American singer-songwriter, civil rights activist and entrepreneur
Singing his way through the 1950s and early 1960s, appealing to audiences across a segregated music industry, churning out hits of dreamy quality like “You Send Me” and inspirational fortitude like “A Change Is Gonna Come,” Sam Cooke was more than an artist. He lived – and died – a legend. So how did he end up shot in a Los Angeles motel in 1964? In this episode, we'll trace the tale: start to finish. "Crimes of the Centuries" is a podcast from the Obsessed Network exploring forgotten crimes from times past that made a mark and helped change history. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter: @centuriespod Episode Sponsors: Lomi - The countertop electric composter that turns scraps to dirt in under 4 hours! Head to www.lomi.com/COTC and use the promo code COTC to get $50 off your Lomi. Wildgrain - The first bake-from-frozen box for artisanal bread! Go to www.wildgrain.com/COTC or use promo code COTC for $30 off your first box and free croissants in every box! Helix - Comfort designed for every body. Helix is offering up to $200 off all mattress orders AND two free pillows for our listeners at www.HelixSleep.com/cotc Miracle Brand - Self-cooling and self-cleaning sheets to transform how you sleep! Go to www.trymiracle.com/COTC and use code COTC for over 40% off and three free towels!
We know a lot about the man Hendrix became: the paratrooper who played in a band during his free time, the backup player for musicians like Sam Cooke, BB King, and Little Richard, and eventually, the world renowned rockstar. But there's a chapter of Hendrix's life that has gone largely unexplored: his childhood. A new production from playwright and Seattle Children's Theatre Creative Director Idris Goodwin is inspired by Hendrix's childhood growing up in Seattle's Central District. It's called “The Boy Who Kissed the Sky.”
As a new year begins, tensions are rising between the US, led by newly elected President John F Kennedy, and Cuba, two years after the revolution that installed Fidel Castro as it's leader. On the other side of the world, pressure is also building as communism spreads in south-east Asia. The United States is keeping it's finger in that pie as well. Musically, while I didn't expect there to be the flick of a switch to turn off the rock 'n' roll of the 50s and turn on what we think of as the “sound of the 60s”, I did expect a gradual fade of one into the other. But what I hadn't thought through was a musical revolution occurring between the two. R&B artists such as Etta James, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Roy Orbison and The Shirelles were recording hit records that certainly stand-up better today than the awful “bubblegum rock” that it was competing with. That continues into 1961 but, while Johnny Kidd & The Pirates were already, in my opinion, way ahead of their time, there's a single by Tony Sheridan in 1961 that went almost unheralded in the UK but that is of incredible significance in predicting what is to come. If you know your musical history, you already know what I'm talking about. But, if not, listen out for the pieces falling into place and I'll reveal all at the end of this show.
On the heels of their excellent latest LP, LA indie-pop trio MUNA (Katie Gavin, Josette Maskin and Naomi McPherson) call into the LSQ podcast from the road, to talk about their individual experiences falling in love with music as kids, how they came together to form MUNA, and how their approach has evolved over the years. The original ethos remains: “We decided to make music that made us feel good, for sure, but that also had an audience in mind, and that could be useful to an audience,” Katie says. Adds Josette: “Songs that can be used to dance to or that can be used as a mantra to say to yourself when you're at a really low place. When we say we had an audience in mind, people who need to hear those things are the audience we've always had in mind, and that's always been a guiding force. MUNA has become for the people, and I think that's why we've been able to do this for so long.” *** After releasing a single I loved earlier this year called “Blocked,” the Womack Sisters (BG, Zeimani and Kucha) shared their debut EP, Legacy, in early September. When I caught up with them this summer, they had just pushed back the release a bit, so they could add their cover of “A Change Is Gonna Come,” the song made famous by their legendary grandfather, Sam Cooke. We chatted about what it was like growing up on the road with their parents, Womack & Womack, and how they went from roadies to back-up singers to forming their own group. They plan to release a debut LP next year.
Sam Cooke is an often forgotten all-time great in the history of popular music. Don't worry. We forgot about him too, but we're trying to remedy that fact. In this episode we go over all the highs and lows of his final album released just after his untimely and controversial death in 1964.
In this episode The American Tapestry Project we chat with Chris Magoc about his book A Progressive History of American Democracy Since 1945: American Dreams, Hard Realities. We'll discover the Freedom Train, hear Sam Cooke sing “A Change is Gonna Come” and learn what Jackson Browne thought about ‘60s rebels become ‘80s Yuppies. That's this week on The American Tapestry Project Episode #26
I simply couldn't resist doing another playlist episode! So in this week's minisode, I'm talking about my Top 10 cover songs.As usual, there's a real mixture of tunes including covers by Stevie Wonder and Cowboy Junkies, as well as covers of Sam Cooke and Bob Dylan, all of which I love love love. I hope you'll love the ones you know - as well as the ones you don't!As before, here's the link to the Spotify playlist:https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5Y5pupvvEGD0DXkzSSEZDw(Sadly, song no. 6 on this list isn't on Spotify, so the playlist only has 9 of the 10 songs that I talk about.) Press 'Play' and let me know what you think!Fancy getting your hands on my FREE Top 10 Mindset Tips? Head over to: www.lucymeggeson.comInterested in my 6-week group coaching course (starting in October) to upgrade your spinster mindset? DM me on Instagram or e-mail me at email@example.com for more details.Join my private Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1870817913309222/?ref=shareFollow me on Instagram: @spinsterhoodreimaginedFollow me on Twitter: @LucyMeggesonEmail me: firstname.lastname@example.org
A review of "One Night in Miami", directed by Regina King which depicts a fictional meeting of Cassius Clay, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown. Show notes are available at http://noirehistoir.com/blog/one-night-in-miami-movie-review/?utm_source=podcast&utm_medium=media&utm_campaign=one_night_in_miami_movie_review.
If you love the content, you can buy me a coffee. I love coffee $2.00CashApp: £djcolzz - Donate just $2.00 PayPal - Donate just $2.00 *** Your donation keeps this podcast alive *** Look us up on Deezer, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Audacy Boomplay iHeart Radio PlayerFM and TuneIn “Electric Thunder Radio”Apple Podcasts “DJColzz” Back to the 50s and 60s we go, with Elvis Presley, Connie Francis, The Beatles, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Cilla Black, The Chiffons, Eddie Cochran, Mary Wells, Fairport Convention, Led Zeppelin, Bobby Vinton, Chris Montez, Freddie And The Dreamers, The Kinks, James Brown, The Searchers and a whole lot more. Two whole hours to download for FREE.However, if you feel like dropping a tip to my cashapp, it keeps me able to do more, for you.Enjoy!
We had the pleasure of interviewing Brooke Annibale over Zoom video.Montego Bay, Jamaica raised vocalist, songwriter and producer Hezron Clarke released his album, M.O.A.M. (Man on a Mission), via Tad's Record (Ernie Ranglin, Tanya Stephens). Recorded in Reggae's birthplace, Kingston Jamaica, M.O.A.M. features some of Jamaica's greatest musicians including Dean Fraser (saxophone), Kirk “Kirkle Dove” Bennett (drums), Donald “Danny Bassie” Dennis (bass), Mitchum Khan (guitar), Carol “Bowie” McLaughlin (keyboards) and Robbie Lyn (keyboards). On a lyrical front, the album embodies feel-good vibes with motivational and inspirational concepts that encourage patience and resilience. With inspiration from classic soul artists such as Luther Vandross, Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, to 90's favorites KC and Jojo and Dave Hollister to iconic Jamaican singers Beres Hammond and Dennis Brown, Hezron has embodied his own classic vocal and musical style while taking notes from some of the greats. Hezron released his debut album The Life I Live(d) on Tad's Record in 2015. His return to the label with M.O.A.M. unites two established Jamaican brands, each committed to proving that quality reggae with the potential for widespread global appeal is still being made in the music's birthplace. Although many younger Jamaican artists embrace trap and hip-hop over indigenous reggae and dancehall, a stark contrast to the proliferation of young American reggae bands, especially in California, Tad's Record founder Tad Dawkins is determined to see Jamaican reggae restored to prominence internationally. It's an objective he firmly believes will be fulfilled with the release of M.O.A.M. We want to hear from you! Please email Tera@BringinitBackwards.com. www.BringinitBackwards.com #podcast #interview #bringinbackpod #HezronClarke #MOAM #ManOnAMission #NewMusic #zoom Listen & Subscribe to BiB https://www.bringinitbackwards.com/follow/ Follow our podcast on Instagram and Twitter! https://www.facebook.com/groups/bringinbackpod
En el día en que se cumplen 100 años del nacimiento de René Hall te ofrecemos este episodio dedicado a reivindicar y arrojar luz sobre este talentoso hombre de música que siempre se movió entre bambalinas. Trabajador incansable y sumamente prolífico, maestro del blues, el jazz y el pop, pionero del rocknroll, tremendo guitarrista y exquisito arreglista. Lideró sus propios grupos con los que nunca tuvo éxito, pero como músico de sesión puso sus virtudes al servicio de muchos grandes nombres y decenas de clásicos de la música. Playlist; (sintonía) RENÉ HALL ORCHESTRA “Night fright” (1953) RENE HALL TRIO “My kind of rockin’” (1951) THE DOMINOES “Sixty minute man” (1951) LARRY WILLIAMS “Dizzy Miss Lissy” (1958) LARRY WILLIAMS “Bony Moronie” (1957) LARRY WILLIAMS “Bad boy” (1959) DON and DEWEY “Justine” (1958) DON and DEWEY “Just a Little lovin’” (1958) RENÉ HALLS ORCHESTRA featuring WILLIE JOE “Twitchy” (1958) RITCHIE VALENS “La Bamba” (1958) RITCHIE VALENS “Donna” (1958) CHAN ROMERO “Hippy hippy shake” (1959) BABETTE BAIN “That’s it” (1959) JOHNNY BURNETTE “Cincinnati fireball” (1960) SAM COOKE “You send me” (1957) SAM COOKE “Having a party” (1962) SAM COOKE “A change is gonna come” (1964) THE RENE HALL SEXTET “Rene’s boogie” (1950) Escuchar audio
This week we welcome Dean Z as Ultimate Elvis! When Dean was 3, the documentary "This Is Elvis" was being broadcast on television. He immediately cleared the coffee table, jumped on top of it and started trying to imitate Presley's every move. Not long after, Dean's mother made his first Elvis jump suit, and he was on his way. After performing in several shows of his own, Dean took off for the bright light city that would set his soul on fire, Las Vegas, at age 17. He relocated to the entertainment mecca to attain the goal of establishing himself as a well-known act. Throughout the next 12 years, Dean performed in Vegas, and has paid tribute to "The Memphis Flash" in Japan, Australia, Norway, Denmark, England, across Canada and the United States. Dean soon earned a spot with the World's Greatest Live Tribute Show, "Legends in Concert," then in 2007, moved to headlining the show in Branson, Missouri. In 2013, Dean decided it was time to go after the title of Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist. He and the 28 other semi-finalists competed for the top ten spots on August 14th with the Finals coming three days later. He brought the house down, and was soon presented with a championship belt, the title of Ultimate Elvis 2013 from EPE, a check for $20,000 and tens of thousands of new fans. The year 2014 was a banner year for Dean, who received the Heart Of The King Award in Las Vegas at the former Las Vegas Hilton, on the same stage the Elvis himself performed over 700 shows during the 1970's. Dean also had the pleasure of being a part of the national touring production Elvis Lives, a live musical highlighting Elvis' career that features world champions from the Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist ContestTM . As Dean's success as an entertainer and personality grew, so did his creativity. Dean combined his life, love, passion and influences to create a unique concert and show experience, with Broadway-worthy dance moves and spontaneous audience interaction called "The Dean Z Show." The show featured Dean's boundless energy and youthful exuberance as he accompanies the audience on an eclectic musical journey into the bygone eras of soul, rockabilly, rock 'n' roll, pop, and rhythm and blues. During the production, the award-winning and internationally acclaimed entertainer performed the music that inspired his passion for performance, including songs from Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Buddy Holly, Michael Jackson, Sam Cooke and so many others. Since its sold out premiere, “The Dean Z Show” has been mesmerizing audiences of all ages across the country, and will continue to do so. Dean will be presenting “Dean Z – The Ultimate Elvis” at the Clay Cooper Theatre. For tickets and information, call 417 -332-2529; or visit ClayCooperTheatre.com. Also visit Dean's website: DeanZ.com
Sam Cooke recorded a live album in 1963 that was considered too raw for the time and was shelved until 1985. Join us as we discuss this "theatrical" event entitled ONE NIGHT STAND at the HARLEM SQUARE CLUB!
