Podcasts about The Everly Brothers

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American rock and roll band

  • 250PODCASTS
  • 515EPISODES
  • 1h 6mAVG DURATION
  • 5WEEKLY NEW EPISODES
  • Oct 14, 2021LATEST
The Everly Brothers

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Best podcasts about The Everly Brothers

Latest podcast episodes about The Everly Brothers

Today In History
Today In History - “Wake Up Little Susie” becomes the Everly Brothers' first #1 hit

Today In History

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2021


https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/wake-up-little-susie-becomes-the-everly-brothers-first-1-hitSupport the show on Patreon

Famous Lost Words
702 - Aerosmith! Alicia Keys! Everly Brothers! Men Without Hats!

Famous Lost Words

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 8, 2021 42:04


      In 1978, Steven Tyler and Aerosmith made the mistake of starring in the movie flop “Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band”. It was beginning of a downturn for the band's fortunes. This week's interview comes from that time period – as they gamely try to hype the film and talk about the band's past success. Tyler even explains why they dropped one of their biggest hits from their setlist. We also hear from Joe Perry – who talks about his love of touring – and all the things that come with it.           Alicia Keys was in great spirits when she talked to us in 2005 as she told us some very funny stories from her career – including an embarrassing story in which she tripped and came crashing to the stage in front of an important showcase of journalists and music executives.           With the recent loss of Don Everly, we uncovered some rare clips of Don talking about two of the Everlys biggest hits, including why “Wake Up Little Suzie” was banned by some radio stations.            And Tom has a brand new chat with Ivan Doroschuk from Men Without Hats, who have a new EP of cover versions out. Ivan looks back on the early days of New Wave, the Montreal music scene – and the great story of the incident at an Ottawa bar that inspired “The Safety Dance”! (Clue: blame it on The B-52's!) Famous Lost Words, hosted by Christopher Ward and Tom Jokic, is heard in more than 100 countries worldwide and on radio stations across Canada, including Newstalk 1010 Toronto, CJAD 800 Montreal, 580 CFRA Ottawa, AM 800 CKLW Windsor, Newstalk 1290 London, 610 CKTB St Catharines, CFAX Victoria, AM1150 Kelowna and 91x in Belleville.  Check out Christopher Ward's new album “Same River Twice” – out now!

A vivir que son dos días
45 RPM | Nunca es tarde para publicar novedades, Buckingham lo hace a los 71 años

A vivir que son dos días

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 2, 2021 16:54


Rafa Panadero repasa la trayectoria de Lindsey Buckingham.  El artista publica a los 71 años un disco recopilatorio de algunos de los temas que ha tocado a lo largo de toda su carrera. Desde su paso por los Everly Brothers, Fleetwood Mac y su relación con Stevie Nicks. El amigo invisible se atreve con Peter Frampton.

Rockin' the Suburbs
1208: Fan Mail - Charlie Watts, Everly Brothers, Brittany Howard, Un.real, My Morning Jacket, Valerie June

Rockin' the Suburbs

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 27, 2021 26:18


We address listener correspondence. Enrique Cruz sends us a box of cool music. Jason Goebel calls in with a concert report. And Jesse Jackson, Mark Neese and Jay Ignacio address recent musician deaths. Episode editor: Mary Edelberg Become a Rockin' the Suburbs patron - support the show and get bonus content - at Patreon.com/suburbspod Subscribe to Rockin' the Suburbs on Apple Podcasts/iTunes or other podcast platforms, including audioBoom, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon, iHeart, Stitcher and TuneIn. Or listen at SuburbsPod.com. Please rate/review the show on Apple Podcasts and share it with your friends. Visit our website at SuburbsPod.com Email Jim & Patrick at rock@suburbspod.com Follow us on the Twitter, Facebook or Instagram @suburbspod If you're glad or sad or high, call the Suburban Party Line — 612-440-1984. Theme music: "Ascension," originally by Quartjar, covered by Frank Muffin. Visit quartjar.bandcamp.com and frankmuffin.bandcamp.com (c) Artie S. Industries LLC

Rockabilly & Blues Radio Hour
Catching A Wave 09-13-21

Rockabilly & Blues Radio Hour

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 13, 2021 57:01


Hold on for a wild surf this hour on Catching A Wave!  Beth Riley has a deep track of The Beach Boys in her Surf's Up: Beth's Beach Boys Break.  Plus, Mike Love talks about another family group influence on The Beach Boys...The Everly Brothers...in our Green Room segment AND we spin another track from The Beach Boys Feel Flows box set later too.  Of course we also drop a coin in the Jammin' James Jukebox to hear our selection of the week and we also spin tunes from The Jagaloons, Surfer Joe, Trevor Lake, Introducers, Los Straitjackets, 12AX7, Underwater Bosses, The Cramps, King Of Hawaii, The Surfaris, Marmalade Wake, Black Valley Moon, La Luz, Messer Chups, The Metalunas and The Cosmic Wrays!!     Intro music bed: "Catch A Wave"- The Beach Boys   The Jagaloons- "Journey To The Stars" The Cramps- "Peter Gunn" King Of Hawaii- "Man O' War" The Cosmic Wrays- "Ellen Barkin Across The 8th Dimension" La Luz- "Watching Cartoons" Black Valley Moon- "John Ashley's Eye" The Surfaris- "Wipe Out" (live)   Surf's Up: Beth's Beach Boys Break- The Beach Boys- "San Miguel" Follow "Surf's Up: Beth's Beach Boys Break" HERE   The Metalunas- "Tarzan" Surfer Joe- "Deep" Underwater Bosses- "Surftacular" 12AX7- "Mr. Lincoln Fell Down His Stairs"   Green Room segment: Mike Love on The Everly Bros influence The Beach Boys- "Devoted To You" (Take 3/ Session 3)   Jammin' James Jukebox selection of the week: Duane Eddy- "The Wild Westerner"   Introducers- "Surf Feva" The Beach Boys- "This Whole World" (Alternate Ending) Trevor Lake- "Go Go Ferrari" Los Straitjackets- "Brooklyn Slide" Messer Chups- "Mini Skirt"   Outro Music Bed:  The Beach Boys- "Carl's Big Chance"  

The Bob Lefsetz Podcast

Paul Anka is a raconteur who tells us not only about his new album, but his writing process and 60+ years in the business, from bus tours with Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers to the Copa to Vegas to writing the theme song for "The Tonight Show" and "My Way" for Frank Sinatra. This is history come alive, with a lot of insight baked in, you'll dig this. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://www.iheartpodcastnetwork.com

The String
The Delevantes plus The Connells

The String

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2021 59:05


Episode 181: It's a jangle pop special with two bands of brothers who are back on record after two-decade breaks. The Delevantes, Bob and Mike, are pioneers of Americana, chart toppers when the format was born thanks to their Everly Brothers harmony and country twang. Their enchanting new album will be called A Thousand Turns. Also in the hour, also with a brother named Mike, Raleigh, NC band The Connells on their work with REM producer Mitch Easter then and now. They take me back to turning 19 in Chapel Hill when my world was defined by southern college radio rock and roll. 

Let's Talk About Rock
Let's Talk About the Everly Brothers

Let's Talk About Rock

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2021 21:58


After Don Everly's passing on August 21, 2021 joining his brother Phil Everly in rock and roll heaven, Vinnie gives a summarized history of the original fighting rock and roll brother duo the Everly Brothers from their musical back story to their success in the 1950's, faltering success in the 60's, and their ugly breakup in the 70's all the way up to their modern reunion and resurgence in the 1980's as a rock and roll force to be reckoned with preserving their legacies all the way up until Phil's death in 2014 and Don's recent death respectively.

Talk of Iowa
Steinway International Artist Byron 'BK' Davis And Remembering The Everly Brothers

Talk of Iowa

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 2, 2021


Charity Nebbe meets Byron "BK" Davis, a Steinway International Artist, pianist and composer from Davenport. Davis has traveled the world, worked with artists like BB King, Billy Preston and plans to have more performances here in Iowa. Nebbe also speaks with two Shenandoah natives about the legacy of Don and Phil Everly of The Everly Brothers.

Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters
Ep. 174 - RAMI YACOUB ("Oops...I Did It Again")

Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2021 70:22


SUMMARY:Our guest on this episode of Songcraft is Rami Yacoub, one of the most influential Swedish songwriters and producers of the last two decades. He joins us in a few moments to talk about his career, from early Britney Spears classics such as “Baby One More Time,” to boy band hits such as One Direction's “What Makes U Beautiful,” to recent smashes such as Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande's double platinum chart topper “Rain on Me.”  PART ONE:Scott and Paul chat with Nashville-based songwriter Arlis Albritton (cuts by Jamey Johnson, Luke Bryan, and others) about the upcoming St. Augustine Songwriters Festival, which Arlis founded. PART TWO:The guys pay tribute to a few recently-departed music legends: The Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts, Don Everly, and the great Tom T. Hall, who was a guest on the 67th episode of Songcraft - a conversation that turned out to be his final interview. PART THREE:Our in-depth interview with hitmaker Rami Yacoub. ABOUT RAMI YACOUB:As a songwriter and producer, Rami Yacoub has been involved in some of the biggest pop hits of the last twenty years. Raised in Sweden by Palestinian parents, Rami's first massive international hit was Britney Spears' “Baby One More Time,” which he co-produced with Max Martin. He and Martin went on to score additional hits with Spears, including “Oops…I Did it Again,” “Stronger,” and “I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman.” Additionally, he wrote and produced The Backstreet Boys' Top 10 single “Shape of My Heart” and NSYNC's “It's Gonna Be Me,” which was the group's only single to reach #1 on the Billboard pop chart. After co-writing P!nk's “U + Ur Hand,” he found massive success writing and producing for One Direction, including the hit singles “What Makes U Beautiful,” “One Thing,” “Live While We're Young,” and “Kiss You.” Additional hits Rami has written include “Starships” and “Pound the Alarm” by Nicki Minaj, “One Last Time” by Ariana Grande, “Unstable” by Justin Bieber, and the double platinum #1 hit “Rain on Me” for Lady Gaga, which was one of more than half a dozen songs he co-wrote for her critically acclaimed Chromatica album in 2020. The long list of artists who've recorded Rami's songs includes Demi Lovato, Celine Dion, Carl Rae Jepson, 5 Seconds of Summer, Avicii, All Time Low, Selena Gomez, Jason DeRulo, and Madonna.  

Whole 'Nuther Thing
Episode 644: Whole 'Nuther Thing August 29, 2021

Whole 'Nuther Thing

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 30, 2021 120:12


"TimeFlowing like a riverTimeBeckoning meWho knows when we shall meet againIf everBut timeKeeps flowing like a riverTo the sea"Time, is our most precious currency. Please share a portion of yours with me on the Sunday Edition of Whole 'Nuther Thing. I'll reward you with a 2 Hour Musical journey unavailable anywhere...Today's journey includes Big Al Anderson, Porcupine Tree, Queen, Patti Smith, Styx, Led Zeppelin, Neil Diamond, Stevie Wonder, Blondie, Preston Epps, Joan Osborne, Run DMC, Dire Straits, The Everly Brothers, Genesis, Rolling Stones, Cozy Cole, Moody Blues, Sandy Nelson, XTC, Pink Floyd and The Alan Parsons Project.

Go Kat, GO! The Rock-A-Billy Show!
Go Kat, GO! The Rock-A-Billy Show! 8.25.21

Go Kat, GO! The Rock-A-Billy Show!

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 27, 2021 182:38


63. Summer is still RED HOT with DJ Del Villarreal in the studio! Special episode: LIVE interview with Beck Rustic from The New England Shake-Up! -hear the latest news about the Shake-Up  on "Go Kat,GO!" PLUS we'll chat with Rocky Troxell of US 12 Speed & Custom Shop -he's on board to promote the 10th Annual Full Throttle Throwdown happening this weekend, Sat. Aug. 28th in New Buffalo, MI. Plenty of hot rod rockin' action here and we'll also feature NEW music from Wanda Jackson & Joan Jett, The Rock-A-Sonics, The Primer Kings, Mike Bell & The Belltones, Carl Bradychok, Tammi Savoy & The Starjays! We honor the past with fantastic vintage tracks from The Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley, Gene Simmons, Robert Mitchum, Janis Martin, Glenn Reeves & Tennessee Ernie Ford! Racing to the finish line with the best rockin' 'billy music delivered by the Aztec Werewolf on "Go Kat, GO! The Rock-A-Billy Show!" -seriously rockin'!™

Rockin' the Suburbs
1188: Don Everly, Charlie Watts - Rest in Power

Rockin' the Suburbs

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 27, 2021 29:35


We pay tribute to the passing of two rock 'n' roll legends. Don Everly of the Everly Brothers died on Aug. 21 at age 84. Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones died on Aug. 24 at age 80. Rest in Power. Episode editor: Jim Lenahan Become a Rockin' the Suburbs patron - support the show and get bonus content - at Patreon.com/suburbspod Subscribe to Rockin' the Suburbs on Apple Podcasts/iTunes or other podcast platforms, including audioBoom, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon, iHeart, Stitcher and TuneIn. Or listen at SuburbsPod.com. Please rate/review the show on Apple Podcasts and share it with your friends. Visit our website at SuburbsPod.com Email Jim & Patrick at rock@suburbspod.com Follow us on the Twitter, Facebook or Instagram @suburbspod If you're glad or sad or high, call the Suburban Party Line — 612-440-1984. Theme music: "Ascension," originally by Quartjar, covered by Frank Muffin. Visit quartjar.bandcamp.com and frankmuffin.bandcamp.com (c) Artie S. Industries LLC

Tim Conway Jr. on Demand
Hour 4 | Kickin' It With Kayla @ConwayShow

Tim Conway Jr. on Demand

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 27, 2021 31:49


Afghanistan Update//College Contingency Plan//Hotdogs//Don Everly//Everly Brothers//Kickin It With Kayla promo//George Noory

The Hustle Season Podcast
The Hustle Season: Ep. 199 Chasin' The Jazz Dragon

The Hustle Season Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 27, 2021 79:01


Mad big ups to the great Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones, Sonny Chiba & Don Everly of the Everly Brothers.Topics include Nirvana baby looking for more money, Kanye doxxing drake, Kevin hart, Woodstock ‘99 plus slaps from Santana, EWF, Big Boi, Lucky Daye, George Clinton & James Blake.

Media Monarchy
#PumpUpThaVolume: August 26, 2021

Media Monarchy

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2021 68:00


Media Monarchy plays CHVRCHES, Nite Jewel, Everly Brothers and more on #PumpUpThaVolume for August 26, 2021. ♬

Prisioneiros do Rock!
Episódio Extra - Charlie Watts

Prisioneiros do Rock!

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2021 22:04


Aos 80 anos de idade, sendo quase 59 deles dedicados aos Rollings Stones, Charlie Watts faleceu na última terça-feira, 24 de agosto. Prestamos aqui nossas homenagens ao baterista de uma das maiores bandas de rock da história, assumidamente fã de jazz, que sempre mostrou tocando que menos é mais: conciso, preciso, elegante. Também lembramos o falecimento de Don Everly, da histórica dupla Everly Brothers, ídolo de nomes como Beach Boys e Simon & Garfunkel.

Coverville: The Cover Music Show (AAC Edition)
Coverville 1370: Tributes to The Everly Brothers and Nanci Griffith

Coverville: The Cover Music Show (AAC Edition)

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2021


Tributes to two musicians we’ve lost in the last couple weeks: Don Everly, half of The Everly Brothers, and singer songwriter Nanci Griffith. (62 minutes) The post Coverville 1370: Tributes to The Everly Brothers and Nanci Griffith appeared first on Coverville | The Cover Music Podcast.

Coverville: The Cover Music Show
Coverville 1370: Tributes to The Everly Brothers and Nanci Griffith

Coverville: The Cover Music Show

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2021


Tributes to two musicians we’ve lost in the last couple weeks: Don Everly, half of The Everly Brothers, and singer songwriter Nanci Griffith. (62 minutes) The post Coverville 1370: Tributes to The Everly Brothers and Nanci Griffith appeared first on Coverville | The Cover Music Podcast.

