A Bit Like You And Me Radio

November 16, 2016

Andwella's Dream - Shades of Grey (1969)

At the age of sixteen, Dave Lewis joined his first band, known as Method, in his native home of Northern Ireland. After the band relocated to London the following year, 1968, they renamed themselves to what you see above.

By 1969, the group had released their first album, Love and Poetry, with all of its source material having been written and arranged by Lewis before the age of eighteen. The album featured Lewis on vocals, guitar, and keyboards, Nigel Smith on bass and vocals, and Gordon Barton on drums. Although the album failed to be commercially successful, it has since garnered more popularity and praise.

By 1970, the group had once again renamed themselves (this time, to just Andwella), and Lewis, remaining a member, simultaneously began a solo career. Andwella went on to release two more albums, and Lewis himself continued as a singer-songwriter, opening for such notable acts as Don McLean and Fairport Convention.

To hear another wonderful track from Love and Poetry, be sure to check out our previous post Andwella's Dream - Man Without a Name (1969).

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Andwella's Dream - Shades of Grey (1969)

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Lyrics:

I used to play a game that stayed the same
When grey was grey every day
I used to sleep alone in a place called home
I used to own a car

Then I went away one sunny day
Now I see blue instead of grey
And I think of things in a better way
‘cause grey is not grey

And I have many friends
Who are proud to spend their days with me
And we sing life's song under the morning sun
Grey is never grey

And I play the game as best I can
Where every man equals any man
And I think of things in a better way
‘cause grey is not grey

I used to play a game that stayed the same
When grey was grey every day
I used to sleep alone in a place called home
Used to own a car

Then I went away one sunny day
Now I see blue instead of grey
And I live my life in a better way
‘cause grey is not grey

November 09, 2016

Country Joe and the Fish - Who Am I (1967)

In mid-1965, the publisher of the magazine Et Tu Brute, Country Joe McDonald, wanted to make a “talking issue” of his political, underground magazine. He recruited the talents of four other musicians, including Barry “The Fish” Melton, who had previously been in The Instant Jug Band with McDonald. Together, the outfit self-produced one-hundred copies of Talking Issue #1. It became popular enough that the duo of McDonald and Melton was able to pick up gigs performing it live at the ubiquitous coffee houses found throughout Berkeley, California.

By 1966, the duo expanded to a six-piece ensemble, relocated to San Francisco, and self-produced their second EP, the psychedelic Country Joe and the Fish, to great local acclaim. By December 1966, the group’s popularity had grown so vast, that they were signed to Vanguard Records, who they wound up releasing five albums for through 1970 (and one more album, Reunion, with Fantasy Records in 1977).

Alongside some of their San Francisco contemporaries, Country Joe and the Fish were at the forefront of the 1960s “hippie” ideologies: encouraging free-love, promoting the responsible use of LSD, and connecting your mind and spirit to nature.

The song heard below was first seen on I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die, the band’s second album for Vanguard, released in 1967. It was also re-released as the A-Side of a single in 1968, backed with “Thursday.” Written by Country Joe McDonald, the song is a poignant, existential outpouring of McDonald’s thoughts at the time it was written, presumably sometime in early 1967.

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Country Joe and the Fish - Who Am I (1967)

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Lyrics:

Who am I
To stand and wonder- to wait
While the wheels of fate
Slowly grind my life away?
Who am I?

There were some things that I loved one time
But the dreams are gone I thought were mine
And the hidden tears that once could fall
Now burn inside at the thought of all
The years of waste, the years of crime
Passions of a heart so blind
To think that, but even still
As I stand exposed, the feelings are felt
And I cry into the echo of my loneliness

Who am I
To stand and wonder- to wait
While the wheels of fate
Slowly grind my life away?
Who am I?

What a nothing I've made of life
The empty words, the coward's plight
To be pushed and passed from hand to hand
Never daring to speak, never daring to stand
And the emptiness of my family's eyes
Reminds me over and over of lies
And promises and deeds undone
And now, again, I want to run
But now there is nowhere to run to

Who am I
To stand and wonder- to wait
While the wheels of fate
Slowly grind my life away?
Who am I?

And now, my friend, we meet again
And we shall see which one will bend
Under the strain of Death's golden eyes
Which one of us shall win the prize
To live and which one will die
'tis I, my friend, yes 'tis I
Shall kill to live again and again
To clutch the throat of sweet revenge
For life is here only for the taking

Who am I
To stand and wonder- to wait
While the wheels of fate
Slowly grind my life away?
Who am I?

Who am I?

November 02, 2016

The Syn - 14 Hour Technicolour Dream (1967)

This English band was formed in 1965 by Steve Nardelli and John Painter from a band called High Court, as well as Chris Squire, Andrew Jackman, and Martyn Adelman from a band called The Selfs. The band primarily performed R&B covers but, like nearly everyone, transitioned into playing psychedelic-sounding songs in late 1966.

Notably, the group opened for Jimi Hendrix in 1967 when Hendrix performed at the Marquee Club in London that year. If you recall, that was the same performance that featured the members of The Beatles in attendance and introduced Hendrix to the world. Needless to say, The Syn were nervous about performing before such musical icons; and, after Hendrix’s legendary set, they must have been glad that they went on before him rather than after.

The group disbanded later in 1967. Both Chris Squire and Peter Banks (who replaced John Painter) went on to form Mabel Greer’s Toyshop, which was eventually renamed Yes.

The song below was recorded and released during the band’s psychedelic period in 1967. Written by Steve Nardelli and Andrew Jackman, the song was the B-Side of their second single that year and featured the A-Side “Flowerman.”

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The Syn - 14 Hour Technicolour Dream (1967)

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Lyrics:

(Dream, dream)
Dreaming
(Dream, dream)
Dreaming

Reality is getting you down
Just can't seem to get your feet off the ground
Could it be that you're caught up in a gravitational pull?
Is it society making you out to be a fool?

Forget it, child, you can become a freak
The prettiest girl that the world has ever seen
At the fourteen hour Technicolor
Fourteen hour Technicolor dream

Shades of orange and shades of green
Shades of purple, yellow, and tangerine
Shades of blue, black, and even cream
It's a fourteen hour Technicolor dream

You got your freedom, do what you like
Shoot yourself, root yourself
That'll be alright
At the fourteen hour Technicolor
Fourteen hour Technicolor dream

(Fourteen hour Technicolor)
Dream
(Fourteen hour Technicolor)
Dream
(Fourteen hour Technicolor)
Dream
(Fourteen hour Technicolor)
(Fourteen hour Technicolor)
(Fourteen hour Technicolor)
Dream

Fourteen hour Technicolor dream, yeah
And it's groovy
‘cause they're showin' movies
Yes, they are
And everybody's gonna be there, yeah
Suzy Creamcheese gonna be there, yeah
Yes, and I said a’have a Havana
And smoke a banana if you want to
I said, I said do what you want to

(Dream, dream)
Dreaming
(Dream, dream)
Dreaming

October 26, 2016

The Denvermen - Surf City Stomp (1963)

This surf was stitched together in Sydney, Australia from the ex-members of two recently broken up groups: Digger Revell and the Lonely Ones and Paul Dever and the Denvermen. The Denvermen featured guitarist Les Green, who provided his old band’s name when the two groups merged together.

