Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Do You Believe In Magic?

The Lovin' Spoonful's biggest hit was "Summer in the City", but their happy and catchy song "Do You Believe In Magic?" was my favorite of their hits from the 60's. It reached #9 on the charts in the autumn of 1965. The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

Betcha'll be humming this tune for the rest of the week!

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Monday, June 29, 2009

"Ruby Tuesday"

The Rolling Stones had a #1 top hit in 1967 with "Ruby Tuesday". This video is a live performance of that hit, some years later. Mick Jaggar asks the audience,
"Ready for a little bit of romance?"

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

We Were "Born Free"

During the 60's, many top hits came from movie soundtracks. One of the most loved of these was the theme from the 1966 movie, "Born Free". It was almost the rally cry of a generation!

Remembering those days, we didn't know how blessed we were.

Words by Don Black and Music by John Barry

Oscar-winning title song from the 1966 film, Barry also won for soundtrack
Charted in 1966 at # 7 by Roger Williams and # 35 by Matt Monro

"Born free, as free as the wind blows
As free as the grass grows
Born free to follow your heart

Live free and beauty surrounds you
The world still astounds you
Each time you look at a star

Stay free, where no walls divide you
You're free as the roaring tide
So there's no need to hide

Born free, and life is worth living
But only worth living
'cause you're born free

Stay free, where no walls divide you
You're free as the roaring tide
So there's no need to hide

Born free, and life is worth living
But only worth living
'cause you're born free"

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

"Over You"

One of my favorite groups of the 60's was Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. They had lots of hits, including "Lady Willpower", "This Girl is a Woman Now", "Woman, Woman","Young Girl", and my favorite , "Over You." Enjoy this colorful video and remember the fun of listening to the Golden hits of Gary Puckett and the Union Gap.

Gary Puckett and the Union Gap Website

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5

Yesterday we lost a pop music icon...a Super Star. Michael Jackson died early at age 50. We was well loved and had millions of fans who now mourn his loss. He was a child star and became an even bigger name as an adult. His international popularity was similar to that of Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley or The Beatles, in their eras. Michael Jackson was known as "The King of Pop". He began his spectacular career at age 4, and was planning a comeback tour this summer in London. Michael Jackson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. He will be remembered as one of the music industry's top entertainers... ever.

In this video, Dick Clark introduces 'The Jackson 5' and their newest record in 1970, "A B C", with lead singer, Michael Jackson. He was about 12 years old at the time.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

"You've Made Me So Very Happy"

From March 1969, David Clayton-Thomas and 'Blood, Sweat and Tears' had a top hit with, "You've Made Me So Very Happy". Since that time, this song has been a favorite at weddings and an anthem of young and old :) lovers everywhere.

Blood Sweat and Tears had two other top ten hits in 1969, "And When I Die" and "Spinning Wheel". They continued recording into the '70's and today still do 60's reunion concerts.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"So Much in Love"

The Tymes, a rhythm and blues group, from Philadephia, PA had two top hits in 1963.
Their first hit "So Much in Love", was a story of summer love. It was #1 on the charts for 12 weeks that summer. Their second hit in 1963, "Wonderful, Wonderful" came out in late August '63 and made it to #7 on the charts.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Record Shop

Record stores are getting harder and harder to find, but they still do exist today, all over the country. A great article about the best record shops was featured on PasteMagazine.com.

The article "The Record Store:A Good Thing" lists several record stores still thriving around the country, and the author includes links to all the stores' websites.

Most of these stores stock vinyl LPs, 45's and lots of oldies.

In my neigborhood, Salt Lake City, there is a neat record shop that opened in 1978 and celebrated 30 years in business last year. Randy's Records is a "goldmine" for vinyl record collectors.

Here is an interesting review and interview with the shop's owner, Randy, from Slugmag.com "Bury My Heart in a Record Sleeve"

Randy's Records MySpace page

Is there still a record shop in your area? What's the best record shop you've ever visited? Where is it? Or do you just order your records online? I'd like to add links to all the best record shops and online stores for vinyl collectors. Please let me know about your favorites so I can add them.

