FESTIVE FIFTY YEARS AGO 1965 Further Listening – Nos 30-21

Every year here in Retro Beat City we put together an end of year chart featuring some of the great tunes of the year.

In the spirit of the late great John Peel’s Festive Fifties you will hear a combination of hits, less well known songs and downright obscure tunes.

You can stream or download the chart rundown completely FREE in two parts:

Festive Fifty of 1965 Nos 50-26

Festive Fifty of 1965 Nos 25-1

30. THE FOUR PENNIES “Black Girl (In The Pines)”

Blackburn’s The Four Pennies with a traditional American folk song from the Appalachian mountains made famous by Leadbelly

which sounds excellent with a British Beat Group arrangement.

Nirvana apparently did it a few years later under the name Where Did You Sleep Last Night.

29. MARTIN CARTHY “The Queen Of Hearts”

“The Queen Of Hearts” is taken from folk singer Martin Carthy’s self-titled debut album which consists entirely of his settings of traditional folk songs.

Martin Carthy should really be better known among music fans in general – although in folk music circles he’s pretty much royalty, both in his own right and in having married Norma Waterson of the Waterson clan. He still regularly performs and records to this day often with Norma or his daughter Eliza.

His adaptation of the traditional balled “Scarborough Fair” was copied by Paul Simon (without credit) on Simon And Garfunkel’s “Parsley Sage Rosemary And Thyme” album in 1966. Good old Paul, when he steals, he steals from the best.

This is another track from the album, “High Germany”

28. JOHNNY NASH “Lets Move And Groove”

A slow soul stormer which barely dented the US charts on its release in September 1965, one of a few soul records in the Festive Fifty of 1965 that could reasonably be said to be ten years too early.

There was a rather overblown version of this song by Byron Latimore that featured in Piper’s striptease scene in “Orange Is The New Black” but you’re probably better off watching that with the sound turned down.

Johnny Nash would become more famous for his reggae hits in the late sixties and early seventies including this Bob Marley cover:

27. JOHN FAHEY “I Am The Resurrection”

John Fahey was a unique and uniquely influential guitarist, blending the old tyme picking style of old folk and bluegrass with the sonic palette of 20th century classical composiers like Bela Bartok and Charles Ives. His 1965 album “The Transfiguration Of Blind Joe Death” refers to his sometime alter-ego on record.

This is another track from the album, called “The Death Of The Clayton Peacock”. As one of the Youtube comments points out, it actually does sound like a dying peacock.

26. DUSTY SPRINGFIELD “I’ve Been Wrong Before”

When people think of Dusty Springfield albums these days they tend to go for 1968’s “Dusty In Memphis” which has all the hip criteria of being recorded in Memphis with the Muscle Shoals house band some of the best soul producers of the era (Tom Dowd and Jerry Wexler)

However, 1965’s “Everything’s Coming Up Dusty” (that couldn’t possibly be an ironic double-entendre, could it? Could it?) is for me her greatest album. If you overlook an ill-conceived, by-the-numbers take on “La Bamba” the album is wall-to-wall gold.

Her cover of Randy Newman’s “I’ve Been Wrong Before” is comfortably the best version of that song, and you could say the same about “Oh No Not My Baby”, Rod Stewart notwithstanding.

25. THE ZOMBIES “Sticks And Stones”

A track from the Zombies debut album “Begin Here” which also features their debut hit and best-known song “She’s Not There”, covered later by Santana. Whether you prefer that version or this one is down to whether you like guitars better than keyboards I suppose.

24. THE RATS “Rats Revenge Part Two”

For completeness’ sake here is the equally deranged “Rats Revenge Part One”.

There were at least three bands called The Rats who got to make records. One was a punk band from Portland, Oregon active from 1980-1984 or thereabouts. One was a psychedelic band from Hull which featured future Bowie sideman Mick Ronson on guitar and recorded “The Rise And Fall Of -Bernie Gripplestone” in 1967. Its nowhere near as good as its title.

