A Bit Like You And Me Radio

November 14, 2013

The Other Side - Walking Down the Road (1966)

This band was originally a surf outfit calling themselves The Topsiders, formed at Washington High School in Fremont, California circa 1964. The members of The Topsiders were Jim Sawyers, Ken “Toad” Matthew, Tom Antone, and David Tolby (born David Phelps). In early 1965, Skip Spence briefly joined the band, before being convinced by Martin Balin to join Balin’s band as their drummer. When Balin’s band rejected the band name proposed by Spence, favoring instead to call themselves Jefferson Airplane, Spence suggested that The Topsiders should use it. They did, and from then on, The Topsiders were known as The Other Side.

For the duration of the band, personnel changes were very common. The band often stole and swapped members with another local act, The Chocolate Watchband. When Jim Sawyers left the group to join The Vejtables (citing that he didn’t get along with Sawyers), the band replaced him with Ed “Ned” Torney III, the lead guitarist of The Chocolate Watchband. In turn, David Tolby left The Other Side to join The Chocolate Watchband. Born David Phelps and using the stage name David Tolby, he again switched his name (this time to Sean Tolby) when he joined The Chocolate Watchband.

At this point, The Other Side was made up of Ken “Toad” Matthew, Tom Antone, and ex-Chocolate Watchband guitarist Ed “Ned” Torney. Torney’s departure from The Chocolate Watchband had an effect on his ex-bandmates Jo Kemling and Danny Phay, who soon followed Torney’s lead by leaving the Watchband and joining The Other Side. This was the lineup of the band which reached the most acclaim, but it didn’t last long. In January 1966, Torney was drafted into the Army and was only able to practice and play with the band on the weekends. To help fill his void, the group brought in Martin Van Slyke Battey. But by May 1966, Torney re-joined the band full time, thus making the group a little too large. Rather than ejecting the newest member, Battery, the group decided to part ways with Jo Kemling, who was soon followed by a departing Danny Phay. The last personnel change of the band came when they recruited Alan Graham, a guitarist from the Lord Jim Quintet that was brought in to assist on vocals. It was this final lineup of the band which recorded The Other Side’s only single, heard below.

The demise of the band began shortly after Tom Antone received his draft notice. With Antone being plucked from the group, Battey soon quit the band. To replace the two, the remaining members recruited Wayne Paulsen and renamed themselves Bogus Thunder. The Other Side was no more.

To reiterate, at the time of the recording heard below, the group consisted of original band members Ken “Toad” Matthew and Tom Antone; Ed “Ned” Torney, previously of The Chocolate Watchband; Martin Van Slyke Battey; and Alan Graham, previosuly of The Lord Jim Quintet. The song heard below was written by R. Kleinsinger and J. Darion, featured as the A-Side to their sole single, and released in December 1966. It was backed with the B-Side “Streetcar,” which was written by Battey and Graham of the band.

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The Other Side - Walking Down the Road (1966)

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Lyrics:

Walking down this road to my town
Walking down this road to home
Traveling through these hills and valleys
Traveling and I'm all alone

Gonna see my woman
I'm gonna see my pa
I’ve been a long time movin’
It gets ya wonderin’ how they are

Walking down this road to my town
Walking down this road to home
Traveling through these hills and valleys
Traveling and I'm all alone

Walking down this road to my town
Walking down this road to home
Traveling through these hills and valleys
Traveling and I'm all alone

Gonna see the parson
If I can catch him in
I bet he’s down there fishin’
Fishin’ with my brother Jim

And if I ever get there
I’ll tell ya what I'm gonna do, yeah
I'm gonna write ‘em all a letter
And tell them “I’ll be seein’ you”

Walking down this road to my town
Walking down this road to home
Traveling through these hills and valleys
Traveling and I'm all alone

Walking down this road to my town
Walking down this road to home
Traveling through these hills and valleys
Traveling and I'm all alone

November 13, 2013

Hot Tuna - Water Song (1972)

Jack Casady (b. April 13, 1944) and Jorma Kaukonen (b. December 23, 1940) had first met in the city which they were both born, Washington, D.C. in the United States, while growing up. Together as teenagers, the duo formed their first band together called The Triumphs. While Casady remained enrolled in high school, Kaukonen went off to Ohio for college, before abruptly following his family to live overseas. Eventually Kaukonen found his way back to the States and re-enrolled in college in California. In 1965, Kaukonen joined Jefferson Airplane and, within a matter of months, recruited Casady to join the band on bass, replacing Bob Harvey. Although Jack and Jorma wound find great success with the psychedelic sounds created in Jefferson Airplane, it was the blues to which they always remained loyal. In 1969, Jack and Jorma began a side project, this band, which allowed them to perform the blues and record original material of their own. Although Jefferson Airplane would eventually split up, and although Jack and Jorma have each had their own share of solo albums and guest appearances on other records, it is only Hot Tuna which still remains intact today. From 1969 until the present, the band has never broken up, continues to release new material, and continues to put on live shows which can last anywhere from three to six hours.

The first two albums released by Hot Tuna were live albums (Hot Tuna from 1970 and First Pull Up, Then Pull Down from 1971). The album that this song appeared on was the group’s third release, but first studio-recorded album, titled Burgers, and released in February 1972. Written by Jorma Kaukonen, the song featured Kaukonen on guitar, Jack Casady on bass, and Sammy Piazza on drums.

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Hot Tuna - Water Song (1972)

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Lyrics:

(instrumental)

November 07, 2013

The Allman Brothers Band - Melissa (1971)

When Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident on October 29, 1971, The Allman Brothers Band had been in the middle of recording what would be their fourth album. As a result of his death, Duane’s guitar work was only heard on tracks four through nine of the nine-track album. Earlier in his career, Duane had once been asked by the media what he was doing to help the revolution occurring in the country at the time, to which he responded, “There ain’t no revolution; it’s evolution. But every time I’m in Georgia, I eat a peach for peace.” To honor Duane, the band named their album Eat a Peach. It was released February 12, 1972, reached number four on the charts, and has sold over one million copies.

Although this song is most famously known as the third track on The Allman Brothers’ 1972 Eat a Peach album, it was actually written in 1967 by Gregg Allman, and first recorded in 1968 by a band called The 31st of February. The 31st of February was a band made up of Gregg and Duane Allman, who had joined the remnants of a band called The Bitter Ind. (which stood for Independents). One of the members of The Bitter Ind. and The 31st of February was drummer Butch Trucks, who would go on to co-create The Allman Brothers Band with Duane and Gregg Allman in 1969.

The song heard below is the version recorded by The Allman Brothers in 1971 and released on their 1972 Eat a Peach album. It was one of the three tracks on the album that didn't involve Duane, due to his death, and was thus also one of the first songs the group recorded without him. Regarding the choice of the name in the song, Gregg Allman has said that when he initially wrote the song, he wasn’t sure which female name to use. The name “Melissa” sprang on him as he stood in line at a grocery store and heard a mother calling out to her daughter, Melissa, to come back to her after wandering off too far.

