With 60 sounds of the sixties in this show, we’ve made this a six part blog. Here’s the first ‘top ten’ in our groovy track list with video, artist and song history. Rock, Roll and Soul_fully twist again down memory lane
Born at the end of 1959 to teenage parents, sounds of the sixties are embedded into my musical DNA. Only when being looked after by grandparents were nursery rhymes ever a thing. It’s not surprising then that I know the lyrics to all these songs yet I can forget what happened yesterday or what I went into a room for. Social engineering and programming have turned me into a hardwired walking talking jukebox. It’s just a shame for others within earshot that it’s always plugged in, switched on and playing.
|01||My Guy||Mary Wells|
|02||Then He Kissed Me||The Crystals|
|03||He’s So Fine||The Chiffons|
|04||One Fine Day||The Chiffons|
|05||Hats Off To Larry||Del Shannon|
|06||The Loco-Motion||Little Eva|
|07||He’s A Rebel||The Crystals|
|08||My Girl||The Temptations|
|09||It Takes Two||Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston|
|10||Get Ready||The Temptations|
#01 MARY WELLS > MY GUY
My Guy is a 1964 hit single by Mary Wells for the Motown label. Written and produced by Smokey Robinson of The Miracles, the song is a woman’s rejection of a sexual advance and affirmation of her fidelity to her boyfriend, who is her ideal and with whom she is happy, despite his ordinary physique and looks. (“There’s not a man today who could take me away from my guy”).
Mary Esther Wells (May 13, 1943 – July 26, 1992) was an American singer, who helped to define the emerging sound of Motown in the early 1960s. Along with The Supremes, The Miracles, The Temptations, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, and the Four Tops, Wells was said to have been part of the charge in black music onto radio stations and record shelves of mainstream America.
#02 THE CRYSTALS > THEN HE KISSED ME
Then He Kissed Me is a song written by Phil Spector, Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry. The song, produced by Spector, was initially released as a single on Philles Records in July 1963 by The Crystals. The lyrics are a narrative of a young woman’s encounter, romance, and eventual engagement with a young man.
In 1961, Barbara Alston (December 29, 1943 – February 16, 2018), Mary Thomas, Dolores “Dee Dee” Kenniebrew (born 1945), Myrna Giraud and Patricia “Patsy” Wright formed the Crystals with the help of Benny Wells, Alston’s uncle. Soon, the quintet signed with Phil Spector’s label Philles Records.
#03 THE CHIFFONS > HE’S SO FINE
He’s So Fine is a song written by Ronnie Mack. It was recorded by The Chiffons who topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks in the spring of 1963. One of the most instantly recognizable golden oldies with its doo-lang doo-lang doo-lang background vocal, “He’s So Fine” is also renowned as the plaintiff song in the famous plagiarism case against George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord”.
The group was originally a trio of school friends: Judy Craig, Patricia Bennett and Barbara Lee; at James Monroe High School in the Bronx in 1960. In 1962, at the suggestion of songwriter Ronnie Mack, the group added Sylvia Peterson, who had sung with Little Jimmy & the Tops at age 14, sharing lead vocals with Jimmy on “Say You Love Me”, the B-side of the Tops’ 1959 local hit “Puppy Love”.
#04 THE CHIFFONS > ONE FINE DAY
#05 DEL SHANNON > HATS OFF TO LARRY
Hats Off to Larry is a song written and sung by Del Shannon, which he released as a single in 1961. The song spent 13 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at No. 5, while reaching No. 1 on Canada’s CHUM Hit Parade, No. 2 on New Zealand’s “Lever Hit Parade”, No. 2 in Australia, No. 6 on the UK’s Record Retailer chart, and No. 8 in South Africa.
Shannon was born Charles Weedon Westover on December 30, 1934 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Bert and Leone Mosher Westover, and grew up in nearby Coopersville. He learned to play the ukulele and guitar and listened to country-and-western music by artists such as Hank Williams, Hank Snow, and Lefty Frizzell. He was drafted into the Army in 1954 and, while in Germany, played guitar in a band called The Cool Flames.
#06 LITTLE EVA > THE LOCO_MOTION
The Loco-Motion is a 1962 pop song written by American songwriters Gerry Goffin and Carole King. “The Loco-Motion” was originally written for Dee Dee Sharp, but she turned it down. An enduring example of the dance-song genre; much of the lyric is devoted to a description of the dance itself, usually performed as a type of line dance.
