Beat ’66 Show #4 – The Blurb

You can download Beat ’66 Show #4 here

While you’re listening, the following blurb may be of interest.

Play Loud.

SAM THE SHAM & THE PHAROAHS “Red Hot”

Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs were unusual in several ways. To questions regarding the origins of the term “sham,” Samudio answered that it was “rhythm-and-blues jargon for shuffling, twisting or jiving around to music.” Before taking up the organ, Samudio “shammed” while he sang, so he found the term a fitting one for the band’s name. Also, being a novice on organ, he had to “sham” his way through playing. In addition, he and his fellow musicians were known for wearing Middle Eastern attire for their performances. Indeed, Samudio wore a “jewelled jacket and feathered turban.” He purchased a hearse that he called “Black Beauty” in which to haul his organ and his Leslie speaker, and the band toured in it from then on.

The song was originally performed by Billy Lee Riley and made an impression on the young Bob Dylan. At the Musicares Person Of The Year 2015 Dylan said:

“Billy Lee Riley became what is known in the industry, a condescending term by the way, as a one hit wonder. But sometimes, just sometimes, once in a while, a one hit wonder can make a more powerful impact than a recording star who’s got 20 or 30 hits behind him. And Billy’s hit song was called “Red Hot,” and it was red hot. It could blast you out of your skull and make you feel happy about it. Change your life.”

Technically Riley did have another hit in Flying Saucer Rock ‘N’ Roll but “Red Hot” is a killer song.

Recorded at Sun Records where Billy Lee Riley was competing for attention with the likes of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and Johnny Cash. This stands up just fine against all those great artists:

ELVIS PRESLEY “Blue River”

Recorded in 1963 it was inexplicably shelved for a couple of years until it was released as a single in the UK in January 1966, reaching number 22, not bad considering that by then Elvis’s country rock sound was beginning to sound a bit old fashioned.

I love the home-made Youtube video that this guy has done for this song on Youtube, a real labour of love. Elvistheking35, Beat City salutes you!

THE ISLEY BROTHERS “This Old Heart Of Mine”

Funny how perceptions are different. I was totally under the impression that this song is among Motown’s most well-known, but for all its finger-clicking goodness a quick straw poll indicates that I’m in a minority.

For me this is the quintessential Motown track of this era. No intro beyond that trademark drum roll, then its straight into a groove that lasts for the rest of the track.

The song has been covered a few times but this is the best one I’ve found. Recorded in 1975 but only released in 2014, this is by the underrated Bettye Swann, who slows it right down and turns it into something else entirely.

MARTHA REEVES & THE VANDELLAS “Never Leave Your Baby’s Side”

If the Supremes had cut a song called “Never Leave Your Baby’s Side” then you’d just KNOW without hearing it that it was going to be a gooey loved-up number sung by a submissive-sounding Diana Ross.

The title is given a 180 degree twist here though. You can’t imagine any other female Motown singer delivering this performance. Martha Reeves takes a waspish “don’t mess with me boy” tone on the verses but there’s enough sugar and sweetness in the chorus for the casual listener to think its just a nice song about always being with your bay-bee. But the delivery of the line “watch out” is the giveaway.

Its the tale of a woman who doesn’t trust here man but she doesn’t sit around moping at home, she knows the score, that all men are the same in this respect, waiting to play around as soon as you turn your back. Not a song that could be covered in the present day without scornful – and lets face it accurate – accusations of an acceptance of How Men Are, but at the time this was as powerful a statement as a woman could make.

This song was the B-side to “My Baby Loves Me”, which actually WOULD sound more natural in the hands of the Supremes. It’s still good, don’t get me wrong, but I’d put a fiver on “Never Leave
Your Baby’s Side” having originally been scheduled as the A-side until they bottled out.

THE WHEELS “Bad Little Woman”

The Wheels (renamed The Wheel-A-Ways for the US release of this record, presumably to avoid confusion with Mitch Ryder And The Detroit Wheels) came out of the same Belfast scene as Van Morrison’s Them – indeed, Morrison played saxophone in an early incarnation of The Wheels.

