A Bit Like You And Me Radio

May 31, 2013

The Other Half - The Girl with the Long Black Hair (1967)

Note: This is The Other Half from Chicago, Illinois.
For The Other Half based in Oneonta, New York, click here.
For The Other Half based in Greenville, Texas click here.
For The Other Half based in Los Angeles/San Francisco, click here.


Originally known as The U.F.O.’s (but not to be confused with the all-female U.F.O.’s previously featured), this Northwest Chicago-based band was formed in 1965. Initially composed of Steve Moroniak (lead guitar), Fred Langworthy (rhythm guitar), and George Hancock (drums), the band first started performing at a local pizza restaurant, Scaccios, where a friend of the band had been working delivering pizzas. Eventually the band came across a sign in Chicago by a bassist looking for a band. Greg Madsen was added to the lineup and the band became complete. The band could frequently be found playing at private parties, not having much interest in the spotlight, playing at clubs, or playing at school dances. They made two local television appearances; one on the Spanish-speaking Raul Cardona Show and the other on The CET Amateur Showcase, a local talent program where they won first place. Although the band never officially split up, some members parted ways after deciding to move out of town or because they were starting new families. New members have been added over the years, but the original members of the group remain in contact to this day. Sadly, the band’s rhythm guitarist Fred passed away.

With lyrics written by the group’s drummer George and recorded by the band in 1967, this song was a demo recording laid down by the band at Chicago’s Recordings Unlimited. It wasn’t a commercial release, but more of a promotional single. George sang the lead and the entire group added harmony vocals in unison after the music and lead vocals were recorded. The band had three-hundred copies pressed to mail out. Although big venues like The Tonight Show politely rejected them, the single was well received by family and close friends.



A Special Edition post with Steve Moroniak,
George Hancock, and Greg Madsen of The Other Half!

The members of the Chicago-based band The Other Half were kind enough to recently submit exclusive stories from their times as musicians in the 1960s. After you've read their tales, be sure to listen to their song, "Girl with the Long Black Hair," below!
A Bit Like You And Me and readers,

Most bands have had their share of dealing with the "inebriated" types, especially at private parties, which we played more of; so here's two:

As recalled by Steve: The song we were playing was "Monday, Monday" by The Mamas & The Papas and if anyone's familiar with the song, there's a break towards the end with a pause, then they come back in singing, "Monday, Monday...". There was this guy who had way too much to drink, bugging me during most of the song, and he was very persistent trying to sing into my microphone. You get the picture. Nothing could ward him off. Finally, towards the end of the song, this break comes up with a long pause. I had enough and did something so unlike me: I straight-armed the guy. Nothing violent, but enough to push him away. The fellow was so far gone, he stumbled back a few steps, increasing his backward momentum, then fell on his butt in the middle of the dance-floor and slid a couple of feet. The room went silent, then suddenly erupted with applause. As if nothing happened, I came back in singing, "Monday, Monday...". The applause grew even louder. It was great!

As recalled by George: We were playing a private party in a hall above a bowling alley in Chicago and this guy who had a little too much to drink kept hitting my crash cymbal with a woman’s high-heeled shoe. I warned him twice to stop and the third time he hit it I jumped off the stage and chased him down the stairs onto the sidewalk, where he kept running, and could still be running today for all I know. When I got back upstairs, the guys were still playing so I got back behind the drums and finished the song with them.

We all love this one: A story about our very first public gig on July 13, 1966. At the time, we called ourselves "The UFO's". We changed our name to The Other Half prior to appearing on The C.E.T. Amateur Showcase in 1967.

Our drummer was delivering pizza's for Scaccio's on Fullerton Ave, in Chicago. They had a lounge downstairs and often had live entertainment. We put together a quick recording of some of our songs and presented it to the owner; and, you must remember we couldn't have been together for a year at this point. He liked what he heard, so a date was booked. We arrived and started loading in the front door. Our jaws dropped when someone noticed this huge sign in the front window: "In from Las Vegas, for one night only: The UFO's". This is the absolute ultimate "OMG". It's also the first time any of us sang in public, as most of our material was instrumental. "New Orleans" by Eddie Hodges was one that Steve attempted, but forgot a verse. Nice time to forget the words, huh? Those "pro's" from Vegas sure had short memories. Where's a drunk when you need one to sing into your microphone?

Sincerely,
The Other Half

I'd like to give a huge thanks to all members of The Other Half for taking the time to share their stories. They're a great example of it going to show that great music could be found in every city as long as you were willing to look for it.

To visit The Other Half's site, which features tons of information about the band, click here.
To watch The Other Half's television appearance on The CET Amateur Showcase, click here.
If you'd like to listen to the group's song "The Girl with the Long Black Hair," you can hear it below or watch their video on YouTube with accompanying pictures and narration.

And now that you've enjoyed this exclusive story, why not check out what other exclusive stories we've received?



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The Other Half - The Girl with the Long Black Hair (1967)

Loading the ABLYAM player...(Might not work on mobile devices)


Lyrics:

I loved a girl
The girl with the long black hair
She stands five-foot six
And her feet are bare

I’m going to take a trip
A trip across the sea
We’ll be together
Until eternity

I ain’t got no time
No time to lose
My shirt is pressed
And I just got done shinin’ my shoes

Yeah

I’m gonna take a trip
Far across the sea
And we’ll be together
Until eternity

I love the girl
The girl with the long black hair
She stands five-foot six
And her feet are bare

Now I ain’t got no time
No time to lose
My shirt is pressed
And I just got done shinin’ my shoes

Yeah

The long, long, long, long
Long, long, long black hair

The long, long, long, long
Long, long, long black hair

The long, long, long, long
Long, long, long black hair

May 30, 2013

The Other Half - Mr. Pharmacist (1968)

Note: This is The Other Half from Los Angeles/San Francisco, California.
For The Other Half based in Oneonta, New York, click here.
For The Other Half based in Greenville, Texas click here.
For The Other Half based in Chicago, Illinois, click here.


This band made a name for themselves in the mid-‘60s as a hard rock band before hard rock bands were even remotely popular. Based in Los Angeles, the shining star of the band was Randy Holden, the group’s lead guitarist who had previously been in the surf group The Fender IV and the surf rock/hard rock band Sons of Adam. Prior to joining this band, Holden had been offered Jeff Beck’s recently vacated spot in The Yardbirds, but as Holden put it, “the band was to break up before space, time, and distance” could bring them together. Holden then found an outlet for his heavy guitar playing with this group, which featured members Jeff Nowlen on lead vocals, Geoff Westen on rhythm guitar, Larry Brown on bass, and Danny Woody on drums. Holden would often perform experimental guitar solos on stage, turning the volume up on half a dozen amps to full blast. The crowd loved it, but after a lukewarm reception to the band’s only album, Holden parted ways to join Blue Cheer, who was looking for a new guitarist, and the band moved out to San Francisco to carry on without him.

Unquestionably the band’s most popular tune, this song’s lyrics were written by the band’s vocalist Jeff Nowlen and its music arranged by Randy Holden. According to Holden, none of the songs recorded by the group sounded that great to him when he gave them a listen. He felt that nothing came out as “powerful” as it had sounded in the live shows. Although not referencing this song in particular, he’s referred to the music put out by the band as “dead, dull, and dumb-sounding.”

[Update: Randy Holden of The Other Half submitted an exclusive story to us. Click here to read it.]

