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Friday on my Mind 141: RIP John D Loudermilk

I only discovered this week that John D Loudermilk has also gone from us this year.

He didn’t have a hit in his own right in the UK but was the composer of several for others.

Tobacco Road was covered by the Nashville Teens,

The Nashville Teens: Tobacco Road

This Little Bird by Marianne Faithfull,

Marianne Faithfull: This Little Bird

and Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian – which I remember as titled (The Lament of the Cherokee) Indian Reservation; a change which makes the lament a more general rather than individual one – by Don Fardon.

Don Fardon: Indian Reservation

John D. Loudermilk: 31/3/1934 – September 21/9/2016. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 140: Journey to the Centre of the Mind

I’ve not posted a piece of psychedelia for a while so here are The Amboy Dukes performing on Spanish TV.

The Amboy Dukes: Journey to the Centre of the Mind

Friday on my Mind 139: Big Time Operator

This breezy single from 1966 became a minor hit. I have a soft spot for it mainly because of the large number of rhymes it employs for operator – only the first of which, paper, doesn’t really work.

A newsboy on a paper, I worked an elevator, I knew that later, a higher rater, big time operator.
I drove an excavator, wine and (brandy?) waiter, decorator, estimator, big time operator.
As an air-line navigator, crime investigator, commentator, illustrator, big time operator.

I suppose they had rhyming dictionaries back then but it’s still quite a feat to work all of these into the song’s rhythm.

Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band: Big Time Operator

Friday on my Mind 138: Take Good Care of My Baby: RIP Bobby Vee

In the early 1960s it seemed that all you needed to be a successful North American male singer was to be called Bobby. Bobby Darin, Bobby Vee, Bobby Rydell all had hits then. The middle one of those, Bobby Vee, died this week.

Singer of the outrageously catchy Rubber Ball, and teen ballads like More Than I Can Say and Run to Him, the admonitory The Night has a Thousand Eyes and the yearning Take Good Care of My Baby, Vee’s star fell along with that style of recording once the Beatles came along.

Take Good Care of my Baby was a typically breezy sounding song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King with an attendant less than breezy lyric. Note those plucked strings fixing its vintage.

Bobby Vee: Take Good Care of My Baby

Robert Thomas Velline (Bobby Vee): 30/4/1943–24/10/2016. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 137: Al Capone; Madness; One Step Beyond

Prince Buster, who has died recently, was one of the instigators of ska and rock-steady and hence of course influential on the eventual development of reggae.

He only had the one hit in the UK in the 1960s though.

Prince Buster: Al Capone

His music was of course an inspiration for the group Madness who not only took their name from one of Buster’s songs (which they performed as the B-side to their first hit) –

Prince Buster: Madness

– but also covered his One Step Beyond for their second UK chart entry.

Prince Buster: One Step Beyond

Cecil Bustamente Campbell (Prince Buster): 24/5/1938-8/9/2016. So it goes.

Not Friday on my Mind 43: Darling Be Home Soon

The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Summer in the City was the second song I featured in my Friday on my Mind spot. This song could hardly be more different, wistful rather than joyful, restrained as opposed to exuberant.

Whether the story is apocryphal or not I recall reading that guitarist Zal Yanovsky didn’t like the direction the group was taking hence his hamming up on TV appearances such as this one.

The Lovin’ Spoonful: Darling Be Home Soon

Friday on my Mind 136: White Bird

From last week’s slightly ridiculous to the more sublime, a 1969 effort from the idiosyncratically named band It’s a Beautiful Day one of whose members, David LaFlamme, favoured a five stringed violin.

It’s a Beautiful Day: White Bird

Friday on my Mind 135: Excerpt From “A Teenage Opera”

I mentioned this song once before. Its singer Keith West also had an incarnation with the band Tomorrow.

The Teenage Opera from which this was an excerpt did not make its full appearance until thirty years or so later.

As you can imagine being named Jack and at school at a time when a song with the refrain “Grocer Jack” became a hit wasn’t an unalloyed joy.

Keith West: Excerpt From “A Teenage Opera”

Not Friday on my Mind 41: Paradise Lost

The Herd’s follow-up to From the Underworld kind of carried on from where that one left off but Paradise Lost was still a very odd concoction, with its intro and coda reminiscent of The Stripper but Prog leanings elsewhere.

(By contrast the band’s third single – which I featured in a different context here – was straightforward bouncy pop song.)

The Herd: Paradise Lost

Friday on my Mind 134: From the Underworld

When a very young Peter Frampton joined The Herd, the group with whom he made his name, they had just been dropped by Parlophone, but simultaneously brought in composers Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley, who had written a barrowload of hits for Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich and signed up to Fontana. The songs concocted for the Herd were of a different order to those hits though. Elements of psychedelia and glimmerings of prog rock are here.

The Herd: From the Underworld

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