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Where Have You Gone, Easily Recognized References?

"The Joe DiMaggio line was written right away in the beginning. And I don't know why or where it came from. It seems so strange, like it didn't belong in that song and then, I don't know, it was so interesting to us that we just kept it. So it's one of the most well-known lines that I've ever written." An analysis of Simon and Garfunkel's 1968 hit, "Mrs. Robinson". [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 12, 2014 - 69 comments

Richard Pryor: that clown can really sing the blues

Richard Pryor moved to New York City in 1963, where he performed regularly in clubs alongside performers such as Bob Dylan and Woody Allen. He even opened for singer and pianist Nina Simone, who talked of his early nervousness, when she put her "arms around him there in the dark and rocked him like a baby until he calmed down." You can see something of that young man in this clip of Pryor singing a bit of jazzy blues in 1966. The performance is also available on YouTube with slightly better quality, but faded in from different scene. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 5, 2014 - 14 comments

The 100 Most Influential Singles of the 1960s

The 100 Most Influential Singles of the 1960s. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by item on Mar 18, 2013 - 66 comments

I'm your toy, I'm your old boy

Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel - An excellent 90 minute BBC documentary, the story of the legendary country rock pioneer as told by contemporary musicians, family, and friends. It includes rare performance footage. (Via Dangerous Minds) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Aug 28, 2012 - 17 comments

And in his way, Mr. K will challenge the world!

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite PABLO FANQUE'S CIRCUS ROYAL TOWN-MEADOWS, ROCHDALE Grandest Night of the Season! AND POSITIVELY THE LAST NIGHT BUT THREE! BEING FOR THE BENEFIT OF MR.KITE, (LATE OF WELLS'S CIRCUS) AND MR. J. HENDERSON, THE CELEBRATED SOMERSET THROWER! WIRE DANCER, VAULTER, RIDER, etc. On TUESDAY Evening, February 14, 1843. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 on Aug 25, 2012 - 11 comments

Look to the skies. The flying saucers will always be there.

In the mid-1950s, Dickie Goodman was a struggling song writer working with song publisher Bill Buchanan, when the two men came up with the idea of a fake radio program interrupted by a UFO attack (similar to the hoax Orson Welles broadcast of War of the Worlds), except in this case, the aliens spoke the language of rock 'n' roll. The result was Flying Saucer, Parts 1 and 2 on Luniverse Records, the first novelty break-in record and a forerunner to the modern mashup. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 on Aug 18, 2012 - 14 comments

The themes of "The Marvel Super Heroes"

When Captain America throws his mighty shield, all those who chose to oppose his shield must yield. Doc Bruce Banner, pelted by gamma rays, turns into The Hulk; ain't he unglamorous? Tony Stark makes you feel; he's a cool exec with a heart of steel. Cross the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard, where the booming heavens roar, you'll behold in breathless wonder the god of Thunder, mighty Thor. Stronger than a whale, he can swim anywhere; he can breathe underwater and go flying through the air. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on May 17, 2012 - 61 comments

Only good for conversation

An acclaimed new documentary, Searching for Sugarman, goes hunting for the lost Dylan, Sixto Diaz Rodriguez. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on May 1, 2012 - 10 comments

Love me, I'm a liberal

Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune - excellent 90-minute documentary of the trenchant folk performer who chronicled civil rights, politics, and the Viet Nam War until death by his own hand in 1976. Although he never achieved widespread popular acclaim, many found him to be the true voice of his generation - with themes that are sadly still relevant today. Just a musical taste to whet your appetite: Love Me, I'm a Liberal. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Feb 26, 2012 - 34 comments

he has apparently been forgiven

Ed Askew lost his martin tipple on a railroad platform 20 years ago. In 2009, someone returned it. Now he can play his classic freak-folk songs on it again. Though some of his best don't require any live accompaniment at all. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Dec 8, 2011 - 13 comments

The John Coltrane Quartet performs "A Love Supreme"

On July 26, 1965, at the Antibes Jazz Festival, the John Coltrane Quartet made its only public performance of A Love Supreme. (previously) [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Nov 29, 2011 - 19 comments

