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 Post subject: 50 Years Ago This Week
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:03 am 
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Location: Long Beach, CA
United States Top 10 for week ending March 12, 1966

1. Ballad of the Green Berets - Ssgt Barry Sadler
2. These Boots are Made for Walkin' - Nancy Sinatra
3. Listen People - Herman's Hermits
4. California Dreamin' - The Mamas and the Papas
5. Elusive Butterfly - Bob Lind
6. 19th Nervous Breakdown - Rolling Stones
7. Nowhere Man - Beatles
8. Lightnin' Strikes - Lou Christie
9. I Fought the Law - Bobby Fuller Four
10. The Sounds of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel

I'm surprised there were no Sounds of Motown on this list.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:25 am 
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It's nice to have another soul on board. Welcome muchly.

Here in the UK, 50 years ago, the Top 10 was:

1. These Boots are Made for Walkin' - Nancy Sinatra
2. Groovy Kind of Love - Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders
3. Barbara Ann - The Beach Boys
4. Backstage - Gene Pitney
5. Spanish Flea - Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass
6. Sha-La-La-La-Lee - The Small Faces
7. I can't Let Go - The Hollies
8. Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown - Rolling Stones
9. My Love - Petula Clark
10. The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Any More - The Walker Brothers

Again - no Motown.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:21 am 
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Location: Perth, Western Australia
Coincidentally, I had the Ballad of the Green Berets on the brain this week, not having heard it for years, and it's not even a song I like all that much.

The best song on either of these charts is of course EB - but boy there are some other gems in there as well: Simon & Garfunkkel, Petula Clarke, Mamas & Papas, The Beatles and the Walker Brothers. And Lou Christie, who I always wanted to like more than I did. He recorded some good songs, but he never seemed able to get through one of them without breaking out into a pre-teen girl sounding squeal.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:36 pm 
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There wasn't a lot from this period that I liked. I liked the period from 1968 - 1972 far better. Prior to this short era, there was still a hang-over from the late 50s-early 60s which were rather dull and boring. The Beatles and Stones weren't really 'letting go'. They were still wearing suits, pretty much. There was still this nonsense that band names had to be standardised and formulaic eg. "The" Whatsits, Doo Dah and the Doo Dahs and Doodah's Doodahs. It wasn't until 1968 that we got some bands with imaginative names coming through the system and into the light such as Procol Harum, Traffic, King Crimson and the unforgettable Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. Not only were the band names imaginative but the music was highly creative eg. Paper Sun, Equestrian Statue and Whiter Shade of Pale.

In some ways, I was at odds with my parents over music, as are all teenagers. Parents complained that the new bands consisted of scruffy, long-haired layabouts who couldn't sing and no one could tell what they were saying. What made matters worse was that my parents thought that it was just a fad and 'decent' music would come back. I can remember that Matt Munro had a rant about the pop music of the time and actually got quite hot under the collar. He seemed to be upset, as I recall, because people were buying the records of people who couldn't sing and were no longer buying the records of those who could (presumably him). The fact was that music was changing at an unprecedented rate. It wasn't going to go back from whence it came nor was Matt Munro going to sell records again in anywhere near the quantities that he used to. Essentially, his music was no longer popular, his time was over and it irked him. It then got worse because people began to realise that the music of the older generation was out and the new popular music was in and in to stay.

I felt sorry for my parents because people like Matt Munro weren't going to be making any more records because they weren't commercially viable any more. What caught them out was the speed with which the changes came.

Life was moving on. Music was moving on - and how.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 8:32 am 
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^^ While I am in broad agreement, I would place the golden era as beginning around 1966 and ending sometime around 1975 or 1976. I didn't take a lot of notice what the bands were wearing, I only knew them via the radio.

Poor old Matt monro. Music was indeed moving on - and the most important aspect of that was not so much the music itself - though that was also evolving fast - but the relationship between the singer and the thing they were singing. Matt was part of the old breed of entertainers. He selected songs, or had them selected for him; he sang them, he did so in front of audiences and in front of studio microphones for people's enjoyment. He belongs in the same categorisation as people like Elvis Presley, Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, Sandie Shaw, Engelbert Humperdinck, Dionne Warwick, Michael Jackson. He was an entertainer, not an artist.

The new breed of singer/songwriters were artists, i.e. creators. This includes people like Bob Dylan, Donovan, Bob Lind, Love, the Lovin' Spoonful, Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, Led Zeppelin etc. And of course a certain band from Liverpool. Their songs were their own, or if they were written by others they were rendered in such a distinctive style that they made them a totally new product. Best example: Hendrix - All Along the Watchtower.

Carole King perhaps better than anyone else personified this change. For many years she and her husband were the unseen songwriting partnership behind other people's hits. Suddenly, in 1971, her album Tapestry (not her first, but the first one that most people know of) announced her arrival as a singer/songwriter.

This, in my opinion, is the enduring legacy of the late 1960's - the rise of the artist, as opposed to the entertaineer.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:52 am 
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Whether it was 1966 or 1968 makes no never mind.

Prior to that era, people concentrated on diction, on the technicalities of singing and on looking smart. It was said that if one couldn't pronounce one's words clearly, then, given the limitations of the sound equipment back in those days, people would not be able to determine what the singer was singing about and would therefore not rate the singer nor buy their records. As for the technical side of singing: one of the reasons why Matt Munro was so popular was because he was described as having a "golden voice" and also of "being the perfect baritone". It was also important to dress smartly. Women wore 'appropriate' dresses and men wore suits with collar and tie.

After 1966/68, all that ceased. I think that is what caught everyone on the hop. The old values were simply cast adrift as though they were no longer of any consequence. One minute, the old values were in place and then, whoosh, they were gone.

No longer were women required to wear dresses and men suits. Jeans and t-shirts were the order of the day. The 'unkempt' look was acceptable. Long hair was also 'in' Short back and sides were a thing of the past. No longer was diction important. No longer was a technical voice of any consequence. In fact, it wasn't even necessary to sing in tune. Let's face it, neither Mick Jagger nor Paul McCartney had pitch-perfect voices and their diction was hardly perfect. My feeling is that this is what Matt Munro was complaining about.

I remember seeing the Kinks live in 1973? Ray Davies was so out of tune, it was embarrassing. That said, he was sh1t-faced so I wasn't surprised.

It wasn't the change that caught people. It was the degree and speed of the change.

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Last edited by Mondrian on Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:04 pm 
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I recall being in the same room with my mother and somefriends of hers when the Beatles were in Oz in 1964 and TV was showing some footage of them. My mother said something to the effect that she didn'tg like their music at all and their hair was a bit long, but at least that long hair was neatly combed and the guys were nicely dressed.

(cough)

A couple of years later, the Fabs looked as hippy as any other band, if not more so.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:01 pm 
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10 Years later, here in the UK, in March 1976, the Top 10 was:

1. I Love To Love - Tina Charles
2. Convoy - C W McCall
3. Love Really Hurts Without You - Billy Ocean
4. Save Your Kisses For Me - Brotherhood of Man
5. You don't Have to Say You Love Me - Guys and Dolls
6. You See The Trouble With Me - Barry White
7. People Like You People Like Me - Glitter Band
8. I Wanna Stay With You - Gallagher & Lyle
9. December '63 - Four Seasons
10. It Should Have Been Me - Yvonne Fair

In that "lot", for want of a better word, there's two half-decent artists. How times changed in such a short time. Ju suis desole.

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