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The Other Half - Mr. Pharmacist (1968)

Loading the ABLYAM player...(Might not work on mobile devices)


Lyrics:

Mr. Pharmacist
Can you help me out today
In your usual lovely way?
Oh, Mr. Pharmacist, now I insist
Can you give me something that will persist?
Mr. Pharmacist

Dear Pharmacist
Won't you please
Give me some energy?
Mr. Pharmacist
Mr. Pharmacist

Hey, Mr. Pharmacist
I'll recommend you to my friends
And they'll be happy in the end
Oh, Mr. Pharmacist, can you help
And send me on that magic trip?
Mr. Pharmacist

a'Dear Pharmacist
To ease your mind
You can stock me up for the wintertime
Mr. Pharmacist
Mr. Pharmacist

Hey, Mr. Pharmacist
Words cannot express
The feeling I suggest
Oh, Mr. Pharmacist
I thank you deep
I found that powder, indeed
Mr. Pharmacist

Dear Pharmacist
I'll be back
With a handful of empty sack
Mr. Pharmacist
Mr. Pharmacist
Mr. Pharmacist
Mr. Pharmacist

May 29, 2013

The Other Half - Severance Call (1966)

Note: This is The Other Half from Greenville, Texas.
For The Other Half based in Oneonta, New York, click here.
For The Other Half based in Los Angeles/San Francisco, California, click here.
For The Other Half based in Chicago, Illinois, click here.


Formed in 1965 in Greenville, Texas, this garage rock group was formed when T. A. Tredway started hanging out at the practices of a band that was on the verge of splitting up. When they eventually did crumble, Tredway convinced two of its members, David Heath and Phil Sudderth, that they should start their own group. Who came together were five musicians spanning more than a decade in age. Tedway, twenty-four, was playing bass; Heath, seventeen, was on lead guitar; and Sudderth took over lead vocals. New additions to the band included twenty-one year old Carroll Grant on rhythm guitar and fourteen year old Alex Bauknight on drums. Soon, the band began playing at frats and sororities at East Texas State University (later absorbed into Texas A&M) and Southern Methodist University, based solely on their credibility by word of mouth. The band was then asked to become the house band for Louann’s, a big band venue wanting to change their repertoire to rock and roll. The band recorded one two-sided single in late ‘66, increasing their popularity, and they were asked to remain Louann’s house band for the summer of ’67. After the summer was over, however, the band lost Phil Sudderth to the Army and, after a failed attempt at bringing in Matt Tapp for lead vocals, the group broke up. Sadly, according to a column written by T. A. Tredway, both Phil Sudderth and Alex Bauknight have passed away.

Featured as the A-Side, this song was written by band members T. A. Tredway, Phil Sudderth, and David Heath. The single featured the B-Side “Lost Everthing” and was recorded at Sellers Company Recording Studio in 1966 in Tyler, Texas.

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The Other Half - Severance Call (1966)

Loading the ABLYAM player...(Might not work on mobile devices)


Lyrics:

Don’t wanna hear another word out of you
Don’t wanna hear you cry
There’s just one word I want to say to you, girl
And that word is “goodbye”

Sleepin’ in my bed last night
Heard my telephone ring
And when I picked it up
I recognized your voice
Couldn’t say a thing
Couldn’t say a thing

Don’t wanna hear another word out of you
Don’t wanna hear you cry
There’s just one word I want to say to you, girl
And that word is “goodbye”

Don’t ask me no more questions, little girl
You don’t know what you mean
And since you’ve gone, I’ve found myself another kiss
Yeah, and you can’t begin to fill her jeans
Not even fill her jeans

Go on, little girl
Get off the line
So sad, I’m feeling you weep
Got no more time to sit here all night
Hang it up and go on back to sleep

May 28, 2013

The Other Half - I Won't Be Back (1966)

Note: This is The Other Half from Oneonta, New York.
For The Other Half based in Greenville, Texas, click here.
For The Other Half based in Los Angeles/San Francisco, California, click here.
For The Other Half based in Chicago, Illinois, clik here.


This band was created in Oneonta, New York in 1965 at the local Hartwick College by guitarists Steve Harrigan and Peter Lipsio, who were living in the same dorm. Joining with drummer Ed Welsh and attracting Glenn Schenenga and Jeff Lyman, the newly formed group became the house band for Molinari’s bar and restaurant, a local favorite for the college students of Hartwick and neighboring Oneonta State University. With a widening fan base, the band created their first and only single, featuring "It's Been a Good Day" and its B-Side, head below. The single increased the band’s fan base and let to an appearance on Twist-A-Rama, a television program in Utica, New York. Soon after, drummer Ed Welsh was replaced with pre-med student Bob Kirsch and the band toured throughout New York State, opening for such acts as The Rascals. When it was time for Kirch to head to Wake Forest for med school, he was replaced with the band’s final drummer, Bill Pegler. By the end of 1968, all members of the band had graduated college and went about their individual lives, effectively bringing the life of this band to an end.

Written by the band’s Glenn Schenenga and Jeff Lyman, this song was released on Bell Sound in New York City. As of 2008, the band members had gotten back into contact with one another and planned to put together a small tour. Whether or not that tour ever take place is a mystery to me.

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The Other Half - I Won't Be Back (1966)

Loading the ABLYAM player...(Might not work on mobile devices)


Lyrics:

Did you know that I saw you talking to him?
It’s a game of love and I’ll never win
Well I’m not one who wants to criticize
But you’re just one girl that I can’t analyze

I won’t be back- won’t be back
Your side no more
I won’t be back- won’t be back
‘cause I shut that door
On you
Shut the door on you
Shut the door on you

You told me that you’d never ever cheat on me
But words were mighty cheap and now that’s plain to see
You were untrue when my back was turned
Now you lost that love that you could have earned

I won’t be back- won’t be back
Your side no more
I won’t be back- won’t be back
‘cause I shut that door
On you
Shut the door on you
Shut the door on you

Did you have to lie?
Did you have to steal?
I’m not a senseless toy
And I still can feel
The pain
I can feel the pain

I won’t be back- won’t be back
Your side no more
I won’t be back- won’t be back
‘cause I shut that door
On you
Shut the door on you
Shut the door on you

Did you know that I saw you talking to him?
It’s a game of love and I’ll never win
Well I’m not one who wants to criticize
But you’re just one girl that I can’t analyze

I won’t be back- won’t be back
Your side no more
I won’t be back- won’t be back
‘cause I shut that door
On you
Shut the door on you
Shut the door-

I won’t be back- won’t be back
Your side no more
I won’t be back- won’t be back
‘cause I shut that door
On you
Shut the door on you
Shut the door on you
Shut the door on you…

May 27, 2013

The Nice - Flower King of Flies (1967)

When American soul singer P.P. Arnold wanted to replace her backing band, The Blue Jays, on her 1967 tour, her driver suggested Keith Emerson as a man who could get a new group together for her. After approaching Emerson with the idea, he accepted under the condition that he and his soon-to-be band would also be able to open for her with their very own set. Arnold’s manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, saw this as getting two bands for the price of one and quickly agreed. The first member that Emerson recruited was Lee Jackson, whom Emerson had previously played with in a band called Gary Farr and the T-Bones. Rounding out the band were Ian Hague and David O’List. Quickly, the band began to achieve a following and Oldham offered them a contract on their own. Hague, who had no interest in their progressive rock sound, was replaced by Brian Davison. After the band’s first album, O’List began to become less and less reliable after beginning to use LSD, which he had first been exposed to by David Crosby, who had spiked his drink. Eventually, O’List was fired and the remaining three members continued as a trio. They played their last concert on March 30, 1970 in Berlin, Germany. Frustrated with their lack of success, the band broke up. Keith Emerson soon continued on in the successful supergroup, Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

This song was written by band members Keith Emerson and Lee Jackson. It was the opening track to the band’s debut album, The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack. The title character, Emerlist Davjack, was actually a play on words referencing each of the members’ names: Emerson, O’List, Davison, and Jackson. The album is widely considered to be one of the first examples of progressive rock, having been released nearly three years before that genre became popular.