See the superb Garage Hangover for details on The Wheels and many other sixties garage rock bands.

THEM “My Lonely Sad Eyes”

The band may have been on the verge of collapse but that song indicates that they could still make a great record in early 1966. From the album Them Again that was My Lonely Sad Eyes, a pointer of what was to come from Van Morrison in his solo career.

LITTLE MILTON “We Got The Winning Hand”

This sneaked into the Billboard Hot 100 AT number 100 for one solitary week in early 1966. Little Milton with We Got The Winning Hand, backed with “Sometimey”:

MILLIE SMALL & JIMMY CLIFF “Hey Boy Hey Girl”

Millie Small is best known for The Hit (“My Boy Lollipop”) but she made some great records through the rest of the sixties and into the seventies. This track was made to give a boost to a young Jimmy Cliff, just starting out at the time.

http://www.popsike.com/RARE-Millie-Small-Ska-At-the-Jamaica-Playboy-Club-LP/4010036663.html

THE EYES “My Degeneration”

The B-side to the second single by mod hopefuls The Eyes is both funny and knowing.

The song contained references to “a cup of coffee or two” which in the vernacular of the time meant .. well, we all know what “coming back for a coffee” means don’t we? I believe the modern equivalent is “Netflix and Chill”.

The humourless souls at the Tea Board attempted to sue the band because they seemed to be taking liberties with the “Join the tea set” chorus. Britain, eh?

CRISPIAN ST PETERS “You Were On My Mind”

Crispian St Peters could well have gone down in music history as a one-hit wonder but an interview with the New Musical Express in which he claimed that he’d written 80 songs that were better than anything the Beatles had ever produced, and that he was a better singer than Tom Jones and Elvis Presley (claiming that his own stage moves made Elvis look like the Statue Of Liberty).

This controversy – unusual for a singer who only had the one hit to his name – helped propel the proto-flower-power anthem “I’m The Pied Piper” into the charts.

So he went down in music history as the first (and possibly the only) TWO-hit wonder.

THE CYCLONES & THE CHECKMATES “The Dew”

The Singapore pop scene was thriving in late 1965 and early 1966 with bands like Naomi & The Boys and The Crescendos becoming big stars in their home country with their version of beat music.

The Cyclones were a duo comprising James and Siva Choy and they’re backed by instrumental surf / beat group the Checkmates on this record. There’s more bending of the notes than you’d expect from Western proponents of the form, giving it a definite sound of its own.

NEAL HEFTI – “Batman Theme”

The classic theme from the Batman TV show which debuted in January 1966, covered many many times by the likes of Link Wray, The Ventures and The Jam but to be honest none of those versions are as good as Neal Hefti’s original.

This is one of Hefti’s previous film themes. from the Jean Harlow biopic “Harlow” that came out in 1965, an instrumental version of “Girl Talk” which works better without the lyrics to my mind.

SPENCER DAVIS GROUP “Keep On Running”

Written by Jamaican singer and songwriter Jackie Edwards, “Keep On Running” could have been designed with Stevie Winwood’s soaring voice in mind and provided the Spencer Davis Group with their biggest and most enduring hit.

This is Jackie Edwards’ original version.

LEE HAZLEWOOD “I Move Around”

Signed to MGM Records after writing hits for the likes of Duane Eddy and (most recently and effectively) Nancy Sinatra’s breakthrough single “These Boots Are Made For Walking”, Lee Hazlewood’s career as a solo artist had stuttered somewhat up to this point.

His first single for the label is classic Hazlewood, a slow, dreamlike country tune with heartbreaking lyrics sung with his trademark flat, world-weary delivery.
He also recorded his own strange version of “These Boots Are Made For Walking” complete with running commentary – note the comment at 2:09 or thereabouts in particular.