They began working on their first major single, “Surfside,” in December 1962, which went to number one in Sydney after its release in January 1963. The song also went to number six on the Melbourne charts, eventually charted in each state around the country, and thus because the first hit Australian surf song. The success of the song resulted in the group recording and releasing more material throughout 1963, as well as touring the neighboring New Zealand. To provide some perspective of their popularity, the band was paid a whopping £8,000 to tour New Zealand, which was exceptionally more than the £2,500 recently paid to The Beatles for their tour of the country.

The song below was released on the band’s 1963 album Let’s Go Surfside on the Australian branch of RCA Records. It was also re-released in 1964 on the four-track Stomp Fever. It’s assumed that the song was written by the ‘50s rock star Johnny Devlin, as most of their surf instrumentals during that period were.

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The Denvermen - Surf City Stomp (1963)

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Lyrics:

(instrumental)

October 19, 2016

Dave Van Ronk - Leave Her Johnny (1960)

Nicknamed the “Mayor of MacDougal Street,” Dave Van Ronk (June 30, 1936 – February 10, 2002) spent a large portion of his youth singing in a barbershop quartet and twice sailing with the Merchant Marine. In the mid-1950s, he desperately wanted to play with a traditional jazz band, and thus joined up with one in his native New York, playing the banjo and singing unamplified. Unfortunately, jazz had seen its day, and the outfit didn’t last very long. One day, while searching for jazz records in a music shop, Van Ronk stumbled upon blues artists like Mississippi John Hurt and Blind Lemon Jefferson. After finding this new style of music he could get into, he began to emulate the voices and styles which he heard during his own performances. And while doing so, Van Ronk continued to sing as if he was still unamplified and trying to be heard over the jazz arrangements. What resulted was a very loud, brash, and gritty style, which Van Ronk became known for, and which vastly contrasted with the other folk artists of the time who generally sang in a much more subdued style.

The song heard below was released in 1991 on the album The Folkway Years, 1959-1961. And although the specific year this song was recorded is not mentioned, the track listings for compilation albums such as these are usually listed in a sequential order. Assuming this to be true for this album, and noting that this song is smack-dab in the middle of the track listing, I'm taking the liberty of assuming it was recorded in 1960.

The song itself is a traditional sea shanty whose author or authors have been lost to time. Songs like this one were often sung by the crews of wooden ships to pass the time during the more menial tasks required to maintain a vessel. This song in particular was the song sung when a crew reached their final destination, after docking and being tied up in port, telling the everyman “Johnny” that it’s time to “leave her,” the ship.

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Dave Van Ronk - Leave Her Johnny (1960)

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Lyrics:

Oh, times were hard and the wages low
(Leave her, Johnny, leave her)
I guess it’s time for us to go
(It’s time for us to leave her)
Beware these packet ships, I say
(Leave her, Johnny, leave her)
They’ll steal your stores and your clothes away
(It’s time for us to leave her)
There’s Liverpool Pat with his tarpaulin hat
(Leave her, Johnny, leave her)
And Yankee John, the packet rat
(It’s time for us to leave her)
She would not wear and she would not stay
(Leave her, Johnny, leave her)
She shipped great seas both night and day
(It’s time for us to leave her)
It’s rotten beef and waverly bread
(Leave her, Johnny, leave her)
It was “pump or drown,” the old man said
(It’s time for us to leave her)
The sails all furled, our work is done
(Leave her, Johnny, leave her)
And now ashore, we’ll take our run
(It’s time for us to leave her)
Oh, what will us poor shellbacks do?
(Leave her, Johnny, leave her)
Our money’s gone; no work to do
(It’s time for us to leave her)

October 12, 2016

The Kingsmen - Louie Louie (1963)

Although there were quite a few bands to don the “Kingsmen” moniker in the early sixties, it was the stardom of this particular band which forced all of the others to change their name. Formed in Portland, Oregon in 1959 by Lynn Easton and Jack Ely, the group is most associated with their biggest hit, “Louie Louie,” heard below. And although the band failed to reach the same success they had had with that hit, they were not, as popularly thought, one hit wonders. They had a handful of songs on the Billboard Hot 100, albeit none of them as widely successful as their first monster of a hit.

The song itself was written by Richard Berry in 1955. Berry’s version was recorded as a B-Side and released in 1957. It became a local success on the West Coast, selling around 40,000 copies. But, after failing to find success with any follow-up records, Berry sold the rights to his song for $750 to Flip Records in 1959.

In 1962, The Kingsmen would often hear a rendition of the song by Rockin’ Robin Roberts, who was signed to Flip Records, from the jukebox at the Pypo Club in Seaside, Oregon. And since the song always seemed to get the crowd on its feet, The Kingsmen began to incorporate it into their live performances. What they didn’t realize was that they had misheard the song a bit and, thus, made it unique in their own future recording.

Speaking of their recording of the song, The Kingsmen’s version was recorded on April 6, 1963 during a one-hour recording session at the Northwestern Inc. studios. Because they had practiced the song for 90 minutes prior to going into the studio, the band was somewhat tired, lazy, and irritated. Making matters worse, everyone was crammed into a single room with only three microphones to record simultaneously, causing the lead singer, Jack Ely, to have to uncomfortably “lean backward and scream” rather than sing, in order to be heard over the instruments being played around him.

All in all, it was these complications which wound up giving the song its character. The combination of Ely’s tired voice (and him having braces) resulted in his infamously slurred lyrics- slurred lyrics which caused suspicious parents and radio station managers to accuse the song’s lyrics of being potentially “obscene.” And although the song’s lyrics were entirely innocuous, there were enough public outcries that the FBI began an investigation. Luckily for the members of the group, no charges were filed once the harmless nature was revealed. Perhaps the most ironic bit, however, is that if you listen carefully (specifically at 0:54), you can hear the band’s drummer, Lynn Easton, yell the F-word after fumbling his drumsticks, which he admitted to much later in life.

Ultimately, the song reached number two on the charts; it has been covered well over 1,600 times; and it is known as one of, if not the, most iconic garage rock songs in the history of recorded music.

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The Kingsmen - Louie Louie (1963)

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Lyrics:

Louie Louie
Oh no, me gotta go
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, I said
Louie Louie, oh baby
Me gotta go

A fine little girl waits for me
Catch a ship across the sea
Sail that ship about, all alone
Never know I make it home

Louie Louie, no, no, no, no
Me gotta go, oh no
I said, Louie Louie
Oh baby, I said we gotta go

Three nights and days I sailed the sea
I think of that girl, oh, constantly
On that ship, I dream she's there
I smell the rose in her hair

Louie Louie, woah no
Sayin’ me gotta go
I said Louie Louie, oh baby
I said me gotta go

Okay, let's give it to 'em, right now!

See-

See Jamaica, the moon above
It won't be long, me see me love
Take her in my arms again
I tell her I'll never leave again

Louie Louie, oh no
Sayin’ we gotta go
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
I said Louie Louie, oh baby
Sayin’ we gotta go

I said we gotta go now

Let’s go on out of here

Let's go!