23. FELA KUTI “Igba l’aiye”

This track comes from a session by Fela Kuti and his Koola Lobitos recorded for Leo Sarkisian’s then-relatively new Music Time In Africa show (available on the Voice Of America and going strong to this day under the care of the excellent Heather Maxwell)

Click Fela Kuti 1965 Session for Music Time In Africa for more details and further tracks.

22. THE RAMSEY LEWIS TRIO “The ‘In’-Crowd”

Fifty years ago, the Ramsey Lewis Trio sat in a Washington, D.C. coffee shop, musing over what it could add to its set that evening. It was booked for a run at Bohemian Caverns — the group had issued a live album made at the nightclub, and it was gearing up to record a follow-up live album. Over walked a waitress, who inquired about the band’s predicament.

Fifty years later, Lewis still remembers her name: Nettie Gray.

“She had a jukebox,” Lewis says. “Jukeboxes in coffee shops — people don’t know about that any more, but she went over to the jukebox and played: ‘You guys might like this! Listen to this!'”

Her recommendation was “The In Crowd,” sung by Dobie Gray — a popular hit at the time. Lewis and the band worked out an arrangement quickly, then ended their set with it that evening, to wild applause.

Fifty years later, that song remains Ramsey Lewis’ biggest hit.

“If somebody had come up with another song that fit the style of what we wanted, there would not have been an ‘In Crowd,’ ” he says.

A much-covered song, I’m quite partial to Bryan Ferry’s Roxyfied – if not Enossified – take on it from 1974.

21. THE STRANGELOVES “I Want Candy”

Although producers Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer used their real names in the writing and production credits of this single, they claimed The Strangeloves were actually three Australian brothers (and ex-sheep farmers) named Giles, Miles and Niles Strange. Feldman, Goldstein and Gottehrer dressed up in shaggy wigs and exotic clothing for publicity photos as The Strangeloves.

They hoodwinked enough American teens with their phony story, “Aboriginal” drums and cheap Beatle wigs in 1965 to send “I Want Candy” to number 11 on the US charts. For some reason it failed to trouble the scorers in the “brothers”‘ supposed “native” country, Australia.

If they’d never recorded anything else, the Strangeloves’ footnote in music history is assured. “I Want Candy” is a revelation – a Bo Diddley jungle beat, jazzy guitar line, and massed, slightly out of tune vocals sounding like a fraternity at the most drunken part of the evening.

Bow Wow Wow did a great version in 1981. Sorry if it reminds you of that fecking Candy Crush advert. #notsorry

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FESTIVE FIFTY OF 1965 Further Listening – NUMBERS 40 – 31

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The second of five blog pieces taking you a little bit deeper into the Festive Fifty of 1965.

Click here if you missed Blog Part One – Numbers 50-41

Download the two parts of the actual podcast here:

Download Festive Fifty of 1965 nos 50-26 here

Download Festive Fifty of 1965 nos 25-1 here

This of blog posts gives a bit more background to each track, plus links to other related tracks worth hearing.

Enjoy!

40. THE CONTOURS “First I Look At The Purse”

Three years – an eternity in terms of the pop charts, both in the sixties and now – had passed since The Contours’ “Do You Love Me” went global, and while only lead vocalist Billy Gordon remained from the line-up that cut that record, and even though the group were strictly second division in the Motown pecking order, the band’s sound and output was still carefully controlled to ensure a direct line, sonologically speaking, between The Big Hit and all subsequent releases.

This song was written by Miracles Smokey Robinson and Bobby Rodgers and managed a reasonably creditable #57 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The J Geils Band did a superb garagey version of this song in 1970, by the way – worthy of The Band themselves and a million miles from their early 80s hits.