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The Allman Brothers Band - Melissa (1971)

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Lyrics:

Crossroads
Seem to come and go, yeah
The gypsy flies from coast to coast
Knowing many, loving none
Bearing sorrow, having fun
But back home he'll always run
To sweet Melissa

Freight train
Each car looks the same, all the same
And no one knows the gypsy's name
No one hears his lonely sigh
There are no blankets where he lies
In all his deepest dreams, the gypsy flies
With sweet Melissa

Again the morning's come
Again he's on the run
Sunbeams shining through his hair
Appearing not to have a care
Well, pick up your gear and gypsy roll on
Roll on

Crossroads
Will you ever let him go? Lord, Lord
Will you hide the dead man's ghost?
Or will he lie beneath the clay?
Or will his spirit roll away?
But I know that he won't stay
Without Melissa

Yes, I know that he won't stay
Without Melissa

No, no

November 06, 2013

Neil Young - The Needle and the Damage Done (Live) (1971)

After Buffalo Springfield broke up, Neil Young signed a record deal as a solo artist with Reprise Records on the recommendation of his friend Joni Mitchell. Although his first two albums, Neil Young (November 1968) and Everybody Knows This is Nowhere (May 1969) didn’t initially chart very well, his third album After the Gold Rush (August 1970) gained much more attention, primarily in thanks to his increased exposure from joining Crosby, Stills & Nash in August 1969.

By the end of the summer in 1970, CSN&Y completely imploded and disbanded. That very same autumn, Young decided to go on an acoustic tour of the United States, playing songs from his Buffalo Springfield, CSN&Y, and solo catalogs. As the tour went on, Young began to introduce more and more of his newer material to live audiences. The song heard below was played before a live audience on one such occasion on January 30, 1971. As the tour concluded, Young befriended a group of musicians (whom he dubbed The Stray Gators) which he would use as the session musicians on his fourth solo album, the critically-acclaimed Harvest (February 1972). The only song to appear on Harvest from Young’s acoustic tour was “The Needle and the Damage Done,” heard below.

The song heard below was written by Neil Young, spotlighting the detriments of heroin on the people around him. Specifically, the song was inspired by Danny Whitten, the guitarist of Crazy Horse, a band whom Young had hired to back him on his second and third albums that were eventually signed to their own record deal. When Young’s Harvest album became a huge success, reaching number one in the US, UK, Australia, and Canada, Young quickly made plans to start a tour to support it. He called upon Whitten among others to rehearse with him for the impending tour. Upon their rehearsals, it was evident that Whitten was still using heroin, as his guitar playing was hardly a shadow of his former abilities. On November 18, 1972, Young fired Whitten from the band, giving him fifty dollars and a plane ticket back to Los Angeles. That very same night, Whitten died from a fatal combination of Valium and alcohol, the former being taken for knee arthritis and the latter taken to try and quell the heroin cravings. It took years for Neil Young to stop blaming himself for Whitten’s death.

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Neil Young - The Needle and the Damage Done (Live) (1971)

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Lyrics:

I caught you knocking at my cellar door
I love you, baby, can I have some more?
Ooh, ooh, the damage done

I hit the city and I lost my band
I watched the needle take another man
Gone, gone, the damage done

I sing the song because I love the man
I know that some of you don't understand
Milk-blood to keep from running out

I've seen the needle and the damage done
A little part of it in everyone
But every junkie's like a setting sun

November 01, 2013

The Lively Ones - Night and Day (1962)

As mentioned in yesterday’s post, the band known as The Surfmen began to deteriorate around the departure of the band’s lead man, Ray Hunt. As subsequent members began to leave the band and get replaced by newer guys, it quickly became the case that the group’s drummer, Tim Fitzpatrick, was the last remaining original member of the band. Having no allegiance to the band’s “Surfmen” name, Fitzpatrick and his bandmates switched their group’s name to The Lively Ones. The group featured Tim Fitzpatrick on the drums, Jim Masoner on lead guitar, Ed Chiaverini on rhythm guitar, Ron Griffith on bass, and Joel Willenbring on drums. They signed with Del-Fi Records and hired a manager, Bob Keane (the famed manager and producer of Ritchie Valens). Although the group never reached much stardom, they most recently had a resurgence of interest when their 1963 song, “Surf Rider,” was used in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 film, Pulp Fiction.

The song below is one of the many cover songs performed by The Lively Ones. Although they had a few original songs, it was songs such as the one heard below that the band was known for. Originally written and released in 1932 by Cole Porter, this song was introduced to the masses by Fred Astaire in his last Broadway performance, the musical play titled Gay Divorce from 1932. Porter claimed that the song was inspired by his trip to Morocco, where he heard Adhan, or, the Islamic call to worship. The song, which originally had lyrics to go along with it, was so popular and closely associated with Cole Porter that when a movie was made about his life in 1946, the film was titled Night and Day. Besides The Lively Ones surf instrumental cover, the song has been covered by Eartha Kitt, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Dionne Warwick, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, U2, and many, many more.

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The Lively Ones - Night and Day (1962)

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Lyrics:

(instrumental)

October 31, 2013

The Surfmen - Ghost Hop (1962)

California native Ray Hunt and his friends formed a surf rock band in 1960 called The Expressos. After a short period, the band renamed themselves The Surfmen and signed to a local label, Titan Records, which primarily dealt with instrumental and surf rock acts. The band featured Ray Hunt on lead guitar, Nick Drury on rhythm guitar, Randall Anglin on bass, Tim Fitzpatrick on drums, and Armon Frank on saxophone. As “The Surfmen,” the band’s most popular song was probably “Paradise Cove,” released in 1962. The same year of that song’s release saw Ray Hunt part ways with the group, which abruptly had a domino-effect on the remaining members. Hunt was replaced with Jim Masoner; Nick Drury left the band and was replaced with Ed Chiaverini; Randall Anglin was replaced with Ron Griffith; and finally Armon Frank, who left to join Dick Dale & The Del-Tones, was replaced with Joel Willenbring. Since the band’s drummer Tim Fitzpatrick was the only remaining original member of the band, he and his newest bandmates decided to rename themselves to The Lively Ones.

Heard below the featured story is the flip side to The Surfmen’s “Paradise Cove.” Released in the first half of 1962, the record featured the original lineup of The Surfmen: Hunt, Drury, Anglin, Fitzpatrick, and Frank. The song was written by Ray Hunt and released on Titan Records.



A Special Edition post with Jerry LaFavor of The Expressos!

Today's exclusive story comes from Jerry LaFavor, the drummer of the surf band The Expressos. Jerry was kind enough to submit a bit of backstory about his band, which would eventually evolve into The Surfmen and The Lively Ones.
A Bit Like You And Me and readers,

Here is how I remember it when I was there. We started with a band called The Emeralds, pictured below on a business card. The musicians in that group and pictured there are: Jerry LaFavor (me), drums; Ray Hunt, lead guitar; Nick Drewry, rhythm guitar; and John Blankenship, keyboard. As an aside, Ray Hunt was the best man at my first wedding.


We added a bass player, Del Ward, later on, changed our name to The Expressos, and released a record called "Teenage Express," which you can still hear if you Google the band/song. Our name was changed by our Manager, Aki Aleong, who arranged to get our song pressed and also got us on TV shows like The Wink Martindale Saturday Night Rock & Roll Party. Below is a picture from the Wink Martindale show we did from the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium. My friend took this picture off his TV the evening we were performing. Frankie Avalon and Della Reese were also on this same show. You can Google Aki Aleong and see his long list of musical/acting credentials.

