Sixties Music Secrets

Author: Rick

The SMS Trivia Question Of The Week (how good are you?)

But first BIG CONGRATULATIONS go out, once again to Mr. John Zambetti ONCE AGAIN for being the only SMS reader to correctly answer last week’s trivia quiz. The question?…”Who was Henry John Deutshendorf, what was the title of one of his hits and how did he die?
The correct answer is ; John Denver…”Country Roads” and John died in a plane crash, while piloting his new experimental Air Craft…
Well Done, John Zambetti.
SMS would like to add that John Zambetti is the only reader in our world-wide audience who has correctly answered over 90% of our weekly trivia questions since we introduced them a little over one year ago!
YES! Mr. Zambetti you are the first recipient of The ” SMS, SAA” Which is… “The Sixties Music Secrets, Special Achievement Award”. YEAH, YEAH, YEAH!…Lets hear it for Mr. Z!

But now, John and everyone, It’s time for this weeks question: Give us the name of Three hit bands from The 60’s where the “Bands name” includes the word “Who”. Plus give us the title of at least one hit from each group AND the name of the lead singer who sang each hit from each group?
It really is a lot easier than it sounds!

In summary…3 bands whose band name includes the word “Who”
..3 hits, one from each band!
..3 different lead singers one from each band!

You got this, and YES, you can include “The Obvious…


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October 17, 2017     19 Comments   , ,

Jokes about Lead Singers !…Cuz…er, do we really need a reason?

Here’s this weeks section for jokes and funny story’s about musicians, experiences and all humorous things music related 60’s or other wise….
We know you have a funny bit in you, so please don’t hold back!

This Week we’re featuring jokes about Lead Vocalists…

….What do you call a computer that sings with great emotion?
A Dell….

….Did you hear about the Lead singer who couldn’t find a singing partner?
He had to get a duet yourself kit…..

….Why was the Soprano lead vocalist arrested?
Because he was in treble…..

“….Opera” is when the lead vocalist gets stabbed in the back, he doesn’t bleed and die, HE SINGS!…..


….How do you know there is a Lead Singer at the door?
He can’t find the key, and doesn’t know when to come in…

And of course…How many Soprano singers does it take to screw in a light bulb?

Six, One to screw it in, and five to say “He can’t get that high!

Now…..Your turn. GOT ONE?

October 16, 2017     12 Comments   , ,

Turn On !….The Television.

In the 1960’s, when we weren’t listening to the greatest music of all time, we watched T.V ! No Cable, No flat screens, just three networks and the most innovative and entertaining programming in history. Nearly all of the worlds most popular programs included opening and closing musical themes. Many of them established their own identity and remain with us, holding a place in our life and culture as powerful and memorable as much as the music we “tuned” into on the radio in The 60’s…Who hasn’t invoked “The Twilight Zone” theme anytime something weird happens? or tried to plunk out “Peter Gunn” on the piano?

……Right here, each week, we’ll focus on one of your favorite T.V. Shows from The 60’s and the GREAT MUSIC  that accompanied them.