前段时间，Diddy 在社交网络上抛出了”somebody killed R&B”这个观点，引起了挺多关于“Is R&B dead?” 的辩论，对于这个粗暴看似极端的结论，我和老林也想展开说说自己的理解。而且就 R&B 作为一种音乐风格的定义，我认为在大众普遍认知中，也需要再次提及它更广泛深层的文化意义。 本期我们讨论的话题 R&B (Rhythm & Blues) 是广义上的黑人音乐，引用 Nelson George 在”The Death of Rhythm & Blues” 中对它的解释 :”The term originated in the 1940s as a description of a synthesis of black musical genres—gospel, big-band swing, blues—that, along with new technology, specifically the popularization of the electric bass, produced a propulsive, spirited brand of popular music. A decade later it would be called rock & roll to camouflage its black roots, and subsequently soul, funk, disco, rap, and other offspring would arise from these roots.” 所以我和老林的讨论也是从 20s 的”race music”开始，简要分享了黑人音乐在时代发展中不同的风格特点，希望能带给你区别于主流规则的新鲜角度。我们也为大家准备了Spotify主题歌单：https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0oLctseoCREqHAmoCuGLKc?si=c08b225e336647de Episode notes: Nelson George 的书 ”The Death of Rhythm & Blues” 中对 R&B 的定义其实不是音乐性的，而是社会文化意义上对黑人音乐的统称； Rhythm & Blues这个词在1940s最初产生，是唱片公司为了将新的黑人音乐推广至更大范围的受众创造的营销概念，风格上它相对于 Jazz ，拍子更强烈。目前公认提出这个词语的人是 Atlantic Records 的 Jerry Wexler ； 20s 的黑人音乐统称为 “race music”，这种定义让音乐的黑人属性很强，比如 Bessie Smith 这样的 classic female blues； 1940s末 50s初，在接连经历了大萧条和二战之后，爵士大乐团编制开始精简为小乐团模式，初期的R&B 音乐人都是有爵士背景的，他们在这种精简的风格中加入了更强的boogie的节奏； R&B 在市场推广上的流行化（白人口味化）的手段，有商业目的，但我们无法忽视这是处于种族隔离的背景之下，黑人群体无法形成庞大购买力，且受传统观念影响的一个行为，这种举措是否对R&B 产生了负面的影响，无法片面回答。但从文化代表性这个角度上看，我们需要反思历史，给予黑人的艺术成就应得的承认； 50s Rock n Roll 的出现是对爵士编制基础上传统流行乐的反叛； Ray Charles 是一个非常重要且独特的存在，他的音乐也可以代表50s 大西洋唱片 R&B 的风格； 灵魂乐先驱 Sam Cooke 影响了后续一大批灵魂音乐人，因为强烈的黑人意识，也是当时民权运动代表黑人斗争的anthem； 50s末 60s 初，R&B 的分支来源较杂，风格也比较模糊，来自纽约占据流行音乐榜的 Brill Building 汇集了很多优秀的音乐写作者（songwriters），创作了很多 R&B 歌曲； 63、64年灵魂乐开始形成，发展出较明确的灵魂乐风格，早期 Motown 其实也受了 Brill Building 的影响，是 Soul 处于萌芽期的代表； Stax 灵魂的代表 Booker T & the MG 's 的 “Green Onions” 是一首影响深远划时代的作品。Stax Records 幕后的 house band，以及Issac Hayes, David Porter 带来了最强劲的灵魂乐制作水准； 60s末 70s初，Marvin Gaye 推出了”What's Going On” （1971），是他个人的分水岭作品； Stevie Wonder 在合成器领域贡献极大，是一位融合多种风格的奇才，并且他的catalogue 也有一部分界线作品就是”Music of My Mind”（1972），与 Marvin Gaye一样，他们的创作历史都跨越了了60s和70s 不同的灵魂风格； 黑人音乐的常青树 The Isley Brothers 作品贯穿了50s 至 00s 不同时期的风格； 70s 还有一种更加抒情的流派 Quiet Storm，代表人物 Smokey Robinson, Lionel Richie; Playlist： Bessie Smith "Down Hearted Blues" (1923) Louis Jordan - “Caldonia “(1946) Ray Charles “What'd I Say, Pt.1&2” (1959) Sam Cooke - “A Change is Gonna Come “(1963) The Marvelettes - “Please Mr. Postman” (1961) Booker T & the M G 's - “Green Onions” （1962） Stevie Wonder - ”Superstition”（1972） Teddy Pendergrass - “Love T.K.O.”（1980）
Best friends Jorge and Ali have always connected over a shared passion: raising their Black sons with pride and self-love. As a district attorney fighting the “pipeline to prison,” Jorge wanted a way to help show Black boys their worth in society. Meanwhile, as the owner of a nonprofit that helps startups in West Africa, Ali wanted to teach Black youth that they can achieve anything they set their minds to. So, they wrote a picture book! Black Boy, Black Boy is a brand-new picture book that was just published in August of 2022 by Sourcebooks. It's an inspiring and powerful anthem of Black joy and an ode to remarkable moments in Black History. From athlete and activist Colin Kaepernick to musician Sam Cooke, inventor Elijah McCoy and writer Chinua Achebe, there are so many inspirational men in Black history. This lyrical, rhythmic text encourages boys to imagine everything they can be and the great things they can do, drawing on the strength of people throughout history that paved the way for Black boys today. Black Boy, Black Boy tells today's boys: you have the courage, you are the light. It's a new day! Be inspired and motivated by drawing on the history of the role models that came before you. About the Authors: ALI BIKO SULAIMAN KAMANDA is an award-winning filmmaker from Sierra Leone, West Africa. He is the President of Salone Rising, a not-for-profit organization that provides micro-financing and mentoring resources to small business owners in rural Sierra Leone. JORGE REDMOND works in the Buncombe County District Attorney's office as an Assistant District Attorney, and as an adjunct professor in South College's Legal Department. KEN DALEY is an award-winning artist/illustrator from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. Ken's passion lies with stories that reflect his heritage as the child of immigrants, his connection to the Caribbean, and the richness and expanse of the African diaspora. He believes that diverse stories are essential to creating a more just and equitable world and this is something he is deeply committed to manifesting through his art. Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Black-Boy-Ali-Kamanda/dp/1728250641/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2I5E02ZP8E0YS&keywords=black+boy+black+boy&qid=1662602498&sprefix=black+boy+black+boy%2Caps%2C106&sr=8-1
Apadrinado por Sam Cooke, vetado por sus pares y luego validado por la comunidad del soul, además de guitarrista de Elvis y Aretha Franklin y hasta colaborador de Gorillaz, Womack tuvo tantas historias como canciones que quedarían como testimonio de su enorme trayectoria.
La cantante y guitarrista Alba Blanco lidera el trío La Perra Blanco. Esta gaditana se ha convertido en la figura emergente más significativa del rocknroll años 50. Baja a presentarnos su último EP, “Won’t you come on” (Folc Records), y a regalarnos una sesión con algunos de sus artistas favoritos, mirando hacia las raíces de la música rockabilly. Playlist; LA PERRA BLANCO “Won’t you come on” LA PERRA BLANCO “Rock me baby” LA PERRA BLANCO “Nothing is worst (than this pain in my heart)” T BONE WALKER “Two bones and a pick” DOC and MERLE WATSON “Honey babe blues” BILL MONROE “Southern flavour” HANK WILLIAMS “My son calls another man daddy” CHARLES MINGUS “Freedom” SAM COOKE and THE SOUL STIRRERS “Just another day” HANK MOBLEY featuring LEE MORGAN “The morning after” BILLIE HOLIDAY “Strange fruit” LOS DESTROZAMITOS y MEI POP “Como una crema” LA PERRA BLANCO “What’s wrong with you” Escuchar audio
Let's give a warm welcome to singer/songwriter Alicia Blue. She's got an interesting history with music. It starts with her father, who learned English listening to Sam Cooke on his way to America to propose to Alicia's mom! She and I also decide that maybe we should trade dads for a day.But it wasn't her father who instilled a love of music in her. It was the relationship she developed with soul singer Malcolm Hayes. His music and friendship changed the path she was on. He also introduced Alicia to another huge influence in an unusual guitar teacher which led Alicia to learn a few songs, phonetically, in Thai!Alicia is also a poet and she describes the differences between her poetry and her lyrics.Now as far as releases go, she's had a wild ride. Starbucks picked up a song from her first EP. And then two weeks after her first full length album came out, the world went on lockdown. So she decided to do a live stream to promote it instead. Unfortunately she had appendicitis just before the stream and had to cancel. So now she's got a new EP out called Inner Child Work and the timing seems good! So go pick up the new release & give Alicia a follow @aliciabluemusic.Follow us @PerformanceAnx. Buy a coffee at ko-fi.com/performanceanxiety or merch ar performanceanx.threadless.com. And now check out Alicia Blue and her music on Performance Anxiety on the Pantheon Podcast Network. And don't forget our VIP contest with Nick Mason's Saucerful Of Secrets. Enter at pantheonpodcasts.com/nickmason to enter!
WELCOME TO THE WORKING WEEK - Elvis Costello WORKING IN A COAL MINE - Lee Dorsey WORKING MAN BLUES - Merle Haggard FINEST WORKSONG - R.E.M. SIXTEEN TONS - Tennessee “Ernie” Ford CHAIN GANG - Sam Cooke WHISTLE WHILE YOU WORK - Louis Armstrong GET BACK IN LINE - The Kinks 9 TO 5 - Dolly Parton WORKING CLASS HERO - Marianne Faithful NIGHT MOVES - Bob Seger CAREER OPPORTUNITIES - The Clash WE CAN WORK IT OUT - Stevie Wonder TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT - Johnny Paycheck FIVE O'CLOCK WORLD - The Vogues IT'S NOT MY PLACE (IN THE 9 TO 5 WORLD) - The Ramones WORK SONG - Nina Simone MAGGIE'S FARM - Bob Dylan WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON - The Weavers THERE IS POWER IN A UNION - Billy Bragg ON THE RAILROAD - The Longest Johns JOE HILL - Paul Hill FIRE IN THE HOLE - Mason Daring, Hazel Dickens SHE WORKS HARD FOR HER MONEY - Donna Summer WORKER'S SONG - Dropkick Murpheys
Let's give a warm welcome to singer/songwriter Alicia Blue. She's got an interesting history with music. It starts with her father, who learned English listening to Sam Cooke on his way to America to propose to Alicia's mom! She and I also decide that maybe we should trade dads for a day.But it wasn't her father who instilled a love of music in her. It was the relationship she developed with soul singer Malcolm Hayes. His music and friendship changed the path she was on. He also introduced Alicia to another huge influence in an unusual guitar teacher which led Alicia to learn a few songs, phonetically, in Thai!Alicia is also a poet and she describes the differences between her poetry and her lyrics.Now as far as releases go, she's had a wild ride. Starbucks picked up a song from her first EP. And then two weeks after her first full length album came out, the world went on lockdown. So she decided to do a live stream to promote it instead. Unfortunately she had appendicitis just before the stream and had to cancel. So now she's got a new EP out called Inner Child Work and the timing seems good! So go pick up the new release & give Alicia a follow @aliciabluemusic.Follow us @PerformanceAnx. Buy a coffee at ko-fi.com/performanceanxiety or merch ar performanceanx.threadless.com. And now check out Alicia Blue and her music on Performance Anxiety on the Pantheon Podcast Network. And don't forget our VIP contest with Nick Mason's Saucerful Of Secrets. Enter at pantheonpodcasts.com/nickmason to enter!
Sam Cooke said a change is going to come, but let's be honest, not everything changes us for the better but the bitter! You have the power to decide which side of change you will be on in your life because it will come, but how will you use this change?