Jerry LaFavor, drums; Del Ward, base; John Blankenship, piano; Nick Drewry, rythum guitar; and Ray Hunt, lead guitar
Note: Wink is hiding behind the piano thinking he is out of the camera’s view…

I left The Expressos to work with an R&R group named Tommy Winters and The Del Reys. I knew Ray went to The Surfmen, but I [mistakenly] thought he moved on to The Lively Ones (which I thought of only as a name change). I played with Eddie Day Chiaverini in those days and I know he was with The Lively Ones. In fact, I have tried to get a hold of him in recent weeks, but to no avail.


Seen above is our sax player, Lewayne; Jerry LaFavor (me) on drums; Larry Carlton on lead (who, today, October 30, 2013, is one of the top ten jazz guitarists in the world); and Tommy Winters. I did not see or hear from Ray Hunt after this [point in time].

Below is an article from the October 2013 Issue of Vegas Voice about me and my band, Age Restricted. Think about this: I started playing drums in my high school band at fourteen and today, at seventy-four, I am still doing the same thing. And you know, someday I might even get it right.

Click to enlarge.

A big 'thank you' to Jerry for taking the time to share his memories with us. Thank you very much, Jerry!

To listen to Jerry's group, The Expressos, check out this video on YouTube.
To listen to Jerry's current group, Age Restricted, check out Jerry's YouTube page.

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



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The Surfmen - Ghost Hop (1962)

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Lyrics:

(instrumental)

October 25, 2013

J. K. & Co. - The Times (1968)

Remember the episode of The Simpsons where Homer realized he didn’t actually know what his middle initial stood for? Homer J. Simpson? As it turned out, the “J.” stood for “Jay” and Homer tried to become a hippie. In a similar fashion, J.K. & Co. was created around the talents of a fifteen year old artist named J.K., which stood for – ready? Jay Kaye. Kaye, who had been raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, had gone to Vancouver to work on an album with the musical arranger Robert W. Buckley, a fellow teenager. There wasn’t really a band when Kaye’s album was made, so “& Co.” was used to encompass all of those involved with its production.

The album they collectively worked on was titled Suddenly One Summer and released in July 1968. In a very strange decision, the track chosen to be released as a single by the record company, White Whale, was the opening instrumental intro, which was only thirty-six seconds long. Naturally, the song didn’t garner much attention nor help in getting the album circulated.

Fortunately, the album did receive a little attention on the underground radio stations in California. Attempting to feed off of that success, Kaye assembled an actual band together to go out to California and perform live. Although they were on the California scene during the height of the late ‘60s, Kaye and the band never recorded any material and they called it quits by the end of the ‘60s.

The song heard below, written by Jay Kaye, is the tenth track on the Suddenly One Summer album.

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J. K. & Co. - The Times (1968)

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Lyrics:

I’ve been thinking of all the times
That have gone and are yet to come
The days, they’ll be a’changing
And with them, so will I

To look at nature’s beauty
And feel each drop of rain
To watch 'em here with laughing
As they lap against the shore

To be playing in the snow
Or dancing through leaves in the spring
Or walking down a deserted street
In the late, late warm summer eve

Playing with the yo-yo
When I’ve got nothing to do
Watching TV quite late at night
Or just being here with you

Watching other people
As they go ‘bout their way
Spending some hours in the green grass park
Or maybe even a day

These times I will remember
As I move along
Although they’re gone, I’ll remember them
And think of times to come

October 08, 2013

The Toys - A Lover's Concerto (1965)

This female trio met in high school and got their big break when they were discovered at a talent show in their home state of New York. Coming from Jamaica, New York, the trio consisted of Barbara Harris, Barbara Parritt, and June Montiero. Vince Marc, who was given the credit for their discovery, paired the girls up with the songwriting team of Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell. Linzer and Randell would be responsible for the writing credits of nearly all of the girls’ songs, including their number two hit single below. They toured with Gene Pitney; appeared on Shindig!, Hullabaloo, and American Bandstand; and had a cameo in the 1967 beach movie It’s a Bikini World. When the group’s cover of “Sealed with a Kiss” just barely managed to chart in 1967, the girls decided to pursue other endeavors and finalized their dissolution in 1968.

Written by the girls’ songwriting team of Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell, this song was first recorded and released in 1965 by The Toys. Released as a single, the song went to number two on the Billboard charts in the United States as well as reaching number five in the UK. The melody was based on the classical “Minuet in G major,” which at the time had been thought to be written by Johann Sebastian Bach. It was deciphered in the 1970s that, more than likely, “Minuet in G major” was probably written by Christian Petzold. The song also appeared on the girls’ sole album The Toys Sing “A Lover’s Concerto” and “Attack!” in 1966, as well as making an appearance in the 1995 film Mr. Holland’s Opus.

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The Toys - A Lover's Concerto (1965)

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Lyrics:

How gentle is the rain
That falls softly on the meadow?
Birds, high up in the trees
Serenade the flowers with their melodies

Oh, see there beyond the hill?
The bright colors of the rainbow
Some magic from above
Made this day for us just to fall in love

Now, I belong to you
From this day until forever
Just love me tenderly
And I'll give to you every part of me

Oh, don't ever make me cry
Through long, lonely nights without love
Be always true to me
Keep this day in your heart eternally

Someday, we shall return
To this place upon the meadow
We'll walk out in the rain
Hear the birds above singing once again

Oh, you'll hold me in your arms
And say once again you love me
And if your love is true
Everything will be just as wonderful

You'll hold me in your arms
And say once again you love me
And if your love is true
Everything will be just as wonderful

You'll hold me in your arms
And say once again you love me
And if your love is true
Everything will be…

October 07, 2013

The Art of Lovin' - Daily Prayer (1968)

Coming out of Newton, Massachusetts, this five-piece band was composed of high school kids who managed to stay together long enough for the release of one album. They were composed of Gail Winnick (vocals), Paul Applebaum (vocals, guitar), Johnny Lank (bass), Sandy Winslow (drums), and Barry Tatelman (saxophone). Although the band drew comparisons to the San Francisco Sound and received generally positive reviews, they were forced to split apart when its members decided to go off to college. You’d have to think their choice to go off to college was also a sure way to avoid being drafted into Vietnam.

With the exception of the band’s cover of a song by Tim Hardin (“(How Can We) Hang On To A Dream”), each of this group’s songs were written by Paul Applebaum. The song heard below, featured on the band’s only album, The Art of Lovin’, was featured as the sixth track. If you enjoy listening to it, I highly recommend getting a copy of The Art of Lovin’. The entire album is a real joy to listen to.

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The Art of Lovin' - Daily Prayer (1968)

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Lyrics:

All the words come flashing by me
Watch the letters fly
And the sequence, as an ember
Burning so high

Causes spaces far between us
Dealing with our minds
Thinking only to talk in letters
That can only rhyme

And we follow in our blindness
And we read the daily prayer
And we walk the streets of kindness
Frozen by the stares

Of a young man who’s lost the language
Looks behind their eyes
And the thoughts of danger
Are all thoughts of surprise

Thinking only of frozen pathways
Banked by hidden lies
Follow through the twisted causeways
Of the empty skies

And we follow in our blindness
And we read the daily prayer
And we walk the streets of kindness
Frozen by the stares

And we follow in our blindness
And we read the daily prayer
And we walk the streets of kindness
Frozen by the stares

October 04, 2013

Mountain - To My Friend (1970)

Before creating this band, Leslie West had been in the Long Island R&B group known as The Vagrants. In 1969, West was approached by ex-Cream collaborator Felix Pappalardi who wanted to help West put out a solo album. With the help of N. D. Smart, West’s album, titled Mountain, came out on July 1969. Soon, West, Pappalardi, and Smart decided to create their own band and named it after the solo album they had all worked on together. One of their first gigs, before having released an album as a band, was playing at Woodstock in late 1969. Unfortunately, there was no video recorded capturing the bands performance, nor was any of their set released on the Woodstock audio albums.

