Rabz’ Radio Show May 2022: the Sixties  

The Sixties has a rightful claim as the period in time that produced the most memorable contemporary music in human history.

So many genres came to prominence, including:

·         Jazz

·         Folk

·         R&B

·         Soul

·         Rock

·         Psychedelia

John F Kennedy – elected 1960, assassinated 1963. During those years, a seismic cultural wave across the Anglosphere was brewing. Motown began to assert itself in the USA, while in the UK, the post war blues were being thrown off with a vengeance. 

The influence of the Modernists: The fifties in the UK saw the emergence of young working class men who had access to “Modern” jazz and soul records shipped over to (mostly black) GIs in the post war years (see also “Northern Soul”). These records essayed musical styles that had largely not been heard outside of black audiences in the USA. The UK’s “Modernists”, with their love of tailored suits, Italian scooters (Lambrettas and Vespas – accept no substitutes), cafes and most importantly amphetamine pills, began looking for something other than bebop to excite them. Unfortunately many of them eventually morphed into hippies, while their younger brothers ended up becoming the original skinheads out of sheer disgust.

The Beatles, the Stones and the Who came to prominence from 1963 onwards and the rest is history.

Bobbie Zimmerman (Dylan) decided to harness some electrickery for his new black Strat, resulting in a (mythical?) hippie cutting the cord at the Newport Folk Festival, 1965. Dylan would then go on to introduce the Beatles to Mary Jane while seeing many of his finest songs covered by artists that were able to do them justice (see for example, the Birds and others).   

Soul – James Brown, Ike and Tina, Marvin, Gladys and the Pips, etc …

The Monterey Festival – the film is highly recommended.

Woodstock – the less said about it the better, although a chemically altered Pete Townshend giving Abbie Hoffman the mighty heave ho during a break in proceedings remains its most legendary incident (along with Jimmy’s Star Spangled Banner).

Altamont 1969, when the sixties died an inglorious death courtesy of a hopelessly inappropriate venue, very bad drugs, very bad choices in bouncers and to paraphrase Keef, “all those fat naked people”. The footage of Jerry Garcia and Phil Lesh fleeing the scene in a helicopter after hearing that the Angels were beating down on musicians remains a defining cultural moment. I’m not sure who borrowed whose image first, Peter Fonda for Cap’n America, or the Lesh at Altamont.

There are so many great songs from that decade I was at a total loss as to which two songs should wrap up the post – after polling some friends this afternoon, the choices are:

Mainstream – Petula Clark 1964: “Downtown”

Chemically crazed – Cap’n Beefheart 1969: “Moonlight on Vermont”

Honourable mentions – Dylan (1965), “Like a rolling stone” and the Stones (1967), “Out of time” (Chris Farley lyric version).

Enjoy and post those favourite classics, people!   

106 thoughts on “Rabz’ Radio Show May 2022: the Sixties  ”

  1. Leaving the ‘Stones out of it, the best – and most ’60s – start to an album of the decade is 1967’s first album from the Velvet Underground.

    The opening track is a beautiful and quintessentially ’60s pop song. Sunday Morning. The second track is the proto-hard rock classic with subversive lyrics about buying drugs. I’m Waiting For The Man.

    The album was a flop at the time but is now recognised as one of the most influential ever.


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  2. when was this decided?

    err, Rog, the audience was polled about three weeks ago, Squire.

    Overwhelming, the feedback was. As noted above, how the eff do you choose two favourite songs from that decade in any kind of easy manner?

    You don’t, which is what friends are for.


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  3. Can’t contribute much to this one. We got what we got at home, which ran along the lines of Rolf Harris and Cilla Black. The former is now haram for the obvious reasons and I’m not a fan of the latter. Nor a fan of Peter, Paul and Mary or The Seekers. Which we got. A lot.

    We had nothing interesting: not blues, not jazz, not even classical. Not even the Stones. In Music we sang Beatles songs without knowing who they were, which is funny thinking back on it. Country towns take a while to catch up to the rest of civilization.

    I gotta do something I suppose. Well ok speaking of the Stones here’s one of theirs.

    The Rolling Stones – The Last Time (1965)


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  4. Still having trouble. Everything by Pink Floyd before 1970 sucks. Steeleye Span started in 1969 but didn’t release anything until 1970 (their first LP being Hark! The Village Wait, which is excellent). Ah well, I mentioned The Beatles in previous comment, so one of theirs then. But not Hey Jude (reminds me of a step-mother) not Norwegian Wood or Yellow Submarine which we sang at school. Yellow Submarine must’ve been the sixties ear-worm equivalent of Baby Shark, although I’ve never listened to that one unlike everyone else in the world.

