Sixties Music Secrets

Month: May 2016

A Hot August Night

imageDidja ever see Them?… Well, Didja?, I Did. On a very warm So Calif. evening. August 30 1965. Myself, my best buddy, Gary and 17,000 other devotees had hiked up the steep hill and in to the small canyon that houses ” The Hollywood Bowl” We take our seats and are now beyond eager to see Them. The biggest band in the world ! This was my first concert. ( I was 15 years old) and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Oh I had heard the stories of the shrieking/ screaming fans, fainting girls and general mayhem. But as the sun gently set behind the Hollywood Hills, there was a kind of nervous calm among this young crowd at The Hollywood Bowl. A woman sitting next to me (some attendee’s mom) said something to me about all the opening acts before They come on. Opening Acts ? Before Them ? Whaaaat ? Oh yes, 4 of them ! The King Curtis Band, Sounds Incorporated, Brenda Holloway and lastly ( thank you God) Cannibal and The Headhunters Yikes, 4 of ’em, all four had current hits on the radio and put on a great show. BUT IT DIDN’T MATTER ! All 17,000 of us were there to see Them and only Them. The biggest band in the world ! But now the last of Cannibal’s final song is fading off Into the night, the crowd is getting  more animated as a certain hush comes over us all, the lights dim completely and we hear our favorite local D.J. Bob Eubanks finally ” say those words we long to hear” ” Ladies and Gentleman, here they are, The Fabulous Beatles” and a sonic blast of youthful humanity exploded out of The Hollywood hills. as  17,000 hysterical fans leapt to their feet, threw up their hands and didn’t stop screaming until long after THE BEATLES  finished their short 12 song set and left the Bowl and the city. But, Gary and I were there. Our seats,( tickets cost $4.00 a piece) were 6 rows from the back fence that secured the venue. The 1965 ” State of the Art” Sound system sucked, and we were deaf from the din of screaming teens.( Vocals were inaudible, Guitars, Bass and Drums were awash in midrange and reverb) But, no matter! It was still the most incredible night of my young life. We saw Them and for all of us They were something we’d never seen before and  would never see again. John, Paul, George and Ringo live in concert…..Didja ever see them ?The Lads

SMS really wants to hear your Beatle Story…



May 9, 2016     11 Comments   , , , , ,

Let’s talk about ’60’s music

I’m Rick Shoemaker. Growing up and making a life on the West coast of Southern California, I have worked as a Singer/Songwriter, Session Player, Music Teacher, Disc Jockey and Music Business Executive. Most importantly I ” came of age ” in what is arguably the greatest decade of music in all of history. The 1960’s. If you share my passion and curiosity for this incredibly prolific and creative period in music history, please join in the conversation and share your ideas, experiences and questions. I guarantee you will hear some great Sixties Music Secrets !

May 8, 2016     21 Comments   ,


Musical diversity exploded on the radio in the 60’s. In fact, 1960 ushered in a new programming format called ” Top 40 radio.” Quite simply, it was a format that featured the 40 most popular songs and artists based on various surveys, charts and, get this, the 40 most played tunes in those quaint ” Jukeboxes” that peppered every Bar, Diner and ” Malt Shop across America. For the first time in  radio, you could tune into one station that played something for everyone, no matter the genre or generation. In a single hour you could hear The Beatles, The Stones followed by Sinatra,Elvis, Dean Martin, Streisand,  Johnny Cash,The Drifters, Ray Charles and Jimi Hendrix! Back to back,( sounds a little insane in retrospect, but it worked ) and like never before and never since, The Top 40 radio format provided ” The Soundtrack to our Lives ”  no matter what your age or where you lived. Every city in America had a Top 40 station. In L.A. Where I grew up, it was KRLA 1110a.m. They played ” more music,” had the coolest disc jockeys and the best contests that gave away unbelievable amounts of money and prizes. I must admit, I won a few bucks, which kept me tuned in all the more. What was your local  station and fave D.J, who you thought was the coolest guy you ever heard ? SMS wants to hear your 60’s Top 40 radio story. You know you have one !