Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The 60s Start Today in Forgotten Hits!

Well, MY 60s anyway!!!

It is with complete and total disbelief that I announce that today I am turning 60 ...

I truly CANNOT believe it!

I don't feel it in any way, shape or form ...  

Not physically ... not mentally ... most days I still feel 25 (although I will admit that it's a bit tougher to get out of bed in the morning ... and some of these 14 hour work-days kick my ass) ... but overall, in heart and in spirit, I don't think I feel at all like a 60-year old ... or at least what the perception of a 60 year old man should feel like.  

When I was born, my grandfather (born in 1900) was 53 years old ... and I was his first-born grand child.  As such, I only ever knew him as an "old man".  Every memory ... every photograph ... grandpa always looked old.  He was completely gray (white actually) and I guess that this image is what helped mold what a "grandpa" was supposed to look like in my mind.  (And let's face it ... back then, 50 was OLD!!!)  

Thankfully, I can report that I do NOT look like that.  I don't dress that way ... I don't act that way ... I am fortunate enough to still have a full head of hair ... and it's brown, not gray ... I'm still somewhat energetic and want to go out and do things ... I'm still (obviously) VERY involved with the music and times I grew up in ... all in all, we turned out to be pretty much polar opposites.  Grandpa lived to be 99 ... he JUST missed his 100th birthday, a milestone he was bound and determined to reach ... but his failing health got the better of him and he fell short by a couple of months.  Too bad ... I was really rooting for him!  

Honestly, I can't imagine another 40 years ... but then I pass billboards that say things like "One out of Three babies born today will live to be over 100 years old" or "The first person to live to be 150 years old is alive today" and I wonder ... and I cannot help but think ... "Oh God, PLEASE don't let it be me!!!"  (lol)  

Anyway, in honor of this personal milestone ... and in honor of my favorite decade in music ... over the next 60 days we'll be periodically saluting the '60's ... the music, the memories, the events ... quite honestly, ANYTHING you guys want to talk about.  (Because we have so many other things planned we've had to make this a recurring theme ... but there are all kinds of fun things to look forward to ... so we're hoping that you'll join us regularly, stick around, check back from time to time and tell a friend.)  

Way back when, Forgotten Hits started out as an emailed newsletter, mailed through my AOL Email Address of The60sShop ... well, folks, the 60's have returned!  

It's official ...   

The 60s start today ... in Forgotten Hits!!!  

(August 27th to be exact)
My all-time favorite year in music is 1967 ... that was MY year ... EVERYTHING just seemed to fall into place that year ... every time I turned on the radio I was hearing some new sound that completely captivated me.  I honestly believe that I would have a tough time narrowing things down to my Top 200 Favorite Songs of 1967 ... that list would be too restrictive ... so I don't even try.  

However, we CAN look back at August 27th, 1967, just to see what was happening musically on my 14th birthday.  

The #1 song in America was "Ode To Billie Joe" by Bobbie Gentry, holding down the top spot from the week before.  (It would stay at #1 for two more weeks.)

The highest Top 40 chart debut that week was "Higher And Higher" by Jackie Wilson, which jumped from #45 to #27.  The Top 40 was filled with some of the biggest names of the era ... The Beatles ("All You Need Is Love", #2), The Supremes (now officially Diana Ross and the Supremes for the very first time), with "Reflections" at #3, The Doors ("Light My Fire", #4), Aretha Franklin ("Baby I Love You", #5), The Monkees (holding down both the #8 and the #11 spot with their two-sided hit "Pleasant Valley Sunday" / "Words"), The Beach Boys ("Heroes and Villains", #12), Neil Diamond ("Thank The Lord For The Night-Time", #13) and The Hollies (sitting at #18 with "Carrie Anne").  Yes, many of the biggest names of the decade were well-represented on this singular chart. 

We had a couple of early '60's hold-overs like Bobby Vee ("Come Back When You Grow Up", #6) as well as Chicago's own Buckinghams (#31 with "Mercy Mercy Mercy").  Motown was well represented by The Temptations and Stevie Wonder (both in The Top Ten with "You're My Everything" and "I Was Made To Love Her" respectively) and other '60's Soul Artists like James Brown and Wilson Pickett also had a foot-hold on this week's chart.

Good-time, fun rock was there, too, courtesy of The Turtles ("You Know What I Mean"), Paul Revere and the Raiders ("I Had A Dream") and Tommy James and the Shondells ("Gettin' Together").  The British Invasion continued to hold on with hits by Eric Burdon and the Animals, The Tremeloes, Donovan, The Bee Gees and a brand new group making the US Chart for the very first time with a sound that was damn-near symphonic ... "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" by Procol Harum ... still one of my absolute favorite songs of all time.

The recently reunited Rascals were still "Young" and sitting at #17 with "A Girl Like You" (my all-time favorite by them) and a remake of their earlier hit "Groovin'" was back on the charts, thanks to a soulful instrumental version by Booker T and the MG's.  Speaking of instrumentals, our FH Buddy Davie Allan was knocking on the door just outside The Top 40 door with "Blues' Theme" (#41) ... and The Top 40 also included the latest  folk / rock hits by Simon and Garfunkel ("Fakin' It"), Peter, Paul and Mary ("I Dig Rock And Roll Music") and The Mamas and the Papas ("Twelve Thirty"), as well as hot new numbers courtesy of Frankie Valli ("Can't Take My Eyes Off You"), Dionne Warwick ("The Window Of The World") and The Grass Roots ("Things I Should Have Said").  Novelty-wise, there was a "little" chart action ... both "Little Old Wine Drinker, Me" by Dean Martin and "Little Ole Man" by Bill Cosby were climbing up the charts!  These two guys bridged any generation gap ... they flat-out appealed to EVERYBODY.  Yes, an interesting time in music indeed!

The #1 Album in the country?  "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".  (Birthdays don't get much better than that, do they?!?!?)  The Beatles had turned the world on its ear with their latest creation ... and this album not only sat on top of the LP Chart for 15 weeks, but it also changed the way that albums were made and perceived forever more.

Here in Chicago, The Cryan' Shames held on to the top spot for their fourth and final week with "It Could Be We're In Love", another personal all-time favorite.

Other local hits burning up The WLS Super Summer Survey (but virtually ignored nationally) were "Take Me Back" by The Flock (#12), Lonely Drifter (#18) by Pieces of Eight and "Run, Run, Run" by Third Rail (#19), all solid Top 20 Hits here in Chi-Town.

Watch for more looks back at the '60's over the next 60 days ... and please feel free to share some of YOUR memories with us, too ... 'cause that's what we're all about.

Hey, what do you think about this shirt?  Awesome, isn't it???  My daughter and son-in-law put this one together for me for my 60th birthday present ... pretty cool, huh?  I totally dig it! ("Rockin' Strong Since 1953" ... I love it!)  Rockin' in the cradle ... rockin' thru the '50's, '60's and '70's ... and now in the rocking chair ... but it's all good.  We've got a lifetime of memories to share ... and I know you guys do, too ... so bring it on ... let's make this a 60's Celebration!!!

A few more favorites ...

To this day, STILL one of my all-time favorite Stevie Wonder songs!

No, The Turtles didn't do this one last weekend at The Happy Together Show ... or "She's My Girl" either for that matter ... but STILL one of my all-time favorites.  (Howard also never referred to themselves as "The Full-Blown Somethings" on stage ... but I still loved the show anyway!)  lol

Still one of my very favorite Forgotten Hits by these guys ... I just LOVE this song!

More to come ... stay tuned!