A Bit Like You And Me Radio

May 26, 2017

Paul Mauriat - Love Is Blue (1967)

Paul Mauriat (1925-2006) was born in Marseille, France. He began playing music at the age of four and, by his twenties, began a dance band that toured throughout Europe during World War II. In the 1950s, Mauriat was the musical director for Charles Aznavour and Maruice Chevalier, whom he toured with, separately. He released his first album in 1957 and would release well over one hundred more in his lifetime. Interestingly, depending on the motif of his most-current album, he would choose a pseudonym to release the album under which he felt most matched the music. Examples of pseudonyms he used include Richard Audrey, Nico Papadopoulos, Eduardo Ruo, and Willy Twist. Using the pseudonym “Del Roma,” Mauriat co-composed the song “Chariot” which would later be adapted to English and taken to number one spot on the charts in 1963 as “I Will Follow Him” by Little Peggy March.

Seeing another artist take one of his songs to the top of the charts wasn’t the only time Mauriat would find himself in the number one spot. In 1967, Mauriat recorded and released a cover of André Popp’s “L'amour est bleu,” heard below. The song spent five weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968, the first instrumental to achieve the number one spot since The Tornados' “Telstar” in 1962. The only instrumental to hold the top spot of the Hot 100 longer was Percy Faith’s “Theme from a Summer Place.”

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Paul Mauriat - Love Is Blue (1967)

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Lyrics:

(instrumental)

May 22, 2017

The Beatles - Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (1965)

In George Harrison’s autobiography, I Me Mine, Harrison mentions that although he played the sitar on “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown),” adding the sitar to the song was more of an after-thought and the song hadn’t really been written with the sitar in mind. Regardless, the inclusion of the sitar (and The Beatles’ immense, global popularity at the time) resulted in widely introducing Indian instruments to all of Western society. After “Norwegian Wood” had been released on The Beatles’ Rubber Soul in 1965, Indian and other Eastern instruments soon started appearing in music by other mainstream acts such as The Byrds, The Rolling Stones, and Donovan. By the following year, “raga rock” was common and the inclusion of Eastern instruments remained popular until it eventually faded out of popularity in the very late 1960s.

The song below was credited to Lennon-McCartney, but the majority of the song is believed to have been written by John Lennon. The lyrics tell an autobiographical story of Lennon having an extra-marital affair behind the back of his then-wife Cynthia Lennon née Powell. When Paul McCartney was asked for his interpretation of the lyrics, he said that the Norwegian wood mentioned in the song was the wood paneling found on the walls of homes, which was popular at the time, and that the last line, “So, I lit a fire // Isn’t it good Norwegian wood?” indicated that the singer set the house on fire as an act of revenge.

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The Beatles - Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) (1965)

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Lyrics:

I once had a girl
Or should I say she once had me?
She showed me her room
Isn't it good Norwegian wood?

She asked me to stay
And she told me to sit anywhere
So I looked around
And I noticed there wasn't a chair

I sat on a rug, biding my time
Drinking her wine
We talked until two and then she said
“It’s time for bed”

She told me she worked in the morning
And started to laugh
I told her I didn't
And crawled off to sleep in the bath

And when I awoke I was alone
This bird had flown
So I lit a fire
Isn't it good Norwegian wood?

May 16, 2017

Patrick Sky - Luang Prabang (1971)

In our previous post to feature this artist, it was mentioned how Patrick Sky’s political point of view had become more radical toward the end of the 1960s as the American involvement in Vietnam escalated. Naturally, the more radical Sky’s views became, the more radical his lyrics became. When Sky finished recording tracks in March 1971 for his forthcoming album, Songs That Made America Famous, the radical lyrics within lead to rejection from several record labels who refused to pick up the album for distribution. Eventually, in 1973, Sky decided to release the album on his own record label, Rainbow Collection, and eventually got it picked up by Adelphi Records. With its radical lyrics and limited promotion, the album didn’t sell as well as it could have in a more lenient market, such as today’s.

Written by Dave Van Ronk (and eventually recorded/released by him in 1994), the first recording and release of the song was the version recorded by Patrick Sky in 1971 and heard below. Initially, Vank Ronk was intended to appear with Sky on the song, but for reasons not mentioned, it never happened. There’s a live version of the song which features both Van Ronk and Sky from a tour they did together in 1973, but the version heard below is the original featuring only Patrick Sky and released on his 1973 album, Songs That Made America Famous.

