Archives » 1960s

Friday on my Mind 194: A Whiter Shade of Pale

I suppose this track really ought to have been much higher up this list. However, I didn’t want the category to contain any obvious songs from the 60s (hence no Beatles, no Rolling Stones) nor – certainly after a few weeks – repeats of the same artist. When I posted the band’s Shine on Brightly I thought I had already featured Homburg here. (I had, but before I started the Friday on my Mind category.)

A Whiter Shade of Pale is so quintessentially 60s that it’s a bit clichéd as an exemplar from the decade.

But this still sounds so fresh, possibly because of its source material, Bach’s Air on the G String.

The original video/film was surely in black and white. That’s certainly how I remember it. This one must have been colourised.

Anyway here’s where Prog Rock might be said to have begun – at least in the public’s mind.

Procol Harum: A Whiter Shade of Pale

Friday on my Mind 193: Um, Um, Um, Um, Um and Pamela, Pamela. RIP Wayne Fontana

Another name from the 1960s, Wayne Fontana, died last week. He first came to public attention when fronting Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders with whom he had the unusually named hit Um, Um, Um, Um, Um (though, given the way the band pronounced it, it would be better rendered as “Mm, Mm, Mm, Mm, Mm.”)

Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders: Um, Um, Um, Um, Um

After splitting with the Mindbenders, Fontana had several hits of his own, of which this was the biggest.

Wayne Fontana: Pamela, Pamela

Glyn Geoffrey Ellis (Wayne Fontana:) 28/10/1945 – 6/8/ 2020. So it goes.

Reelin’ in the Years 177: Only You Can. RIP Kenny Young

The song-writer and producer of 1970s band Fox died earlier this week. He also wrote Captain of Your Ship – a hit for Reparata and the Delrons in the 60s – Under the Boardwalk and some hits for Clodagh Rodgers.

A list of his hit songs is on Wikipedia.

The biggest of those in the UK were recorded by Fox. This looks like a Top of the Pops appearance.

Fox: Only You Can

Shalom Giskan (Kenny Young,) 14/4/1941 – 14/4/2020. So it goes.

Not Friday on my Mind 61: Oh Well – RIP Peter Green

I was so sad to hear of the death of guitarist Peter Green, late of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, the first incarnation of Fleetwood Mac and the Peter Green Splinter Group.

I have featured his music before here and Here. Both of those songs speak of a troubled mind and it is no secret that Green found life and fame difficult (not helped by taking LSD.)

His work speaks for itself though.

The first clip – Oh Well Part 1 is a live performance and misses out the acoustic last part.

Fleetwood Mac: Oh Well Part 1:-

That acoustic part was repeated at the beginning of Oh Well Part 2 so is included below.

Fleetwood Mac: Oh Well Part 2:-

Peter Allen Greenbaum (Peter Green,) 29/10/1946 – 25/7/2020. So it goes.

Ennio Morricone

Composer Ennie Morricone‘s death this week was well marked. He was one of the few film composers whose name was known to the wider public. All in all he composed scores of, em, scores.

Back in the day my elder brother took a liking to the music from Sergio Leone’s “Dollars” films starring Clint Eastwood (and bought the soundtracks as I recall) so I remember this, which absolutely screams Western film tune, well:-

Theme to A Fistful of Dollars

Morricone’s theme to the third film in the trilogy, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, was turned into a UK number one hit by Hugo Montenegro and his Orchestra.

Later, Morricone’s Chi Mai became the title music to the TV Series The Life and Times of David Lloyd George on the back of which it also found chart success, but only to number 2.

Chi Mai

Ennnio Morricone: 10 /11/1928 – 6/7/2020. So it goes.

Edited to add; I forgot Gabriel’s Oboe composed for the film, The Mission.

Friday on my Mind 192 and Reelin’ in the Years 175: The In Crowd

I give you two for the price of one this week. (Not that either of them actually costs anything.)

The In Crowd was hit in both these decades, first for Dobie Gray in 1965, then for Brian Ferry in 1974.

Here’s Dobie Gray in a US TV appearance.

Dobie Gray: The In Crowd

Ferry’s treatment of the song is a little different.

Brian Ferry: The In Crowd

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,

free hit counter script