Wednesday, December 08, 2010

60's POP SONGS


      The crickets have been in full possession of this space for some time now. But I thought I’d parachute in and dislodge them (at least temporarily)  Though the regular subject matter here is actors and actresses, this time I’m switching gears and focusing on music – 60’s music to be exact. The early part of that decade is when I first seriously plugged into the hit parade.  I had a friend named Mike – we  were both about 13 – who twigged to the wonders of top 40 radio at just the same time as me. We used to make weekend  forays downtown to haunt the  record outlets – Kresge’s and Mahon’s - where our  frequent appearances and low spending levels regularly attracted icy stares from a couple of staff members. But we were persistent as gnats till we managed  to get someone to let us look at the Billboard Hot 100 . No one ever analyzed stock market quotes  so carefully, no one ever pored over an  astrological chart more reverently  than Mike and I examining those Billboard charts. What was and wasn’t bulleted ,what was bubbling under and what was tumbling off. Mike and I always had our own horses in the race– and of course were soon making up our own personal  charts at home.   45's  were king in those days - you know, those round things with yellow  plastic centers at their hearts.  Only a windfall (like birthday money) could put an LP in our reach.  Radio stations in our town were pretty bush league. But late at night, we could usually pick up WLS Chicago on the radio – and that’s where we could hear everything. I liked early Motown – just beginning to burgeon then – and R&B singers like Jan Bradley and Baby Washington.  Things seldom if ever heard on our local white bread radio. And Dick Biondi, the head DeeJay at WLS seemed like an Olympian figure to us in those days.  I was riveted to his New Year’s Eve countdown (between songs he did phone interviews with battalions of American pop stars). I just assumed then it was all live. Now I highly doubt it. But, whatever,  I wolfed it  down. I can still hear Dick congratulating Eydie Gorme on the remarkable feat of replacing her own  husband Steve Lawrence’s #1 hit “Go Away Little Girl with her own chart-topper “Blame It On the Bossa Nova”. And I still chuckle when I remember Dick commending Connie Francis on her latest hit “I Wanna Be Warm this Winter” . To which she testily replied, that’s “I’m GONNA Be Warm This Winter”, Dick.  Of course that’s just what Mike and I were thinking and would’ve said to the great Biondi if we’d ever had the balls to correct him. Which Connie obviously did.
     Now they call those years The Girl Group Era. That’s a term invented long after the fact. Seeming to encompass not just the ubiquitous all-girl aggregations that pepper-skipped across the charts in the early 60’s – but also the girl soloists with female back-up who achieved the same sound. Sometimes the line was pretty blurry. A lot of Neil Sedaka titles  now sound like girl-group records that just happen to have a male singing lead. And Connie Francis’ sublime "Don’t Ever Leave Me” sounds an awful lot like an especially great Neil Sedaka record. Subjects seldom strayed beyond the confines of teen romance. But – let’s face it that was hardly a problem for a teen audience.
   What the pop music of that ever-so-brief  but  fondly remembered time captured was the perfect melding of Tin Pan Alley’s melodic charge with the beat of 50’s rock and roll.  Rock and roll in the 50’s was  blunt and macho. The Girl Group Era feminized it, sweetened it up  and - as the 60’s entered their mid-point - took it down sophisticated, syncopated  avenues, incorporating inspiration  from Broadway and classical sources. “Pet Sounds” could never have happened in the 50’s. When the Beatles came along they seemed to be just an exciting new extension of the era.  Who knew psychedalia , white bands shouting blues (but with unpaid dues) and aggressively whirring  guitars  would bring back the brute to batter the old era out of existence?
The music of the early 60’s may seem naive now – overly optimistic, maybe. But it’s still a nice place to go.  Nothing there to remind you of the violence-laden musical bullying that fills the charts today.  And compared to the processed cheese of  say Celine-like power ballads and Josh Groban anthems,  those early 60’s 45’s are busy little hives of genuine human energy and  feisty, bustling positivity.
     The iridescent Girl-Group bubble was, inevitably, broken. And time  marched on (as it will insist on doing) But, though I’ve made plenty of musical detours over the years,  I’ve never really stopped loving and listening to 60’s pop. And luckily there’s so much of it – including a fantastic amount of music we never heard at the time. I’ve been able to discover so many rarities and non-hits over the years. The internet, CD bonus tracks – in depth writing on the era; interviews with  players major and minor.
Here , then, is my personal  60’s chart. An alternate reality, as a friend of mine has described it. But mine, all the same.  Fifty years or so in the making.  And  the best thing is tomorrow I might just come across some previously unheard (by me) 60’s treasure that will suddenly zoom to the top of my chart with a brand new shiny bullet.