THE BEAU BRUMMELS “Sad Little Girl”

A tune too good to tuck away on a B-side – the allegedly more commercial A-side was a cover of The Loving Spoonful’s “Good Time Music”, but that only just scraped into the Hot 100.

If only they’d pushed “Sad Little Girl” instead, who knows what could have happened?

THE FOUR TOPS “Shake Me, Wake Me When It’s Over”

Motown were early adopters of recycling.

Following standard label practice, this single by the Four Tops was covered by the Supremes later in 1966, on the album The Supremes A Go-Go.

MARVIN GAYE “One More Heartache”

Marvin Gaye with what comes over as a gritty remake of Can I Get A Witness with its sparse cool opening and relentless groove that just builds and builds.

Much like the earlier “Can I Get A Witness” in its sparse, cool opening which then drops into a groove which just keeps on building.

The B-side “When I Had Your Love” is another hidden gem

THE KINKS “Never Met A Girl Like You Before”

“One of our aims is to stay amateurs. As soon as we become professionals we’ll be ruined” – Ray Davies from the sleeve notes to the expanded rerelease of the album “The Kink Kontroversy”

THE SEEKERS “The Carnival Is Over”

A lovely, sad end-of-a-love-affair song that can be taken literally or figuratively, either way its heartbreaking.

The Seekers are underrated by most music historians.

Judith Durham’s voice could make the phone book sound poignant, especially when set against the strong unison male backing vocals. This is their cover of a Paul Simon song, “Come The Day”.

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Beat ’66 Show #2 – The Blurb

These Sleeve Notes refer to the second Beat Sixty-Six podcast which you can download by clicking Beat ’66 Show #2

A new show will go up every Thursday throughout 2016, with the sleeve notes following by the Saturday.

You can follow Beat City on Twitter here:

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NANCY SINATRA “These Boots Are Made For Walking”

This track entered the US Top 100 early in January 1966 and would become one of the biggest records of the year, and one of the most lasting, from Nancy Sinatra

Still sounds so fresh, so sassy and so damn sexy after all this time.

Nancy Sinatra’s breakthrough and biggest hit These Boots Are Made For Walking.

If you’re on Twitter she’s well worth following, very human and very smart,follows everyone back (unless you’re a total knob) and is one of the nicest, least pretentious celebs on there.

Follow Nancy Sinatra on Twitter

THE STRANGELOVES “Night Time”

Second highest chart placing in the US for the Strangeloves

Next The Strangeloves who consisted of producers Bob Feldma,Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer but were promoted as being three Australian sheep-farming brothers named Giles, Miles and Niles Strange.

Their biggest hit was “I Want Candy” which has been much covered over the years but this one, Night Time, is just as good and has also been covered notably by George Thorogood & The Destroyers and, in quite an authentic garagey manner, Bauhaus.

MARTHA REEVES & THE VANDELLAS “My Baby Loves Me”

Everything you could possibly want to know about this record can be found by clicking Motown Junkies on Martha Reeves & The Vandellas ‘My Baby Loves Me’

EDWIN STARR – Stop Her On Sight ( S O S)

A slightly bigger hit in the UK (35) than in the US (48) – the B side “I Have Faith In You” is just as good:

THE SUNRAYS “Andrea”

Originally known as the Renegades and playing rock and roll covers, the Sunrays’ career took of in 1964 when Murry Wilson, the father of Brian, Carl, and Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys, started managing them, tweaked the personel a little (removing the sax player) and changed their name to The Sunrays.

As well as Andrea their hits included “I Live for the Sun” (1965) (below) and “Still”.

They supported the Beach Boys on several US tours, but never made it big as their sounds were probably a little bit too similar …

BEACH BOYS “Barbara Ann”

Dean Torrence from the group Jan & Dean sang lead on this song of teenage desire.

Capitol Records released this without telling the band. The Beach Boys were trying to gain credibility as a serious musical act, and didn’t want to put out such a simplistic song.

The release date may have been influenced by the first appearance of heartthrob actress and model Barbara Anne Feldon as Agent 99 on the TV show “Get Smart”.