This week 10/11/17 were focusing on one programme that originated out of the U.K. ran from 1961 to 1969 and we bet holds a special place in your memory and life experience…..”THE AVENGERS”
Ah Yes “John Steed Top professional”and “Emma Peel Talented Amateaur” Spy’s and crime fighters taking on all types of Bad Guy’s in the hippest clothes and coolest cars! Holding a gun in one hand and a glass of Moët Chandon in the other…..Ah, but before SMS can go any further, we have to pause and catch our breath as we recall Mrs. Emma Peel “The Talented Amateure ” played exquisitely by the exquisite Diana Rigg! Diana may not have been our first “Television Crush” but to this day she remains our most profound….If you grew up in the U.K. You may have a more intense memory of The Avengers. It’s practically a miracle rhat us Yanks ever saw the show at all. The Avengers debuted in 1961 in England, but didn’t make it to the U.S. Until 1965 when Thames T.V. Made a deal with ABC to carry the series!However, ABC was concerned about the shows violent and suggestive content so aired the show at 11:30 EST……Steering way clear of the FCC mandated “Family hour” but more importantly to The Avengers producers “Prime Time” where The audience and BIG MONEY resided. After the first year ABC then moved the show to 8;00p.m. Monday’s directly opposing NBC’s Juggernaught “Laugh In” The move all but killed this incredible, cool, sexy, stylish trend setting show
Cries of “FOUL” by it’s meager U.S. Audience and the shows original English producers, Thames T.V. Finally convinced ABC to air The Avengers at 10:00p.m. EST. But we followed faithfully. The Avengers became “The Water Cooler Conversation” of the day, at least among the young male viewers and always about Mrs. Peel and her latest outfit of form fitting jump suit and Stilletto heals. However, her partner John Steed, played exquisitely by Patrick Macnee “The Top Professional” held his own. Driving a different Classic Bently each week while sporting his ” Straight outta Carnaby Street classic” Three Piece with a Boller hat and Umbrella, which, of course when subtly activated turned into lethal weapons. But, in addition to the style and suggestive sexy/cool, The Avengers always “Broke the fourth wall”! That’s a T.V. Industry term for acknowledging the viewing audience and the fact that you may be deep in the plot but…..It’s a T.V. Show….
Here’s an example from an episode we watched last night. John and Mrs. Peel walk into a room where they find (of course) a dead body…..Mrs. Peel sez; “John, A DEAD BODY!….John Steed replies: “My lord isn’t it a bit early for a body?…Mrs. Peel replies: “Yes, my script doesn’t include a dead body for six more pages”…..Absolute fourth wall breakage brilliancy…
identifying your favorite T.V. Show from the 60’s is kinda like identifying your favorite child. But we’re going out on a limb…..The Avengers gets our vote. We chased it around three time slots talked about it all day in school and kept a picture of Diana Rigg in our desk!
BUT, it was the opening theme music that grabbed us from the first frame and first note. Sooo cool, powerful, original and compelling, written and produced by the incredible, now legendary, British Saxaphoneist John Dankworth, it was an energized blend of Jazz with some “Swinging London horns and strings plus a taste of the obligatory 60’s Harpsicord. The opening theme simply and profoundly announced The Avengers were coming, and THEY WERE COOL ! But Dankworths score was most effectively used as stingers or cues to punch up the good stuff on screen. An attempt was made to release a single on Columbia records, but it failed. We believe it’s failure was due to the devoted cult like fans who didn’t want to share or taint their precious Avengers with “The Great Unwashed”…..We know that sounds counter intuitive, but if you were an Avengers fan you get it..
As for now…..”Mrs. Peel, Wer’re needed” Yet again, if you were an Avengers fan…you get that too

Enjoy the “Swingingest” theme from some of the best T.V. From The 60’s…

October 11, 2017     2 Comments   , , , , ,

“Strap Your Hands Cross My Engines”

It was on this day Feb 8th, 1965 that The Castiles opened for The Florescents at thr I.B. Club in Howell New Jersey! This was The Castiles first advertised club show featuring their newest member / Lead Guitarist, Bruce Springsteen!
Check out this rare live recording of Bruce and The Castiles doing their cover of Sam and Dave’s “Hold On I’m Coming” Circa 1966…..Tickets that night to enjoy The Florescents and The Castiles featuring “The Boss” we’re just $1.00

October 8, 2017     2 Comments   , ,

Semolina Pilchard?…

It was on this day Sept. 29, 1967 when The Beatles put the finishing touches on the mix for John Lennon’s “I Am The Walrus”
John, irratated after reading in the newspaper that a teacher at his former elemantary school had her students write a paper analyzing Beatle lyrics, he deliberately wrote a verse of what he called “Gibberous”
… “Semolina Pilchard, climbing up the Eifel Tower,
elemantary penguin singing Hare Krishna, man you should have seen them kicking Edgar Alan Poe” etc. etc.
“That’ll teach ’em!
Scroll down below for comments…