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Summer Songs

There have been many "summer songs" through the years, in the 60's there were " Summer Rain" ('68), "Summer Wind" ('66), "Theme from a Summer Place"('60), and "Summer in the City"('66.) I think my favorite was "Summer Song"('64) by the Bristish duo, Chad and Jeremy. This classic hit was popular during the summer of 1964, the same year of the debut of the classic and timeless Ford Mustang. I'm still hoping for a light blue mustang convertible...someday!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Remembering Ricky Nelson

My first teen idol was Ricky Nelson, in the early sixties. He starred on the classic tv show "Ozzie and Harriet" (1952-1966), and always closed the show with one of his songs. His dad was a band leader and his mom was a singer. Ricky and his brother David appeared on their parents radido show beginning in 1949. Ricky Nelson began his singing career in the late 50's, and in the early 60's he became known as Rick Nelson. He had many hits during the 60's, including "Travelin' Man", "Hello Mary Lou", "Teenage Idol", and "It's Up to You". His last hit "Garden Party" was in 1972. Ricky Nelson began a comeback in the 80's doing oldies concerts, but in 1985 he died in a plane crash on the way to a concert. He was only 45 years old.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

"Never My Love"

One of the best groups of the 60's was "The Association". I played their albums over and over. Their perfect harmony and sweet ballads of undying love just made you feel so happy!

They had several top 10 hits in the 60's, including "Cherish", "Windy", and the one featured today, "Never My Love". "The Association" was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003. Enjoy this old favorite once again

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Seekers

"The Seekers" were a pop-folk group formed in Australia during the 60's. Their most popular hit was "Georgy Girl", from a movie by the same name.

Their first hit in 1965 went to #4 on the charts and was my favorite, "I'll Never Find Another You".

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Favorite: "Unchained Melody"

The Billboard "Hot 100 Hits" lists "Hey Jude" by the Beatles as the #1 top hit of the entire 60's decade. It surely had the most sales for the decade. And, it was probably #1 on the charts for the most weeks, during the 60's.

"The 60's Official Site" just completed a survey poll of their readers, asking what was their favorite top hit of the 60's. "Hey Jude" came in #2, behind the #1 winner, "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers.

I agree with that choice. I love this song, it's a true classic.
If you had voted, what would be your #1 favorite hit of the 60's decade?

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Sweet Hits of 1962

In 1962, I was 11 years old and began collecting 45 rpm records. My biggest request on my birthday that year was for my own radio; and I listened to it constantly. One of the hits of the year 1962 was: "Johnny Angel" by Shelley Fabares. I played that record so much I wore it out! It finally warped and I had to buy a second copy.

Shelley Fabares also starred in a popular early 60's family televison series, "The Donna Reed Show".

Other hits were: "The Rhythm of the Rain" by the Cascades, "Soldier Boy" by the Shirells, and "Sherry" by the Four Seasons. Do you remember these?

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy Birthday to the 45 rpm Record

When I was a teen, back in the late 1960's, 45 rpm vinyl records were what we spent all our money on. There were no CD players or Ipods, we either played records on a record player (now an antique) or listened to our favorite radio station. When I first started collecting records, the singles (the 45 rpm records) were about 79 to 89 cents each. Later they went to about $1.99 each. I remember some weeks all my allowance and babysitting money went to purchase the latest top hit 45 rpm records. I probably had over 100 or more records at one point. I really should have held on to them through the years, today they are collectors items, and most sell for over $5.oo each. Some rare ones probably go for hundreds of dollars. Now that it's been about 40 years since I bought my last 45 record, I would once again like to start collecting my old favorites again. A friend I've just met online, has given me permission to publish an article he wrote recently, detailing the history of the 45 rpm record. Can you believe the 45 rpm is now 60 years old!!! Hope you enjoy this article , and please visit the author's website, you will learn alot about the history of vinyl records and how to begin collecting them.

Happy Birthday to the 45rpm Record

by Robert Benson

"Happy Birthday and welcome back to an old friend, the 45 rpm record officially turned 60 years old on March 31. British trade journals are reporting that single song 45rpm records are now outselling their CD counterparts and many American bands are now releasing music via this historic audio medium.

