Saturday, April 30, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: May 1

1955:  Elvis Presley played three concerts at the Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans, Louisiana.
1955:  Leonard Chess signed Chuck Berry to a recording contract.

1957:  The Kingston Trio formed in Palo Alto, California.
1957:  Elvis Presley was on the cover of the first issue of 16 Magazine.
1961:  Tony Orlando had his first hit with "Halfway To Paradise".
1961:  "(Dance The) Mess Around" by Chubby Checker is on the list of biggest movers of all-time.  The song never peaked great , but on this date it was one of the hottest songs around, moving from 79-28.
1961:  Del Shannon continued to own the #1 song with "Runaway", one of The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era*.
1962:  The Beatles began a month-long gig at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany.

New Featured Unknown/Underrated Song: The Animals with "We Gotta' Get Out Of This Place"

A new song in the spotlight this week as we feature the great songs that did not make the Top 10 but should have:

"We Gotta' Get Out Of This Place"

Written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil

In this dirty old part of the city,
Where the sun refuse to shine,
People tell me there ain't no use in trying.

Now my girl you're so young and pretty,
And one thing I know is true,
You'll be dead before your time is due.
I know...

Watch my daddy in bed and tired;
Watch his hair been turning gray;
He's been working and slaving his life away.
Oh yes, I know it!

He's been working so hard,
I've been working too, babe,
Every night and day,
Yeah!  Yeah!  Yeah!  Yeah!

We gotta' get out of this place,
If its the last thing we ever do.
We gotta' get out of this place,
'Cause girl, there's a better life
For me and you.

Now my girl you're so young and pretty,
And one thing I know is true, yeah.
You'll be dead before your time is due.
I know it...

Watch my daddy in bed and tired;
Watch his hair been turning gray.
He's been working and slaving his life away.
I know...

He's been working so hard,
I've been working too babe,
Every day, baby...
Yeah!  Yeah!  Yeah!  Yeah!

We gotta' get out of this place,
If its the last thing we ever do.
We gotta' get out of this place,
Girl, there's a better life
For me and you.
Somewhere, baby,
Somehow I know it, baby.

We gotta' get out of this place,
If its the last thing we ever do.
We gotta' get out of this place,
Girl, there's a better life for me and you.
Believe me, baby.
I know it ,baby.
You know it too.

Friday, April 29, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: April 30

1957:  Elvis Presley recorded the classic "Jailhouse Rock".  (Note:  Some websites report that Presley recorded the song "Jailhouse Rock" on April 30 and May 3, and some say that he recorded it in three sessions--2 on April 30 and May 3 at Radio Recorders and 1 at MGM Studios in Hollywood, California.  Presley did record songs for the movie 'Jailhouse Rock' on those other two days, but according to the book 'Elvis Presley:  A Life In Music' by Ernst Jorgensen, Presley completed recording of the song "Jailhouse Rock" on April 30 at Radio Recorders.)
1960:  Fats Domino recorded "Walking To New Orleans".

1960:  The Everly Brothers began seven weeks at the top of the U.K. chart with "Cathy's Clown".  It was the first release from new record company Warner Brothers.

  1962:  Ray Charles released the single "I Can't Stop Loving You".

The Top 100 Songs of 1966: #10-1

In 1966, Jan Berry crashed his Corvette into a parked truck on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, suffering brain damage.  It cut Berry's touring down considerably, he was in poor health for the rest of his life and he died in 2004.  Meanwhile 26-year-old Jack Nicklaus won both the Masters and the British Open.  

Fifty years later, these are the 10 songs from 1966 that are the most popular:

The Top 100 Songs of 1966: #20-11

Janet Jackson, Halle Berry and Stephen Baldwin were all born in 1966.  The Beach Boys released their masterpiece, Pet Sounds.  The Beatles began recording their landmark album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in November, the same month that actor Ronald Reagan was elected governor of California.  

And on the radio, these 10 songs were among the best of the year:


Wouldn't It Be Nice
Beach Boys

From that great Pet Sounds album, the Beach Boys hit #8 with this song.

California Dreamin'

the Mamas and the Papas

One of the things that makes this song memorable is the alto flute solo.  The alto flute is larger than a regular flute, and the solo on Song #19* was played by jazz musician Bud Shank.