September 29, 2017     4 Comments   , , , ,

A Day In The…..”Death” : Paul

It was on this day Sept. 23, 1969 that The Northern Star Newspaper from the University of Northern Illinois ran a story that claimed Paul McCartney was killed in an automobile accident three years earlier and was replaced by an impersonator named Billy Shears
Immediately after the story ran popular disc jockey Russell Gibb of WKNR in Detroit ran with the story and convincing the world became his mission
Yes, Russell is considered “Ground Zero” for the infamous “Paul Is Dead Hoax”!
…..Just for fun, here are some of the silly clues and theories that supported the conspiracy
…True believers, including many journalists and D.J.s began referring to the replacement Paul as “Faul”…….Faux-Paul, get it?
….On the back cover of Sgt. pepper George is pointing at the Lyric “Wednesday morning at five ‘O clock.” Allegedly the day and time Paul was killed!
On the back cover of Abbey Road, a Volswagon Beetle is parked on the street with a license plate that reads “28 if” True believers claim that it’s a reference to Pauls age. They believe Paul was 27 when he died and would be “28 IF, he had survived”….Are you with us, so far?
…..In the final groove of Strawderry Fields Forever, believers believe they can hear John say “I buried Paul” years later John admitted it was him just muttering some nonsense. “I buried Paul” was actually “Cranberry Sauce”
…..In the performance of “Your Mother Should Know” from Magical Mystery Tour, Paul is wearing a BLACK carnation while the other three are wearing RED ones!
…..And our all time favorite; If you play “Revolution Number Nine” ( from The White Album ) BACKWARDS, the clinical unknown voice that hauntingly repeats “Number Nine, Number Nine…becomes “Turn Me On Deadman”….actuyally kinda creepy!
SO! How about you? Do you recall this insane conspiracy, did you buy into it, and most important, do you have any further clues we may have missed?

September 23, 2017     2 Comments   ,

Jumpin’ Jack Flash it’s a Gas, Gas, Gas…. UPDATE!…

You’re gonna love this ( and read below for an update ) On this day, July 8th in 1959, The Esso gas company introduced  a campaign claiming that listening to “Rock an Roll” music on the radio while driving would result in poor gas mileage.  The Esso researchers asserted that “The driving beat of Rock music caused the driver to press heavier in the gas peddle, wasting America’s latest precious resource…..HUNH?

Don’t know about you but we find it so strange and counter intuitive! Especially when you consider that Esso was in the business of selling as much gasoline as possible..

It also underscores the level of confusion and disdain Rock music was initially met with…

“Rev it up, rev it up, buddy gonna shut you down”

What do you think?

SMS UPDATE! You’re gonna love THIS more. On this date, Sept. 15th 1965….

The Ford Motor Co. debuted  The 8 Track Tape Player as on option for their entire line of vehicles, less then 5 years after ESSO Gas warned that listening to rock music in the car will reduce your gas mileage!….

Ah, but here’s the rub; As 8 Trk home equipment was still one year away, new 8 TRK Tapes could only be purchased at “Automotive / Auto Parts stores!

Do you remember “Mad Man Muntz” ?

His Green and Purple car parts and electronics stores became extremely popular with a whole new clientele overnight, selling these new 8 TRKS…
And, get this in 1967 alone “Mad Man Muntz did over $30,000,000 in car stereo’s and tapes!

Did you ever shop there?

Did you have one of those “infernal” 8 TRKS in your car?


Just for fun…Here’s “Shut Down” by The Beach Boys from1963…



























September 15, 2017     4 Comments   , , ,

A Day In The Life…”Magical Mystery Tour”

Yes, it was 50 years ago today Sept. 11, 1967 when The Beatles set off on their newest project /  adventure / and first major failure, their first and last film completely written, produced, directed and starring John, Paul, George and Ringo…

The full cast and crew set off in their now famously decorated bus directly for The West Country of England, specifically the counties  of Cornwall and Devon. They had no plan or true destination. They had no script. Each Beatle brought along pockets full of random thoughts scribbled down on bits of paper, notes like Lennon’s… “later John Serves a fat lady huge shovel’s of Spaghetti dressed as a Maitre ‘de.” Paul collected and collated the notes  and named them The Scrupt!