Syd Dale, Legend of Library

There is no questioning Syd Dale's [mid-60s UK NSFW] place amongst the legends of library music. ... his lavish big band inspired compositions were quickly brought to the public's attention through their use in countless t.v. shows and advertisements. Much of his work could be as classed as easy listening however Dale was also adept at incorporating elements of funk and spy jazz.* [The music of the 1967 Spider-Man animated TV series - to which he so memorably contributed - has been discussed previously.] [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 8, 2011 - 10 comments

You Don't Own Me

Quincy Jones sat in the Tenafly, New Jersey den of 16-year-old vocal student Lesley Gore, playing demo after demo, looking for the right song to cut for her first record. Out of over 200 tapes, Jones and Gore had moved only one to the "maybe" pile, and so that song, It's My Party, was recorded on March 30, 1963 in a Manhattan studio. After the session Mercury president Irving Green warned Gore not to get her hopes up, but Gore gratefully told him that it had been a great experience anyway, and it was okay if he didn't want to release it. However, later that evening Jones learned that Phil Spector had just recorded "It's My Party" for The Crystals, so Jones rushed back to the studio to press 100 test copies of the single and immediately mailed them to key radio stations across the country. [more inside]
posted by swift on Sep 13, 2011 - 69 comments

ba-ba-baba wak-wakka-wakka: Into The Music Library

Ubiquitous yet mysterious, timeless yet tied to a golden age, mainstream yet frequently experimental: the BBC steps Into The Music Library. While music libraries like DeWolfe and KPM are best known as the source of many classic TV themes and film soundtracks, they're also responsible for incidental compilations are now both influential and appreciated in their own right, such as Basil Kirchin's Abstractions of the Industrial North and Barbara Moore's Vocal Shades and Tones.
posted by holgate on Apr 16, 2011 - 4 comments

Get along Kid Charlemagne

Psychedelic icon Owsley Stanley dies in Australia "Owsley 'Bear' Stanley, a 1960s counterculture figure who flooded the flower power scene with LSD and was an early benefactor of the Grateful Dead, died in a car crash in his adopted home country of Australia on Sunday, his family said. He was believed to be 76." The Bear, previously on MetaFilter.
posted by terrapin on Mar 13, 2011 - 94 comments

Alice's Restaurant

This song is called Alice's Restaurant, and it's about Alice, and the restaurant, but Alice's Restaurant is not the name of the restaurant; that's just the name of the song, and that's why I call the song Alice's Restaurant. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Nov 24, 2010 - 164 comments

Peter Grudzien is the original New York gay country musician

Peter Grudzien lives in New York and makes psychedelic country music or at least used to, since only two albums of his material ever came out, The Unicorn in 1974, and The Garden of Love, which is mostly a collection of demos. His songs are varied, ranging from noise music to straight up country, and their subject matters are equally wide-ranging, from strange fare, such as lyrics about his clone being at Stonewall, to straight-up love songs. His best known original is probably The Unicorn, a beautiful song whose lyrics recast the early 70s New York gay demimonde in terms of a barren zombie-filled wasteland which will be reborn when the titular unicorn is found by the queen. Other songs on YouTube are White Trash Hillbilly Trick, New York Town and an instrumental cover of the Georgia Gibbs hit Kiss Me Another. Finally, here's a lovely cover of The Unicorn by Calgary folkie Kris Ellestad.
posted by Kattullus on Nov 21, 2010 - 16 comments

I Am The Judge

The Sample Story of Rush by BAD II (with Pig Meat Markhum) [more inside]
posted by StopMakingSense on Jul 31, 2010 - 17 comments

Meet (and Repeat) the Beatles

Fake the Beatles : WFMU DJ Gaylord Fields delivers an entertaining presentation on the mid-1960s cottage industry in Beatles soundalike records. Other Beatlesque imitators to follow below the fold. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 on Jun 9, 2010 - 31 comments

You might not be looking for the promised land, but you might find it anyway

James Brown and The Famous Flames on The T.A.M.I. Show: [ Part I | II | III ]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on May 21, 2010 - 31 comments

Helen Shapiro

With a surprisingly low voice and the composure of an R&B singer many years older, Helen Shapiro toured with The Beatles in 1963; inspired Lennon and McCartney to compose for her the song “Misery” (which they intended for her vocal style); wrote her own B-sides; starred in ("A Hard Day's Night" director Richard Lester's) 1962 movie; and recorded an album of songs in Nashville with (Patsy Cline producer) Owen Bradley. All before her 17th birthday. [more inside]
posted by applemeat on May 17, 2010 - 25 comments

Sally don't you go, go downtown.