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The Nice - Flower King of Flies (1967)

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Lyrics:

On a cloud by Saffron lies
The Flower King of Flies
And the children all in white
Have gathered here tonight

Let the dance of love begin
Let the temple maidens sing
A song that’s sung in time
To a gong and bells, sublime

The Flower King of Flies
The Flower King of Flies

The Flower King of Flies
The Flower King of Flies

Lanterns from Cathay
Mark the ending of the day
And the night’s cut down to size
By the Flower King of Flies

The sun has shone all day
And Saffron has played
The king from on his cloud
Spread the words of love around

The Flower King of Flies
The Flower King of Flies
The Flower King of Flies
The Flower King of Flies

May 24, 2013

The Gentle Soul - Our National Anthem (1968)

Formed in 1966, this duo featured singer/songwriters Pamela Polland and Rick Stanley, who released two singles and one full length album on Epic Records in 1968. Their album, self-titled The Gentle Soul, featured a who’s who of famous names as accompanying session musicians: Ry Cooder, Van Dyke Parks, Paul Horn, Taj Mahal, and Larry Knechtel. The album was also produced by famed musician and record producer Terry Melcher, who had significantly helped shape the sound of The Byrds as well as working with The Beach Boys. The album even featured a song written by Jackson Browne, who was not yet famous and only fourteen years old at the time. Despite some serious talent coming from all angles, the band was never given proper promotion from their label and they split apart in 1969.

Written by Pamela Polland, this song was released as the group’s second single. Pamela, Rick, and their producer Terry were certain that this was going to be their break-out hit. As stated on Pamela’s website, “Pamela and Rick's message was always that love is the great healer, the great uniter, and that love is always right. That was the "anthem" of the Gentle Soul, and this song represented that theme.” Unfortunately, with zero effort to promote the band or this single, the song went nowhere.



A Special Edition post with Pamela Polland of The Gentle Soul!

It's my absolute pleasure to say that we recently had the fortune of conducting an interview with the incredibly kind and sweet Pamela Polland via email. These days, Pamela is teaching people to play ukulele, sing, and write songs in Hawaii and all over the world via video chat. She also lends her voice professionally to artists around the world. If you're interested in any of the items mentioned, please read the information after the story to find out how you can connect with Pamela.
A Bit Like You And Me: I know this breaks all rules of politeness, but what year were you born? When is your birthday?

Pamela Polland: I don't mind. I hope to be an inspiration, so I tell the truth about my age and hope to show how active, vital, and creative! one can be at ANY age with the right attitude. I especially like to show people what a long life the human voice can have if taken care of. I'm singing better than ever at 68.

August 15th, 1944.

ABLYAM: Can you recall a defining moment in your youth that lured you toward wanting to be a musical artist?

Pamela: Probably a few defining moments... I started writing songs at the age of 9 because my parents would only allow classical music in the house - maybe an occasional Broadway show score. But NEVER pop music: no Beatles, no Dylan - which was all my friends listened to. So in order to "hear" that kind of music at home, I started writing my own songs. But I really wanted to be a dancer, or a choreographer from childhood until I was around 16.

At sixteen, I looked back on my life... a funny thing to do at that age, but that's what I did, and said, "Hmmm. The one thing I've done consistently is write songs, so I think that's what I'll be. A songwriter."

ABLYAM: In your teenage years, you were playing folk clubs in Southern California, occasionally accompanied by Ry Cooder. How did the budding music scene of that area influence your music and your life?

Pamela: Actually, I worked with Ry for two years. I affectionately call him my first voice teacher, because he taught me how to truly listen and pay attention to nuance. I can't say how the LA music scene influenced my music, because I was always an originator. I didn't copy other people (as a writer). I forged my own path. In fact, I left California and lived in New York for six months because the "industry" couldn't figure out what I was doing. They were like, "You're too folk for rock and you're too rock for folk." But when I got back from NY, The Byrds had hit the scene, the term "folk rock" was born, and suddenly what I'd been doing for years made sense.

As for how the music scene influenced my life... well, it allowed me to be a professional doing what I love; and, I guess I could say it validated my simply being truly myself.

ABLYAM: In 1966, you formed The Gentle Soul with Rick Stanley. How and where did you first meet Rick?

Pamela: I'm pretty sure we were introduced by someone who knew I was looking for a new songwriting/singing partner. I'd been working up a duo with someone else who wasn't very reliable - read: wrong kind of drugs :-). So I got introduced to Rick, and we fit beautifully musically.

LOVED our voices together, and our writing styles merged well too.

ABLYAM: Given yours and Rick’s mutual interest in meditation, metaphysics, and spiritual exploration, did LSD or any other hallucinogenic have a part in your life?

Pamela: I had a short, but highly influential run with psychedelics. I LOVED LSD and the opening it gave me to broader perspectives that I might not have otherwise been privy to. But after a while, I felt it depleting my health and I wasn't willing to trade that for the glorious high.

I remember on one trip, laying out in the desert looking up at the starriest of skies, I asked God, "How can I have THIS without the drug?"
And the answer came back, "Without the drug."

Sometimes the simplest truths are the profoundest. To this day, I still can call up what I learned from those wonderful "trips."

Hallelujah.

ABLYAM: Would you say it had a significantly helping hand in the song-writing process?

Pamela: I don't think I wrote much while high. But I THOUGHT a lot while high, and then my thoughts eventually led to songs.

ABLYAM: Southern California in the mid-60s is somewhat synonymous with Haight-Ashbury and the center of the hippie movement. How close were you to that area? How involved, if at all, were you in that scene?

Pamela: Which scene? The Haight? If so, I visited a couple of times, but I was not close to that scene. I was deeply close to the Laurel Canyon creative scene in the mid to late '60s. And when I moved to Echo Park, my nearest neighbors were Jackson Browne and Glenn Fry; and JD Souther and Linda Ronstadt hung out with us; and even Kenny Loggins popped in. And we all knew The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield, The Association, and Jimi Hendrix would show up at the parties we went to. It was a melting pot of insane talent. I even knew The Doors and Joni Mitchell. When I look back on all the great talent I brushed up against, I can't believe that all happened in THIS lifetime :-)

ABLYAM: I think when the general population sees a male and female musical partnership such as The Gentle Soul’s, they naturally assume there’s some sort of romance between the artists. Was there ever a romantic side to your relationship with Rick?

Pamela: NEVER. If anything, we had a little trouble getting along :-) But we both loved the music we made. That was our glue.

ABLYAM: What time-frame were the songs on The Gentle Soul’s album recorded? Do you know what date the album was released in 1968?

Pamela: I thought the album was released in 1969. LOL! Just goes ta show what I know :-) We formed in late 1966, got our record deal in 1967, and started recording shortly thereafter. A couple of singles. And then I think we recorded most of the album in 1968. I really don't remember the release date. It was all spread out over a nearly two year period though.

