Hooks and Hashtags – Highlights from the 3/5 Rock and Roll Revisited

The holy grail for every artist is to create a musical “hook” that bores into the audience’s mind like an ear worm. Think about Paul Anka’s “Diana”, the opening bars of “Day Tripper” or the grating chorus of Rick Dee’s novelty record, “Disco Duck”. They stick with you like the memory of your first kiss, or, in the case of Dee’s contribution, heartburn after a spicy meal. Here’s a link to Billboard’s take on the Top 25 Best Pop Hooks of all time. As you might imagine, The Beatles hold down number one on that list with, “I Want To Hold Your Hand”.

Hooks are a universal concept. In the parallel social media universe, their equivalent are hashtags, truncated words, preceded by a pound sign (#). Just like hooks in music, some hashtags attract more interest than others. Chris Sabanty, writing for Hubspot cites research that reveals how the right hashtag hook can generate over 1000 percent more engagement. The trick is figuring out which one works on a given day.

I found this out yesterday when I posted a short video where Jason Priestley‘s Beverly Hills 90210 character, Brandon Walsh, meets the late Luke Perry‘s Dylan McKay. The combination of a popular trending topic, compelling video and the right hashtag shot my “retweets” through the roof. The website tagdef.com, analyzes and lists popular and trending hashtags in the Internet’s usual #UpToTheMinute style.

In the world of business and politics, the hashtag / hook analog is the sound byte. “Fake News” is the most notable example from the last couple of years. “Where’s the Beef” and “It’s the Real Thing” are advertising illustrations. Winston Churchill added a term to the world’s lexicon on this date in 1946 when he created the memorable sentence, “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the continent.”

What’s the #TakeAway? Adding the right #hooks to your #vocabulary can amplify your message and improve your audience engagement.

Quick Takes:

Hashtag of the day – #TB: “Throw Back” is one of the most popular conversations on social media. We all love the past!

It’s P?czki day in Detroit! Ready for Fat Tuesday? We Floridians have work harder to find this delicious decadence.

Procrastination Tuesday: A former CIA guy teaches you how to spot lies on @YouTube.

When was the last time you answered your phone when you didn’t know who it was? How Audience Research has been disrupted by Tech. Via @jacobsmedia

Today in History:

1953: After 29 years in power, Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin dies of a cerebral hemorrhage at age 74.

1955: Elvis Presley makes his first television appearance, performing on the Shreveport radio show “Louisiana Hayride,” which on this occasion was simulcast by local station KSLA-TV.

1957: Disc jockey Alan Freed guests on To Tell the Truth on CBS.

1962:  The Marvelettes became the first Motown act to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show on CBS-TV.

1969: The first issue of the rock magazine Creem was published. “America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine” ceased operations in 1989.

1980: Actor Jay Silverheels, who played “Tonto” in the long running Lone Ranger TV series, dies following a stroke at 67.

1982:  John Belushi dies as the result of a drug overdose at the Chateau Marmont Hotel in Los Angeles at age 33.

Happy Birthday to:
(1908) Rex Harrison (d. 1990)
(1938) Fred Williamson
(1946) Murray Head
(1955) Penn Jillette
(1956) Teena Marie (d. 2010)
(1958) Andy Gibb (d. 1988)

Much More Music:

1959: “Dream Lover” – Bobby Darin:  Darin went into the studio on this date in 1959 to record “Dream Lover”. Produced by Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler, it was an early success for the Atlantic Records Atco label and was the precursor to his breakout smash, “Mack the Knife“. Darin started his career as a songwriter for Connie Francis. He was married to actress Sandra Dee from 1960 to 1967. He worked on Robert F. Kennedy‘s presidential campaign and was present on the night of June 4/5, 1968, at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles at the time of Kennedy’s assassination. An early bout with rheumatic fever weakened his heart and drove him to accomplish as much as he could as soon as he could. He died on  December 20, 1973 following heart surgery at age 37.  (Video)

1966:  “Tijuana Taxi” – Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass: This week in 1966, the TJB owned the top two album spots on the Billboard LP chart. Going Places took over at #1 from Whipped Cream & Other Delights. “Tijuana Taxi” was the first cut on side one of Going Places. The fascination with Alpert’s unique musical style lead to five number one singles on the Adult Contemporary chart. By 1969, their popularity was in decline, although Alpert as a solo artist would earn another number one ten years later with “Rise”. (Video)

1986: “You Can Call Me Al” – Paul Simon:  On this date in 2007, Simon’s Graceland album joined the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction”, “Blue Suede Shoes” by Carl Perkins and the Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” on a list of recordings chosen by the United States Library of Congress for preservation by the National Recordings Registry. Graceland became Simon’s most successful studio album and his highest-charting album in over a decade selling 16 million copies worldwide. The music video, featuring Saturday Night Live alumnus, Chevy Chase, was an MTV fave.  (Video)

Today’s Quote Worth Re-Quoting:  “Never give in. Never surrender.” ~Galaxy Quest

One more for the road: By now, you know that I’m a fan of well produced records with full orchestration and an arrangement that accentuates the artist’s strengths. Such is the case for this chestnut: Michael Bublés “Save The Last Dance for Me“. Taken from his second major-label studio album, It’s Time, the tune gained a following when it was played over the closing credits of the 2005 film The Wedding Date. It has a great #hook and a the perfect arrangement for Michael’s crooner constitution. Enjoy! (Video)