October 05, 2016

The Mascots - This Proud Crowd (1966)

Previously featured on this site, this group was virtually unknown to the English-speaking world in the 1960s. Hailing from Sweden, The Mascots predominately sang in English, but never quite managed to break into the English-speaking market. They released numerous singles in Sweden (with some to large, local success) and even a couple full length albums.

The song below was never released as a single, but was instead featured as the second track on the group’s second album, cleverly titled Ellpee and released in 1966. The song was written by Stefan Ringbom, the group’s lead vocalist and guitarist. The song also featured the rest of the band’s core members: Karl Gunnar Idering on guitar, Anders Forsslund on bass, Rolf “Boffe” Adolfsson on drums, and all of the members performing backing vocals.

Editor's Note: The lyrics are difficult to decipher, especially considering that they could be in broken English. If you have any suggestions as to what's being said, please leave a comment below.

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The Mascots - This Proud Crowd (1966)

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Lyrics:

Moving down the city way
Taking seats there every day
Buying clothes because they’re “in”
Having “out” ones is a sin
Digging new songs every week
And then you are a real
Member of this proud crowd

Old originality
Was once started, it I see
Someone said I shall break out
And then everyone broke out
Forming troops of self-sane people
And becoming all
Members of this proud crowd

You gotta like these things that’s new
That’s what you can do
Maybe they’re too much of things
Oh, forget it, cut my strings
But some things happen, though
It’s not the old way you will know
Maybe that too much at all
I think I’ll do an outlaw

No more thinking for oneself
‘cause one never is oneself
Doing things the others do
Joining parties, getting blue
Having lots of fun, I know
Because I am somehow
A member of this proud crowd

You gotta like these things that’s new
That’s what you can do
Maybe they’re too much of things
Oh, forget it, cut my strings
But some things happen, though
It’s not the old way you will know
Maybe that too much at all
I think I’ll do an outlaw

No more thinking for oneself
‘cause one never is oneself
Doing things the others do
Having parties, getting blue
Having lots of fun, I know
Because I am somehow
A member of this proud crowd

A member of this proud crowd

September 21, 2016

The Who - A Quick One, While He's Away (1966)

As Pete Townshend explained in his 2012 autobiography, Who I Am, he and his band, The Who, were in need of about ten minutes worth of songs in order to have enough material for their second album. Being the group’s only songwriter at the time, Townshend went to work. What was eventually created was a sort of “mini-opera.” The song is broken up into six parts and tells the story of a woman whose significant other has been gone for “nigh on a year.” Her friends set her up with another man, Ivor the Engine Driver, whom she eventually sleeps with. When her significant other finally returns, she’s overwhelmed with guilt, admits to her infidelity, and is ultimately forgiven. The six parts are:

I.“Her Man’s Been Gone”
II.“Crying Town”
III.“We Have a Remedy”
IV.“Ivor the Engine Driver”
V.“Soon Be Home”
VI.“You Are Forgiven”

That story, according to Townshend, was loosely based on his own childhood. When young, Townshend was sent by his parents to live with his grandmother, Denny. Denny lived near a train station and would often bring random men home. Although unclear on the details, Townshend is relatively sure that one or more of these men abused him- memories which he blocked out at a young age. The “twin girl” mentioned in the song, in real life, was Townshend’s imaginary friend.

The final part of the song, “You Are Forgiven,” was Townshend’s way of forgiving everyone involved in his childhood drama: his parents for abandoning him with his grandmother; his grandmother for bringing strangers into her home; and ultimately, himself. Townshend stated in his autobiography that when he performed the song live, he would always go into a wild frenzy, striking his guitar as hard as he could, when each “you are forgiven” was sung.

According to John Entwistle, The Who's bassist, "We wanted to put cellos on the track but [record producer] Kit Lambert said we couldn’t afford it. That’s why we sing 'cello, cello, cello, cello' where we thought they should be." The "mini-opera" idea became an obsession to Townshend, inspiring him to write the rock opera Tommy.


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The Who - A Quick One, While He's Away (1966)

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Lyrics:


Her man’s been gone
For nearly a year
He was due home yesterday
But he ain’t here

Her man’s been gone
For nigh on a year
He was due home yesterday
But he ain’t here

Down your street, your cryin’ is a well-known sound
Your street is very well known, right here in town
Your town is very famous for the little girl
Whose cries can be heard all around the world

We have a remedy
You’ll appreciate
No need to be so sad
He’s only late

We’ll bring you flowers and things
Help pass your time
We’ll give him eagle’s wings
Then he can fly to you

We have a remedy
We have a remedy
We have a remedy
We have a remedy

We have a remedy?
We have!

Little girl, why don’t you stop your crying?
I’m gonna make you feel all right

My name is Ivor
I’m an engine driver

I know him well
I know why you feel blue
Just ‘cause he’s late
Don’t mean he’ll never get through

He told me he loves you
He ain’t no liar; I ain’t either
So let’s have a smile for an old engine driver
So let’s have a smile for an old engine driver

Please take a sweet
(Take a sweet)
Come take a walk with me
(Walk with me)
We’ll sort it out
(Sort it out)
Back at my place, maybe
(Back at my place, maybe)

It’ll come right
You ain’t no fool; I ain’t either
So why not be nice to an old engine driver?
Better be nice to an old engine driver
Better be nice to an old engine driver

We’ll soon be home
We’ll soon be home
We’ll soon
We’ll soon, soon, soon be home

We’ll soon be home
We’ll soon be home
We’ll soon
We’ll soon, soon, soon be home

Come on, old horse

Soon be home
Soon be home
Soon
We’ll soon, soon, soon be home

We’ll soon
Soon, soon, soon be home

We’ll soon be home
Soon be home

Dang, dang, dang, dang, dang, dang, dang, dang

Cello, cello, cello, cello
Cello, cello, cello, cello
Cello, cello, cello, cello
Cello, cello, cello, cello
Cello, cello, cello, cello
Cello, cello, cello, cello

I can’t believe it
Do my eyes deceive me?
Am I back in your arms
Away from all harm?