ABLYAM: You mention on your website that a personal friend of yours and Rick’s, “Wendy,” was the inspiration for the song “Song for Three.” You also mention that it’s “too personal” to talk about. Can you provide any information about who Wendy was and how she managed to inspire this song?

Pamela: Wendy was actually male. He had the total spirit of a woman, but in a man's body. My brother was gay, but Wendy was something so different. He didn't think of himself as "gay," he just felt like a woman, but he had a penis. I don't think he ever wanted to use it!! He taught me more about being a woman than any "real" women I had known at that point, my mother included. He was so sweet and sort of translucent. But he was a MAJOR pot head, and refused to conceal it. This got him in a LOT of trouble and, eventually, jail. Really sad stuff. I adored him.

ABLYAM: I watched a television documentary which you were in called Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution featuring Leonard Bernstein. How were you approached to appear in that documentary?

Pamela: I think Clive might have suggested it. Leonard so sincerely wanted to understand the music of our (my) generation.

ABLYAM: You met Jackson Browne (who was 14 at the time), when you were 19. How and where did you meet?

Pamela: Bob's Big Boy :-) A mutual friend of ours, Sandi Bachom, who is currently a fine music videographer in New York City, knew that we both wrote songs and thought we'd enjoy meeting each other. So she brought Jackson and his dear friend and poet, Greg Copeland, to the Costa Mesa Bob's Big Boy, where I was waitressing to help put myself through college. The three of them sat at the bar and I served them hamburgers and then we arranged to meet at my house so I could hear Jackson's songs. At the time, he had only written three songs. When I heard "Flying Thing," I knew he was going places.

ABLYAM: The Gentle Soul recorded one of only three songs that Browne had written, “Flying Thing.” Was Browne responsible for the musical arrangement or only the lyrics?

Pamela: He wrote the song - music and lyrics, but the arrangement was ours (The Gentle Soul). In listening to it now, I can hear the total Mama's and Papa's influence - except for one little detail: they didn't exist then!! Perhaps we were THEIR influence?? :-)

ABLYAM: Why was “Flying Thing” left off of the album?

Pamela: Probably because we didn't write it.

ABLYAM: What’s your favorite Gentle Soul recording?

Pamela: "Our National Anthem" for sure. I LOVE that song and it still sounds like a hit to me. I guess I'm stuck in the '60s :-)

I still like most of the album. I never did care for the Overture. That was Terry's idea (producer) and I just thought it took up space that could have been filled with more of our songs.

ABLYAM: The Gentle Soul broke up in 1969. Was it a sudden decision or something that you could see coming for some time? What caused the break up?

Pamela: We just weren't getting ANY support from our record company. You can only play local clubs so many times before it becomes drudgery.

I think if Columbia or Epic had really stepped up and promoted us, we would have stayed together a long time. They never sent us out on tour, they only advertised our album in ONE publication ONE time - they never set up interviews, got us on TV - nothing. We were just a tax write off for the world's largest record company who happened to need tax write offs in those days. It was sad beyond sad. We were so prolific and I still think damn good at what we did. Cute too :-) All we needed was some support.

As it was, we kicked it hard for three years and it was a slow fizzle at the end, realizing that we couldn't do it by ourselves anymore. And Rick was very dedicated to Maharishi and wanted to be as close to him as possible, so there was something organic to it all, but still sad.

ABLYAM: If you had the opportunity to do it all over again, knowing what you know now, would you change anything?

Pamela: Maybe I would have fought harder for CBS to back us. I've never been much of a fighter. I probably just accepted it all as "fate" at the time, but now I think we tend to make our paths. We all just let it fall apart.

ABLYAM: And lastly, what are you up to these days?

Pamela: I still sing and LOVE to record. With the digital age, if someone wants me as their backup (or even lead) vocalist, it's as easy as sending me a track, I record the vocal(s) in my home studio and fly my voice back to them via some file sharing service. I've been the back-up vocalist for Guido Bungenstock, a killer rock guitarist in Germany, for Marco Ragni, a talented singer songwriter in Italy, for Gary Smalls, a native American rocker from Wyoming, and many others - none of whom I have ever met in person!!! (They all found me on Facebook). Steven Kelley, a talented songwriter from Atlanta, has used me as the lead vocalist on his last four songwriter demos. I've got more projects lined up, and I always post the finished mixes on my Facebook profile wall.

ABLYAM: Thank you SO much for your time and willingness to share your stories with me and my readers.

Pamela: Oh, I'm honored to be asked!! Thank YOU for the opportunity to let people know more about me, the band, and that time in my life.

ABLYAM: I’m sure I can speak on behalf of everyone when I say we’re incredibly grateful.

Pamela: *I'M* grateful!!

A truly altruistic individual, Pamela signed off on her email with "Warmest aloha from Maui, Pamela". She was truly a pleasure to correspond with. I'd like to thank her once again for taking the time to add to our growing collection of first-hand '60s music history!

To visit Pamela's website, please click here.
If you're interested in seeing what Pamela is up to these days, why not like her Facebook page?
If you're interested in voice lessons, ukulele lessons, or songwriting lessons with Pamela via Skype, no matter where you are in the world, you can get more information on Pamela's site, here. You can also see an introductory video about it on YouTube.
Speaking of YouTube, see what Pamela is up to these days, musically, via her YouTube channel.
If you're looking for a female vocalist and you'd like to have Pamela record something on your behalf, be sure to get into contact with her here.

And now that you've enjoyed this exclusive story, why not check out what other exclusive stories we've received?

[Update: Rick Stanley of The Gentle Soul provided us with an exclusive story! You can read it here.]



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The Gentle Soul - Our National Anthem (1968)

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Lyrics:

You were involved with a dozen other loves last year
And I was out trying to conquer the world last year
But I knew we’d meet again
And that it would happen this way
Hey, hey, hey

It’s love
It’s for me
It’s alright
It’s alright for me
And it’s love
It’s love and it’s right for me
Hey, hey, hey

You never had the time to care at all last year
And I don’t remember if I was aware last year
But I knew we’d meet again
And we’d get together this way
Hey, hey, hey

It’s right for me
It’s alright
It’s alright for me
And it’s love
It’s love and it’s right for me
Hey, hey, hey

But I knew we’d meet again
And that it would happen this way
Hey, hey, hey

It’s alright for me
It’s alright
It’s alright for me
And it’s love
It’s love and it’s right for me

May 23, 2013

The Hollies - I Can't Let Go (1966)

This band’s roots go all the way back to 1955 when Graham Nash and Allan Clarke were playing together as The Two Teens. In 1956, still performing as a duo, they switched their name to The Guyatones. In 1959, the duo renamed themselves yet again to The Two Tones; and, when adding more members, they became The Fourtones. Although the incarnations mentioned so far were short lived, Nash and Clarke stuck together after they fell apart, performing as Ricky & Dane Young in 1960. They stole a guitarist from Kirk Daniels & The Deltas, got together with a few more guys, and named themselves The Dominators of Rhythm. Finally, in December 1962, The Dominators of Rhythm settled on their final name, The Hollies. The very first official lineup of The Hollies consisted of Graham Nash (guitar), Allan Clarke (vocals, guitar), Eric Haydock (bass), Don Rathbone (drums), and Vic Farrell (guitar). More than twenty people have been able to claim to have been a member of the band, but none of the original members still perform with them today. The most consistent members of the group, Tony Hicks and Bobby Elliott, have the prestige of being the only members of the band present for all of their recorded work.