We start season four of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs with an extra-long look at "San Francisco" by Scott McKenzie, and at the Monterey Pop Festival, and the careers of the Mamas and the Papas and P.F. Sloan. 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 "Up, Up, and Away" by the 5th Dimension. 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/ Resources As usual, all the songs excerpted in the podcast can be heard in full at Mixcloud. Scott McKenzie's first album is available here. There are many compilations of the Mamas and the Papas' music, but sadly none that are in print in the UK have the original mono mixes. This set is about as good as you're going to find, though, for the stereo versions. Information on the Mamas and the Papas came from Go Where You Wanna Go: The Oral History of The Mamas and the Papas by Matthew Greenwald, California Dreamin': The True Story Of The Mamas and Papas by Michelle Phillips, and Papa John by John Phillips and Jim Jerome. Information on P.F. Sloan came from PF - TRAVELLING BAREFOOT ON A ROCKY ROAD by Stephen McParland and What's Exactly the Matter With Me? by P.F. Sloan and S.E. Feinberg. The film of the Monterey Pop Festival is available on this Criterion Blu-Ray set. Sadly the CD of the performances seems to be deleted. Patreon This podcast is brought to you by the generosity of my backers on Patreon. Why not join them? Transcript Welcome to season four of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs. It's good to be back. Before we start this episode, I just want to say one thing. I get a lot of credit at times for the way I don't shy away from dealing with the more unsavoury elements of the people being covered in my podcast -- particularly the more awful men. But as I said very early on, I only cover those aspects of their life when they're relevant to the music, because this is a music podcast and not a true crime podcast. But also I worry that in some cases this might mean I'm giving a false impression of some people. In the case of this episode, one of the central figures is John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas. Now, Phillips has posthumously been accused of some truly monstrous acts, the kind of thing that is truly unforgivable, and I believe those accusations. But those acts didn't take place during the time period covered by most of this episode, so I won't be covering them here -- but they're easily googlable if you want to know. I thought it best to get that out of the way at the start, so no-one's either anxiously waiting for the penny to drop or upset that I didn't acknowledge the elephant in the room. Separately, this episode will have some discussion of fatphobia and diet culture, and of a death that is at least in part attributable to those things. Those of you affected by that may want to skip this one or read the transcript. There are also some mentions of drug addiction and alcoholism. Anyway, on with the show. One of the things that causes problems with rock history is the tendency of people to have selective memories, and that's never more true than when it comes to the Summer of Love, summer of 1967. In the mythology that's built up around it, that was a golden time, the greatest time ever, a period of peace and love where everything was possible, and the world looked like it was going to just keep on getting better. But what that means, of course, is that the people remembering it that way do so because it was the best time of their lives. And what happens when the best time of your life is over in one summer? When you have one hit and never have a second, or when your band splits up after only eighteen months, and you have to cope with the reality that your best years are not only behind you, but they weren't even best years, but just best months? What stories would you tell about that time? Would you remember it as the eve of destruction, the last great moment before everything went to hell, or would you remember it as a golden summer, full of people with flowers in their hair? And would either really be true? [Excerpt: Scott McKenzie, "San Francisco"] Other than the city in which they worked, there are a few things that seem to characterise almost all the important figures on the LA music scene in the middle part of the 1960s. They almost all seem to be incredibly ambitious, as one might imagine. There seem to be a huge number of fantasists among them -- people who will not only choose the legend over reality when it suits them, but who will choose the legend over reality even when it doesn't suit them. And they almost all seem to have a story about being turned down in a rude and arrogant manner by Lou Adler, usually more or less the same story. To give an example, I'm going to read out a bit of Ray Manzarek's autobiography here. Now, Manzarek uses a few words that I can't use on this podcast and keep a clean rating, so I'm just going to do slight pauses when I get to them, but I'll leave the words in the transcript for those who aren't offended by them: "Sometimes Jim and Dorothy and I went alone. The three of us tried Dunhill Records. Lou Adler was the head man. He was shrewd and he was hip. He had the Mamas and the Papas and a big single with Barry McGuire's 'Eve of Destruction.' He was flush. We were ushered into his office. He looked cool. He was California casually disheveled and had the look of a stoner, but his eyes were as cold as a shark's. He took the twelve-inch acetate demo from me and we all sat down. He put the disc on his turntable and played each cut…for ten seconds. Ten seconds! You can't tell jack [shit] from ten seconds. At least listen to one of the songs all the way through. I wanted to rage at him. 'How dare you! We're the Doors! This is [fucking] Jim Morrison! He's going to be a [fucking] star! Can't you see that? Can't you see how [fucking] handsome he is? Can't you hear how groovy the music is? Don't you [fucking] get it? Listen to the words, man!' My brain was a boiling, lava-filled Jell-O mold of rage. I wanted to eviscerate that shark. The songs he so casually dismissed were 'Moonlight Drive,' 'Hello, I Love You,' 'Summer's Almost Gone,' 'End of the Night,' 'I Looked at You,' 'Go Insane.' He rejected the whole demo. Ten seconds on each song—maybe twenty seconds on 'Hello, I Love You' (I took that as an omen of potential airplay)—and we were dismissed out of hand. Just like that. He took the demo off the turntable and handed it back to me with an obsequious smile and said, 'Nothing here I can use.' We were shocked. We stood up, the three of us, and Jim, with a wry and knowing smile on his lips, cuttingly and coolly shot back at him, 'That's okay, man. We don't want to be *used*, anyway.'" Now, as you may have gathered from the episode on the Doors, Ray Manzarek was one of those print-the-legend types, and that's true of everyone who tells similar stories about Lou Alder. But... there are a *lot* of people who tell similar stories about Lou Adler. One of those was Phil Sloan. You can get an idea of Sloan's attitude to storytelling from a story he always used to tell. Shortly after he and his family moved to LA from New York, he got a job selling newspapers on a street corner on Hollywood Boulevard, just across from Schwab's Drug Store. One day James Dean drove up in his Porsche and made an unusual request. He wanted to buy every copy of the newspaper that Sloan had -- around a hundred and fifty copies in total. But he only wanted one article, something in the entertainment section. Sloan didn't remember what the article was, but he did remember that one of the headlines was on the final illness of Oliver Hardy, who died shortly afterwards, and thought it might have been something to do with that. Dean was going to just clip that article from every copy he bought, and then he was going to give all the newspapers back to Sloan to sell again, so Sloan ended up making a lot of extra money that day. There is one rather big problem with that story. Oliver Hardy died in August 1957, just after the Sloan family moved to LA. But James Dean died in September 1955, two years earlier. Sloan admitted that, and said he couldn't explain it, but he was insistent. He sold a hundred and fifty newspapers to James Dean two years after Dean's death. When not selling newspapers to dead celebrities, Sloan went to Fairfax High School, and developed an interest in music which was mostly oriented around the kind of white pop vocal groups that were popular at the time, groups like the Kingston Trio, the Four Lads, and the Four Aces. But the record that made Sloan decide he wanted to make music himself was "Just Goofed" by the Teen Queens: [Excerpt: The Teen Queens, "Just Goofed"] In 1959, when he was fourteen, he saw an advert for an open audition with Aladdin Records, a label he liked because of Thurston Harris. He went along to the audition, and was successful. His first single, released as by Flip Sloan -- Flip was a nickname, a corruption of "Philip" -- was produced by Bumps Blackwell and featured several of the musicians who played with Sam Cooke, plus Larry Knechtel on piano and Mike Deasey on guitar, but Aladdin shut down shortly after releasing it, and it may not even have had a general release, just promo copies. I've not been able to find a copy online anywhere. After that, he tried Arwin Records, the label that Jan and Arnie recorded for, which was owned by Marty Melcher (Doris Day's husband and Terry Melcher's stepfather). Melcher signed him, and put out a single, "She's My Girl", on Mart Records, a subsidiary of Arwin, on which Sloan was backed by a group of session players including Sandy Nelson and Bruce Johnston: [Excerpt: Philip Sloan, "She's My Girl"] That record didn't have any success, and Sloan was soon dropped by Mart Records. He went on to sign with Blue Bird Records, which was as far as can be ascertained essentially a scam organisation that would record demos for songwriters, but tell the performers that they were making a real record, so that they would record it for the royalties they would never get, rather than for a decent fee as a professional demo singer would get. But Steve Venet -- the brother of Nik Venet, and occasional songwriting collaborator with Tommy Boyce -- happened to come to Blue Bird one day, and hear one of Sloan's original songs. He thought Sloan would make a good songwriter, and took him to see Lou Adler at Columbia-Screen Gems music publishing. This was shortly after the merger between Columbia-Screen Gems and Aldon Music, and Adler was at this point the West Coast head of operations, subservient to Don Kirshner and Al Nevins, but largely left to do what he wanted. The way Sloan always told the story, Venet tried to get Adler to sign Sloan, but Adler said his songs stunk and had no commercial potential. But Sloan persisted in trying to get a contract there, and eventually Al Nevins happened to be in the office and overruled Adler, much to Adler's disgust. Sloan was signed to Columbia-Screen Gems as a songwriter, though he wasn't put on a salary like the Brill Building songwriters, just told that he could bring in songs and they would publish them. Shortly after this, Adler suggested to Sloan that he might want to form a writing team with another songwriter, Steve Barri, who had had a similar non-career non-trajectory, but was very slightly further ahead in his career, having done some work with Carol Connors, the former lead singer of the Teddy Bears. Barri had co-written a couple of flop singles for Connors, before the two of them had formed a vocal group, the Storytellers, with Connors' sister. The Storytellers had released a single, "When Two People (Are in Love)" , which was put out on a local independent label and which Adler had licensed to be released on Dimension Records, the label associated with Aldon Music: [Excerpt: The Storytellers "When Two People (Are in Love)"] That record didn't sell, but it was enough to get Barri into the Columbia-Screen Gems circle, and Adler set him and Sloan up as a songwriting team -- although the way Sloan told it, it wasn't so much a songwriting team as Sloan writing songs while Barri was also there. Sloan would later claim "it was mostly a collaboration of spirit, and it seemed that I was writing most of the music and the lyric, but it couldn't possibly have ever happened unless both of us were present at the same time". One suspects that Barri might have a different recollection of how it went... Sloan and Barri's first collaboration was a song that Sloan had half-written before they met, called "Kick That Little Foot Sally Ann", which was recorded by a West Coast Chubby Checker knockoff who went under the name Round Robin, and who had his own dance craze, the Slauson, which was much less successful than the Twist: [Excerpt: Round Robin, "Kick that Little Foot Sally Ann"] That track was produced and arranged by Jack Nitzsche, and Nitzsche asked Sloan to be one of the rhythm guitarists on the track, apparently liking Sloan's feel. Sloan would end up playing rhythm guitar or singing backing vocals on many of the records made of songs he and Barri wrote together. "Kick That Little Foot Sally Ann" only made number sixty-one nationally, but it was a regional hit, and it meant that Sloan and Barri soon became what Sloan later described as "the Goffin and King of the West Coast follow-ups." According to Sloan "We'd be given a list on Monday morning by Lou Adler with thirty names on it of the groups who needed follow-ups to their hit." They'd then write the songs to order, and they started to specialise in dance craze songs. For example, when the Swim looked like it might be the next big dance, they wrote "Swim Swim Swim", "She Only Wants to Swim", "Let's Swim Baby", "Big Boss Swimmer", "Swim Party" and "My Swimmin' Girl" (the last a collaboration with Jan Berry and Roger Christian). These songs were exactly as good as they needed to be, in order to provide album filler for mid-tier artists, and while Sloan and Barri weren't writing any massive hits, they were doing very well as mid-tier writers. According to Sloan's biographer Stephen McParland, there was a three-year period in the mid-sixties where at least one song written or co-written by Sloan was on the national charts at any given time. Most of these songs weren't for Columbia-Screen Gems though. In early 1964 Lou Adler had a falling out with Don Kirshner, and decided to start up his own company, Dunhill, which was equal parts production company, music publishers, and management -- doing for West Coast pop singers what Motown was doing for Detroit soul singers, and putting everything into one basket. Dunhill's early clients included Jan and Dean and the rockabilly singer Johnny Rivers, and Dunhill also signed Sloan and Barri as songwriters. Because of this connection, Sloan and Barri soon became an important part of Jan and Dean's hit-making process. The Matadors, the vocal group that had provided most of the backing vocals on the duo's hits, had started asking for more money than Jan Berry was willing to pay, and Jan and Dean couldn't do the vocals themselves -- as Bones Howe put it "As a singer, Dean is a wonderful graphic artist" -- and so Sloan and Barri stepped in, doing session vocals without payment in the hope that Jan and Dean would record a few of their songs. For example, on the big hit "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena", Dean Torrence is not present at all on the record -- Jan Berry sings the lead vocal, with Sloan doubling him for much of it, Sloan sings "Dean"'s falsetto, with the engineer Bones Howe helping out, and the rest of the backing vocals are sung by Sloan, Barri, and Howe: [Excerpt: Jan and Dean, "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena"] For these recordings, Sloan and Barri were known as The Fantastic Baggys, a name which came from the Rolling Stones' manager Andrew Oldham and Mick Jagger, when the two were visiting California. Oldham had been commenting on baggys, the kind of shorts worn by surfers, and had asked Jagger what he thought of The Baggys as a group name. Jagger had replied "Fantastic!" and so the Fantastic Baggys had been born. As part of this, Sloan and Barri moved hard into surf and hot-rod music from the dance songs they had been writing previously. The Fantastic Baggys recorded their own album, Tell 'Em I'm Surfin', as a