It was on this day, June 25th in 1969 that The Holles entered Abbey Road studios to begin recording what was to be their next single “He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother” The band was so excited about this new song that they decided to approach it a bit differently, they brought in a full orchestra and hired “a professional piano player.” The piano players name was Reginald Dwight and in little over a year he’d become the most famous piano player in music!
Incidently, Reggie received 12 pounds ( a little over $20 ) for his days work…
( YOU, of course know this but,… Reggie’s PKA is Elton John )
Lets listen to Reggie and The Hollies…
Perhaps the oddest song to rule the U.S. Music charts in the 1960’s was the one and only full on Japanese recording called “Sukiyaki” ( yes, like the food ) by Kyu (as in cue )Sakamoto The record burst onto the U.S. Charts the first week of June in 1963, went straight to number one and held the position for 3 weeks! We received little to no information from our local D.J. or fan mags about this odd recording that sounded like “our parents music” by an unknown vocalist, Kyu Sakamoto, whose name we couldn’t pronounce. The songs original title was, “Ue o Miute Aroku” which loosely translates to “I look up when I walk, so my tears won’t fall”…..Yeah, “Sukiyaki” is basically a “Love gone wrong song” But the U.S. Record label changed the title to “Sukiyaki.” A word that never appears in the song, and has nothing to do with the lyric, the label picked it because they thought it was the only Japanese word Americans may recognize and repeat ! Kyu, meanwhile was a handsome talented singer/actor/ musician showing up on “Bandstand” Ed Sullivan etc. and somehow breaking through and appealing to America’s youth! Made even more difficult by the fact that in 1963 many of our parents were still holding a huge racist grudge against the Japanese from Pearl Harbour and World War II. “Sukiyaki continued on to become a number one record around the world with sales in excess of 13 million singles
Our fondest memory of this record was singing along with it and mispronouncing the Japanese lyrics struggling to translate and make sense of it…….”Oh how are you ooo ooo ooh, give me a call al al all” something like that! Admit it, you did the same, dintja?
…OK. Lotus Blossom it’s time to sing along with Kyu…
Horns ! The Brass section. Trumpets, Trombones, saxophones, French horns and, occasionally The Tuba. The horn section in American music was both its staple and it’s cornerstone. Going back to the early to mid 1920’s when America gave birth to “Big Bands The horns delivered the melody, harmony, rhythm, and deep bottom end. A typical configuration included 5 saxophones, 4 Trumpets, 4 Trombones and a Tuba, augmented and supported by a rhythm section of Guitar, Bass, Piano and Drums. Through the years, the typical line up would adjust accordingly as America’s Big Band sound morphed and matured into sub genres like “Dance Band” ” Stage Band” ” Jazz Band” and “Swing Bands” The popularity of this Brass enriched American sound dominated the sheet music business, saturated the fledgling radio industry, established a recorded music fever and even made a splash in The Movies in The 30’s and 40’s “Battles of the Bands” became the standard attraction every weekend at theaters and concert/ dance halls across the country, frequently featuring a half-dozen or more bands on the same bill. But!…No matter how popular the “Horn centric” sound of America’s music sounded in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s’ Audiences and taste’s change and mature and by the end of the 1940’s popular music in America placed less emphasis on the Brass section with traditional arrangements and began focusing more on inspired improvisation by a strong rhythm section perhaps including a trumpet and a “Reed” instrument It was called Bee Bop and by the beginning of the 1950’s the horn heavy sound of “Big Band” and “Swing” had all but vanished, and a new generation of music lovers were hungry for their own sound, and it certainly wouldn’t include a “Brass section……..UNTIL, of course, THE 1960’s ! Beginning in 1967 the sky’s opened up and it rained down Brass sections. We’re certain, here at SMS, that when you think of horn bands, Two bands come to mind…Chicago, and Blood Sweat and Tears. Two distinctively different groups but both focusing their power and creativity on their horn sections, an easy twenty years after the last vestiges of the Big Bands reverberated off in the distance!
Somehow, Chicago and Blood, Sweat, and Tears made horns COOL again… B,S, and T and Chicago made their debut’s in ’68 and ’69 respectively. However, did you know that in 1967 The Buckinghams scored 5 top twenty nit singles with a sound they called “Brass Rock”
Billboard magazine dubbed them “The most listened to band in America” But, we’re guessing you remember The Buckinghams as just another Top 40 band that got played too much. But not the members of Chicago and B, S, and T. They all credit The Buck’s with re – introducing horns into popular music and they took the idea, ran with it, and made “Brass Rock” the coolest new music on the radio, as well as selling millions and millions off records ! (it needs to be noted that Chicago’s first three albums were double record sets!….Unheard of !
Sooo, this brings up an old 1960’s argument…..The argument?….” who was better, “Chicago”, or “Blood, Sweat and Tears”?
We’re a curious bunch here at SMS and we gotta know, which team were you with….Team “Chicago” or Team”Blood Sweat and Tears” ?
Please comment back and let us know your preference and why !
To help aid your memory…Team Chicago
And of course…Team… Blood Sweat and Tears
P.S. Didja know that The Buckinghams, Chicago and Blood, Sweat and Tears were all produced at one point by the same man. James William Guercio….. Unbelievable!
Didja know that on this date June 7th in 1964 The Rolling Stones were in the middle of their first tour of America
At their performance in San Antonio Texas, the band was Boo’d off the stage. The quick thinking promoter immediately brought the opening act back out on stage……However, that act was a group of performing MONKEYS!….
We’re sure there’s a great joke in here somewhere, but we’ll let it go….Meanwhile, here’s “Monkey Man” by The Stones..Give it a click!