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Patrick Sky - Luang Prabang (1971)

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Lyrics:

When I came back from Luang Prabang
I didn’t have a thing where my balls used to hang
But I got a wooden medal and a fine harangue
And now I’m a fucking hero

Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me
Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me

And now the boys all envy me
I fought for Christian Democracy
With nothing but air where my balls used to be
But now I’m a fucking hero

Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me
Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me

One and twenty cannon thunder
Into the bloody, wild, blue yonder
For a patriotic ball-less wonder
Now I’m a fucking hero

Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me
Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me

In Luang Prabang there is a spot
Where the corpses of your brothers rot
And every corpse is a patriot
And every corpse is a hero

Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me
Mourn your dead, land of the free
If you want to be a hero, follow me

April 07, 2017

Pink Floyd - Ibiza Bar (1969)

As far as Pink Floyd’s discography goes, there may not have been a more diverse effort than their third studio album, More. Released in 1969, More was a soundtrack for the eponymous movie released that same year. The soundtrack, composed entirely by Pink Floyd, ranged from acoustic folk songs to heavy grunge and psychedelia. And because it was meant to be played over the film, more than half of its tracks were instrumentals. More was the first album to be released by the band without their original front-man Syd Barrett. As such, the album is often viewed as the birth of what would later become the iconic Pink Floyd style and sound.

Written by Roger Waters, the song below is primarily known as being the ninth track on the More album. However, before the More album was released in June 1969, the song was first released as the B-Side to a March 1969 single, backing Floyd’s other hard rocker, “The Nile Song,” as its A-Side.

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Pink Floyd - Ibiza Bar (1969)

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Lyrics:

I'm so afraid of mistakes that I've made
Shaking every time that I awake
I feel like a cardboard cut-out man
So build me a time
When the characters rhyme
And the storyline is kind

I've aged and aged since the first page
I've lived every line that you wrote
Take me down, take me down
From the shelf above your head
And build me a time
When the characters rhyme
And the storyline is kind

I live where I'm left
On the shelf like the rest
And the epilogue reads like a sad song
Please, pick up your camera
And use me again
And build me a time
When the characters rhyme
And the storyline is kind

Yeah!

April 03, 2017

The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - Eighteen Is Over the Hill (1968)

It’s often been written that this band’s “leader,” Bob Markley, was only a member of the band because he was chasing the money, girls, and the celebrity status that came along with being in a popular band. According to rock historians and his bandmates, Markley wasn’t much of a musician and could hardly play a note. But luckily for him, he could at times be quite poetic and thus contributed his fair share to what would amount to very appealing music.

The song heard below was released on the band’s fourth album, Volume 3: A Child’s Guide to Good and Evil. If you’re bewildered about their albums’ naming conventions, you can find some insight on one of our previous posts. The album is widely considered one of the best to be put out by the band, but the song heard below doesn’t quite reinforce Markley’s ability to sometimes be poetic. Where the song really shines is in its melody and complex studio techniques.

The cover art for the album was created by renowned artist John Van Hamersveld, who most notably designed covers of albums for The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, among others. Although the album is now considered an accomplished psychedelic record, it sold poorly upon its initial release and failed to chart nationally.

The song heard below is what I consider to be the highlight of the album. The lyrics were written by Markley and the music was written by his bandmate Ron Morgan.

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The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band - Eighteen Is Over the Hill (1968)

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Lyrics:

Antique white lace
A plastic face
A tinfoil place
An empty space
You are so hung up on yourself
And nothing else

I like too much the rain
The power of my brain
The sunshine
And the open road
Ahead of me

Laughing because
It’s right to laugh
Dress up at night
In the right dress
You can’t change me
Into something
That I’m not

I like too much the rain
The power of my brain
The sunshine
And the open road
Ahead of me

I’ll hear your line
Some other time
When miming
Performance rhyme
The way you feel
It is so phony
And unreal

I like too much the rain
The power of my brain
The sunshine
And the open road
Ahead of me

I like too much the rain
The power of my brain
The sunshine
And the open road
Ahead of me

March 29, 2017

The Pattens - Jump (1966)

This Wheaton, Illinois band only ever released two singles. Their first single featured the A-Side “Shame Shame Shame” backed with a cover of Gene Vincent’s 1958 song “Say Mama.” Its release date is unknown, although it was most likely released sometime in 1965 or early 1966.

