Sixties Music Secrets

Month: May 2017

“One If By Land, Two If By Sea”…The British Invasion…

THE BRITISH ARE COMING ! THE BRITISH ARE COMING ! We have discussed, analyzed, argued and reminisced about the incredible diversity of music that coalesced during the 1960’s. However, we believe there is one musical event that dominated and defined the musical landscape of the 1960’s more than anything else…”THE BRITISH INVASION”
The invasion actually commenced in January of 1964  when an unknown band called The Beatles released their new record “I want to hold your hand” in America, the first week of January. Incredibly by Jan. 25th the single shot to number one on every pop music radio station in America….Less than three weeks later Feb. 9th, The Beatles and Ed Sullivan changed the T.V. business, the music business, made history and galvanized a template and strategy  that opened doors and paved the way for a wave of talent who all “talked funny” but sang great, in what occasionally sounded like a foreign language….. English!  “Mods” “Rockers” the artists you loved, the ones you hated or didn’t understand.  The ones you felt “You discovered” and the ones that got away…..until a little later!

As 1964 unfurled in America, day after day, week in, week out we were introduced to and fell in love with,  another talented BRIT ! Yes, The Beatles led the front with The Rolling Stones at their flank and the most incredible Rank and File ever assembled marching in perfect formation toward their destination / target….America!

And on they came…. a quick glance from our Eastern shores “across the pond” and you could almost hear The Modern English Armada shouting “Hail Britania”!….We know what your thinking, “Yes! Bring ’em on” The Stones, The Kinks, The Animals….Ahh, but slow down Yankee Doodle, you’re about to be surprised by some of the names and numbers. The Beatles had established their enormous beachead stateside, so who was the next great Brit to invade America’s airwaves?

In the U.K. She was called “The greatest white soul singer in the world and as far as we’re considered “They was right” ! In February of ’64 Dusty Springfield’s powerful “I only want to be with you” pounced on us shot past The Beatles as they we’re wrapping the Sullivan shows and again from know where charted in at number twelve. We blinked and by the end of March, everyone was proclaiming The Dave Clark Five were “The next Beatles” From these early days in 1964 “They commenced to coming'” for at least the next two plus years! Do you recall Peter and Gordon (“World without Love” a Lennon McCartney song, I go to Pieces” a Del Shannon song, and of course “Woman” credited to Bernard Webb but written by McCartney)The Animals (House of the Rising Sun and “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”j Manfred Mann (“Doo Wah Diddy”)Petula Clark ( “Downtown” and”I know a Place”) Donovan ( before “Sunshine Superman” there was “Catch the Wind” and “Colors” ) Freddie and the Dreamers ( “Do the Freddie” and “I’m Telling You Now”) Wayne Fontana and the Mindbennders (“The Game of Love”) Herman’s Hermit’s ( “I’m into Something Good” “Henry the eighth” and a half-dozen more) The aforementioned Rolling Stones ( Time is on my Side” and “Last Time”) The Dave Clark Five (“Glad all Over” and Bit’s and Pieces”) Billy J. Kramer and The Dakota’s (” Little Children” and “From a Window” another Lennon McCartney comp.)  The Searchers (“Needles and Pins” written by Sony Bono) The Bachelors,  (“I Believe” and “My Diane”) Chad and Jeremy ” (“A Summer Song” and “Yesterday’s Gone”) Gerry and the Pacemakers (“How do you do what you do to Me”  “I Like it ” and Ferry ‘Cross The Mersey”) Their manager Brian Epstein, yep that Brian Epstein, produced a B-Movie short film about ” Ferry” ( a Movie about and starring Gerry Marsden who wrote the Title song. Epstein eventually sold this nothing movie which he then coupled with “A Hard Day’s Night” as the opener for the Beatle film!  Epstein also insisted that The Beatles record their own version of “How do you do”) written by “Gerry Marsden. But The Beatles vehemently resisted the idea! ( However there  is a version you can find on the Beatles Anthology series and various bootlegs…..Talk about feathering your nest? Mr. Epstein Puh-Leeze!  But we digress,How about The Honeycombs with A GIRL DRUMMER (“Have I The Right”) Them (Baby Please Don’t Go” and “Gloria”) Tom Jones (“It’s Not unusual”) The Yardbirds (For Your Love”) The Yardbirds also have bragging rights to have included, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton as their lead guitarist thru their brief career! The Spencer Davis Group (“Gimmie Some Lovin” and “I’m a Man”) featuring an incredibly soulful 17 year old Stevie Winwood! The Kinks (“You Really Got Me” and All Day and All of the Night” “Tired of Waiting For You”) How about the unbelievable harmonies of The Hollies (“Look Thru Any Window”and “Bus Stop”and “Stop, Stop, Stop”) The Zombies (“She’s Not There” and “Tell Her No”) and finally The Who (The Kids Are All Right” and “My Generation) Their second single in the U.S. “generation” incredibly ends with an insane DRUM SOLO by Who drummer Keith Moon!…