Released February 18, 1966, this song was put out by a lineup of the band that featured Allan Clarke, Graham Nash, Tony Hicks, Eric Haydock, and Bobby Elliott. It was the last single to feature Eric Haydock. The song was written by Chip Taylor (with help from session musician Al Gorgoni), who also wrote many other famous songs of the era, such as The Troggs' "Wild Thing". It was first recorded by Evie Sands in 1965, but failed to do well. When recorded by The Hollies, the song reached number two in the United Kingdom, but only number forty-two in the United States. Paul McCartney was especially fond of the song, once noting that he mistakenly thought Graham Nash's singing in the chorus (the line "Baby please") was a trumpet playing.

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The Hollies - I Can't Let Go (1966)

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Lyrics:

Oh, I try and I try but I can't say goodbye

Feel so bad, baby
Oh, it hurts me
When I think of how your lovin’ desert me
I'm the broken-hearted toy you play with
Baby

You got me going
I need you, baby
(I can’t let go, baby)
I can't let go
And I want you, baby
(I only want you, baby)
I gotta have you
You know I can't let go
(Baby, please)

Though I'm just one of your lovers
And I know there are so many others
You do something strange to me, baby
(Baby) Baby
(Baby)

You got me going
I need you, baby
(I can’t let go, baby)
I can't let go
And I want you, baby
(I only want you, baby)
I gotta have you
You know I can't let go
(Baby, please)

Oh, I try and I try but I can't say goodbye
I know that it's wrong and I should be so strong
But the thought of you gone makes me want to hold on

You got me going
I need you, baby
(I can’t let go, baby)
I can't let go
And I want you, baby
(I only want you, baby)
I gotta have you
You know I can't let go
(Baby, please)

You got me going
I need you, baby
(I can’t let go, baby)
I can't let go
And I want you, baby
(I only want you, baby)
I gotta have you
You know I can't let go
(Baby, please)

I can't let go
I can't let go
I can't let go
I can't let go…

May 22, 2013

Cat Mother & the All Night Newsboys - Charlie's Waltz (1969)

Formed in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York in the fall of 1967, this band was held together over the years by its core members: Roy Michaels, Bob Smith, and Michael Equine. Through a connection with Jimi Hendrix’s manager, Michael Jeffrey, the band was able to get a record deal with Polydor Records in 1969, while simultaneously hiring Jeffrey as their own manager. After developing a friendship with Hendrix himself, Hendrix decided that he would be willing to produce the band’s first album, The Street Giveth…and the Street Taketh Away in 1969. From that album came the band’s only Top 40 hit, “Good Old Rock ‘n’ Roll,” a medley of rock and roll songs from the 1950s. In an effort to help propel the group forward, it was also arranged that the band would open a series of shows for Hendrix on tour. Although the touring went well, the connection to Hendrix was severed in 1970 when the band relocated to California, wanting to cut ties with their mutual manager, Jeffrey. (It's worth noting here that Jeffrey would soon be shrouded in controversy from his possible involvement in Hendrix's death.) While out in California, the band released their second album, Albion Doo-Wah, before shortening their name to just “Cat Mother” and moving back to New York in 1971. In the years that followed, the band released two final albums, the eponymous Cat Mother in 1972 and Last Chance Dance in 1973. They failed to reach any more commercial successes, but continued to play live until 1977 before retiring the band.

This song was written by William David “Charlie” Chin, an original member of the band while they were still in the Lower East Side. Chin, who would later be awarded by the Smithsonian in 1989 for his work regarding Asian American Studies, decided to quit the band after the release of their first album, not wanting to relocate to California. The song appeared on the band’s first album, The Street Giveth…and the Street Taketh Away, which reached number fifty-five on the charts. Of the band and the album, Hendrix said, “They are presentable enough, but not as good as I wanted them to be. … It could have been so much better, but we were working all the time and couldn’t spend the time we needed in the studio.”

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Cat Mother & the All Night Newsboys - Charlie's Waltz (1969)

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Lyrics:

She stood in the street
Holding her hat in her hand
I think I understand
Why she’s smiling at me
The whole world can see
From the sandals she wears
To the flower in her hair
How she’s leading me on
With a smile just like dawn
With an eye like a diamond
A walk like a whisper
She’s gone

Woah, how I cry
Woah, how I cry

Hands by your side
Like two small birds
At night
When I spied
The way that they tried
To capture my dreams
In a basket of fingers
The thought still lingers
Of the schemes that you tried
Moonstones that cry, girl
Love that won’t die
Cannot compare
To the color of her hair
In the morning

Woah, how I cry
Woah, how I cry

Woah, how I cry
Woah, how I cry

Love of a lifetime
Crushed into my mind
How can I find time
To refuse or decline
Your offer to me?
You, how could it be?
Honest or brew it
If you won’t be true to me
You know, promises made
Too many times
They seem to fade
In some peoples’ minds
Like she was

Woah, how I cry
Woah, how I cry

May 21, 2013

Tim Buckley - Song of the Magician (1966)

Born Timothy Charles Buckley III on February 14, 1947, this American singer and musician had a wide range of recordings that were categorized as folk, avante garde, jazz, experimental rock, soul, and funk, depending on the stage of his career. As a youth, Buckley moved from Washington DC to Southern California, where he and schoolmates formed The Bohemians, a folk band inspired by The Kingston Trio. Besides his band, Buckley started off high school as a bright student, excelling in academics whilst also playing on the baseball and football teams. It would be an injury sustained to his fingers during a football game that would later restrict his fingers’ movement and define his guitar style. Buckley’s second-half of high school was defined by his quitting sports and skipping classes, dubbing them to be of little value so that he could focus more on his musical endeavors. Although his appearances in the classroom were growing less frequent, it was in his high school French class that Buckley would meet his first wife, Mary Guibert.

Mary provided Buckley with an excuse to stay away from his home, where a series of old WWII head-injuries and severe job-related head-injuries had his father becoming increasingly detached and violent. Tim and Mary were hastened to wed on October 25, 1965 after Mary thought she was pregnant. Their marriage, which was ignored by Mary’s father and openly-mocked by Tim’s, quickly spiraled downward after they realized the pregnancy was a false alarm. By the time Mary actually became pregnant with Tim’s first child, the couple was barely seeing one another. Tim, working on his first album, had moved out after deciding he couldn’t cope with his marriage or his wife’s pregnancy. The couple divorced in October 1966, the same month Buckley’s first album was released and just one month before their son Jeff Buckley was born.

Released on his first album, Tim Buckley, this song was written by Tim Buckley and Larry Beckett. Along with Jim Fielder (later of Blood, Sweat & Tears), Larry Beckett had been in the aforementioned band, The Bohemians, with Buckley. When the trio approached Elektra Records about getting signed, it was only Buckley as a solo artist that they expressed interest in. Larry would go on to write or co-author many of Buckley’s songs. This song in particular was written by Buckley and Beckett while the pair was still in high school.