quickie album suggested by Adler: [Excerpt: The Fantastic Baggys, "Tell 'Em I'm Surfin'"] And under the name The Rally Packs they recorded a version of Jan and Dean's "Move Out Little Mustang" which featured Berry's girlfriend Jill Gibson doing a spoken section: [Excerpt: The Rally Packs, "Move Out Little Mustang"] They also wrote several album tracks for Jan and Dean, and wrote "Summer Means Fun" for Bruce and Terry -- Bruce Johnston, later of the Beach Boys, and Terry Melcher: [Excerpt: Bruce and Terry, "Summer Means Fun"] And they wrote the very surf-flavoured "Secret Agent Man" for fellow Dunhill artist Johnny Rivers: [Excerpt: Johnny Rivers, "Secret Agent Man"] But of course, when you're chasing trends, you're chasing trends, and soon the craze for twangy guitars and falsetto harmonies had ended, replaced by a craze for jangly twelve-string guitars and closer harmonies. According to Sloan, he was in at the very beginning of the folk-rock trend -- the way he told the story, he was involved in the mastering of the Byrds' version of "Mr. Tambourine Man". He later talked about Terry Melcher getting him to help out, saying "He had produced a record called 'Mr. Tambourine Man', and had sent it into the head office, and it had been rejected. He called me up and said 'I've got three more hours in the studio before I'm being kicked out of Columbia. Can you come over and help me with this new record?' I did. I went over there. It was under lock and key. There were two guards outside the door. Terry asked me something about 'Summer Means Fun'. "He said 'Do you remember the guitar that we worked on with that? How we put in that double reverb?' "And I said 'yes' "And he said 'What do you think if we did something like that with the Byrds?' "And I said 'That sounds good. Let's see what it sounds like.' So we patched into all the reverb centres in Columbia Music, and mastered the record in three hours." Whether Sloan really was there at the birth of folk rock, he and Barri jumped on the folk-rock craze just as they had the surf and hot-rod craze, and wrote a string of jangly hits including "You Baby" for the Turtles: [Excerpt: The Turtles, "You Baby"] and "I Found a Girl" for Jan and Dean: [Excerpt: Jan and Dean, "I Found a Girl"] That song was later included on Jan and Dean's Folk 'n' Roll album, which also included... a song I'm not even going to name, but long-time listeners will know the one I mean. It was also notable in that "I Found a Girl" was the first song on which Sloan was credited not as Phil Sloan, but as P.F. Sloan -- he didn't have a middle name beginning with F, but rather the F stood for his nickname "Flip". Sloan would later talk of Phil Sloan and P.F. Sloan as almost being two different people, with P.F. being a far more serious, intense, songwriter. Folk 'n' Roll also contained another Sloan song, this one credited solely to Sloan. And that song is the one for which he became best known. There are two very different stories about how "Eve of Destruction" came to be written. To tell Sloan's version, I'm going to read a few paragraphs from his autobiography: "By late 1964, I had already written ‘Eve Of Destruction,' ‘The Sins Of A Family,' ‘This Mornin',' ‘Ain't No Way I'm Gonna Change My Mind,' and ‘What's Exactly The Matter With Me?' They all arrived on one cataclysmic evening, and nearly at the same time, as I worked on the lyrics almost simultaneously. ‘Eve Of Destruction' came about from hearing a voice, perhaps an angel's. The voice instructed me to place five pieces of paper and spread them out on my bed. I obeyed the voice. The voice told me that the first song would be called ‘Eve Of Destruction,' so I wrote the title at the top of the page. For the next few hours, the voice came and went as I was writing the lyric, as if this spirit—or whatever it was—stood over me like a teacher: ‘No, no … not think of all the hate there is in Red Russia … Red China!' I didn't understand. I thought the Soviet Union was the mortal threat to America, but the voice went on to reveal to me the future of the world until 2024. I was told the Soviet Union would fall, and that Red China would continue to be communist far into the future, but that communism was not going to be allowed to take over this Divine Planet—therefore, think of all the hate there is in Red China. I argued and wrestled with the voice for hours, until I was exhausted but satisfied inside with my plea to God to either take me out of the world, as I could not live in such a hypocritical society, or to show me a way to make things better. When I was writing ‘Eve,' I was on my hands and knees, pleading for an answer." Lou Adler's story is that he gave Phil Sloan a copy of Bob Dylan's Bringing it All Back Home album and told him to write a bunch of songs that sounded like that, and Sloan came back a week later as instructed with ten Dylan knock-offs. Adler said "It was a natural feel for him. He's a great mimic." As one other data point, both Steve Barri and Bones Howe, the engineer who worked on most of the sessions we're looking at today, have often talked in interviews about "Eve of Destruction" as being a Sloan/Barri collaboration, as if to them it's common knowledge that it wasn't written alone, although Sloan's is the only name on the credits. The song was given to a new signing to Dunhill Records, Barry McGuire. McGuire was someone who had been part of the folk scene for years, He'd been playing folk clubs in LA while also acting in a TV show from 1961. When the TV show had finished, he'd formed a duo, Barry and Barry, with Barry Kane, and they performed much the same repertoire as all the other early-sixties folkies: [Excerpt: Barry and Barry, "If I Had a Hammer"] After recording their one album, both Barrys joined the New Christy Minstrels. We've talked about the Christys before, but they were -- and are to this day -- an ultra-commercial folk group, led by Randy Sparks, with a revolving membership of usually eight or nine singers which included several other people who've come up in this podcast, like Gene Clark and Jerry Yester. McGuire became one of the principal lead singers of the Christys, singing lead on their version of the novelty cowboy song "Three Wheels on My Wagon", which was later released as a single in the UK and became a perennial children's favourite (though it has a problematic attitude towards Native Americans): [Excerpt: The New Christy Minstrels, "Three Wheels on My Wagon"] And he also sang lead on their big hit "Green Green", which he co-wrote with Randy Sparks: [Excerpt: The New Christy Minstrels, "Green Green"] But by 1965 McGuire had left the New Christy Minstrels. As he said later "I'd sung 'Green Green' a thousand times and I didn't want to sing it again. This is January of 1965. I went back to LA to meet some producers, and I was broke. Nobody had the time of day for me. I was walking down street one time to see Dr. Strangelove and I walked by the music store, and I heard "Green Green" comin' out of the store, ya know, on Hollywood Boulevard. And I heard my voice, and I thought, 'I got four dollars in my pocket!' I couldn't believe it, my voice is comin' out on Hollywood Boulevard, and I'm broke. And right at that moment, a car pulls up, and the radio is playing 'Chim Chim Cherie" also by the Minstrels. So I got my voice comin' at me in stereo, standin' on the sidewalk there, and I'm broke, and I can't get anyone to sign me!" But McGuire had a lot of friends who he'd met on the folk scene, some of whom were now in the new folk-rock scene that was just starting to spring up. One of them was Roger McGuinn, who told him that his band, the Byrds, were just about to put out a new single, "Mr. Tambourine Man", and that they were about to start a residency at Ciro's on Sunset Strip. McGuinn invited McGuire to the opening night of that residency, where a lot of other people from the scene were there to see the new group. Bob Dylan was there, as was Phil Sloan, and the actor Jack Nicholson, who was still at the time a minor bit-part player in low-budget films made by people like American International Pictures (the cinematographer on many of Nicholson's early films was Floyd Crosby, David Crosby's father, which may be why he was there). Someone else who was there was Lou Adler, who according to McGuire recognised him instantly. According to Adler, he actually asked Terry Melcher who the long-haired dancer wearing furs was, because "he looked like the leader of a movement", and Melcher told him that he was the former lead singer of the New Christy Minstrels. Either way, Adler approached McGuire and asked if he was currently signed -- Dunhill Records was just starting up, and getting someone like McGuire, who had a proven ability to sing lead on hit records, would be a good start for the label. As McGuire didn't have a contract, he was signed to Dunhill, and he was given some of Sloan's new songs to pick from, and chose "What's Exactly the Matter With Me?" as his single: [Excerpt: Barry McGuire, "What's Exactly the Matter With Me?"] McGuire described what happened next: "It was like, a three-hour session. We did two songs, and then the third one wasn't turning out. We only had about a half hour left in the session, so I said 'Let's do this tune', and I pulled 'Eve of Destruction' out of my pocket, and it just had Phil's words scrawled on a piece of paper, all wrinkled up. Phil worked the chords out with the musicians, who were Hal Blaine on drums and Larry Knechtel on bass." There were actually more musicians than that at the session -- apparently both Knechtel and Joe Osborn were there, so I'm not entirely sure who's playing bass -- Knechtel was a keyboard player as well as a bass player, but I don't hear any keyboards on the track. And Tommy Tedesco was playing lead guitar, and Steve Barri added percussion, along with Sloan on rhythm guitar and harmonica. The chords were apparently scribbled down for the musicians on bits of greasy paper that had been used to wrap some takeaway chicken, and they got through the track in a single take. According to McGuire "I'm reading the words off this piece of wrinkled paper, and I'm singing 'My blood's so mad, feels like coagulatin'", that part that goes 'Ahhh you can't twist the truth', and the reason I'm going 'Ahhh' is because I lost my place on the page. People said 'Man, you really sounded frustrated when you were singing.' I was. I couldn't see the words!" [Excerpt: Barry McGuire, "Eve of Destruction"] With a few overdubs -- the female backing singers in the chorus, and possibly the kettledrums, which I've seen differing claims about, with some saying that Hal Blaine played them during the basic track and others saying that Lou Adler suggested them as an overdub, the track was complete. McGuire wasn't happy with his vocal, and a session was scheduled for him to redo it, but then a record promoter working with Adler was DJing a birthday party for the head of programming at KFWB, the big top forty radio station in LA at the time, and he played a few acetates he'd picked up from Adler. Most went down OK with the crowd, but when he played "Eve of Destruction", the crowd went wild and insisted he play it three times in a row. The head of programming called Adler up and told him that "Eve of Destruction" was going to be put into rotation on the station from Monday, so he'd better get the record out. As McGuire was away for the weekend, Adler just released the track as it was, and what had been intended to be a B-side became Barry McGuire's first and only number one record: [Excerpt: Barry McGuire, "Eve of Destruction"] Sloan would later claim that that song was a major reason why the twenty-sixth amendment to the US Constitution was passed six years later, because the line "you're old enough to kill but not for votin'" shamed Congress into changing the constitution to allow eighteen-year-olds to vote. If so, that would make "Eve of Destruction" arguably the single most impactful rock record in history, though Sloan is the only person I've ever seen saying that As well as going to number one in McGuire's version, the song was also covered by the other artists who regularly performed Sloan and Barri songs, like the Turtles: [Excerpt: The Turtles, "Eve of Destruction"] And Jan and Dean, whose version on Folk & Roll used the same backing track as McGuire, but had a few lyrical changes to make it fit with Jan Berry's right-wing politics, most notably changing "Selma, Alabama" to "Watts, California", thus changing a reference to peaceful civil rights protestors being brutally attacked and murdered by white supremacist state troopers to a reference to what was seen, in the popular imaginary, as Black people rioting for no reason: [Excerpt: Jan and Dean, "Eve of Destruction"] According to Sloan, he worked on the Folk & Roll album as a favour to Berry, even though he thought Berry was being cynical and exploitative in making the record, but those changes caused a rift in their friendship. Sloan said in his autobiography "Where I was completely wrong was in helping him capitalize on something in which he didn't believe. Jan wanted the public to perceive him as a person who was deeply concerned and who embraced the values of the progressive politics of the day. But he wasn't that person. That's how I was being pulled. It was when he recorded my actual song ‘Eve Of Destruction' and changed a number of lines to reflect his own ideals that my principles demanded that I leave Folk City and never return." It's true that Sloan gave no more songs to Jan and Dean after that point -- but it's also true that the duo would record only one more album, the comedy concept album Jan and Dean Meet Batman, before Jan's accident. Incidentally, the reference to Selma, Alabama in the lyric might help people decide on which story about the writing of "Eve of Destruction" they think is more plausible. Remember that Lou Adler said that it was written after Adler gave Sloan a copy of Bringing it All Back Home and told him to write a bunch of knock-offs, while Sloan said it was written after a supernatural force gave him access to all the events that would happen in the world for the next sixty years. Sloan claimed the song was written in late 1964. Selma, Alabama, became national news in late February and early March 1965. Bringing it All Back Home was released in late March 1965. So either Adler was telling the truth, or Sloan really *was* given a supernatural insight into the events of the future. Now, as it turned out, while "Eve of Destruction" went to number one, that would be McGuire's only hit as a solo artist. His next couple of singles would reach the very low end of the Hot One Hundred, and that would be it -- he'd release several more albums, before appearing in the Broadway musical Hair, most famous for its nude scenes, and getting a small part in the cinematic masterpiece Werewolves on Wheels: [Excerpt: Werewolves on Wheels trailer] P.F. Sloan would later tell various stories about why McGuire never had another hit. Sometimes he would say that Dunhill Records had received death threats because of "Eve of Destruction" and so deliberately tried to bury McGuire's career, other times he would say that Lou Adler had told him that Billboard had said they were never going to put McGuire's records on the charts no matter how well they sold, because "Eve of Destruction" had just been too powerful and upset the advertisers. But of course at this time Dunhill were still trying for a follow-up to "Eve of Destruction", and they thought they might have one when Barry McGuire brought in a few friends of his to sing backing vocals on his second album. Now, we've covered some of the history of the Mamas and the Papas already, because they were intimately tied up with other groups like the Byrds and the Lovin' Spoonful, and with the folk scene that led to songs like "Hey Joe", so some of this will be more like a recap than a totally new story, but I'm going to recap those parts of the story anyway, so it's fresh in everyone's heads. John Phillips, Scott McKenzie, and Cass Elliot all grew up in Alexandria, Virginia, just a few miles south of Washington DC. Elliot was a few years younger than Phillips and McKenzie, and so as is the way with young men they never really noticed her, and as McKenzie later said "She lived like a quarter of a mile from me and I never met her until New York". While they didn't know who Elliot was, though, she was aware who they were, as Phillips and McKenzie sang together in a vocal group called The Smoothies. The Smoothies were a modern jazz harmony group, influenced by groups like the Modernaires, the Hi-Los, and the Four Freshmen. John Phillips later said "We were drawn to jazz, because we were sort of beatniks, really, rather than hippies, or whatever, flower children. So we used to sing modern harmonies, like Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross. Dave Lambert did a lot of our arrangements for us as a matter of fact." Now, I've not seen any evidence other than Phillips' claim that Dave Lambert ever arranged for the Smoothies, but that does tell you a lot about the kind of music that they were doing. Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross were a vocalese trio whose main star was Annie Ross, who had a career worthy of an episode in itself -- she sang with Paul Whiteman, appeared in a Little Rascals film when she was seven, had an affair with Lenny Bruce, dubbed Britt Ekland's voice in The Wicker Man, played the villain's sister in Superman III, and much more. Vocalese, you'll remember, was a style of jazz vocal where a singer would take a jazz instrumental, often an improvised one, and add lyrics which they would sing, like Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross' version of "Cloudburst": [Excerpt: Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross, "Cloudburst"] Whether Dave Lambert ever really did arrange for the Smoothies or not, it's very clear that the trio had a huge influence on John Phillips' ideas about vocal arrangement, as you can hear on Mamas and Papas records like "Once Was a Time I Thought": [Excerpt: The Mamas and the Papas, "Once Was a Time I Thought"] While the Smoothies thought of themselves as a jazz group, when they signed to Decca they started out making the standard teen pop of the era, with songs like "Softly": [Excerpt, The Smoothies, "Softly"] When the folk boom started, Phillips realised that this was music that he could do easily, because the level of musicianship among the pop-folk musicians was so much lower than in the jazz world. The Smoothies made some recordings in the style of the Kingston Trio, like "Ride Ride Ride": [Excerpt: The Smoothies, "Ride Ride Ride"] Then when the Smoothies split, Phillips and McKenzie formed a trio with a banjo player, Dick Weissman, who they met through Izzy Young's Folklore Centre in Greenwich Village after Phillips asked Young to name some musicians who could make a folk record with him. Weissman was often considered the best banjo player on the scene, and was a friend of Pete Seeger's, to whom Seeger sometimes turned for banjo tips. The trio, who called themselves the Journeymen, quickly established themselves on the folk scene. Weissman later said "we had this interesting balance. John had all of this charisma -- they didn't know about the writing thing yet -- John had the personality, Scott had the voice, and I could play. If you think about it, all of those bands like the Kingston Trio, the Brothers Four, nobody could really *sing* and nobody could really *play*, relatively speaking." This is the take that most people seemed to have about John Phillips, in any band he was ever in. Nobody thought he was a particularly good singer or instrumentalist -- he could sing on key and play adequate rhythm guitar, but nobody would actually pay money to listen to him do those things. Mark Volman of the Turtles, for example, said of him "John wasn't the kind of guy who was going to be able to go up on stage and sing his songs as a singer-songwriter. He had to put himself in the context of a group." But he was charismatic, he had presence, and he also had a great musical mind. He would surround himself with the best players and best singers he could, and then he would organise and arrange them in ways that made the most of their talents. He would work out the arrangements, in a manner that was far more professional than the quick head arrangements that other folk groups used, and he instigated a level of professionalism in his groups that was not at all common on the scene. Phillips' friend Jim Mason talked about the first time he saw the Journeymen -- "They were warming up backstage, and John had all of them doing vocal exercises; one thing in particular that's pretty famous called 'Seiber Syllables' -- it's a series of vocal exercises where you enunciate different vowel and consonant sounds. It had the effect of clearing your head, and it's something that really good operetta singers do." The group were soon signed by Frank Werber, the manager of the Kingston Trio, who signed them as an insurance policy. Dave Guard, the Kingston Trio's banjo player, was increasingly having trouble with the other members, and Werber knew it was only a matter of time before he left the group. Werber wanted the Journeymen as a sort of farm team -- he had the idea that when Guard left, Phillips would join the Kingston Trio in his place as the third singer. Weissman would become the Trio's accompanist on banjo, and Scott McKenzie, who everyone agreed had a remarkable voice, would be spun off as a solo artist. But until that happened, they might as well make records by themselves. The Journeymen signed to MGM records, but were dropped before they recorded anything. They instead signed to Capitol, for whom they recorded their first album: [Excerpt: The Journeymen, "500 Miles"] After recording that album, the Journeymen moved out to California, with Phillips' wife and children. But soon Phillips' marriage was to collapse, as he met and fell in love with Michelle Gilliam. Gilliam was nine years younger than him -- he was twenty-six and she was seventeen -- and she had the kind of appearance which meant that in every interview with an older heterosexual man who knew her, that man will spend half the interview talking about how attractive he found her. Phillips soon left his wife and children, but before he did, the group had a turntable hit with "River Come Down", the B-side to "500 Miles": [Excerpt: The Journeymen, "River Come Down"] Around the same time, Dave Guard *did* leave the Kingston Trio, but the plan to split the Journeymen never happened. Instead Phillips' friend John Stewart replaced Guard -- and this soon became a new source of income for Phillips. Both Phillips and Stewart were aspiring songwriters, and they collaborated together on several songs for the Trio, including "Chilly Winds": [Excerpt: The Kingston Trio, "Chilly Winds"] Phillips became particularly good at writing songs that sounded like they could be old traditional folk songs, sometimes taking odd lines from older songs to jump-start new ones, as in "Oh Miss Mary", which he and Stewart wrote after hearing someone sing the first line of a song she couldn't remember the rest of: [Excerpt: The Kingston Trio, "Oh Miss Mary"] Phillips and Stewart became so close that Phillips actually suggested to Stewart that he quit the Kingston Trio and replace Dick Weissman in the Journeymen. Stewart did quit the Trio -- but then the next day Phillips suggested that maybe it was a bad idea and he should stay where he was. Stewart went back to the Trio, claimed he had only pretended to quit because he wanted a pay-rise, and got his raise, so everyone ended up happy. The Journeymen moved back to New York with Michelle in place of Phillips' first wife (and Michelle's sister Russell also coming along, as she was dating Scott McKenzie) and on New Year's Eve 1962 John and Michelle married -- so from this point on I will refer to them by their first names, because they both had the surname Phillips. The group continued having success through 1963, including making appearances on "Hootenanny": [Excerpt: The Journeymen, "Stack O'Lee (live on Hootenanny)"] By the time of the Journeymen's third album, though, John and Scott McKenzie were on bad terms. Weissman said "They had been the closest of friends and now they were the worst of enemies. They talked through me like I was a medium. It got to the point where we'd be standing in the dressing room and John would say to me 'Tell Scott that his right sock doesn't match his left sock...' Things like that, when they were standing five feet away from each other." Eventually, the group split up. Weissman was always going to be able to find employment given his banjo ability, and he was about to get married and didn't need the hassle of dealing with the other two. McKenzie was planning on a solo career -- everyone was agreed that he had the vocal ability. But John was another matter. He needed to be in a group. And not only that, the Journeymen had bookings they needed to complete. He quickly pulled together a group he called the New Journeymen. The core of the lineup was himself, Michelle on vocals, and banjo player Marshall Brickman. Brickman had previously been a member of a folk group called the Tarriers, who had had a revolving lineup, and had played on most of their early-sixties recordings: [Excerpt: The Tarriers, "Quinto (My Little Pony)"] We've met the Tarriers before in the podcast -- they had been formed by Erik Darling, who later replaced Pete Seeger in the Weavers after Seeger's socialist principles wouldn't let him do advertising, and Alan Arkin, later to go on to be a film star, and had had hits with "Cindy, O Cindy", with lead vocals from Vince Martin, who would later go on to be a major performer in the Greenwich Village scene, and with "The Banana Boat Song". By the time Brickman had joined, though, Darling, Arkin, and Martin had all left the group to go on to bigger things, and while he played with them for several years, it was after their commercial peak. Brickman would, though, also go on to a surprising amount of success, but as a writer rather than a musician -- he had a successful collaboration with Woody Allen in the 1970s, co-writing four of Allen's most highly regarded films -- Sleeper, Annie Hall, Manhattan, and Manhattan Murder Mystery -- and with another collaborator he later co-wrote the books for the stage musicals Jersey Boys and The Addams Family. Both John and Michelle were decent singers, and both have their admirers as vocalists -- P.F. Sloan always said that Michelle was the best singer in the group they eventually formed, and that it was her voice that gave the group its sound -- but for the most part they were not considered as particularly astonishing lead vocalists. Certainly, neither had a voice that stood out the way that Scott McKenzie's had. They needed a strong lead singer, and they found one in Denny Doherty. Now, we covered Denny Doherty's early career in the episode on the Lovin' Spoonful, because he was intimately involved in the formation of that group, so I won't go into too much detail here, but I'll give a very abbreviated version of what I said there. Doherty was a Canadian performer who had been a member of the Halifax Three with Zal Yanovsky: [Excerpt: The Halifax Three, "When I First Came to This Land"] After the Halifax Three had split up, Doherty and Yanovsky had performed as a duo for a while, before joining up with Cass Elliot and her husband Jim Hendricks, who both had previously been in the Big Three with Tim Rose: [Excerpt: Cass Elliot and the Big 3, "The Banjo Song"] Elliot, Hendricks, Yanovsky, and Doherty had formed The Mugwumps, sometimes joined by John Sebastian, and had tried to go in more of a rock direction after seeing the Beatles on Ed Sullivan. They recorded one album together before splitting up: [Excerpt: The Mugwumps, "Searchin'"] Part of the reason they split up was that interpersonal relationships within the group were put under some strain -- Elliot and Hendricks split up, though they would remain friends and remain married for several years even though they were living apart, and Elliot had an unrequited crush on Doherty. But since they'd split up, and Yanovsky and Sebastian had gone off to form the Lovin' Spoonful, that meant that Doherty was free, and he was regarded as possibly the best male lead vocalist on the circuit, so the group snapped him up. The only problem was that the Journeymen still had gigs booked that needed to be played, one of them was in just three days, and Doherty didn't know the repertoire. This was a problem with an easy solution for people in their twenties though -- they took a huge amount of amphetamines, and stayed awake for three days straight rehearsing. They made the gig, and Doherty was now the lead singer of the New Journeymen: [Excerpt: The New Journeymen, "The Last Thing on My Mind"] But the New Journeymen didn't last in that form for very long, because even before joining the group, Denny Doherty had been going in a more folk-rock direction with the Mugwumps. At the time, John Phillips thought rock and roll was kids' music, and he was far more interested in folk and jazz, but he was also very interested in making money, and he soon decided it was an idea to start listening to the Beatles. There's some dispute as to who first played the Beatles for John in early 1965 -- some claim it was Doherty, others claim it was Cass Elliot, but everyone agrees it was after Denny Doherty had introduced Phillips to something else -- he brought round some LSD for John and Michelle, and Michelle's sister Rusty, to try. And then he told them he'd invited round a friend. Michelle Phillips later remembered, "I remember saying to the guys "I don't know about you guys, but this drug does nothing for me." At that point there was a knock on the door, and as I opened the door and saw Cass, the acid hit me *over the head*. I saw her standing there in a pleated skirt, a pink Angora sweater with great big eyelashes on and her hair in a flip. And all of a sudden I thought 'This is really *quite* a drug!' It was an image I will have securely fixed in my brain for the rest of my life. I said 'Hi, I'm Michelle. We just took some LSD-25, do you wanna join us?' And she said 'Sure...'" Rusty Gilliam's description matches this -- "It was mind-boggling. She had on a white pleated skirt, false eyelashes. These were the kind of eyelashes that when you put them on you were supposed to trim them to an appropriate length, which she didn't, and when she blinked she looked like a cow, or those dolls you get when you're little and the eyes open and close. And we're on acid. Oh my God! It was a sight! And everything she was wearing were things that you weren't supposed to be wearing if you were heavy -- white pleated skirt, mohair sweater. You know, until she became famous, she suffered so much, and was poked fun at." This gets to an important point about Elliot, and one which sadly affected everything about her life. Elliot was *very* fat -- I've seen her weight listed at about three hundred pounds, and she was only five foot five tall -- and she also didn't have the kind of face that gets thought of as conventionally attractive. Her appearance would be cruelly mocked by pretty much everyone for the rest of her life, in ways that it's genuinely hurtful to read about, and which I will avoid discussing in detail in order to avoid hurting fat listeners. But the two *other* things that defined Elliot in the minds of those who knew her were her voice -- every single person who knew her talks about what a wonderful singer she was -- and her personality. I've read a lot of things about Cass Elliot, and I have never read a single negative word about her as a person, but have read many people going into raptures about what a charming, loving, friendly, understanding person she was. Michelle later said of her "From the time I left Los Angeles, I hadn't had a friend, a buddy. I was married, and John and I did not hang out with women, we just hung out with men, and especially not with women my age. John was nine years older than I was. And here was a fun-loving, intelligent woman. She captivated me. I was as close to in love with Cass as I could be to any woman in my life at that point. She also represented something to me: freedom. Everything she did was because she wanted to do it. She was completely independent and I admired her and was in awe of her. And later on, Cass would be the one to tell me not to let John run my life. And John hated her for that." Either Elliot had brought round Meet The Beatles, the Beatles' first Capitol album, for everyone to listen to, or Denny Doherty already had it, but