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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

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 180: A Scene In-Between

I’ve not had a piece of psychedelia for a while. This is a USian take on the form that wasn’t a hit there – or here.

Stained Glass were originally called The Trolls. I suppose they were about thirty years ahead of the time with that. There might have been some sort of Scandinavian connection though.

Stained Glass: A Scene In-Between

Friday on my Mind 179: Move Over Darling – RIP Doris Day

While I was away Doris Day died. Her heyday was in the 1940s and 50s – the latter mostly as a film star – but her recording career spilled over into the 1960s and included this belter, part-written by her son, 1960s record producer Terry Melcher.

The song has a peculiarity in that of the fourteen times the title’s words are sung during it, only two of these are uttered by Day herself.

This is an unusual stereo version.

Doris Day: Move Over Darling

Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff (Doris Day:) 3/4/1922 – 13/5/2019. So it goes.

Not Friday on my Mind 56: There’s a Kind of Hush – RIP Les Reed

Songwriter (well, tune writer: he collaborated with lyricists to complete his songs) Les Reed died last week.

Writing for the likes of Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck, Reed was never the most credible with the rock crowd but he helped create a formidable catalogue of notable songs of the 1960s.

It’s Not Unusual, The Last Waltz, I’m Coming Home, Delilah and I Pretend all made No 1 or 2, not a bad achievement for anybody – even if these were mostly bought by Mums and Dads.

Then there’s this song from 1967 (lyric by Geoff Stephens,) and later recorded by The Carpenters.

Herman’s Hermits: There’s a Kind of Hush

Leslie David (Les) Reed: 24/7/1935 – 15/4/2019. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 178: Jackie

One of the most distinctive and influential songers of the 1960s and 70s (and beyond) left us this week. Scott Walker.

In the Guardian there were no less than three pieces about Walker and his legacy in the Monday issue (25/3/2019).

Had he only been a member of The Walker Brothers his memory would have been secure via that string of huge hits they had in the mid-60s. Then there was their monumental cover of Tom Rush’s No Regrets in their “comeback” in the 1970s to which his phrasing made such a difference.

The clarity of his voice can be heard in his solo recording of Joanna, a Jackie Trent and Tony Hatch song to which he contributed some of the lyric and which managed to reach no 7 in the UK charts.

His dissatisfaction with simple balladeering though led him to wider and wider experimentation and a uniqur place in pop history.

Among his many signature moments was his version of the Jacques Brel song Jacky in a translation by Mort Shuman.

Scott Walker: Jackie

Noel Scott Engel (Scott Walker): 9/1/1943 – 22/3/2019. So it goes.

Not Friday on my Mind 55: These Boots Were Made for Walkin’

This is another record on which Hal Blaine (see last week’s post) played drums, the song one of the fruits of Sinatra’s working relationship with Lee Hazlewood.

This video is something else. OK, I get the fact that the performers’ boots were being emphasised, but the skirts didn’t need to be so short for that did they?

Nancy Sinatra: These Boots Were Made for Walkin’

Friday on my Mind 177: Be My Baby – RIP Hal Blaine

The list of hits on which Hal Blaine played drums is enormous. His obituary in the Guardian mentions only a few. A fuller (though possibly partial) list is here. Looking at that it could almost be said that he was the sound of the sixties.

He was certainly a major component of the “wall of sound” on those Phil Spector productions he played on. No more so than on Be My Baby.

The Ronettes: Be My Baby

Harold Simon Belsky (Hal Blaine): 5/2/1929 – 11/3/2019. So it goes.

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