Archives » 1960s

Not Friday on my Mind 73 and Reelin’ in the Years 203: Black Magic Woman

One of Fleetwood Mac’s early singles from the Peter Green era, revived by Santana in 1970.

Fleetwood Mac: Black Magic Woman

Santana: Black Magic Woman

Friday on my Mind 218: I Know I’m Losing You. RIP Joe Messina

It was just after I got back from my holiday that I saw the obituary of Joe Messina, one of the Funk Brothers, the session musicians behind the success of the Tamla-Motown record label.

Messina’s rhythm guitar was a potent driving force in the groove of those records. This is only one of the hits he played on.

The Temptations: I Know I’m Losing You

Joseph Lucian (Joe) Messina: 13/12/1928 – April 4/4/2022. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 217: Black Is Black

Spanish pop groups were an unusual presence in the UK charts in the 60s. Los Bravos, though, managed to get to no 2 with their first single release in Britain in 1966.

I can’t say I remember they had another ‘hit’ but Wikipedia begs to differ. I’ve listened to both the singles listed in that link as UK hits and absolutely no bells rang.

I’ll count them as one-hit wonders.

Los Bravos: Black Is Black

Friday on my Mind 216: Sway – RIP Bobby Rydell

Bobby Rydell was one of those seemingly never ending succession of singers named Bobby (others include Bobbies Vee and Darin) who materialised out of the US at the back end of the 1950s into the 1960s.) I think it’s fair to say his style was that of the popular entertainer.

Sadly he died last week.

I chose to feature this one of his songs because it was one of my elder brother’s records and so familiar to me from my youth. Also because I quite like the Latin style swing it has. It was written as ¿Quién será? by Mexican composers Luis Demetrio and Pablo Beltrán Ruiz.

Bobby Rydell: Sway

Roberto Louis (Bobby) Ridarelli: 26/4/1942 – 5/4/2022. So it goes.

Not Friday on my Mind 72, and Live It Up 90: Days

One of Ray Davies’s more understated compositions. A no 12 for The Kinks in 1968 and also a no 12 for Kirsty MacColl in 1989.

The Kinks:- Days

Kirsty MacColl: Days


Friday on my Mind 215: It’s Good News Week

Hedgehoppers Anonymous was a band formed from RAF personnel. Hedgehoppers was RAF slang for aircraft flying low.

I must confess I thought they were one hit wonders but their Wikipedia page says they had a no 58 with a song called Daytime. Not that no 58 really constitutes a hit. It’s Good News Week reached no 5.

It was one of those protest songs which were so prevalent in the 1960s.

Hedgehoppers Anonymous: It’s Good News Week

Not Friday on my Mind 71: A Salty Dog. RIP Gary Brooker

I saw in the Guardian that Gary Brooker, the voice (and more besides) of Procol Harum has died.

His voice was certainly distinctive, as was Procol Harum’s output: a rock band , yes, but more. And of course one of the progenitors of Prog Rock.

This was Procol Harum’s fourth hit, if that description can be applied to a song that reached no 44. Despite its downbeat sound and slow pace I’ve always thought it one of their best.

Procol Harum: A Salty Dog

This video contains a very good live version – with accompaniment – and an added bonus of An Old English Dream. (On this occasion I’ll ignore his comment about the Euro.)

Procol Harum and the Danish National Concert Orchestra and Choir: A Salty Dog and An Old English Dream

Gary Brooker: 29/5/1945 – 19/2 /2022. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 214: When I Was Young

This wasn’t the first single Eric Burdon released after the original Animals broke up (that would be Help Me Girl) nor was it the most successful, barely scraping the UK top 40. There’s a touch of psychedelia in it, though.

This video is of a performance on US TV.

Eric Burdon and the Animals: When I Was Young

Friday on my Mind 213: Baby I Love You

I heard on the radio yesterday morning that Ronnie Spector, lead singer of The Ronettes, has died.

The Ronettes early success came under the production of Phil Spector – the quintessential US sound of the early 1960s.

Their first hit Be My Baby also featured the wonderful drumming of Hal Blaine.

This was their second.

The Ronettes: Baby I Love You

Veronica Greenfield (Veronica Yvette Bennett, aka Ronnie Spector:) 10/8/1943 –12/1/2022. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 212: To Sir With Love. RIP Sidney Poitier

Actor Sidney Poitier died late last week.

He was certainly a good actor but will be forever remembered as the first black man to win an Oscar for Best Male Actor for his performance in Lilies of the Field. While he was later criticised for essentially presenting an ‘acceptable’ black demeanour to the wider public he was nevertheless a trail blazer for later black actors. (Their success would no doubt have come eventually but his probably made it easier for them to break through.)

His most productive year was probably 1967 when he starred in three high profile films In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and To Sir With Love.

The theme song from the last of those – sung by Lulu who also had a role in the film – made it to no 1 in the US but was only released as a B-side in the UK. I have always quite liked it however and I’ll never have a better excuse to feature it here.

Lulu: To Sir With Love

Sidney Poitier: 20/2/1927 – 6/1/2022. So it goes.

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