MONDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2015
WEEK 5: SECRET PLEASURES OF SIXTIES POP
I was just about around for the start of the sixties, born a nice, suburban boy in the very last week of the fifties. Pop meant a lot more back then, although it didn’t mean much to me. Toy soldiers, cowboys and Indians, Scalextric and Subbuteo were far more exciting. Yet thanks to my old man, pop was always around, always on the radio, always being played. And those songs must have seeped into my soul because whether we like it or not, we are all shaped by our fathers and mothers. When we’re young we don’t know it, and wouldn’t want to imagine it even if we did, but as we get older it slowly dawns on us just how much they contributed to our tastes and habits.
Fortunately, I have no problem acknowledging how my old man shaped me. I know that if it wasn’t for him, there’s no way my life with music and its ability to make my world a better place would have happened. It may have been my own awareness that ultimately determined my own path, but it was his influence, enthusiasm and racks of pop, easy listening, folk, country and soul records that lit the spark. And when it comes to the secret pleasures of the sixties, it’s really his taste I’m tapping into. Way too young to care, I was there but not there!
In the sixties, my old man went from his late twenties to his late thirties. I’m more than a decade older than that now, but I can still recognise how the songs here represent the start of a new pop age, an age when fifties resistance to the birth of the teenager had been wiped out by youth cultures own refinement and radicalisation; a time of fun, fun, fun, teen idols, dance crazes, pop schmaltz, girl groups and the dodgy British invasion.
Early doors it was all pop. There was no such thing as rock. That would come later, yet even when it did, the charts were still packed with records like ‘Kites’, ‘Everlasting Love’ or ‘Reflections Of My Life’ rather than the latest psychedelic freak out or never ending cosmic blues jam. They are so absolutely pop, they still bring a smile to my face and a glow to my heart. And in a 21st century where a global cocktail of poverty, starvation, outrageous wealth, mass terrorism and religious insanity looks like it might plunge humanity into a new Dark Age, we need as much of that as we can get.
01 JOHN BARRY SEVEN PLUS FOUR ‘Hit And Miss’ (A Side February 1960)
02 THE EVERLY BROTHERS ‘Love Hurts’ (A Side February 1961)
03 CHRIS MONTEZ ‘Some Kinda Fun’ (A Side December 1962)
04 SKEETER DAVIS ‘The End Of The World’ (A Side March 1963)
05 BILLY J KRAMER & THE DAKOTAS ‘Little Children’ (A Side February 1964)
06 DORIS DAY ‘Move Over Darling’ (A Side March 1964)
07 TWINKLE ‘Terry’ (A Side October 1964)
08 BILLY FURY ‘I’m Lost Without You’ (A Side January 1965)
09 THE SHANGRI-LA’S ‘I Can Never Go Home Anymore’ (A Side November 1965)
10 NANCY SINATRA ‘These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ (A Side January 1966)
11 WALKER BROTHERS ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’ (A Side February 1966)
12 SIMON & GARFUNKEL ‘Homeward Bound’ (A Side March 1966)
13 THE CHIFFONS ‘Sweet Talkin’ Guy’ (A Side May 1966)
14 THE LEFT BANKE ‘Walk Away Renee’ (A Side July 1966)
15 THE HOLLIES ‘Stop! Stop! Stop!’ (A Side October 1966)
16 THE LOVIN’ SPOONFUL ‘Coconut Grove’ (B Side November 1966)
17 SIMON DUPREE & THE BIG SOUND ‘Kites’ (A Side October 1967)
18 BRIGITTE BARDOT ‘Harley Davidson’ (A Side December 1967)
19 GLEN CAMPBELL ‘By The Time I Get To Phoenix’ (A Side January 1968)
20 LOVE AFFAIR ‘Everlasting Love’ (A Side January 1968)
21 JACKIE ‘White Horses’ (A Side April 1968)
22 TOM JONES ‘Weeping Annaleah’ (Delilah LP July 1968)
23 FRANCOISE HARDY ‘Comment Te Dire Adieu?’ (A Side September 1968)
24 JULIE LONDON ‘Yummy Yummy Yummy’ (A Side September 1968)
25 JEANNIE C RILEY ‘Harper Valley PTA’ (A Side October 1968)
26 BOBBIE GENTRY ‘Fancy’ (A Side November 1969)
27 MARMALADE ‘Reflections Of My Life’ (A Side November 1969)