What’s so incredible is all these artists had at least one or more number one records in the U.S.A. From January 1964 thru December 1966!

We should note here that in 1965, The Weekly Billboard singles chart featured an artist from the British Commonwealth in the number one position 26 of the 52 weeks of publication…On May 8th of the year, that weeks Top 10 was controlled completely by British Acts with one exception, Gary Lewis and the Playboy’s “Count Me In” held in at number Two…
Math is not our strongest suit, but consider the charts and the 26 British Artists we sighted, it’s clear between ’64 -’67 at least every other record on American radio was a Great Britonian!

Lastly we must note in 1964, April 4 The Beatles held the Top 5 chart spots in America. No other Artist has ever achieved that fete before or after….Not even the top 3!

We know we’ve probably missed one of your faves, but our purpose wasn’t to unveil the obscure….But to jog loose some great memories and perhaps dust off a few old 45’s…

Most importantly we want to hear from you…We’re you there? What was your experience and perspective about the second time the  U.S. was under siege by “Mother England”…..The 1960’s…

In the beginning it was Dusty..

Then Dave Clark was Glad to come along…

                        Later, Gerry…The Ferry song…

And on with the X Y Z’s…Zombies…

 

 

 

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May 26, 2017     2 Comments   , , , , , ,

A Day In The Life: Sgt. Pepper’s….

It was 50 years ago today, May 19, 1967 that The Beatles threw a huge press party at manager Brian Epsteins home in London. The party was to announce and celebrate the upcoming June 1st. Release of their eighth studio album Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” The album celebrated a radical change in how The Beatles made records with it’s emphasis on experimentation. It also represented the official end to any future tours for the band, as they could never replicate the sounds and arrangements they were discovering in the studio. Sgt. Pepper would go on to become Thee most Iconic album in music history, as famous for it’s cover as it is for it’s music…..To date Sgt. Pepper has sold over 35 million units. And here is a small factoid. Sgt. Pepper was the first album to include all the lyrics to all the songs on the back cover!
P.S. More has been written about this L.P. Than any other compilation in music history…
P.P.S…Stand by for an onslaught of re-issues and re-mixes come June 1st.
……..YEAH, YEAH, YEAAHHH !

May 19, 2017     2 Comments

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May 15, 2017     0 Comments   , ,

