Vinyl Stories Interview – Killing Us Softly with His Songs: A Conversation with Charles Fox

In conjunction with the new documentary “Killing Us Softly with His Songs,” Sam Tweedle talks with composer Charles Fox about his unique life in music. Although he has worked in the fields of jazz, classical, opera, film scores and pop music, Charles Fox has made his unique mark on pop culture by co-writing some of the most iconic television theme songs of all time. From the streets of the Bronx to the conservatories of Paris, the Hollywood Hills to the music halls of Cuba, Charles Fox discusses some of the music which has become an important part of our lives.

The Partridge Family – Sound Magazine (1971)

In 2015 Sam Tweedle found long lost fan letter to teen idol David Cassidy from a young girl named Monica. Offering an insight into the real anxieties and thoughts of a young teen fan, Sam shares the letter over fifty years after it was originally written. Bonus: Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine’s battle over David Cassidy coverage, David’s best friend Sam Hyman, that time Laurie got braces, and how YOU can win one of David’s puppies!

The Partridge Family – The Partridge Family Album (1970)

Everybody remembers David Cassidy as the lead singer of The Partridge Family, but who were the other members of the group? A deep dive into The Ron Hicklin Singers – the most famous uncredited singing group of all time. From Gary Lewis and the Playboys to The Monkees and far beyond, the Ron Hicklin Singers created a sound of an entire generation through television, film, radio and commercials, defining the signature sound of the 1960’s and 1970’s pop industry.

Melanie – Candles in the Rain (1970)

This week we said goodbye to the Little Sister of the Sun, Melanie Safka. Sam Tweedle revisits his 2012 interview as Melanie talks about the events that inspired her first Billboard hit “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain).” From her unlikely debut on the Woodstock stage, the collaboration with the Edwin Hawkins Singers that nearly didn’t happen, and the night that the song saved a platoon of men in Viet Nam, Melanie tells the story of “Lay Down” in her own words.

Paul Williams – Phantom of the Paradise Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1974)

In this world there are “Rocky Horror” people, and there are “Phantom of the Paradise” people. “Rocky Horror” fans seem, for the most part, to be ignorantly unaware of “Phantom of the Paradise,” while “Phantom of the Paradise” fans just simply know which film is better.  A loving look at Paul Williams’ phantastic soundtrack to the 1974 cult film “Phantom of the Paradise.”

Jean-Pierre Mirouze – Le Mariage Collectif Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2012)

A forgotten soundtrack to an obscure French exploitation film, Jean-Pierre Mirouze’s exciting and exotic soundtrack to “Le Mariage Collectif” went ignored and undistributed when test printings were made in 1971. Nearly lost forever it wasn’t until a discarded acetate containing the music was pulled out of a Parisian garbage dump in 2010 that the world finally had the chance to hear the best film score you’ve never heard before, which gained a cult following amongst audiophiles and music hipsters.

Sonny and Cher – The Wondrous World of Sonny and Cher (1966)

After getting thrown out of a Hollywood restaurant in 1965, a fed up Sono Bono wrote an emotional manifesto titled “Laugh at Me,” which became his only hit record, A look at “Laugh at Me,” Sonny’s fight for respect, and why he allowed the laughter to continue through the 1970’s and beyond. Extra: The lasting legacy of Sonny and Cher, and Chaz Bono’s attempt to reinvent “Laugh at Me” as a transgender anthem.

Various Artists – Nadia’s Theme (The Young and the Restless) (1976)

Whether you know it as the theme song to “The Young and the Restless,” “Nadia’s Theme” or “Cotton’s Dream,” Perry Botkin Jr and Barry De Vorsan’s composition has become one of the most recognizable instrumentals of the 20th Century. A deep dive into the song’s many incarnations and lives from “Bless the Beasts and the Children,” to the 1978 Olympics to….David Hasselhoff?? Extra: Who were The Sounds of Sunshine, and why did they successfully sue The Dead Kennedys?

Bobbie Gentry – The Girl From Chickasaw County (2022)

40 years after her self exile from the music industry, singer/songwriter Bobbie Gentry has finally found appreciation amongst modern music fans. Too honky tonk for rock fans and too progressive for country fans, Bobbie was perhaps too ahead of her time in the 60’s and 70’s, but is finally gaining a modern cult following for her swampy blues-country originals and genre spanning crossover masterpieces. However, while the world finally listens, Bobbie doesn’t want to be found.