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Tim Buckley - Song of the Magician (1966)

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Lyrics:

When I sing, I can't bring everything on the wing
Flying down from dizzy air
To the ground, because I care
You will be love and your love will live

When I smile, I beguile all the while, every mile
As I walk across the sky
Of the clockwork of your eye
You will be love and your love will live

Casting spells from a well
I can tell you, the bells listen to my magic voice
Learn the tunes of children's toys
You will be love and your love will live

When I die, do not cry, hear my sigh passing by
After I have turned to wind
I will try to help you then
You will be love and your love will live

May 17, 2013

Phil Ochs - No More Songs (1970)

With his clever songwriting and sardonic humor, Phil Ochs wrote a library of songs spotlighting the injustices of the world which he saw around him. He performed his most famous song, previously featured here, “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” to thousands of Vietnam War protestors at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, a performance which led to thousands of young men burning their draft cards on the spot. He was also responsible for the purchase of Pigasus, a one hundred forty-five pound hog nominated for President of the United States by the Youth International Party (the Yippies) at that same convention. Unfortunately, the 1968 Democratic National Convention ended with Chicago police rioting and savagely beating peaceful protestors. Between what took place in Chicago and what else he saw in the changing America around him, he figured that the average American must no longer be interested in the political songs and messages he was trying to get out. By 1970, with a heavy heart, Ochs was abandoning his protest formula for songs which reached back to his roots, having his new music emulate his childhood inspirations: Elvis, Buddy Holly, Merle Haggard, and more. Over time, an increasing dependency on illegal drugs and an emerging writer’s block led Ochs to turn to alcohol, which then slipped him into a depression that lasted the rest of his life. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder as his mental stability slipped away, which once saw him create an alternate persona for himself for a brief period of time. Despite constant support from his friends and family, Ochs was unable to escape his depression and he hanged himself on April 9, 1976.

Having gone through such a long period where new songs came so easily to him, the end of the ‘60s and beginning of the ‘70s saw Phil Ochs severely struggling to write new material. In February 1970, Ochs released an album titled Greatest Hits, which was not actually a greatest hits album, but a facetious title which featured him on the cover wearing a shiny gold suit akin to Elvis Presley. As mentioned above, he had abandoned topical protest songs and switched to a hybrid of highly produced rock and roll and country music. The entire album was poorly received, with the exception of its last track, the song heard below.

Featured as the last track on his Greatest Hits album, this song was one of Ochs’ most depressing tracks ever recorded. Titled “No More Songs,” his lyrics dealt with not only his loss of ability to write great music as he had in the past, but rhetorically asked how anybody could write great songs as the country spiraled downward into a dire state around him. Sadly, “No More Songs” became prophetic, as Ochs released very few songs after Greatest Hits and never released another full length album again. Ironically, it was an incredibly great song.

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Phil Ochs - No More Songs (1970)

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Lyrics:

Hello, hello, hello
Is there anybody home?
I've only called to say I'm sorry
The drums are in the dawn
And all the voices gone
And it seems that there are no more songs

Once I knew a girl
She was a flower in a flame
I loved her as the sea sings sadly
Now the ashes of the dream
Can be found in the magazines
And it seems that there are no more songs

Once I knew a saint
Who sang upon the stage
He told about the world, his lover
A ghost without a name
Stands ragged in the rain
And it seems that there are no more songs

The rebels, they were here
They came beside the door
They told me that the moon was bleeding
Then all to my surprise
They took away my eyes
And it seems that there are no more songs

A scar is in the sky
It's time to say goodbye
He withers on the beat, he's dying
A white flag in my hand
And a white boat in the sand
And it seems that there are no more songs

Hello, hello, hello
Is there anybody home?
I've only called to say I'm sorry
The drums are in the dawn
And all the voices gone
And it seems that there are no more songs
It seems that there are no more songs
It seems that there are no more songs

May 16, 2013

The Fender IV - Mar Gaya (1964)

Formed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1962 by school friends, this surf rock band was the brainchild of Randy Holden (born 1945), a future guitarist in Blue Cheer. Besides Holden on lead guitar and vocals, the band also featured Joe Kooken on guitar, Mike Port on bass, and Bruce Miller on drums. Holden decided to move the band out to Los Angeles, California in 1963 where they were hoping to find an audience more receptive to their surf-styled music. Ironically, shortly after they got there, the surf genre was quickly losing popularity to the rise of the British Invasion; so, the band attempted to create songs that either fit one or both of the surf and Merseybeat genres. After the release of the band’s second single, Holden and the guys gave in to shift with the times and renamed themselves the Sons of Adam, focusing on a harder genre of rock. Their drummer Bruce Miller was the only member not to carry on under their new name.

This song was written by Randy Holden at the band’s beach house in Topanga Canyon in California. According to an interview with Holden in 2002, the title is Swahili for “crocodile.” Featured as the A-Side on the band's first single, it was an instrumental track inspired by the surf music of Dick Dale and other big names in surf of the time. The song was backed with the B-Side “You Better Tell Me Now,” a surf/Merseybeat hybrid that attempted to adjust to the British Invasion without losing their surf essence, as mentioned above.

[Update: Randy Holden of The Fender IV submitted an exclusive story to us. Click here to read it.]

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The Fender IV - Mar Gaya (1964)

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Lyrics:

(instrumental)

May 15, 2013

The Pretty Things - Loneliest Person (1968)

Taking their name from the 1955 Bo Diddley song, “Pretty Thing,” this band formed in 1963 when Dick Taylor met Phil May at the London Central School of Art, as previously mentioned on this site. With Taylor playing lead guitar and May on lead vocals, the duo sought to fill up the missing positions. They chose Brian Pendleton as their rhythm guitarist, John Stax as their bassist, and Viv Prince on the drums. Prince was actually the group’s third drummer, having replaced Viv Andrews (who had replaced Pete Kitley), and thus solidifying the “golden age” lineup of the band. Many of the slots in the band were vacated more than once over the coming years; Prince left in November ’65, Pendleton left in December ’66, and Stax left in January ’67. As it was (and as it still is), Dick Taylor and Phil May have been the only consistent members of the band since their incarnation. In 2012, the group returned to New Zealand for the first time since 1965, having been banned for lighting a bag of crayfish on fire during the middle of a domestic flight. In 2013, they celebrated their 50th anniversary with a tour around the UK and Europe. The band has never broken up and continues to perform with its two most recognizable members up to this very day.

As with the previously featured song, “Private Sorrow,” this song appears on the band’s most critically acclaimed album, S.F. Sorrow. It’s the album’s closing song, akin to a novel’s epilogue, and was written by Dick Taylor, Phil May, Wally “Waller” Allen (the band’s newest bassist), and John “Twink” Alder. Twink, who had previously been in the band Tomorrow, had come in to help the band finish recording the album after their then-current drummer, Skip Alan, spontaneously quit the band amidst a torrid, hectic, and romantic relationship. Noted as the first ever rock opera (even predating The Who’s Tommy), the album primarily unfolded its story through the narrative paragraphs that appeared in the liner notes between each track listing. Sometimes in concert, the man who sang “Fire,” Arthur Brown, would appear on stage and read the liner notes to the audience at the appropriate times between the band playing songs.

