building itself is wrapped mostly in glass, so from outside you can see some of the bottles lining the windows. The bottles on display in the windows are glued down and are for display only, but don’t worry; they have all of these (and more) for sale inside.
The rainbow-colored display of pop is beautiful to look at. Not only do the bottles wrap around the walls but they continue into the freezer area. After you order your food you can head on over to the coolers and select any bottle of pop you like. Like root beer? Pops probably has at least 50 different ones to choose from. Miss drinking Orange Crush from a glass bottle? They’ve got it. The last time we went my son had a Jolly Rancher Watermelon, my daughter had a Rocket Fizz Fluids Green Cooler, my wife picked a Jelly Belly Crushed Pineapple and I grabbed a bottle of Jones Blue Bubble Gum. If you like, you can grab an empty six pack carrier and mix and match six bottles to take home with you as well. Pops’ website says they currently have at least 600 different flavors of bottled pop to choose from, but that number varies throughout the year.
The best time to visit Pops is during the summer. Pops is also a gas station, and on summer nights you can grab a table and watch the long line of classic cars cruising Route 66 stop by to gas up, all while eating a burger and sipping on an ice cold bottle of root beer. Sit there long enough and you’ll see the sun go down and the the giant 66′ tall pop bottle out front light up.
As a kid, it was always a treat for me to have a cold, glass bottle of soda during the summer all to myself. Those cold bottles and wild flavors bring back a lot of nostalgia for me.
Funko recently announced a new line of Ghostbusters-themed Pop Vinyls, arriving in May of 2014. So far the company has released pictures of Egon Spengler, Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Slimer, and a 6″ Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Also rumored to be arriving (but yet to be seen) are Winston Zeddemore and the Ghostbusters’ primary mode of transportation, the Ecto-1.
The 80s spawned an era of entry level, consumer synthesizers that could make ANYONE sound like Herbie Hancock!
While the pros were using the Yamaha DX7, Prophet 5 or Ensoniq Mirage, the department store crowd were enjoying cost effective PCM synths that had 50 instruments (which all sounded the same), drum beats (that looped after two measures) and automatic rhythm accompaniment (that was about as dynamic as a geriatric Oom-pah band.)
However, what if you wanted to record yourself saying “jammin’ on the one” and put it to music, but you weren’t as lucky as Theo Huxtable who got to visit Stevie Wonder?
Well, now you could do it home, with the awesome Casio SK-1.
Sadly, all this tool could think of doing was sampling his sad sack dog. Also, notice the disclaimer at the end. This keyboard, as I recall, was only 4 note polyphonic – meaning it can only have 4 keys depressed at one time. That pretend playing in the commercial was not possible on the SK-1.
Later, they made the SK-5, which allowed for more samples to be stored on the keyboards memory, as well as…a drum pad. I bought one for ten dollars off a friend of mine about a month after he got it.