Nashville Daily
The New BNA Way | Episode 621

Nashville Daily

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 26, 2021 40:05


Country Music Hall of Famer Don Everly is remembered after his passing. Madison is pitched a large mixed-use project. Plus, what's new at the Nashville International Airport?Become a subscriber! Visit us at https://www.patreon.com/nashvilledailyTake a Tour With Us! Use code NASH for 20% off - https://xplrtours.com/TEXT US: 615-392-1358Today's Sponsor: Screened ThreadsUse the Code "NashvilleDaily" for 10% off online and in-storehttps://screenedthreads.com/Nash NewsDon Everly of early rock ‘n' roll Everly Brothers dies at 84https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/don-everly-early-rock-roll-everly-brothers-dies-79589358https://countrymusichalloffame.org/artist/the-everly-brothers/https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SstLMpgfVI4Opry Mills Mall to require kids under 18 be with adult on Fridays, Saturdayshttps://fox17.com/news/local/opry-mills-mall-to-require-kids-under-18-be-with-adult-on-fridays-saturdaysCore Development, Forbes Plunkett pitch mixed-use project in Madisonhttps://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2021/08/19/madison-development-former-hospital-site.htmlWhat's New at BNA?https://bnavisionnashville.com/virtualtour/https://bnavisionnashville.com/what-to-know/Nashville Daily Artist of the Day Playlisthttps://open.spotify.com/playlist/51eNcUWPg7qtj8KECrbuwx?si=nEfxeOgmTv6rFUyhVUJY9AFollow us @ XPLR NASHWebsite -  https://nashvilledailypodcast.com/YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/c/xplrnashInstagram - https://www.instagram.com/xplr.nash/Twiter - https://twitter.com/xplr_nashNASHVILLE & XPLR MERCH - http://bit.ly/nashville_merchMedia and other inquiries please email hello@xplr.lifeArtists can submit songs to be featured here https://forms.gle/mtkxUCFds7g9e2466

Tom Sullivan Show
Tom Sullivan Show, August 24, Hour 2

Tom Sullivan Show

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2021 37:40


The withdrawal in Afghanistan continues. Rock legends Don Everly of the Everly Brothers and Charlie Watts from the Rolling Stones pass away.

El Daily con el Gato
#563 El Daily con El Gato 08_24_21

El Daily con el Gato

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2021 6:51


EEUU: Anthony Fauci pronosticó que el Covid19 podría estar bajo control a partir de marzo próximo; Pfizer se convirtió en la primera vacuna contra el COVID-19 con “aprobación total”; Biden aprobó la declaración de desastre mayor en el estado de Tennessee tras inundaciones; Los Talibanes rechazaron la posible extensión de la fecha límite para la evacuación de Kabul; El presidente colombiano llega a Corea del Sur en visita de Estado; Comienzan los Juegos Paralímpicos de Tokio; Don Everly, del grupo Everly Brothers, fallece a los 84 años

The Pat Walsh Show
Pat Walsh Show Aug 23 Hr 2

The Pat Walsh Show

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2021 36:42


Pat takes your calls about the Tubes and more!, people keep telling Producer Kendall she looks like 'Penelope' from Criminal Minds, a ticket give away to 'Rock the Quarry'!, Pat pays tribute to Don Everly of the Everly Brothers who has passed away at the age of 84 and more of your calls...

Finances the Other
#338 FTOFW Music News

Finances the Other "F" Word

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 23, 2021 2:15


The Everly Brothers, Barbara Streisand, UB40, and JAMES BOND

Rock of Nations with Dave Kinchen
#Genesis Legend #SteveHackett Talks New Solo Album, Whether He'll Join The #Genesis Tour & More!

Rock of Nations with Dave Kinchen

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 23, 2021 16:23


Progressive rock legend #SteveHackett is back with us to talk about his new album #SurrenderOfSilence, whether he will rejoin #Genesis for some of their reunion tour dates, his own #GenesisRevisited tour, and the death of #DonEverly of the #EverlyBrothers.

Front Row
Kalena Bovell, Don Everly, Jack Thorne, Reza Mohammadi

Front Row

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 23, 2021 28:28


American conductor Kalena Bovell makes her Proms debut with the Chineke! Orchestra this week. She tells Samira about her path into conducting, and why it's so exciting to be performing music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor at the Royal Albert Hall. Following the death of singer Don Everly over the weekend, Bob Stanley joins us to reflect on the importance, sound and influence of the Everly Brothers. Award winning playwright and screen writer Jack Thorne has delivered this year's McTaggart Lecture at The Edinburgh Television Festival. He argues that representation of disabled people on both sides of the camera are currently woefully inadequate and calls for more to be done to increase their presence, representation and visibility at all levels of TV. The fate for artists in Afghanistan at the moment is uncertain and may be dangerous. Poet Reza Mohammadi is the head of the Afghan Writers' Union and he talks to us from Kabul about the fate he and others might face and what he intends to do to protect their artistic freedom . Presenter: Samira Ahmed Producer: Oliver Jones Main image: Kalena Bovell Image credit: R.R. Jones

The Tony Kornheiser Show
“Bye Bye Love”

The Tony Kornheiser Show

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 23, 2021 69:30


Tony opens the show by talking about the passing of Don Everly and the impact of the Everly Brothers, plus he chats about the Nats and his connection to golfer Grayson Sigg. Michael Wilbon calls in to talk about the Bears and also about Sha'Carrie Richardson and the importance of the 100 meter race, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com calls in to talk about the pennant races and also about who might win the MVP and Cy Young awards, and Tony closes out the show by opening up the Mailbag. Songs : Brandon Costello “History” ; “The Night” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

myTalk Dirt Alert Updates
8/23 6AM: Britney's dogs are back home with her

myTalk Dirt Alert Updates

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 23, 2021 1:47


Britney's dogs are back home with her; Don Everly from the Everly Brothers has died at the age of 84; Billie Eilish's Happier Than Ever still holds it's #1 spot on the Billboard Top 200 charts

AP Audio Stories
Don Everly of early rock ‘n' roll Everly Brothers dies at 84

AP Audio Stories

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 22, 2021 1:29


Newshour
Anti-Taliban forces offer talks

Newshour

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 22, 2021 49:25


The son of former mujahideen leader Ahmad Shah Massoud, and Amrullah Saleh, the man who claims to be the legitimate caretaker president of Afghanistan, say they are prepared to talk to the Taliban, but are prepared to fight. Also in the programme: a Lebanese taxi driver tells how the fuel price hike is likely to put him out of business; and Don Everly - the last surviving member of The Everly Brothers, who Rolling Stone magazine called the most important vocal duo in rock -- has died at the age of eighty-four. (Credit: Ahmad Massoud, son of Ahmad Shah Massoud (centre) and Amrullah Saleh (right) in a meeting. Credit: social media)

What the Riff?!?
1982 - June: Stray Cats “Built for Speed”

What the Riff?!?

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 9, 2021 35:09


While many bands of the 80's were focusing on the synth-heavy New Wave or screaming guitars of Hard Rock, one band was taking their inspiration from the 50's roots of Rock.  The Stray Cats came out of New York  in 1979 and developed a devoted following quickly, but moved to the UK after hearing of a revival of the 50's subculture there.  Inspired by the Sun Records artists of the 50's, the Stray Cats combined Rockabilly and Punk genres to form their sound.The Stray Cats were a trio with Brian Setzer on guitar and lead vocals, Lee Rocker on double bass, and Slim Jim Phantom on drums.  They continued to tour and record in the UK, and released two albums there in 1981 before turning their interest back to the States.  Their debut American album, Built for Speed, was comprised of songs selected from their first two albums released in England, plus the previously unreleased title track.The group benefitted from having both a unique sound and air play on the then-new MTV.  Unlike most music of the time, songs were short and tight, without synthesizers or more modern sensibilities.  Also, unlike the music of the time, everything was stripped down to the bare essence in this group.  Phantom's drum set consisted of just a few pieces, worlds away from the massive sets fielded by prog rock groups like Asia and Rush.  Brian Setzer wrote most of the songs, and had the distinctive look that would become associated with the group. Unfortunately, Setzer also tired of the group quickly, and the Stray Cats broke up in 1984.  Setzer would go on to be the concert guitarist for the Honeydrippers (with Robert Plant as front man).  The group would reunite frequently over the years, and each member continued to tour either with their own bands or in support of other musicians.The group continues to tour off and on today, and released a new album in 2021. Built for SpeedThis is the title track and the only song on the album previously unreleased.  It is about cars, and hot rodding on the road.  “Well I'm cruising low and I'm cruising mean, well I'm cruising slow in my dream machine.  You're my hot rod mama and you're really built for speed.”Rock This TownAn easily recognizable hit, “Rock This Town” cracked the top 10.  This song was the introduction to Rockabilly to many people.  It is about hitting the clubs at night, dancing the night away.  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame lists this song as one of the 500 songs that shaped rock and roll.  “We're gonna rock this town, rock it inside out.”  Baby Blue EyesA deeper cut from the album, this tells the struggle of a guy in love with a pretty girl he just doesn't trust.  While in England, the Stray Cats attracted the attention of many famous artists including members of the Rolling Stones, the Who, and Led Zeppelin.Stray Cat StrutThis track is the most famous of the Stray Cat's tunes, and received significant airplay on both radio and MTV.  It reached number 3 on the charts.  “I'm flat broke but I don't care.  I strut right by with my tail in the air.”  Setzer's songs are original but carry the sound of a 50's cover. ENTERTAINMENT TRACK:Flying Theme from the motion picture “E.T. the Extraterrestrial”The film that made Steven Spielberg a household name was released this month. STAFF PICKS:Space Age Love Song by A Flock of SeagullsRob's staff pick peaked at number 30 on the Billboard charts.  This New Wave group is out of Liverpool.  When they couldn't come up with a name for the track, guitarist Paul Reynolds suggested the name because he thought it sounded like a space age love song.  Mike Score's well-known hairdo was the result of a mistake after his hair was accidentally pushed down in the center before going onstage.Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go? by Soft CellBruce features the first hit from vocalist Marc Almond and instrumentalist David Ball, better known as Soft Cell.  Tainted Love was originally recorded as a B-side in 1964 by Gloria Jones, but it didn't chart.  Almond heard it when working in a cloakroom, and the duo started performing it with synthesizers instead of guitars.  It was a big hit in the U.S. as part of the Second British Invasion.  The extended dance version combined Tainted Love with the Supremes' hit “Where Did Our Love Go?”Wake Up Little Susie by Simon and GarfunkelBrian's staff pick hearkens back to the early days of rock with a cover of the Everly Brothers song recorded at Simon and Garfunkel's live concert from Central Park.  The song did well and was part of the inspiration for Simon and Garfunkel's tour in 1983.I Want Candy by Bow Wow WowWayne's staff pick features a cover originally performed in 1965.  Bow Wow Wow's version had both a rockabilly and punk feel to it.  The lead singer was underage at the time, and the risque pictures on the album created considerable controversy. COMEDY TRACK:She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft) by Jerry ReedJerry Reed's cautionary tale reminds us that it is better to learn how to cook than to marry for food as we close out the podcast.

The Better Band Podcast
Sleepless Nights (S7.Ep9)

The Better Band Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 5, 2021 29:44


Sleepless Nights (S7.Ep9) From the 2002 Fan Club Single, Eddie & Beck team-up on this Everly Brothers song. It's up to guest Deb McMurtrey to guide us through these “Sleepless Nights”… YouTube Playlist: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrdQLt_J8oEC-kUwoW2NxOgQudPmFA7Qa Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/brandenp Twitter: https://twitter.com/BetterBandPod Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/betterbandpod Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BetterBandPod Pearl Jam Podcast Community on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/606225600228342/ The Better Band Podcast is produced by ListenUpReno.Com & Branden Palomo, and published using a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License. Please visit CreativeCommons.Org, or email BetterBandPod@gmail.com for more details. (Music played is owned by their respective copyright owners and publishers, and is for review purposes only, under fair use.)

Sagittarian Matters
Episode #241-VEGAN FOOD REVIEWS WITH MORGAN! Plus DAWN RIDDLE, ART ADVICE & OLDIES.

Sagittarian Matters

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 2, 2021 46:44


We are over the moon to try new & unusual vegan foods in the forest with friends to the show MORGAN & DAWN RIDDLE today, plus choice commentary from Kaia Wilson & Torrence.  PLUS! Nicole rants about the Everly Brothers song Wake Up Little Susie, and gives advice about art, picking up new hobbies as you age, and MORE.  Stay tuned. 

Professor Buzzkill History Podcast
Felice and Boudleaux Bryant: WCW & MCM!

Professor Buzzkill History Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2021 7:26


It's Tuesday, and this is a combined Man Crush Monday and Woman Crush Wednesday! Today we're going to look at a couple, Felice and Boudleaux Bryant. They were a driving creative force behind perhaps the biggest popular music revolution in American history in the 1950s. Often called the first professional songwriters in Nashville, the Bryants wrote songs for The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, and nearly every aspiring singing act of the 1950s.

Toma uno
Toma uno - Linda Ronstadt (75th Linda) - 17/07/21

Toma uno

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 17, 2021 59:01


Linda Ronstadt cumplió 75 años el pasado jueves como una de las grandes damas de la música de raíces norteamericanas. Empezó a darse a conocer con los Stones Poneys, un trío de folk formado cuando ella dejó la Universidad de su Arizona natal tras el primer trimestre. Era el año 1964 y se marchó a Los Ángeles, siendo habitual del Troubadour y grabando tres discos muy recomendables. Cuando se aventuró como solista contó con el apoyo de toda la escena del sur de California, llegando a tener como músicos de acompañamiento a quienes más tarde formarían los Eagles. Linda nunca ha olvidado sus raíces, teniendo muy en cuenta que su madre era alemana y, sobre todo, que su padre era mejicano. Este último, Gilbert, cantaba con ella y sus otros dos hijos canciones de su tierra natal en los pocos ratos de ocio que les permitía la ferretería que regentaban. Linda Ronstadt siempre ha hecho guiños a su herencia hispana y en ocasiones se ha permitido versionar al castellano algunos éxitos resonantes e incluso grabar dos álbumes dedicados a esa herencia musical paterna. Hoy, para celebrar en TOMA UNO su cuarto de siglo desde que nació en Tucson, Arizona, hemos querido acogernos a algunas de sus canciones más poderosas y eclécticas, que hemos iniciado con una sorprendente versión de “We Will Rock You” de Queen para acercarnos a mitos de rock and roll como Chuck Berry o Buddy Holly antes de saltar el océano y escucharla versionar a los Rolling Stones. Linda se refugió en “When Will I Be Loved” de los Everly Brothers y se dejó embaucar por el rhythm and blues de Martha & The Vandellas o de Betty Everett, saltándose todas las normas establecidas gracias al atrevimiento de su productor, el enorme Peter Asher. Tampoco ha menospreciado los cambios que la escena musical ha experimentado con el paso del tiempo y la hemos escuchado interpretar temas de Tom Petty o Elvis Costello, aunque siempre ha tenido una inclinación especial hacia sus viejos compañeros de aventuras de sus comienzos como es el caso de Warren Zevon, Jackson Browne o el propio Neil Young. Para despedir un homenaje tan entrañable hemos querido escucharla junto a sus viejas amigas Dolly Parton y Emmylou Harris. Es la mejor manera de cerrar el círculo. Escuchar audio

Bob Barry's Unearthed Interviews

Rock ‘n' Roll Hall of Fame members Don and Phil, the Everly Brothers, had a string of county rock hits in the 50s and 60s. Those many chart toppers included “Bye Bye Love,” “'Til I Kissed You,” and “All I Have to do is Dream.” We talked about how they got started, their music, their relationship with each other, and even how they met their wives. Phil was married to record producer Archie Bleyer's daughter. Their song “Bye Bye Love” had been rejected by 30 other acts and ended up being No. 2 on the pop charts behind Elvis Presley's “Teddy Bear.” The Beatles admitted they were influenced by the Everly Brothers and based their vocal arrangement of “Please Please Me” on “Cathy's Clown.”

