Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Goosebumps (Wed)

More of your Goosebump Moments Memories ...

Just a couple of songs from my early musical awareness which, when they first came on the radio, caused the world to stop for a moment to let the magic register in my brain (in no particular order): 
Johnny Cash, "I Walk the Line" (waiting for my parents, listening on a car radio in Wildwood, NJ) 
The Flamingos, "Lovers Never Say Goodbye" (doowop on velvet) 
Pat Boone, "Gee, But It's Lonely" (a man and a guitar; only the bridge is orchestrated. The Everlys never recorded it! Say what some might about Pat, but this was two minutes of magic) 
Rivieras, "Count Every Star" (starts great, builds to a transcendent coda) 
Dore Alpert, "Dina" (bought for a penny from a reject pile, I put it on the phonograph and two notes in I said to my mother, who was in the room, "I'm going to love this." "How do you know?" "I just do." And I still do) 
Clusters, "Darling Can't You Tell" (love at first hearing; everything that's good about up tempo doowop - great song, great arranging, superb singing including The Chantels' Arlene Smith overdubbed on the high harmony, and maybe the best bass- singer intro ever in a delightfully crowded field) 
Spector's Three, "I Really Do' (the real voices of teen angels, the perfection of the first - velvet - wall of sound, a "presence" if you will. I named my record =company after this gem. How could Phil have gone so radically off the rails???) 
I still crank all of these up whenever I hear them or play them at home, and I can still get shivers from all of them. OK. That ought to keep y'all entertained for a while! 
Country Paul Payton  

Does getting good vibrations from hearing the Beach Boys' Good Vibrations blast out of my transistor radio count as "goosebumps"?
Sure, why not!  (kk)    

Another of my Goosebump tracks is Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind." That 45 was my introduction to Gord - and all Canadian folk music for that matter - and it made me a lifelong fan. We were ironically in Nova Scotia week before last when Gord played here, so we didn't see him this time - and although he still draws a crowd, reports were that his vocal strength continues to drop. Fans come for the music and the memories.
David Lewis   

I guess a Goosebump / Wow! kind of moment was June of ’67 hearing “A Day In The Life”. That was a bit of a change of pace from the norm of the time.   

It's funny because by 1967 we really didn't know WHAT The Beatles were "supposed" to sound like anymore.  They had grown so quickly in the studio with their albums "Rubber Soul" and "Revolver", nobody really knew what to expect by the time "Sgt. Pepper" came out.  But that cute, adorable little pop band from Liverpool was gone ... and quite a few of us listeners hadn't "matured" at the rate they had.  As such, we flocked to more of the "Feel Good" sounds of The Monkees, The Turtles, Tommy  James and the Shondells and many of the other artists that were making great pop records in the mid-'60's.  "A Day In The Life" was pretty heavy stuff for its time.  Little did we know it would forever change the way albums were made and thought of.  (kk)

I forgot a real goosebump song and an unlikely one at that, for me at least. Here I was in my last year in college in NYC in 1963, singing doo wop with my buddies and enjoying group harmony and R&B as well, going to the Apollo Theater to see our favorite artists whenever we could. I loved any form of R&R and R&B at that time so this goosebump song was different because it was a beautiful instrumental. "Our Winter Love" by Bill Pursell still brings back wonderful memories today.
A couple more somewhat obscure songs that give me goosebumps are "Snow" by Johnny Maestro and "An Old Fashioned Christmas" by Kenny Williams.
Thanks for letting me double-dip,
Danny Guilfoyle
A couple of people have mentioned "Our Winter Love" now ... kind of  surprise for me as it seems other instrumentals are more often cited in examples like this.  Good to hear that Bill Pursell had this effect on so many of you.  (kk)

I thought about this topic for about a week now. How many 1000s of songs have all of us heard since the first time we heard ANY song on the radio? I really didn't start seriously listening (every waking moment) to the radio until 1966. Before that if the radio was on I listened, but I didn't go out of my way to turn it on. So what song grabbed me by the balls and wouldn't let go? I thought about In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, American Pie, Alice's Restaurant and Bohemian Rhapsody. But the song that gave me goosebumps then, and still does 36 years after it's release, is a song by the late Harry Chapin. Clocking in at 14 minutes (aren't all of Harry's songs that long?), there was no way it could be edited as a single and still have the song make sense. The song is called "There Only Was One Choice" and it's about Harry spying some kid on a corner strumming his guitar in the hopes of making it big. Although Harry has "made it" in the music biz, he's also become very cynical about it and society itself. He refers to the bicentennial as the B-U-Y Centennial. Today being July 4, is what brought all this to mind. In the end Harry muses about turning 34 and his own mortality and his hopes that maybe his kid will pick up a guitar and find a street corner somewhere. Why does it give me goosebumps? Because in 1977, while I was no longer a kid (I was 27), every nite after putting in my eight hours, I'd head down to Rush St., in Chicago, to a specific street corner and strum my guitar for about four more hours. I'd be there on weekends as well. So in  a sense, I was that kid. 
Happy July 4th everyone. 

As for Goosebump moments,  I think the beginning riff of the Beatles "I Want to Hold Your Hand" will always have that effect on many baby-boomers.  For the kids who were 13-14 in '64, that song lit a fuse. We loved the Beach Boys,  early 4 Seasons, and anything by Dion.  It's the intros that grab you, like At the Hop, 409, Johnny B. Goode, etc.  For most kids in the US, the riff of I Want to Hold Your Hand was the beachhead of the British Invasion...still does it for me. 
Billy Fair  

Hey Kent & family -
Goosebumps ... I tried to pare down which "one" tune gave me the most chills and realized (as many have) the goosebumps are largely part memories attached to the song, and part the magic of the tune itself. The opening strains of Paul Revere & the Raiders' "Kicks", for instance. But ... one night last week my brother-in-law (a James Bond fanatic) and I decided we had appetite enough for another viewing of Goldfinger. Goosebumps. Right there. Memories sure, but the melody, arrangement; John Barry's use of electric guitar, all tied to agent 007. Oddly, what makes the hair on arms stand most, is the way Barry weaves the Bond Theme into each film as "filler", fading in for transition and suddenly gone - kind of an organic mixture of Theme & horns / strings and that magical guitar riff. In this "From Russia With Love" clip (, a perfect example begins at 3:58 and turns louder / softer while Bond inspects his room for listening devices. Filler stuff from the "Theme" but I love it. That's my "goosebumps" musical  moment. Outstanding idea for FH and the way music effects us Kent. Kudos & Thanks! 
Ron Kolman