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The Pretty Things - Loneliest Person (1968)

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Lyrics:

You might be the loneliest person in the world
You'll never be as lonely as me
Yes you might be the loneliest person in the world
You'll never be as lonely as me

Oh, the sky, it seems dark
As I'm walking through a park
But the face, it is too bright to see
Oh, the sun might rise high
On an orange kind of sky
But the day, it seems too dark for me

Yes, you might be the loneliest person in the world
You'll never be as lonely as me
Yes, you might be the loneliest person in the world
Your name, it would have to be me

May 14, 2013

Dandy Livingstone - Rudy, A Message to You (1967)

Born in Kingston, Jamaica on December 14th, 1943, this Jamaican musician moved to the United Kingdom when he was fifteen years old. After jamming with a friend in his apartment building, a neighbor secretly recorded him and distributed the sessions on Planetone Records, effectively getting his name “out there” without his even realizing it. When the London-based record company Carnival Records was looking for a Jamaican duo, Dandy Livingstone applied for the spot by double-tracking his audio. It worked; soon Livingstone was releasing records using this technique under the misleadingly duo name of Sugar & Dandy. His success led him to signing with multiple record companies and recording songs such as “What a Life,” “Suzanna Beware the Devil,” and his hit heard below. He also spent a lot of time successfully producing other artists. Around 1971, Livingstone briefly moved back to Jamaica, but returned to the UK in 1973. He hadn’t performed live since 1972, but was scheduled to perform at the International Ska Festival in London, 2012. Although Livingstone reportedly was present for the soundcheck before going on stage, he never actually performed. Livingstone, still alive today, has released more than ten full length albums.

Written and originally recorded by today’s artist, this song is primarily remembered for the cover version recorded by The Specials in 1979. Interestingly, the trombone player Rico Rodriguez played on both Livingstone’s and The Specials’ versions. Livingstone’s version of the song featured the B-Side “Nite Klub” and never charted. Besides the cover by The Specials, the song has also been covered by the Barenaked Ladies, Amy Winehouse, and sampled by the punk band Propagandhi.

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Dandy Livingstone - Rudy, A Message to You (1967)

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Lyrics:

Stop your runnin' about
It's time you straighten right out
Stop your runnin' around
Making problems in town

Rudy, a message to you
Rudy, a message to you

You're growing older each day
You want to think of your future
Or you might wind up in jail
And you will suffer

Rudy, a message to you
Rudy, a message to you

Stop your runnin' about
It's time you straighten right out
Stop your runnin' around
Making trouble in the town

Rudy, a message to you
Rudy, a message to you

May 13, 2013

Ritchie Valens - Come On, Let's Go (1958)

Born Richard Valenzuela on May 13, 1941, this Mexican-American singer, songwriter, and guitarist only had a career that lasted eight months before ending in tragedy. As a young boy, Valenzuela was absent on one particular day of school to attend his grandfather’s funeral. On that same day, two planes collided above the playground of his school, killing and injuring many of his friends. From there forward, Valenzuela had a fear of flying. A self-taught musician, Valenzuela joined a local band at the age of sixteen, while still in high school, called The Silhouettes. He started as a backup singer and guitarist, but when the group’s lead vocalist quit, Valenzuela took charge. He was eventually discovered by Del-Fi Records' owner and president, Bob Keane, who had Valenzuela respell his first name from “Richie” to “Ritchie,” and shorten his last name from “Valenzuela” to “Valens.” Soon, Valens was recording nationwide hits, appearing in movies, and dropping out of high school to join a nationwide tour. “The Winter Dance Party,” a tour that began in early 1959, featured Valens, Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, Dion and the Belmonts, and Frankie Sardo. On February 2nd, 1959, just eight months after Valens’ career had started, Ritchie Valens died in a plane crash that also claimed the life of Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper, now known as “The Day the Music Died.” Although his imprint on rock and roll history was short lived, there were an astounding number of future musicians to have been influenced by him, both Latinos and non-Latinos alike.

This was Ritchie Valens’ first hit song. It was written by Valens himself with the help of Bob Keane, credited as Kuhn, using his real surname, and featured the B-Side “Framed,” a song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Heard below, the song was recorded, pressed, and released in a span of mere days. It was the success of this song and his record that followed (“Donna”/”La Bamba”) which led Ritchie to quitting high school and focusing music full-time. The song reached number forty-two in the US.

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Ritchie Valens - Come On, Let's Go (1958)

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Lyrics:

Well, come on, let's go
Let's go, let's go, little darlin'
And tell me that you'll never leave me
Come on, come on, let's go’a
Again, again, and again

Well, now, swing me, swing me
All the way down, there
Come on, let's go little darlin'
Let's go, let's go again once more

Well, I love you so, girl
And I'll never let you go
Come on, baby, so
Oh, pretty baby, I love you so

Let's go, let's go, let's go
Little sweetheart
That we can always be together
Come on, come on, let's go again

I love you so, girl
And I'll never let you go
Come on, baby, so
Oh, pretty baby, I love you so

Let's go, let's go, let's go, little darlin'
They’re dancin’ and we’ll be longer
Come on, come on, let’s go’a
Again, again and again and again
Again, again and again and again
Again, again and again and again
Again, again…

May 10, 2013

The Drifters - This Magic Moment (1960)

In the summer of 1958, with his original lineup of The Drifters being entirely disintegrated, George Treadwell was desperate to find a new lineup, call them The Drifters, and complete the remaining year’s worth of bookings he had signed his vocal group up for at The Apollo. Luckily for Treadwell, he was able to get into contact with Lover Patterson, the manager of the doo-wop group known as The Five Crowns. Through some finagling and persuading, Treadwell managed to take The Five Crowns and turn them into the “new” Drifters. Lead by Five Crowns lead singer Ben E. Nelson, the group featured Charlie Thomas, Dock Green, and Elsbeary Hobbs. Poppa James Clark had been a member of The Five Crowns but wasn’t invited to join The Drifters because of a drinking problem, a problem that plagued Treadwell’s last group. Ben E. Nelson changed his stage name to the now widely recognized Ben E. King and although these “new” Drifters were initially met with crowd hostility at their shows, they would go on to release hits such as “There Goes My Baby,” “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “Dance with Me,” and the hit heard below to be considered by many as the truly “golden” lineup of The Drifters history.

Written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, this song was one of the best-selling hits of Ben E. King’s era of The Drifters. It’s almost one of the most recognizable songs by any Drifters lineup. Featuring the B-Side “Baltimore,” the song was released on Atlantic Records in 1960 and reached number sixteen. It has since been used in a wide variety of media; you may remember it being used in The Sandlot.

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The Drifters - This Magic Moment (1960)

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Lyrics:

This magic moment
So different and so new
Was like any other
Until I kissed you

And then it happened
It took me by surprise
I knew that you felt it, too
By the look in your eyes

Sweeter than wine
Softer than the summer night
Everything I want, I have
Whenever I hold you tight

This magic moment
While your lips are close to mine
Will last forever
Forever ‘til the end of time

(Magic)
(Magic)
(Magic)
(Magic)

Sweeter than wine
Softer than the summer night
Everything I want, I have
Whenever I hold you tight

This magic moment
While your lips are close to mine
Will last forever
Forever ‘til the end of time

(Magic)
(Magic)
Magic moment
(Magic)
Magic moment
(Magic)
Magic moment
(Magic)
(Magic)
(Magic)…

May 09, 2013

Love - Old Man (1967)

Best remembered for their critically acclaimed album Forever Changes, this band was led by the singer and songwriter Arthur Lee (born March 7th, 1945). In their formative years, the band was known as The Grass Roots; but when another band of the same name released a single, Lee’s outfit looked to change their name. According to Lee, their new name was chosen by polling an audience in 1965 to see which name they liked best. The names rejected that night included Dr. Strangelove and Poetic Justice, Summer’s Children, Asylum Choir, and The Love. According to Bobby Beausoleil, an ex-"sometimes" member of the band under the Grass Roots name, Lee chose the new bandname after becoming inspired by Beausoleil’s nickname, Cupid. Although no one can be certain as to how the name came about, it can be understood why Lee would want to distance himself from anything to do with Beausoleil, as he was an associate of the Charles Manson Family and given a life sentence for the murder of Gary Hinman in 1969.