Sam Waldron
Episode 178, “Rain Wind Summer,”

Sam Waldron

Play Episode Listen Later Jul 3, 2021 57:55


Episode 178, “Rain Wind Summer,” features 18 weather-related songs from the 1950s. Performers include Jim Reeves, Jane Morgan, Pat Boone, The Kingston Trio, Perry Como, Patsy Cline, Fats Domino, Ray Charles, The Everly Brothers and... Read More The post Episode 178, “Rain Wind Summer,” appeared first on Sam Waldron.

Talks With John Podcast
Episode 91 - Pheromones, Deaf Dogs & Patty Duke

Talks With John Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later May 27, 2021 30:01


John and Tammy talk about the Queen's dorgies and what happened to one of  her new puppies. John has met Tammy's deaf dog Marshmallow and learns how to communicate with a dog that cannot hear. John's identity as a Beatle continues to confound him all these years later.  Tammy and John compare their growing up with the story of actress Patty Duke's childhood.  And John has a new take on an Everly Brothers' tune. find us at: TalksWithJohn.com

Cocaine & Rhinestones: The History of Country Music
CR017/PH03 - The Nashville A Team

Cocaine & Rhinestones: The History of Country Music

Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2021 138:05


Now that we've established Owen Bradley as the single most important producer in the history of Nashville, let's take it further and acknowledge he's one of the most important figures in the history of all recorded music, even if for no other reason than assembling the first group of musicians to become known as the Nashville A-Team. Were we to erase their work from existence, every book about pop, rock or country music in the second half of the 20th century would need to be entirely rewritten. Just ask Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Everly Brothers, Patsy Cline, Ray Price, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison, Roger Miller, Hank Williams, Marty Robbins, etc. And those are just the people who can speak from first-hand experience. If you want to start talking about the influence of the records, well, strap in.

Toma uno
Toma Uno - Ve por tu propio camino - 16/05/21

Toma uno

Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2021 58:44


Dierks Bentley, uno de los artistas más reconocidos de la escena de Nashville, vuelve a subrayar su respeto por sus raíces y acaba de descolgarse con una versión de “East Bound And Down” junto a Riley Green a Parker McCollum. La canción formó parte de la película Smokey And The Bandit en 1977. The Lone Below es un trío de Brooklyn que acaba de lanzar “Dried Up River”, una canción que podría formar parte de Half Moon Light Second Phase, abarcando desde toques de ryhtm and blues, funk e incluso country. Cody Johnson tiene nuevo álbum, Ain't Nothin 'To It, donde ha podido apoyarse en él también tejano Willie Nelson gracias a cantar juntos “Sad Songs And Waltzes” un legendario tema del veterano músico. Sin abandonar el Lone Star State, nos fijamos en Flatland Cavalry que han regresado tras la experiencia de su líder, Cleto Cordero, en The Panhandlers, con el anticipo del que será su próximo álbum, el tercero de su carrera, Welcome to Countryland. Se trata de "Some Things Never Change". A finales de julio se editará Triage, el nuevo disco de Rodney Crowell, cuyo título se refiere a la asignación de grados de urgencia para decidir el orden de tratamiento de los pacientes. Llegando hasta nuestro país, De La Sierra se ha convertido en un grupo abierto que está preparando un nuevo proyecto con cambios sustanciales como la incorporación de la vocalista María Ayo y propuestas muy sugerentes, incluso su propia revisión de "Go Your Own Way" de Fleetwood Mac que hoy estrenamos. Calla Lily es el segundo trabajo de The Brother Brothers el dúo de Brooklyn que se cita con las influencias de los Everly Brothers y Simon & Garfunkel, algo que resulta evidente en The Milk Carton Kids, la pareja de la Costa Oeste, al otro lado del país. El álbum Déjà Vu de Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young fue una de las publicaciones discográficas determinantes de 1970. Tras el debut discográfico de la inesperada reunión de los tres primeros, el canadiense Neil Young también pasó a formar parte del supergrupo. 51 años después, el álbum se ha reeditado, en formato de cuádruple CD más un LP con las 10 canciones del álbum original y 38 cortes de añadido, con maquetas, tomas alternativas y grabaciones desechadas. Hoy hemos querido recuperar algunas de esas grabaciones desconocidas hasta ahora que explican la génesis de un trabajo fundamental en la historia de la Americana. Escuchar audio

Classic 21
Rock and Roll Attitude 3/5 : Au Pays des Songes… - The Everly Brothers – All I Have To Do Is Dream - 05/05/2021

Classic 21

Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2021 5:55


Le verbe " rêver ", anciennement orthographié 'resver ' ou 'reever' signifiait " radoter, divaguer ". Son origine est discutée. Rêver viendrait de l’ancien français " perdre le sens ", du gallo-romain ou latin tardif " vagabond ", et enfin du latin classique vagus " vague ". Jusqu’au 17e siècle, " rêver " a eu le sens de radoter, délirer, déraisonner. Il finit par perdre son sens péjoratif pour devenir " songer " et enfin désigner l’activité psychique du sommeil. Le terme finit même par prendre une valeur poétique avec 'Les Rêveries', les besoins de l’imaginaire d’aller gambader au-delà du réel ! --- Du lundi au vendredi, Fanny Gillard et Laurent Rieppi vous dévoilent une anecdote sur le rock chaque matin dans le Morning Club à 6h30. Rediffusion à 13h30 dans Lunch Around The Clock sur Classic 21, la Radio Rock n' Pop.

Truetone Lounge
Ray Flacke - A Follow Up Conversation

Truetone Lounge

Play Episode Listen Later Apr 16, 2021 81:39


We had tons of comments on Ray's first episode, and additional questions posted, so we followed up with a second spot with Ray. In this episode, he talks about his playing style, gigging with the Everly Brothers because he "needed the money," interviewing Deep Purple's Ritchie Blackmore, and his acoustic instrumental recordings, including his take on Paganini's 5th Caprice.

The Erasable Podcast
Episode 161: Ecstatic Høvel Talk

The Erasable Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Apr 13, 2021 68:33


Andy and Tim have wrested control of the show back away from the devious (yet iconic) duo of Johnny and Charlotte, and we're talking once again to Noah Bier from Makers Cabinet about their brand new Kickstarter project, a pencil extender called The Ferrule.Show Notes and LinksErasable PatreonEpisode 111: Eiffel Tower PointsThe Ferrule on KickstarterMaker's CabinetStriaIrisThe SympathizerThe Best of Everly BrothersHemingway DocumentaryOn Earth We're Briefly GorgeousBurning the BooksHow to Make a Journal of Your LifeFour Lost CitiesMediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male AmericaIndependent Bookstore BlackwingBlackwing 223PR CompendiumOur GuestNoah Bier, Co-founderMakers CabinetYour HostsJohnny  GamberPencil Revolution@pencilutionAndy WelfleWoodclinched@awelfleTim Wasem@TimWasem

What the Riff?!?
1975 - March: Nazareth “Hair of the Dog”

What the Riff?!?

Play Episode Listen Later Apr 12, 2021 38:05


Scottish band Nazareth finally found international success with their sixth studio album, Hair of the Dog.  This album featured the well known (but often mislabeled) title track as well as an unusual but highly popular cover of the Everly Brothers song “Love Hurts.”Nazareth was originally formed in 1968 from the remaining members of a group called the Shadettes.  They took the name Nazareth from the town of Nazareth, Pennsylvania.  The classic rock song "The Weight" by The Band names this town in it's first lines, "I pulled into Nazareth, was feelin' about half past dead..."  The band members were Darrell Sweet on drums, Pete Agnew on bass, Manny Charlton on guitar and synthesizer, and Dan McCafferty on vocals.  They moved to London in 1970 and slowly built success over their first five studio albums and opening on tour for acts like Deep Purple.Although their success was building, Hair of the Dog was simply at a different level that gave the group the appearance of overnight success.  The album has a raw feel and attitude.  It was the first one produced by Manny Charlton, who would later produce the iconic album "Appetite for Destruction" for Guns N Roses.Nazareth continues to tour today, though Peter Agnew is the remaining original member.  Darrel Sweet died in 1999 of a heart attack while on tour.  Manny Charlton left the group in the 80's to focus on producing.  Front man Dan McCafferty retired in 2013 for health reasons.Folks, this is straight up mid-70's rock.  Enjoy! Love HurtsA surprising choice for a 70's rock band, this Everly Brothers cover was quite good, and was Nazareth's biggest hit, entering the top 10 in ten countries.  Somehow Nazareth tapped a raw emotion in this song, and Dan McCafferty's choice to sing it an octave higher contributes to that.  Perhaps it was a precursor to the hair ballads that were to come in the 80's. Rose in the HeatherThis  deeper cut is a lower tempo instrumental that finishes off "Beggars Day" on side two, written by Nils Lofgren, a member of the E. Street Band.Whiskey Drinkin' WomanThis is where this Scottish band takes inspiration from Southern Rock, and pulls it off well.  The song tells a story of blues, where a man is in love with an alcoholic and doesn't know what to do.  "That whiskey drinkin' woman is makin' a poor man out of me."Hair of the DogAn iconic track, complete with talking guitar and more cowbell!  This song is often assumed to be entitled "Son of a B***h," but the record label knew that no song with that title would sell in Sears and other stores.  The name chosen was a play on words, as it was originally spelled "Heir of the Dog." ENTERTAINMENT TRACK:The theme from the television series “Gunsmoke”This long running western finished it's television run in March 1975.  It began as a radio series in 1952 and the television series began in 1955, making it one of the longest running TV series in history. STAFF PICKS:How Long by AceRob's staff pick has a distinctive bass opening, and is the debut single by Ace.  It might seem like a story of infidelity in relationships, but Ace's bass player Terry "Tex" Comer was found to be secretly playing for two other bands.  This is a favorite song for Phil Collins.  Lead singer Paul Carrack would have a further connection with Genesis when he joined Genesis guitarist Mike Rutherford in the band Mike and the Mechanics.Roll on Down the Highway by Bachman Turner OverdriveBruce's staff pick channels the popularity of truckers and trucking in the mid 70's.  Fred Turner and Robbie Bachman wrote the song.  Randy Bachman had been contracted by Ford to do music for a commercial, but they didn't take the jingle.  The band worked it into a full song.Fire by the Ohio PlayersBrian cranks up the funk with this Billboard number 1 hit.  Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner wrote the lyrics about a woman so hit she's starting a fire.  Stevie Wonder heard an early demo of the song and predicted it would be a hit.  Long Tall Glasses  by Leo SayerWayne finishes off the staff picks with a song about a hobo looking for a meal in a fancy restaurant.  When he sits down, "then somebody grabbed me, threw me out of my chair, said 'before you can eat, you gotta dance like Fred Astaire.'" INSTRUMENTAL TRACK:Constipated Duck by Jeff BeckThe guitar virtuoso Jeff Beck closes us out this week with an interestingly-named instrumental piece from his album Blow by Blow.

Guitar Speak Podcast
Albert Lee

Guitar Speak Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Mar 28, 2021 25:22


Albert Lee's explosive rock-infused country picking has won him a legion of fans since the early '60s. Lee's remarkable career has seen him working as a sideman to Eric Clapton, Emmylou Harris, The Crickets and The Everly Brothers whilst stepping out as a frontman since the late '70s. Lee is a Grammy Award winner and member of Guitar Player magazine's 'Gallery of the Greats'.  This episode was first published in July 2018. This episode is brought to you by Fretboard Biology - the online guitar college created by Joe Elliott, ex Head of Guitar at GIT and McNally Smith Music College. Fretboard Biology Guitar Speak Podcast #146 - Joe Elliott - ex guitar head of GIT - launches Fretboard Biology   Guitar Speak Podcast Links PayPal Tip Jar Visit us at guitarspeakpodcast.com Subscribe and find previous episodes at: Apple Podcasts Spotify Stitcher   Follow us on Facebook & Instagram Buy a T-Shirt! Contact us at guitarspeakpodcast@gmail.com  

Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters
Ep. 162 - JACKIE DeSHANNON ("Put a Little Love In Your Heart")

Songcraft: Spotlight on Songwriters

Play Episode Listen Later Mar 16, 2021 78:21


Jackie DeShannon is best known for her hit records “What the World Needs Now is Love” and the self-penned “Put a Little Love In Your Heart.” The Songwriters Hall of Fame member and five-time Grammy nominee who won the coveted Song of the Year Grammy for “Bette Davis Eyes” joins us to chat about her remarkable career. PART ONEScott and Paul chat about their new theme song, Grammys lost and won, further reflections on Women's History Month, and why Paul's daughter is a little confused by Paul Stanley of KISS. PART TWOOur in-depth interview with the legendary Jackie DeShannonABOUT JACKIE DeSHANNONJackie DeShannon was one of the first women in pop music to write and record her own material. As an artist, Jackie is best known for her recording of the Burt Bacharach and Hal David classic “What the World Needs Now is Love,” as well as for her self-penned “Put a Little Love in Your Heart,” which was a Top 5 hit for her before being revived 20 years later to become a hit once again for Al Green and Annie Lennox. The five-time Grammy nominee who won the coveted Song of the Year Grammy for “Bette Davis Eyes” composed several classics, including “Dum Dum,” a hit for Brenda Lee, “Breakaway,” a hit for both Irma Thomas and Tracy Ullman, “When You Walk in the Room,” which was covered by The Searchers, and “Don’t Doubt Yourself Babe,” which was included on the debut album by The Byrds.Jackie appeared with The Beatles on their first American tour in 1964 and has collaborated with a wide range of artists including Randy Newman, Jimmy Page, and Van Morrison. Her songs have been covered by Marianne Faithfull, Ella Fitzgerald, Glen Campbell, The Everly Brothers, Cher, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Dolly Parton, Rick Nelson, Bruce Springsteen, Michael McDonald, and Taylor Swift. Jackie was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2010. 

Rock N Roll Pantheon
Rock's Backpages Ep.95: Tony Russell on old-time country music + Phil Everly audio + Bunny Wailer R.I.P.

Rock N Roll Pantheon

Play Episode Listen Later Mar 8, 2021 70:38


In this episode we welcome the great blues & country writer Tony Russell, who talks about his new Rural Rhythm: The Story of Old-Time Country Music in 78 Records — and the joys of the original Americana sound from the '20s to the '40s. Tony also talks us through his writing career from the late '60s to the present, with a particular nod to a 1972 Cream piece about B.B. King. The focus on the "Old-Time" country of Fiddlin' John Carson & Uncle Dave Macon carries through to discussion of those compelling revivalists Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, big faves of the RBP crew — and then to clips we hear from a 1983 audio interview with Phil Everly of peerless country-pop harmonists the Everly Brothers. Phil talks about the strained relationship with brother Don and the prospect of the Everlys reunion that happened in the fall of that year. For those less smitten by Appalachia and "high lonesome" close-harmony singing, there are heartfelt farewells to roots reggae icon Bunny Wailer & trad-jazzer turned "Father of British R&B" Chris Barber, both of whom were lost to the music world last week. There's effusive appreciation of the Wailers co-founder's classic 1976 solo debut Blackheart Man, while RBP's co-founder Martin Colyer pitches in with reminiscences of his uncle Ken's bandmate Barber. Mark talks us through his highlights from recent additions to the RBP Library, including the great Derek Taylor holding forth on the Stones' drug bust in 1967 and the recently-departed Chick Corea discussing his Return To Forever group with Zoo World's John Swenson in 1974. Barney namechecks a Kandia Crazy Horse hymn to the L.A. Canyons from 2009 and Jasper rounds things off with remarks on Danger Mouse's Rome project, from 2011, and London MC Sway's 2006 album This is My Demo. Many thanks to special guest Tony Russell, whose new book Rural Rhythm is published by OUP and available now. Pieces discussed: Charlie Poole, Uncle Dave Macon, B.B. King, Gillian Welch, Gillian Welch, Phil Everly, Bunny Wailer, The Wailers, Chris Barber, Chris Barber, Ben Webster, Peter Green, Curtis Mayfield, Roky Erickson, Rolling Stones, Chick Corea, The Time, L.L. Cool J, L.A. Canyons, Dave Edmunds, Valerie June, Sway and Danger Mouse.

