As could be said for most of us, hearing the Beatles for the first time begins a journey into music that never ends. “I decided at 13,” said Scott Urgola, “that I needed an electric guitar.” This as he was transfixed to the TV during the airing of the Beatles Anthology in 1996. Urgola would progress through that phase in high school and college. But the Somers singer/songwriter’s musical arrival didn’t start until introduced to an American legend much further removed from the telegenic electricity of the Beatles.
I heard a new song by Paul McCartney earlier today on Sirius XM's The Beatles Channel—"Come On to Me"—and liked it enough that I just listened to it again on iHeart Radio, along with another new McCartney song, "I Don't Know," which I like even more. You can hear both along with the videos and lyrics over here.
Teeming with various issues regarding race, religion, and war, still, even 50 years later, the 1960s is one of the most newsworthy decades ever. From the Civil Rights Movement to the assassination of JFK, to rallies on the war in Vietnam, protest music was everywhere.
The year was 1950. A man by the name of Sam Phillips had a dream about recording hits that would blow music lovers out of the water. He loved playing music, but even more so he had the desire to record them. So after saving up as much money as he could, he bought a small little building on the corner of Marshall and Union Avenue. Originally it was called Memphis Recording Service, but in the year 1952 it became Sun Studio. He took his time making the small building his. He hung every piece of tile in the building, from the walls to the ceiling. He converted the old car garage into his very own Recording Studio. Sam Phillips worked hard, but not as hard as his secretary Marion Keisker. She was the first person any of the walk-in artist saw. Her smile and pretty eyes were always welcoming
During the 1960s, The Four Seasons was one of the most successful white vocal groups. They had a series of great hit singles between 1962 and 1967. Fans just loved Frankie Valli’s piercing falsetto (three octaves) voice. The group’s career spanned almost 40 years and during that time Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons sold more than 100 million records.
As I have said in the previous post, I would talk about some of my interests, college, music, and my experiences with Young Life. The main interest I have that not many millennials have is gospel music from the 50s and 60s. The reason for that is because this type of music has been forgotten for the last 60+ years in American music history. I believe that because it is gospel music, and that not many people listen to it despite the amount of white and black audiences it attracted then.
Darlene Love first appeared on the scene in the 1960’s girl group, The Blossoms. The female flowering provided doo-wop backup for artists that ranged from Sam Cooke and Elvis to Frank Sinatra and Dionne Warwick. On her own - through the sometimes contentious relationship with Phil Specter - emerged hits like He’s a Rebel, He’s Sure the Boy I Love and Wait til my Bobby gets Home. Her resume also includes screen credits as Danny Glover’s wife in the Lethal Weapon movies and a decades long run singing Christmas Baby Please Come Home on the David Letterman Show. But while her voice may have destined her for stardom, it was her father’s weekly inspirational oratory that would actually force the path she landed on.
I was 13 years old the first time I saw The Beatles movie, Help! Before sitting down with a good friend of mine to watch this zany film, I had only been a casual fan of the Fab Four. Sure, I knew all the songs off of Abbey Road and Let It Be, but doesn't every kid whose parents were born in the 1960s? Regardless, I have always been a pop culture fanatic and 13-year-old me was no exception, so I was eager to see the film. As I laughed at those four Liverpudlian lads, really seeing their faces and not just hearing their voices for the first time, I started to feel the rumblings of what would go on to become a lifelong love affair with music and the 1960s.
The 22nd of November is a fascinating date in Beatles history. In 1963, the group released their second album, With The Beatles. Five years later, The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album) was unleashed upon the world. They were pretty big days for the USA too; JFK was assassinated on the first, and Kirk kissed Uhuru on the second. Look at that, America, an interracial kiss on your tellybox.
“All the others are third class tickets, is that clear?”