39. PRINCE BUSTER “Wash Wash”

Featuring Georgie Fame on organ and the Les Dawson Combo (the Jamaican ska group not the dour Yorkshire comedian although I reckon he could have probably handled the organ part on this)

The song is “based” on an old Frankie Laine number “That Lucky Old Sun” from 1949, but you do have to do whatever the aural equivalent is of “squint” in order to hear it.

38. AFRICA FIESTA “Minge Rhumba Fiesta”

L’Orchestra African Fiesta, often known simply as African Fiesta, was a Congolese soukous band started by Tabu Ley Rochereau and Dr. Nico Kasanda in 1963.

Tabu Ley and Dr. Nico were originally members of the seminal band Grand Kalle et l’African Jazz. They left African Jazz and started their own group, African Fiesta, with which they helped elevate the genre of African rumba into the genre now known as Soukous.

This track and many others equally as great can be found on the compilation “Rochereau et l’African Fiesta National 1964/1965/1966” under Tabu Ley Rochereau’s name (there were ructions between the two founder members which led to Nico Kasanda leaving the group and setting up African Fiesta Sukisa)

The track “Jaloux Jaloux” is just beautiful – listen to the singing on this.

37. SMALL FACES “Whatcha Gonna Do About It?”

The debut single and the debut hit from the peerless Small Faces – although the band weren’t that enamoured of the song and preferred the B-side “Whats A Matter Baby?”

36. DONOVAN “Universal Soldier”

In an era of many protest songs (notably Barry McGuire’s “Eve Of Destruction”) Buffy Saint-Marie’s gentler-sounding song stood out, as rather than an angry rant at generals and war in general it pointed the finger at the men who actually went off to war, and questioned their choices directly. A masterpiece of a song given a good treatment by Donovan

Here’s the original, with an introduction by Buffy Sainte-Marie describing the inspiration behind the song:

35. BRENDA HOLLOWAY “You Can Cry On My Shoulder”

Nothing I can say about this song, or indeed about Motown’s finest singer Brenda Holloway, that can’t be said better by Motown Junkies on Brenda Holloway

and then check out this dark, dark tale of a bad relationship:

34. THE WHO “My Generation”

According to Pete Townshend in a later interview “My Generation” started out as a talking blues folk song record, Townshend being hugely affected by Bob Dylan at the time.

You can just about discern this when you listen to it, in amongst the thunderous Keith Moon drums, the bass solo(!) from John Entwistle and Roger Daltrey’s stuttering pillhead vocal delivery.

Time has rendered this safe by repeated plays and listening – there’s probably an oldies channel near you playing it right now – but have a listen to it in context of some of the songs around it at the time (it was kept off no 1 by the Seekers’ “The Carnival Is Over”, while Ken Dodd’s “Tears” was still in the Top Ten) and you can get a hint of just how explosive that final descent into feedback would have sounded at the time.

The B-Side, a cover of James Brown’s “Shout And Shimmy” was none too shabby either.

33. THE YARDBIRDS “For Your Love”

Written by future 10CC founder member Graham Gouldman, “For Your Love” marked a bit of a change of direction for The Yardbirds away from straight blues / R and B numbers. Guitarist Eric Clapton hated the song and barely plays on it – he would leave the band soon after, paving the way for the more open-minded Jeff Beck.

“For Your Love” had an unusual chord structure and instrumentation – it features bongos and harpsichord, the latter played by Brian Auger as it was the only keyboard available in the studio. Auger’s parting comment was “who in their right mind would buy a single with a harpsichord on it?”

Turns out the answer was “quite a lot of people” as it reached #2 in the UK and #6 in the US and remains the band’s biggest hit.

The B-side was a more standard blues instrumental called “Got To Hurry” – sounds like Clapton’s enjoying himself a bit more here. (as an aside, check out the Youtube comments below it – the eternal “Who’s the greatest guitarist” arguments rage on and on and on …)

32. THE ROLLING STONES “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

The release of this record with its instantly recognisable introductory riff (which incidentally came to Keith Richards in a motel in Clearwater, Florida – they’ve probably got a plaque up or something). Keith didn’t see the possibilities of the riff even after Mick Jagger had gone away and written the lyrics and the band had recorded it.

