Allee Willis’ “The 365 Days Of September” – Day 5

Asian mariachi version titled “HALF OF CHEWING GUM BAND INSTRUMENTAL” by Nino, Chino and Paulo. They actually play it great despite the fact that a song consists of more than an intro. If it were me I’d squeeze in one more stringed instrument and move on to the verse and chorus. I always love when musicians play the melody in their head and assume the audience can hear it.

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For a more through exploration of my “365 Days Of September” mission as well as details of how the song was written, go here. Until tomorrow, ba-de-ya!

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Allee Willis’ “The 365 Days Of September” – Day 4

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The Vertigo inducing ‘can I offer you  some strobe?’ lighting  and overuse of a smoke machine provide the perfect environment for “Margarita and the boys”,  some of whom are clearly girls, to dance to “September” on this, Day 4 of the 365 day YouTube marathon. In searching for people “borrowing” my song “royalty free”,  I can’t believe how many line dances there are to it. I always thought line dances were for country songs but now I know that line dances are for happy songs.

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Categories: 365 Days Of September, Dance, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, September, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1950′s Tiger Paw Vibrating Back Scratcher

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I used to love back scratchers as a kid, the long skinny brittle plastic kind that the hand snapped off of if you jerked them along your back too fast. I always loved the little lifelike looking clawed hands, fingers curled for maximum scratching action. I remember the first time I saw one of the battery-operated ones. I had already been made aware of similar looking battery-operated things though those didn’t have aluminum arms and teeny little hands attached to them. And none of them were near as elegant as this tiger skinned vibrating gadget.

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Categories: Animals, Furniture and Housewares, Gadgets, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Pomplamoose, video

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Allee Willis’ “The 365 Days Of September” – Day 3

How happy am I that neither rain, sleet nor snow could keep the Kennett High School Marching Band from playing my song, “September” back in January of 2007?! I’ve been especially aggressive tracking down marching bands playing “September” as in a couple of weeks I have the great honor of conducting the University of Wisconsin marching band at the Homecoming halftime game when they play three of my hits, “September”, “In The Stone”, an Earth, Wind & Fire song that has grown to mythical proportions in marching band repertoires, and ” I’ll Be There for You (the theme from Friends)”, which I have no idea as to why it’s on the program when “Boogie Wonderland” or even “Neutron Dance” would seem more appropriate to drum the spirits up for the big game.

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Categories: 365 Days Of September, Dance, Educational, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Musical Instruments, September, Songwriting

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Allee Willis’ “The 365 Days Of September” – Day 2

Yesterday marked the first day of my year-long series featuring YouTube videos with people singing, playing, marching to, dancing to, massacring, auditioning with, acting idiotic in the presence of and otherwise performing my very first hit song,  “September“. For a more through exploration of my “365 Days Of September” mission as well as details of how the song was written, go here. In the meantime,  I hope you enjoy The Davis High Jazz Choir’s performance of the song, especially the choreography, as much as I do.  Babeya!

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Categories: 365 Days Of September, Dance, Earth Wind & Fire, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, September, Songwriting, video

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Allee Willis’ “The 365 Days Of September” – Day 1, September 21, 2010

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People always ask me what my favorite song I’ve written is. I hate to favor any of the babies but pound for pound I’d have to shout “September”!  I think it’s an eternally uplifting song. It makes people HAPPY, not just with a capital H but ALL CAPS!! I write a lot of happy songs but even perennial foot tappers like “Neutron Dance” and “Boogie Wonderland” don’t inspire the immediate mood shift that “September” does. I’ve never been in a room where people’s toes didn’t start tapping or heads start bobbing as soon as it comes on. I’ve never been to a Bar Mitzvah or wedding where it wasn’t played, including Beyonce and Jay-Z’s, where I wasn’t but learned from US Weekly that that’s what they danced their first dance to. And they didn’t even get married in September.

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Categories: 365 Days Of September, Discography, Earth Wind & Fire, Forgot to Categorize, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, LPs, Lyrics, Music, September, Songwriting, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – “JUNGLE ANIMAL” ROARS TODAY!!

Finally, after months of work and a whole lot else my song, video and game, “Jungle Animal” – Pomplamoose and Allee Willis launched TODAY!!  To cut to the chase:

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Categories: Animals, Animation, Creative process, Earth Wind & Fire, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – The 21st Of September Jubilee!

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Because the opening line of my very first hit song, “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire, is “Do you remember the 21st night of September?” I constantly get asked the significance of that date, the very day it is TODAY.  People are always looking for some great meaning, especially those whose birthdays are today and to whom the song has held a special place. Sad to say, the only real significance is that that it felt so perfect to sing. Those three syllables – twen-ty-first -  hugged those notes tighter than an angora sweater and once that happens any good songwriter knows they need to just leave it alone because it works. What I’m most proud of achieving with my co-writers, Maurice White and Al McKay, is the transformative effect the song seems to have on people. I could be at a funeral and if “September” even came on as a ringtone most people’s lips would curl into a smile and their toes would automatically start to tap.  Beyoncé and Jay-Z even chose it to dance their first song to at their wedding. And that makes me very happy.

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Categories: 365 Days Of September, Creativity, Earth Wind & Fire, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Lyrics, Music, People, Pomplamoose, Self expression, September, Songwriting, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – “Jungle Animal” (Theoretically) Coming Tomorrow!

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For the last few months I’ve been holed away in the creative jungle known as my desk trying to complete a long-distance collaboration with Pomplamoose, the YouTube sensation band I collaborated with after I saw them do a highly unusual version of my song, “September”.  With “Jungle Animal”, a song and video we worked on together, as well as an online game that I whittled away at myself, theoretically just hours away from release, I thought that this off-kilter Atomic 1950′s zebra, knees buckling but still standing, was the perfect visual representation of what one feels like when they emerge from as intense of a workload as this.

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Categories: Animals, Art, Creative process, Creativity, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Pomplamoose, video

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1960′s Lighted Kosher Sign and Breaking The Fast In Hollywood

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One of the most festive nights of the Jewish year is the ‘breaking of the fast’ meal after Yom Kipper, a veritable smorgasbord of chopped liver, corned beef, brisket, potato latkes, noodle kugel and whatever else there’s room for on the table.  Trust me, after not eating for 24 hours the Chosen People are hungry! Although this “kosher” sign hangs happily at Willis Wonderland, mine is not the house that one wants to eat at on a night such as this.  As such, I’m very lucky that I have a Break-The-Fast itinerary that I stick to like schmaltz (chicken fat) every year and head over to four hamish (friendly, folksy) friends whose houses are are stuffed with machers (big shots) and even some meshugehs (crazy, nuts people) to schmoose with (talk socially, network) while we nosh (eat) like chazzers (pigs).

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Categories: Celebrity, Food, Holidays, Hollywood, Kitchen, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Party, People, Religion, Songwriting

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