Before we get into the blog of the week, I would like to let you know that yesterday, April 18th, 2010 I met one of the most important figures in NY music Mr Clay Cole. In a few of my earlier blogs I made mention of the fact that The Clay Cole Show was de rigueur for anyone interested in rock music in the 1960′s. It was truly a delight to meet the man in person! We had been corresponding through email and I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to finally shake his hand as well as have him sign a copy of his new book. I would highly recommend it too!You can purchase an autographed copy at http://www.claycoleshow.com/
At the book signing there were a lot of folks who were fans of Clay’s as well as of the music and you know, I can say with total confidence, we did it right! The music, the fashion, the vibe itself, we were and are a very lucky generation to have been able to witness some of the most important music every made and we’ve still got it! Thanks for reminding me of that Clay. I look forward to seeing you again the next time you come to NY.
Some of My Favourite Songs from Britain in the 1960′s
I used to go into my sister’s bedroom when she wasn’t home and go through her record collection. Similarly, before I got my first bass guitar, I used to go into her room and play her guitar.
I didn’t know what I was doing so she always new when all the tuning pegs were lined up perfectly, I must have raided her room!
What does this have to do with this blog? Well, when I would go on those “expeditions” into her room, I would look through her British 45′s and find new music that was not popular on American radio.
Take for instance, Paul and Barry Ryan. Twins whose parents were in the music business. This is oneof my favorite songs of all time. A Hal David and Burt Bacharach composition
Popular in America, I have always enjoyed Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien better know as Dusty Springfield. She was one of the best-selling British singers in the 1960s. She was voted the Top British Female Artist by the readers of the New Musical Express in 1964, 1965, and 1968. Of the female singers of the British Invasion, Springfield made one of the biggest impressions in the US.
Here is a real anomaly. James Marcus Smith, aka PJ Proby, appeared on a Beatles TV show and the rest was history, at least for a little while. Born in Texas, he traveled to London and became a real heartthrob. I saw his name in early Melody Makers and had to find out if he was any good or not! I really like this song Hold Me Proby’s UK career gradually lost momentum after a number of controversial live appearances – including a notorious trouser-splitting incident at a February 1965 show in Luton – led to performance bans by the ABC theatre chain, its TV namesake and BBC TV. A run of minor hits in 1966 was followed by a number of flops, and in March 1968 “It’s Your Day Today” gave Proby his last UK chart entry for nearly 30 years.
Cilla Black, determined to become an entertainer, sgot a part-time job as a cloakroom attendant at Liverpool’s Cavern Club. Impromptu performances impressed The Beatles and she was introduced to Brian Epstein by John Lennon. Her surname was actually White but a Bill Harry from the Mersey Beat paper mistakenly referred to her as Cilla Black, rather than White, and she decided she liked the name, and took it as a stage name. Her second UK #1 success, was an English-language rendition of the Italian popular song “Il Mio Mondo” or You’re My World
Sandie Shaw was known as the barefoot pop princess, always performing without shoes. s. She was seen as epitomising the “swinging Sixties”, and her trademark barefoot performances endeared her to the public at large.[ Girl Don’t Come was her biggest hit in the US.
Just so you know, the Walker Brothers were unrelated! Comprising Scott Engel, John Maus, and Gary Leeds they formed in 1964, the three unrelated musicians adopted the ‘Walker Brothers’ name as a show business touch – “simply because we liked it”. They provided a unique counterpoint to the British Invasion in that they were a group from the United States that only achieved success in the United Kingdom and Germany.
I always liked this tune! The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore
Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich were five friends from Wiltshire, David John Harman, Trevor Leonard Ward-Davies, John Dymond, Michael Wilson and Ian Frederick Stephen Amey, formed a group in 1961, originally called Dave Dee and the Bostons. They soon gave up their jobs (e.g. Dave Dee was a policeman) to make their living from music. Apart from performing in the UK, they also occasionally played in Hamburg (Star-Club, Top Ten Club) and in Cologne (Storyville). Vocalist Dee, the ex-policeman, was at the scene of the automobile accident that took the life of the American rock and roller Eddie Cochran and injured Gene Vincent in April 1960. Dee had taken Cochran’s guitar from the accident and held it until it could be returned to his family.
As a teenager, I couldn’t believe that these songs were not hits in the US! A lot of promo people got it wrong!
When my sister came back from her first trip to London she had a copy of the first Move LP on the Regal Zonophone label.
She also had a British promo of Wild Tiger Woman and the flip side was Omnibus I am not sure if she new how many times I played this 45! I was a big fan and when they signed to Capitol Records and released Looking On. Unfortunately, one more LP and they broke up!
One of my favorite bands were the Small Faces I remember in June of 1967 going to lunch with my mother at Macy’s and picking up the LP
There are but Four Small Faces
Now I am sure most everyone would consider the best song on the LP to be Itchycoo Park but for my money, Tin Soldier wins hands down!
I think there is nothing more fitting to end this blog than this little ditty by The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band! Bonzo the dog was a popular British cartoon character created by artist George Studdy in the 1920s. In 1967 as the Bonzo Dog band’s popularity increased, they were asked by Paul McCartney to appear in the “Magical Mystery Tour” film at the end of 1967, performing Death Cab for Cutie This was a very strange band that created many fun tunes. I owned their first four LPs. They were a cross between Firesign Theater and British Music Hall kinda thing! I actually saw them live at the Fillmore opening for the Kinks and Spirit. What a great bill!
So without further ado…