And the shooting began, day and night until Sept 25th Yep, just 15 day’s yielding 10 hours of film, edited down to a mere 58 minutes!

we know, you know just about everything about this ill fated project, but we’re here to share a few “Didja knows” you may not  have been aware of….You remember The Beatles oddball B-Side to “Let It Be”…”You Know My Name, Look Up My Number”  Paul gives a shout out to Dennis O ‘del….Who?…. Dennis was an independent associate producer who worked on Magical Mystery Tour….Paul liked him and named him in his song!….They indeed shot the film in The West Country, but one day they ran off to Nice in the south of France and in an extremely clandestine maneuver “No permits/ permissions clearances etc. and  shot “The Fool On The Hill”

The only other musical guests to briefly appear in the film were “The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band” performing their song “Death Cab For Cutie” Yep same name as the indie band that formed in 1997 in Washington…

Furthermore, Traffic were originally in the film performing their song  “Here We Go ‘Round The Mulberry Bush” But,  their performance became a victim of “The editors knife” and were cut out at the last minute. Probably another bad decision for this doomed project!

Although all four Beatles are credited as writers, Directors, producers and Stars…Only Ringo is singled out with his solo credit as “Cinematographer”

the truth is all four Beatles were constantly shooting. In fact Paul is credited with the idea and concept for Macical Mystery Tour as an extension of his current hobby he was calling “Home movies”

But Ringo actually got a credit, something he may regret today…Curious, ain’t it?….or, another gift from John and Paul for their humble band mate ?

The film debuted in the U.K. on Television!….BBC One on “Boxing Day” (Dec. 26) in 1967….And get this!  At this point in time BBC One could only transmit Black and White images! So all the Psychedelia, rich colors and beauty were lost in a wash of dull Grey/Black/White swirls!……Audience and critics hated and didn’t understand it……They demanded an apology from McCartney and he spoke up! He said that “It was their first film and they considered it a brilliant  success……Remember  the quote “I did not have sex with that woman” Sumthin’ like that. Two weeks later B.B.C. Two aired the film, B.B.C. Two, ( the lessor of the two networks ) however had the technology to air the film in COLOR! At that point in time it was reported there were 200,000 color sets in England  and only a fraction of their owners watched the film, the damage was done!

In fact it took seven years for the film to even get released in the U.S. New Line Cinema released the film at a gala screening in NYC in 1974. The film was received more favorably in the U.S. Afterall, even with all the bad press  IT WAS THE BEATLES,…How bad could it be”?

Your mother should know!

Did You ever see the movie? Do you have an opinion?….We’d love to know!…

September 11, 2017     6 Comments   ,

” What’s A Matter Baby” ?

The Music Business is rich with great stories! One of our favorites is about Ike Turner and his new girlfriend, protegee, meal ticket, future wife and Love Slave. Anna Mae Bullock…..Mrs. Tina Turner!

As the story goes, the first time Ike took Tina into the studio, they had quite a difficult time recording Tina’s  voice. The problem was,  her voice was just so uncontrollably powerful! No matter what Ike and his engineer tried to do Tina’s powerful voice overwhelmed the microphone, “Pinned” the limiters and blew every fuse in the control room!

So, Ike got an idea, he simply moved the microphone to the furthest corner of the studio and told Tina to “Hit it”…….And Tina “Hit it” When you hear “A Fool In Love” you’re hearing Tina’s voice from across the room! Yet it sounds like she’s singing in your ear!……There was no voice more powerful than Tina Turners’

BUT WAIT….Do you remember  Timi Yuro?  The diminutive 22 year old Italian/ American Contralto from Chicago?…..If Ike had to move the Microphone across the  ROOM  for Tina, then Timi Yuro’s producer, Clyde Otis had to move Timi’s  Microphone across the STREET!

YES! Timi Yuro was a Force Five “Contralto” the lowest register for the female voice humanly possible. With a clarity, power and richness no one had heard before. For reference, think James Earl Jones doing Burt Bacharach…….And, in a way in 1962 a lot of people did. When Timi Yuro broke thru with the incredible “What’s a Matter Baby?” Many radio listeners thought  she was a man, several more thought she was a BLACK MAN!