A bar-bar-bar-bar-Barbara-Ann (probably THE bar-bar-bar-bar-Barbara Ann)

A bar-bar-bar-bar-Barbara-Ann (probably THE bar-bar-bar-bar-Barbara Ann)

Here’s the Regents’ original version, with harmonies the Beach Boys replicated, complete with kazoo, which they very sensibly didn’t.

DELROY WILSON “Dancing Mood”

Delroy Wilson was the first child star of the Jamaican music scene, cutting his first records in 1962 for Sir Coxsone’s Studio One, including “Spit In The Sky”, one of many records made at Studio One attacking the rival Prince Buster (which to be fair was well reciprocated by Buster).

“Dancing Mood” is regarded as one of the very first rocksteady records (as opposed to the faster ska beat that ruled the island’s airwaves until then)

BUCK OWENS “Buckaroo”

Buck Owens, along with Merle Haggard, was the leader of the Bakersfield sound, a twangy, electricified, rock-influenced interpretation of hardcore honky tonk that emerged in the ’60s.

Owens was the first bona fide country star to emerge from Bakersfield, scoring a total of 15 consecutive number one hits in the mid-’60s. In the process, he provided an edgy alternative to the string-laden country-pop that was being produced during the ’60s.

Later in his career, his musical impact was forgotten by some as he became a television personality through the country comedy show Hee Haw.

Nevertheless, several generations of musicians — from Gram Parsons in the late ’60s to Dwight Yoakam in the ’80s — were influenced by his music, which wound up being one of the blueprints for modern country music.

This track, the instrumental “Buckaroo” (named after his backing band The Buckaroos who were named in turn by Merle Haggard), was his fourth country No 1 in the USA as the year turned from 1965 to 1966. The Byrds did a cover of it but I wont lie to you, its not their best work. Seekit out if you absolutely MUST, but I’m not going to enable you by giving you the link. Sorry.

This was the B-side – “If You Want A Love”, a standard country number that benefits from Buck’s straight-ahead, unsentimental delivery. It’s not the most innovative music in the world, but you wouldn’t turn it off either.

And if That ain’t enough country for ya, here’s a live version of Buck’s huge crossover hit from the previous year “Love’s Gonna Live Here Again”.

Now skedaddle before I fill your pants full of lead.

THEM “Hello Josephine”

One of the better songs on “Them Again”, originally written and recorded by Fats Domino

LEE DORSEY “Get Out Of My Life Woman”

Written by Allen Toussaint who passed on recently – what with Lemmy on bass, Bowie on vocals and rhythm guitar, Allen Toussaint on piano and Alan Rickman introducing the band there’s pretty much a whole supergroup in the recent arrivals section of heaven just now.

The song has been sampled in excess of 150 times by such artists as Naz, Cypress Hill, De La Soul, Wu-Tang Clan, The Fugees, Beck and Compton’s Most Wanted (below)


JACKIE WILSON & LAVERN BAKER “Think Twice”

A minor hit, reaching no 93 in the Hot 100, there’s an intriguing “Version X” of this song that was never released for some strange reason. Warning – this is really filthy.

POETS “Baby Don’t You Do It”

On Immediate Records (the Small Faces’ lanel), Glasgow’s Poets released this astonishing freakbeat take on Marvin Gaye’s “Baby Don’t You Do It”.

It just builds and builds on what is a very simple riff and then takes off towards the end.

The B-Side “I’ll Come Home” is by contrast a jangly Beatles-style tune proving the Poets had more than one trick in their box.

SAM AND DAVE “You Don’t Know Like I Know”

This tune only just scraped into the Hot 100 but it was the start of a run of eight hits for Sam and Dave, a vocal match made in heaven with the gravelly baritone of Dave Prater the perfect counterpoint to tenor Sam Moore’s sweet tenor voice in the style of that other great sixties soul Sam (Cooke).

They were one of the most exciting live acts of the era, with a live act filled with animation, harmony and goodwill.