Shortly after their Woodstock performance, N. D. Smart was replaced with Corky Laing, a drummer previously affiliated with the band known as Energy. Filling out their lineup was the keyboardist Steve Knight. Together with West and Pappalardi, the band put out their first album Climbing!, released on March 7, 1970. The song heard below, written by Leslie West, was released as the album’s sixth track. It was entirely overshadowed by the album’s opening track and the band’s most famous hit “Mississippi Queen.”

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Mountain - To My Friend (1970)

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Lyrics:

(instrumental)

October 03, 2013

The Beau Brummels - Just a Little (1965)

As mentioned in the previous post featuring this band, The Beau Brummels were eternally honored by being animated as The Beau Brummelstones for an appearance on The Flintstones, singing their first hit song “Laugh Laugh” in its entirety for an episode. More than that, the band also appeared in the 1965 movie Village of the Giants and the 1966 movie Wild Wild Winter. The band made a unique screen appearance once more in 1994, when Village of the Giants was chosen as the subject for an episode of the satirical comedy show Mystery Science Theater 3000. Since the mid-1990s, the band has performed at San Francisco’s Baypop Festival and Summer of Love Festival in 2000 and 2002, respectively. In March 2013, the living original band members released an album titled Continuum, using drum recordings of the band’s drummer, John Petersen, who had passed away in 2007 from a heart attack.

When the band’s first hit “Laugh Laugh” halted at number fifteen on the charts, the band themselves blamed its stalling on their label’s lack of ability to effectively distribute their material nationally. With the release of their second single, heard below, the band was able to climb a little higher on the charts. Written by the band’s guitarist, Ron Elliott, with his friend Bob Durand, this song reached number eight on the American charts. It was produced by Sylvester Stewart, later to be known as Sly Stone of Sly and the Family Stone.

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The Beau Brummels - Just a Little (1965)

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Lyrics:

I can’t stay, yes, I know
You know I hate to go
But goodbye; love was sweet
Our worlds can never meet

So, I’ll cry just a little
‘cause I love you so
And I’ll die just a little
‘cause I have to go
Away

Can’t you see how I feel
When I say love’s unreal?
So goodbye; it’s been sweet
Even though incomplete

So, I’ll cry just a little
‘cause I love you so
And I’ll die just a little
‘cause I have to go
Away

Every night I still hear
All your sighs very clear
Now love’s gone, gone away
As I once heard you say

Now I’ve cried just a little
‘cause I loved you so
And I’ve died just a little
‘cause I had to go
Away

September 27, 2013

The Yardbirds - You're a Better Man Than I (1965)

It would take a lot of guts for a band to make their debut release a live album, but that’s exactly what The Yardbirds did. Already on their second guitarist, the band released Five Live Yardbirds with Eric Clapton in the UK on December 4, 1964. When it failed to sell, a US release was canceled. Their next album, For Your Love (June 1965), featured both Clapton (who quit in February 1965) and his replacement Jeff Beck on different tracks. By the time of the band’s third album, Having a Rave Up with the Yardbirds (November 1965), Clapton had long since been departed from the group. But because most of his work with the band had gone unreleased in the US and Having a Rave Up was going to be released in the US, the band decided to fill the back-side of their third album with select tracks from their debut album, featuring Clapton. The album became popular for its blues-rock tracks (the Eric Clapton tracks) and its dabbling in psychedelia (the Jeff Beck tracks).

The song heard below was the opening track to the band’s album Having a Rave Up with The Yardbirds. It featured Keith Relf on vocals, Jeff Back on lead guitar, Chris Dreja on rhythm guitar, Paul Samwell-Smith on bass, and Jim McCarty on drums. The song was co-written by brothers Mike Hugg (a founding member of Manfred Mann) and his brother Brian Hugg.

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The Yardbirds - You're a Better Man Than I (1965)

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Lyrics:

Can you judge a man
By the way he wears his hair?
Can you read his mind
By the clothes that he wears?
Can you see a bad man
By the pattern on his tie?

Well then, mister, you're a better man than I
Yeah, mister, you're a better man than I
Oh, mister, you're a better man than I
Yeah, mister, you're a better man than I

Could you tell a wise man
By the way he speaks or spells?
Is this more important
Than the stories that he tells?
And call a man a fool
If for wealth he doesn't strive?

Well then, mister, you're a better man than I
Yeah, mister, you're a better man than I
Oh, mister, you're a better man than I
Yeah, mister, you're a better man than I

Can you condemn a man
If your faith he doesn't hold?
Say the color of his skin
Is the color of his soul?
Could you say that men
For king and country, all must die?

Well, mister, you're a better man than I
Yeah, mister, you're a better man than I
Oh, mister, you're a better man than I
Yeah, mister, you're a better man than I

September 26, 2013

The Puddin' Heads - Now You Say We're Through (1964)

At the forefront of this band was Denny Reed, the teenage performer who released innocent pop songs such as “A Teenager Feels It, Too,” “No One Cares,” and “I’m Comin’ Home” in 1960-1961. Reed was a big fan of Johnny Mathis and Bing Crosby in his youth, receiving much ridicule from his friends because of it. Although he predominately released material as a solo artist, he was briefly in the band The Puddin’ Heads.

I’m uncertain as to when this group was formed, but it was composed of members Denny Reed, John Greek, and Buddy Wayne. The song heard below, released in 1964, was the B-Side to the only single the band ever released. It was co-written by John Greek and “D. Russell,” backed with the A-Side “You Don’t Have to Be Lonely” on Catch Records, and never reached any success on the national charts. It's a polar opposite style which Reed had normally been heard singing. It's also quite unique for it's edgy sound, having been recorded in 1964.

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The Puddin' Heads - Now You Say We're Through (1964)

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Lyrics:

Let me kiss you
Let me please you
You made me love you
Oh, how I miss you

And now you say we’re through
And now you say we’re through

You whisper sweet things
Life’s complete things
Now we’re parted
I’m broken-hearted

And now you say we’re through
And now you say we’re through

I never wanted you to leave me, darling
I cried a lot since you went away
I think about you every night
And I think of you every day

Let me kiss you
Let me please you
You made me love you
Oh, how I miss you

And now you say we’re through
And now you say we’re through

September 25, 2013

Orpheus - I Wanna Be Your Lover (1971)

Bruce Arnold and Jack McKennes could often be found performing at a Cape Cod, Massachusetts coffee house, known as The Village, in 1964. When they became popular enough to start playing other local venues, they decided to call themselves The Villagers, honoring where they got their start. In 1967, Eric Gulliksen joined the band as their bassist, and Harry Sandler joined as the group’s drummer. They settled on their band’s name in the summer of 1967 and quickly recorded their first demo of nine songs. After receiving nine recording offers, they ultimately decided to sign with Alan Lorber and MGM Records. Their most successful song was “Can’t Find the Time,” which peaked on many local markets. The band’s early success led to them playing on the same bill as bands such as Cream, The Who, Janis Joplin, and Led Zeppelin. What’s interesting is that the band which performed live was not the same individuals who had recorded the songs. Lorber decided that he wanted to use musicians with more musical talent in the recording studio, so some of the “actual” members of the band were not recorded. This eventually led Bruce Arnold to feel that his real bandmates were the studio musicians recording with him in the studio. Because of this, McKennes and Sandler were fired from the band in December 1969. Just two months later Gulliksen quit, pursuing other endeavors.