Up until “Satisfaction” the Stones’ sound was recognisably white boys playing black music. From this point on, they played the Stones’ music.

The follow up was “Get Off My Cloud”, and you can almost taste the confidence with which they play it, knowing they’ve just blown the competition out of the water with “Satisfaction”. This is the point where the Stones really started to strut.

31. THE POETS “That’s The Way Its Got To Be”

Managed by Andrew Loog Oldham (who also handled the Rolling Stones), with a nice line in self-penned songs and a sound that just took the British Beat Group sound that little bit further into what would soon be called psychedelic rock, the Poets seemed to have everything going for them in 1965 releasing singles like “Thats The Way Its Got To Be” and “I Am So Blue” (below) but they never had a single reach higher than their 1964 debut “Now We’re Thru” (stalling at #31) and indeed never got to make an album. They were huge in Scotland though

Festive Fifty of 1965 Numbers 50-41

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FESTIVE FIFTY OF 1965 Further Listening – Numbers 50 – 41

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Every year here in Beat City we produce an imagined chart based on the answer to the question “What would John Peel’s Festive Fifty have looked and sounded like if he’d done one fifty years ago?”

This year (just gone) being 2015, we’re looking back to 1965, one hell of a year for music in so many ways.

Download Festive Fifty of 1965 nos 50-26 here

Download Festive Fifty of 1965 nos 25-1 here

This series of blog posts gives a bit more background to each track, plus links to other related tracks worth hearing. Enjoy!

50. THE PRETTY THINGS “Honey I Need”

The co-founder (with Phil May) of the Pretty Things Dick Taylor was a college contemporary of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, even playing bass (very) briefly in the early incarnation of the Rolling Stones.

Taylor met singer Phil May at art college and formed the Pretty Things.

After two covers (“Rosalyn” and “Don’t Bring Me Down”) “Honey I Need” was the Pretty Things’ first self-penned hit. They never really cracked America owing mainly to a lot of very bad behaviour on the part of the members of the band.

One of only a very few acts from the 1965 Festive Fifty that are still going in 2015, and not just on the oldies circuit – they released an album in 2015 wryly titled “The Sweet Pretty Things (Are In Bed Now Of Course)” and while nobody is claiming its better than their crazed, noisy early albums or their 1967 rock opera “SF Sorrow” (yeah, Who and Kinks fans, they were there first with that particular bloated form) its a decent album.

Album review The Sweet Pretty Things Are In Bed Now Of Course album review

Here’s a track from the new album called “Hell, Here And Nowhere”

49. TOSHIKO MARIANO AND HER BIG BAND “Kisarazu Jinku”

Known for her mixing jazz with Japanese influences, pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi (using her married name on this recording) was the first Japanese student to enrol at the prestigious Berklee School Of Music in Boston.

Still with us at 86, Akiyoshi has recorded well over fifty albums. This is probably the best solo jazz piano clip performed by a woman in her late 70s that you’ll see today.

48. ALTON ELLIS “Dance Crasher”

Alone among Jamaican singers of the era, Alton Ellis consistently released records critical of the violent lawlessness epitomised by the burgeoning Rude Boy culture (sanitised into pork pie hats and shiny suits by later generations of British teenagers).

“Dance Crasher” is the most famous of this run of songs although “Blessings Of Love” and in particular “Cry Tough” are also well worth a listen

47. BERT JANSCH “Needle Of Death”

“Needle Of Death”, a response to the recent death of a friend from a heroin overdose, is from his self-titled debut album, generally regarded as the first British singer-songwriter album.
Its an astonishing debut, recorded on a reel-to-reel tape recorded at the Camden Town flat of engineer Bill Leader – check out the way he attacks the guitar on “Strolling Down The Highway”

46. TOOTS AND THE MAYTALS “Pain In My Belly”

Credited to “Prince Buster And The Maytals” since the band had recently signed to Buster’s label and the logic of the record industry dictated that it was good for sales to use the more famous name to sell the record.

