Sunday, August 19, 2007

The 50 Music Project: Into the Mid-Sixties

VII. Mid Sixties Melting Pot

Now we move into a period where I actually remember hearing some of these songs as a kid, either on the radio or in the house. "Bang Bang" was a big favorite of my dad's, although the version I remember hearing was the Sonny & Cher rendition. After listening to that version on a used CD that I found, I decided instead to include the (superior) Nancy Sinatra version, which made an appearance in Kill Bill Vol. 1.

"Born Free" and "Georgy Girl" were also played a lot in our house. I like to think that my own tastes had not yet developed to the point where they could have an impact on that of my parents. But after all, I was only six or seven years old.

Bang Bang, Nancy Sinatra
Dirty Water, The Standells
Whipped Cream, Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
California Sun, The Rivieras
Georgy Girl, The Seekers
Born Free, Matt Monro
Cherish, The Association
Do You Believe In Magic, The Lovin’ Spoonful
Wild Thing, The Troggs
Turn, Turn, Turn, The Byrds
Higher and Higher, Jackie Wilson
The Letter, The Box Tops
Nobody But Me, Human Beinz
What the World Needs Now, Jackie DeShannon
California Dreaming, The Mamas and the Papas

VIII. A Tale of Two Divas

The "stereo" we had in our house was little more than a torture device designed to inflict pops and scratches on vinyl records upon each playing. Of course, the turntable was a multi-record changer, so most often dad would just throw five records on, and the sound that it made when one record landed on top of the other could be heard throughout the entire house.

Two records that withstood this torture were "Petula Clark's Greatest Hits, Vol. 1" and Dionne Warwick's "Golden Hits, Vol. II." The latter I have as part of my record collection, and can attest to the fact that it is barely listenable. Not because the music is bad, mind you - just the fact that the record sounds as if it was used for home plate a few times.

In fact, the music is brilliant - the music, lyrics, and arrangements of Burt Bacharach and Hal David have stood the test of time, and in Dionne Warwick they found their perfect foil. This is great, great stuff. Petula didn't have the benefit of a genius at her helm, although at his best, songwriter/producer Tony Hatch came reasonably close. And with "Downtown," he was able to create one of the great pop singles of the era, one that sounds as great today as it did in 1965.

Anyone Who Had A Heart, Dionne Warwick
You’d Better Come Home, Petula Clark
Walk On By, Dionne Warwick
Downtown , Petula Clark
Are You There With Another Girl, Dionne Warwick
My Love, Petula Clark
I Say A Little Prayer, Dionne Warwick
I Know A Place, Petula Clark


Anthony said...

Let's see, where to start...

This might be a good spot. You've been included in the newest installment of Surfer's Paradise.

I hope the link serves you well.

Now, back to your blog...

I love this music project you have going. How could I not like it, think of my college days, walking through downtown Pittsburgh with my buddy signing DOWNTOWN!!

Your golf commentary is interesting.

Tiger skipping the tournament is good I suppose, because someone else gets a chance to win. I won't hesitate to say I don't understand the deal with this tournament. Of course, I think most people don't get it.

I've had the opportunity to see Tiger play live at Firestone three times. I'm not one to be star struck; I won't hesitate to say though that he's one of the greatest athletes I've seen in the flesh.

And that, unfortunately, brings me to Barry Bonds.

He earned the homerun record; I'll give him that. It's sad that he cheated; even if it only helped him hit bigger blasts. I was disheartened a few years ago when I went to Cooperstown...I walked in the room where they have a display showing the current all time leader in this and that and whoever is closest to the record. When I saw Bonds and Aaron it put a damper on the visit I'd looked forward to for decades.

Greatness, I must say, comes down to what you do when the game is on the line. Whatever game that is. Which is why Tiger is truly great and Barry Bonds is not. You needn't look any further than the times he was National League MVP with the Pirates and screwed the pooch in the National League Champtionship.

I'm not a whiner or a hypocrite. Growing up watching Roberto Clemente for six years though did undoubtedly color my perception of what a baseball player should be.

Jeff said...

Thank you for the link, Anthony! I've returned the favor by adding you to my blogroll. And thanks for your comments on the music project - it has definitely been a labor of love. I finally finished it last week, and was making tweaks here and there right up to the last minute.

I think the main problem with the FedEx cup is that it is incomprehensible. You're right; no one understands it and what it means to win. I suspect it means very little, in the big scheme of things.

Ah, Barry. The cross that all Giants fans must bear. I had promised myself not to comment on 756, but then just couldn't help myself. At this point, I just can't wait for the post-Bonds era to begin...even though he has left some great memories in San Francisco.