Ten tunes from our SIXTIES_SESSION show on Mixcloud > Flashback to vintage verve #02

Welcome to part two of this six part blog. Here’s the next ‘top ten’ in our groovy track list with video, artist and song history.


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.


11Papa Was A Rollin’ StoneThe Temptations
12The Tracks Of My TearsSmokey Robinson
13Under The BoardwalkThe Drifters
14Spanish HarlemBen E. King
15Sweet Soul MusicArthur Conley
16Baby, Now That I’ve Found YouThe Foundations
17You Keep Me Hanging OnThe Supremes
18What Becomes Of The Broken HeartedJimmy Ruffin
19Son Of A Preacher ManDusty Springfield
20Only The LonelyRoy Orbison


Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone doesn’t technically belong in the ‘Sixties Sessions’ but was the Temptations last number one hit and Grammy Award winner. Performed in 1972 by The Undisputed Truth, the Temptations’ cover version of the song released later the same year has long been regarded as an enduring and influential soul classic.

TEMPTATIONS 1972 Photo source: Oanes.gr

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. They pioneered psychedelic soul, and were 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.


The Tracks of My Tears was written by Miracles members Smokey Robinson (lead vocalist), Pete Moore (bass vocalist), and Marv Tarplin (guitarist). On initial release in the UK in 1965, it did not chart, but like several other Motown singles reissued in 1969, it became a Top Ten hit in the summer, reaching No. 9, credited to “Smokey Robinson and the Miracles”.

SMOKEY ROBINSON and the MIRACLES, performing on stage in the U.K. in Motown’s first European Tamla-Motown tour, 1965. Photo source: mcrb.com

The Miracles (also known as Smokey Robinson and the Miracles from 1965 to 1972) were an American rhythm and blues vocal group that was the first successful recording act for Berry Gordy‘s Motown Records, and one of the most important and influential groups in pop, rock and roll, soul and R&B music history.


Under the Boardwalk is a pop song written by Kenny Young and Arthur Resnick and recorded by the Drifters in 1964. It charted at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on August 22, 1964. The song ranked number 489 on Rolling Stone‘s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Photo source: slicethelife.com

The Drifters are an American doo-wop and R&B/soul vocal group. They were originally formed as a backing group for Clyde McPhatter, formerly the lead tenor of Billy Ward and his Dominoes in 1953. The three golden eras of the Drifters were the early 1950s, the 1960s, and the early 1970s.


Spanish Harlem is a song recorded by Ben E. King in 1960 for Atco Records. It was written by Jerry Leiber and Phil Spector and was originally released as the B-side to “First Taste of Love”. Spanish Harlem was King’s first hit away from The Drifters, a group that he had led for several years.

Ben E. King circa 1963 Photo source rollingstone.com

Benjamin Earl King (September 28, 1938 – April 30, 2015) was an American soul and R&B singer and record producer. He is best known as the singer and co-composer of “Stand by Me” and as one of the principal lead singers of the R&B vocal group The Drifters. notably singing the lead vocals of one of their biggest worldwide hit singles, “Save the Last Dance for Me.


Sweet Soul Music is a soul song, first released by Arthur Conley in 1967. Written by Conley and Otis Redding, it is based on the Sam Cooke song “Yeah Man” from his posthumous album Shake. The opening riff is a quote from Elmer Bernstein’s score for the 1960 movie The Magnificent Seven.

Arthur Conley Photo source: nostalgiacentral.com

Arthur Lee Conley (January 4, 1946 – November 17, 2003), also known in later years as Lee Roberts, was an American soul singer, best known for the 1967 hit “Sweet Soul Music”. He first recorded in 1959 as the lead singer of Arthur & the Corvets. In 1975 he moved to England and spent several years in Belgium, settling in Amsterdam (Netherlands) in spring 1977. At the end of 1980, he moved to the Dutch town of Ruurlo legally changing his name to Lee Roberts—his middle name and his mother’s maiden name.


Baby, Now That I’ve Found You is a song written by Tony Macaulay and John MacLeod, and performed by the Foundations. Part of the song was written in the same bar of a Soho tavern where Karl Marx is supposed to have written Das Kapital.

The Foundations Photo source: nl.pinterest.com

The Foundations were a British soul band (m. 1967–1970). The group’s background was West Indians, White British, and Sri Lankan. Their 1967 debut single “Baby Now That I’ve Found You” reached number one in the UK and Canada, and number eleven in the US. They were the first multi-racial group to have a number one hit in the UK in the 1960s.


You Keep Me Hangin’ On featured doubled lead vocals by Diana Ross. Noted for Robert White’s telegraphic guitar line, the track was the most energetic of their biggest chart-topping hits, going to number one R&B for four weeks and number one pop for two weeks in the last half of 1966. Though there were other covers of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” most notably Vanilla Fudge’s 1967, the Supremes’ version remains the definitive version. Source: allmusic.com

Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson and Diana Ross Photo source: theguardian.com

The Supremes were an American female singing group and a premier act of Motown Records during the 1960s. Founded as The Primettes in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959, the Supremes were the most commercially successful of Motown’s acts and the most successful American vocal group, with 12 number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100.


What Becomes of the Brokenhearted was recorded by Jimmy Ruffin and released on Motown Records‘ Soul label in the summer of 1966. Written by William Weatherspoon, Paul Riser, and James Dean, and produced by Weatherspoon and William “Mickey” Stevenson. “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” remains one of the most-revived of Motown’s hits.

Jimmy Ruffin Photo source: rollingstone.com

Jimmy Lee Ruffin (May 7, 1936 – November 17, 2014) was an American soul singer and elder brother of David Ruffin of the Temptations. He had several hit records between the 1960s and 1980s, the most successful being the Top 10 hits “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted” and “Hold On (To My Love)”.


Son of a Preacher Man is a song written and composed by American songwriters John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins and recorded by British singer Dusty Springfield in September 1968 for the album Dusty in Memphis. Springfield’s version was produced by Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd, and Arif Mardin for her first album for the Atlantic Records label.

Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien OBE (16 April 1939 – 2 March 1999), known professionally as Dusty Springfield, was an English singer whose career spanned over five decades. With her distinctive sound, she was a significant singer of blue-eyed soul, pop and dramatic ballads, with French chanson, country, and jazz also in her repertoire. She ranked among the most successful British female performers on both sides of the Atlantic and her image and evening gowns, as well as stylised, gestural performances – made her an icon of the Swinging Sixties.


OnlyThe Lonely peaked at number 2 on the US charts in 1960 and remained in the Top 40 in Britain for nearly 6 months. Written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson the song, produced by Fred Foster for Monument Records, was the first major hit for the singer.

Roy Kelton Orbison (April 23, 1936 – December 6, 1988) was an American singer, songwriter, and musician known for his impassioned singing style, complex song structures, and dark, emotional ballads. His music was described by critics as operatic, earning him the nicknames “the Caruso of Rock” and “the Big O.”

BONUS TRACK > Thanks for joining us, we’ll sign off with SOUND OF SILENCE by Disturbed lyric video. Until next time, keep your vibration high for the good of all and know … #loveWON!

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