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Friday on my Mind 175: That’s the Way – RIP Honey Lantree

I had planned at some time to post The Honeycombs’ biggest hit Have I the Right? but since the passing of their drummer Honey Lantree* recently, this one, on which she sings as well as drums, seemed more appropriate.

The fact that she was the group’s drummer – and she could actually drum, and did not need, like many sixties acts, to rely on session musicians – was a selling point, a factor in the group’s success, and a focus of some bemusement among the unenlightened of the time.

The Honeycombs: That’s the Way

Ann Margot (Honey) Lantree; 28/8/1943 – 23/12/2018

Not Friday on my Mind 53: I See the Rain. RIP Dean Ford

I was sad to hear the news of the death of Dean Ford, lead singer of (The) Marmalade (once known as Dean Ford and the Gaylords,) the first Scottish group to have a no 1 in the UK. To make it, of course, they had to leave Scotland and move to London where their initial efforts under their original name didn’t meet with much joy. Calling themselves The Marmalade also didn’t bring instant success. It was only when they adopted a more pop profile – and with songs written by others – that they achieved a measure of success, peaking with that no. 1, a cover of The Beatles’ Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.

Ford was no mean song writer though. Along with fellow band member Junior Campbell he wrote Reflections of My Life, Rainbow, and My Little One, hits between 1969 and 1971.

Plus this pre-success psychedelia-tinged song, said to be Jimi Hendrix’s favourite of 1967.

The Marmalade: I See the Rain

Thomas McAleese (Dean Ford): 5/9/1946 – 31/12/2018. So it goes.

Not Friday on my Mind 52: Magic Carpet Ride

Steppenwolf’s other well known track. Never a hit in the UK. Then again, Born To Be Wild only reached no 30.

This seems to be a live performance of the album version with additional film inserts. There’s a touch more psychedelia than I’d remembered.

Steppenwolf: Magic Carpet Ride

Not Friday on my Mind 51: Ride My Seesaw

Previously all my Moody Blues posts have been of Justin Hayward songs. Neither he nor the writer of this, John Lodge, were original members of the band when it had its number one hit Go Now but replaced Denny Laine and Clint Warwick after a subsequent lack of chart success led to that pair leaving the band.

It was the arrival of Lodge and Hayward though which coincided with a change of direction – to which they made a significant contribution.

This video is a clip from the BBC2 late night programme Colour Me Pop partly introduced to showcase the then new colour TV broadcasts. Note the psychedelic effects. The Moody Blues’ appearance on the show was on 14th September 1968. I either watched it at the time of its first broadcast or on a reasonably quick repeat. Despite doing nothing but singing (or miming) on the clip Ray Thomas still manages to give an extravagant performance.

Though this track was written by Lodge it is Hayward’s guitar solo and the group’s signature vocal sound which stand out. The song quickly became a staple of the group’s live shows, more or less the band’s signature tune.

The Moody Blues: Ride My Seesaw

Friday on my Mind 174: Born To Be Wild

One of those sixties songs that speak of their time, mainly due to the fact it was used in the film Easy Rider, from which the video here is an extract.

Steppenwolf: Born To Be Wild

Friday on my Mind 173: You Only Live Twice

After From Russia with Love we were treated to the big bashing of both Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones in Goldfinger and Thunderball respectively in subsequent Bond theme songs. By the time of You Only Live Twice things had been dialled down a bit. I must say I like the guitar counterpoint under the verses (mirroring the strings in the intro but extending the melody by a few notes.) Robbie Williams, of course, paid homage to this theme in his hit Millennium.

By the way. Is it heretical to be of the opinion that Nancy Sinatra was a better singer than her dad?

Nancy Sinatra: You Only Live Twice

Friday on my Mind 172: From Russia With Love

Reading the book (see my review, four or five posts ago) reminded me of this Bond theme song from the time when Bond theme songs weren’t a thing. It does, though, give me an opportunity once more to feature the vocal talents of Matt Monro.

The song itself is a perfect example of the songwriter’s craft. The slight change in the melody from line one to line two, the way the first verse’s lyrics circle back to the first phrase, the sequential rhyming of places and faces, then tongue-tied and young pride and the rise to the final note.

Matt Monro: From Russia With Love

Friday on my Mind 171: (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman – RIP Aretha Franklin

Another giant of 60s (and later) music has gone.

Aretha Franklin was undoubtedly the best purveyor of the branch of music she excelled in. Not for nothing was she known as the Queen of Soul.

(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman wasn’t a hit in Britain. I’m not sure if it was ever released as one in the UK but her expression in this recording is the epitome of soul.

Aretha Franklin: (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

Her biggest solo hit in the UK in terms of chart placing was actually I Say a Little Prayer, in 1968:-

Aretha Franklin: I Say a Little Prayer

But only one word suffices to describe her achievements.

Respect.

Aretha Louise Franklin: 25/3/1942 – 16/8/2018. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 170: Early Morning

Speaking of Stuart Henry this is a track I remember him championing when he first started broadcasting for Radio 1.

It later featured on the first Barclay James Harvest album I bought, the retrospective compilation Early Morning Onwards which EMI put out on a budget label when the group jumped ship – or were they pushed? – to Polydor.

I probably liked Early Morning at the time due to the mellotron. Still do now.

Barclay James Harvest: Early Morning

Friday on my Mind 169: Reach Out I’ll Be There

As soon as I hear the first notes of this it takes me right back to when my family first got a transistor radio which kick-started my interest in popular music. It immediately conjures up the time and place – specifically listening to (the pirate) Radio Scotland and especially the late great Stuart Henry. This was the big hit at the time.

The Four Tops: Reach Out I’ll Be There

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