Monday, January 08, 2007

The Video Vault #1

Well, it's been a year for this memoirs blog and, although I will continue to post my thoughts and memories in this space, I have decided to debut a new weekly feature: The Video Vault.

Every Monday I will post an unusual video that I have stumbled upon thanks to the blessing that is YouTube. These weekly video clips will come complete with a story. I hope you enjoy.

This first installment comes from late 1973 ... I first discovered this clip while searching for clips from The Mike Douglas Show, after his passing last August. Mike Douglas was a Philadelphia institution, hosting a national talk/entertainment program every afternoon, live from KYW's studios at 5th and Market Streets.

This clip is a live studio performance from songstress Dionne Warwick. As those who know, Ms. Warwick shot to stardom in the early 1960s with a series of hits from the hit writing duo of Burt Bacharach and Hal David, who together molded some of the best contemporary songs of that time.

However, in '71 (after adding an 'e' to the end of her name thanks to the suggestion of her numerologist who felt it would be good) everything fell apart. She left the Scepter label (which was based here in Philly) and joined Warner, complete with Bacharach and David as her writers and producers. Soon after, Bacharach and David split up in the wake of the critical and commercial failure of their work on a musical remake of the film 'Lost Horizon'. Due to her contractual commitment, Dionne was forced to sue her old friends. A settlement was reached, but the three would not work together again for many years and Warwick's career suffered.

This appearance is in the heat of her lawsuit against Burt and Hal. Here she sings a powerful rendition of a song that the three made famous just six years earlier. The way she delivers each note - you can feel the pain of a broken relationship, of a ride that has come to an end. I watched this and was simply spellbound. Keep in mind that there is a live studio audience - you can hear a pin drop.

Dionne Warwick on The Mike Douglas Show - 1973

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