A History Of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs
Episode 113: “Needles and Pins” by The Searchers

A History Of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs

Play Episode Listen Later Feb 8, 2021


This week’s episode looks at “Needles and Pins”, and the story of the second-greatest band to come out of Liverpool in the sixties, The Searchers. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a sixteen-minute bonus episode available, on “Farmer John” by Don and Dewey. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt’s irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ —-more—- Resources No Mixcloud this week, as there are too many recordings by the Searchers.  My two main resources for this episode have been the autobiographies of members of the group — Frank Allen’s The Searchers and Me and Mike Pender’s The Search For Myself.  All the Searchers tracks and Tony Jackson or Chris Curtis solo recordings excerpted here, except the live excerpt of “What’d I Say”, can be found on this box set, which is out of print as a physical box, but still available digitally. For those who want a good budget alternative, though, this double-CD set contains fifty Searchers tracks, including all their hits, for under three pounds.   Patreon This podcast is brought to you by the generosity of my backers on Patreon. Why not join them? Transcript Last week we had a look at the biggest group ever to come out of Liverpool, and indeed the biggest group ever to play rock and roll music. But the Beatles weren’t the only influential band on the Merseybeat scene, and while we won’t have much chance to look at Merseybeat in general, we should at least briefly touch on the other bands from the scene. So today we’re going to look at a band who developed a distinctive sound that would go on to be massively influential, even though they’re rarely cited as an influence in the way some of their contemporaries are. We’re going to look at The Searchers, and “Needles and Pins”: [Excerpt: The Searchers, “Needles and Pins”] The story of the early origins of the Searchers is, like everything about the Searchers, the subject of a great deal of dispute. The two surviving original members of the group, John McNally and Mike Pender, haven’t spoken to each other in thirty-six years, and didn’t get on for many years before that, and there have been several legal disputes between them over the years. As a result, literally everything about the group’s history has become a battlefield in their ongoing arguments. According to a book by Frank Allen, the group’s bass player from 1964 on and someone who took McNally’s side in the split and subsequent legal problems, McNally formed a skiffle group, which Mike Pender later joined, and was later joined first by Tony Jackson and then by a drummer then known as Chris Crummey, but who changed his name to the more euphonic Chris Curtis.  According to Pender, he never liked skiffle, never played skiffle, and “if McNally had a skiffle group, it must have been before I met him”. He is very insistent on this point — he liked country music, and later rock and roll, but never liked skiffle. According to him, he and McNally got together and formed a group that was definitely absolutely not in any way a skiffle group and wasn’t led by McNally but was formed by both of them. That group split up, and then Pender became friends with Tony Jackson — and he’s very insistent that he became friends with Jackson during  a period when he didn’t know McNally — and the group reformed around the three of them, when McNally and Pender got back in touch. The origin of the group’s name is similarly disputed. Everyone agrees that it came from the John Wayne film The Searchers — the same film which had inspired the group’s hero Buddy Holly to write “That’ll Be The Day” — but there is disagreement as to whose idea the name was. Pender claims that it was his idea, while McNally says that the name was coined by a singer named “Big Ron”, who sang with the band for a bit before disappearing into obscurity. Big Ron’s replacement was a singer named Billy Beck, who at the time he was with the Searchers used the stage name Johnny Sandon (though he later reverted to his birth name). The group performed as Johnny Sandon and The Searchers for two years, before Sandon quit the group to join the Remo Four, a group that was managed by Brian Epstein. Sandon made some records with the Remo Four in 1963, but they went nowhere, but they’ll give some idea of how Sandon sounded: [Excerpt: Johnny Sandon and the Remo Four, “Lies”] The Remo Four later moved on to back Tommy Quickly, who we heard last week singing a song the Beatles wrote for him. With Sandon out of the picture, the group had no lead singer or frontman, and were in trouble — they were known around Liverpool as Johnny Sandon’s backing group, not as a group in their own right. They started splitting the lead vocals between themselves, but with Tony Jackson taking most of them. And, in a move which made them stand out, Chris Curtis moved his drum kit to the front line, started playing standing up, and became the group’s front-man and second lead singer. Even at this point, though, there seemed to be cracks in the group. The Searchers were the most clean-living of the Liverpool bands — they were all devout Catholics who would go to Mass every Sunday without fail, and seem to have never indulged in most of the vices that pretty much every other rock star indulged in. But Curtis and Jackson were far less so than Pender and McNally — Jackson in particular was a very heavy drinker and known to get very aggressive when drunk, while Curtis was known as eccentric in other ways — he seems to have had some sort of mental illness, though no-one’s ever spoken about a diagnosis — the Beatles apparently referred to him as “Mad Henry”. Curtis and Jackson didn’t get on with each other, and while Jackson started out as a close friend of Pender’s, the two soon drifted apart, and by the time of their first recording sessions they appeared to most people to be a group of three plus one outsider, with Jackson not getting on well with any of the others. There was also a split in the band’s musical tastes, but that would be the split that would drive much of their creativity. Pender and McNally were drawn towards softer music — country and rockabilly, the Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly — while Jackson preferred harder, stomping, music. But it was Chris Curtis who took charge of the group’s repertoire, and who was the group’s unofficial leader. While the other band members had fairly mainstream musical tastes, it was Curtis who would seek out obscure R&B B-sides that he thought the group could make their own, by artists like The Clovers and Richie Barrett — while many Liverpool groups played Barrett’s “Some Other Guy”, the Searchers would also play the B-side to that, “Tricky Dicky”, a song written by Leiber and Stoller. Curtis also liked quite a bit of folk music, and would also get the group to perform songs by Joan Baez and Peter, Paul, and Mary. The result of this combination of material and performers was that the Searchers ended up with a repertoire rooted in R&B, and a heavy rhythm section, but with strong harmony vocals inspired more by the Everlys than by the soul groups that were inspiring the other groups around Liverpool. Other than the Beatles, the Searchers were the best harmony group in Liverpool, and were the only other one to have multiple strong lead vocalists. Like the Beatles, the Searchers went off to play at the Star Club in Hamburg in 1962. Recordings were made of their performances there, and their live version of Brenda Lee’s “Sweet Nothin’s” later got released as a single after they became successful: [Excerpt: The Searchers, “Sweet Nothin’s”] Even as every talent scout in the country seemed to be turning up in Liverpool, and even bands from nearby Manchester were getting signed up in the hope of repeating the Beatles’ success, the Searchers were having no luck getting any attention from the London music industry. In part that was because of one bit of bad luck — the day that Brian Epstein turned up to see them, with the thought of maybe managing them, Tony Jackson was drunk and fell off the stage, and Epstein decided that he was going to give them a miss. As no talent scouts were coming to see them, they decided that they would record a demo session at the Iron Door, the club they regularly played, and send that out to A&R people. That demo session produced a full short album, which shows them at their stompiest and hardest-driving. Most of the Merseybeat bands sounded much more powerful in their earlier live performances than in the studio, and the Searchers were no exception, and it’s interesting to compare the sound of these recordings to the studio ones from only a few months later: [Excerpt: The Searchers, “Let’s Stomp”] The group eventually signed to Pye Records. Pye was the third or fourth biggest record label in Britain at the time, but that was a relative matter — EMI and Decca between them had something like eighty-five percent of the market, and basically *were* the record industry in Britain at the time. Pye was chronically underfunded, and when they signed an artist who managed to have any success, they would tend to push that artist to keep producing as many singles as possible, chasing trends, rather than investing in their long-term career survival. That said, they did have some big acts, most notably Petula Clark — indeed the company had been formed from the merger of two other companies, one of which had been formed specifically to issue Clark’s records. Clark was yet to have her big breakthrough hit in the USA, but she’d had several big hits in the UK, including the number one hit “Sailor”: [Excerpt: Petula Clark, “Sailor”] The co-producer on that track had been Tony Hatch, a songwriter and producer who would go on to write and produce almost all of Clark’s hit records. Hatch had a track record of hits — we’ve heard several songs he was involved in over the course of the series. Most recently, we heard last week how “She Loves You” was inspired by “Forget Him”, which Hatch wrote and produced for Bobby Rydell: [Excerpt: Bobby Rydell, “Forget Him”] Hatch heard the group’s demo, and was impressed, and offered to sign them. The Searchers’ manager at the time agreed, on one condition — that Hatch also sign another band he managed, The Undertakers. Astonishingly, Hatch agreed, and so the Undertakers also got a record contract, and released several flop singles produced by Hatch, including this cover version of a Coasters tune: [Excerpt: The Undertakers, “What About Us?”] The biggest mark that the Undertakers would make on music would come many years later, when their lead singer Jackie Lomax would release a solo single, “Sour Milk Sea”, which George Harrison wrote for him. The Searchers, on the other hand, made their mark immediately. The group’s first single was a cover version of a song written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, which had been a top twenty hit in the US for the Drifters a couple of years earlier: [Excerpt: The Drifters, “Sweets For My Sweet”] That had become a regular fixture in the Searchers’ live set, with Tony Jackson singing lead and Chris Curtis singing the high backing vocal part in falsetto. In much the same way that the Beatles had done with “Twist and Shout”, they’d flattened out the original record’s Latin cha-cha-cha rhythm into a more straightforward thumping rocker for their live performances, as you can hear on their original demo version from the Iron Door sessions: [Excerpt: The Searchers, “Sweets For My Sweet (live at the Iron Door)”] As you can hear, they’d also misheard a chunk of the lyrics, and so instead of “your tasty kiss”, Jackson sang “Your first sweet kiss”. In the studio, they slowed the song down very slightly, and brought up the harmony vocal from Pender on the choruses, which on the demo he seems to have been singing off-mic. The result was an obvious hit: [Excerpt: The Searchers, “Sweets For My Sweet”] That went to number one, helped by an endorsement from John Lennon, who said it was the best record to come out of Liverpool, and launched the Searchers into the very top tier of Liverpool groups, their only real competition being the Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers — and though nobody could have known it at the time, the Pacemakers’ career had already peaked at this point.  Their first album, Meet The Searchers, featured “Sweets For My Sweet”, along with a selection of songs that mixed the standard repertoire of every Merseybeat band — “Money”, “Da Doo Ron Ron”, “Twist and Shout”, “Stand By Me”, and the Everly Brothers’ “Since You Broke My Heart”, with more obscure songs like “Ain’t Gonna Kiss Ya”, by the then-unknown P.J. Proby, “Farmer John” by Don and Dewey, which hadn’t yet become a garage-rock standard (and indeed seems to have become so largely because of the Searchers’ version), and a cover of “Love Potion #9”, a song that Leiber and Stoller had written for the Clovers, which was not released as a single in the UK, but later became their biggest hit in the US (and a quick content note for this one — the lyric contains a word for Romani people which many of those people regard as a slur): [Excerpt: The Searchers, “Love Potion #9”] Their second single was an attempt to repeat the “Sweets For My Sweet” formula, and was written by Tony Hatch, although the group didn’t know that at the time. Hatch, like many producers of the time, was used to getting his artists to record his own songs, written under pseudonyms so the record label didn’t necessarily realise this was what he was doing. In this case he brought the group a song that he claimed had been written by one “Fred Nightingale”, and which he thought would be perfect for them. The song in question, “Sugar and Spice”, was a blatant rip-off of “Sweets For My Sweet”, and recorded in a near-identical arrangement: [Excerpt: The Searchers, “Sugar and Spice”] The group weren’t keen on the song, and got very angry later on when they realised that Tony Hatch had lied to them about its origins, but the record was almost as big a hit as the first one, peaking at number two on the charts. But it was their third single that was the group’s international breakthrough, and which both established a whole new musical style and caused the first big rift in the group. The song chosen for that third single was one they learned in Hamburg, from Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, a London group who had recorded a few singles with Joe Meek, like “You Got What I Like”: [Excerpt: Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, “You Got What I Like”] The Rebel Rousers had picked up on a record by Jackie DeShannon, a singer-songwriter who had started up a writing partnership with Sharon Sheeley, the writer who had been Eddie Cochran’s girlfriend and in the fatal car crash with him. The record they’d started covering live, though, was not one that DeShannon was the credited songwriter on. “Needles and Pins” was credited to two other writers, both of them associated with Phil Spector.  Sonny Bono was a young songwriter who had written songs at Specialty Records for people like Sam Cooke, Larry Williams, and Don and Dewey, and his most famous song up to this point was “She Said Yeah”, the B-side to Williams’ “Bad Boy”: [Excerpt: Larry Williams, “She Said Yeah”] After working at Specialty, he’d gone on to work as Phil Spector’s assistant, doing most of the hands-on work in the studio while Spector sat in the control room. While working with Spector he’d got to know Jack Nitzsche, who did most of the arrangements for Spector, and who had also had hits on his own like “The Lonely Surfer”: [Excerpt: Jack Nitzsche, “The Lonely Surfer”] Bono and Nitzsche are the credited writers on “Needles and Pins”, but Jackie DeShannon insists that she co-wrote the song with them, but her name was left off the credits. I tend to believe her — both Nitzsche and Bono were, like their boss, abusive misogynist egomaniacs, and it’s easy to see them leaving her name off the credits. Either way, DeShannon recorded the song in early 1963, backed by members of the Wrecking Crew, and it scraped into the lower reaches of the US Hot One Hundred, though it actually made number one in Canada: [Excerpt: Jackie DeShannon, “Needles and Pins”] Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers had been covering that song, and Chris Curtis picked up on it as an obvious hit. The group reshaped the song, and fixed the main flaw with DeShannon’s original.  