It’s like a dream to be with you again
Can’t believe that I’m with you again

I missed you and I must admit
I kissed a few and once did sit
On Ivor the Engine Driver’s lap
And later, with him, had a nap

You are forgiven
(You are forgiven)
You are forgiven
(You are forgiven)
You are forgiven
(You are forgiven)
You are forgiven
(You are forgiven)
You are forgiven
(You are forgiven)
You are forgiven
(You are forgiven)
You are forgiven
(You are forgiven)
Forgiven
Forgiven
Forgiven
(You are forgiven)
Forgiven
Forgiven
Forgiven
(You are forgiven)
Forgiven
Forgiven
Forgiven
(You are forgiven)
Forgiven
Forgiven
(You are forgiven)
Forgiven
(You are forgiven)
Forgiven
(You are forgiven)

(You are forgiven)

(You are forgiven)
You are forgiven
(You are forgiven)
You’re forgiven

August 31, 2016

Aphrodite's Child - Babylon (1972)

This Greek group first came together in 1967 and began as a backing band named “Vangelis and his Orchestra” after their lead member and multi-instrumentalist, Vangelis Papathanassiou. Although it wasn’t a smooth process, the band left their home country of Greece, which was under a newly formed dictatorship, and recorded their first album (End of the World, October 1968) in Paris, France. Their second and third albums were recorded in London, England. It was during the recording of their third album, 666, when the band members began to find new, separate interests and come apart from one another. The band’s lead vocalist, Demis Roussos, for example, had become more interested in pursuing a solo career. Vangelis, on the other hand, had begun recording scores for television documentaries. He, too, would pursue a solo career and became renowned for his electronic music. Vangelis also worked on numerous film scores, most notably winning an Oscar for his score for the film Chariots of Fire. Although you may not recognize the name, you’d probably recognize the main track. By the time of 666’s release in June 1972, the band had already broken up.

The song heard below is the second track on the band’s final album, 666. It was written by Vangelis Papathanassiou and had lyrics contributed by Costas Ferris. Although it sounds live, the crowd noise was layered behind the song. Lyrically, the song introduces the apocalyptic theme found throughout the album. Although not a chart-topper when released, the album is now considered a classic, as well as one of the first concept albums.

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Aphrodite's Child - Babylon (1972)

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Lyrics:

Fallen, fallen, fallen
Is Babylon the great
Space is getting bounded
Time is getting late
Getting late

Masters fall and wonder
People rise and wait
Fallen, fallen, fallen
Is Babylon the great

You don't need a coin
I don't have to shine
We don't know the reason

But, I need you madly
And you need me too
And we need each other
Need each other
Need each other

Fallen, fallen, fallen
Is Babylon the great
Space is getting bounded
Time is getting late
Getting late

Masters fall and wonder
People rise and wait
Fallen, fallen, fallen
Is Babylon the great

You don't need a coin
I don't have to shine
We don't know the reason

But, I need you madly
And you need me too
And we need each other
Need each other
Need each other

August 24, 2016

Little John and The Monks - Black Winds (1965)

The original lead singer of this band, Tom Davis, was born in Scotland, but moved to Klamath Falls, Oregon in 1963. There, he started a band called The Nomads which were soon offered an opportunity to audition with Jerden Records in Eugene, Oregon. Once in Eugene, Davis was solicited by a teenager-attracting nightclub owner to front a new band. Davis accepted the offer and the band he joined became the one featured today, who are not to be confused with the similarly named band of American GIs stationed in Germany.

The song heard below, written and sung by Tom Davis, was recorded in November 1965 but possibly not released until 1967. Information is difficult to find. The track was the A-Side of the only single the band ever put out, and it was backed on the B-Side with a cover of “Needles and Pins.” Although the song was never given the proper push needed to make a dent on the charts, it’s hard to imagine the radio stations of the day would have been comfortable playing its dark lyrics.

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Little John and The Monks - Black Winds (1965)

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Lyrics:

Black winds, take this soul of mine
Take me to the dark below
Lord, I want to die
In the night, I killed my love
Black winds, take away my life
Oh, Lord, let me die

Now, there was a girl I loved
Caught her with another man
Killed them both with my knife
Now the black winds blow
Black winds, take away my life
Oh, Lord, let me die

Now, I could hear the same things
That broke my heart
Yes, she did
Things that she said
Only to him

I pulled my knife
And crying her name
I stood before them
And now their blood
Lies on the ground

Black winds, take this soul of mine
Take me to the dark below
Lord, I want to die
In the night, I killed my love
Black winds, take away my life
Oh, Lord, let me die

Oh, Lord, let me die
Let me die

August 17, 2016

The Beach Boys - Kiss Me, Baby (1965)

By late 1964, Brian Wilson was getting a bit bored with the “sun, cars, and surfing” themes which made up the majority of his group’s songs. Inspired by pop contemporaries like The Beatles and Bob Dylan who were exploring more sophisticated and mature themes of their own, Wilson decided to write something that wasn’t entirely based on “fun in the sun.”

What resulted was the poignant song below, highlighting Wilson’s range as a lyricist, as well as his rapidly developing talents in multi-layering and creating Phil Spector-like sounds. This was an early glimpse into the style and mood which would go on to dominated Pet Sounds roughly one year later.

Released in April 1965, the song’s instrumental backing was recorded in December 1964; and its vocals were recorded the following month in January 1965. Primarily composed and written by Brian Wilson, the song also had some contributions from Mike Love, who wrote the repeated backing vocals (“Kiss a little bit / Fight a little bit…”). The song was released as the B-Side to the group’s “Help Me, Rhonda.”

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The Beach Boys - Kiss Me, Baby (1965)

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Lyrics:

Please don’t let me argue anymore
I won’t make you worry like before
Can’t remember what we fought about
Late, late last night we said it was over
But I remember when we thought it out
We both had a broken heart

(Woah, baby)
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
Kiss me, baby
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
(Woah, baby)
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
Love to hold you
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
(Woah, baby)
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
Kiss me, baby
(Woah, baby)
Love to hold you

As I drove away I felt a tear
It hit me I was losing someone dear
Told my folks I would be alright
Tossed and I turned, my head was so heavy
Then I wondered as it got light
Were you still awake like me?

(Woah, baby)
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
Kiss me, baby
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
(Woah, baby)
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
Love to hold you
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
(Woah, baby)
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
Kiss me, baby
(Woah, baby)
Love to hold you tight

(Woah, baby)
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
Kiss me, baby
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
(Woah, baby)
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
Love to hold you
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
(Woah, baby)
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
Kiss me, baby
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
(Woah, baby)
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
Love to hold you
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
Kiss me, baby
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
(Woah, baby)
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
Love to hold you
(Kiss a little bit, fight a little bit)
Kiss me, baby…

August 03, 2016

The Searchers - Popcorn, Double Feature (1967)

The Searchers’ drummer since 1960, Chris Curtis, had convinced the band to record a cover of Bobby Darin’s “When I Come Home.” Curtis was the band’s chief songwriter, song selector, a figurehead member, often the band's main public relations representative, and the only member who could sing the high harmonies. Unfortunately for Curtis (and the band), their 1966 release of “When I Come Home” didn’t do as well on the charts as they were used to, and the band indirectly laid the blame on Curtis’s song choice. Consequently, some internal strife came about between Curtis and the other members, ending with Curtis leaving the band in April 1966 after the end of an Australian tour. Notably, Curtis would go on to form the band Roundabout, which eventually evolved into Deep Purple.

With Curtis’s departure, a man by the name of John Blunt became the group’s new drummer. This latest incarnation of the band- which now consisted of Frank Allen (lead vocals, bass), John McNally (guitar, backing vocals), Mike Pender (lead vocals, guitar), and now John Blunt- was responsible for the song heard below.

Don’t forget to check out the exclusive story we received from Frank Allen!

