I’ve blogged in the past about my affinity for the 1970’s cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I’ve mentioned about how I binge-watched it in college, using that and a purchased audience par-ti-ci-pa-tion record to learn the call and response cues. I’ve penned a K-Chuck Radio blog post about the cultural affinity of the Rocky Horror Picture Show itself, how it’s been parodied and purloined over the years.
Today, I want to feature something special. You know the songs of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, for sure, for sure. And you also know the artists and performers who made the movie as excellent as possible.
But … have you ever heard those artists performing songs OUTSIDE of the Rocky Horror Picture Show? Have you? Huh, have you?
And, of course, you’re raising your arm and grunting “Ooh! Ooh!” like Arnold Horshack on Welcome Back, Kotter, saying, “Chuck, Chuck, Meat Loaf was in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, he sang that ‘Bat out of Hell’ album…”
Yes, yes, we’ll get to Mr. Loaf soon enough.
First, we must focus on the star of our show, Dr. Frank-N-Furter himself, Tim Curry. And as much as I would love to show you some of his work from the movie …
I think instead, I’ll show you him performing the only song of his that actually made the Billboard Hot 100… a song called “I Do The Rock.” Hold all jokes about whether he can smell what the Rock is cooking.
Hey, here’s another Tim Curry clip, this time from a 1982 command performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta The Pirates of Penzance. Yes, Tim Curry roars through a performance of “I Am The Pirate King” that brings down the house. Look, I don’t care if Tim Curry sings “I Am the Pirate King” or “I’m Popeye the Sailor Man,” he still puts his heart and soul into it.
You might know Barry Bostwick as the uptight Brad Majors (ASS-HOLE!!!), but did you know he picked up a Tony Award as Danny Zuko in Grease? Here he is, recreating his performance in a 1985 PBS Great Performances Broadway reunion.
Here’s another clip of Bostwick, performing a song from Grease called “Alone at a Drive-In Movie.” I don’t remember this song from the 1978 film, maybe the song was replaced by John Travolta’s song “Sandy,” but that’s just a presumption on my part.
I didn’t find too many performances of Susan Sarandon singing, but I did find this 2017 performance from the recent FX miniseries Feud, where she recreates the 1962 appearance by Bette Davis on The Andy Williams Show, performing the swinging version of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” Touch-a touch-a touch-a touch me, indeed…
Let us now foist our attention on Little Nell. Or as you might know her, the glittery top-hatted song-and-dance tap girl Columbia. Well, Little Nell actually had a couple of minor bubblegum hits in the UK, including this song called “Do the Swim.”
Just a friendly warning, though… this might not be very safe for work, considering that Little Nell’s one-piece swimsuit was so little, it eventually exposed her Little Nells on camera.
You know Richard O’Brien as the mysterious Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but you may want to sit down before you click on this video clip. This song, “Angel In Me,” is absolutely awesome. No camp, no goofiness – just straight-on middle-of-the-road ballad rock. Stunning.
Okay, you’ve waited long enough. So what am I going to pull from the Meat Loaf catalogue?
No, not that song. You’ve heard it before.
And you’ve heard that other one as well.
Listen, if it’s on an album that starts out with “Bat out of…” you’ve heard it before.
But I’m going to pull this song out of the mothballs.
Way back in time, Meat Loaf was part of a duo with a girl named Stoney, and they were signed to Motown’s Rare Earth record label. And this funky song “What You See Is What You Get” is not the same as the big soul hit by the Dramatics – but you can definitely hear the Motown sound all over this track.
There you go. A dose of the science fiction double feature … with music from the actors and actresses whose creative talent made the Rocky Horror Picture Show as awesome as it ever was.
Right here on K-Chuck Radio!