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Friday on my Mind 154: Bend Me Shape Me

This is one of those songs which started out in the US and was recorded by a British band who had the bigger hit in the UK albeit this time with an altered lyric. Unusually the hit US version by The American Breed, which I think I prefer, also reached the UK charts. In the video below (set to the recording I would suggest, but with added screams) they were obviously hamming up the miming.

The American Breed: Bend Me Shape Me


Amen Corner: Bend Me Shape Me

Not Friday on my Mind 45: What Am I Doing Hanging Round?

For some reason this song came into my head this week.

Good enough reason to feature it here as a typical example of The Monkees’ ability to bang out a good tune. (Or or their handlers’ ability to pick one.)

The Monkees: What Am I Doing Hanging Round?

Friday on my Mind 153: Charles Brown

I had a comment this week on the post I made about my absolute favourite 1960s single, Rupert’s People’s Reflections of Charles Brown, to the effect that airplay for it had actually preceded the release of Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade Of Pale but a hiatus in its own resulted in “Reflections” losing out.

In my post I noted a previous version from which “Reflections” had been adapted. The comment reminded me to try to source that single again. And I have succeeded.

So here is Charles Brown as by Sweet Feeling, a much more psychedelic effort than “Reflections”.

Sweet Feeling: Charles Brown

The song was actually the B-side of All So Long Ago, which I append here:-

Sweet Feeling: All So Long Ago

Friday on my Mind 152: I’m Ready For Love

I’ve not used much Tamla Motown in this category but the driving beat of this song could almost sum up that label’s output in the mid-60s.

Martha Reeves and The Vandellas: I’m Ready For Love

Friday on my Mind 151: A Touch Of Velvet – A Sting Of Brass

A track by Mark Wirtz – he of the Teenage Opera – released as by The Mood Mosaic.

It seems this was used as the theme music for a German TV show called Musikladen among others.

How sixties does this sound?

Mood Mosaic: A Touch Of Velvet – A Sting Of Brass

Friday on my Mind 150: Captain Zeppos Theme – Living It Up

A curio.

For some reason the 60s TV import Captain Zeppos came into my head recently. The series was made in Belgium and as such was a very unusual thing to be shown in Britain where foreign-made programmes were very thin on the ground (bizarre animated shorts from Eastern Europe apart.)

I vaguely remembered Captain Zeppos as a sort of detective show but it seems it was much odder.

The tune was performed by Bert Kaempfert and his Orchestra. Kaempfert was a German band leader of the easy-listening type.

This is very typically European in its style.

Bert Kaempfert and his Orchestra: Living It Up

Friday on my Mind 149: Foot Tapper. RIP Brian Matthew

It was with great sadness I heard on Sunday of the death of Brian Matthew, one of the voices of my youth and, through the BBC Radio 2 programme Sounds of the Sixties, also of my recent adulthood.

This came only a few days after the BBC had mistakenly reported his death.

Despite his apparent dismay at a crass decision by the powers that be to replace him, and his stated intention to make further programmes for Radio 2, Mathew was obviously not as hale and hearty as he once was (none of us are.) There had been another lengthy absence from the programme a couple of years ago so the final news was merely a confirmation of what I had feared.

Whatever, Sounds of the Sixties is not – and never can be – the same without him. The new incumbent, Tony Blackburn, is far too chatty (what is all that stuff with Dermot O’Leary, who follows him on air? Just play the music and give us the information about the acts) and always sounds fundamentally unserious about the show’s contents. It’s Blackburn’s style and has always been his style but it grates somehow.

So. Here is the tune that will forever now be associated with Matthew – the one with which Sounds of the Sixties played (and plays) out every episode and which I will never in future be able to hear without a further tinge of sadness.

The Shadows: Foot Tapper

Brian Matthew: 17/9/1928 – 8/4/2017. So it goes.

Chuck Berry

Reading his obituary and a piece in the Guardian’s G2 brought home to me how important Chuck Berry was to the development of rock and roll and the music that followed it.

His heyday was in the 50s so I had kind of missed all that by being too young. I must have been aware of him somewhere in the background via the paltry amount of rock music on the radio in those times but I didn’t really come into contact with his music till the mid to late 60s when some of his singles were in the pile beside the record player at a youth club I went to. It’s therefore No Particular Place to Go and Memphis Tenessee I remember most particularly. It wasn’t actually till years later that I discovered No Particular Place to Go was a reworking of a 1957 song, School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes the Bell).

Not the least of his accomplishments was to irritate Mary Whitehouse with his ding-a-ling. (Well, it seems it was Dave Bartholomew’s ding-a-ling, but it was Chuck who annoyed Whitehouse.)

His personal life may not have been unblemished but he certainly has an impressive musical back catalogue, and that’s only the singles.

So here are those two Berry singles the second in a later live version.

Chuck Berry: No Particular Place to Go

Chuck Berry: Memphis Tenessee

Go Johnny go! Tell Tchaikovsky the news.

Charles Edward Anderson “Chuck” Berry: 18/10/1926 – 18/3/2017. So it goes.

End of an Era

Regular readers will know I occasionally mention the Radio 2 programme Sounds of the Sixties.

Barring two minor interludes when he was unwell, for all the time I’ve been listening to it – many years now – it has been compered by Brian Matthew, a well-known voice from the Light Programme of my youth. In fact he has introduced the show for 27 years.

Recently he has been absent for a span of time during which Tim Rice filled in. I was pleased when I learned on 18/2/17 that Matthew was set to return – as he did last Saturday, the 25th.

This turned out to be a temporary reprieve as Saturday’s episode was valedictory and Matthew informed us it would be his last ever Sounds of the Sixties.

Fair enough, Matthew is not a young man any more. I wish him well in his (part) retirement. I say part as he did say he would be introducing other Radio 2 shows from time to time in the future. But I’ll miss him.

The good lady and I speculated on who might or could replace him – neither of us thought Tim Rice had quite the timbre of voice for it – whether a star of the 60s or the only other DJ from that time presumably available (Johnnie Walker already ensconced in the Sounds of the Seventies seat) Tony Blackburn.

All was revealed in a trailer I heard on Sunday. It’s to be Blackburn. I suppose it’s the obvious choice. The show will feel very different, though. Blackburn does not have the gravitas that Matthew has.

Another change is that Sounds of the Sixties will now be aired at 6.00 am rather than 8.00 am as previously. That’ll be me listening on catch-up then.

If any of you still hanker after Matthew and his style that last show is available on the iPlayer for another three weeks or so.

Friday on my Mind 148: Birth

The Peddlers were a frequent sight on UK TV at the back end of the 1960s and very early 1970s but never had much chart success. Birth, from 1969, was their biggest hit.

The piano riff is reminiscent of the one in Elton John’s Border Song which came out in 1970.

The Peddlers: Birth

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