This was their first single for Stax from 1965, which inexplicably failed to trouble the charts, but its a great tune.

SMALL FACES “Sha-La-La-La-Lee”

After their second single “I’ve Got Mine” failed to build on the chart success of their debut “Whatcha Gonna Do About It?”, the Small Faces’ manager Don Arden brought in professional songwriters Mort Shuman and Kenny Lynch to write “Sha-La-La-La-Lee” for the band.

The Small Faces hated this song, and it did mark them down as a pop band rather than the R&B / soul band they in fact were (although there IS an absolutely cracking piano intro by Ian McLagan, almost hidden in the production).

It did get to number 3 in the British charts though, and those fans who flipped the disc were treated to a scorching instrumental (and the theme tune for Retro Beat ’66) “Grow Your Own”:

THE EYES “The Immediate Pleasure”

Evolved out of an instrumental band called The Renegades, and you can kind of hear that on this record, which would in fact stand on its own as an instrumental, with that descending guitar lead line.

The vocals almost act as an extra layer on top giving the whole thing a lot of depth

The band didn’t last beyond 1966 – recording an ill-advised tribute album to the Rolling Stones under the name The Pupils (geddit?) for some quick cash didn’t really help their credibility.

You can tell their hearts weren’t really in it, check this version of “19th Nervous Breakdown”.

BOBBY BLAND “I’m Too Far Gone To Turn Around”

It’s easy to come to the conclusion that by 1966 Bobby Bland’s classic R and B “big band” style sound was old hat but a look at the chart performance of his hits doesn’t really bear that out – sure, his days of hitting #1 in the US R&B chart were gone but his singles still regularly made the R&B Top 20 and the overall Hot 100, so he clearly had a strong and loyal fanbase.

The B-side “If You Could Read My Mind” is another clue as to why – a fairly ordinary MOR song and arrangement raised by Bobby’s sweet, sweet voice to another plane.

SPENCER DAVIS GROUP “Look Away”

A brave choice for the opening track from the Spencer Davis Group’s “The Second Album” – rather than going with the hit single from the previous year “Keep On Running” they chose the tragic heartbreak tune “Look Away”, which it has to be said is a lot more typical of the album.

Another atypical track from the album is the country-style “This Hammer”

MARVIN GAYE “When I Had Your Love”

The B-side of “One More Heartache” which you can hear in either next week’s Retro Beat City or the week after, but I think this is actually a better track.

Incidentally, Marvin’s most recent album at that time (released in November 1965) was a tribute album to his hero Nat ‘King’ Cole who died the previous February. From it this is “Its Only A Paper Moon”

THE EASYBEATS “Sad And Lonely And Blue”

Among the recent losses in the world of music around the end of2015 / beginning of 2016 was Stevie Wright, singer with Australia’s finest group of the 60s, the Easybeats.

Click here for Stevie Wright’s obituary and ten of his greatest songs

There is a story about Good Times, that the first time he heard it, Paul McCartney pulled over and rang the radio station, asking them to play it again. Six months later, the Beatles released Get Back, which revolves around the same GDA progression.

FESTIVE FIFTY YEARS AGO – 1962 Part Four

December 30th, 2012

This is my interpretation of what might have appeared in John Peel’s Listeners’ Festive Fifty in 1962, had he been working for the BBC at that time.

We’ve reached numbers 20-11.

20. THE TOKENS – The Lion Sleeps Tonight

One of those songs everybody knows thanks to The Lion King.

Originally written and recorded in 1939 by South African singer Solomon Linda, it is said to be about Shaka Zulu, the Zulu king who resisted the European settlers in the nineteenth century. Much like King Arthur, he is said to be sleeping until his country’s hour of greatest need.

There were countless versions of the song both before and after The Tokens took it to Number One in the US charts – the Karl Denver Trio had a good go at it. I first heard it performed by Miriam Makeba on one of my Dad’s
LPs, so that’s always going to be the definitive version for me.

