1969 was another amazing year of songs that I loved and, while I could easily pick any one of probably around 50 or so that impacted me, I decided that Melanie’s “Beautiful People” should be my choice. Enjoy.
1967 made San Francisco the “centre of the universe” for me. All the societal restraints had been discarded and a perceived idyllic lifestyle created. “Flower Power” was perhaps the diversion necessary from the ongoing daily threat of a nuclear holocaust. I loved this song!
1966 really was an amazing year of music for me. The Seekers made a huge impact, as did The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones and Simon & Garfunkel. I have to also mention The Mamas & Papas, The Lovin’ Spoonful, and Marianne Faithful …. where does it end? Well of course it doesn’t end, because there were so many other amazing recordings in 1966.
In 1966 I had started going to a local folk club so, as much as I loved the typical heavy rock sounds, I also loved a simple acoustic performance, hence my initial choice was Joni Mitchell’s “Circle Game”. However, the more I thought about it, the more 1966 has to be given to Judith Durham and The Seekers.
Another good year of so much music, but this one stands out in my memory mainly because of the pounding drum during the chorus!
1963 was a prolific year of sounds for me. It was probably no different from previous years, but I was now 17 and more receptive to the popular songs. Special mention goes to Richard Anthony “Too Late To Worry”; Brenda Lee “All Alone Am I”; The Shadows – various!; Cliff Richard “Summer Holiday”; The Crystals “Da Doo Ron Ron”; Tornados “Telstar”, but the one that “hit me” more than the others was probably “Wipe Out”.
I could not let this one go unmentioned because, at 16, I was never one for dancing, but I loved a good drum beat!
For all the popular songs in the UK in 1960, there was not one that made a huge impact on me at 14! This is not intended to take anything away from The Everly Brothers, The Shadows, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley, Lonnie Donegan … and so the list goes on with artists releasing some really nice sounds. So what will I link to for this 1960 Post?
This was different and catchy to me back then!
There was no music planned for today, but then I had some thoughts about music pieces being kinds of milestones! This was made very clear to me this past week … but I am getting ahead of myself, so let me go back in time.
If I reflect musically, I am taken back to numerous recordings which made an impact such that they are associated with a particular time in my life. My father was an ardent lover of Classical music, and had little time for the “pop music” of the 1960’s (my teen years). My mother liked some classical, and some “pop”, but she really liked the soundtracks from musicals such as “Carousel”, Oklahoma” etc. I had an older sister (by 3 years) who was listening to Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Sal Mineo, Pat Boone etc. My exposure to music during my teen years was therefore rather conducive to developing a broad range of musical tastes …. and I can revisit certain periods in my past simply by recalling the music.
Let me give you some examples:
Peter Lind Hayes – “Life Gets Tedious” … goes back to the late 1950’s and could well have been the first song I heard which I liked. It was unusual, creative and funny!
Lonnie Donegan – “Cumberland Gap” – Released in 1957, was my first 78rpm record, and I loved the skiffle rhythms.
Bruch’s – “Violin Concerto #1” (3rd Mvmt) – My first connection with a classical piece. I loved the violin tones and the speed of the piece. I later learned that 3rd Movements were typically written for a fast tempo. I was therefore “anointed” into the realm of Classical music by Max Bruch around 1960/61.
The Searchers – “Needles & Pins” – Came out in 1963, but I first heard it at the beginning of 1964 when I was living in a college across the other side of the country to my home.
During college, and for quite a few years thereafter, music was relegated to a rather insignificant position in my life due to unplanned career path changes and a social life, and then in the late 1960’s I met Les who had just moved into a house just round the corner to us. We shared a common interest in music and he introduced me to The Moody Blues “Question of Balance” album (and many others). He played guitar as a hobby (with dreams of public performances) and eventually influenced me sufficiently that I went out and bought one!
What does all this have to do with milestones? The above clearly suggests that music can take us to a specific point in time, and I would not be surprised if many (perhaps all) of you can travel back in time to a point dictated by music. However, this post was not started with the goal of reminiscing over music, but rather the potential ramifications of a journey into the past and being guided by music.
My very recent journey started when I was in FB, and came across an old photograph of Les (ref earlier comments). It was instant recognition because it was exactly how I remembered him, with very long and rather “out of control” hair! Given that there has been no communication since we moved to another part of town (and later emigrated), the question that came to mind was “What does one say to somebody after 50 years?”
The answer was very simple … say “Hi Les. Just found you by accident. Remember me?”
We are now in regular dialogue as we slowly recap our respective lives. Les is still playing his guitar and has partnered with a lady who plays/teaches violin, and sings. They have formed a “contemporary folk” group (aka alternative folk), and were playing pubs and clubs until COVID put an end to that. As I also maintained my musical interests (my book “Just Thinking” includes a number of pieces that were originally written as songs), we are currently in the process of sharing our musical endeavours!
… and all this came from music. Not only can significant time frames in my life be revisited by way of a song, but a common interest in music was a catalyst to restore a 50 years old relationship.
Music does seem to have that ability to create memories, and if you cannot remember too much about specific times in your past, you probably will if you hear the appropriate song! I am enjoying the magic of music, especially during these COVID times … are you?
Life Gets Tedious – https://meandray.com/2018/04/07/life-gets-tedious/
Cumberland Gap – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRUGuuz7yVo
Bruch’s Violin Concerto 3rd Mvmt – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5Qhne9qZFY
Needles & Pins – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFHpEINyZ-E
Question – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NP9iOqdxS8c
What could be better than my brief infatuation of many years ago! Here she is singing a protest song that, like so many others of that era, appear to have had little (if any) impact on our perspectives on life. Continue reading
Music is fascinating in that it has an ability to reach us in ways that are difficult to explain. A song can guide us into an emotional state for many reasons but, if the lyrics are either in a different language or are simply perplexing, then we can still be impacted by the vocal tones and/or the melody and musical arrangement. Take away the lyrics, and a whole new scenario presents itself. Continue reading