"Saturday Night Fever" - Thursday, January 28, 2016

It's difficult for some of us "older" folk to think that kids today only know John Travolta as the voice of Bolt in the animated Disney film.  If they even know him from that!  Well, we are going to devote today's blog to the soundtrack to his first starring role in a major motion picture - 1977's Saturday Night Fever.  

Born in 1954, Travolta was only twenty-one when he appeared as disco dancer Tony Manero, and yet the New Jersey native had already been performing in front of the camera for five years.  He got his big break starring as Vinnie Barbarino, the endearing Italian-American inner city student in the television sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter.  Saturday Night Fever not only made Travolta a household name, but turned disco into a force with which to be reckoned.  The soundtrack, prominently displayed on the wall in our Music Room, is one of the best-selling soundtracks of all time.  With such BeeGee's hits as "Stayin' Alive," "How Deep Is Your Love," "If I Can't Have You," and "Jive Talkin'" coupled with Walter Murphy's "A Fifth of Beethoven" and "Boogie Shoes" by KC and the Sunshine Band, the double album truly represented one of the odder musical stylings ever to be embraced by the American public.  But embrace it they did!  It became the best-selling soundtrack of all time, a record broken only with the 1992 release of Whitney Houston's The Bodyguard.  Rolling Stone magazine rated it one of the 500 greatest albums of all time in its 2012 survey (it was 132nd), and the Library of Congress deemed it important enough to include on its National Recording Registry, saving it for posterity as a defining record of its era,

Of course, John Travolta's career has had its ups and downs since the release of both the film and the soundtrack, but there can be no doubt that he will always be indelibly linked to this amazing creation.
QUESTION:  John Travolta, of course, was not the only star of Saturday Night Fever. Who else starred in the film?
A)  Roman Coppola
B)  Sam Coppola
C)  Nicholas Coppola
D)  Sophia Coppola

KEEPING US SAFE.  Older than the United States Navy, the Coast Guard was established in 1790 by then-Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton.  It's mission, to collect customs duties in the new nation's seaports.  Of course, it's been promoted since then to defending the country as necessary, during peacetime under the Department of Homeland Security, during war under the Department of the Navy.  But it was on this day in 1915 that the U.S. Congress officially designated the Coast Guard as its own independent branch of the military.

HAWKEYE.  Today is the eightieth birthday of the funnyman, director, writer, actor Alan Alda! Beloved for his starring role in the hit television series MASH,  playing the part of Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce, he made audiences laugh - and occasionally cry - suffering through the struggles of the Korean War (the show lasted far longer than the war ever did).  It is always interesting, and often quite fun, when Alda appears in television shows and movies today. 

QUOTE:  Begin challenging your own assumptions.  Your assumptions are your window on the world.  Scrub them off once in a while, or your light won't come on. - Alan Alda

ANSWER:  B)  Sam Coppola.  Unlike the other three Coppola's in our list, he is not related to the famous director Francis Ford Coppola.  Of course, Nicholas Coppola changed his last name to Cage...