"What happened was that Abner Spector was an electronics nut. He took the girls in the studio on a Friday, and they didn't get out of there until everybody was on the track. Anybody that came in the studio that week, he would put them on. Originally, I think he had about 20 voices on 'Sally.'" The cost of the project alone, Richardson figured was over $60,000..." - Sally, Go Round The Roses (alt) was the first (and only) hit for the Jaynettes in 1963 and a unique and hypnotic studio creation. It's been called "a subtle and transcendental epic in 45rpm form" and there is much speculation on its mysterious lyrics. It has been covered by Donna Summer. Great Society (with Grace Slick) . Fanny. Pentangle. ? And The Mysterians and others.
posted by The Whelk on May 6, 2010 - 16 comments

TV, When It Rocked and Rolled

In August 1990, when Spin magazine was still an edgier cousin to Rolling Stone, it published a list of the 35 Greatest Moments in Rock 'n' Roll Television. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 on Feb 17, 2010 - 49 comments

eavesdropping on jazz giants

The Jazz Loft Project - From 1957 to 1965, celebrated photojournalist W. Eugene Smith made 4,000 hours of surreptitious recordings and took 40,000 photographs in a loft in Manhattan's wholesale flower district where Roland Kirk, Thelonius Monk, Hall Overton, Charles Mingus and other jazz greats jammed until dawn. Archived in the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, the project is now accessible via a book, a traveling exhibit, a 10-part Jazz Loft series on WNYC, NPR's Jazz Loft Project Sights & Sounds, and an interview with JLP author Sam Stephenson, which includes some images from the book. Via a Grain Edit post, which also has some great images. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Jan 3, 2010 - 21 comments

August 15-17, 1969: 3 Days of Mud and Music.

This weekend marks the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, or to give its official name, the Woodstock Music & Art Fair, a little get-together held at Max Yasgur's dairy farm in Bethel, New York. It's not like Woodstock hasn't been picked apart to death for every year around this time, but since this is the 40th year since it happened, there seems to be more than the usual nostalgia fest going on. [more inside]
posted by thread_makimaki on Aug 12, 2009 - 117 comments

WTF? Trippy music video from the USSR.

I'm not a fan of front-page posts that don't describe their link, but I seriously have no idea what this is. It's Russian. It's from the '60s. Now that I've watched it, I feel my life is complete, yet I somehow simultaneously want my eight minutes back (you've been warned). SLYT.
posted by grumblebee on Jun 28, 2009 - 66 comments

The young Dylan on TV

Back in 1963, a TV special called "Folk Songs and More Folk Songs" aired, which featured a cross section of the "folk" artists who were at that time just beginning to receive wider media exposure. Aside from the squeaky-clean, white bread embarrassment of groups like The Brothers Four, the show redeemed itself with performances by a very young Bob Dylan, who sang The Ballad of Hollis Brown (with banjo and bass accompaniment) and Man of Constant Sorrow. And here's two more very early Dylan TV appearances, from Canada, 1964: A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall and Girl From the North Country. Here's the same Girl From the North Country performed years later, once again on broadcast TV, in duet with Johnny Cash, from the Johnny Cash Show. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Oct 4, 2008 - 23 comments

Wait, this Nicol guy played with the SPOTNICKS? Oh, and that other little outfit from Liverpool, who were they again?

These Beatles clips from a 1965 NME show are straight off the mixing desk, so the voices are way up front. Man, those vocals are so loud you can hardly hear Ringo! But let's back it up just a year, to Holland in 1964, and catch one of the rare performances without Ringo. Aside from his brief stint as a Beatle, session drummer Jimmy Nicol also played with zany Swedish instrumental surf rock band The Spotnicks. So, there you have it: Jimmy Nicol, a lucky fella who got to play with two of the greatest bands in the world! [NOTE: see hoverovers for link descriptions] [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 27, 2008 - 22 comments

The Beatles, in their native habitat

1964 means the Beatles. But listen to the other #1 hits that year! No wonder Douglas Adams broke into the matron's room. Via my second favorite music blog.
posted by Tlogmer on Jun 14, 2008 - 55 comments

Pop Art in motion.