The band’s second single was definitely released in 1966. It featured the A-Side “You Should Know” and was backed with the B-Side “Jump.” Although “You Should Know” was credited by The Pattens as having been written by a “R. Kahler” (perhaps a member of the band?), the very same song was recorded and released a year prior in 1965 by another local Wheaton band, The Escavels. The Escavels claim the song was actually written by their band’s Stan Sherbino with some help from his bandmates Ken Utterback and Tony Pavilonis.

Before a case of “he said, she said” is brought about regarding the true authorship of the song, it should be noted that The Pattens don’t exactly have a reputation for giving original authors their due. The Pattens credited their second single’s B-Side, heard below, to a “Ren Shawel.” It can hardly be considered a mistake when you find out that that song, too, had been previously recorded and released by another band. In 1964, The Toggery Five (all the way over in Manchester, England) released “I’m Gonna Jump,” which is the same exact song, and was written by member Frank Renshaw.

Although it cannot be determined if this lack of credit was the ill-intentions of the band, somebody at Stature Records, or some unknown third party, it certainly appears that The Pattens' “Jump” was avoiding giving credit to The Toggery Five by slightly changing the name of the song and crediting its authorship to “Ren Shawel” rather than The Toggery Five’s true author, Frank Renshaw.

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The Pattens - Jump (1966)

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Lyrics:

I saw you yesterday and I died
I saw you yesterday and I knew that you’d lied
I saw you walking with a guy holding his hand
I saw you kissing him and giving in to all his command

Don't you know I'm gonna jump, girl?
Yes, jump
Jump in that river, yes, I’m gonna die

You said you loved me; all the time you were faking
You didn't tell me about the guys that you were making with
And now I know all about your game called “tantalize”
And now I'm broken up- and it’s your fault- and I hope you’re satisfied

Don't you know I'm gonna jump, girl?
Yes, jump
Jump in that river, yes, I’m gonna die

Don't you know I'm gonna jump, girl?
Yes, jump
Jump in that river, yes, I’m gonna die

Don't you know I'm gonna jump?
Don't you know I'm gonna jump?

March 24, 2017

The Mojo Men - Lost Love (1965)

In the late 1950s, cousins Jim Alaimo (1934-1992) and Steve Alaimo (b. 1939) were in an instrumental band in Miami, Florida known as The Redcoats. When the band broke up around 1960, Steve Alaimo went on to have a respectable career as a solo recording artist and quite successful career in the television industry. (Perhaps most notably, Steve Alaimo became the host and co-producer of Where the Action Is with Dick Clark.) Jim Alaimo, on the other hand, got together with Paul Curcio, Dennis DeCarr, and Don Metchick to form The Valiants, a band which would sometimes back Steve Alaimo on his solo recordings.

In 1964, The Valiants wanted to be where the music scene was blooming and therefore decided to move to San Francisco and change their band’s name; they became The Mojo Men. Out in San Francisco, the band signed with Autumn Records where they joined up with record-producer Sylvester Stewart (later known as Sly Stone) and recorded a bunch of early material that never got released. Finally, in 1965, the group released “Dance with Me” and made their first appearance on the Billboard Hot 100.

Unfortunately for the band, Autumn Records closed shop and Dennis DeCarr left the band. They then signed up with Reprise Records, replaced DeCarr with The VejtablesJan Errico, and changed their sound to a more pop and folk rock style. In 1967, they released what would become their most popular song, a cover of Buffalo Springfield’s “Sit Down, I Think I Love You.” It was the group’s only Top 40 hit. Metchick left the band in 1968, “The Mojo Men” became “The Mojo,” “The Mojo” became “Mojo,” and after failing to chart again, they eventually called it quits in 1969.

Below is a song from The Mojo Men’s early years, circa 1965, from the Autumn Records collection of material Sly Stone felt wasn’t good enough for release. The collection became available in 1995 on the release Whys Ain’t Supposed to Be by Sundazed Records, a label who specializes in releasing obscure and rare recordings from the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. This song was written by Paul Curcio, Don Metchick, and Jim’s cousin Steve Alaimo.

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The Mojo Men - Lost Love (1965)

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Lyrics:

Where is the love
I used to know?
Where is my lost love?
Where did she go?

I’ve been so lonely
Since she went away
I love her, only
She left me one day

What does it take
To make a love last?
We don’t know the future
Could it be the past?

I’ll keep on searching
Wherever I go
But will I find her?
Does anyone know?

All I can pray is
Someone above
Will help me search for
My long, lost love

What did I do?
How did I fail?
Why is my love such
A sorrowful tale?

