Archives » 1960s

Friday on my Mind 209: Eloise. RIP Barry Ryan

I’ve been meanning to post Eloise here for ages but never quite got around to it. Sadly its singer Barry Ryan died last month. He had a few minor hits in the UK when in partnership with his twin brother Paul, who eventually gave up being onstage in favour of being a songwriter. Apparently influenced by Richard Harris’s success with the Jimmy Webb song MacArthur Park, Eloise was the fruit of that and became a no 2 hit in the UK (with some chart compilers having it at no 1.) Paul predeceased Barry in 1992. So it goes.

Eloise is almost sui generis (despite any comparison to MacArthur Park.) It doesn’t really sound like any other 1960s song. It could be said to be overproduced and overwrought but once heard is never forgotten. Dave Vanian of The Damned liked it so much he had the band record it in 1986, when it reached no 3 in the UK.

It was released under the credit Barry Ryan (with The Majority) but is always referred to as if Barry Ryan were the sole performer. He certainly gave it his all in the recording.

The follow-up to Eloise, the similarly overblown Love is Love, can be listened to here and The Damned version of Eloise here.

The clip is from the German pop show Beat Club.

Barry Ryan: Eloise

Barry Sapherson (Barry Ryan,) 24/1/0 1948 – 28/9/2021. So it goes.

Not Friday on my Mind 68: Soul Deep

This was the third UK hit for the Box Tops but it only reached no 22. It’s become something of a classic, though.

This clip sounds to be the recorded version played over footage of a TV appearance.

The Box Tops: Soul Deep

Friday on my Mind 208: That’s the Way God Planned It

Billy Preston holds the singular distinction of being the only other artist to feature as a named collaborator on a Beatles single. That was with Get Back and its B-side Don’t Let Me Down, both credited to The Beatles with Billy Preston.

In the wake of that he had a top ten hit of his own in 1969 with this song though.

Billy Preston: That’s the Way God Planned It

Friday on my Mind 207: The Price of Love. RIP Don Everly

Don Everly, half of pioneering rock music duo the Everly Brothers, who had an undeniable impact and influence on musical acts who succeeded them, including The Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel, died earlier this week. (I noted his brother Phil’s passing in 2014.)

Don was 81. (Astonishingly, the obituary in the printed edition of the Guardian said he was survived by his mother, who has therefore reached a very good age)

By the time I got to listening to music in the mid-60s the Everlys star had waned somewhat but their harmonies still had a distinctive edge.

This song, written by the brothers, was the Everlys last big hit in the UK.

The Everly Brothers: The Price of Love


Isaac Donald (Don) Everly: February 1/2/1937 –21/8/2021. So it goes.

Charlie Watts

Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts, never really one to seek the limelight so it’s a bit ironic he was a member of one of the biggest entertainment acts of the last 60 years, has died. He was a key contributor to that act’s sound.

I was of course aware of The Rolling Stones from frequent TV appearances before 1966 but that was the year my family finally got a transistor radio and I could listen to the radio on my own. As a result Let’s Spend the Night Together was the first Stones track that really made an impact on me.

This is a clip I remember vividly from Top of the Pops and shows Mick Jagger’s ability to sell a song. He’s moving around so much that the cameraman’s close-up fails to keep him in shot. Charlie drum rolls on this are delicious, though, and make the track.

As I recall some DJs and radio stations in the US objected to the implication in the song’s title and demanded it be changed to Let’s Spend Some Time Together.

The Rolling Stones: Let’s Spend the Night Together

That single’s double A-side, Ruby Tuesday, features some more signature drumming by Charlie.

The Rolling Stones: Ruby Tuesday

Charles Robert (Charlie) Watts: 2/6/1941 – 24/8/2021. So it goes.

Not Friday on my Mind 67: Lodi

This was Creedence Clearwater Revival’s immediate follow up to their no 1 hit Bad Moon Rising. It failed to chart in the UK. I still have a soft spot for it, though.

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Lodi

Friday on my Mind 206: Western Union

This is a very typical USian mid-60s sound. I certainly hear echoes of the Monkees.

The sentiments of the song are a rewriting of Return to Sender though.

The Five Americans: Western Union

Friday on my Mind 205: Birds and Bees

Another Deram release, this time DM 120. It was a top thirty hit only.

It has that baroque sound characteristic of mid 60s British pop though.

Warm Sounds: Birds and Bees

Something Changed 45: Bitter Sweet Symphony

One of the sounds of the nineties. Except for the strings, of course, which were sampled from a 1960s orchestral recording of The Rolling Stones’ The Last Time (which itself draws on This May be the Last Time by The Staple Singers) and were subject to a lawsuit.

The Verve: Bitter Sweet Symphony

Reelin’ in the Years 189: Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head. RIP B J Thomas

Sadly, another death. The second such post in a row. This time it was B J Thomas, best known for singing the song below which was used in the film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
The song was actually released in 1969 but didn’t become a hi until 1970 (though even then only a minor one in the UK, and his only one.)

Still remembered fondly.

B J Thomas: Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head

This is how the song was used in the film:-

Billy Joe Thomas; 7/8/1942–29/5/2021. So it goes.

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