That is definitely Toots Hibbert’s voice though – as is also the case on “Jamaica Ska”, made around the same time and similarly credited.

45. THE CASTAWAYS “Liar Liar”

The Castaways hailed from the twin cities of Minneapolis / St Paul in the garage band hotbed that was Minnesota in the sixties.

“Liar Liar” was their debut single and their only hit.

The follow-up “Goodbye Babe” is pretty much a rehash with a different vocal trick to it but still, you’d have thought it would have made SOME headway if only for the genuinely scary half-spoken intro …

44. SUPER ENSEMBLE NEMOURS JEAN-BAPTISTE “Fanatiques Compas”

Haitian sax player and bandleader Nemours Jean-Baptiste released the album “Les Trois Dangers” in 1965 and the track “Fanatiques Compas” is the standput track.
From the record company, IBO records in the late sixties:

“Nemours Jean-Baptiste and his renowned Ensemble, is truly an asset to the musical art of Haiti. It is a symbol, a landmark, in a new concept of interpreting music of Haitian origin. In a word, it is the result of the will of the Haitians to enrich their native musical repertoire.

There is no doubt that Nemours Jean-Baptiste is a musician well qualified to be able to conceive and improve upon a new swing. An unusually fine agile musical ability is one of the main ingredients in Nemours’ formula for success. His care in adapting his original ideas to the tastes of the public is acknowledged by their pleased attitude toward his inspirations.

Four years ago, to give new impetus to Haitian music, he created the rhythm known as “Konpa Direk”. This renovation was enthusiastically welcomed, and it brought immediate fame to Nemours Jean-Baptiste.

From its inception, this new rhythm was approved of by everyone. Both young and old could dance to it with ease. Its authentic styling and personality coupled with new melodies and fine arrangements bring this rhythm each day closer and closer to the forefront of popular dance music, a position, it so justly deserves.”

Another track from the album – “Immortel Compas”

43. BILLY STEWART “I Do Love You”

Billy Stewart died in a motorbike crash in January 1970 at the age of 32, a tragically early loss of a great talent who would undoubtedly have flourished with the smoother Philadelphia-style soul of the early to mid seventies – “I Do Love You” reached #26 in the US Hot 100 while the follow-up “Sitting In The Park” went two places higher

42. OS KRIPTONS “Billy Boom”

Angolan garage band Os Kriptons consisted of Gil Azevedo Lima on rhythm guitar ) ,António Veloso on drums, Carlos Alberto Sanchez on bass and José Antonio Diamantino on viola, of all things. Playing their first gig in N’Gola cinema in Luanda, they achieved a fair amount of local success with their first EP, form which “Billy Boom” is taken. This is “Manga Madura” from the same EP.

41. THE ANIMALS “Bring It On Home To Me”

Alan Price’s final single with The Animals was a cover of the Sam Cooke classic (below) – he was replaced briefly by Mickey Gallacher who went on to become a central part of Ian Dury And The Blockheads.

Look out for the next instalment of this blog in a couple of days’ time.

Stay groovy, won’t you?

Festive Fifty of 1965 Numbers 40-31

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Gig Guide w/e Sunday 8th September 2013

How did it get to September again? Seriously? Quite a few bigger names starting to play the odd gig or even tour now that everybody’s back from their holidays. Here’s a few suggestions for some great live music entertainment this week, starting with the only “bigger name” I’m including this week!

Monday – Be Good Tanyas, Union Chapel

Alt.country royalty play the beautiful Union Chapel with its fine acoustics and all, ahead of their greatest hits collection which is released on September 24th in the UK if anyone wants to buy me an early Xmas prezzie.