The song heard below was composed by the acclaimed duo of Larry Weiss and Scott English, who would later be individually renowned for writing “Rhinestone Cowboy” for Glen Campbell and “Mandy” for Barry Manilow, respectively. It was first recorded and released by Time Wilde on Tower Records, to very little acclaim. The Searchers’ version of the song was released in January 1967, backed with the B-Side “Lovers,” on the Pye label.

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The Searchers - Popcorn, Double Feature (1967)

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Lyrics:

Everybody’s goin’ through changes
Everybody’s got a bag of his own
Everybody’s talkin’ about places
Can only be found in the greater unknown

People are flyin’
And babies are cryin’
Don’t nobody care at all
There’s love and there’s laughter
And good things come after
Just follow the bouncing ball

Popcorn, double feature
Whole world’s a funny farm
Blind man is your teacher
No need to be alarmed

Music’s coming out of the woodwork
Soundin’ so strange and nobody sleeps
Met a little man on the corner
He’s holdin’ a flag and makin’ a speech

Coffee each mornin’
“Don’t Park” is the warnin’
They tow your machine away
There’s so much confusion
That’s built on illusion
What’s making the music play?

Popcorn, double feature
Whole world’s a funny farm
Blind man is your teacher
No need to be alarmed
Not much

Coffee each mornin’
“Don’t Park” is the warnin’
They’ll tow your machine away
There’s so much confusion
That’s built on illusion
What’s making the music play?

Popcorn, double feature
Whole world’s a funny farm
Blind man is your teacher
No need to be alarmed
Not much

Popcorn, double feature
Whole world’s a funny farm
Blind man is your teacher…

July 27, 2016

Lennon/Ono with the Plastic Ono Band - Instant Karma! (We All Shine On) (1970)

This “conceptual band” was started by The BeatlesJohn Lennon and Yoko Ono who had met in 1966, became romantically involved with in 1968, and married in 1969. They made their first official release using the Plastic Ono Band name with “Give Peace a Chance” in 1969, even though the couple had been making music and releasing albums together as early as 1968.

Backing them, the Plastic Ono Band had a rotating lineup which at any time could have featured numerous notable musicians, such as George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Keith Moon and many, many others. Lennon and Ono were fond of reminding their fans that “YOU are the Plastic Ono Band.”

The song below was Lennon’s attempt to create an “instant single.” He wrote the song (in an hour) on January 27, 1970, recorded it that very same day, and saw its release about a week later. Playing on the song besides Lennon and Ono (backing vocals), was George Harrison, Klaus Voormann, Alan White, Billy Preston, Mal Evans, with Allen Klein and numerous people from a pub down the street who assisted with backing vocals. It was George Harrison who suggested Lennon use famed producer Phil Spector, who happened to be visiting London at the time. Spector obliged, ending a self-imposed retirement he had begun in 1966. His collaboration with Lennon on the song led to his eventual hiring for production of The Beatles’ Let It Be album, which was released later that year in May.

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Lennon/Ono with the Plastic Ono Band - Instant Karma! (We All Shine On) (1970)

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Lyrics:

…three, four

Instant karma’s gonna get you
Gonna knock you right on the head
You better get yourself together
Pretty soon you’re gonna be dead
What in the world you thinking of?
Laughing in the face of love
What on earth are you tryin’ to do?
It’s up to you
Yeah, you

Instant karma’s gonna get you
Gonna look you right in the face
Better get yourself together darlin’
Join the human race
How in the world you gonna see?
Laughin’ at fools like me
Who on Earth do you think you are?
A superstar?
Well, right you are

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well we all shine on
Everyone
Come on

Instant karma’s gonna get you
Gonna knock you off your feet
Better recognize your brothers
Everyone you meet
Why in the world are we here?
Surely not to live in pain and fear
Why on earth are you there
When you’re everywhere?
Come and get your share

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah, we all shine on
Come on and on and on- on- on

Yeah, yeah
Alright

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Yeah, we all shine on
On and on and on- on and on

Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well we all shine on
Like the moons and the stars and the sun
Yeah we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun

July 20, 2016

The Rumors - Hold Me Now (1965)

Formed around 1963, this Los Angeles-based band was founded by keyboardist, lead singer, and sometimes-manager Ben Turner. The group was rounded out by guitarist (and ex-member of The Ventures) Ed Burkey, bassist Larry Scher, and drummer Norm Prinsky. The band only recorded one single, “Hold Me Now” b/w “Without Her,” which had been recorded at Gemcor Records. (Gemcor was a small, local label owned by Bill Bell which only pressed three singles in total before closing their doors.)

The band toured Los Angeles and the surrounding areas, often competing in “battle of the bands” tournaments and even being featured on local television programs. Somewhere in 1967 or 1968, disappointed in record sales, the band called it quits.

Heard below is the A-Side to the group’s only release, “Hold Me Now.” The music and lyrics were predominately written by the band’s Ben Turner, with some lyrical assistance by their drummer, Norm Prinsky. The song was originally released in June 1965 and has since been featured on numerous compilation albums, including Nuggets, Pebbles, and The Cicadelic Sixties.

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The Rumors - Hold Me Now (1965)

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Lyrics:

I'm coming, baby
Coming home to you now
I'm running, baby
Running to be with you now
Ah, don't you know?
I'm gonna love you so
I need all your lovin'

After I went and left you, I was blue
I'm saving all my money for only you
I'm gonna' love you- love you 'til the day I die
I- you know what I've been doin', now

Around and around and up and down we go, baby
Around and around and up and down we go, baby
Around and around and up and down we go, baby
I need all your lovin'

Let's go!

Hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me now
All of the time

Hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me now
Hold me now
You'll be mine

Hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me, hold me now
You're so fine

I need all your lovin'
Right now!

July 13, 2016

Eddie & The Showmen - Mr. Rebel (1963)

As mentioned in a previous post, this band was created when guitarist Eddie Bertrand of The Bel-Airs left his group to start a new one that he would lead in a “harsher” surf rock sound. Formed in Southern California, the group had other notable members throughout their history, such as Dick Dodd- previously a Mouseketeer and later a member of The Standells- who was their original drummer; guitarist Larry Carlton would later become a famous jazz guitarist; and Rob Edwards would later be in the psychedelic band known as Colours.

Released in late 1963, the song heard below was composed by Bertrand and definitively the group’s most popular release, despite all of their singles selling well. The group was in a unique position, being an instrumental band signed to a big label (Liberty Records). Unfortunately, Liberty never saw fit to release a full-length album, and the band only put out singles. The song below reached number four on the local Los Angeles market in February 1964, making it the group’s highest (albeit locally) charting hit. The song was produced by Bert Bertrand, Eddie's father.

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Eddie & The Showmen - Mr. Rebel (1963)

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Lyrics:

(instrumental)

July 06, 2016

Patrick Sky - Many a Mile (1965)

Patrick Sky (born Patrick Lynch on October 2nd, 1943) is an American folk musician, singer, and songwriter. Though he was born in Georgia and raised in Louisiana, Sky made a name for himself in Greenwich Village, New York, alongside contemporaries such as Eric Andersen, Mississippi John Hurt, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Dave van Ronk, and all of the other numerous names made famous who got their start in the Village.

