Saturday Surprise — Music, Music, Music

I had all but forgotten that today is Saturday, as I was preparing to write my a.m. post last night.  With all the news popping up yesterday, I was still trying to catch my breath and decide which direction I needed to go, when it hit me that it would be Saturday in just a few short hours and I hadn’t even thought of a theme for my Saturday surprise.  Along about then, a friend sent me a music clip to listen to, and as I listened, I found my mind drifting and wondering:  what were we listening to 50 years ago?

Then I remembered that when I was asking for suggestions for this new feature, several of the suggestions involved music.  I didn’t think it would be too fun to put only a bunch of music clips, but I am combining some things … a few clips, some interesting ‘this day in history’ facts pertaining to music, and a blurb or two about some of the songs that we were listening to 50 years ago.  So let’s start with the #1 song of 1967 by a Scottish singer named Lulu … the song is, of course, To Sir With Love

 

The song was, of course, the title song in the movie, based on a book of the same name,  a 1959 autobiographical novel by E. R. Braithwaite  In the movie, Sidney Poitier had the starring role as an unemployed black engineer who takes a job teaching an unruly class of white students in London’s East End. By the end of the film he has won over the undisciplined youngsters and has taught them to have self-respect.

Although To Sir With Love was never released as a single in the UK, it was the flip side of Neil Diamond’s The Boat That I Row in the U.S., and Lulu fared far better than Diamond on that one, spending five weeks in the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100, from October 21st through November 25th.

Other notable songs on the charts around this time in 1967 included two from the Monkees, I’m a Believer, and Daydream Believer. Also, a few that I still remember and like …

How about a bit of trivia?  On this day, December 2nd, in …

  • 1957, Al Priddy a DJ on US radio station KEX in Portland was fired after playing Elvis Presley’s version of ‘White Christmas’ The station management said, ‘it’s not in the spirit we associate with Christmas’. Wow …
  • 1967, The Monkees album, ‘Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones Ltd’ went to No.1 on the US album chart. It was their fourth album to sell over a million copies, following ‘The Monkees’, ‘More Of The Monkees’ and ‘Headquarters’.
  • 1969, Cindy Birdsong of The Supremes was kidnapped at knifepoint by a maintenance man who worked in the building she lived in. She later escaped unharmed by jumping out of his car on the San Diego freeway. The kidnapper was arrested in Las Vegas four days later.
  • 1976, The first day of the photo shoot for the forthcoming Pink Floyd Animals album cover took place at Battersea Power Station in London, England with a giant inflatable pig lashed between two of the structure’s tall towers. A trained marksman was hired ready to fire if the inflatable escaped, but was not needed on this, the first day. Unfortunately the following day the marksman hadn’t been rebooked, so when the inflatable broke free from its moorings, it was able to float away, eventually landing in Kent where it was recovered by a local farmer, reportedly furious that it had ‘scared his cows.’

I hope you enjoyed a musical trip down memory lane this morning.  Have a great weekend, my friends!  And I end this post with one of my favourites, Sir Duke by Stevie Wonder

 

21 thoughts on “Saturday Surprise — Music, Music, Music

  1. Thanks for the look back and the music, Jill. I had quit my office job and gone back to school to get a teaching degree. I graduated in 1967 and began teaching in the Primary Grades. The schools really needed teachers due to the baby boom. 🙂 — Suzanne

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  2. There were 1000s of songs back then that helped us become who we are today. But in the vein of today, protest songs were the ones that taught us the most (or at least, they most made us re-examine our values learned by growing up in the 50s. But actually the song I want to discuss is the one that brings me to tears because it never rose to the heights I thought it should have. They Can’t Take Away Our Music.

    The song writer cannot be traced exactly, as it was credited to the band, War, and the record producer, Jerry Goldstein, but the words are definitely in the style of War frontman, Eric Burdon. It is a chronicle of rock music sung by Lonnie Jordan, and is a protest against the VietNam War, and against Richard Nixon for orchestrating the cancellation of the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour through censorship laws. SMCH was a major stage for rock music and protest music of the day. But Nixon took away that music, and the War song never got the airplay it deserved.

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    • I had long ago forgotten this song, as I don’t think I heard it more than a few times. Eric Burdon … the same on who was with The Animals? I learned some things here, for I never realized that Nixon orchestrated the cancellation of The Smothers Brothers … ol’ Tom & Dick … “Mom always liked you best” … I loved that show! Thanks for your input on this one!

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      • Yeah, the one and only Eric Burdon of the Animals. The Beatles were great, so were a lot of other bands. But Eric always put all of himself into his singing, and I guess that influenced Lonnie Jordan. Same kind of soul.
        As for Tricky Dicky, word in the day said that it was him who told CBS and their sponsors to shut down Tommy and Dick. They were highly liked in Middle America, and Nixon saw them gaining too much influence. Everyone found out about Watergate, but I guess it wasn’t such common knowledge about the SBCH. “But he was sore afraid…”

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  3. My ignorance when it comes to popular music is limitless! (By the way, the Whelk’s comment on your last post is a pull on your chain as he is an Englishman pleading the Fifth Amendment to our Constitution….I think!)

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    • Ah … thanks for the enlightenment! I did not realize until he mentioned a wife, that he was a ‘he’, and I still did not realize he was a Brit. I pondered his question for a time, then finally just gave up and admitted I had no clue? I like readers that try to play with our minds! 😉 And as for the music … I’m sorry it didn’t strike a chord 🎵 with you! My guess is that classical, which I do love and that is mostly what I listen to when I write, for popular or jazz are too distracting, is more up your alley?

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      • Yes. I have loved classical music since I first discovered it in College. And I still love the protest songs of the 60s. And I once enjoyed the popular songs — when they had tunes you could hum and words you could understand. I must try to keep an open mind…..

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        • I’m with you there … I discovered Beethoven’s Pastorale in college, was hooked, and have loved classical ever since. My favourite is jazz, especially smooth jazz, but I cannot work to it, or my train of thought leaves the tracks 😉

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