Monday – Black Yaya – Hoxton Kitchen & Grill

Black Yaya is the offspring of rage and thunder. Black Yaya is anger and guile. Black Yaya is a merciless fight, and redemption songs.

Black Yaya is also David Ivar, frontman of Herman Dune, who seem to be getting in here on a weekly basis in various guises.

Tuesday – Splaaasshh – Rough Trade East instore (7pm)

OK then, Australia. You gots Tame Impala. But the Kiwis and Poms have joined forces to give you some serious competition in the dreamy psych-rock stakes. Ten quid or so gets you the album plus a ticket to this gig, which is the best value of the week in my book.

Tuesday – Heartless Bastards – Garage

Excellent classic garage rock stylings from Heartless Bastards. Imagine Black Keys only with more tuneage and (slightly) less riffage, and a frontwoman with the most powerful voice this side of Janis Joplin. Been waiting to see this lot for years, ever since I heard “The Mountain”.

I shall most assuredly see you down the front for this one.

Tuesday – Cayucas – 100 Club

Arse! I think I’m destined to never see this band live, there’s always a clash. Next time, Cayucas. Next time. If anyone reading this goes along, I want a full review please.

Wednesday – Drenge – Tipsy Bar

And guitar-based indie STILL REFUSES TO LAY DOWN AND DIE! Drenge are from Castleton, a lovely small town in the Peak District about thirty miles from Sheffield. Rawest thing to have a chance of chart-bothering action since the Arctic Monkeys, also from these parts (and with a cracking new album about to drop).

Thursday – Khalilah Rose – Hootannanny

For reggae singer Khalilah Rose, being in the music business is not about the pursuit of fortune and fame. This talented Rastafarian empress has no time to be caught up in the hype of the music biz, as she is more concerned about setting the standards for roots reggae music on a global level.

She is on a serious musical mission in the name of Rastafari to restore the genre to its past glory.
Rose joined the Rastafari faith in 2009, the following year she moved back to Jamaica, where she was discovered by Tanya Thelwell of UMI Records. Since then, her career has been growing from strength to strength.

To date, she has recorded a number of popular singles, most notable are her collaborations with other cultural reggae acts such as Unite and Be Strong, done with Turbulence, and Jah Is Living, featuring Lutan Fyah. Both songs are featured on her debut album titled Zion’s Lullaby, which was released on the Ackee & Dumplin imprint earlier this year. The 14-track album features production work from a number of top-flight musicians and producers, including Dean Fraser, Ed Robinson, Fifth Element Crew and Carl James.

Although Rose is not yet a household name in Jamaica, her music has spread far beyond the shores of her island home. As a result, she has made numerous appearances on events in Europe, Africa, Brazil, Israel and North America. The music video for her single titled Hail Him is currently enjoying strong rotation in South Africa.

Thursday – Hot Head Show – Garage

OK, if I say to you “blues-rock band” and “fronted by the son of Police drummer Stewart Copeland”, I bet you’re thinking “Nah, I’ll give them a miss”.

Seriously don’t. Raw as hell, and far more experimental and out there than anything Sting and the Boyz ever did.

Think about it. If the guy wanted to trade on his old fella’s name, he’d have gone under his own name, like the various Beatles and Zappa offspring do. This is the real deal.

Friday – 14 Iced Bears – Dublin Castle

Classic eighties Brighton indie band, now reformed and touring the hits, which is what all reformed old bands should do!

Sunday – Ringo Deathstarr, Lexington

Fans of the big buzzsaw guitar sound with lots of echo will love this band. Just a hint of something a bit more ethereal there to differentiate them from the Jesus And Mary Chain and The Raveonettes. All three bands are great, you understand.

That’ll do for now I reckon. Same time next week. Me, I shall be sampling a bit of Heartless Bastards and Splaaassh on Tuesday with some sweet reggae at the Hootannanny on Thursday courtesy of Khalilah Rose.

Sunday – Two Cow Garage – Windmill, Brixton