         MY 100 FAVORITE TRACKS
           FROM THE 60’s 

  1.  ARE YOU THERE WITH ANOTHER GIRL-DIONNE WARWICK
        ( Burt Bacharach-Hal David)  Scepter 1966   
  2. MY GUY-MARY WELLS
           (William “Smokey” Robinson)  Motown 1964
  3. DO I LOVE YOU-THE RONETTES
          (Vince Poncia-Pete Andreoli-Phil Spector) Philles 1964 
  4. WHAT AM I GONNA DO WITH YOU-SKEETER DAVIS
         (Jack Keller-Gerry Goffiin )  RCA 1964
  5. IS THIS WHAT I GET FOR LOVING YOU-THE RONETTES
       (Carole King-Gerry Goffin-Phil Spector) Philles 1965

                  

   6. DON’T LOSE YOUR HEAD-LINDA SCOTT
        Claus Ogerman-S. Coburn)  Kapp 1965
  7. SWING ME-NINO TEMPO & APRIL STEVENS
       (Tempo-Leigh) Atco 1965 
  8. ROUNDABOUT-PETULA CLARK
      (Tony Hatch) recorded 1965 but unissued at the time
  9. MOVE OVER DARLING-DORIS DAY
      Terry Melcher-Hal Kantor-Joe Lubin) Columbia 1963     
10. GUESS I’M DUMB-GLEN CAMPBELL
      (Brian Wilson-Russ Titelman)  Capitol 1965

       

11. BE TRUE TO YOURSELF-BOBBY VEE
       (Burt Bacharach-Hal David)  Liberty  1963
12. HELLO STRANGER-BARBARA LEWIS
       (Barbara Lewis)  Atlantic 1963
13. THE WORLD THROUGH A TEAR-NEIL SEDAKA
       (Chris & Peter Allen)  RCA 1965
14. I CAN’T SEE ME WITHOUT YOU-SKEETER DAVIS
        (Sandra Rhodes)  RCA 1966
15. COME AND GET THESE MEMORIES -MARTHA & THE VANDELLAS
        (Holland-Dozier Holland)  Gordy 1963 
16. CHANGIN’ MY MIND-JACKIE DE SHANNON
       (Myrna Fox March-Roger Illingsworth-Richard Grasso) Imperial 1967
17. WOULDN’T IT BE NICE-THE BEACH BOYS
       (Brian Wilson-Tony Asher) Capitol 1966
18. COME AND GET ME-JACKIE DE SHANNON
       (Burt Bacharach-Hal David)  Imperial 1966
19. I DIDN’T HAVE ANY SUMMER ROMANCE-CAROLE KING
       (Carole King-Gerry Goffin)  Dimension 1962
20. ONE FINE DAY-THE CHIFFONS
       (Carole King-Gerry Goffin)
21. DOES HE LOVE ME-MARY WELLS
       (William Stevenson-Ivy Joe Hunter) Motown 1964
22. NEVER NEVER LEAVE ME-MARY WELLS
       (Jennie Lee Lambert-Mickey Gentile) 20th Century Fox 1964
23. LOOKING THROUGH THE EYES OF LOVE-GENE PITNEY
       (Barry Mann-Cynthia Weill)  Musicor 1965
24. YOU BABY-THE RONETTES
       (Barry Mann-Cynthia Weill-Phil Spector) Philles 1964   
25. THE LOOK OF LOVE-DUSTY SPRINGFIELD
       (Burt Bacharach-Hal David)  Colgems 1967
              “Casino Royale” soundtrack version


26. I’VE BEEN WRONG BEFORE-DUSTY SPRINGFIELD
       (Randy Newman)  Philips 1965
27. IT’S OVER-JIMMIE RODGERS
       (Jimmie Rodgers) A&M 1965
28.  WHY DON’T YOU LET YOURSELF GO-MARY WELLS
       (Rudy Clark)  20th Century Fox 1964
29. JUST A LITTLE LOVIN’-DUSTY SPRINGFIELD
       (Barry Mann-Cynthia Weill)  Atlantic 1969
30. LOOKING WITH MY EYES-DIONNE WARWICK
       (Burt Bacharach-Hal David)  Scepter 1965
31. EVERYTHING IN THE GARDEN-PETULA CLARK
       (Roger Greenaway)  Vogue/Warner Bros 1965
32.DON’T GO BREAKING MY HEART-BURT BACHARACH(& CHORUS)
       (Burt Bacharach-Hal David)  Kapp 1965    
33. TRUE LOVE NEVER RUNS SMOOTH-PETULA CLARK
       (Burt Bacharach-Hal David) Vogue/Warner Bros. 1964
34. IF YOU WAIT FOR LOVE-BOBBY GOLDSBORO
       (Bobby Goldsboro)  United Artists 1965
35. ROLL ON BUDDY-ODETTA
       (Public Domain)  Vanguard 1963
36. THAT SUNDAY THAT SUMMER-NAT “KING” COLE
       (J. Sherman-G. Weiss)  Capitol 1963

