FESTIVE FIFTY YEARS AGO 1962 – PART THREE
December 29th 2012
Numbers 30-21 of the countdown, with some perhaps more familiar names as the chart gets closer to the top.
30) MARVIN GAYE – That Stubborn Kind Of Fella
Marvin Gaye’s first album consisted of jazz standards sung in a “black Sinatra” style which didn’t really pay off.
This single signalled a style change to a more soulful delivery, which paid off immediately after the mawkish “Soldier’s Plea”. It was Marvin’s first big hit, reaching No 8 in the US R&B chart and grazing the bottom end of the pop top 50.
29) MARY WELLS – I’m Gonna Stay
Mary Wells was the major female star at Motown during 1962, with the cruelly dubbed “No-hit Supremes” unable to produce a hit despite the label’s best attempts.
It’s a shame she’s only really remembered for “My Guy”, as she made so many other great records
This was the B-side to “The One Who Really Loves You” and is an equal, if not superior song. Peel would definitely have flipped the disc and played this more, as was his inclination.
28) HOWIE CASEY AND THE SENIORS – Twist At The Top
The first Mersey Beat band to make an album.
This would have been seized on by Peel’s Merseybeat-hip listeners.
(NB – the reason why very few Beatles songs are included here despite the Fabs doing three sessions in 1962 is because the tapes no longer exist. I could swing for the BBC sometimes, I really could.)
27) EVERLY BROTHERS – I’m Here To Get My Baby Out Of Jail
A surprising selection showing that the older listeners who had grown up the first wave of with rock’n’roll had (a) not abandoned the show and (b) developed more “mature” musical tastes.
The subject matter of the song would not really have reflected the lives of most of the Everly’s fans, but the delivery and passion are, as always, exemplary.
26) ELVIS PRESLEY – She’s Not You
Elvis achieves an operatic performance on this song, while maintaining genuine emotion.
I still maintain his baritone / basso profundo had the potential to wow ‘em at Bayreuth
Imagine him, dressed in robes, singing the role of Wotan in Wagner’s Ring Cycle. Go on, imagine it.
Ah yes. No, you’re right. He couldn’t have sung opera. But this is better than bloody opera, anyway.
25) BOB DYLAN – You’re No Good
Side One, Track One of Bob Dylan’s first album.
This cheeky, raw take on Jesse Fuller’s song of rejection only lasts one minute and forty seconds but manages to define Dylan’s template for the next couple of years, complete with falling over the words, giggling, and an audacious harmonica solo.
24) DUANE EDDY – Dance With The Guitar Man
Duana Eddy’s “Peter Gunn” was, famously, John Peel’s second favourite record (I forget the first placed record) and he would have featured Duane Eddy’s work heavily.
This record, if you think about it, features backing vocals but no lead vocal, only Eddy’s trademark twangin’ gitar.
23) DEL SHANNON – Cry Myself To Sleep
“Runaway” reached Number One in the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.
This scraped into the Top Thirty in the UK and only reached No. 99 in the US, which was actually a slightly better performance then his previous two singles.
Seemingly, boys singing about their emotions didn’t strike much of a chord with record buyers.
22) BEACH BOYS – 409
Although for shorthand purposes the Beach Boys are generally called a “surf band” they did songs about cars too.
This paean to the early 60s boy racers’ dream car, the Chevrolet 409, was the flip to the massive hit “Surfin’ Safari” and, in the days when B-sides were counted separately to A-sides, actually made the Hot 100 in its own right.
Not as well-known as their later hot rod song “Little Deuce Coupe” but still a great tune.
21) BOBBY “BORIS” PICKETT AND THE CRYPT-KICKERS – Monster Mash
Peel loved the occasional novelty record. Never forget that it was he who was responsible for getting Laurel and Hardy into the charts in the Seventies.
This one would have delighted as many of his listeners as it infuriated, I think.
That’s all for now. Back for the countdown of numbers 20-11 at 8pm on Saturday on Twitter (hashtag #festive50yearsago).
Stay cool, hep cats.