Left alone, Arnold began playing in a band called Two Foot Lamb Door. Eventually, with the blessing of Alan Lorber, Arnold convinced Two Foot Lamb Door to be the new Orpheus. Songwriter Steve Martin, childhood friend Elliot Sherman, Howard Hersh, K.P. Burke, and Bernard “Pretty” Purdie all backed Arnold in this new lineup. Past member Eric Gulliksen had been invited, but his success in the nine-to-five world persuaded him not to rejoin. With its new members, Orpheus released one more album and one more single in 1971, this time on the Bell Records label. The song heard below comes from that album, which was titled Orpheus, and is colloquially known as Orpheus 4, since the band’s debuting LP used the same name. This track was written by Steve Martin, while Bruce Arnold sang the lead.

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Orpheus - I Wanna Be Your Lover (1971)

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Lyrics:

Do you really have a place on the island
Where I can go?
May I come into your grace on the island
That I may know?
Whether one such as I could love anyone
More than any other

I wanna be your lover
If it’d please my lady
I wanna be your lover

I had ‘em rockin’ and rollin’ on the cellar door
Waitin’ at the window for an apple core
And they wouldn’t go away
‘til I was good and poor
See me as I am
Just a lonely man

Might we watch the sun rise on the island?
Just you and me
If I could look into your eyes and be silent
Then we could see
Whether two such as we
Could love each other

I wanna be your lover
If it’d please my lady
I wanna be your lover

I wanna be your lover
If it’d please my lady
I wanna be your lover

I wanna be your lover
I wanna be your lover…

September 20, 2013

Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship - Have You Seen the Stars Tonite? (1970)

Internal problems amongst the members of Jefferson Airplane began to boil over in 1970, starting with their drummer, Spencer Dryden, being unanimously voted out of the band. Members Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen launched a side project, Hot Tuna; Paul Kantner and the married Grace Slick began a love affair; and Marty Balin felt like a bit of an outcast because of his bandmates pairing up without him.

Since Jefferson Airplane had only released one single in 1970, Paul Kantner decided to work on a solo album with Grace Slick titled Blows Against the Empire. The entire album was conceptualized around a science-fiction theme and was released under the name “Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship.” It’s important to note that this was not the same Jefferson Starship band that would be created in 1974 by Kantner. This was, if anything, a coincidental name that would provide the inspiration for Kantner’s Jefferson Starship four years later. It’s said that the name “Starship,” was inspired by many things: the evolution of Jefferson Airplane to something more grandiose, the star-filled lineup that accompanied Kantner and Slick on the album, and the fact that the characters within the album were seeking a starship to leave the planet Earth.

Speaking of the talent involved in the creation of the album, Blows Against the Empire featured not only the talents of Paul Kantner and Grace Slick, but also fellow Jefferson Airplane members Jack Casady and Joey Covington; the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart; CSN’s David Crosby and Graham Nash; Quicksilver Messenger Service’s David Freiberg; The Electric Flag’s Harvey Brooks; and Jorma Kaukonen’s brother Peter Kaukonen.

The song heard below appeared as the eighth song on Blows Against the Empire. It was written by Paul Kantner and David Crosby. It features Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, Jerry Garcia (pedal steel guitar), Mickey Hart (percussion), and David Crosby (vocals, guitar). Although the song never charted, Blows Against the Empire itself was the first rock album to be nominated for the Hugo science fiction award. If you like this song, I highly recommend listening to the entire album.

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Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship - Have You Seen the Stars Tonite? (1970)

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Lyrics:

Have you seen the stars tonight?
Would you like to go up on ‘A’ Deck and look at them with me?
Have you seen the stars tonight?
Would you like to go up for a stroll and keep me company?

Do you know?
We could go
We are free
Any place you could think of
We could be

Have you seen the stars tonight?
Have you look at all the family of stars?

September 19, 2013

The Dubs - Don't Ask Me to Be Lonely (1957)

In 1956, two vocal doo-wop groups from Harlem, New York merged together. Billy Carlisle and Richard Blandon came from The Five Wings (which had originally been called The 5 Stars). Jake Miller, Thomas Gardner, and Cleveland Still came from The Scale-Tones after having only recorded one record. Originally naming themselves The Marvels, the group recorded and released a failed single titled “I Won’t Have You breaking My Heart.” After renaming themselves The Dubs, they put out their first (and immediate) success, the song heard below. After its release in early 1957, Thomas Gardner was replaced by a different ex-member of The Five Wings, Tommy Grate. This new lineup had two more hits with the songs “Could This Be Magic” and “Chapel of Dreams”. The group split up in November 1958 after declining success. The group was resurrected in July 1959, and although there were no more hits, they remained together until the mid-1980s. At that time, the group splintered into two separate entities, each of which still performs to this day.

Written by Richard Blandon, this song was the group’s first taste of success. It was initially released locally on the Johnson label, but was soon picked up for national release on George Goldner’s Gone label. Although it reached number seventy-two on the Billboard Hot 100, it never charted on the R&B charts. After the song’s success, Thomas Gardner left the group and was replaced with Tommy Grate.

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The Dubs - Don't Ask Me to Be Lonely (1957)

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Lyrics:

Ask me for the world
It doesn't seem much
Ask me for the moon, dear
And I'll reach out to touch
Anything for you; for you, dear, only
But please don't ask me to be lonely

Ask me for the stars, dear
And I'll do your command
Ask me for the diamonds
I'll put them on your hand
Anything for you; for you, dear, only
But please don't ask me to be lonely

I searched this world
This whole wide world
Looking for a girl such as you

I gave up my search
When I looked into
Pretty, pretty eyes of blue

Ask me for the stars, dear
And I'll do your command
Ask me for the diamonds
I'll put them on your hand
Anything for you; for you, dear, only
But please don't ask me to be lonely

Don't ask me to be lonely

September 18, 2013

The Thoughts - All Night Stand (1966)

This band began in 1966 as the backing group behind the London artist known as Tiffany. While together, Tiffany and the Thoughts released two singles for Paralphone Records, “I Know” and “Find Out What’s Happening.” In late ’66, the band broke off on their own, signing with the independent label Planet Records. They kept their name and released their first single, heard below in September 1966. Although the band was reviewed favorably by critics, their record sales were only moderate. When the band broke up soon after, it was band member Peter Beckett who would go on to the most success. After being turned down a spot in Badfinger, Beckett would find success in a later band, Player, which had the soft rock hit song “Baby Come Back” in 1977.

This song was written by Ray Davies of The Kinks, who had been asked to write a song based on All Night Stand, which was a book by Thom Keyes. The song was written by Davies when a movie was in the works to be created, based on Keyes book, about an up and coming British beat band, loosely fashioned after The Beatles. There’s a good demo of Ray Davies performing this song if you search YouTube for it. As far as this band, they recorded two versions of the song. The first version, released in the UK, was a bit slower in tempo in comparison to their second version, a faster tempo released in the US. The version heard below is the upbeat US release.