There’s really only about ninety seconds’ worth of actual song in “Needles and Pins”, and DeShannon’s version ends with a minute or so of vamping — it sounds like it’s still a written lyric, but it’s full of placeholders where entire lines are “whoa-oh”, the kind of thing that someone like Otis Redding could make sound great, but that didn’t really work for her record. The Searchers tightened the song up and altered its dynamics — instead of the middle eight leading to a long freeform section, they started the song with Mike Pender singing solo, and then on the middle eight they added a high harmony from Curtis, then just repeated the first verse and chorus, in the new key of C sharp, with Curtis harmonising this time: [Excerpt: The Searchers, “Needles and Pins” (middle eight on)] The addition of the harmony gives the song some much-needed dynamic variation not present in DeShannon’s version, while repeating the original verse after the key change, and adding in Curtis’ high harmony, gives it an obsessive quality. The protagonist here is spiralling – he keeps thinking the same things over and over, at a higher and higher pitch, getting more and more desperate. It’s a simple change, but one that improves the song immensely. Incidentally, one thing I should note here because it’s not something I normally do — in these excerpts of the Searchers’ version of “Needles and Pins”, I’m actually modifying the recording slightly. The mix used for the original single version of the song, which is what I’m excerpting here, is marred by an incredibly squeaky bass pedal on Chris Curtis’ drumkit, which isn’t particularly audible if you’re listening to it on early sixties equipment, which had little dynamic range, but which on modern digital copies of the track overpowers everything else, to the point that the record sounds like that Monty Python sketch where someone plays a tune by hitting mice with hammers. Here’s a couple of seconds of the unmodified track, so you can see what I mean: [Excerpt: The Searchers, “Needles and Pins”] Most hits compilations have a stereo mix of the song, and have EQ’d it so that the squeaky bass pedal isn’t noticeable, but I try wherever possible to use the mixes that people were actually listening to at the time, so I’ve compromised and used the mono mix but got rid of the squeaky frequencies, so you can hear the music I’m talking about rather than being distracted by the squeaks. Anyway, leaving the issue of nobody telling Chris Curtis to oil his pedals aside, the change in the structure of the song turned it from something a little baggy and aimless into a tight two-and-a-half minute pop song, but the other major change they made was emphasising the riff, and in doing so they inadvertently invented a whole new genre of music.  The riff in DeShannon’s version is there, but it’s just one element — an acoustic guitar strumming through the chords. It’s a good, simple, play-in-a-day riff — you basically hold a chord down and then move a single finger at a time and you can get that riff — and it’s the backbone of the song, but there’s also a piano, and horns, and the Blossoms singing: [Excerpt: Jackie DeShannon, “Needles and Pins”] But what the Searchers did was to take the riff and play it simultaneously on two electric guitars, and then added reverb. They also played the first part of the song in A, rather than the key of C which DeShannon’s version starts in, which allowed the open strings to ring out more. The result came out sounding like an electric twelve-string, and soon both they and the Beatles would be regularly using twelve-string Rickenbackers to get the same sound: [Excerpt: The Searchers, “Needles and Pins”] That record is the root of jangle-pop and folk-rock. That combination of jangling, reverb-heavy, trebly guitars and Everly Brothers inspired harmonies is one that leads directly to the Byrds, Love, Big Star, Tom Petty, REM, the Smiths, and the Bangles, among many others. While the Beatles were overall obviously the more influential group by a long way, “Needles and Pins” has a reasonable claim to be the most influential single track from the Merseybeat era. It went to number one in the UK, and became the group’s breakthrough hit in the US, reaching number sixteen. The follow-up, “Don’t Throw Your Love Away”, a cover of a B-side by the Orlons, again featuring Pender on lead vocals and Curtis on harmonies, also made number one in the UK and the US top twenty, giving them a third number one out of four singles. But the next single, “Someday We’re Gonna Love Again”, a cover of a Barbara Lewis song, only made number eleven, and caused journalists to worry if the Searchers had lost their touch. There was even some talk in the newspapers that Mike Pender might leave the group and start a solo career, which he denied. As it turned out, one of the group’s members was going to leave, but it wasn’t Mike Pender. Tony Jackson had sung lead on the first two singles, and on the majority of the tracks on the first album, and he thus regarded himself as the group’s lead singer. With Pender taking over the lead on the more recent hit singles, Jackson was being edged aside. By the third album, It’s The Searchers, which included “Needles and Pins”, Jackson was the only group member not to get a solo lead vocal — even John McNally got one, while Jackson’s only lead was an Everlys style close harmony with Mike Pender. Everything else was being sung by Pender or Curtis. Jackson was also getting involved in personality conflicts with the other band members — at one point it actually got to the point that he and Pender had a fistfight on stage. Jackson was also not entirely keen on the group’s move towards more melodic material. It’s important to remember that the Searchers had started out as an aggressive, loud, R&B band, and they still often sounded like that on stage — listen for example to their performance of “What’d I Say” at the NME poll-winners’ party in April 1964, with Chris Curtis on lead vocals clearly showing why he had a reputation for eccentricity: [Excerpt: The Searchers, “What’d I Say (live)”] The combination of these musical differences and his feelings about having his place usurped meant that Jackson was increasingly getting annoyed at the other three band members. Eventually he left the group — whether he was fired or quit depends on which version of the story you read — and was replaced by Frank Allen of Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers.  Jackson didn’t take this replacement well, and publicly went round telling people that he had been pushed out of the band so that Curtis could get his boyfriend into the band, and there are some innuendoes to this effect in Mike Pender’s autobiography — although Allen denies that he and Curtis were in a relationship, and says that he doesn’t actually know what Curtis’ sexuality was, because they never discussed that kind of thing, and presumably Allen would know better than anyone else whether he was in a relationship with Curtis.  Curtis is widely described as having been gay or bi by his contemporaries, but if he was he never came out publicly, possibly due to his strong religious views. There’s some suggestion, indeed, that one reason Jackson ended up out of the band was that he blackmailed the band, saying that he would publicly out Curtis if he didn’t get more lead vocals. Whatever the truth, Jackson left the group, and his first solo single, “Bye Bye Baby”, made number thirty-eight on the charts: [Excerpt: Tony Jackson and the Vibrations, “Bye Bye Baby”] However, his later singles had no success — he was soon rerecording “Love Potion Number Nine” in the hope that that would be a UK chart success as it had been in the US: [Excerpt: Tony Jackson and the Vibrations, “Love Potion Number Nine”] Meanwhile, Allen was fitting in well with his new group, and it appeared at first that the group’s run of hits would carry on uninterrupted without Jackson. The first single by the new lineup, “When You Walk In The Room”, was a cover of another Jackie DeShannon song, this time written by DeShannon on her own, and originally released as a B-side: [Excerpt: Jackie DeShannon, “When You Walk In The Room”] The Searchers rearranged that, once again emphasising the riff from DeShannon’s original, and by this time playing it on real twelve-strings, and adding extra compression to them. Their version featured a joint lead vocal by Pender and Allen: [Excerpt: The Searchers, “When You Walk In the Room”] Do you think the Byrds might have heard that? That went to number three on the charts. The next single was less successful, only making number thirteen, but was interesting in other ways — from the start, as well as their R&B covers, Curtis had been adding folk songs to the group’s repertoire, and there’d been one or two covers of songs like “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” on their albums, but “What Have They Done to the Rain?” was the first one to become a single.  It was written by Malvina Reynolds, who was a socialist activist who only became a songwriter in her early fifties, and who also wrote “Morningtown Ride” and “Little Boxes”. “What Have They Done to The Rain?” was a song written to oppose nuclear weapons testing, and Curtis had learned it from a Joan Baez album. Even though it wasn’t as big a success as some of their other hits, given how utterly different it was from their normal style, and how controversial the subject was, getting it into the top twenty at all seems quite an achievement. [Excerpt: The Searchers, “What Have They Done To The Rain?”] Their next single, “Goodbye My Love”, was their last top ten hit, and the next few singles only made the top forty, even when the Rolling Stones gave them “Take It Or Leave It”. The other group members started to get annoyed at Curtis, who they thought had lost his touch at picking songs, and whose behaviour had become increasingly erratic. Eventually, on an Australian tour, they took his supply of uppers and downers, which he had been using as much to self-medicate as for enjoyment as far as I can tell, and flushed them down the toilet. When they got back to the UK, Curtis was out of the group. Their first single after Curtis’ departure, “Have You Ever Loved Somebody”, was given to them by the Hollies, who had originally written it as an Everly Brothers album track: [Excerpt: The Searchers, “Have You Ever Loved Somebody”] Unfortunately for the Searchers, Chris Curtis had also heard the song, decided it was a likely hit, and had produced a rival version for Paul and Barry Ryan, which got rushed out to compete with it: [Excerpt: Paul and Barry Ryan, “Have You Ever Loved Somebody”] Neither single made the top forty, and the Searchers would never have a hit single again. Nor would Curtis. Curtis only released one solo single, “Aggravation”, a cover of a Joe South song: [Excerpt: Chris Curtis, “Aggravation”] The musicians on that included Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Joe Moretti, but it didn’t chart. Curtis then tried to form a band, which he named Roundabout, based on the concept that musicians could hop on or hop off at any point, with Curtis as the only constant member. The guitarist and keyboard player quickly decided that it would be more convenient for them if Curtis was the one to hop off, and without Curtis Jon Lord and Richie Blackmore went on to form Deep Purple. The Searchers didn’t put out another album for six years after Curtis left. They kept putting out singles on various labels, but nothing came close to charting. Their one album between 1966 and 1979 was a collection of rerecordings of their old hits, in 1972. But then in 1979 Seymour Stein, the owner of Sire Records, a label which was having success with groups like the Ramones, Talking Heads, and the Pretenders, was inspired by the Ramones covering “Needles and Pins” to sign the Searchers to a two-album deal, which produced records that fit perfectly into the late seventies New Wave pop landscape, while still sounding like the Searchers: [Excerpt: The Searchers, “Hearts in Her Eyes”] Apparently during those sessions, Curtis, who had given up music and become a civil servant, would regularly phone the studio threatening to burn it down if he wasn’t involved. Unfortunately, while those albums had some critical success, they did nothing commercially, and Sire dropped them. By 1985, the Searchers were at breaking point. They hadn’t recorded any new material in several years, and Mike Pender and John McNally weren’t getting on at all — which was a particular problem as the two of them were now the only two members based in Liverpool, and so they had to travel to and from gigs together without the other band members — the group were so poor that McNally and Pender had one car between the two of them. One of them would drive them both to the gig, the other would drive back to Liverpool and keep the car until the next gig, when they would swap over again. No-one except them knows what conversations they had on those long drives, but apparently they weren’t amicable. Pender thought of himself as the star of the group, and he particularly resented that he had to split the money from the band three ways (the drummers the group got in after Curtis were always on a salary rather than full partners in the group). Pender decided that he could make more money by touring on his own but still doing essentially the same show, with hired backing musicians. Pender and the other Searchers eventually reached an agreement that he could tour as “Mike Pender’s Searchers”, so long as he made sure that all the promotional material put every word at the same size, while the other members would continue as The Searchers with a new singer. A big chunk of the autobiographies of both Pender and Allen are taken up with the ensuing litigation, as there were suits and countersuits over matters of billing which on the outside look incredibly trivial, but which of course mattered greatly to everyone involved — there were now two groups with near-identical names, playing the same sets, in the same venues, and so any tiny advantage that one had was a threat to the other, to the extent that at one point there was a serious danger of Pender going to prison over their contractual disputes. The group had been earning very little money anyway, comparatively, and there was a real danger that the two groups undercutting each other might lead to everyone going bankrupt. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. Pender still tours — or at least has tour dates booked over the course of the next year — and McNally and Allen’s band continued playing regularly until 2019, and only stopped performing because of McNally’s increasing ill health. Having seen both, Pender’s was the better show — McNally and Allen’s lineup of the group relied rather too heavily on a rather cheesy sounding synthesiser for my tastes, while Pender stuck closer to a straight guitar/bass/drums sound — but both kept audiences very happy for decades. Mike Pender was made an MBE in 2020, as a reward for his services to the music industry. Tony Jackson and Chris Curtis both died in the 2000s, and John McNally and Frank Allen are now in well-deserved retirement. While Allen and Pender exchanged pleasantries and handshakes at their former bandmates’ funerals, McNally and Pender wouldn’t even say hello to each other, and even though McNally and Allen’s band has retired, there’s still a prominent notice on their website that they own the name “The Searchers” and nobody else is allowed to use it. But every time you hear a jangly twelve-string electric guitar, you’re hearing a sound that was originally created by Mike Pender and John McNally playing in unison, a sound that proved to be greater than any of its constituent parts.