either way Elliot and Doherty were by this time already Beatles fans. Michelle, being younger than the rest and not part of the folk scene until she met John, was much more interested in rock and roll than any of them, but because she'd been married to John for a couple of years and been part of his musical world she hadn't really encountered the Beatles music, though she had a vague memory that she might have heard a track or two on the radio. John was hesitant -- he didn't want to listen to any rock and roll, but eventually he was persuaded, and the record was put on while he was on his first acid trip: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "I Want to Hold Your Hand"] Within a month, John Phillips had written thirty songs that he thought of as inspired by the Beatles. The New Journeymen were going to go rock and roll. By this time Marshall Brickman was out of the band, and instead John, Michelle, and Denny recruited a new lead guitarist, Eric Hord. Denny started playing bass, with John on rhythm guitar, and a violinist friend of theirs, Peter Pilafian, knew a bit of drums and took on that role. The new lineup of the group used the Journeymen's credit card, which hadn't been stopped even though the Journeymen were no more, to go down to St. Thomas in the Caribbean, along with Michelle's sister, John's daughter Mackenzie (from whose name Scott McKenzie had taken his stage name, as he was born Philip Blondheim), a pet dog, and sundry band members' girlfriends. They stayed there for several months, living in tents on the beach, taking acid, and rehearsing. While they were there, Michelle and Denny started an affair which would have important ramifications for the group later. They got a gig playing at a club called Duffy's, whose address was on Creeque Alley, and soon after they started playing there Cass Elliot travelled down as well -- she was in love with Denny, and wanted to be around him. She wasn't in the group, but she got a job working at Duffy's as a waitress, and she would often sing harmony with the group while waiting at tables. Depending on who was telling the story, either she didn't want to be in the group because she didn't want her appearance to be compared to Michelle's, or John wouldn't *let* her be in the group because she was so fat. Later a story would be made up to cover for this, saying that she hadn't been in the group at first because she couldn't sing the highest notes that were needed, until she got hit on the head with a metal pipe and discovered that it had increased her range by three notes, but that seems to be a lie. One of the songs the New Journeymen were performing at this time was "Mr. Tambourine Man". They'd heard that their old friend Roger McGuinn had recorded it with his new band, but they hadn't yet heard his version, and they'd come up with their own arrangement: [Excerpt: The New Journeymen, "Mr. Tambourine Man"] Denny later said "We were doing three-part harmony on 'Mr Tambourine Man', but a lot slower... like a polka or something! And I tell John, 'No John, we gotta slow it down and give it a backbeat.' Finally we get the Byrds 45 down here, and we put it on and turn it up to ten, and John says 'Oh, like that?' Well, as you can tell, it had already been done. So John goes 'Oh, ah... that's it...' a light went on. So we started doing Beatles stuff. We dropped 'Mr Tambourine Man' after hearing the Byrds version, because there was no point." Eventually they had to leave the island -- they had completely run out of money, and were down to fifty dollars. The credit card had been cut up, and the governor of the island had a personal vendetta against them because they gave his son acid, and they were likely to get arrested if they didn't leave the island. Elliot and her then-partner had round-trip tickets, so they just left, but the rest of them were in trouble. By this point they were unwashed, they were homeless, and they'd spent their last money on stage costumes. They got to the airport, and John Phillips tried to write a cheque for eight air fares back to the mainland, which the person at the check-in desk just laughed at. So they took their last fifty dollars and went to a casino. There Michelle played craps, and she rolled seventeen straight passes, something which should be statistically impossible. She turned their fifty dollars into six thousand dollars, which they scooped up, took to the airport, and paid for their flights out in cash. The New Journeymen arrived back in New York, but quickly decided that they were going to try their luck in California. They rented a car, using Scott McKenzie's credit card, and drove out to LA. There they met up with Hoyt Axton, who you may remember as the son of Mae Axton, the writer of "Heartbreak Hotel", and as the performer who had inspired Michael Nesmith to go into folk music: [Excerpt: Hoyt Axton, "Greenback Dollar"] Axton knew the group, and fed them and put them up for a night, but they needed somewhere else to stay. They went to stay with one of Michelle's friends, but after one night their rented car was stolen, with all their possessions in it. They needed somewhere else to stay, so they went to ask Jim Hendricks if they could crash at his place -- and they were surprised to find that Cass Elliot was there already. Hendricks had another partner -- though he and Elliot wouldn't have their marriage annulled until 1968 and were still technically married -- but he'd happily invited her to stay with them. And now all her friends had turned up, he invited them to stay as well, taking apart the beds in his one-bedroom apartment so he could put down a load of mattresses in the space for everyone to sleep on. The next part becomes difficult, because pretty much everyone in the LA music scene of the sixties was a liar who liked to embellish their own roles in things, so it's quite difficult to unpick what actually happened. What seems to have happened though is that first this new rock-oriented version of the New Journeymen went to see Frank Werber, on the recommendation of John Stewart. Werber was the manager of the Kingston Trio, and had also managed the Journeymen. He, however, was not interested -- not because he didn't think they had talent, but because he had experience of working with John Phillips previously. When Phillips came into his office Werber picked up a tape that he'd been given of the group, and said "I have not had a chance to listen to this tape. I believe that you are a most talented individual, and that's why we took you on in the first place. But I also believe that you're also a drag to work with. A pain in the ass. So I'll tell you what, before whatever you have on here sways me, I'm gonna give it back to you and say that we're not interested." Meanwhile -- and this part of the story comes from Kim Fowley, who was never one to let the truth get in the way of him taking claim for everything, but parts of it at least are corroborated by other people -- Cass Elliot had called Fowley, and told him that her friends' new group sounded pretty good and he should sign them. Fowley was at that time working as a talent scout for a label, but according to him the label wouldn't give the group the money they wanted. So instead, Fowley got in touch with Nik Venet, who had just produced the Leaves' hit version of "Hey Joe" on Mira Records: [Excerpt: The Leaves, "Hey Joe"] Fowley suggested to Venet that Venet should sign the group to Mira Records, and Fowley would sign them to a publishing contract, and they could both get rich. The trio went to audition for Venet, and Elliot drove them over -- and Venet thought the group had a great look as a quartet. He wanted to sign them to a record contract, but only if Elliot was in the group as well. They agreed, he gave them a one hundred and fifty dollar advance, and told them to come back the next day to see his boss at Mira. But Barry McGuire was also hanging round with Elliot and Hendricks, and decided that he wanted to have Lou Adler hear the four of them. He thought they might be useful both as backing vocalists on his second album and as a source of new songs. He got them to go and see Lou Adler, and according to McGuire Phillips didn't want Elliot to go with them, but as Elliot was the one who was friends with McGuire, Phillips worried that they'd lose the chance with Adler if she didn't. Adler was amazed, and decided to sign the group right then and there -- both Bones Howe and P.F. Sloan claimed to have been there when the group auditioned for him and have said "if you won't sign them, I will", though exactly what Sloan would have signed them to I'm not sure. Adler paid them three thousand dollars in cash and told them not to bother with Nik Venet, so they just didn't turn up for the Mira Records audition the next day. Instead, they went into the studio with McGuire and cut backing vocals on about half of his new album: [Excerpt: Barry McGuire with the Mamas and the Papas, "Hide Your Love Away"] While the group were excellent vocalists, there were two main reasons that Adler wanted to sign them. The first was that he found Michelle Phillips extremely attractive, and the second is a song that John and Michelle had written which he thought might be very suitable for McGuire's album. Most people who knew John Phillips think of "California Dreamin'" as a solo composition, and he would later claim that he gave Michelle fifty percent just for transcribing his lyric, saying he got inspired in the middle of the night, woke her up, and got her to write the song down as he came up with it. But Michelle, who is a credited co-writer on the song, has been very insistent that she wrote the lyrics to the second verse, and that it's about her own real experiences, saying that she would often go into churches and light candles even though she was "at best an agnostic, and possibly an atheist" in her words, and this would annoy John, who had also been raised Catholic, but who had become aggressively opposed to expressions of religion, rather than still having nostalgia for the aesthetics of the church as Michelle did. They were out walking on a particularly cold winter's day in 1963, and Michelle wanted to go into St Patrick's Cathedral and John very much did not want to. A couple of nights later, John woke her up, having written the first verse of the song, starting "All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey/I went for a walk on a winter's day", and insisting she collaborate with him. She liked the song, and came up with the lines "Stopped into a church, I passed along the way/I got down on my knees and I pretend to pray/The preacher likes the cold, he knows I'm going to stay", which John would later apparently dislike, but which stayed in the song. Most sources I've seen for the recording of "California Dreamin'" say that the lineup of musicians was the standard set of players who had played on McGuire's other records, with the addition of John Phillips on twelve-string guitar -- P.F. Sloan on guitar and harmonica, Joe Osborn on bass, Larry Knechtel on keyboards, and Hal Blaine on drums, but for some reason Stephen McParland's book on Sloan has Bones Howe down as playing drums on the track while engineering -- a detail so weird, and from such a respectable researcher, that I have to wonder if it might be true. In his autobiography, Sloan claims to have rewritten the chord sequence to "California Dreamin'". He says "Barry Mann had unintentionally showed me a suspended chord back at Screen Gems. I was so impressed by this beautiful, simple chord that I called Brian Wilson and played it for him over the phone. The next thing I knew, Brian had written ‘Don't Worry Baby,' which had within it a number suspended chords. And then the chord heard 'round the world, two months later, was the opening suspended chord of ‘A Hard Day's Night.' I used these chords throughout ‘California Dreamin',' and more specifically as a bridge to get back and forth from the verse to the chorus." Now, nobody else corroborates this story, and both Brian Wilson and John Phillips had the kind of background in modern harmony that means they would have been very aware of suspended chords before either ever encountered Sloan, but I thought I should mention it. Rather more plausible is Sloan's other claim, that he came up with the intro to the song. According to Sloan, he was inspired by "Walk Don't Run" by the Ventures: [Excerpt: The Ventures, "Walk Don't Run"] And you can easily see how this: [plays "Walk Don't Run"] Can lead to this: [plays "California Dreamin'"] And I'm fairly certain that if that was the inspiration, it was Sloan who was the one who thought it up. John Phillips had been paying no attention to the world of surf music when "Walk Don't Run" had been a hit -- that had been at the point when he was very firmly in the folk world, while Sloan of course had been recording "Tell 'Em I'm Surfin'", and it had been his job to know surf music intimately. So Sloan's intro became the start of what was intended to be Barry McGuire's next single: [Excerpt: Barry McGuire, "California Dreamin'"] Sloan also provided the harmonica solo on the track: [Excerpt: Barry McGuire, "California Dreamin'"] The Mamas and the Papas -- the new name that was now given to the former New Journeymen, now they were a quartet -- were also signed to Dunhill as an act on their own, and recorded their own first single, "Go Where You Wanna Go", a song apparently written by John about Michelle, in late 1963, after she had briefly left him to have an affair with Russ Titelman, the record producer and songwriter, before coming back to him: [Excerpt: The Mamas and the Papas, "Go Where You Wanna Go"] But while that was put out, they quickly decided to scrap it and go with another song. The "Go Where You Wanna Go" single was pulled after only selling a handful of copies, though its commercial potential was later proved when in 1967 a new vocal group, the 5th Dimension, released a soundalike version as their second single. The track was produced by Lou Adler's client Johnny Rivers, and used the exact same musicians as the Mamas and the Papas version, with the exception of Phillips. It became their first hit, reaching number sixteen on the charts: [Excerpt: The 5th Dimension, "Go Where You Wanna Go"] The reason the Mamas and the Papas version of "Go Where You Wanna Go" was pulled was because everyone became convinced that their first single should instead be their own version of "California Dreamin'". This is the exact same track as McGuire's track, with just two changes. The first is that McGuire's lead vocal was replaced with Denny Doherty: [Excerpt: The Mamas and the Papas, "California Dreamin'"] Though if you listen to the stereo mix of the song and isolate the left channel, you can hear McGuire singing the lead on the first line, and occasional leakage from him elsewhere on the backing vocal track: [Excerpt: The Mamas and the Papas, "California Dreamin'"] The other change made was to replace Sloan's harmonica solo with an alto flute solo by Bud Shank, a jazz musician who we heard about in the episode on "Light My Fire", when he collaborated with Ravi Shankar on "Improvisations on the Theme From Pather Panchali": [Excerpt: Ravi Shankar, "Improvisation on the Theme From Pather Panchali"] Shank was working on another session in Western Studios, where they were recording the Mamas and Papas track, and Bones Howe approached him while he was packing his instrument and asked if he'd be interested in doing another session. Shank agreed, though the track caused problems for him. According to Shank "What had happened was that whe
Episode 229, “January Babies,” features the music of performers who were born in the month of January. Featured are Elvis Presley, Felicia Sanders, Phil Everly, Gisele MacKenzie, Sam Cooke, Tex Ritter, and six more. ... Read More The post Episode 229, “January Babies,” appeared first on Sam Waldron.
This weeks episode is different as Boobie and Ian shoot from the hip on a ton of topics affecting the culture today! They start by discussing the night life in Savannah and what's stopping it from progressing, the affect of music on today's youth, and what are Boobie and Ian's toxic traits. Also in this episode: Deshaun Watson's new sentence, Bobby Womack vs. Sam Cooke, is it okay to play R. Kelly, do's and don'ts of Homecoming season, and what exactly is cuffing season?