March 20, 2017

Ellen Margulies - The White Pony (1968)

Ellen Margulies is an American singer who was briefly in the duo “Tom & Ellen” (with Tom Everett) which released the single “Too Many Things” b/w “My Up Is My Down” in 1966. It appears to be the only single released by the duo.

It also appears that Margulies recorded one more single, as a solo artist in 1968, before exiting the music industry for good. In ’68, Margulies recorded “The White Pony” b/w “Meditation.” “The White Pony” was written by Roger Joyce, Steve Steinberg, and Danny Secunda, while “Meditation” appears to only have been written by Joyce, who also served as producer, arranger, and conductor.

It’s rumored that Margulies was unaware of her songs being released until sometime after the year 2000, leading one to assume that she never saw any royalty money from her recordings.

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Ellen Margulies - The White Pony (1968)

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Lyrics:

Prague lee wing raindrops come down from the skies
Like crystalline tear drops, they roll from my eyes
I reach for the sunlight, the bright rainbow door
And chase the white pony through doomed skies once more

I’ll ride so high, where cotton clouds fly
And cellophane nightingales always sing
There I’ll seek worlds that could be
And I’ll know that I can do anything

Cross-legged, I sit in this cold, cloistered room
Trying to see if the flower will bloom
I’ll taste the sweet pollen and open my eyes
And ride the white pony through crumbling skies

I’ll ride so high, where cotton clouds fly
And cellophane nightingales always sing
There I’ll seek worlds that could be
And I’ll know that I can do anything

I’ll ride so high, where cotton clouds fly
And cellophane nightingales always sing
There I’ll seek worlds that could be
And I’ll know that I can do anything

March 15, 2017

Rosie and the Originals - Angel Baby (1960)

Born in Oregon in 1945 to a Mexican mother and American father, Rosalie “Rosie” Hamlin spent her youth living in Alaska and California before finally settling with her family in National City, California.

In 1958, at the age of thirteen, Rosie lied about her age and joined her first band as its lead singer. At the age of fourteen, she wrote her first song, based on her first boyfriend, heard below; and at the age of fifteen, Rosie and a group of her friends drove one hundred miles to the closest recording studio so that they could record her song.

After shopping their record around for a while, the group received an offer for a contract from Highland Records under the stipulation that David Ponci, the oldest member of the group, would receive the writing credits. By the time the song was receiving airplay, the members of the group still had not received their copies of the contract. Unfortunately for Hamlin, when she finally did receive the contract, she quickly learned that she would be unable to collect royalties from the song since she wasn’t listed as the songwriter. This, quite immediately, lead to the break-up of the group. And although Hamlin won the copyright to her music in 1961, decades of legal battles followed.

Despite credit originally being given to David Ponci, the song below was written entirely by Rosie Hamlin. It was released in November 1960 and featured the vocal talents of Rosie Hamlin when she was only fifteen years old. By January 1961, the song reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was later covered by John Lennon in 1973 (though not released until 1986), where Lennon referred to it as one of his "all-time favorite songs." In the song's intro, he also adds, "Send my love to Rosie, wherever she may be..."

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Rosie and the Originals - Angel Baby (1960)

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Lyrics:

It's just like heaven being here with you
You're like an angel, too good to be true
But after all, I love you, I do
Angel baby, my angel baby

When you are near me, my heart skips a beat
I can hardly stand on my own two feet
Because I love you, I love you, I do
Angel baby, my angel baby

I love you, I do
No one could love you like I do

Please, never leave me blue and alone
If you ever go, I'm sure you'll come back home
Because I love you, I love you, I do
Angel baby, my angel baby

I love you, I do
No one could love you like I do

March 10, 2017

We Five - You Were on My Mind (1965)

Michael Stewart (younger brother of The Kingston Trio’s John Stewart) is largely responsible for putting together this band from the ashes of its forerunner, The Ridgerunners. Assembled in 1964, the group was signed to Herb Alpert’s A&M Records and released their first album, You Were on My Mind, in 1965. The album’s title track, heard below, sold over one million copies and was nominated for a Grammy.

After the release of their second album Make Someone Happy in 1967, the group’s Beverly Bivens decided to leave the group. Having sang lead on the group’s biggest hits, Bivens departure from the group severely hurt the band. Although they would release two more albums in ‘69 and ’70 with Debbie Graf Burgan replacing Bivens, the group was unable to reach their prior levels of success. They disbanded in 1970.

Written by Sylvia Fricker (later Sylvia Tyson) in 1962, the song below was first recorded and released by the duo Ian & Sylvia on their 1964 album, Northern Journey. The version heard below was altered slightly both musically and lyrically by Michael Stewart. Released in 1965, the song reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100.