A History Of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs
Episode 113: "Needles and Pins" by The Searchers

A History Of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs

Play Episode Listen Later Feb 8, 2021 46:32


This week's episode looks at "Needles and Pins", and the story of the second-greatest band to come out of Liverpool in the sixties, The Searchers. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a sixteen-minute bonus episode available, on "Farmer John" by Don and Dewey. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt's irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ ----more---- Resources No Mixcloud this week, as there are too many recordings by the Searchers.  My two main resources for this episode have been the autobiographies of members of the group -- Frank Allen's The Searchers and Me and Mike Pender's The Search For Myself.  All the Searchers tracks and Tony Jackson or Chris Curtis solo recordings excerpted here, except the live excerpt of "What'd I Say", can be found on this box set, which is out of print as a physical box, but still available digitally. For those who want a good budget alternative, though, this double-CD set contains fifty Searchers tracks, including all their hits, for under three pounds.   Patreon This podcast is brought to you by the generosity of my backers on Patreon. Why not join them? Transcript Last week we had a look at the biggest group ever to come out of Liverpool, and indeed the biggest group ever to play rock and roll music. But the Beatles weren't the only influential band on the Merseybeat scene, and while we won't have much chance to look at Merseybeat in general, we should at least briefly touch on the other bands from the scene. So today we're going to look at a band who developed a distinctive sound that would go on to be massively influential, even though they're rarely cited as an influence in the way some of their contemporaries are. We're going to look at The Searchers, and "Needles and Pins": [Excerpt: The Searchers, "Needles and Pins"] The story of the early origins of the Searchers is, like everything about the Searchers, the subject of a great deal of dispute. The two surviving original members of the group, John McNally and Mike Pender, haven't spoken to each other in thirty-six years, and didn't get on for many years before that, and there have been several legal disputes between them over the years. As a result, literally everything about the group's history has become a battlefield in their ongoing arguments. According to a book by Frank Allen, the group's bass player from 1964 on and someone who took McNally's side in the split and subsequent legal problems, McNally formed a skiffle group, which Mike Pender later joined, and was later joined first by Tony Jackson and then by a drummer then known as Chris Crummey, but who changed his name to the more euphonic Chris Curtis.  According to Pender, he never liked skiffle, never played skiffle, and "if McNally had a skiffle group, it must have been before I met him". He is very insistent on this point -- he liked country music, and later rock and roll, but never liked skiffle. According to him, he and McNally got together and formed a group that was definitely absolutely not in any way a skiffle group and wasn't led by McNally but was formed by both of them. That group split up, and then Pender became friends with Tony Jackson -- and he's very insistent that he became friends with Jackson during  a period when he didn't know McNally -- and the group reformed around the three of them, when McNally and Pender got back in touch. The origin of the group's name is similarly disputed. Everyone agrees that it came from the John Wayne film The Searchers -- the same film which had inspired the group's hero Buddy Holly to write "That'll Be The Day" -- but there is disagreement as to whose idea the name was. Pender claims that it was his idea, while McNally says that the name was coined by a singer named "Big Ron", who sang with the band for a bit before disappearing into obscurity. Big Ron's replacement was a singer named Billy Beck, who at the time he was with the Searchers used the stage name Johnny Sandon (though he later reverted to his birth name). The group performed as Johnny Sandon and The Searchers for two years, before Sandon quit the group to join the Remo Four, a group that was managed by Brian Epstein. Sandon made some records with the Remo Four in 1963, but they went nowhere, but they'll give some idea of how Sandon sounded: [Excerpt: Johnny Sandon and the Remo Four, "Lies"] The Remo Four later moved on to back Tommy Quickly, who we heard last week singing a song the Beatles wrote for him. With Sandon out of the picture, the group had no lead singer or frontman, and were in trouble -- they were known around Liverpool as Johnny Sandon's backing group, not as a group in their own right. They started splitting the lead vocals between themselves, but with Tony Jackson taking most of them. And, in a move which made them stand out, Chris Curtis moved his drum kit to the front line, started playing standing up, and became the group's front-man and second lead singer. Even at this point, though, there seemed to be cracks in the group. The Searchers were the most clean-living of the Liverpool bands -- they were all devout Catholics who would go to Mass every Sunday without fail, and seem to have never indulged in most of the vices that pretty much every other rock star indulged in. But Curtis and Jackson were far less so than Pender and McNally -- Jackson in particular was a very heavy drinker and known to get very aggressive when drunk, while Curtis was known as eccentric in other ways -- he seems to have had some sort of mental illness, though no-one's ever spoken about a diagnosis -- the Beatles apparently referred to him as "Mad Henry". Curtis and Jackson didn't get on with each other, and while Jackson started out as a close friend of Pender's, the two soon drifted apart, and by the time of their first recording sessions they appeared to most people to be a group of three plus one outsider, with Jackson not getting on well with any of the others. There was also a split in the band's musical tastes, but that would be the split that would drive much of their creativity. Pender and McNally were drawn towards softer music -- country and rockabilly, the Everly Brothers and Buddy Holly -- while Jackson preferred harder, stomping, music. But it was Chris Curtis who took charge of the group's repertoire, and who was the group's unofficial leader. While the other band members had fairly mainstream musical tastes, it was Curtis who would seek out obscure R&B B-sides that he thought the group could make their own, by artists like The Clovers and Richie Barrett -- while many Liverpool groups played Barrett's "Some Other Guy", the Searchers would also play the B-side to that, "Tricky Dicky", a song written by Leiber and Stoller. Curtis also liked quite a bit of folk music, and would also get the group to perform songs by Joan Baez and Peter, Paul, and Mary. The result of this combination of material and performers was that the Searchers ended up with a repertoire rooted in R&B, and a heavy rhythm section, but with strong harmony vocals inspired more by the Everlys than by the soul groups that were inspiring the other groups around Liverpool. Other than the Beatles, the Searchers were the best harmony group in Liverpool, and were the only other one to have multiple strong lead vocalists. Like the Beatles, the Searchers went off to play at the Star Club in Hamburg in 1962. Recordings were made of their performances there, and their live version of Brenda Lee's "Sweet Nothin's" later got released as a single after they became successful: [Excerpt: The Searchers, "Sweet Nothin's"] Even as every talent scout in the country seemed to be turning up in Liverpool, and even bands from nearby Manchester were getting signed up in the hope of repeating the Beatles' success, the Searchers were having no luck getting any attention from the London music industry. In part that was because of one bit of bad luck -- the day that Brian Epstein turned up to see them, with the thought of maybe managing them, Tony Jackson was drunk and fell off the stage, and Epstein decided that he was going to give them a miss. As no talent scouts were coming to see them, they decided that they would record a demo session at the Iron Door, the club they regularly played, and send that out to A&R people. That demo session produced a full short album, which shows them at their stompiest and hardest-driving. Most of the Merseybeat bands sounded much more powerful in their earlier live performances than in the studio, and the Searchers were no exception, and it's interesting to compare the sound of these recordings to the studio ones from only a few months later: [Excerpt: The Searchers, "Let's Stomp"] The group eventually signed to Pye Records. Pye was the third or fourth biggest record label in Britain at the time, but that was a relative matter -- EMI and Decca between them had something like eighty-five percent of the market, and basically *were* the record industry in Britain at the time. Pye was chronically underfunded, and when they signed an artist who managed to have any success, they would tend to push that artist to keep producing as many singles as possible, chasing trends, rather than investing in their long-term career survival. That said, they did have some big acts, most notably Petula Clark -- indeed the company had been formed from the merger of two other companies, one of which had been formed specifically to issue Clark's records. Clark was yet to have her big breakthrough hit in the USA, but she'd had several big hits in the UK, including the number one hit "Sailor": [Excerpt: Petula Clark, "Sailor"] The co-producer on that track had been Tony Hatch, a songwriter and producer who would go on to write and produce almost all of Clark's hit records. Hatch had a track record of hits -- we've heard several songs he was involved in over the course of the series. Most recently, we heard last week how "She Loves You" was inspired by "Forget Him", which Hatch wrote and produced for Bobby Rydell: [Excerpt: Bobby Rydell, "Forget Him"] Hatch heard the group's demo, and was impressed, and offered to sign them. The Searchers' manager at the time agreed, on one condition -- that Hatch also sign another band he managed, The Undertakers. Astonishingly, Hatch agreed, and so the Undertakers also got a record contract, and released several flop singles produced by Hatch, including this cover version of a Coasters tune: [Excerpt: The Undertakers, "What About Us?"] The biggest mark that the Undertakers would make on music would come many years later, when their lead singer Jackie Lomax would release a solo single, "Sour Milk Sea", which George Harrison wrote for him. The Searchers, on the other hand, made their mark immediately. The group's first single was a cover version of a song written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, which had been a top twenty hit in the US for the Drifters a couple of years earlier: [Excerpt: The Drifters, "Sweets For My Sweet"] That had become a regular fixture in the Searchers' live set, with Tony Jackson singing lead and Chris Curtis singing the high backing vocal part in falsetto. In much the same way that the Beatles had done with "Twist and Shout", they'd flattened out the original record's Latin cha-cha-cha rhythm into a more straightforward thumping rocker for their live performances, as you can hear on their original demo version from the Iron Door sessions: [Excerpt: The Searchers, "Sweets For My Sweet (live at the Iron Door)"] As you can hear, they'd also misheard a chunk of the lyrics, and so instead of "your tasty kiss", Jackson sang "Your first sweet kiss". In the studio, they slowed the song down very slightly, and brought up the harmony vocal from Pender on the choruses, which on the demo he seems to have been singing off-mic. The result was an obvious hit: [Excerpt: The Searchers, "Sweets For My Sweet"] That went to number one, helped by an endorsement from John Lennon, who said it was the best record to come out of Liverpool, and launched the Searchers into the very top tier of Liverpool groups, their only real competition being the Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers -- and though nobody could have known it at the time, the Pacemakers' career had already peaked at this point.  Their first album, Meet The Searchers, featured "Sweets For My Sweet", along with a selection of songs that mixed the standard repertoire of every Merseybeat band -- "Money", "Da Doo Ron Ron", "Twist and Shout", "Stand By Me", and the Everly Brothers' "Since You Broke My Heart", with more obscure songs like "Ain't Gonna Kiss Ya", by the then-unknown P.J. Proby, "Farmer John" by Don and Dewey, which hadn't yet become a garage-rock standard (and indeed seems to have become so largely because of the Searchers' version), and a cover of "Love Potion #9", a song that Leiber and Stoller had written for the Clovers, which was not released as a single in the UK, but later became their biggest hit in the US (and a quick content note for this one -- the lyric contains a word for Romani people which many of those people regard as a slur): [Excerpt: The Searchers, "Love Potion #9"] Their second single was an attempt to repeat the "Sweets For My Sweet" formula, and was written by Tony Hatch, although the group didn't know that at the time. Hatch, like many producers of the time, was used to getting his artists to record his own songs, written under pseudonyms so the record label didn't necessarily realise this was what he was doing. In this case he brought the group a song that he claimed had been written by one "Fred Nightingale", and which he thought would be perfect for them. The song in question, "Sugar and Spice", was a blatant rip-off of "Sweets For My Sweet", and recorded in a near-identical arrangement: [Excerpt: The Searchers, "Sugar and Spice"] The group weren't keen on the song, and got very angry later on when they realised that Tony Hatch had lied to them about its origins, but the record was almost as big a hit as the first one, peaking at number two on the charts. But it was their third single that was the group's international breakthrough, and which both established a whole new musical style and caused the first big rift in the group. The song chosen for that third single was one they learned in Hamburg, from Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, a London group who had recorded a few singles with Joe Meek, like "You Got What I Like": [Excerpt: Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, "You Got What I Like"] The Rebel Rousers had picked up on a record by Jackie DeShannon, a singer-songwriter who had started up a writing partnership with Sharon Sheeley, the writer who had been Eddie Cochran's girlfriend and in the fatal car crash with him. The record they'd started covering live, though, was not one that DeShannon was the credited songwriter on. "Needles and Pins" was credited to two other writers, both of them associated with Phil Spector.  Sonny Bono was a young songwriter who had written songs at Specialty Records for people like Sam Cooke, Larry Williams, and Don and Dewey, and his most famous song up to this point was "She Said Yeah", the B-side to Williams' "Bad Boy": [Excerpt: Larry Williams, "She Said Yeah"] After working at Specialty, he'd gone on to work as Phil Spector's assistant, doing most of the hands-on work in the studio while Spector sat in the control room. While working with Spector he'd got to know Jack Nitzsche, who did most of the arrangements for Spector, and who had also had hits on his own like "The Lonely Surfer": [Excerpt: Jack Nitzsche, "The Lonely Surfer"] Bono and Nitzsche are the credited writers on "Needles and Pins", but Jackie DeShannon insists that she co-wrote the song with them, but her name was left off the credits. I tend to believe her -- both Nitzsche and Bono were, like their boss, abusive misogynist egomaniacs, and it's easy to see them leaving her name off the credits. Either way, DeShannon recorded the song in early 1963, backed by members of the Wrecking Crew, and it scraped into the lower reaches of the US Hot One Hundred, though it actually made number one in Canada: [Excerpt: Jackie DeShannon, "Needles and Pins"] Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers had been covering that song, and Chris Curtis picked up on it as an obvious hit. The group reshaped the song, and fixed the main flaw with DeShannon's original.  There's really only about ninety seconds' worth of actual song in "Needles and Pins", and DeShannon's version ends with a minute or so of vamping -- it sounds like it's still a written lyric, but it's full of placeholders where entire lines are "whoa-oh", the kind of thing that someone like Otis Redding could make sound great, but that didn't really work for her record. The Searchers tightened the song up and altered its dynamics -- instead of the middle eight leading to a long freeform section, they started the song with Mike Pender singing solo, and then on the middle eight they added a high harmony from Curtis, then just repeated the first verse and chorus, in the new key of C sharp, with Curtis harmonising this time: [Excerpt: The Searchers, "Needles and Pins" (middle eight on)] The addition of the harmony gives the song some much-needed dynamic variation not present in DeShannon's version, while repeating the original verse after the key change, and adding in Curtis' high harmony, gives it an obsessive quality. The protagonist here is spiralling – he keeps thinking the same things over and over, at a higher and higher pitch, getting more and more desperate. It's a simple change, but one that improves the song immensely. Incidentally, one thing I should note here because it's not something I normally do -- in these excerpts of the Searchers' version of "Needles and Pins", I'm actually modifying the recording slightly. The mix used for the original single version of the song, which is what I'm excerpting here, is marred by an incredibly squeaky bass pedal on Chris Curtis' drumkit, which isn't particularly audible if you're listening to it on early sixties equipment, which had little dynamic range, but which on modern digital copies of the track overpowers everything else, to the point that the record sounds like that Monty Python sketch where someone plays a tune by hitting mice with hammers. Here's a couple of seconds of the unmodified track, so you can see what I mean: [Excerpt: The Searchers, "Needles and Pins"] Most hits compilations have a stereo mix of the song, and have EQ'd it so that the squeaky bass pedal isn't noticeable, but I try wherever possible to use the mixes that people were actually listening to at the time, so I've compromised and used the mono mix but got rid of the squeaky frequencies, so you can hear the music I'm talking about rather than being distracted by the squeaks. Anyway, leaving the issue of nobody telling Chris Curtis to oil his pedals aside, the change in the structure of the song turned it from something a little baggy and aimless into a tight two-and-a-half minute pop song, but the other major change they made was emphasising the riff, and in doing so they inadvertently invented a whole new genre of music.  The riff in DeShannon's version is there, but it's just one element -- an acoustic guitar strumming through the chords. It's a good, simple, play-in-a-day riff -- you basically hold a chord down and then move a single finger at a time and you can get that riff -- and it's the backbone of the song, but there's also a piano, and horns, and the Blossoms singing: [Excerpt: Jackie DeShannon, "Needles and Pins"] But what the Searchers did was to take the riff and play it simultaneously on two electric guitars, and then added reverb. They also played the first part of the song in A, rather than the key of C which DeShannon's version starts in, which allowed the open strings to ring out more. The result came out sounding like an electric twelve-string, and soon both they and the Beatles would be regularly using twelve-string Rickenbackers to get the same sound: [Excerpt: The Searchers, "Needles and Pins"] That record is the root of jangle-pop and folk-rock. That combination of jangling, reverb-heavy, trebly guitars and Everly Brothers inspired harmonies is one that leads directly to the Byrds, Love, Big Star, Tom Petty, REM, the Smiths, and the Bangles, among many others. While the Beatles were overall obviously the more influential group by a long way, "Needles and Pins" has a reasonable claim to be the most influential single track from the Merseybeat era. It went to number one in the UK, and became the group's breakthrough hit in the US, reaching number sixteen. The follow-up, "Don't Throw Your Love Away", a cover of a B-side by the Orlons, again featuring Pender on lead vocals and Curtis on harmonies, also made number one in the UK and the US top twenty, giving them a third number one out of four singles. But the next single, "Someday We're Gonna Love Again", a cover of a Barbara Lewis song, only made number eleven, and caused journalists to worry if the Searchers had lost their touch. There was even some talk in the newspapers that Mike Pender might leave the group and start a solo career, which he denied. As it turned out, one of the group's members was going to leave, but it wasn't Mike Pender. Tony Jackson had sung lead on the first two singles, and on the majority of the tracks on the first album, and he thus regarded himself as the group's lead singer. With Pender taking over the lead on the more recent hit singles, Jackson was being edged aside. By the third album, It's The Searchers, which included "Needles and Pins", Jackson was the only group member not to get a solo lead vocal -- even John McNally got one, while Jackson's only lead was an Everlys style close harmony with Mike Pender. Everything else was being sung by Pender or Curtis. Jackson was also getting involved in personality conflicts with the other band members -- at one point it actually got to the point that he and Pender had a fistfight on stage. Jackson was also not entirely keen on the group's move towards more melodic material. It's important to remember that the Searchers had started out as an aggressive, loud, R&B band, and they still often sounded like that on stage -- listen for example to their performance of "What'd I Say" at the NME poll-winners' party in April 1964, with Chris Curtis on lead vocals clearly showing why he had a reputation for eccentricity: [Excerpt: The Searchers, "What'd I Say (live)"] The combination of these musical differences and his feelings about having his place usurped meant that Jackson was increasingly getting annoyed at the other three band members. Eventually he left the group -- whether he was fired or quit depends on which version of the story you read -- and was replaced by Frank Allen of Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers.  Jackson didn't take this replacement well, and publicly went round telling people that he had been pushed out of the band so that Curtis could get his boyfriend into the band, and there are some innuendoes to this effect in Mike Pender's autobiography -- although Allen denies that he and Curtis were in a relationship, and says that he doesn't actually know what Curtis' sexuality was, because they never discussed that kind of thing, and presumably Allen would know better than anyone else whether he was in a relationship with Curtis.  Curtis is widely described as having been gay or bi by his contemporaries, but if he was he never came out publicly, possibly due to his strong religious views. There's some suggestion, indeed, that one reason Jackson ended up out of the band was that he blackmailed the band, saying that he would publicly out Curtis if he didn't get more lead vocals. Whatever the truth, Jackson left the group, and his first solo single, "Bye Bye Baby", made number thirty-eight on the charts: [Excerpt: Tony Jackson and the Vibrations, "Bye Bye Baby"] However, his later singles had no success -- he was soon rerecording "Love Potion Number Nine" in the hope that that would be a UK chart success as it had been in the US: [Excerpt: Tony Jackson and the Vibrations, "Love Potion Number Nine"] Meanwhile, Allen was fitting in well with his new group, and it appeared at first that the group's run of hits would carry on uninterrupted without Jackson. The first single by the new lineup, "When You Walk In The Room", was a cover of another Jackie DeShannon song, this time written by DeShannon on her own, and originally released as a B-side: [Excerpt: Jackie DeShannon, "When You Walk In The Room"] The Searchers rearranged that, once again emphasising the riff from DeShannon's original, and by this time playing it on real twelve-strings, and adding extra compression to them. Their version featured a joint lead vocal by Pender and Allen: [Excerpt: The Searchers, "When You Walk In the Room"] Do you think the Byrds might have heard that? That went to number three on the charts. The next single was less successful, only making number thirteen, but was interesting in other ways -- from the start, as well as their R&B covers, Curtis had been adding folk songs to the group's repertoire, and there'd been one or two covers of songs like "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" on their albums, but "What Have They Done to the Rain?" was the first one to become a single.  It was written by Malvina Reynolds, who was a socialist activist who only became a songwriter in her early fifties, and who also wrote "Morningtown Ride" and "Little Boxes". "What Have They Done to The Rain?" was a song written to oppose nuclear weapons testing, and Curtis had learned it from a Joan Baez album. Even though it wasn't as big a success as some of their other hits, given how utterly different it was from their normal style, and how controversial the subject was, getting it into the top twenty at all seems quite an achievement. [Excerpt: The Searchers, “What Have They Done To The Rain?”] Their next single, "Goodbye My Love", was their last top ten hit, and the next few singles only made the top forty, even when the Rolling Stones gave them "Take It Or Leave It". The other group members started to get annoyed at Curtis, who they thought had lost his touch at picking songs, and whose behaviour had become increasingly erratic. Eventually, on an Australian tour, they took his supply of uppers and downers, which he had been using as much to self-medicate as for enjoyment as far as I can tell, and flushed them down the toilet. When they got back to the UK, Curtis was out of the group. Their first single after Curtis' departure, "Have You Ever Loved Somebody", was given to them by the Hollies, who had originally written it as an Everly Brothers album track: [Excerpt: The Searchers, "Have You Ever Loved Somebody"] Unfortunately for the Searchers, Chris Curtis had also heard the song, decided it was a likely hit, and had produced a rival version for Paul and Barry Ryan, which got rushed out to compete with it: [Excerpt: Paul and Barry Ryan, "Have You Ever Loved Somebody"] Neither single made the top forty, and the Searchers would never have a hit single again. Nor would Curtis. Curtis only released one solo single, "Aggravation", a cover of a Joe South song: [Excerpt: Chris Curtis, "Aggravation"] The musicians on that included Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and Joe Moretti, but it didn't chart. Curtis then tried to form a band, which he named Roundabout, based on the concept that musicians could hop on or hop off at any point, with Curtis as the only constant member. The guitarist and keyboard player quickly decided that it would be more convenient for them if Curtis was the one to hop off, and without Curtis Jon Lord and Richie Blackmore went on to form Deep Purple. The Searchers didn't put out another album for six years after Curtis left. They kept putting out singles on various labels, but nothing came close to charting. Their one album between 1966 and 1979 was a collection of rerecordings of their old hits, in 1972. But then in 1979 Seymour Stein, the owner of Sire Records, a label which was having success with groups like the Ramones, Talking Heads, and the Pretenders, was inspired by the Ramones covering "Needles and Pins" to sign the Searchers to a two-album deal, which produced records that fit perfectly into the late seventies New Wave pop landscape, while still sounding like the Searchers: [Excerpt: The Searchers, "Hearts in Her Eyes"] Apparently during those sessions, Curtis, who had given up music and become a civil servant, would regularly phone the studio threatening to burn it down if he wasn't involved. Unfortunately, while those albums had some critical success, they did nothing commercially, and Sire dropped them. By 1985, the Searchers were at breaking point. They hadn't recorded any new material in several years, and Mike Pender and John McNally weren't getting on at all -- which was a particular problem as the two of them were now the only two members based in Liverpool, and so they had to travel to and from gigs together without the other band members -- the group were so poor that McNally and Pender had one car between the two of them. One of them would drive them both to the gig, the other would drive back to Liverpool and keep the car until the next gig, when they would swap over again. No-one except them knows what conversations they had on those long drives, but apparently they weren't amicable. Pender thought of himself as the star of the group, and he particularly resented that he had to split the money from the band three ways (the drummers the group got in after Curtis were always on a salary rather than full partners in the group). Pender decided that he could make more money by touring on his own but still doing essentially the same show, with hired backing musicians. Pender and the other Searchers eventually reached an agreement that he could tour as "Mike Pender's Searchers", so long as he made sure that all the promotional material put every word at the same size, while the other members would continue as The Searchers with a new singer. A big chunk of the autobiographies of both Pender and Allen are taken up with the ensuing litigation, as there were suits and countersuits over matters of billing which on the outside look incredibly trivial, but which of course mattered greatly to everyone involved -- there were now two groups with near-identical names, playing the same sets, in the same venues, and so any tiny advantage that one had was a threat to the other, to the extent that at one point there was a serious danger of Pender going to prison over their contractual disputes. The group had been earning very little money anyway, comparatively, and there was a real danger that the two groups undercutting each other might lead to everyone going bankrupt. Thankfully, that didn't happen. Pender still tours -- or at least has tour dates booked over the course of the next year -- and McNally and Allen's band continued playing regularly until 2019, and only stopped performing because of McNally's increasing ill health. Having seen both, Pender's was the better show -- McNally and Allen's lineup of the group relied rather too heavily on a rather cheesy sounding synthesiser for my tastes, while Pender stuck closer to a straight guitar/bass/drums sound -- but both kept audiences very happy for decades. Mike Pender was made an MBE in 2020, as a reward for his services to the music industry. Tony Jackson and Chris Curtis both died in the 2000s, and John McNally and Frank Allen are now in well-deserved retirement. While Allen and Pender exchanged pleasantries and handshakes at their former bandmates' funerals, McNally and Pender wouldn't even say hello to each other, and even though McNally and Allen's band has retired, there's still a prominent notice on their website that they own the name "The Searchers" and nobody else is allowed to use it. But every time you hear a jangly twelve-string electric guitar, you're hearing a sound that was originally created by Mike Pender and John McNally playing in unison, a sound that proved to be greater than any of its constituent parts.