Rae Cole and Oscar Bugarin, of critically acclaimed Calling Cadence join the show. The band's self titled debut album (Out NOW) showcased a group's innate ability to nod to the past while resolutely pushing forward. It's a classic-sounding record (recorded, mixed, and mastered straight to analog tape) for the contemporary world. Computers were only employed for streaming prep and CD replication. Produced by David Swartz and Matt Linesch, the album was released on the pairs hi-res records label. “Good Day,” along with the four other songs on the acoustic EP were recorded live in the studio to capture the initial magic of the album. The second single from the album, 'Good Day' continues to be a stand-out favorite, with support from NPR, Nashville's WMOT, Los Angeles radio stations KCSN, KLOS, and recently found a new champion in CMT who put the “Good Day” official music video into rotation and currently have it featured on the CMT 12 pack Countdown Program. Join us as we chat with Rae and Oscar about recording in Analog Sound, Chemistry in a band, Ghosting, Motown, Sam Cooke and timeless influences among lots more. And stay tuned for an exclusive performance of 'Just The Way It Goes'. For more on Calling Cadence, visit: www.callingcadencetheband.com
I apologize for the sound my mic has died but I produce this anyway I wanted to play Young gifted and black I found Nina Simone I was looking for Aretha Franklin I will play Young gifted and black by Aretha Franklin in the future thank you for listening --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/j-w54/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/j-w54/support
I hope you enjoy the music that was played I was looking for the young gifted and black by Aretha Franklin but I found Nina Simone but I will be playing young gifted and black by Aretha Franklin in the future thank you for listening --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/j-w54/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/j-w54/support
While I'm still on hiatus, I invited questions from listeners. This is an hour-long podcast answering some of them. (Another hour-long Q&A for Patreon backers only will go up next week). 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/ There is a Mixcloud of the music excerpted here which can be found at https://www.mixcloud.com/AndrewHickey/500-songs-supplemental-qa-edition/ Click below for a transcript: Hello and welcome to the Q&A episode I'm doing while I'm working on creating a backlog. I'm making good progress on that, and still hoping and expecting to have episode 151 up some time in early August, though I don't have an exact date yet. I was quite surprised by the response to my request for questions, both at the amount of it and at where it came from. I initially expected to get a fair few comments on the main podcast, and a handful on the Patreon, and then I could do a reasonable-length Q&A podcast from the former and a shorter one from the latter. Instead, I only got a couple of questions on the main episode, but so many on the Patreon that I had to stop people asking only a day or so after posting the request for questions. So instead of doing one reasonable length podcast and one shorter one, I'm actually doing two longer ones. What I'm going to do is do all the questions asked publicly, plus all the questions that have been asked multiple times, in this one, then next week I'm going to put up the more niche questions just for Patreon backers. However, I'm not going to answer *all* of the questions. I got so many questions so quickly that there's not space to answer them all, and several of them were along the lines of "is artist X going to get an episode?" which is a question I generally don't answer -- though I will answer a couple of those if there's something interesting to say about them. But also, there are some I've not answered for another reason. As you may have noticed, I have a somewhat odd worldview, and look at the world from a different angle from most people sometimes. Now there were several questions where someone asked something that seems like a perfectly reasonable question, but contains a whole lot of hidden assumptions that that person hadn't even considered -- about music history, or about the process of writing and researching, or something else. Now, to answer that kind of question at all often means unpacking those hidden assumptions, which can sometimes make for an interesting answer -- after all, a lot of the podcast so far has been me telling people that what they thought they knew about music history was wrong -- but when it's a question being asked by an individual and you answer that way, it can sometimes, frankly, make you look like a horribly unpleasant person, or even a bully. "Don't you even know the most basic things about historical research? I do! You fool! Hey everyone else listening, this person thinks you do research in *this* way, but everyone knows you do it *that* way!" Now, that is never how I would intend such answers to come across -- nobody can be blamed for not knowing what they don't know -- but there are some questions where no matter how I phrased the answer, it came across sounding like that. I'll try to hold those over for future Q&A episodes if I can think of ways of unpicking the answers in such a way that I'm not being unconscionably rude to people who were asking perfectly reasonable questions. Some of the answers that follow might still sound a bit like that to be honest, but if you asked a question and my answer sounds like that to you, please know that it wasn't meant to. There's a lot to get through, so let's begin: Steve from Canada asks: “Which influential artist or group has been the most challenging to get information on in the last 50 podcasts? We know there has been a lot written about the Beatles, Beach Boys, Motown as an entity, the Monkees and the Rolling Stones, but you mentioned in a tweet that there's very little about some bands like the Turtles, who are an interesting story. I had never heard of Dino Valenti before this broadcast – but he appeared a lot in the last batch – so it got me curious. [Excerpt: The Move, “Useless Information”] In the last fifty episodes there's not been a single one that's made it to the podcast where it was at all difficult to get information. The problem with many of them is that there's *too much* information out there, rather than there not being enough. No matter how many books one reads on the Beatles, one can never read more than a fraction of them, and there's huge amounts of writing on the Rolling Stones, on Hendrix, on the Doors, on the Byrds... and when you're writing about those people, you *know* that you're going to miss out something or get something wrong, because there's one more book out there you haven't read which proves that one of the stories you're telling is false. This is one of the reasons the episodes have got so much longer, and taken so much more time. That wasn't the case in the first hundred episodes -- there were a lot of artists I covered there, like Gene and Eunice, or the Chords, or Jesse Belvin, or Vince Taylor who there's very little information about. And there are some coming up who there's far less information about than people in the last fifty episodes. But every episode since the Beatles has had a surfeit of information. There is one exception -- I wanted to do a full episode on "Rescue Me" by Fontella Bass, because it would be an interesting lens through which to look at how Chess coped with the change in Black musical styles in the sixties. But there was so little information available about her I ended up relegating it to a Patreon bonus episode, because she makes those earlier artists look well-documented. Which leads nicely into the next question. Nora Tillman asks "Forgive this question if you've answered it before: is there literally a list somewhere with 500 songs you've chosen? Has the list changed since you first composed it? Also, when did you first conceive of this list?" [Excerpt: John Reed and the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company, "As Someday it May Happen"] Many people have asked this question, or variations upon it. The answer is yes and no. I made a list when I started that had roughly two hundred songs I knew needed to be on there, plus about the same number again of artists who needed to be covered but whose precise songs I hadn't decided on. To make the initial list I pulled a list out of my own head, and then I also checked a couple of other five-hundred-song lists -- the ones put out by Rolling Stone magazine and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- not because I wanted to use their lists; I have very little time for rock critical orthodoxy, as most of my listeners will likely have realised by now, but because I wanted to double-check that I hadn't missed anything obvious out, and that if I was missing something off their lists, I knew *why* I was missing it. To take a ludicrous example, I wouldn't want to get to the end of the 1960s and have someone say "Wait a minute, what about the Beatles?" and think "I *knew* I'd forgotten something!" Then, at the start of each fifty-episode season, I put together a more rigorous list of the fifty songs coming up, in order. Those lists *can* still change with the research -- for example, very early on in the research for the podcast, I discovered that even though I was completely unfamiliar with "Ko Ko Mo" by Gene and Eunice, it was a hugely important and influential record at the time, and so I swapped that in for another song. Or more recently, I initially intended to have the Doors only have one episode, but when I realised how much I was having to include in that episode I decided to give them a second one. And sometimes things happen the other way -- I planned to do full episodes on Jackie Shane and Fontella Bass, but for both of them I couldn't find enough information to get a decent episode done, so they ended up being moved to Patreon episodes. But generally speaking that fifty-song list for a year's episodes is going to remain largely unchanged. I know where I'm going, I know what most of the major beats of the story are, but I'm giving myself enough flexibility to deviate if I find something I need to include. Connected with this, Rob Johnson asks how I can be confident I'll get back to some stories in later episodes. Well, like I say, I have a pretty much absolute idea of what I'm going to do in the next year, and there are a lot of individual episodes where I know the structure of the episode long before we get to it. As an example here... I don't want to give too much away, and I'm generally not going to be answering questions about "will artist X be appearing?", but Rob also asked about one artist. I can tell you that that artist is one who will not be getting a full episode -- and I already said in the Patreon episode about that artist that they won't -- but as I also said in that episode they *will* get a significant amount of time in another episode, which I now know is going to be 180, which will also deal with another artist from the same state with the same forename, even though it's actually about two English bands. I've had the structure of that episode planned out since literally before I started writing episode one. On the other hand, episode 190 is a song that wasn't originally going to be included at all. I was going to do a 1967 song by the same artist, but then found out that a fact I'd been going to use was disputed, which meant that track didn't need to be covered, but the artist still did, to finish off a story I'd started in a previous episode. Patrick asks:"I am currently in the middle of reading 1971: Never a Dull Moment by David Hepworth and I'm aware that Apple TV have produced a documentary on how music changed that year as well and I was wondering what your opinion on that subject matter? I imagine you will be going into some detail on future podcasts, but until recently I never knew people considered 1971 as a year that brought about those changes." [Excerpt: Rod Stewart, "Angel"] I've not yet read Hepworth's book, but that it's named after an album which came out in 1972 (which is the album that track we just heard came from) says something about how the idea that any one year can in itself be a turning point for music is a little overstated -- and the Apple documentary is based on Hepworth's book, so it's not really multiple people making that argument. Now, as it happens, 1971 is one of the break points for the podcast -- episodes 200 and 201 are both records from July 1971, and both records that one could argue were in their own way signifiers of turning points in rock music history. And as with 1967 it's going to have more than its fair share of records, as it bridges the gap of two seasons. But I think one could make similar arguments for many, many years, and 1971 is not one of the most compelling cases. I can't say more before I read Hepworth's book, which won't be for a few months yet. I'm instinctively dubious of these "this year was the big year that changed everything" narratives, but Hepworth's a knowledgeable enough writer that I wouldn't want to dismiss his thesis without even reading the book. Roger Pannell asks I'm a fairly recent joiner-in too so you may have answered this before. What is the theme tune to the podcast please. [Excerpt: The Boswell Sisters, “Rock and Roll”] The theme song to the podcast is "Rock and Roll" by the Boswell Sisters. The version I use is not actually the version that was released as a single, but a very similar performance that was used in the film Transatlantic Merry-Go-Round in 1931. I chose it in part because it may well be the first ever record to contain the phrase "rock and roll" (though as I've said many times there's no first anything, and there are certainly many records which talk about rocking and/or rolling -- just none I know of with that phrase) so it evokes rock and roll history, partly because the recording is out of copyright, and partly just because I like the Boswell Sisters. Several people asked questions along the lines of this one from Christopher Burnett "Just curious if there's any future episodes planned on any non-UK or non-North American songs? The bonus episodes on the Mops and Kyu Sakamoto were fascinating." [Excerpt: Kyu Sakamoto, "Sukiyaki"] Sadly, there won't be as many episodes on musicians from outside the UK and North America as I'd like. The focus of the podcast is going to be firmly on British, American, Irish, and Canadian musicians, with a handful from other Anglophone countries like Australia and Jamaica. There *are* going to be a small number of episodes on non-Anglophone musicians, but very few. Sadly, any work of history which engages with injustices still replicates some of those injustices, and one of the big injustices in rock history is that most rock musicians have been very insular, and there has been very little influence from outside the Anglophone world, which means that I can't talk much about influential records made by musicians from elsewhere. Also, in a lot of cases most of the writing about them is in other languages, and I'm shamefully monolingual (I have enough schoolboy French not to embarrass myself, but not enough to read a biography without a dictionary to hand, and that's it). There *will* be quite a few bonus episodes on musicians from non-Anglophone countries though, because this *is* something that I'm very aware of as a flaw, and if I can find ways of bringing the wider story into the podcast I will definitely do so, even if it means changing my plans somewhat, but I'm afraid they'll largely be confined to Patreon bonuses rather than mainline episodes. Ed Cunard asks "Is there a particular set of songs you're not looking forward to because you don't care for them, but intend to dive into due to their importance?" [Excerpt: Jackie Shane, "Don't Play That Song"] There are several, and there already have been some, but I'm not going to say what they are as part of anything to do with the podcast (sometimes I might talk about how much I hate a particular record on my personal Twitter account or something, but I try not to on the podcast's account, and I'm certainly not going to in an episode of the podcast itself). One of the things I try to do with the podcast is to put the case forward as to why records were important, why people liked them at the time, what they got out of them. I can't do that if I make it about my own personal tastes. I know for a fact that there are people who have come away from episodes on records I utterly despise saying "Wow! I never liked that record before, but I do now!" and that to me shows that I have succeeded -- I've widened people's appreciation for music they couldn't appreciate before. Of course, it's impossible to keep my own tastes from showing through totally, but even there people tend to notice much more my like or dislike for certain people rather than for their music, and I don't feel anything like as bad for showing that. So I have a policy generally of just never saying which records in the list I actually like and which I hate. You'll often be able to tell from things I talk about elsewhere, but I don't want anyone to listen to an episode and be prejudiced not only against the artist but against the episode by knowing going in that I dislike them, and I also don't want anyone to feel like their favourite band is being given short shrift. There are several records coming up that I dislike myself but where I know people are excited about hearing the episode, and the last thing I want to do is have those people who are currently excited go in disappointed before they even hear it. Matt Murch asks: "Do you anticipate tackling the shift in rock toward harder, more seriously conceptual moves in 1969 into 1970, with acts like Led Zeppelin, The Who (again), Bowie, etc. or lighter soul/pop artists such as Donna Summer, Carly Simon or the Carpenters? Also, without giving too much away, is there anything surprising you've found in your research that you're excited to cover? [Excerpt: Robert Plant, "If I Were a Carpenter"] OK, for the first question... I don't want to say exactly who will and won't be covered in future episodes, because when I say "yes, X will be covered" or "no, Y will not be covered", it invites a lot of follow-up discussion along the lines of "why is X in there and not Y?" and I end up having to explain my working, when the episodes themselves are basically me explaining my working. What I will say is this... the attitude I'm taking towards who gets included and who gets excluded is, at least in part, influenced by an idea in cognitive linguistics called prototype theory. According to this theory, categories aren't strictly bounded like in Aristotelian thought -- things don't have strict essences that mean they definitely are or aren't members of categories. But rather, categories have fuzzy boundaries, and there are things at the centre that are the most typical examples of the category, and things at the border that are less typical. For example, a robin is a very "birdy" bird -- it's very near the centre of the category of bird, it has a lot of birdness -- while an ostrich is still a bird, but much less birdy, it's sort of