Do You Want To Know A Secret: Days Of Future Passed…

You, of course remember, loved and likely played ’til the grooves turned grey The Moody Blues Iconic ambitious and beautiful “concept album” “Days’ of Future Passed” This was only the bands second L.P. Following their debut hit single and album “Go Now” a dramatic departure from their early sound of…er…ah…um…hmmm…actually were not sure what to call The Moody Blues early sound! Some critics have referred to it as “Blue Eye’d Soul”….Maybe, BUT, there is no question with “Days of future passed. This “Deep Track” fully orchestrated, dynamic project is Ground Zero for the “Progressive Rock” movement from November of 1967! The Band and it’s label marketed the record as the first Rock record to fully integrate a Rock band with a classical orchestra ( The London Festival Orchestra) The label even included photo’s of the orchestra in the studio with the band!
But, here’s the secret….There really is no London Festival Orchestra….It’s a “Brand” that Decca records created. The “Orchestra you here on DFP are just a handful of hired studio string and horn players mixed in with a Mellotron ( a string simulation device)….Further, The Moody Blues were never even in the studio when the string parts were laid down. In spite of the “augmented” photos you see on the back cover…..You get it. The whole thing was a marketing hoax. However the underlying concept of writing songs about each part of the day was sound and generated at least 4 huge hit singles. Remember “Dawn is The Feeling”…”Tuesday Afternoon,” “Evening Time To Get Away”
And everyone’s swooning favorite……wait for it………
…..”Nights In White Satin”
Yep all from “Day’s Of Future Passed” featuring “The London Phoney Baloney Orchestra….But, like you we loved it, slow danced with our girlfriend and thought we saw God…. “And I Love You, Whoa how I Love You-ooooo”…fade

Hold on, we have to hear “Nights”

May 14, 2017     2 Comments   , , ,

“A Whiter Shade Of Pale”…

Didja know that Procol Harum’s haunting classic “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” has been recorded by at least 900 other artists and is one of only 30 single records that have sold over 10 million units. Thr song was originally written by band members Gary Brooker and Keith Reid. Years later the bands keyboard player Mathew Fisher sued the band for songwriter credit and one third of the royalties, claiming that his organ piece that opens the song and intro’s each verse is what and how listeners relate to the song ( you remember that organ solo, RIGHT? ) He won his case in the highest court in the U.K. And was awarded what many think is more than his fair share or this 1967 cllassic
…Meanwhile, the actual title comes from Keith Reid who claimed that he over heard, at a party, someone say to a young girl “Whoa, your face is a whiter shade of pale” Lastly, because you asked, the bands name Procol Harum, comes from an exotic breed of Asian cats!…..You read it here…
Meanwhile, here’s the classic organ solo and the rest of that incredible record…

 

P.S. What do you think? Does Matthew Fisher deserve One Third of this great song for his organ part?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 11, 2017     0 Comments   ,

Do You want to know a secret: The Kinks…

It was 50 years ago today, May 5th 1967 that The Kinks released their staggeringly beautiful “Waterloo Sunset”. Acclaimed by many as The Kinks single best piece of work, it was solely written and produced by Ray Davies! ( without any help from long time Kinks producer Shel Talmy) Didja know that the song was originally titled “Liverpool Sunset”? Although a Londoner, Davies had fallen in love with the Liverpool area and it’s trending music scene. Ray tended to spend all his free time there. And yes, One of The Kinks early gigs was a five week stand at The Cavern Club! Early on, many fans believed “Waterloo Sunset” was about two very popular English actors Terrance Stamp and Julie Christie who were allegedly in a relationship, due to the song lyric….”Terry meets Julie, Waterloo station every Friday night” But it wasn’t true. The line was referring to Ray’s sister Julie and her boyfriend Terry. As incredible as the record was it stalled at number two in the U.K. And barely charted in the U.S.
Let’s listen to one of the best from the 1960’s

May 5, 2017     2 Comments   , , ,

Do you want to know a secret: Rod Stewart and his friend Sharon !

Elton John’s nickname is “Rocket Man”, So dubbed after his huge number one hit, of the same name in 1972, from his “Honkey Chateau” album. However, his very good friend Rod Stewart always calls him Sharon !…

But….Get this, didja know that Rod did a huge solid for his friend “Sharon” when in 1970 Rod recorded and released “Country Comfort”…. An early song from Elton John and Bernie Taupin. A full two years prior to Elton releasing it in 1972 on his “Tumbleweed Connection” album!

“That’s what friends are for”!

Soooo, Let’s listen to Rod’s recording from “Gasoline Alley”…….”For Sharon”

 

May 1, 2017     2 Comments   , , , , ,