I'm Mark & I've Been a Fame fan since 1982. This blog is dedicated to the incredibly talented cast of the show and is a place to share music, videos and pictures. To contact me please send emails to:email@example.com
Fame Dancer and star of "Rent", Shaun Earl, "Snack N' Chat" with him while he gives indispensable advice on love, life, and relationships. Sit down, relax, and get ready to roar!! - In this episode, Shaun deals with relatives who over-extend their welcome.
Things are a little different this month on Kids From Fame Media as its original artist month. I’d always known that, certainly in the latter years, many of the songs that were performed on Fame were cover versions. A few obvious ones were Cynthia performing Madonna’s “Lucky Star” and Jesse performing Lionel Richie’s “Hello” in season 4 and I’d been planning to have a month posting some of these original songs.
Prompted by an email from Fame fan, Vincent I decided to take a closer look at the Fame Music, its writers and if any of it had been recorded by other artists. Searching the Internet for anything related to the songwriters I soon discovered some very interesting (well to me, anyway) information.
For the first 3 seasons MGM had a contract with “The Entertainment Company” to provide music for the show. The Entertainment Company was set up in 1975 by Charles Koppleman, Sam LeFrak and Martin Bandier and it quickly became one of the leading producers and publishers in the music industry working with top artists like Barbara Streisand, Lionel Richie, Diana Ross and Cher to name just a few.
The Entertainment Company had stable of songwriters and producers under an exclusive contract, whose songs would be matched to the individual artist’s requirement. So on “Fame” the Company’s writers like Barry Fasman, Sue Sheridan, Steve Sperry, were frequently involved in writing the songs.
I’d originally thought that many of those earlier songs were written specifically for the show, so it came as quite a shock when I discovered that wasn’t the case. It seemed that many of the songwriters that were employed by The Entertainment Company had a back catalogue of songs, many of which the writers had previously recorded themselves but had never achieved any real success, so when “Fame” required a song they would search the back catalogues to find something that could fit the theme of the episode.
In 1984 The Entertainment Company disbanded and MGM had to look elsewhere to source the music for the show. No longer having a stable of songwriters, instead they primarily used music that had already been recorded by other well known artists. The music coordinators seemed to be savvy with their choices and using album tracks and B-Sides so that for most of us, unless you had the original artist’s records, the music still appeared to be original. By using a wide range of diverse artists there was little chance of the average viewer knowing all of the songs. Certainly for myself as a viewer I didn’t realise that so many of the songs had previously been recorded by other people.
I have found it fascinating tracking down these original recordings and hearing different versions of the Fame songs I know and love so much. Frequently the lyrics of the songs of the songs were changed to fit the fame format. Most memorable one for me is the original “Mannequin” lyrics being “I’ve been in bed with colder women but they don’t turn me on.” Which was changed to “I’ve been in love with colder women...” Presumably the original was a little too racy for the show!
I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and excitement of discovering so much that is related to “Fame” that is new to me. So I really hope everyone else enjoys this month’s posts as much as I do.
We still have our usual mix of interviews, videos, fan fiction and articles but as I discovered more and more original versions of the Fame songs it soon became apparent that they were going to take over a little. The songs I’m posting are far from a complete guide as I’ve found it impossible to track down a number of songs and information about their writers so if anyone out there has any information about the songs not included or actually has a copy of the original recording then please contact me so I can post it in the future.
The episode of the month is "spontaneous Combustion" from season 4 and posts for that start on August 8th.
Then later in the month, in response to a number of requests is the BBC reunion "Remember My Name".