Sunshine Superman

While Donovan was being sued by Pye Records for leaving that company, this masterpiece sat on the shelves for seven months.  There is no doubt where it was headed when finally released--#1.


Summer In The City
Lovin' Spoonful

Lead singer John Sebastian, Spoonful bassist Steve Boone and Sebastian's brother (not a member of the group) wrote this song.  As John told Uncut magazine in 2014: "That song that came from an idea my brother Mike had. He had this great chorus, and the release was so big. I had to create some kind of tension at the front end to make it even bigger. That's where that jagged piano part comes from."


Reach Out I'll Be There
Four Tops

The famous Motown songwriting team of Eddie Holland, Lamont Dozier and Brian Holland wrote this for the Four Tops.  They told super lead singer Levi Stubbs to sing it like Bob Dylan did on "Like A Rolling Stone", which explains the urgency in the vocal.


Bobby Hebb

We're up to one of the most-played songs in history, written by Bobby Hebb in tribute to U.S. president John Kennedy and to Hebb's brother, both of whom died on the same day.  The two events put Hebb in a deep depression; he came out of it by insisting on writing a song that "one should always look on the bright side".


Nowhere Man

The #14 Song of 1966* opens with three-part harmony from Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison.  Lennon kept the original copy of his handwritten lyrics and in 2003, the lyrics fetched $455,500 at an auction by Christie's of New York City.  


Paint It, Black
Rolling Stones

Stones guitarist Brian Jones played the sitar on this song, and it was just the touch it needed to give the group their third #1 song in two years.


Good Lovin'
Young Rascals

After their first release, "I Ain't Gonna' Eat Out My Heart Anymore", stalled at #52, this song went to #1 for the Young Rascals.  It is one of 27 #1 songs for the year.


Homeward Bound
Simon & Garfunkel

This song was recorded in New York City in the same late-night session that gave us The #21 Song of 1966*--"I Am A Rock".

Thursday, April 28, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: April 29

1963:  Lesley Gore released the single "It's My Party".

1967:  Jimi Hendrix, Cat Stevens, Engelbert Humperdinck and the Walker Brothers played two concerts at Bournemouth Winter Gardens in England.
1967:  Aretha Franklin remained atop the R&B chart for a sixth week with "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)".
1967:  "Groovin'" by the Young Rascals was the hottest new song, as it soared from 79 to 49.

The Top 100 Songs of 1966: #30-21

Miniskirts were all the rage in 1966, a year that also saw the debut of the television series Mission:  Impossible.  The most popular shows on TV were Bonanza, The Red Skelton Hour, The Andy Griffith Show, The Lucy Show and The Jackie Gleason Show.  Bill Russell led Boston to its eighth consecutive NBA championship, while Green Bay defeated Dallas to win the NFL championship.

And on the radio, these 10 songs were among the year's best:


Mellow Yellow


A Groovy Kind Of Love


Do You Believe In Magic
Lovin' Spoonful


Poor Side Of Town
Johnny Rivers


Barbara Ann
Beach Boys


The Ballad Of The Green Berets
SSsgt. Barry Sadler


Winchester Cathedral
New Vaudeville Band


Wild Thing


Last Train To Clarksville


I Am A Rock
Simon & Garfunkel

The Top 100 Songs of 1966: #40-31

1966, the year the first Star Trek episode aired (on September 8), The Sound of Music captured Best Picture and the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 4 games to 0 to win the World Series.  And, these 10 songs were included in the soundtrack for those times:


Sloop John B
Beach Boys


My World Is Empty Without You


19th Nervous Breakdown
Rolling Stones


God Only Knows
Beach Boys


I Fought The Law
Bobby Fuller Four


Lovin' Spoonful


Five O'Clock World


96 Tears
? and the Mysterians


Bus Stop


Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
Bob Dylan

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: April 28

1956:  Little Richard earned a third week at #1 on the R&B chart with "Long Tall Sally".
1958:  The Big Beat Show, Alan Freed's rock and roll show, had two performances at Central High School Auditorium in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  The tour featured Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Frankie Lymon, the 
Diamonds, the Chantels, Danny & the Juniors and others.