Released on the band’s Forever Changes album, this song was written and sang by Bryan MacLean, the band’s primary rhythm guitarist. MacLean, who dated Liza Minnelli and Jackie De Shannon and was an ex-roadie for The Byrds, also wrote the band’s most popular song, “Alone Again Or,” appearing on the same album. Forever Changes was initially scheduled to be produced by Bruce Botnick and Neil Young. But due to his obligations to Buffalo Springfield at the time, Young had to turn the production duties over to the band’s own Arthur Lee.

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Love - Old Man (1967)

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Lyrics:

I once knew a man
Been everywhere in the world
Gave me a tiny, ivory ball
Said it would bring me good
Never believed it would, until
I have been loving you

Dear old man
He'd seen most everything
Gave me a piece of good advice
Said it would do me well
I couldn't really tell, until
I have been loving you

Now it seems
Things are not so strange
I can see more clearly
Suddenly I've found my way

I know the old man would laugh
He spoke of love's sweeter days
And in his eloquent way
I think he was speaking of you

You are so lovely
You didn't have to say a thing
But I remember that old man
Telling me he'd seen the light
Gave me a small, brown, leather book
Insisted that he was right
I only heard him slightly
'til I heard you whisper
Took you up all in my arms

Dear old man
Wise old man
Fine old man, now

May 07, 2013

Thurston Harris - Little Bitty Pretty One (1957)

Thurston Harris, born on July 11, 1931, got his first big break as a member of The Lamplighters, a vocal group that would later change their name to The Tenderfoots. The Tenderfoots, you may recall from our previous post, eventually transformed into The Sharps (albeit without Harris) and eventually bloomed into The Rivingtons. So although Harris was no longer a member of the group as they morphed into The Rivingtons, he did manage to have immense success with his one hit song, heard below, while being backed by The Sharps. After the large popularity of the song, Harris was able to reach the charts only once more with his hit “Do What You Did” reaching the Top 20 on the R&B charts. Sadly, after declining record sales, Harris was dubbed a one-hit wonder and became a bus driver in 1965 for twenty years in the Los Angeles, California area. In 1985, Harris took a job as a bus driver/tour guide for Universal Studios before succumbing to acute alcoholism and heart failure in 1990, passing away at the age of fifty-eight.

Written and originally recorded by Hollywood Flames member Bobby Day, this song was first brought to prominence through the voice and talents of today’s artist, while backup vocals were sung by The Sharps. Produced by Aladdin Records in Los Angeles, California, the song reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and number two on the R&B charts. It was later covered by Frankie Avalon, Frankie Lymon, Clyde McPhatter of The Drifters, The Dave Clark Five, The Jackson Five, Huey Lewis and the News, and many others. It has been used in numerous commercials, television shows, and movies.

album art

Thurston Harris - Little Bitty Pretty One (1957)

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Lyrics:

Little, bitty, pretty one
Come on and talk to me
Lovey-dovey, lovey one
Come sit down on my knee

Tell you a story
Happened long time ago
Little, bitty, pretty one
I've been watchin' you grow

Little, bitty, pretty one
Come on and talk to me
Lovey-dovey, lovey one
Come sit down on my knee

May 06, 2013

The Association - Requiem for the Masses (1967)

In the early to mid-sixties, a traveling salesman named Terry Kirkman was visiting Hawaii and befriended a man enlisted in the Navy, Jules "Gary" Alexander. After finding a mutual passion for playing music, they jammed together for a while until Kirman headed back toward the mainland, promising that they’d play together again when Alexander was discharged. Kirkman headed to Los Angeles and played in a few band with Frank Zappa (pre-Mothers of Invention) and Alexander eventually met up with him. The duo formed an impromptu band known as The Inner Tubes with a rotating lineup that performed at The Troubadour nightclub throughout 1964, at some points featuring members like Cass Elliot, Doug Dillard, and David Crosby. Thirteen of the people who had been rotating in and out of The Inner Tubes decided to create a real band in late 1964 and The Men were formed as a result. The Men became the house band at The Troubadour for a while until disbanding in late 1965. Six members of The Men (Terry Kirman, Jules Alexander, Russ Giguere, Brian Cole, Ted Bluechel, Jr., and Bob Page) decided to continue on together in 1966, first calling themselves Tony Mafia’s Men and then, at the suggestion of Kirman’s fiancĂ©e Judy, changed their name to The Association.

Written by Terry Kirman, this song was initially released as the B-Side to the band’s 1967 hit, “Never My Love.” With “Never My Love” reaching number one and this song just barely reaching the charts, it was the only single in the band’s history to feature hits on both sides of the single. The song below was also included on the band’s 1967 album Insight Out. This period of the band no longer featured Jules Alexander, and instead had Larry Ramos, previously of The New Christy Minstrels, in his place. The lyrics subtly protest the Vietnam War through the indirect comparison of a bull-fighting matador dying far away from home in the bullring. Interestingly, the song uses the same Latin phrase, "Kyrie Eleison"/"Lord, have mercy" found later in a 1968 song by The Electric Prunes, "Kylie Eleison," featured on this site. I suppose it's possible that the Prunes were inspired to write their song based on this song's lyric.

album art

The Association - Requiem for the Masses (1967)

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Lyrics:

Latin Lyrics English Lyrics

Requiem aeternam
Requiem aeternam

Mama, mama, forget your pies
Have faith they won't get cold
And turn your eyes to the bloodshot sky
Your flag is flying full
At half-mast for the matadors
Who turned their backs to please the crowd
And all fell before the bull

Red was the color of his blood flowing thin
Pallid white was the color of his lifeless skin
Blue was the color of the morning sky
He saw looking up from the ground where he died
It was the last thing ever seen by him

Kyrie Eleison

Mama, mama, forget your pies
Have faith they won't get cold
And turn your eyes to the bloodshot sky
Your flag is flying full
At half-mast for the matadors
Who turned their backs to please the crowd
And all fell before the bull

Black and white were the figures that recorded him
Black and white was the newsprint he was mentioned in
Black and white was the question that so bothered him
He never asked, he was taught not to ask
But was on his lips as they buried him

Rex tremendae majestatis

Requiem aeternam
Requiem aeternam

Eternal rest
Eternal rest

Mama, mama, forget your pies
Have faith they won't get cold
And turn your eyes to the bloodshot sky
Your flag is flying full
At half-mast for the matadors
Who turned their backs to please the crowd
And all fell before the bull

Red was the color of his blood flowing thin
Pallid white was the color of his lifeless skin
Blue was the color of the morning sky
He saw looking up from the ground where he died
It was the last thing ever seen by him

Lord, have mercy

Mama, mama, forget your pies
Have faith they won't get cold
And turn your eyes to the bloodshot sky
Your flag is flying full
At half-mast for the matadors
Who turned their backs to please the crowd
And all fell before the bull

Black and white were the figures that recorded him
Black and white was the newsprint he was mentioned in
Black and white was the question that so bothered him
He never asked, he was taught not to ask
But was on his lips as they buried him

King of Supreme Majesty

Eternal rest
Eternal rest