    The Beatles – A Day In The Life (1967)


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  5. Ah the days of my beloved transistor radio. Earliest I can recall is “Wolverton Mountain” because a band from my High School won a district Talent Quest with it. And I spent ages catching “Tar and Cement” on the radio in order to write out the words. Then there was “I Wanna Be Bobby’s Girl” sung to myself as I walked home from the bus stop in Form 2 for a few months – first crush! How about “It’s My Party and I’ll Cry if I Want To”, I could go on but you catch my drift I’m sure. Zillions of teen memories.


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  6. Another linky thing fail.
    And we should also note on the honour roll The Amboy Dukes ‘Journey to the Centre of Your Mind’ featuring the lead guitar talent of stalwart libertarian right-wing Ted Nugent
    (Somewhat disingenuously Ted feigns ignorance as to any drug theme in the song … yeah ok Ted whatever ya reckon)


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  7. Since I put up Taj Mahal I’ll do a triple play: Taj again, Aretha Franklin and one better known for Ray Charles’s cover of it.

    Taj Mahal – She Caught The Katy (1968)

    Aretha Franklin – Think (1968)

    The Five Du Tones – Shake A Tail Feather (1963)

    Some movie or other might’ve featured all three of these. 😀 (I especially love that marvellously spirited version of Minnie the Moocher done by Cab Calloway, but the song is from 1931.)


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  8. My old man passed on a few things, one of them was music. So good to see Captain Beefheart, one of his favourites, which I flogged to death. Which leads to Mother’s of Invention, Burnt Weeny Sandwich was my fave album and the monster track House I used to live – all 19 mins of it.
    And involved in all 3, Zappa, a genius, Hot Rats, only Mike Patton has come close.
    Special mention to King Crimson. Used to love the album art as much as the music.
    Great work Rabz


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  9. Helen Reddy – One Way Ticket (1968)

    -si

    My husband would tell me often that Helen Reddy was no match for her half-sister Toni Lamond. He was a big fan of Toni.


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  10. The Byrds, paraphrasing the third chapter of Ecclesiastes …

    That was played at my younger brother’s funeral. He left a wife and three month old son…


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  11. I fell in love in the early 60s.
    I played this song so many times in those years. It was on a record loaned to me by my future husband.
    When I Fall in Love

    Thanks Rabz for the magical memories of the 60s you have afforded us here tonight.


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  12. Went out for the evening meaning to be back while the party was still on. Will just have to make my own fun.

    I rather like the Zoot’s version of Eleanor Rigby, it’s much better than the Beatles original.

    Eleanor Rigby


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  13. The Shadows were huge though perhaps not so much in the US where Ventures ruled and there was a whole genre called the surf music to which belonged that all time classic The Pipeline which probably doesn’t qualify having been released in 1962.


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  14. Somebody already mentioned Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass whose most famous instrumental was used by John Laws to open his radio show. I used to tune in just to hear it and then turn the dial to some other station.

    The Lonely Bull


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  15. Thanks all, some fantastic links above.

    Rog – Love: Forever Changes. I’ll have a listen to it today.

    Joolz is a fantastic custodian of the archives.


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  16. quintessentially ’60s pop song

    WTF?

    “Normies” were listening to Phil Spectre’s girl groups at the start of the sixties – or are we talking about the morose side of the Vietnam era when angsty white Brits produced sh1te?

    Even the Stones early stuff was on the positive side Under The Boardwalk.

    We had the single – the flip side being Walking The Dog.

    Ditto the Beatles “Hard Day’s Night” and “Beatles for Sale” albums.

    Commercial stuff that “normies” like(d).

    “If you remember the ’60s…” you were a young’un.

    Obviously, post Baby Boomers have no recollection of the early ’60s – chalk and cheese.


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  17. Egg, thanks for the Suspicious Minds clip – it is awesome. Had never heard of either of the singers, but they are the goods. Kylie has a beautiful voice, as well as great stage presence, and the chap is a pretty damn good performer as well.

    Never watched Rockqiz because I am allergic to the ghastly Julia Z, but I will scan youtube for more material sans her.


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