The 45rpm record was initially introduced in 1949 by RCA as a smaller, more durable replacement for the heavy 78rpm shellac-based records of the time. The 45 was created by RCA as a competitive move against one their rival record companies, Columbia, which had just introduced the new microgroove 33 1/3 rpm LP. The number 45 came from taking 78 and subtracting Columbia's new 33 to equal the 45. Record companies and consumers alike faced an uncertain future as to which format would survive the 78rpm or the 45rpm; in what was known as the “War of the Speeds.” In 1949Capitol and Decca started issuing the new LP format and RCA relented and issued its first LP in January 1950. But the 45 rpm was gaining in popularity and Columbia issued its first 45s in February 1951. Soon other record companies saw the mass consumer appeal the new format allowed and by 1954 more than 200 million 45s had been sold.

So On March 31, 1949, RCA Victor released "Texarkana Baby" b/w "Bouquet of Roses" by Eddy Arnold. The first 45 to hit the was "A -- You're Adorable" by Perry Como, listed on the charts on May 7, 1949. The next week, the year's biggest hit appeared on the Billboard charts -- "Riders In The Sky (A Cowboy Legend)” by Vaughn Monroe. The first 45rpm records were monaural and as stereo sound became more prevalent and popular in the 1960s, almost all 45rpm records were manufactured in stereo.

The historical and commercial significance of the 45rpm record has varied over time, the technological developments in recorded music and according to the audience of the particular artists and musical genres. In general, 45 records were more important to the music acts who sold music to the younger audiences (mostly teenagers) who tend to have limited financial resources and shorter attention spans. That said, the golden age for the 45 was in the 1950s and 1960s in early development of rock music. They were affordable and allowed artists the freedom of releasing a single song as opposed to a whole LP. Conversely, some singles helped to launch the sales of the albums that the musicians were promoting.

The length of the songs also evolved. In the 1950s, it was common for songs to be anywhere from two to two and a half minutes long and in the 1960s; the three minute single became the norm. This length was very convenient and fit the AM Radio format very well. Millions of demo records were sent out to radio stations with specific instructions as to which song was supposed to be the ‘hit single,’ although there were some DJs that played the ‘B’ sides and those songs became hits. Elvis Presley was one of the first artists to release the ‘double-sided single’, meaning that both songs would ultimately end up on the charts. The Beatles followed suit and were also one of the first recording artists to push the envelope, so to speak and commonly had songs over the three-minute norm. In fact, there are some singles that had to be edited by radio stations and shortened to fit their particular formats. Don McLean’s 1972 hit “American Pie” is an example, the single was split up into two parts on the 45. The Beatles broke new ground in 1968 with their over seven minute epic “Hey Jude.”

The sales of the 45s were recorded on the record charts in most countries in a Top 40 format and these charts were often published in magazines (Billboard), television shows (American Bandstand) and radio programs often had the Top 40 countdown shows (Casey Kasem).

Nowadays, they still manufacture 45 rpm records, but on a much smaller scale than decades ago. Indie bands, r&b artists and punk bands love the format; it makes the music affordable for their target audience and, after all these years, are still highly sought after by collectors. Happy Birthday to an old friend, here’s for many more! "
~ Robert Benson

Author Robert Benson writes about rock/pop music, vinyl record collecting and operates Collecting Vinyl Records, where you can pick up a copy of his FREE ebook called "The Fascinating Hobby Of Vinyl Record Collecting." You can also have your vinyl records appraised at Vinyl Record Appraisals

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"Venus" by Shocking Blue

The Dutch group, Shocking Blue, had one smash hit in America, during the 60's.
"Venus" was on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 13 weeks and on February 1970 reached #1.

Initially the disc was a big hit in the Netherlands, where it reached #3 in the summer of 1969. It subsequently sold 350,000 copies in Germany, and topped the U.S. chart for three weeks, becoming the Netherlands first American #1 hit. It sold over one million copies in the U.S. by January 1970, and received a gold disc awarded by the Recording Industry Association of America. Global sales exceeded five million copies.