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The Thoughts - All Night Stand (1966)

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Lyrics:

All night stand
Been around, seen a thousand places
All night stand
Seen a good, half a million faces

Because I live this life
And I made it for myself
If you scandalize my name
Then you scandalize yourself

Because I'm not to blame
For the things that I've been doing
You all say that I'm bad
And I'll only end in ruin

All night stand
With a different girl each night
All night stand
With two hundred miles to ride

But, I won't give it up
As long as I can make the bread
When I do, I shall stop
Close my eyes and go to bed

And forget all the schnides
Of all people on my back
Once I'm free from these chains
I ain't never looking back

All night stand
Been around, seen a thousand faces, yeah
All night stand
Seen a good, half a million places, yeah

All night stand
I can't get these people off my back
All night stand
I said, “Ten percent for this and that”

All night stand
Trippin’ club and sweatin’ hard
All night stand
Where we’re goin’ and what we got
All night stand
All night stand
All night stand
All night stand
All night stand
All night stand
All night stand
All night stand

September 16, 2013

Arlo Guthrie - Coming into Los Angeles [Live] (1969)

Arlo Davy Guthrie was born July 10, 1947 in Brooklyn, New York to iconic folk legend Woody Guthrie and professional dancer Marjorie Mazia Guthrie. From birth, Arlo was raised around his father’s folk music and friends, including Pete Seeger, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Ronnie Gilbert, and numerous others. His first public appearance as a musician was in 1961 at the age of thirteen, and his first solo album, Alice’s Restaurant, came out six years later in September 1967. After his father’s passing in October 1967, Arlo inherited one of his father’s closest friends, Pete Seeger. Arlo and Seeger performed at demonstrations together, toured together, and performed at least a dozen shows per year together over the next forty years. To put it succinctly, Arlo Guthrie is the living link between the earlier generation of folk singers from the 1930s and ‘40s (Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, etc.) to the new era of folk singers from the ‘60s (Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, etc.), having been born and raised into one generation and growing into adulthood in the next.

Like all of Arlo Guthrie’s popular songs, the one heard below was never a hit. His famous “Alice’s Restaurant” from 1967 was over eighteen minutes long and therefore dodged radio airplay. The song heard below also missed airtime because of it being banned by countless radio stations for its subject matter. Luckily, the song remained popular by word of mouth between Guthrie’s fans. Written by Arlo himself, the studio version of this song can be heard on Guthrie’s 1969 album Running Down the Road. The live version heard below is from Guthrie’s hour-long appearance at the 1969 Woodstock Festival, where it opened Guthrie’s set at 11:55 p.m., technically closing out the first day of the festival.

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Arlo Guthrie - Coming into Los Angeles [Live] (1969)

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Lyrics:

Coming in from London from over the Pole
Flying in a big airliner, oh
Chickens flying everywhere around the plane
Could we ever feel much finer?

Coming into Los Angeles
Bringing in a couple of ki’s
Don’t touch my bags if you please
Mr. Customs Man

Guy with a ticket to Mexico
No, he couldn’t look much stranger
Walkin’ in a hall with his things and all
Smiled and said he was The Lone Ranger

Coming into Los Angeles
Bringing in a couple of ki’s
Don’t touch my bags if you please
Mr. Customs Man

Yes, a hip woman walking on a moving floor
Tripping on the escalator
There's a man in the line and she's blowing his mind
Thinking that he's already made her

Coming into Los Angeles
Bringing in a couple of ki’s
Don’t touch my bags if you please
Mr. Customs Man

Coming in from London from over the Pole
Flying in a big airliner, oh
Chickens flying everywhere around the plane
Could we ever feel much finer?

Coming into Los Angeles
Bringing in a couple of ki’s
Don’t touch my bags if you please
Mr. Customs Man

September 13, 2013

Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade of Pale (1967)

From the ashes of The Paramounts, Gary Brooker and Robin Trower created The Pinewoods. They received an offer from Chris Blackwell’s new Island Records (later known for working with Bob Marley & The Wailers), but the group declined to sign with them. Instead, they signed with EMI, the same company The Paramounts had briefly been signed to, and changed their name to Procol Harum. Their first single, heard below, was their most successful, and was followed up by a tour in which they opened for Jimi Hendrix. Their subsequent singles sold well, but didn’t chart as high as their original. Their albums remained somewhat popular, especially 1969’s A Salty Dog, but with a vastly rotating lineup, their sound from album to album was too inconsistent for a solid fan base.

This song was written by Gary Brooker and Keith Reid, with some assistance from Matthew Fisher. Brooker, who wrote the music, was inspired to create the melody after being influenced by Johann Sebastian Bach’s Orchestral Suite N° 3 in D Major. Keith Reid, who wrote the song’s lyrics, had been inspired after overhearing a man tell a woman at a party, “You’ve turned a whiter shade of pale.” Reid took the comment and turned it into a title, and worked the rest of the lyrics in the song around that statement. After the song’s success, Reid was made a permanent member of the band, despite not playing any instruments or ever singing. He was responsible for 100% of the band’s lyrics until their break-up in 1977.

When the song’s lyrics were originally written by Keith Reid, there were four verses, each followed by the chorus. When it came time to record the song, it was reduced to two verses to be more radio-friendly. The band never recorded all four verses in the studio. Sometimes, when the band performed the song live, they would include the third verse. Even more rarely, they would include the fourth verse. If you’d like to hear the third and fourth verses performed live, check this YouTube video.

The song was released on May 12, 1967 and began its climb of the charts on May 25. Although it stalled at number five in the US, it reached number one in the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, and Australia. John Lennon of The Beatles was a big fan of the song. It's rumored that he and his friends erroneously thought that the vocals (performed by Gary Brooker) were being sung by Steve Winwood of The Spencer Davis Group.

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Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade of Pale (1967)

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Lyrics:

We skipped the light fandango
Turned cartwheels ‘cross the floor
I was feeling kind of seasick
The crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
As the ceiling flew away
When we called out for another drink
The waiter brought a tray

And so it was, that later
As The Miller told his tale
That her face, at first just ghostly
Turned a whiter shade of pale

She said, “There is no reason”
“And the truth is plain to see”
But I wandered through my playing cards
Would not let her be
One of sixteen Vestal Virgins
Who were leaving for the coast
And although my eyes were open
They might just as well have been closed

And so it was, that later
As The Miller told his tale
That her face, at first just ghostly
Turned a whiter shade of pale

And so it was, that later...

September 12, 2013

The National Gallery - Diana in the Autumn Wind (1968)

Chuck Mangione and Ray Karshner got together in 1967 and released one single under the name Bhagavad-Gita, named after Hindu scriptures. The single was two versions of the same song, “Long Hair Soulful,” featuring one with lyrics and one which was purely instrumental. When the single failed to chart, they gathered studio musicians together to form this band and made one full-length album. Karshner didn’t join the band as a member, but he was responsible for the producing, arranging, and co-writing all of the lyrics (with one song being entirely his). Mangione, on the other hand, joined as a member of the band, playing trumpet, piano, horn, etc., as well as co-writing nine out of the band’s ten songs with Karshner. The other members of the band, all session musicians and singers, were never listed on the group’s sole album, and are therefore anonymous to me. After the band’s album failed to make virtually any impact, the group of session musicians was dissolved. Mangione would go on to great success in the ‘70s, with his most popular song, “Feels So Good,” arriving in 1977.


