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Friday on my Mind 191: The Sun Goes Down

A bit of psychedelia today. I previously described The Monkees as an unusual source of psychedelia. I would submit this group is equally unlikely.

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich: The Sun Goes Down

For comparison purposes here is the A-side from the same single. In this clip the group is obviously miming. Standard practice for the day, though.

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich: Zabadak

Friday on my Mind 190: RIP Phil May

The Pretty Things (whose member Phil May died last week) were a presence in and around my consciousness in the 1960s. I caught them on TV once and my father of course remarked they were far from pretty. Chart success mostly eluded them, though. However, I do recall vaguely that they were the first British band to sign to Tamla Motown in the US.

Like most early 1960s bands they started out playing the blues but they soon evolved. The were the first to produce a rock opera in the concept album (one of the first of those) S. F. Sorrow where they indulged psychedelic tendencies, but its release was messed up and it therefore appeared after The Who’s Tommy.

Below is an appearance from French TV in which they play a song from S. F. Sorrow. The introduction to this has pre-echoes of Greg Lake’s I Believe in Father Christmas and the visual styling and antics of the guy in the tricorne hat could have inspired The Alex Harvey Band.

The Pretty Things: Private Sorrow

Philip Dennis Arthur Wadey/Kattner (Phil May:) 9 /11/1944 – 15/5/2020. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 189: My Boy Lollipop (RIP Millie Small)

Millie, as Millie Small was known on her records, who has died this week, had one of the most distinctive hits of the early 1960s. My Boy Lollipop was the first bluebeat/ska song to be a hit but it was Millie’s delivery that really caught the ear. She just sounded so joyous.

Sadly that hit was more or less her only one and she did not gain much benefit from it.

Millie: My Boy Lollipop

Millicent Dolly May (Millie) Small: 6/10/1947 – 5/5/2020. So it goes.

The Cruiser Aurora, St Petersburg

The Cruiser Aurora is now the Russian Navy’s Ship No 1. It’s anchored by the Petrogradskaya Naberezhnaya (Petrograd Embankment) on the Bolshaya Nevka River, an offshoot of the River Neva, in St Petersburg. (The embankment link has a cracking aerial photo.)

The cruiser fired the blank shot which signalled the start of the October Revolution in 1917. It was also one of only three Russian ships to survive the Battle of Tsushima in the Russo-Japanese War.

I was really looking forward to seeing it again. I don’t remember the green paint at the waterline from when I visited in the 1960s, but we did hear someone say it had recently been repainted. It’s looking in very good nick.

Stern of Aurora:-

The Cruiser Aurora

Saltire:-

Saltire flown on the Cruiser Aurora

Gangplank and public access. There was a big queue at the ticket gate but we had only a short time at the quay anyway before we had to reboard the coach:-

Gangplank and Cruiser Aurora

Looking towards bow:-

The Cruiser Aurora Looking Sternwards.

View showing bow:-

Aurora

Flag at prow. It looks like a bit like a reconfigured Union Jack. It’s the Jack and fortress flag of the Russian Navy:-

Aurora flag

Aurora memorial stone on the quayside:-

Cruiser Aurora Memorial Stone

The St Petersburg Naval Academy is also on the embankment opposite the Aurora. This statue outside the St Petersburg Naval Academy is of the famous (in Russia) Admiral Pavel Stepanovich Nakhimov, for a further picture on the net see here:-

Statue of Admiral, St Petersburg Naval Academy

Just round the corner on the the Petrovskaya Embankment was this monument to the three-hundredth Anniversary of the Russian Navy. Cruiser Aurora to right and Naval Academy in background in first picture:-

Russian Navy Three-Hundredth Anniversary Monument, St Petersburg

St Petersburg, Russian Navy's Three-Hundredth Anniversary Monument,

THe plaza between it and the Naval Academy had a nice fountain. The lamp standards are a good design too:-

A Fountain, St Petersburg,

Not Friday on my Mind 60: From Home

From home is where we’re all doing things at the moment. It brought this to mind.

(Not that the song has anything to do with coronavirus. Keep safe everyone.)

It was the B-side of Wild Thing, at least in the UK.

There’s that earthy very Troggy quality to this and listening to it again it presages both punk and Adam and the Aunts.

There’s a video clip here of the group performing it live in 1967.

The Troggs: From Home

Innerleithen War Memorial

Innerleithen is a small town on the A 72 in Tweeddale, the Scottish Borders, in Peebleshire as was.

For a few years in the 1960s my grandfather (the original Jack Deighton) and grandmother Margery, lived in the town. It’s been one of my favourite places ever since.

Innerleithen War Memorial is an erect stone slab set in the grounds of the Memorial Hall off the B 709, at the junction between Leithen Road and Chapel Street. The gate is inscribed Innerleithen War Memorial:-

Innerleithen War Memorial

Innerleithen War Memorial

Dedications. “Pro Patria” inside a wreath flanked by “1914 – 1918,” Great War Names.”1939 – 1945,” and an additional lower plaque for a 1939 – 1945 addended name:-

Innerleithen War Memorial

Friday on my Mind 188: But You Know I Love You. RIP Kenny Rogers.

The usual output of Kenny Rogers who died last weekend, The Gambler, Coward of the County etc, isn’t really my cup of tea. It is undeniable however that he had a big following.

I had been toying with the idea of using this group’s second UK hit in this spot for some while and this would have been an ideal opportunity but I decided its title might be a little insensitive in connection with someone recently deceased. (It was also from 1970.)

Here’s one that wasn’t a UK hit at all but whose refrain has stuck in my mind for all those years – without me really remembering who had sung it.

The First Edition: But You Know I Love You

I note that Kenny’s Guardian obituary (see link above) says Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town, the group’s first UK hit, was written from the viewpoint of a Vietnam veteran. At the time the story was that “the crazy Asian war” of the song’s lyric was actually the Korean War.

Kenneth Donald (Kenny) Rogers: 21/8/1938 – March 20/3/2020. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 187: You Don’t Own Me

This wasn’t a hit for Lesley Gore in the UK (those came only with It’s My Party and Maybe I Know) but when it soars into the chorus with “Don’t tell me what to do…” it is absolutely representative of songs from the early 1960s, though the sentiment it embodies wasn’t.

Lesley Gore: You Don’t Own Me

Not Friday on my Mind 58: Wild Honey

Where does this stand in the panoply of Beach Boys’ singles?

Not very high if you go by its chart placing (no 29 in the UK.)

But to me it’s up there. Not as high as God Only Knows or Good Vibrations certainly, but it’s from that time when the Beach Boys were in their mid-60s pomp.

And it’s also not all that Beach Boys-y.

The Beach Boys: Wild Honey

Friday on my Mind 185: You Can Never Stop Me Loving You – RIP Kenny Lynch

One of the few black British entertainers – one of the few black faces – to appear on British television in the early 1960s, belonged to Kenny Lynch, who has died this week.

There were US acts of course, such as Sammy Davis Jr, Nat King Cole and Harry Belafonte and Blues and Motown artistes would feature on shows such as Ready, Steady Go! and Top of the Pops but as for British performers Lynch was just about it.

There were quite a few strings to Lynch’s bow, singing on variety shows, popping up on game shows – always with a cheerful demeanour – and he also had a career as an actor but among other songs Lynch wrote Sha La La La La Lee which became a hit for the Small Faces. He was also the first singer to cover a Beatles song (Misery.)

This is his joint biggest UK hit. On it Lynch sounds a bit like Sam Cooke. No small praise.

Kenny Lynch: You Can Never Stop Me Loving You

Kenneth Lynch: 18/3/1938 – 18/12/2019. So it goes.

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