Clever! Peppy! Immensely entertaining! The opening sequence of the Dick Cavett Show was a little masterpiece of 60s pop graphics. A similar aesthetic is at work here in this 60s era PSA reminding you to vote. Here's some jazzy 60s animation: a commercial for Beechnut Gum. And lots more typically 60s animation and graphics on display here in this Animation Commercial Collection.
posted by flapjax at midnite on May 6, 2008 - 22 comments

Grievous Angel

Gram Parsons fans take note - there's a recent new biography and a release of 90 minutes of vintage Flying Burrito Brothers. Some rare footage has also recently surfaced online: performing with FBB and duets with Emmylou Harris 1, 2, 3. Other items of note: Emmylou talks about Gram in 2000; British biographical sketch; Keith Richards on Gram in Rolling Stone; an interview with Manuel, the designer of the famous Nudie suit. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Mar 7, 2008 - 38 comments

Swingin' Singapore, back in the day.

Okay, first, take a look at this collection of 60's and 70's Asian Pop Record Covers. Cause they're just a helluvalotta of fun to look at. Now, if you find your musical appetite whetted, the same fellow who brought you those wonderful jackets has a Singapore and Asian 60's Pop Music MySpace page, where you can listen to his fabulous audio playlist, see video clips and more record jackets, and get more info on this very fertile period in Asian pop music history. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Sep 26, 2007 - 17 comments

wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful Wonderbra!

From the Golden Age of TV commercial jingles, variations on a lyric theme: Wonderbra ads from 1968 (#1), 1968 (#2), 1969, 1974, 1975, and 1979, all served up in the groovy pop aesthetic of those fabulous decades! It's a wonderful thing. [lyrics inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Sep 4, 2007 - 19 comments

3 Dozen Pieces of Music

Woodstock^ (YouTuner)
Day ☼ { Richie Havens Country Joe McDonald John Sebastian SweetwaterIncredible String Band Bert SommerTim Hardin Ravi ShankarMelanie Arlo Guthrie Joan Baez }
Day ☼☼ { Quill Keef Hartley BandSantana Canned Heat Mountain Janis Joplin Sly & the Family Stone Grateful Dead Creedence Clearwater Revival The Who Jefferson Airplane }
Day ☼☼☼ { Joe Cocker Country Joe & the Fish Ten Years After The Band Blood Sweat & Tears Johnny Winter Crosby, Stills & Nash Paul Butterfield Blues Band Sha-Na-Na Jimi Hendrix }

posted by pruner on May 15, 2007 - 50 comments

I Just Want to Make Love to You

Eel Pie Island: the early 1960s incubator and catalyst of the burgeoning R & B scene in Twickenham and Richmond, The young musicians who played there included members of The Rolling Stones, The Who, Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart, Long John Baldry, the Small Faces, to name but a few. BBC Radio documentary on Radio 4 (30 minutes). Plus, from about 1964 (?): pre-Wheels on Fire Brian Augur and the Trinity with three-quarters of Steampacket (Long John Baldry, the delicious Julie Driscoll, and Rod "the Mod" Stewart) I guess what with Augur on keyboard, the Steampacket didn't need their pianist, Elton John. youtuber
posted by Mister Bijou on Feb 1, 2007 - 10 comments

guitar gods from the 60s

Yardbirds documentary part 1, part 2, and part 3. Bonus: Jimmy Page, age 14.
posted by madamjujujive on Dec 27, 2006 - 27 comments

ce n'est pas une bicyclette

In 1963, a full 3 years before his first MoI recording, a young, beardless Zappa appeared live on the Steve Allen show playing a musical composition on bicycles. Jerry Hopkins, the show's talent coordinator, discusses how the young musician's debut performance came about. Hardcore zappaphiles can view Part 1, Part 2 (Danger: long & grainy B&W YouTube clips, diamonds in the rough).
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 26, 2006 - 24 comments

... which is to say to my mind, there is continuous repetition and propotionally they are a bit boring.