He recorded four albums in the mid- to late-sixties until simultaneously becoming tired with the music industry and growing a more politically radical point of view. This new outlook inspired Sky to record a highly satirical album in 1971. The album, titled Songs That Made America Famous, was so controversial that it wasn’t released until 1973, after having been declined for release by numerous labels.

More recently, Sky has been renowned for his expertise in building and playing the Irish uillean pipes. He has authored numerous books on the subject and often performs with his wife Cathy.

Heard below is the opening track to Patrick Sky’s eponymous debut album, released in 1965. Written by Sky himself, the song became a standard of the folk music scene in the 1960s. It has been covered by numerous artists, perhaps of which most notably was Buffy Sainte-Marie, who named her 1965 album after the song.

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Patrick Sky - Many a Mile (1965)

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Lyrics:

I’ve damn near walked this world around
Another city, another town
Another friend to say goodbye
Another girl to sit and cry
And it’s many a mile I’ve spent on this road
It’s many a mile I have gone

Well, there was one who knew me best
You know she gave my poor heart rest
She was my world, my heart, my dear
Now she’s gone to God knows where
And it’s many a mile I’ve spent on this road
It’s many a mile I have gone

I’ve seen your towns; they’re all the same
The only difference is in a name
The only home I’ve ever know’ed
Was a suitcase and the open road
And it’s many a mile I’ve spent on this road
It’s many a mile I have gone

So I’ll fill my glasses up to the brim
And through my glass, my world looks dim
But, I know, outside there’s light somewhere
Maybe my rambling will get me there
And it’s many a mile I’ve spent on this road
It’s many a mile I’ve gone

It’s many a mile I’ve spent on this road
And it’s many a mile I will go

June 29, 2016

Barry McGuire - Eve of Destruction (1965)

Barry McGuire was born on October 15, 1935 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, but moved to California at the young age of two years old. In the early 1960s, McGuire performed in a folk duo with Barry Kane, calling themselves Barry & Barry. In 1962, both McGuire and Kane joined a larger folk group known as The New Christy Minstrels. In 1965, McGuire left the Minstrels, wanting to record more political-oriented, serious music. He started off with a bang, as, that summer, he recorded what would be his most well-known song, “Eve of Destruction,” heard below. Its release propelled McGuire into international stardom, but unfortunately the artist would never again break into the Top 40. His lustrous career has spanned more than five decades, resulting in more than twenty-five albums.

Written by P. F. Sloan in 1964, this song was first offered to The Byrds, who were known to record political songs such as this one. However, The Byrds declined and the song was thus first recorded and released by The Turtles, whose version you can hear in one of our previous posts. As it was, the version recorded and released by Barry McGuire in July 1965 garnered the most success. Surprisingly, the version with McGuire was also only a rough draft.

In mid-July 1965, some members of The Wrecking Crew had recorded the music for “Eve of Destruction” for McGuire to use, and McGuire ran through the vocals off of a crumbled piece of paper to get a feel for the song. He only recorded one take, but sometime later that day, his rough cut was leaked to a DJ and the song became an instant hit overnight. Ultimately, the song went to number one in the United States and has since been widely regarded as an iconic anthem encompassing the mood of many during the 1960s.

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Barry McGuire - Eve of Destruction (1965)

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Lyrics:

The eastern world- it is explodin'
Violence flarin', bullets loadin'
You're old enough to kill, but not for votin'
You don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're totin'?
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin'

But ya tell me over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, ya don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

Don'tcha understand what I'm tryin' to say?
And can't you feel the fears that I'm feelin' today?
If the button is pushed, there's no runnin’ away
There'll be no one to save with the world in a grave
Take a look around ya, boy; it's bound to scare ya, boy; and ya

Tell me over and over and over again, my friend
Ah, ya don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

Yeah, my blood's so mad, feels like coagulatin'
I'm sittin' here just contemplatin'
I can't twist the truth, it knows no regulation
Handful of sedatives don't pass legislation
And marches alone can't bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin'
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin'; and ya

Tell me over and over and over again my friend
Ah, ya don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
Ah, you may leave here for four days in space
But when you return, it's the same old place
The poundin' of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead, but don't leave a trace
Hate your next-door neighbor, but don't forget to say grace; and

Tell me over and over and over and over again, my friend
You don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

Mm, no, no, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

June 22, 2016

The Seekers - Georgy Girl (1966)

At Melbourne Boys High School in Victoria, Australia during the late 1950s, a few guys from different musical groups (The Trinamics and The Ramblers) came together to start a new doo-wop act calling themselves The Escorts. Over the next few years, some members shuffled in and out; and, in 1962, the group renamed themselves The Seekers. After the dust had settled, their most well-known line-up had been solidified; it consisted of Judith Durham (vocals, piano, and tambourine), Athol Guy (bass), Keith Potger (guitar), and Bruce Woodley (guitar).

The group’s popularity began in Melbourne, Australia, spread to the rest of the country, and by February 1965, they had claimed the number one and number four spots on the charts in the United Kingdom and the United States, respectively.

The song heard below was the band’s highest charting single in the United States, reaching number two on the Billboard Hot 100. The song’s music (by Tom Springfield) and lyrics (by Jim Dale) were put together to go with the release of a British film, also titled Georgy Girl, released in 1966. In the movie, two alternative versions of the song are heard- one during the opening credits and the other during the closing credits. An entirely different third version was used for the release of the song as a single. The single version is the one heard below.

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The Seekers - Georgy Girl (1966)

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Lyrics:

Hey there, Georgy girl
Swingin’ down the street so fancy-free
Nobody you meet could ever see
The loneliness there
Inside you

Hey there, Georgy girl
Why do all the boys just pass you by?
Could it be you just don’t try?
Or is it the clothes you wear?

You’re always window shopping
But never stopping to buy
So, shed those dowdy feathers and fly
A little bit

Hey there, Georgy girl
There’s another Georgy deep inside
Bring out all the love you hide
And, oh, what a change there’d be
The world would see
A new Georgy girl

Hey there, Georgy girl
Dreamin’ of the someone you could be
Life is a reality
You can’t always run away

Don’t be so scared of changing
And rearranging yourself
It’s time for jumping down from the shelf
A little bit

Hey there, Georgy girl
There’s another Georgy deep inside
Bring out all the love you hide
And, oh, what a change there’d be
The world would see
A new Georgy girl

(Hey there, Georgy girl)
Wake up, Georgy girl
(Hey there, Georgy girl)
Come on, Georgy girl
(Hey there, Georgy girl)
Wake up, Georgy girl…

June 15, 2016

Spirit - Life Has Just Begun (1970)

In 1966, the fifteen year old Randy California (born Randy Wolfe) was performing in Greenwich Village, New York with Jimmy James and the Blue Flames. Jimmy James was the stage name being used by Jimi Hendrix at the time; and, the band was playing Hendrix’s arrangements that would later be recorded and released when he formed The Jimi Hendrix Experience. It was around this time that Chas Chandler of The Animals heard Jimmy James and the Blue Flames and convinced Hendrix to come to England to produce The Animals’ music. Hendrix agreed and Randy California didn’t follow.

