Archives » 1960s

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

Friday on my Mind 183: Death of a Clown

I remember at the time this came out there was some talk about the Kinks having too many good songs for them to all be released under their name, hence this song – mostly written by Dave but with a contribution from the group’s prime songwriter Ray – appeared as a Dave Davies solo venture, even though the Kinks played on it, and it sounded very much like the group. Later that year it was the second track on the Kinks’ fifth album Something Else by the Kinks.

Dave’s solo career petered out after the follow-up Suzannah’s Still Alive didn’t have as much success as this top five hit.

Dave Davies: Death of a Clown

Not Friday on my Mind 58: White Room – RIP Ginger Baker

As I’m sure everyone knows by now, the man credited with changing rock drumming for ever, Ginger Baker, died earlier this week.

He first came to my attention as part of Cream, the so-called first supergroup. I somehow didn’t notice their first single, Wrapping Paper, when it came out, but caught them on Top of the Pops with their second, I Feel Free. Then came Strange Brew and the other songs from Disraeli Gears.

I have already featured their imperious Badge, from 1969.

This track from Wheels of Fire, shows off Ginger’s drumming.

Cream: White Room

Peter Edward “Ginger” Baker: 19/8/1939 – 6/10/2019. So it goes.

Not Friday on my Mind 57: She’d Rather Be With Me

I bought two of the first three Turtles UK hits, Happy Together and Elenore.

Neither was the group’s biggest hit in the UK – at least according to chart position. They reached no 12 and no 7 respectively. However, as a no 4, their hit She’d Rather Be With Me, which came between those two, was more successful.

Maybe because it’s a kind of happy-go-lucky, cheer you up song.

The Turtles: She’d Rather Be With Me

Friday on my Mind 182: On the Road Again

An authentic blues song (it might not start, “Well I woke up this morning,” but each verse’s first line is repeated,) Canned Heat adapted On the Road Again from a Floyd Jones song which was itself derived from older blues material. Everything builds on everything. The drone effect (cf bagpipes) is as old as time. Well, as old as written music.

At the time it was released in the UK in 1968 it stood out from its surroundings.

Canned Heat: On the Road Again

Friday on my Mind 181: I’m the Urban Spaceman

A piece of one-off absurdism from 1968. One-off in the sense that the Bonzo Dog (Doo-Dah) Band didn’t trouble the charts again. The brackets I put in the name are because the band changed it – dropping the Doo-Dah (which had originally been Dada) – at around the time Urban Spaceman was released.

Yes, they were bonkers, but in a Monty Pythonish way. There was something in the air in Britain in the late sixties.

The song’s writer Neil Innes was a genius as his later work with The Rutles and The Innes Book of Records proved.

I remember a TV appearance where Viv Stanshall “played” the last musical phrase of Spaceman on a hose-pipe, while whirling it around his head.

The recording was produced by one Apollo C Vermouth (otherwise known as Paul McCartney.)

The Bonzo Dog Band: I’m the Urban Spaceman

free hit counter script