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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.

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

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.

Friday on my Mind 184: Suspicious Minds

There hasn’t been an Elvis Presley record in any of my music posts – until now: mainly because I was never a particular fan of his.

This song, however, is worth a listen.

Elvis Presley: Suspicious Minds

For comparison purposes here is the original version of the song by its writer (F Zambon if you can make out the record label) singing as Mark James. I assume that Zambon had to give up most of the rights to this for Elvis to record it. His manager, Colonel Parker, was notoriously sharkish in that regard.

Mark James: Suspicious Minds

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