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Bad Boys of the 60's

The Beatles took over the decade of the 60's after 1964, when the "British Invasion" landed in the U.S., and the " Fab Four" had more #1 hits than any other group. But the "bad boys" of the 60's were also from Britian; Mick Jaggar and The Rolling Stones had "attitude". While the Beatles were sweet, smooth and sensitive, The Rolling Stones were arrogant, seductive and seemed just a little dangerous. The crowds, especially the young women, loved them. They had several #1 hits, including "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", "Ruby Tuesday", "Paint It Black" and "Honky Tonk Women". Their hits continued through the 70's and 80's, and they still do sold-out reunion concerts. Some of the Rolling Stones' songs which never made it to #1, but are cuts from their early albums are some of their best songs, and are not as well known.

Enjoy a very young Mick Jaggar on these videos:
"Play With Fire", "As Tears Go By", "Get Off My Cloud", and "It's All Over Now".

With the Rolling Stones.... it will never be over!

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Saturday, June 6, 2009

"Honey" ~ Bobby Goldsboro

This love ballad still makes me cry every time I hear it. "Honey" was a huge hit in 1968, it was #1 on the charts for five weeks. "Honey" was #1 on both the Country hit chart and the Adult Contemporary chart. It finished #16 for the decade. Bobby Goldsboro had a couple other hits, "See the Funny Little Clown", and "Watching Scotty Grow", but "Honey" was his only hit to reach #1.

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Friday, June 5, 2009


This was a well-known tv theme in the late 60's, "Seattle" was the theme song of the popular televison show, "Here Come the Brides". The story was about three brothers, Jason, Joshua and Jeremy Bolt, in frontier Seattle. The star of the show was the youngest brother, played by Bobby Sherman. Due to the popularity of the show, Bobby Sherman became a teen idol and had at least three hits in the top ten charts. His biggest hit was "Little Woman", followed by "Easy Come,Easy Go", and "Julie, Do You Love Me?"

Today, Bobby Sherman is a Los Angeles police officer. In this video, Bobby Sherman sings "Seattle", the theme from "Here Come the Brides", a family-friendly hit tv program, with scenes from the show. Fun memories!

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Thursday, June 4, 2009

"Love is Blue"

Another very popular instrumental from the 60's is "Love is Blue" by Paul Mauriat. According to the "Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits", "Love is Blue" came out in 1968 and was the #12 most popular song from 1960 through 1969. Do you remember this beautifully sweet melody?

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Love Theme From Romeo and Juliet

Forty years ago, this instrumental love song was on the top of the charts. It ranked #6 for the entire year of 1969. "A Time for Us", is from the soundtrack of the 1968 movie "Romeo and Juliet" by Franco Zeffirelli. I believe this was the most passionate and heart-wrenching movie ever made, and the musical score just intensified the story of young love denied. The soundtrack was composed by Henry Mancini, who had many other hits during the Sixties, but none will ever compare to this masterpiece.

This song, with the lyrics, was also recorded by many popular artists of the times, including Andy Williams and Johnny Mathis.

"A time for us some day there'll be
When chains are torn by courage born of a love that's free
A time when dreams so long denied
Can flourish as we unveil the love we now must hide

A time for us at last to see
A life worthwhile for you and me

And with our love through tears and thorns
We will endure as we pass surely through every storm
A time for us some day there'll be a new world
A world of shining hope for you and me

For you and me

And with our love through tears and thorns
We will endure as we pass surely through every storm
A time for us some day there'll be a new world
A world of shining hope for you and me

A world of shining hope for you and me"

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"Love Is All Around Me"

This is one of my favorite hits from the 60's (as you can see by my sidebar). "Love is All Around Me", by the Troggs is such a sweet love ballad. I think their top hit was another song that they did and everyone surely remembers, "Wild Thing", you make my heart sing! The Troggs were a very versatile group!

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Elvis Comeback Special 1968

"If I Can Dream" was the show closer of the December 3, 1968 Elvis Comeback Special. The show was the highest rated television special of the year.

I remember watching the show. It was my first introduction to Elvis Presley, since I was too young to remember his initial fame in the 1950's. In the years following 1968, I owned every Elvis album made during his comeback.

"If I Can Dream" was one of my favorites, it was almost like a gospel song and Elvis put his whole heart into it.

Elvis 1968 Comeback Show

"If I Can Dream"

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