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We Five - You Were on My Mind (1965)

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Lyrics:

When I woke up this morning
You were on my mind
And you were on my mind
I got troubles
I got worries
I got wounds to bind

So I went to the corner
Just to ease my pains
Just to ease my pain
I got troubled
I got worried
I came home again

When I woke up this morning
You were on my mind
And you were on my mind
Yeah, I got troubles
I got worries
I got wounds to bind

And I got a feeling
Down in my shoes
Said, way down in my shoes
Yeah, I got to ramble
I got to move on
I got to walk away my blues

When I woke up this morning
You were on my mind
And you were on my mind
Yeah, I got troubles
I got worries
I got wounds to bind

March 06, 2017

The Hollies - Maker (1967)

The Butterfly album by The Hollies was the last album to feature Graham Nash as a member of the group. For some time, there was a growing divide between Nash and the other members of the band regarding the musical direction of the group. Nash, as he recounts in his autobiography Wild Tales, wanted to take the band in a more political and “enlightened” direction by writing lyrics that alluded to drug use, sex, and the issues he saw in the world around him. Conversely, his fellow bandmates (lead by Nash’s best friend growing up, Allan Clarke) wanted to keep the formula they had been successfully using: happy-go-lucky pop music. The straw that broke the camel’s back came when Nash learned that the group wanted their next album to be entirely made up of covers of Bob Dylan songs. (This would later be released, without Nash, as Hollies Sing Dylan and was disliked by fans and critics alike.)

The song heard below was written and composed entirely by Graham Nash. It was featured as the third track on the Butterfly album, released in November 1967, which coincidentally featured more tracks written and sang by Nash than any Hollies album had yet. In the United States, Butterfly was released under the title Dear Eloise / King Midas in Reverse. On that version of the album, the track below was found on the flip side as the tenth overall song.

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The Hollies - Maker (1967)

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Lyrics:

Days of yellow saffron.
Nights with purple skies
Melting in the sunbeams
From my maker's eyes

Mountain-colored lilac
In the distant haze
I would like to lie here
Timing all my days

Move past my window
Sunshine is shimmering
Jack-o-lanterns glimmering
Giant moths are flickering around

See, the moon is hiding
Underneath the sea
Pretty soon he'll venture
To take a look at me

So I humbly stand here
Beneath his golden glow
Doesn't he remind me
Of somebody I know?

I must be leaving
Back to reality
Don't you just pity me?
I could so easily stay here

March 01, 2017

Bobby Darin - If I Were a Carpenter (1966)

As mentioned in our first post regarding today’s featured artist, Bobby Darin was a teen idol who had had pop music hits such as “Splish Splash,” “Beyond the Sea,” and “Dream Lover” in the late 1950s and early ‘60s. But by the mid-1960s with that style of music falling out of popularity with the general public, Darin was forced to reinvent himself. In June 1966, Darin released an album consisting of then-current Broadway musical numbers. Just six short months later in December 1966 he did an about-face and released If I Were a Carpenter, which was an album of folk and folk rock songs.

If I Were a Carpenter featured Darin singing five songs written by Tim Hardin, two songs written by John Sebastian, a song by Buffy Sainte-Marie, and a few others. But far and away without question, the biggest hit was the title track.

Written by Tim Hardin, the song heard below hadn’t even yet been released by Hardin himself when Darin took the song to number eight in the USA (and number nine in the UK). In fact, Hardin wouldn’t release his version of the song until his album Tim Hardin 2, which hit shelves in April 1967. Ultimately, Hardin wasn’t happy with Darin’s release, believing the Darin too closely copied his vocal style of the song (heard on his demos) and the musical arrangements.

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Bobby Darin - If I Were a Carpenter (1966)

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Lyrics:

If I were a carpenter
And you were a lady
Would you marry me anyway?
Would you have my baby?

If a tinker were my trade
Would you still find me?
Carrying the pots I made
Following behind me

Save my love through loneliness
Save my love for sorrow
I've given you my only-ness
Come give your tomorrow

If I worked my hands in wood
Would you still love me?
Answer me babe, "Yes, I would
I'll put you above me"

If I were a miller
At a mill-wheel, grinding
Would you miss your color-box?
Your soft shoes shining?

If I were a carpenter
And you were a lady
Would you marry me anyway?
Would you have my baby?

Would you marry anyway?
Would you have my baby?