On May 14th, 1967, the new British pop group The Pink Floyd makes one of their first ever TV appearances. Despite a stellar performance of the song Astronomy Domine, the pretentious host of the show, Hans Keller, has nothing good to say about the band. During the interview (youtube, performance comes first, interview starts about 5:50 in. transcript here.), he chastises the band for their "continuous repetition", "terribly loud" volume, and their "proportionately a bit boring" sound.

However, it seems that all Hans' show will ever be remembered for is this single interview. Pink Floyd, on the other hand.. Well, we all know what happened to them. Syd Barrett, on the other hand, was not so lucky.
posted by Afroblanco on May 29, 2006 - 67 comments

The instrument, guitar...

Sinatra & Jobim. 6 minutes of Bossa Nova beauty, for your viewing pleasure. (Youtube link)
posted by Chrischris on May 12, 2006 - 45 comments

my dear mother left me, when I was quite young....

Al 'Blind Owl' Wilson was one of the more interesting characters on the 60's music scene. A contemporary (and fellow traveler) of John Fahey, and student of blues history and with Bob Hite, the founder of seminal 60's blues-rockers Canned Heat (youtube video of Wilson and the Heat featuring the Owl on vocals) . A painfully introverted man who suffered from depression and addiction throughout his life, Wilson had a light touch and lack of histrionics uncommon among his blues-revival contemporaries. He died by his own hand at 27. Blind-owl.net is a loving and comprehensive tribute, featuring many rare interviews and photos.
posted by jonmc on Mar 22, 2006 - 11 comments

Asian progressive music from the 60s and 70s

60s/70s psych, crossover, beat, and a go-go from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and Vietnam with band/music scene histories, streaming audio, cover art, etc. Part of a large site devoted to 60s/70s progressive music around the world.
posted by carter on Dec 8, 2005 - 15 comments

The Ledge

The Ledge He appeared on Laugh In, produced one of the truly weirdest 45s of the 60's, and was one of many inspirations for David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust. Meet Norman Carl Odam, the Legendary Stardust Cowboy.
posted by timsteil on Dec 7, 2005 - 13 comments

turn online, tune in, drop out

Aspen - The Multimedia Magazine In A Box On The Web. Produced from 1965 to 1971 as an alternative to a bound magazine, Aspen came as a box filled with booklets, phonograph recordings, posters and postcards by a stellar array of contributors.
posted by liam on May 6, 2005 - 5 comments

Chic kitsch

The Scopitone, the 1960s French video jukebox, has been mentioned before on MeFi, but I don't think this site from New York's Spike Priggen was up and running then. He's collected many Scopitone and Cinebox vids from the likes of Nino Ferrer, Francoise Hardy, Procul Harum and - naturellement! - Serge Gainsbourg. It's a marvellous well of '60s chic kitsch. (Navigation can be a tad confusing as there are numerous sections to the site and many links are duplicated throughout, but it's well worth clicking away to see where you end up.)
posted by TiredStarling on Apr 25, 2005 - 7 comments

People Are Strange

Before he broke on through (to the other side), Jim Morrison--yes, of The Doors--starred in this promotional film produced by Florida State University, circa 1964.
posted by fandango_matt on Mar 10, 2005 - 9 comments

24 hour garage people

24 hour garage people HEY KIDS ! check out this happening place that plays the sonic flower grooves of the sixties 24/7 !
posted by sgt.serenity on Feb 1, 2004 - 17 comments

Greatest Week in Rock History

The Greatest Week in Rock History (Salon link) - 34 years ago today, Billboard Charts had a outstanding album lineup - perhaps not the best albums ever, but for a single point in time, arguably unmatched for quality, originality, and longevity. Take a look back at the roster: the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Tom Jones, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Stones, Santana, the Temptations, Blood Sweat & Tears, Crosby Stills & Nash, and Easy Rider.
posted by madamjujujive on Dec 20, 2003 - 53 comments

No-Hit Wonders

No-Hit Wonders Ever hear of Thuh Sqwamps? How about Rhinoceros Snot? Perhaps you're familiar with King Solomon's Minds? Not ringing any bells? Of course not. These are all local garage bands from the 1960s that would have fallen into pure oblivion if it wasn't for the My First Band web site. Several of the stories are so bizarre that a very entertaining movie could be made out of any one of them.
posted by jonp72 on Dec 9, 2002 - 7 comments

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