The Top 100 Songs of 1966: #50-41

We move into the top half of the countdown.  1966 was very close to 1965 in quality, and we continue with 10 more:


Ain't Too Proud To Beg


Land Of 1,000 Dances
Wilson Pickett


These Boots Are Made For Walkin'
Nancy Sinatra


Walk Away Renee
Left Banke


Hanky Panky
Tommy James & the Shondells


Red Rubber Ball


Born Free
Andy Williams


Time Won't Let Me


Black Is Black
Los Lobos


Paul Revere & the Raiders

The Top 100 Songs of 1966: #60-51

A reminder that the rankings we show are not the way these songs were ranked back in 1966--those rankings contained several "flashes in the pan" that were here then, gone now.  These rankings are based on how the songs have stood the test of time by continuing to receive airplay and continuing to sell.  Here are 10 more:

Flowers On The Wall
Statler Brothers

Working My Way Back To You
4 Seasons

Lil' Red Riding Hood
Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs

Yellow Submarine

She's Just My Style
Gary Lewis & the Playboys


Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind?
Lovin' Spoonful

That's Life
Frank Sinatra

My Generation

I'm Your Puppet
James & Bobby Purify

It Was A Very Good Year
Frank Sinatra

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Up Next in Our Yearly Rechecks...

As you're enjoying the look back at 1966, Inside The Rock Era will look next at the other years due for class reunions--1976 (40-year), 1986 (30-year), 1991 (25-year), 1996 (20-year) and 2006 (10-year).  These are a super source for those looking for songs to help reunion attendees celebrate.

This Date in Rock Music History: April 27

1957:  Little Richard took over at #1 on the R&B chart with his classic "Lucille".
1959:  Wilbert Harrison's new song was the talk of the town as "Kansas City" moved from #71 all the way to #24.
1959:  The Fleetwoods remained at #1 for a third week with "Come Softly To Me".
1963:  "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons topped the R&B chart for the fourth straight week.

The Top 100 Songs of 1966: #70-61

We played over 40 songs that didn't make The Top 100 for 1966*.  Most of the songs in this range are stronger than the current #1 song in the nation in 2016.  Reflect on that statement.  What people didn't know when they were listening back from 1964-1976 is that they were living in The Renaissance of Rock Music.  Enjoy these:


Get Ready


It's My Life


What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted
Jimmy Ruffin


Stop Stop Stop


Along Comes Mary


Mother's Little Helper
Rolling Stones

Norwegian Wood
(No original video available)


Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart


Secret Agent Man
Johnny Rivers


Listen People
Herman's Hermits

The Top 100 Songs of 1966--#80-71

If you're on a 50-year class reunion committee, our Top 100 Songs of 1966* is made for you!  You'll know just the songs to play to bring back all the memories.  Here are 10 more songs on the list:


Bang Bang


Solitary Man
Neil Diamond


Beauty Is Only Skin Deep


Sunny Afternoon



In My Life


Cool Jerk


Don't Bring Me Down




It's A Man's Man's Man's World
James Brown



Monday, April 25, 2016

This Date in Rock Music History: April 26

1960:  The Beatles, Rolling Stones and Dave Clark Five were the top performers at the NME poll winner's concert at Wembley Empire Pool in London.
1960:  Elvis Presley began filming for the movie G.I. Blues in Hollywood, California.  (Note:  Director Hal Wallis had shot footage in West Germany from August 17-29, 1969 of Presley's battalion on maneuvers and everyday activities.)

1961:  Ben E. King released the single "Stand By Me".
1965:  The Who performed at Bridgewater Town Hall in England.
1965:  Bob Dylan arrived at the London Airport to begin a tour of the U.K. to promote his new album Bringing It All Back Home.

The Top 100 Songs of 1966--#90-81

The Beatles broke the ice in 1964 and by 1966, the British Invasion was in full swing, with many acts from Great Britain enjoying big success stateside.  Here are the next 10 entries in The Top 100* for the year:


  A Well Respected Man


  No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In)


  Pushin' Too Hard


  Under My Thumb
Rolling Stones


  Cherry, Cherry
Neil Diamond

Here, There And Everywhere
(No video of original available)


  The Pied Piper
Crispian St. Peters


  You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
Dusty Springfield


  I Saw Her Again
the Mamas and the Papas


  (I Know) I'm Losing You