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Friday on my Mind 160: Happy Together

The Turtles were one of those male vocal groups the US seemed to produce so easily in the mid-60s. The Association and The Cowsills also spring to mind along with The Happenings. The Beach Boys, however, were always a cut above the rest.

Their name had an unfortunate resonance with the US label they signed for, White Whale, and they feared they might be thought of as a novelty group as a result. There were no such problems in the UK on London American.

The single of Happy Together seemed to hang about the lower reaches of the British charts for weeks before finally climbing into the top twenty, during which time I bought it, but it’s one of those which has had an extensive after-life, unlike its successors She’d Rather Be With Me and Elenore – both bigger hits in the UK (or at least higher chart placings.)

The Turtles: Happy Together

Not Friday on my Mind 47: Heaven and Hell. RIP George Young

Glasgow born George Young, member and songwriter (with Harry Vanda) of The Easybeats, after whose biggest hit this strand on my blog is named, has died.

His contribution to the Easybeats would alone have been enough to secure his standing in the history of rock music – especially Australian rock – but he subsequently was songwriter and producer for others, including AC/DC.

The Easybeats: Heaven and Hell

George Redburn Young: 6/11/1946 – 22/10/2017. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 159: William Chalker’s Time Machine

The Idle Race wasn’t the only Birmingham group to like (Here We Go Round) the Lemon Tree. The band that recorded the song here liked that earlier one so much they took their name from (part of) its title.

The somewhat psychedelic – not to say SF tinged – William Chalker’s Time Machine was written by Ace Kefford, who had just left The Move, and produced by Andy Fairweather-Low (of Amen Corner and solo fame) and Trevor Burton of …. The Move.

It didn’t bother the charts.

The Lemon Tree: William Chalker’s Time Machine

Not Friday on my Mind 46: (Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree

This Roy Wood song was originally planned as a single but ended up as the B-side of Flowers in the Rain famously the first song to be played on Radio 1, fifty years ago this week

There’s a great rhyme in the lyric: plans/underpants. Not to mention cider/beside her.

The Move:- (Here we go round) The Lemon Tree

Jeff Lynne (of ELO fame)’s first group The Idle Race also recorded it as a single but it was only released in Europe and the US.

The Idle Race: Here We Go ‘Round The Lemon Tree

Friday on my Mind 158: MacArthur Park

Back to Jimmy Webb.

His masterpiece. As sung by Richard Harris; a much superior version to that produced by Donna Summer in the 70s.

Richard Harris: MacArthur Park

Friday on my Mind 157: Carpet Man

The death of Glen Campbell and his rendering of Wichita Lineman (and Galveston) reminded me of how good a songwriter Jimmy Webb was. Webb’s style was kind of out of tune (ahem) for the times but there were still a lot of hits that came from his pen.

Looking it up I’m surprised this one wasn’t a hit in the UK. As I recall it a got a lot of airplay.

5th Dimension: Carpet Man

Friday on my Mind 156: Wichita Lineman – RIP Glen Campbell

Sad to hear the news earlier this week of the death of Glen Campbell.

He had one of the clearest voices in popular music. Though he had among other things previously been a touring member of The Beach Boys and I must have heard his version of By the Time I Get to Phoenix he first really came to my attention with Wichita Lineman written by Jimmy Webb which it seems Campbell recorded even though apparently Webb hadn’t finished the song.

This apparently live performance doesn’t have the “Morse Code” strings which come in at the end of the refrain.

Glen Campbell: Wichita Lineman

The video below – featuring clips from throughout Campbell’s career – does though, as the recorded version provides the backing.

Glen Campbell: Wichita Lineman

Glen Travis Campbell: 22/4/1936-8/8/2017. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 155: Dance Round the Maypole

Produced (and sung on) by Roy Wood of the Move, early ELO and Wizzard, this is an absolutely typical Roy Wood song (compare Blackberry Way) as credited to The Acid Gallery. Wood’s voice on the chorus is unmistakable though.

The Acid Gallery later became Christie (of Yellow River No 1 fame.)

The Acid Gallery: Dance Round the Maypole

Friday on my Mind 154: Bend Me Shape Me

This is one of those songs which started out in the US and was recorded by a British band who had the bigger hit in the UK albeit this time with an altered lyric. Unusually the hit US version by The American Breed, which I think I prefer, also reached the UK charts. In the video below (set to the recording I would suggest, but with added screams) they were obviously hamming up the miming.

The American Breed: Bend Me Shape Me


Amen Corner: Bend Me Shape Me

Friday on my Mind 153: Charles Brown

I had a comment this week on the post I made about my absolute favourite 1960s single, Rupert’s People’s Reflections of Charles Brown, to the effect that airplay for it had actually preceded the release of Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade Of Pale but a hiatus in its own resulted in “Reflections” losing out.

In my post I noted a previous version from which “Reflections” had been adapted. The comment reminded me to try to source that single again. And I have succeeded.

So here is Charles Brown as by Sweet Feeling, a much more psychedelic effort than “Reflections”.

Sweet Feeling: Charles Brown

The song was actually the B-side of All So Long Ago, which I append here:-

Sweet Feeling: All So Long Ago

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