Last week, California-based pop culture preservationists Shout! Factory launched their brand new streaming service. Being that their library of programming dates back over a half-century and is chalk full of classics and cult classics alike, taking the plunge into such a vast array of new free entertainment can seem quite daunting. Fortunately for you, we at the Weekly are no strangers to sitting in front of a glowing screen beaming much of the Shout! Factory catalog, and we're high-lighting five particular items of interest for the music fan in all of us. Here are Five Shout Factory Music Titles Worth Streaming.
The Abbott & Costello Show – "The Music Lovers"
There's a reason why the work of Abbott and Costello has been treasured for generation, and that's the true timelessness of their material. Shout! Factory has some of their finest hours in the classic Abbott & Costello Show, including an underrated episode "The Music Lovers." Between Lou Costello taking a disastrous class at Professor Melonhead's Singing School, and then Bud Abbott's scheme to make Costello appear to be a piano virtuoso, it's classic comedy for all ages.
The Weird Al Show – "Promises Promises"
Last year Shout! Factory did incredible work with both the 25th Anniversary release of "Weird" Al Yankovic's classic film UHF as well as the re-release of his first direct-to-video foray The Compleat Al. It should come as no surprise then that Shout! has also taken pristine care of Yankovic's late-90s Saturday Morning endeavor The Weird Al Show. One of our favorite episodes is "Promises Promises" where Al's friends' love of seeing John Tesh in concerts leads him to fib and say he knows John Tesh personally. When Al promises his friends he's inviting Tesh over for party, he has to sell $82,000 worth of junk to make his $82,000 appearance fee. If you're a fan of Al or things that are Tesh-centric, it's a must watch.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 – "The Beatniks"
Few things bring us at the Weekly as much joy as Mystery Science Theater 3000, a show where a stranded human and two robots in space watch old cheesy movies and crack wise along with us. Some of the most underrated episodes involve the mid-century teen-spolitation genre, often involving reckless youth running amok to the tune of that blasted rock 'n' roll music. A stellar example of this is "The Beatniks," where a gang of greaser teens' diner murder might come back to harm one of their members' budding singing career. If you're not a square and what something hip, dig these hilarious vibes.
The Twilight Zone – "A Passage For Trumpet"
Yes, Shout! Factory has the classic anthology series The Twilight Zone and with it comes the unforgettable late-first season episode "A Passage For Trumpet." Series favorite Jack Klugman plays "Joey," a suicidal trumpet player who discovers himself in a world where he is invisible to all except one other musician. Without getting into spoiler territory, part of what makes this episode special is how the ironic twist hits the protagonist much earlier, allowing "Joey's" journey to go a little further than how it usually unravels in most episodes.
A Celebration Of Blues And Soul: The 1989 Presidential Inaugural Concert
On January 21, 1989, on the evening following the presidential inauguration, a once in a lifetime all-star concert of classic rhythm and blues icons performed at the Washington Convention Center at the Presidential Inaugural Concert. A stellar concert with one-of-a-kind footage of Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bo Diddley, Dr. John, Sam Moore, Billy Preston, Percy Sledge and more, Howard Begle's (one of the show's original producers) painstaking restoration resulted in an essential piece of music history rediscovered. We spoke to Begle about its completion last April, and now that it's up for free, it's essential viewing for everyone with even a passing interest in classic rhythm and blues.