37. THEY’RE JEALOUS OF ME-CONNIE STEVENS
       Carole King-Gerry Goffin)  Warner Bros. 1964
38. DON’T MENTION MY NAME-THE SHEPHERD SISTERS
       (Bob Crewe-Bob Gaudio)  Atlantic 1963
39. DO LIKE I DO-CHRIS CLARK
       (Willam “Smokey” Robinson,William Stevenson,Ivy Joe Hunter)
              recorded 1965 buy unissued at the time
40. I DIDN”T MEAN TO HURT YOU-THE SHIRELLES
       (Ellie Greenwich-Tom Powers)  Scepter 1963

            

41. MY BABY LOVES ME-MARTHA & THE VANDELLAS
       (Sylvia Moy-William Stevenson-Ivy Joe Hunter)  Gordy 1966
42. MADE IN PARIS-TRINI LOPEZ
       (Burt Bacharach-Hal David)  Reprise 1965
43. ANY OLD TIME OF THE DAY-DIONNE WARWICK
        (Burt Bacharach-Hal David)  Scepter 1964
44. WE HAVE ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD-LOUIS ARMSTRONG
       (John Barry-Hal David)  Liberty 1969
45.  98.6 / LAZY DAY –LESLEY GORE
       (Gary Fischoff-Tom Powers)  Mercury 1969
46. DO NOT DISTURB-DORIS DAY
       (Mark Barkan-Ben Raleigh)  Columbia 1965
47. THE BIGGEST NIGHT OF HER LIFE-HARPERS BIZARRE
       (Randy Newman) Warner Bros. 1968
48. HE’S IN TOWN-THE TOKENS
       (Carole King-Gerry Goffin)  BT Puppy 1964
49. I’LL KEEP HOLDING ON-THE MARVELETTES
       (William Stevenson-Ivy Joe Hunter)  Tamla 1964
50. YOU CAME YOU SAW YOU CONQUERED-THE RONETTES
       (Toni Wine-Irving Levine-Phil Spector)  A&M  1969

      




51. YOU’LL NEVER GET TO HEAVEN-DIONNE WARWICK
        (Burt Bacharach-Hal David)  Scepter 1964
52. I GUESS THE LORD MUST BE IN NEW YORK CITY-NILSSON          
        (Harry Nilsson)  RCA 1969
53. THEY DON’T MAKE LOVE LIKE THEY USED TO-SKEETER DAVIS
       (Red Lane)  RCA 1969
54. SO TENDERLY -ST. GEORGE  & TANA
       (John Campolongo)  Kapp 1967
55. GO AWAY LITTLE GIRL-STEVE LAWRENCE
       (Carole King-Gerry Goffin)  Columbia 1962
56. ONE MORE TOWN-THE KINGSTON TRIO                      
       (John Stewart)   Capitol 1962
57. ILLINOIS – THE EVERLY BROTHERS
       (Randy Newman)   Warner Bros. 1968                     
58. EVERYBODY GO HOME-EYDIE GORME 
       (Carole King-Gerry Goffin)  Columbia 1963
59. ALL OF MY LIFE-CONNIE STEVENS
       (H. Miller-Tom Powers)  Warner Bros. 1966
60. THE CLOSEST THING TO HEAVEN-NEIL SEDAKA
       (Neil Sedaka-Howard Greenfield) RCA 1964


61. HE’S A BAD BOY-CAROLE KING
       (Carole King-Gerry Goffin) Dimension 1963
62. SCOTCH AND SODA-THE KINGSTON TRIO
       (Dave Guard)  Capitol 1962                      
63. I CAN’T HEAR YOU-BETTY EVERETT
       (Carole King-Gerry Goffin)  VeeJay 1964
64. SEND ME NO FLOWERS-DORIS DAY
       (Burt Bacharach-Hal David)  Columbia 1964
65. SHALL I TELL HER-DIONNE WARWICK
       Burt Bacharach-Hal David)  Scepter 1964
66. J’AI PAS LE TEMPS-PETULA CLARK
       (Brian Wilson-Roger Christian-Salvet-Carriere) Vogue 1964
67. THINK OF YOU-NINO TEMPO & APRIL STEVENS
        (Weisham-D’Amica)  Atco 1965
68. COME ON-A MY HOUSE-JULIE LONDON
       (Russ Bagdasarian-William Saraoyan) Liberty 1962
69. LE SEPTIEME JOUR  -DALIDA
       (Boris Bergman-Michel Bernhold)  Barclay 1968   
70. STRAIGHTEN UP YOUR HEART-BARBARA LEWIS   
       (Sharon McMahon)   Atlantic 1963
71. HERE TODAY-THE BEACH BOYS
       (Brian Wilson-Tony Asher)  Capitol 1966
72. HOW CAN I SAY GOODBYE-BARBARA LEWIS
       (Victor Melrose-Lenore Rosenblatt) Atlantic 1964
73. LITTLE HONDA (ALTERNATE VERSION)-THE BEACH BOYS            
       Brian Wilson-Mike Love)   Recorded 1963 but unissued at the time
74. TOO YOUNG-SKEETER DAVIS                      
       (Sylvia Dee-Sidney Lippman)  RCA 1965
75. IN THE DEEP OF NIGHT-CONNIE STEVENS
       (Les Reed-Gordon Mills)  Warner Bros. 1965
76. ONE WONDERFUL NIGHT-THE HONEYBEES
       (Carole King-Gerry Goffin)  Fontana 1964
77. I’LL BE BACK-THE BEATLES
       (Paul McCartney-John Lennon)  EMI Parlophone 1964
78. I WANNA BE WITH YOU-NANCY WILSON
       (Charles Strouse-Lee Adams)  Capitol 1964
79. HEY GIRL-FREDDIE SCOTT
       (Carole King-Gerry Goffin)  Colpix 1963
80. BLUE ON BLUE-BOBBY VINTON
       (Burt Bacharach-Hal David)  Epic 1963