Eva Narcissus Boyd (June 29, 1943 – April 10, 2003), known by the stage name of Little Eva, was an American pop singer. Although some sources claim that her stage name was inspired by a character from the novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, she stated in an interview that she was named after her aunt, which prompted her family to call her “Little Eva”.
#07 THE CRYSTALS > HE’S A REBEL
Crystals founding member Dee Dee Kenniebrew in the Daily Express Saturday Magazine August 25, 2007 said: “The Crystals’ first hit in the UK was ‘He’s A Rebel,’ but we didn’t sing it. When we rehearsed it we hadn’t particularly liked it. Also, we’d already had two hit records in the States, plus an album, yet we still hadn’t been paid. Phil Spector probably thought we were giving him too much hassle about money, so he got a studio group to record the song. Unfortunately, our first manager didn’t get us a good contract and Spector was able to use the group’s name.” Gene Pitney wrote it specifically for The Crystals after hearing their song “Uptown,” which had a funky sting section contrived by their producer, Phil Spector. Pitney was determined to write something in a similar vein, and came up with “He’s A Rebel.” Source: Songfacts.com
#08 THE TEMPTATIONS > MY GIRL
My Girl is the Temptations’ signature tune. Written and produced by two of their Motown labelmates, Smokey Robinson and Ronald White of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, it was the group’s first number one pop hit. Robinson and White wrote “My Girl” when the Miracles were performing at New York’s Apollo Theater. Returning to Detroit, Robinson began recording at Motown’s in-house studio with the label’s session band, the Funk Brothers. Source: All Music
The Temptations are an American vocal group from Detroit, Michigan, who released a series of successful singles and albums with Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s. The group’s work with producer Norman Whitfield, beginning with the Top 10 hit single “Cloud Nine” in October 1968, pioneered psychedelic soul, and was significant in the evolution of R&B and soul music. The band members are known for their choreography, distinct harmonies, and dress style. Having sold tens of millions of albums, the Temptations are among the most successful groups in popular music.
#09 MARVIN GAYE & KIM WESTON > IT TAKES TWO
It Takes Two is a hit single recorded in late 1965 by Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston for Motown’s Tamla label. Produced by Weston’s then-husband, longtime Gaye collaborator William “Mickey” Stevenson, and co-written by Stevenson and Sylvia Moy, “It Takes Two” centered on a romantic lyric that depicted many things in life (dreams, love, wishes, etc.) being better with two people instead of one. The single became Gaye’s most successful duet single to date, later outperformed by Gaye’s duets with Tammi Terrell.
Gaye and Weston’s duet peaked at #14 on the Billboard Pop charts and #4 on Billboard′s Soul Singles chart in January 1967. “It Takes Two” was also Gaye’s first major hit in the UK, where it peaked at #16 on the British singles charts in the spring of that same year.The song was played over the closing credits of the 1995 film It Takes Two and 2002 TV adaptation of Jacqueline Wilson novel Double Act.
#10 THE TEMPTATIONS > GET READY
The original Temptations version of “Get Ready”, produced by Smokey Robinson, was designed as an answer to the latest dance craze, “The Duck”. The Temptations’ falsetto Eddie Kendricks sings lead on the song, which Robinson produced as an up-tempo dance number with a prominent rhythm provided by Motown drummer Benny Benjamin. The song made it to No. 1 on the U.S. R&B singles chart, while peaking at No. 29 on the pop charts.
It is significant for being the last song Robinson wrote and produced for the Temptations, due to a deal Berry Gordy made with Norman Whitfield, that if “Get Ready” did not meet with the expected degree of success, then Whitfield’s song, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg“, would get the next release, which resulted in Whitfield more or less replacing Robinson as the group’s producer.
BONUS TRACK > Thanks for joining us, we’ll sign off with SPACE ODDITY by David Bowie from our sister channel Science of Nature. Until next time, keep your vibration high for the good of all and know #loveWINS
Space Oddity is a song written and recorded by English singer-songwriter David Bowie. It was first released as a 7-inch single on 11 July 1969 before appearing as the opening track of his second studio album, David Bowie. It became one of Bowie’s signature songs and one of four of his songs to be included in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.
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