The National Gallery’s only album was titled Performing Musical Interpretations of the Paintings of Paul Klee. And that’s exactly what the album was. Each track on the album was named after a painting done by the abstract artist known as Paul Klee. Klee, who was of German ancestry but born and raised in Switzerland, had been born in 1879 and passed away in 1940, long before the creation of this 1968 album. The painting, seen above, that the song below was based on was titled Diana in the Autumn Wind. The lyrics and music were interpreted from the painting by Ray Karshner and Chuck Mangione and the resulting track appeared as the second song on The National Gallery’s album. As was the case with Mangione and Karshner's previous collaboration, this song too made no impact on any charts.

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The National Gallery - Diana in the Autumn Wind (1968)

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Lyrics:

The leaf that’s green in summer
Will die and fall to ground
The fresh bouquet of yesterday
Today is ugly brown

The happiness of springtime
Is sadness in the fall
The autumn haze makes yesterdays
Much harder to recall

Diana in the autumn wind
Goodbye, goodbye my lover
Diana in the autumn wind
Goodbye my springtime lover
Diana in the autumn wind
Goodbye, goodbye forever

The theater of August
Is silent in the snow
The clown that played the masquerade
Has come to close the show

Diana in the autumn wind
Goodbye, goodbye my lover
Diana in the autumn wind
Goodbye my springtime lover
Diana in the autumn wind
Goodbye, goodbye forever

September 06, 2013

Little Peggy March - I Will Follow Him (1963)

Peggy March was born March 8, 1948 in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Her birth name was Margaret Annemarie Battavio and she was first discovered at the age of thirteen while singing at her cousin’s wedding. She was introduced to the record producing cousins, Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore. Given that the thirteen year old girl was only four feet nine inches (1.4478 meters), she was nicknamed “Little Peggy March.” In early January 1963, at the age of fourteen, March would record what would be her most famous song, which can be heard below. Although it would be her only Top Ten hit in the United States, March found continuing success in Germany, where she remained popular through the 1970s. March continues to sing to this day, having recently released a new album in 2010 titled Always and Forever.

This song was originally a French song titled “Chariot” with lyrics written by Jacques Plante and music written by Franck Pourcel and Paul Mauriat, who used the pseudonyms J.W. Stole and Del Roma, respectively). In early 1963, the song was adapted into English by Arthur Altman, using Norman Gimbel to translate the lyrics. Although Petula Clark had a number one hit with “Chariot” in France in 1962, it was Little Peggy March who took the English version to number one in the United States in April 1963. Having been fourteen years old when she recorded and released it, she had only just become fifteen by the time the song reached number one, making her the youngest female artist to this day to have a number one hit on the US charts.

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Little Peggy March - I Will Follow Him (1963)

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Lyrics:

I love him
I love him
I love him
And where he goes
I'll follow
I'll follow
I'll follow

I will follow him
Follow him wherever he may go
There isn't an ocean too deep
A mountain so high it can keep
Me away

I must follow him
(Follow him)
Ever since he touched my hand, I knew
That near him I always must be
And nothing can keep him from me
He is my destiny
(Destiny)

I love him
I love him
I love him
And where he goes
I'll follow
I'll follow
I'll follow

He'll always be
My true love
My true love
My true love
From now until
Forever
Forever
Forever

I will follow him
(Follow him)
Follow him wherever he may go
There isn't an ocean too deep
A mountain so high it can keep
Keep me away
Away from my love

I love him
I love him
I love him
And where he goes
I'll follow
I'll follow
I'll follow

He'll always be
My true love
My true love
My true love
From now until
Forever
Forever
Forever

I will follow him
(Follow him)
Follow him wherever he may go
There isn't an ocean too deep
A mountain so high it can keep
Keep me away
Away from my love

(And where he goes)
I'll follow
I'll follow
I'll follow
I know I’ll always
Love him
I love him
I love him
And where he goes
I'll follow
I'll follow
I'll follow
I know I’ll always
Love him
I love him…

September 05, 2013

Mungo Jerry - In the Summertime (1970)

Ray Dorset, an early rock and roll enthusiast, met Colin Earl when they had been in the band the Good Earth together. When their band failed to make any sales for their Saga label, the two got together with Mike Cole, and Paul King to form this British band. Their band name was inspired by Mungojerrie, a character in a poem featured in Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot. The original lineup of the band was responsible for their biggest hit, heard below. They followed up their big hit with an album; but, after its release, the group slowly began to splinter. Original members left one after the other, eventually leaving Ray Dorset as the sole original member. By 1972, Dorset practically was Mungo Jerry himself. Despite all of the people who parted from the band (over thirty-five of them), they have never officially broken up. Dorset and whomever he has recruited have continued to release music since their formation in 1970, with their most recent album having hit the shelves in 2012.

Written by Ray Dorset, the song heard below was easily the band’s biggest success. When it was released in the UK in the beginning of summer 1970, it only took two weeks for the song to climb to number one. It remained in the charts for the entire summer, and was also a Top Ten hit in the United States. The song was supposedly written by Dorset in less than ten minutes, during a break he was taking while working his day job. Today, the song is considered to be one of the highest selling songs of all time, with over thirty million copies sold to date.

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Mungo Jerry - In the Summertime (1970)

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Lyrics:

In the summertime when the weather is hot
You can stretch right up and touch the sky
When the weather's fine
You got women- you got women on your mind

Have a drink, have a drive
Go out and see what you can find

If her daddy's rich, take her out for a meal
If her daddy's poor, just do what you feel
Speed along the lane
Do a ton or a ton and twenty-five

When the sun goes down
You can make it- make it good in a lay-by

We're no threat, people
We're not dirty, we're not mean
We love everybody, but we do as we please
When the weather's fine
We go fishing or go swimming in the sea

We're always happy
Life's for living, yeah, that's our philosophy

Sing along with us
Yeah, we're happy

Yeah
Alright, alright, alright

Alright


When the winter's here, yeah, it's party time
Bring your bottle, wear your bright clothes
It'll soon be summertime
And we'll sing again
We'll go driving or maybe we'll settle down

If she's rich, if she's nice
Bring your friends and we'll all go into town

In the summertime when the weather is hot
You can stretch right up and touch the sky
When the weather's fine
You got women- you got women on your mind

Have a drink, have a drive
Go out and see what you can find

If her daddy's rich, take her out for a meal
If her daddy's poor, just do what you feel
Speed along the lane
Do a ton or a ton and twenty-five

When the sun goes down
You can make it- make it good in a lay-by

We're no threat, people
We're not dirty, we're not mean
We love everybody, but we do as we please
When the weather's fine
We go fishing or go swimming in the sea

We're always happy
Life's for living, yeah, that's our philosophy

Sing along with us
Yeah, we're happy

September 02, 2013

Longbranch Pennywhistle - Run Boy Run (1969)

Glenn Frey was born November 6, 1948 in Detroit, Michigan. He first had a taste of being a professional musician when he performed background vocals and played an acoustic guitar for Bob Seger’s 1968 Ramblin’ Gamblin’ album. When Frey’s girlfriend, an aspiring singer, wanted to move to Los Angeles, California, Frey went along with her. While there, he met the Texas-born John David Souther and formed this duo in 1969. Calling themselves Longbranch Pennywhistle, the duo often played gigs at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. They were eventually discovered by Amos Records and had enough material to create one, self-titled album. By 1971, Amos Records had gone out of business and the duo decided to dissolve their act. Frey soon continued his career by co-creating the Eagles with Don Henley, whom he had met at the Troubadour the year before. Souther, although would often write and co-write songs for the Eagles, primarily focused on his solo career. He also famously dated Linda Ronstadt and Stevie Nicks.