Tight Fit were to take it to Number One in the UK in the early eighties, but we can, I think, draw a veil over that.

19. THE SHADOWS – Wonderful Land

In pop histories of the sixties, the Shadows are (ahem) overshadowed by the group from Liverpool that came along just after they did. But in the early sixties they were massive. This record stayed at Number One in the UK for eight weeks, longer than any other record in the entire sixties, although I suppose you could argue that just proved what little competition they had.

This is a majestic, atmospheric record that lives in your head a long time after the final fade-out. Hank Marvin’s trademark guitar sound is perfectly matched with the orchestral sweeps.

18. THE RIVINGTONS – Papa Oom Mow Mow

The Rivingtons had previously been known as the Sharps, and had hits both in their own right and backing Duane Eddy. This was their first hit after the name change and can lay claim to being the first garage record, certainly the first HIT garage record.

17. BOB DYLAN – Song To Woody

Dylan in wistful mode as he sings a living tribute to his hero Woody Guthrie, who he met in 1961 when the folk legend was in hospital in New Jersey.

Also namechecked here are Guthrie collaborator Cisco Houston and bluesmen Leadbelly, and Sonny Terry. It’s a clear indication of Dylan’s intention to acknowledge his influences, but also to move on and forge his own musical identity.

16. DUANE EDDY – The Ballad Of Paladin

Duane Eddy put his own unique spin on the closing theme to the Western TV Series “Have Gun – Will Travel” which starred Richard Boone. Originally a standard Western ballad, Eddy takes it by the scruff of the neck, cranks up the volume on the guitar and sets it to a proto-Ennio Morricone orchestral backing.

15. MARY WELLS – Operator

Mary sounds like she’s trying to imitate the vocal delivery of song composer Smokey Robinson here. Chugs along in a decent enough groove, but an odd choice for the imaginary listeners to make in 1962. There were far odder choices made by Peel’s real listeners in the eighties though. A clue as to this song’s unexpectedly high placing can perhaps be gleaned from the theory that the song was hyped into the upper reaches of this chart by Post Office workers.

14. MARVIN GAYE – Hitch-Hike

This song’s high placing is perhaps due to the fact that it was released very close to the Festive Fifty deadline in mid-December, and so would have been fresh in Peel’s listeners’minds.

Not perhaps as soulful or meaningful as much of his work, it nevertheless has a joy that is undeniable.

Co-written by Clarence Paul (who also wrote and produced the Little Stevie Wonder tracks listed elsewhere in this chart)

13. ISLEY BROTHERS – Twist And Shout

Their first big hit since “Shout” almost three years earlier. The song’s writer, Bert Russell, had seen Phil Spector produce a dismal version of the song by the Top Notes the previous year, and was keen to show Spector how the record should have sounded.

The result was two and half minutes of snap and energy, coming as close as possible to capturing the energy of a live performance.

Both “Shout” and “Twist And Shout” would later be covered by British artists to great effect.

12. HOWIE CASEY AND THE SENIORS – I Ain’t Mad At You

B-side to Twist At The Top. Unusually for British beat groups, they featured a black lead singer, Derry Wilkie, who actually gets a separate credit on the record as you can see from the Youtube vid.

The fact that the band started as Derry And The Seniors and ended up taking the name of the sax player tells you something about the relative business nous of the two men.

Often airbrushed out of Merseybeat history, they were in fact the first Liverpool band to play in Hamburg, paving the way for Rory Storm and The Hurricanes and others.

11. DUANE EDDY – The Avenger

Shamefully low chart position. Didn’t even make the Hot 100 in the States and failed to trouble the scorers in the UK. Snuck out in early 1962 while Eddy was in the process of changing record labels. Interesting to note exactly how much artists were at the mercy of the whims of the record company back then. Nowadays, he would have released it on a download from his website and his rabid fans would all have bought it direct.

Back at 8pm for the Top Ten. Place your bets on the Number One …

FESTIVE FIFTY YEARS AGO 1962 – Part Three

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.

Fools.

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.