Instead, after moving out to Los Angeles, California started a band called the Red Roosters in 1967 with Mark Andes and Jay Ferguson. Soon, California’s step father joined the band (Ed “Mr. Skin” Cassidy) on drums, along with keyboardist John Locke. With the addition of the new members, the band renamed themselves The Spirits Rebellious, which was soon shortened to their final, more well-known name of Spirit.

The song heard below is the tenth track on the band’s fourth album, titled Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus. Released in November 1970, the album was then the band’s lowest charting album. However, as time went on, it also became their best-selling one, and was certified Gold in the United States in 1976.

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Spirit - Life Has Just Begun (1970)

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Lyrics:

Oh, hey Kiowa
I know your name
Catch me a’glancing
With one of your eye
So much we are chancing
If we said goodbye

Oh

Softly say you'll be my bride
And our hearts a solid beat
Say you'll always be here by my side
With the hearts all constantly

Oh, we

(Walked in a dream and we knew it was)
(Married in the dream)
(Strange as it seemed that we knew because)

(Because) Life has just begun
(Life has just begun) (Life has just begun)
Because life has just begun

Hey, Kiowa
I know your name
Hey, Kiowa
I know your name

Walking in that sun, Kiowa
And even though your legs are tired
Though we’re on the run, Kiowa
Our hearts are free from all desire

Walked in the dream and we knew it was
Strange as it seemed that we knew because

(Because life has just begun)
(Life has just begun, life has just begun)
(Life has just begun, life has just begun)
(Because life has just begun)
(Because life has just begun)
(Because life has just begun)
(Because life has just begun)
(Because life has just begun)
(Because life has just begun)
(Because life has just begun)
(Because life has just begun)

June 08, 2016

The Gentrys - Keep On Dancing (1965)

This band was formed in May 1963 by seven students at Treadwell High School in Memphis, Tennessee. Originally going by the name The Gents, the group had entered and placed in a number of band competitions throughout 1964. This led to the group getting a record deal from the local Youngstown Records in December of that same year and releasing their first single- a regional hit, titled “Sometimes”- in early 1965. Later in 1965, the group released their most successful song (heard below), which led to appearances on Shindig!, Hullaballo, Where the Action Is, and the 1967 movie It’s a Bikini World. The success of the song even led the band to tour and open for The Beach Boys and Sonny and Cher. Unfortunately, though, the group’s five follow-up singles were not well received, and the group disbanded in 1967. Notably, however, the band’s primary vocalist, Jimmy Hart, would go on to have a very successful career in the WWF (now WWE) throughout the 1980s and ‘90s.

Written by Allen Jones and Willie David Young, the song below was first recorded and released by a band known as The Avantis in 1963. The Gentrys’ cover of the song, released in 1965 and heard below, sold over a million copies and spent two weeks at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. It should be noted that for this particular song, the lead vocals were performed by the band’s guitarist, Larry Raspberry.

Also, the finished song was initially one minute and thirty seconds long. But, feeling that it was too short to receive significant commercial airplay, producers took the first forty seconds of the song and duplicated them at the end of the track. As a result, the final version of the song has a false ending at the 1:30 mark, followed by the exact same intro being heard for the next forty seconds, until it fades out and the song officially ends.

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The Gentrys - Keep On Dancing (1965)

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Lyrics:

Keep on dancin’
Keep on doing the jerk right now
Shake it, shake it, baby
Come on and show me how you work

Now you’re in motion
Keep on- do the locomotion, yeah
Don’t worry, little babe
Shake it, shake it perfectly

Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’
Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’
Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’

Keep on dancin’
Keep on doing the jerk
Shake it, shake it, baby
Come on and show me how you work

Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’
Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’
Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’

Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’
Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’
Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’

Keep on dancin’
Keep on doing the jerk right now
Shake it, shake it, baby
Come on and show me how you work

Now you’re in motion
Keep on- do the locomotion, yeah
Don’t worry, little babe
Shake it, shake it perfectly

Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’
Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’
Keep on dancin’ and a’prancin’...

June 01, 2016

The Sonics - Psycho (1965)

This band’s beginnings can be traced back to the living room of brothers Larry, Jerry, and Andy Parypas in Tacoma, Washington circa 1960. The brothers had been raised amongst the musical influences of their parents, who proudly supported the rock ‘n’ roll genre. Once the family jam sessions began to transition into the boys forming an actual band- around early 1964- their mother still sometimes sat in on bass if no one else was available.

By late 1964, after the personnel shuffling finally slowed down, the band was picked up by Etiquette Records and released their first single, “The Witch” b/w Little Richard'sKeep A-Knockin’.” But since the subject matter of the A-Side was somewhat taboo, it received little airplay. By the end of 1964, the band’s most memorable lineup had been established, consisting of Gerry Roslie (vocals), Andy Parypa (bass), Larry Parypa (guitar), Rob Lind (sax), and Bob Bennett (drums). This rendition of the band was the one featured on the band’s first two albums, Here Are the Sonics (March 1965) and Boom (February 1966). Although largely successful in the northwestern US, it was after these two albums were released that the band began a slow decline, until their complete dissolution sometime in 1968. From then onward, there has usually been some incarnation of The Sonics performing, but never the same one that matched the original lineup seen during the group’s heyday.

The song below was featured on the band’s first album, Here Are the Sonics, released in March of 1965. Written by lead singer Gerry Roslie, the song was the opening track to the back side of the album. Along with the rest of the album, the song is often cited as one of the influencing pieces to the punk rock and grunge genres popularized decades later.

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The Sonics - Psycho (1965)

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Lyrics:

Baby, you're driving me crazy
I said baby, you're driving me crazy
The way you turn me on
Then you shut me down
Oh, well tell me, baby
Am I just your clown?
Psycho

Baby, you're driving me crazy
I said I'm losing my mind
You treat me so unkind
Psycho

Baby, you're driving me crazy
I'm going out of my head
And now I wish I was dead
Psycho

Baby, you're driving me crazy
I'm going out of my head
Now I wish I was dead
Psycho

Psycho
Psycho
Psycho

May 25, 2016

The Gypsy Trips - Rock & Roll Gypsies (1965)

The Gypsy Trips were a musical duo composed of the then-romantic couple Terrye Newkirk and Roger Tillison. For performances and marketing, Newkirk used the stage name “Terrye Tillison.” The duo had traveled to Los Angeles from Oklahoma, attempting to make a name for themselves musically. They were signed by Liberty Records and released one single, featuring the A-Side heard below, and the rocking B-Side “Aint’ It Hard,” which would later be covered by a handful of others ‘60s and ‘80s acts.

Perhaps more notably, Roger Tillison co-authored “You Don’t Have to Paint Me a Picture” for Herman’s Hermits, which would become a hit for Gary Lewis and the Playboys. While in Los Angeles, Newkirk and Tillison befriended many famous names, such as Leon Russell, Levon Helm, and J.J. Cale. The Cale friendship led Newkirk and Tillison to be a part of Cale’s brief, pseudo-band, The Leathercoated Minds.