       

81. KEEP ON TRYIN’ –BOBBY VEE
       (Van McCoy)   Liberty 1965
82. YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE-NANCY SINATRA
       (John Barry-Leslie Bricusse)
83. THE DREAMER-NEIL SEDAKA
       (Neil Sedaka-Howard Grossman)   RCA 1963
84. TO WAIT FOR LOVE-TONY ORLANDO
       (Burt Bacharach-Hal David)   Epic 1964
85. WHAT DOES IT TAKE (TO WIN YOUR LOVE) -JUNIOR WALKER & THE  ALLSTARS
       (John Bristol-Harvey Fuqua-Vernon Bullock)  Soul 1968


86. ROUNDABOUT-CONNIE FRANCIS
        (Tony Hatch)  MGM 1965
87. NIGHT AND DAY-SERGIO MENDES & BRASIL 66
       (Cole Porter)   A&M 1967
88. ETERNALLY-PETULA CLARK
       (Charles Chaplin)  Vogue/Warner Bros. 1967
89. THAT’S HOW HEARTACHES ARE MADE-DUSTY SPRINGFIELD
       (Jerry Ragavoy-Bert Russell)  Philips 1965




90. GAMES THAT LOVERS PLAY-CONNIE FRANCIS
       (James Last-Larry Kusic-Gunter Loose-Eddie Snyder) MGM 1966
 91. IS IT LOVE-CILLA BLACK
       (Bobby Willis)  EMI Parlophone 1965
92. I MAKE A FOOL OF MYSELF-FRANKIE VALLI
       (Bob Crewe-Bob Gaudio)  Philips 1967
93. THE ONE WHO REALLY LOVES YOU-MARY WELLS
       (William “Smokey” Robinson)  Motown 1962
 94. ANYTHING GOES - HARPERS BIZARRE
       (Cole Porter)  Warner Bros. 1968
95. MOONLIGHT SWIM –ELVIS PRESLEY
       Sylvia Dee-Ben Weisman)  RCA 1961
96. I’LL FOLLOW THE SUN-THE BEATLES
       (Paul McCartney-John Lennon)  EMI Parlophone 1964
97. FOLLE DE TOI-PETULA CLARK
       (Pierre Delanoe-C. Chevalier)  Vogue 1966
98. I WISH YOU COULD BE HERE-THE CYRKLE
       (Paul Simon-B. Woodley) Columbia 1967
99. DAS IST DIE FRAGE ALLER FRAGEN-CLIFF RICHARD
       (Lieber-Stoller-Brecher)  EMI Electrola 1965
100. STAY AND LOVE ME ALL SUMMER-BRIAN HYLAND
        (Joel Hirschorn-Al Kasha)  Dot 1969

                       



      




      






1 comment:

Judy said...

Hi Ken,
For those reading, I'm the Mike mentioned in the post.I certainly remember the icy stares from the woman at Mahon's who soon tired of our curious but impecunious habits.Ken, a woman named Sally O'Rourke, who was a Jeopardy contestant, has a blog ( just google No Hard Chords) in which she critiques every song that reached #1 on Billboard.She began with 1958 and has now reached 1964.You may be interested in my comments on her assessments of Mr.Custer and Everybody Loves Somebody.
Incidentally, I've re-discovered Skeeter Davis myself lately.I heard a snippet of a song on the TV show Mad Men, correctly identified it as a Skeeter recording, and found it on her Pop Hits Collection CD ( it's called Ladder of Success)- don't know if it was ever a single.
Mike