But NO! Timi was a petite 5 ft. female… A Feisty / sexy Italian, Chicago transplant who came to L.A. In the mid 50’s and as a young girl sang in her parent’s Italian restaurant along with other Bars and Dives around L.A.until Clyde Otis from Liberty records  heard about “The girl who sounds like a guy”

Timi was 21 when Otis (fresh off huge hits with Dinah Washington and Brook Benton) took her in the studio and wrote and produced “What’s A Matter Baby”……In 1962 we believed Tina Turner was the untouchable Amazon Queen of Girl singers…..But then came Timi. She was everywhere, starting in L.A. On The Lloyd Thaxton show, then American Bandstand, Where The Action Is and TWO appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show!

But most of all she was all over the radio, every format, every  country, every city. Which brings us to our favorite memory and our point ;   The power of Timi Yuro’s voice!

In 1962 the only radio in our family was an RCA “VICTOR” A.M. Radio, it was red with a kind of gold leaf. It was a square box with two knobs, Volume and Tuning….It looked like a toaster and in 1962 it was already  twenty years old, survived several moves, spilt milk, food, clouds of  our Mom’s cigarette smoke and a glop of whipped cream my brother flung at me, missed, but VICTOR took head on. Through the years, however our beloved “VICTOR” A.M. radio/toaster developed a slight buzz in the speaker, nothing serious but certain sounds came out with a benign “bzzzzzz”…….very manageable, until Timi Yuro visited VICTOR with “What’s A Matter Baby” It was a Saturday Morning, my brother Rob and I were enjoying our bowls of “Cheerios”, we had VICTOR  blasting when “What’s a Matter” comes on, my brother leans over and turns up the volume. Even at the young age of 12, I somehow knew that was not a good idea…….Rob and I are swaying to the music enjoying our Cheerios ignoring the occasional “bzzzzz”  and Then Timi gets to the bridge where she hit’s “The Money Note” as she sings “Go find another shoulder to CRY E Yi Eeeyi on” and that little “bzzzz” in VICTOR erupted into an awful “Platspumf ”

VICTOR, my brother and I would never hear music right again. Now, thanx to Timi and Clyde every record we heard included that distinctive “Platspumf” but it was getting louder and somehow always happened right at the same moment as our favorite point in every record!….How did it know?…..”Platspumf”……

My brother Rob believe’s it was all the years of knob twisting abuse and sloppy table manners that finished “VICTOR”……..But I say no “‘Twas Timi, killed The Beast”


But it’s time for you to enjoy this incredible record….”Little Timi Yuro”  at the peak of her powers, singing from across the street but sounding like she’s right in your ear!…..If you’re listening with a mobile device, turn down the low end, if you’re listening in the car, turn it up! AND…….If you’re somehow listening  on your family’s old A.M. Radio/ toaster…..Prepare to kiss the speaker Good Bye…


August 31, 2017     8 Comments   , , , ,

“Stevie Wonder/12 Year Old Genius”

es, it was on this day August 25, 1963! that Stevie Wonder captured  the music world and dominated it ever since! 54 years ago today hisingle “Fingertips part two” achieved the number one position on The Billboard Hot 100 chart. Additionally his debut album “Stevie Wonder / The 12 Year Old Genius Live” also took the number one position….This was the first time any artist had achieved such a fete in the history of Billboard magazine! Furthermore it was the first “Live” album to reach number One!…Stevie has gone on to sell over 100 million records…
Take a minute and be blown away by the live film of Stevie’s performance and recording of “Fingertips part two” live at The Apollo Theater in New York…..Take notice of the banner over the stage. In 1963 the show was billed as “A Motortown Revue” NOT A “Motown” Revue! Very early days for Barry Gordy’s fledgeling record label. Meanwhile, for the record his real name is Steveland Hardaway Judkins and yes, he’s been blind since birth, which we all now know has only enhanced his talent and inspiration! Check out this first  stunning milestone  in a career that’s lasted nearly 60 years!

August 25, 2017     8 Comments   , , ,