Written by Roger Tillison, the song below was released in December 1965 on the only single released by The Gypsy Trips. The single was released on World-Pacific, a subsidiary of Liberty Records, and was produced and arranged by Leon Russell. Besides influencing a few other acts to cover the song over the years, the single unfortunately did not garner much response.

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The Gypsy Trips - Rock & Roll Gypsies (1965)

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Lyrics:

To the faraway faces and friends
Of the people and the places I’ve been
I’ll sing you a song, but I won’t keep you long
For the tambourine’s playing
The carnival’s calling you home

And the rock and roll gypsies are riding tonight
In the carnival light they stay
And the golden earrings laugh at the lies
That life is more than a play
For tomorrow will soon be yesterday

To the motherless children who ride
On the shadowless highways of night
It’s all just a game; it’s all just the same
For the winner takes nothing
The loser gets all that remains

And the rock and roll gypsies are riding tonight
In the carnival light they stay
And the golden earrings laugh at the lies
That life is more than a play
For tomorrow will soon be yesterday

May 18, 2016

The Kingston Trio - Scotch and Soda (1958)

Somewhere between 1953 and 1955- depending on who is telling the story and how they’re remembering it- Dave Guard and Bob Shane took a drive from Stanford University, where Guard was an undergraduate, to Los Angeles. The occasion was Easter; or, it might have been around Thanksgiving- again, depending on the recollection of the storyteller. But, as the story goes, Dave Guard was in a relationship with a fellow Stanford undergraduate, Katie Seaver, who came from Fresno, California. Since Fresno was on the way from Stanford to L.A., they decided to stop at the Seavers’ home and pay Katie a visit, presuming she was there.

But when the duo arrived at the doorsteps of Katie’s parents’ home, they were informed by her parents that she was not there. Being kind folks, Charles and Betty Seaver invited the boys inside in case she happened to return shortly. While in waiting, Guard and Shane were entertained by Katie’s parents and younger, eleven year old brother, Tom (who was, in fact, the same Tom Terrific who would later find success pitching for the New York Mets).

When the conversation turned to music, the Seaver couple played a song for the boys, heard below, which they had learned on their honeymoon in 1932 (or was it 1934?) in Phoenix, Arizona. They told the story about how while away on their honeymoon, they had grown fond of a particular song they had been hearing in the hotel lobby, being played by a backroom piano player. Considering it was their honeymoon, they asked the piano player to write the lyrics down for them so that they could always remember it as “their song." The piano player obliged, but never included his name, thus having himself remain anonymous to history.

As it were, both Guard and Shane became two-thirds of The Kingston Trio (along with Nick Reynolds) when the group was formed in 1957. The song learned from the Seaver couple was included on their first album, The Kingston Trio, which was released in 1958 and sold millions of copies. As time went on, Guard eventually gave himself credit for the song, much to the chagrin of his bandmates. Eventually, after years of not being able to identify the mystery piano player from Phoenix, the Seaver couple was given partial credit for the song.

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The Kingston Trio - Scotch and Soda (1958)

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Lyrics:

Scotch and soda
Mud in your eye
Baby, do I feel high
Oh me, oh my
Do I feel high

Dry martini
Jigger of gin
Oh, what a spell you’ve got me in
Oh my
Do I feel high

People won’t believe me
They’ll think that I’m just braggin’
But I could feel the way I do
And still be on the wagon

All I need is one of your smiles
Sunshine of your eye
Oh me, oh my
Do I feel higher than a kite can fly
Give me lovin’
Baby, I feel high

Oh, people won’t believe me
They’ll think that I’m just braggin’
But I could feel the way I do
And still be on the wagon

All I need is one of your smiles
Sunshine of your eyes
Oh me, oh my
Do I feel higher than a kite can fly
Give me lovin’
Baby, I feel high

May 11, 2016

Fleetwood Mac - Albatross (1968)

When a band has a history of nearly fifty years- such as this one does- their history can become quite complex and convoluted. Fleetwood Mac is predominately remembered in the United States by the body of work they released from 1975 through the early ‘90s, when the lineup featured their most well-known singer, Stevie Nicks. However, Nicks joined the band on New Year’s Eve in 1974, more than seven years after the band had first come together.

Originally, the band came together in July 1967 when Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood, and (a short while later) John McVie left John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers to form this new group. With the addition of guitarist Jeremy Spencer, the first true lineup had been solidified. The band got their name from a song they had recorded during some studio time while they were still in the Bluesbreakers; and, that song got its name from combining the surnames of Mick Fleetwood and a shortening of John McVie’s surname.

The song below was released as a single in November 1968, after the group had already released two studio albums and added an eighteen year old guitarist by the name of Danny Kirwan. The song was written by Peter Green with the assistance of Kirwan, who had only been in the group for a few months at that time. It was recorded without Jeremy Spencer, as he had a tendency not to work well with Green.

The song has been featured in multiple movies, documentaries, and as the introduction music for a British television program. It’s also regarded for heavily influencing David Gilmour’s (of Pink Floyd) playing style. The song is also noted for inspiring The BeatlesAbbey Road song, “Sun King.”

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Fleetwood Mac - Albatross (1968)

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Lyrics:

(instrumental)

May 04, 2016

Me and Them Guys - I Loved Her (1966)

According to The Daily Banner newspaper from May 27, 1967, this band came from Greencastle, Indiana, a town about an hour’s ride southwest of Indianapolis, Indiana. Members of the band were Steve Pritchard, Steve Michael, Craig Terry, Rod Kersey and Martin Baker. In that same paper, it's said that the band would be playing Memorial Day for the official summer opening of Indiana Beach on Shafer Lake, two days from then on Monday, May 29th, 1967.

The song below was written by members Steve Michael and Steve Pritchard. It was backed with the B-Side “Something Else” and pressed by Gre-Tle Records (an abbreviation of Greencastle). The record was released in 1966, and some websites claim that only five hundred copies were ever pressed. The song heard below was discovered through the compilation album Back from the Grave, Volume 3, a collection of sixties punk and garage rock.

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Me and Them Guys - I Loved Her (1966)

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Lyrics:

I loved her so
I loved her so
I loved the way she walked
The way she talked
The way she held my hand
I loved the way that she sat close to me
And the way she said that I was her man
I loved her so

(I loved her so)
Now, I had a girl, just like you
(I loved her so)
She was fine, she was cool
(I loved her so)
She left me one night all alone
(I loved her so)
I loved her so, but now she’s gone

(I loved her so)
(I loved her so)
Oh, yeah!

(I loved her so)
She’s been gone many a’day
(I loved her so)
I really don’t know just what to say
(I loved her so)
She loved me so; what’s done is done
(I loved her so)
I loved her so; she had her fun

I loved her so
I loved her so
I loved the way she walked
The way she talked
I loved the way she walked
The way she talked
I loved the way she walked
And the way she talked
I loved her so
(I loved her so)
I loved her so
(I loved her so)
I loved her so
(I loved her so)
I said a’bye, bye, bye
Bye, bye, bye, bye
I said a’bye, bye, bye
Bye, bye, bye, bye
I said a’bye, bye, bye
Bye, bye, bye, bye
I said…