This song was the second track to the band’s 1969 album, Longbranch Pennywhistle. Although most of the album’s tracks had been penned by Souther, this particular song was written by Frey. The album featured a large number of famous session musicians of the time, including Ry Cooder, Larry Knechtel, James Burton, Jim Gordon, and others. With Glenn Frey’s voice and the country rock melody, you can definitely hear the future sound of the Eagles in this album and song.

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Longbranch Pennywhistle - Run Boy Run (1969)

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Lyrics:

Well, it won’t be long until mornin’
And I know I won’t be hard to find
Bloodhound leadin’ all the state police
I gotta make it to the Georgia line

I met a girl in Montgomery
She told me she was twenty-three
(They always do)
Turned out she was in high school
Now her daddy wants to walk me to the hangin’ tree

Run, boy, run
You gotta move
Run, boy, run
You gotta move

Well, an easy goin’ rock ‘n’ roll refugee
Booked trouble on a southbound train
The law books say that I'm a guilty man
And I wouldn’t get time to explain

Dead run, ain’t no stoppin’
‘til I make the borderline
Two more miles on a bottom land run
‘til I find a sanctuary in the Georgia pine

Hey, run, boy, run
You gotta move
Run, boy, run
You gotta move

Hey, run, boy, run
You gotta move
Run, boy, run
You gotta move

On the six oh five
Come on, oh yeah
Oh, oh yeah
Oh, get down

Okay

August 30, 2013

Country Joe McDonald - The 'Fish' Cheer / I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag [Live] (1969)

Note: This is our first post to feature “obscene” language. Read and listen at your own judgment.

Country Joe McDonald, born Joseph Allen McDonald on January 1st, 1942, had been named “Joseph” by his parents after the Soviet Union’s then-leader, Joseph Stalin. McDonalds parents had been devout communists in their youth, but renounced their beliefs later in life. In 1965, McDonald and his friend Barry Melton began writing and performing songs that protested the Vietnam War. They began to call themselves “Country Joe and the Fish.” “Country Joe” was a reference to Joseph Stalin’s colloquial nickname, whereas “the fish” was taken from a statement made by Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong, who stated that a true revolutionary “moves through the peasantry as the fish does through water.” Although their group would see the addition and subtraction of different members over the years, McDonald and Melton were always at its core.

Country Joe and the Fish were at Woodstock during the festival of 1969, but were not scheduled to play until the festival’s third day. As you may remember from our previous post, on the very first day of the festival, the very first act was Ritchie Havens. Havens had gone out on stage because Sweetwater, who had been scheduled first, were bickering amongst themselves and couldn’t make it to the stage on time. When Havens had finished his set, Sweetwater still wasn’t ready to hit the stage. Looking for someone to fill up the time between acts, the organizers of Woodstock located Country Joe wandering around near the stage. Even though he wasn’t with his band, they asked him to perform solo to entertain the audience. Country Joe, terrified of the enormous crowd, made up an excuse that he couldn’t play because he didn’t have a guitar with him. They found a Yamaha acoustic guitar lying around and gave it to him. He persisted that he couldn’t play because he didn’t have a strap for the guitar. They tied a rope to it and pushed him on stage. Joe was left without a choice and performed nine songs, all by himself, on a guitar that wasn’t his.

(It should be noted that accounts of what day Country Joe played solo vary. Country Joe himself claims the above to be true, but other historians claim he played solo on Day 2 of Woodstock and not Day 1. Without any official documentation regarding scheduling as it actually happened, we may never know the unopposed truth.)

The ninth and final song of Country Joe’s solo set is heard below. It’s opened, as it usually was, with a variation of “The ‘Fish’ Cheer.” Written by Country Joe, the original version of this song appeared on Country Joe and the Fish’s second album, I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die from 1967. Although the sarcastic and critical anti-Vietnam lyrics prevented the song from being heard on the radio, the song was very popular amongst the masses of anti-Vietnam youths. In this live Woodstock version of the song, it’s opened with “The ‘Fuck’ Cheer,” a call-and-response interaction with the audience, which had evolved from “The ‘Fish’ Cheer.” Asking the audience to call out letters and then what they spelled, “The ‘Fish’ Cheer” evolved to “The ‘Fuck’ Cheer” after a student demonstration at the University of California, Berkeley (in 1964/1965) successfully fought for the students’ right to use free speech. Country Joe and the Fish often used this cheer to highlight their right to free speech, but were also often fined by venues and cities for its use.

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Country Joe McDonald - The 'Fish' Cheer / I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag [Live] (1969)

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Lyrics:

Give me an “F”!
(“F”!)
Give me a “U”!
(“U”!)
Give me a “C”!
(“C”!)
Give me a “K”!
(“K”!)
What’s that spell?
(“Fuck”!)
What’s that spell?
(“Fuck”!)
What’s that spell?
(“Fuck”!)
What’s that spell?
(“Fuck”!)
What’s that spell?
(“Fuck”!)


Well, come on all of you big, strong men
Uncle Sam needs your help again
He got himself in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in Vietnam
Put down your books and pick up a gun
We're gonna have a whole lot of fun

And it’s one, two, three
What are we fightin’ for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn
The next stop is Vietnam
And it’s five, six, seven
Open up the pearly gates
Well, there ain’t no time to wonder why
Whoopee! We're all gonna die

Now, come on Wall Street, don't be slow
Why, man, this is War A-Go-Go
There’s plenty good money to be made
Supplyin' the army with the tools of the trade
Just hope and pray that when they drop the bomb
They drop it on the Viet Cong

And it’s one, two, three
What are we fightin’ for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn
The next stop is Vietnam
And it’s five, six, seven
Open up the pearly gates
Well, there ain’t no time to wonder why
Whoopee! We're all gonna die

Now, come on generals, let’s move fast
Your big chance is here at last
Night you go out and get those reds
‘cause the only good Commie is one that’s dead
You know that peace can only be won
When you blow ‘em all to Kingdom come

Sing it!

One, two, three
What are we fightin’ for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn
Louder!
(The next stop is) Vietnam
And it’s five, six, seven
Open up the pearly gates
Well, there ain’t no time to wonder why
Whoopee! We're all gonna die

Listen, people. I don’t know how you expect to ever stop the war if you can’t sing any better than that. There’s about 300,000 of you fuckers out there. I want you to start singing! Come on!

And it’s one, two, three
What are we fightin’ for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn
The next stop is Vietnam
And it’s five, six, seven
Open up the pearly gates
Well, there ain’t no time to wonder why
Whoopee! We're all gonna die

Now, come on mothers throughout the land
Pack your boys off to Vietnam
Come on fathers, don't hesitate
Send your sons off before it’s too late
Be the first one on your block
To have your boy come home in a box

Alright!

And it’s one, two, three
What are we fightin’ for?
Don't ask me, I don't give a damn
The next stop is Vietnam
And it’s five, six, seven
Open up the pearly gates
Well, there ain’t no time to wonder why
Whoopee! We're all gonna die

Alright!