A History Of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs
Episode 112: "She Loves You" by The Beatles

A History Of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 30, 2021 45:20


This week's episode looks at "She Loves You", the Beatles in 1963, and the start of Beatlemania in the UK. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a ten-minute bonus episode available, on "Glad All Over" by the Dave Clark Five. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt's irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ ----more---- Resources As usual, I have created a Mixcloud playlist containing every song heard in this episode (except for the excerpt of a Beatles audience screaming, and the recording of me singing, because nobody needs those.) While there are many books on the Beatles, and I have read dozens of them,  All These Years Vol 1: Tune In by Mark Lewisohn is simply the *only* book worth reading on the Beatles' career up to the end of 1962. It is the most detailed, most accurate, biography imaginable, and the gold standard by which all other biographies of musicians should be measured. I only wish volumes two and three were available already so I could not expect my future episodes on the Beatles to be obsolete when they do come out. There are two versions of the book -- a nine-hundred page mass-market version and a 1700-page expanded edition. I recommend the latter.  I have read literally dozens of books on the Beatles, and used bits of information from many of them, but the ones I specifically referred to while writing this episode, other than Tune In, were: The Complete Beatles Chronicle by Mark Lewisohn, All The Songs: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Release by Jean-Michel Guesdon, And The Band Begins To Play: The Definitive Guide To The Songs of The Beatles by Steve Lambley, The Beatles By Ear by Kevin Moore, Revolution in the Head by Ian MacDonald, and The Beatles Anthology.   "She Loves You" can be found on Past Masters, a 2-CD compilation of the Beatles' non-album tracks that includes the majority of their singles and B-sides.    Patreon This podcast is brought to you by the generosity of my backers on Patreon. Why not join them? Transcript Today, we're going to look at a record that is one of the most crucial turning points in the history of rock music, and of popular culture as a whole, a record that took the Beatles from being a very popular pop group to being the biggest band in Britain -- and soon to be the world. We're going to look at "She Loves You" by the Beatles: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "She Loves You"] When we left the Beatles, they had just released their first single, and seen it make the top twenty -- though we have, of course, seen them pop up in other people's stories in the course of our narrative, and we've seen how Lennon and McCartney wrote a hit for the Rolling Stones. But while we've been looking the other way, the Beatles had become the biggest band in Britain. Even before "Love Me Do" had been released, George Martin had realised that the Beatles had more potential than he had initially thought. He knew "Love Me Do" would be only a minor hit, but he didn't mind that -- over the sessions at which he'd worked with the group, he'd come to realise that they had real talent, and more than that, they had real charisma.  The Beatles' second single was to be their real breakthrough. "Please Please Me" was a song that had largely been written by John, and which had two very different musical inspirations. The first was a song originally made famous by Bing Crosby in 1932, "Please": [Excerpt: Bing Crosby, "Please"] Lennon had always been fascinated by the pun in the opening line -- the play on the word "please" -- and wanted to do something similar himself. The other influence is less obvious in the finished record, but makes sense once you realise it. A lot of Roy Orbison's records have a slow build up with a leap into falsetto, like "Crying": [Excerpt: Roy Orbison, "Crying"] Now, I'm going to have to do something I'm a little uncomfortable with here, and which I've honestly been dreading since the start of this project two years ago -- to demonstrate the similarity between "Please Please Me" and an Orbison song, I'm going to have to actually sing. I have a terrible voice and appalling pitch, and I could easily win an award for "person who has the least vocal resemblance to Roy Orbison of anyone in existence", so this will not be a pleasant sound, but it will hopefully give you some idea of how Lennon was thinking when he was writing "Please Please Me": [Excerpt: Me singing "Please Please Me"] I'm sorry you had to hear that, and I hope we can all move past it together. I promise that won't be a regular feature of the podcast. But I hope it gets the basic idea across, of how the song that's so familiar now could have easily been inspired by Orbison. Lennon had played that to George Martin very early on, but Martin had been unimpressed, thinking it a dirge. At Martin's suggestion, they took the song at a much faster tempo, and they rearranged the song so that instead of Lennon singing it solo, he and McCartney sang it as a duo with Everly Brothers style harmonies. They also changed the ascending "come on" section to be a call and response, like many of the Black vocal groups the Beatles were so influenced by, and by taking elements from a variety of sources they changed what had been a derivative piece into something totally original. For good measure, they overdubbed some harmonica from Lennon, to provide some sonic continuity with their earlier single. The result was a very obvious hit: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "Please Please Me"] After they'd finished recording that, George Martin said to them, "Gentlemen, you've just made your first number one" -- there are a number of slight variations of the wording depending on when Martin was telling the story, but it was something very close to that. Now that the Beatles had recorded something that really displayed their talents, they were clearly on their way to becoming very big, and it was at this point that George Martin brought in the final part of the team that would lead to that success; someone who would work closely with himself, the Beatles, and Brian Epstein. Dick James was someone who had himself had been a successful performer -- he's most famous now for having recorded the theme tune for the 1950s Robin Hood TV series: [Excerpt: Dick James, "Robin Hood"] That record had been produced by George Martin, as had several of James' other records, but James had recently retired from singing -- in part because he had gone prematurely bald, and didn't look right -- and had set up his own publishing company. George Martin had no great love for the people at Ardmore and Beechwood -- despite them having been the ones who had brought the Beatles to him -- and so he suggested to Brian Epstein that rather than continue with Ardmore and Beechwood, the group's next single should be published by Dick James. In particular, he owed James a favour, because James had passed him "How Do You Do It?", and Martin hadn't yet been able to get that recorded, and he thought that giving him the publishing for another guaranteed hit would possibly make up for that, though he still intended to get "How Do You Do It?" recorded by someone. Epstein had been unsure about this at first -- Epstein was a man who put a lot of stock in loyalty, but he ended up believing that Ardmore and Beechwood had done nothing to promote "Love Me Do" -- he possibly never realised that in fact it was them who were responsible for the record having come out at all, and that they'd had a great deal to do with its chart success. He ended up having a meeting with James, who was enthused by "Please Please Me", and wanted the song. Epstein told him he could have it, if he could prove he would be more effective at promoting the song than Ardmore and Beechwood had been with "Love Me Do". James picked up the telephone and called the producer of Thank Your Lucky Stars, one of the most popular music programmes on TV, and got the group booked for the show. He had the publishing rights. "Please Please Me" and its B-side "Ask Me Why" were published by Dick James Music, but after that point, any songs written by the Beatles for the next few years were published by a new company, Northern Songs. The business arrangements behind this have come in for some unfair criticism over the years, because Lennon and McCartney have later said that they were under the impression that they owned the company outright, but in fact they owned forty percent of the company, with Epstein owning ten percent, and the remaining fifty percent owned by Dick James and his business partner Charles Silver.  Obviously it's impossible to know what Lennon and McCartney were told about Northern Songs, and whether they were misled, but at the time this was very far from a bad deal. Most songwriters, even those with far more hits under their belt at the time, wrote for publishing companies owned by other people -- it was almost unheard of for them to even have a share in their own company. And at this time, it was still normal for publishing companies to actually have to work for their money, to push songs and get cover versions of them from established artists. Obviously the Beatles would change all that, and after them the job of a publisher became almost nonexistent, but nobody could have predicted how much the entire world of music was about to change, and so the deal that Lennon and McCartney got was an astonishingly good one for the time. This is something that's also true of a lot of the business decisions that Epstein made for the group early on. The Beatles earned incalculably less than they would have if they'd got the kind of contracts that people who started even a year or so after them got -- but their contracts were still vastly superior to anything that other performers in British music at the time were getting. Remember that Larry Parnes' teen idols were on a fixed salary, as were, for example, all the members of the Dave Clark Five except Clark himself, and you can see that the assumptions that apply when you look at later acts don't apply here. Either way, Dick James now had the publishing of what became the Beatles' first number one: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "Please Please Me"] At least, it became the Beatles' first number one as far as anyone paying attention in 1963 was concerned. But it's not their first number one according to any modern reference. These days, the British charts are compiled by a company called the Official Charts Company. That company started, under another name, in 1969, and is run by a consortium of record companies and retailers. If you see anywhere referring to "the UK charts" after 1969, that's always what they're referring to. In 1963, though, there were multiple singles charts in Britain, published by different magazines, and no single standard music-industry one. "Please Please Me" went to number one in the charts published by the NME and Melody Maker, two general-interest magazines whose charts were regarded by most people at the time as "the real charts", and which had huge audiences. However, it only made number two in the chart published by Record Retailer, a smaller magazine aimed at music industry professionals and the trade, rather than at the wider public. However, because the Official Charts Company is an industry body, the people who ran it were the people Record Retailer was aimed at, and so when they provide lists of historical charts, they use the Record Retailer one for the period from 1960 through 69 (they use the NME chart for 1952 through 59). So retroactively, "Please Please Me" does not appear as a number one in the history books, but as far as anyone at the time was concerned, it was. The record that kept "Please Please Me" off the top on the Record Retailer charts was "The Wayward Wind" by Frank Ifield: [Excerpt: Frank Ifield, "The Wayward "Wind"] Oddly, Ifield would himself record a version of "Please", the song that had inspired "Please Please Me", the next year: [Excerpt: Frank Ifield, "Please"] As a result of the success of "Please Please Me", the group were quickly brought into the studio to record an album. George Martin had originally intended to make that a live album, recorded at the Cavern, but having visited it he decided that possibly the huge amounts of condensation dripping from the ceiling might not be a good idea to mix with EMI's expensive electronic equipment. So instead, as we talked about briefly a couple of months back, the group came into Abbey Road on a rare day off from a package tour they were on, and recorded ten more songs that would, with the A- and B-sides of their first two singles, round out an album. Those tracks were a mixture of six songs that they performed regularly as part of their normal set -- covers of songs by the Cookies, the Shirelles, and Arthur Alexander, plus "Twist and Shout" and the soft pop ballad "A Taste of Honey", all of which they'd performed often enough that they could turn out creditable performances even though they all had colds, and Lennon especially was definitely the worse for wear (you can hear this in some of his vocals -- his nose is particularly congested on "There's a Place"), plus four more  recent Lennon and McCartney originals. By the time that first album came out, Lennon and McCartney had also started expanding their songwriting ambitions, offering songs to other performers. This had always been something that McCartney, in particular, had considered as part of their long-term career path -- he knew that the average pop act only had a very small time in the spotlight, and he would talk in interviews about Lennon and McCartney becoming a songwriting team after that point. That said, the first two Lennon/McCartney songs to be released as singles by other acts -- if you don't count a version of "Love Me Do" put out by a group of anonymous session players on a budget EP of covers of hits of the day, anyway -- were both primarily Lennon songs, and were both included on the Please Please Me album. "Misery" was written by Lennon and McCartney on a tour they were on in the early part of the year. That tour was headlined by Helen Shapiro, a sixteen-year-old whose biggest hits had been two years earlier, when she was fourteen: [Excerpt: Helen Shapiro, "Walking Back to Happiness"] Shapiro had also, in 1962, appeared in the film It's Trad, Dad!, which we've mentioned before, and which was  the first feature film directed by Richard Lester, who would later play a big part in the Beatles' career. Lennon and McCartney wrote "Misery" for Shapiro, but it was turned down by her producer, Norrie Paramor, without Shapiro ever hearing it -- it's interesting to wonder if that might have been, in part, because of the strained relationship between Paramor and George Martin. In the event, the song was picked up by one of the other artists on the tour, Kenny Lynch, who recorded a version of it as a single, though it didn't have any chart success: [Excerpt: Kenny Lynch, "Misery"] Lennon apparently disliked that record, and would mock Lynch for having employed Bert Weedon as the session guitarist for the track, as he regarded Weedon as a laughable figure. The other non-Beatles single of Lennon/McCartney songs that came out in early 1963 was rather more successful. Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas were another act that Brian Epstein managed and who George Martin produced. Their first single, "Do You Want To Know A Secret?" was a cover of a song mostly written by Lennon, which had been an album track on Please Please Me. Kramer's version went to number two on the charts (or number one on some charts): [Excerpt: Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, "Do You Want To Know A Secret?"] They also gave a song to Kramer for the B-side -- "I'll Be On My Way", which the group never recorded in the studio themselves, though they did do a version of it on a radio show, which was later released on the Live at the BBC set. In 1963 and 64 Lennon and McCartney would write a further three singles for Kramer, "I'll Keep You Satisfied", "Bad to Me", and "From a Window", all of which also became top ten hits for him. and none of which were ever recorded by the Beatles. They also gave him "I Call Your Name" as a B-side, but they later recorded that song themselves. As well as the Rolling Stones, who we've obviously looked at a few weeks back, Lennon and McCartney also wrote hits in 1963 and early 64 for The Fourmost: [Excerpt: The Fourmost, "I'm In Love"] Cilla Black: [Excerpt: Cilla Black, "It's For You"] And Peter & Gordon: [Excerpt: Peter & Gordon, "World Without Love"] As well as a flop for Tommy Quickly: [Excerpt: Tommy Quickly, "Tip of My Tongue"] Kramer, the Fourmost, and Black were all managed by Epstein and produced by Martin, while Quickly was also managed by Epstein, and they were part of a massive shift in British music that started with "Please Please Me", and then shifted into gear with Gerry and the Pacemakers, another act managed by Epstein, who Martin also produced. Their first single was a version of "How Do You Do It?", the song that Dick James had published and that Martin had tried to get the Beatles to record: [Excerpt: Gerry and the Pacemakes, "How Do You Do It?"] "How Do You Do It?" went to number one, and when it dropped off the top of the charts, it was replaced by the Beatles' next single. "From Me to You" was a song they wrote on the tour bus of that Helen Shapiro tour, and lyrically it was inspired by the NME's letter column, which had the header "From You To Us": [Excerpt: The Beatles, "From Me To You"] "From Me To You" often gets dismissed when talking about the Beatles' early hits, but it has a few points worth noticing. Firstly, it's the first Beatles single to be written as a true collaboration. Both sides of the "Love Me Do" single had been written by McCartney, with Lennon helping him fix up a song he'd started and largely finished on his own. And in turn, both "Please Please Me" and its B-side were Lennon ideas, which McCartney helped him finish. "From Me to You" and its B-side "Thank You Girl" were written together, "one on one, eyeball to eyeball", to use Lennon's famous phrase, and that would be the case for the next two singles. It's also an interesting stepping stone. The song retains the harmonica from the first two singles, which would be dropped by the next single, and it also has the octave leap into falsetto that "Please Please Me" has, on the line "If there's anything I can do", but it also has the "ooh" at the end of the middle eight leading back into the verse, a trick they'd picked up from "Twist and Shout", and an opportunity for Lennon and McCartney to shake their heads while making a high-pitched noise, a bit of stagecraft that set the audiences screaming and which turned up again in the next single. The other notable aspect is that the song is more harmonically sophisticated than their previous work. McCartney always singles out the change to the minor of the dominant at the start of the middle eight (on the word  "arms") as being interesting: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "From Me To You"] And that is an interesting change, and it sets up an unexpected key change to F, but I'd also note the change from G to G augmented at the end of the middle eight, on the "fied" of "satisfied". That's a very, very, Lennon chord change -- Lennon liked augmented chords in general, and he'd already used one in "Ask Me Why", but the G augmented chord in particular is one he would use over and over again. For those who don't understand that -- chords are normally made up of three notes, the first, third, and fifth of the scale for a major chord, and the flrst, flattened third, and fifth of a scale for a minor chord. But you can get other chords that have unexpected notes in them, and those can be particularly useful if you want to change key or move between two chords that don't normally go together. All the Beatles had particular favourite odd chords they would use in this way -- Paul would often use a minor fourth instead of a major one, and John would use it occasionally too, so much so that some people refer to a minor fourth as "the Beatle chord". George, meanwhile, would often use a diminished seventh in his songwriting, especially a D diminished seventh. And John's chord was G augmented. An augmented chord is one where the fifth note is raised a semitone, so instead of the first, third and fifth: [demonstrates] it's the first, third, and sharpened fifth: [demonstrates] In this case, John moves from G to G augmented right as they're going into the climax of the middle eight, so the top note of the chord goes higher than you'd normally expect, giving an impression of being so excited you just can't stop going up. "From Me To You" knocked "How Do You Do It" off the top of the charts, and at this point, the British music scene had been changed irrevocably. While we've seen that, according to the Official Charts Company, the number one records in the UK for eleven of the first fourteen weeks of 1963 were by either Cliff Richard, the Shadows, or ex-members of the Shadows, with only Frank Ifield breaking their dominance, between the eleventh of April 1963 and the sixteenth of January 1964, thirty-two out of forty weeks at the top were taken up by the Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, and Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas -- all acts from Liverpool, managed by Brian Epstein and produced by George Martin. And two of the other acts to hit number one in that period were Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, who were a London band, but doing a Motown cover, "Do You Love Me?", in a style clearly inspired by the Beatles' version of "Twist and Shout", and The Searchers, another band from Liverpool who rose to prominence as a result of the sudden dominance of Liverpudlian acts, and who we'll be looking at next week. The only pre-April acts to go to number one for the rest of 1963 were Frank Ifield and Elvis. In 1964 there was only Roy Orbison. There would be occasional number one hits by older acts after that -- Cliff Richard would have several more over his career -- but looking at the charts from this time it's almost as if there's a switch thrown, as if when people heard "Please Please Me", they decided "that's what we want now, that's what music should be", and as soon as there was more supply of stuff like that, as soon as the next Merseybeat single came out, they decided they were going to get that in preference to all other kinds of music. And of course, they were choosing the Beatles over every other Merseybeat act. The Beatles were, of course, a great band, and they are still nearly sixty years later the most commercially successful band ever, but so much has focused on what happened once they hit America, and so much time has passed, that it becomes almost impossible to see clearly just how huge they became how quickly in Britain. But they dominated 1963 culturally in the UK in a way that nothing else has before or since.  And the song that cemented that dominance was their next single, "She Loves You": [Excerpt: The Beatles, "She Loves You"] "She Loves You" was another step forward in the group's songwriting, and in the technical aspects of their recording. The group were, at this point, still only recording on two-track machines, but Norman Smith, the engineer, and his assistant Geoff Emerick, came up with a few techniques to make the sound more interesting. In particular, Emerick decided to use separate compressors on the drums and bass, rather than putting them both through the same compressor, and to use an overhead mic on Ringo's drums, which he'd never previously used.  But it was the songwriting itself that was, once again, of most interest. The idea for "She Loves You" came from McCartney, who was particularly inspired by a hit by one of the interchangeable Bobbies, Bobby Rydell, who was in the charts at the time with "Forget Him": [Excerpt: Bobby Rydell, "Forget Him"] McCartney took the idea of having a song be one side of a conversation with someone about their relationship, and decided that it would be an interesting idea to have the song be telling someone else "she loves you", rather than be about the singer's own relationships, as their previous singles had been. Everything up to that point had been centred around the first person addressing the second -- "Love ME Do", "PS I Love You", "Please Please ME", "Ask ME Why", "From ME to You", "Thank You Girl". This would be about addressing the second person about a third. While the song was McCartney's idea, he and Lennon wrote it together, but it was Harrison who added a crucial suggestion -- he came up with the idea that the final "Yeah" at the end of the chorus should be a major sixth instead of a normal chord, and that they should end with that as well: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "She Loves You"] George Martin was not keen on that -- while the Beatles saw it as something exciting and new, something they'd not done before, to Martin it was reminiscent of the 1940s -- both the Andrews Sisters and Glenn Miller would use similar tricks, and it was quite dated even then, being a standard technique of barbershop harmony. But to the Beatles, on the other hand, it didn't matter if other people had done it before, *they'd* not done it before, and while they agreed to try it both ways, Martin eventually agreed that it did sound better the way they were doing it. "She Loves You" took, by the standards of the Beatles in 1963, an inordinately long time to record -- though by today's standards it was ridiculously quick. While they had recorded ten tracks in ten hours for the Please Please Me album, they took six hours in total to record just "She Loves You" and its B-side "I'll Get You". This is partly explained by the fact that Please Please Me consisted of songs they'd been playing every night for years, while John and Paul finished writing "She Loves You" only four days before they went into the studio to record it. The arrangement had to be shaped in the studio -- apparently it was George Martin's idea to start with the chorus -- and there are clear edits in the final version, most audibly just before and after the line "you know it's up to you/I think it's only fair" [Excerpt: The Beatles, "She Loves You"] For those of you who want to see if you can spot the edits, they're most audible on the original CD issue of Past Masters vol. 1 from the eighties -- the later CD versions I have (the 2009 Mono Masters CD and the 2015 reissue of the 1 compilation) have been mastered in a way that makes the edits less obvious. As far as I can tell, there are six audible edit points in the song, even though it's only two minutes twenty-one -- a clear sign that they had to do a lot of studio work to get the song into a releasable shape. That work paid off, though. The single sold half a million advance copies before being released, quickly sold over a million, and became the biggest-selling single in British history -- there wouldn't be another single that sold more until fourteen years later, when Paul McCartney's solo single "Mull of Kintyre" overtook it. While "Please Please Me" and "From Me To You" had been big hits, it was "She Loves You" that caught the cultural moment in the UK. The "Yeah Yeah Yeah" chorus, in particular, caught on in a way few if any cultural phenomena ever had before. The phenomenon known as Beatlemania had, by this point, started in earnest. As the Beatles started their first national tour as headliners, their audiences could no longer hear them playing -- every girl in the audience was screaming at the top of her lungs for the entire performance.  Beatlemania is something that's impossible to explain in conventional terms. While I'm sure everyone listening to this episode has seen at least some of the footage, but for those who haven't, the only way to explain it is to hear the level of the screaming compared to the music. This is from some newsreel footage of the Beatles playing what was then the ABC in Ardwick. It's fascinating because most of the footage of Beatlemania shows gigs in the US at places like Shea Stadium or the Hollywood Bowl -- places where you get enough people that you can understand how they made that much noise. But this is a medium-sized theatre, and having been there many times myself (it's now the Manchester Apollo) I actually can't imagine how a crowd in that venue could make this much noise: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "Twist and Shout", Ardwick ABC] I won't be including that on the Mixcloud, by the way, as the noise makes it unlistenable, but the footage can easily be found on YouTube and is worth watching.  After "She Loves You" came their second album, With The Beatles, another album very much along the same lines as the first -- a mixture of Lennon/McCartney songs and covers of records by Black American artists, this time dominated by Motown artists, with versions of "Money", "Please Mr Postman", and the Miracles' "You Really Got A Hold On Me", all with Lennon lead vocals. That went to number one on the album charts, knocking Please Please Me down to number two. "She Loves You", meanwhile, remained at number one for a month, then dropped down into the top three, giving Brian Poole and the Tremeloes and Gerry and the Pacemakers a chance at the top spot, before it returned to number one for a couple of weeks -- the last time a record would go back to number one after dropping off the top until "Bohemian Rhapsody" went back to number one after Freddie Mercury died, nearly thirty years later. But while all this had been going on in Britain, the Beatles had had no success at all in the USA. Capitol, the label that had the right of first refusal for EMI records in the US, had a consistent pattern of turning down almost every British record, on the grounds that there was no market in the US for foreign records. This also meant that any record that EMI tried to license to any other label, that label knew had been turned down by Capitol. So the Beatles' first singles and album were licensed by a small label, VeeJay, who mostly put out soul records but also licensed Frank Ifield's material and had a hit act in The Four Seasons. VeeJay was close to bankruptcy, though, and didn't do any promotion of the Beatles' music. "She Loves You" was put out by an even smaller label, Swan, whose biggest hit act was Freddie "Boom Boom" Cannon. But Brian Epstein and George Martin were convinced that the Beatles could break America, and the group's next single was written specifically with the American audience in mind, and recorded using the unbelievably advanced technology of four-track tape machines -- the first time they'd used anything other than two-track: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "I Want To Hold Your Hand"] "I Want To Hold Your Hand" went to number one in the UK, of course, replacing "She Loves You" -- the only time that an artist would knock themselves off the number one spot until 1981, when John Lennon did it as a solo artist in far more tragic circumstances. At this point, the Beatles had the number one and two spots on the singles chart, the number one and two positions on the album charts, and were at numbers one, two and three on the EP chart.  It would also be the start of Beatlemania in the USA. After the Beatles' famous appearance on the Royal Variety Performance, at the time the most prestigious booking an entertainer could get in the UK, Brian Epstein flew to New York, with a few aims in mind. He brought Billy J. Kramer with him, as he thought that Kramer had some potential as a lounge singer and could maybe get some club work in the US, but mostly he was there to try to persuade Capitol to release "I Want to Hold Your Hand", using the news coverage of Beatlemania as a reason they should pick up on it. By this time, Capitol were running out of excuses. Given the group's popularity was at a different level from any other British artist ever, they had no reason not to release "I Want to Hold Your Hand". They agreed they would put it out on January the thirteenth 1964. [Excerpt: The Beatles, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”] Epstein also had two more meetings while he was in New York. One was with the makers of the Ed Sullivan Show -- Sullivan had been in London and been at the airport when the Beatles had arrived back from a trip abroad, and had seen the response of the crowds there. He was mildly interested in having the group on his show, and he agreed to book them. The other meeting was with Sid Bernstein, a promoter who had been in the UK and was willing to take a gamble on putting the group on at Carnegie Hall. Both of these were major, major bookings for a group who had so far had no commercial success whatsoever in the US, but by this point the Beatles were *so* big in the UK that people were willing to take a chance on them. But it turned out that they weren't taking a chance at all. In November, a CBS journalist had done a quick "look at those wacky Brits" piece to use as a filler in the evening news, including some footage of the Beatles performing "She Loves You". That had originally been intended to be shown on November the 22nd, but with President Kennedy's murder, the news had more important things to cover. It was eventually shown, introduced by Walter Cronkite, on December the tenth. Cronkite's broadcast got the attention of his friend Ed Sullivan, who had already more or less forgotten that he'd booked this British group whose name he couldn't even remember. He phoned Cronkite and asked him about these "Bugs, or whatever they call themselves", and started actually promoting their appearance on his show. At the same time, a fifteen-year-old girl named Marsha Albert in Maryland was very impressed with "She Loves You", after seeing the news report and wrote to a DJ called Carroll James, asking "Why can't we have this music in America?" James got a friend who worked as a flight attendant to bring him a copy of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" on her next return from the UK, and started playing it on December the seventeenth. He played it a *lot*, because the audience loved it and kept calling in for more. Capitol tried to get him to stop playing the record -- they weren't planning on releasing it for another month yet! What was he doing, actually promoting this record?!  Unfortunately for Capitol, by the time they got round to this, DJs at a couple of other stations had heard about the reaction the record was getting, and started playing their own copies as well. Capitol changed the release date, and put the record out early, on December the twenty-sixth. It sold a quarter of a million copies in the first three days. By the week of its originally scheduled release date, it was at number one on the Cashbox chart, and it would hit the same position on Billboard soon after. By the time the Beatles arrived in America for their Ed Sullivan show, it was half-way through a seven-week run at the top of the charts, and only got knocked off the top spot by "She Loves You", which was in its turn knocked off by "Can't Buy Me Love". The Beatles had hit America, and the world of music would never be the same again.