in the fuzzy boundary area. When you ask people to name a bird, they're more likely to name a robin than an ostrich, and if you ask them “is an ostrich a bird?” they take longer to answer than they do when asked about robins. In the same way, a sofa is nearer the centre of the category of "furniture" than a wardrobe is. Now, I am using an exceptionally wide definition of what counts as rock music, but at the same time, in order for it to be a history of rock music, I do have to spend more time in the centre of the concept than around the periphery. My definition would encompass all the artists you name, but I'm pretty sure that everyone would agree that the first three artists you name are much closer to the centre of the concept of "rock music" than the last three. That's not to say anyone on either list is definitely getting covered or is definitely *not* getting covered -- while I have to spend more time in the centre than the periphery, I do have to spend some time on the periphery, and my hope is to cover as many subgenres and styles as I can -- but that should give an idea of how I'm approaching this. As for the second question -- there's relatively little that's surprising that I've uncovered in my research so far, but that's to be expected. The period from about 1965 through about 1975 is the most over-covered period of rock music history, and so the basic facts for almost every act are very, very well known to people with even a casual interest. For the stuff I'm doing in the next year or so, like the songs I've covered for the last year, it's unlikely that anything exciting will come up until very late in the research process, the times when I'm pulling everything together and notice one little detail that's out of place and pull on that thread and find the whole story unravelling. Which may well mean, of course, that there *are* no such surprising things. That's always a possibility in periods where we're looking at things that have been dealt with a million times before, and this next year may largely be me telling stories that have already been told. Which is still of value, because I'm putting them into a larger context of the already-released episodes, but we'll see if anything truly surprising happens. I certainly hope it does. James Kosmicki asks "Google Podcasts doesn't seem to have any of the first 100 episodes - are they listed under a different name perhaps?" [Excerpt: REM, "Disappear"] I get a number of questions like this, about various podcast apps and sites, and I'm afraid my answer is always the same -- there's nothing I can do about this, and it's something you'd have to take up with the site in question. Google Podcasts picks up episodes from the RSS feed I provide, the same as every other site or app. It's using the right feed, that feed has every episode in it, and other sites and apps are working OK with it. In general, I suggest that rather than streaming sites like Google Podcasts or Stitcher or Spotify, where the site acts as a middleman and they serve the podcast to you from their servers, people should use a dedicated podcast app like RadioPublic or Pocketcasts or gPodder, where rather than going from a library of podcast episodes that some third party has stored, you're downloading the files direct from the original server, but I understand that sometimes those apps are more difficult to use, especially for less tech-savvy people. But generally, if an episode is in some way faulty or missing on the 500songs.com webpage, that's something I can do something about. If it's showing up wrong on Spotify or Google Podcasts or Stitcher or whatever, that's a problem at their end. Sorry. Darren Johnson asks "were there any songs that surprised you? Which one made the biggest change between what you thought you knew and what you learned researching it?" [Excerpt: The Turtles, "Goodbye Surprise"] Well, there have been a few, in different ways. The most surprising thing for me actually was in the most recent episode when I discovered the true story behind the "bigger than Jesus" controversy during my reading. That was a story I'd known one way for my entire life -- literally I think I first read about that story when I was six or seven -- and it turned out that not one thing I'd read on the subject had explained what had really happened. But then there are other things like the story of "Ko Ko Mo", which was a record I wasn't even planning on covering at first, but which turned out to be one of the most important records of the fifties. But I actually get surprised relatively little by big-picture things. I'll often discover fun details or new connections between things I hadn't noticed before, but the basic outlines of the story never change that much -- I've been reading about music history literally since I learned how to read, and while I do a deep dive for each episode, it's very rare that I discover anything that totally changes my perspective. There is always a process of reevaluation going on, and a change in the emphases in my thought, so for example when I started the project I knew Johnny Otis would come up a fair bit in the early years, and knew he was a major figure, but was still not giving him the full credit he deserved in my head. The same goes for Jesse Belvin, and as far as background figures go Lester Sill and Milt Gabler. But all of these were people I already knew were important, i just hadn't connected all the dots in my head. I've also come to appreciate some musicians more than I did previously. But there are very few really major surprises, which is probably to be expected -- I got into this already knowing a *LOT*, because otherwise I wouldn't have thought this was a project I could take on. Tracey Germa -- and I'm sorry, I don't know if that's pronounced with a hard or soft G, so my apologies if I mispronounced it -- asks: "Hi Andrew. We love everything about the podcast, but are especially impressed with the way you couch your trigger warnings and how you embed social commentary into your analysis of the music. You have such a kind approach to understanding human experiences and at the same time you don't balk at saying the hard things some folks don't want to hear about their music heroes. So, the question is - where does your social justice/equity/inclusion/suffer no fools side come from? Your family? Your own experiences? School/training?” [Excerpt: Elvis Costello and the Attractions, "Little Triggers"] Well, firstly, I have to say that people do say this kind of thing to me quite a lot, and I'm grateful when they say it, but I never really feel comfortable with it, because frankly I think I do very close to the absolute minimum, and I get by because of the horribly low expectations our society has for allocishet white men, which means that making even the tiniest effort possible to be a decent human being looks far more impressive by comparison than it actually is. I genuinely think I don't do a very good job of this at all, although I do try, and that's not false modesty there. But to accept the premise of the question for a moment, there are a couple of answers. My parents are both fairly progressive both politically and culturally, for the time and place where they raised me. They both had strong political convictions, and while they didn't have access to much culture other than what was on TV or in charting records or what have you -- there was no bookshop or record shop in our town, and obviously no Internet back then -- they liked the stuff out of that mix that was forward-thinking, and so was anti-racist, accepting of queerness, and so on. From a very early age, I was listening to things like "Glad to be Gay" by the Tom Robinson Band. So from before I really even understood what those concepts were, I knew that the people I admired thought that homophobia and racism were bad things. I was also bullied a lot at school, because I was autistic and fat and wore glasses and a bunch of other reasons. So I hated bullying and never wanted to be a bully. I get very, very, *very* angry at cruelty and at abuses of power -- as almost all autistic people do, actually. And then, in my twenties and thirties, for a variety of reasons I ended up having a social circle that was predominantly queer and/or disabled and/or people with mental health difficulties. And when you're around people like that, and you don't want to be a bully, you learn to at least try to take their feelings into consideration, though I slipped up a great deal for a long time, and still don't get everything right. So that's the "social justice" side of things. The other side, the "understanding human experiences" side... well, everyone has done awful things at times, and I would hope that none of us would be judged by our worst behaviours. "Use every man to his desert and who should 'scape whipping?" and all that. But that doesn't mean those worst behaviours aren't bad, and that they don't hurt people, and denying that only compounds the injustice. People are complicated, societies are complicated, and everyone is capable of great good and great evil. In general I tend to avoid a lot of the worst things the musicians I talk about did, because the podcast *is* about the music, but when their behaviour affects the music, or when I would otherwise be in danger of giving a truly inaccurate picture of someone, I have to talk about those things. You can't talk about Jerry Lee Lewis without talking about how his third marriage derailed his career, you can't talk about Sam Cooke without talking about his death, and to treat those subjects honestly you have to talk about the reprehensible sides of their character. Of course, in the case of someone like Lewis, there seems to be little *but* a reprehensible side, while someone like Cooke could be a horrible, horrible person, but even the people he hurt the most also loved him dearly because of his admirable qualities. You *have* to cover both aspects of someone like him if you want to be honest, and if you're not going to be honest why bother trying to do history at all? Lester Dragstedt says (and I apologise if I mispronounced that): "I absolutely love this podcast and the perspective you bring. My only niggle is that the sound samples are mixed so low. When listening to your commentary about a song at voice level my fingers are always at the volume knob to turn up when the song comes in." [Excerpt: Bjork, "It's Oh So Quiet"] This is something that gets raised a lot, but it's not something that's ever going to change. When I started the podcast, I had the music levels higher, and got complaints about that, so I started mixing them lower. I then got complaints about *that*, so I did a poll of my Patreon backers to see what they thought, and by about a sixty-forty margin they wanted the levels to be lower, as they are now, rather than higher as they were earlier. Basically, there seem to be two groups of listeners. One group mostly listens with headphones, and doesn't like it when the music gets louder, because it hurts their ears. The other group mostly listens in their cars, and the music gets lost in the engine noise. That's a gross oversimplification, and there are headphone listeners who want the music louder and car listeners who want the music quieter, but the listenership does seem to split roughly that way, and there are slightly more headphone listeners. Now, it's literally *impossible* for me to please everyone, so I've given up trying with this, and it's *not* going to change. Partly because the majority of my backers voted one way, partly because it's just easier to leave things the way they are rather than mess with them given that no matter what I do someone will be unhappy, and partly because both Tilt when he edits the podcast and I when I listen back and tweak his edit are using headphones, and *we* don't want to hurt our ears either. Eric Peterson asks "if we are basically in 1967 that is when we start seeing Country artists like Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings - the Man who Survived the Day the Music Died - start to bring more rock songs into their recordings and start to set the ground work in many ways for Country Rock ... how do you envision bringing the role they play in the History of Rock and Roll into the podcast?" [Excerpt: The Del McCoury Band, "Nashville Cats"] I will of course be dealing with country rock as one of the subgenres I discuss -- though there's only one real country-rock track coming up in the next fifty, but there'll be more as I get into the seventies, and there are several artists coming up with at least some country influence. But I won't be looking at straight country musicians like Jennings or Cash except through the lens of rock musicians they inspired -- things like me talking about Johnny Cash briefly in the intro to the "Hey Joe" episode. I think Cocaine and Rhinestones is already doing a better job of covering country music than I ever could, and so those people will only touch the story tangentially. Nili Marcia says: "If one asks a person what's in that room it would not occur to one in 100 to mention the air that fills it. Something so ubiquitous as riff--I don't know what a riff actually is! Will you please define riff, preferably with examples." Now this is something I actually thought I'd explained way back in episode one, and I have a distinct memory of doing so, but I must have cut that part out -- maybe I recorded it so badly that part couldn't be salvaged, which happened sometimes in the early days -- because I just checked and there's no explanation there. I would have come back to this at some point if I hadn't been thinking all along that I'd covered it right at the start, because you're right, it is a term that needs definition. A riff is, simply, a repeated, prominent, instrumental figure. The term started out in jazz, and there it was a term for a phrase that would be passed back and forth between different instruments -- a trumpet might play a phrase, then a saxophone copy it, then back to the trumpet, then back to the saxophone. But quickly it became a term for a repeated figure that becomes the main accompaniment part of a song, over which an instrumentalist might solo or a singer might sing, but which you remember in its own right. A few examples of well-known riffs might include "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple: [Excerpt: Deep Purple, "Smoke on the Water"] "I Feel Fine" by the Beatles: [Excerpt: The Beatles, "I Feel Fine"] "Last Train to Clarksville" by the Monkees: [Excerpt: The Monkees, "Last Train to Clarksville"] The bass part in “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie: [Excerpt: Queen and David Bowie, “Under Pressure”] Or the Kingsmen's version of "Louie Louie": [Excerpt: The Kingsmen, "Louie Louie"] Basically, if you can think of a very short, prominent, instrumental idea that gets repeated over and over, that's a riff. Erik Pedersen says "I love the long episodes and I suspect you do too -- thoroughness. of this kind is something few get the opportunity to do -- but have you ever, after having written a long one, decided to cut them significantly? Are there audio outtakes you might string together one day?" [Excerpt: Bing Crosby and Les Paul, "It's Been a Long, Long Time"] I do like *having* done the long episodes, and sometimes I enjoy doing them, but other times I find it frustrating that an episode takes so long, because there are other stories I want to move on to. I'm trying for more of a balance over the next year, and we'll see how that works out. I want to tell the story in the depth it deserves, and the longer episodes allow me to do that, and to experiment with narrative styles and so on, but I also want to get the podcast finished before I die of old age. Almost every episode has stuff that gets cut, but it's usually in the writing or recording stage -- I'll realise a bit of the episode is boring and just skip it while I'm recording, or I'll cut out an anecdote or something because it looks like it's going to be a flabby episode and I want to tighten it up, or sometimes I'll realise that because of my mild speech impediments a sentence is literally unspeakable, and I'll rework it. It's very, very rare that I'll cut anything once it's been recorded, and if I do it's generally because when I listen back after it's been edited I'll realise I'm repeating myself or I made a mistake and need to cut a sentence because I said the wrong name, that sort of thing. I delete all the audio outtakes, but even if I didn't there would be nothing worth releasing. A few odd, out of context sentences, the occasional paragraph just repeating something I'd already said, a handful of actual incorrect facts, and a lot of me burping, or trying to say a difficult name three times in a row, or swearing when the phone rings in the middle of a long section. Lucy Hewitt says "Something that interests me, and that I'm sure you will cover is how listeners consume music and if that has an impact. In my lifetime we've moved from a record player which is fixed in one room to having a music collection with you wherever you go, and from hoping that the song you want to hear might be played on the radio to calling it up whenever you want. Add in the rise of music videos, and MTV, and the way in which people access music has changed a lot over the decades. But has that affected the music itself?" [Excerpt: Bow Wow Wow "C30 C60 C90 Go!"] It absolutely has affected the music itself in all sorts of ways, some of which I've touched on already and some of which I will deal with as we go through the story, though the story I'm telling will end around the time of Napster and so won't involve streaming services and so forth. But every technology change leads to a change in the sound of music in both obvious and non-obvious ways. When AM radio was the most dominant form of broadcasting, there was no point releasing singles in stereo, because at that time there were no stereo AM stations. The records also had to be very compressed, so the sound would cut through the noise and interference. Those records would often be very bass-heavy and have a very full, packed, sound. In the seventies, with the rise of eight-track players, you'd often end up with soft-rock and what would later get termed yacht rock having huge success. That music, which is very ethereal and full of high frequencies, is affected less negatively by some of the problems that came with eight-track players, like the tape stretching slightly. Then post-1974 and the OPEC oil crisis, vinyl became more expensive, which meant that records started being made much thinner, which meant you couldn't cut grooves as deeply, which meant you lost bass response, which again changed the sound of records – and also explains why when CDs came out, people started thinking they sounded better than records, because they *did* sound better than the stuff that was being pressed in the late seventies and early eighties, which was so thin it was almost transparent, even though they sounded nowhere near as good as the heavy vinyl pressings of the fifties and sixties. And then the amount of music one could pack into a CD encouraged longer tracks... A lot of eighties Hi-NRG and dance-pop music, like the records made by Stock, Aitken, and Waterman, has almost no bass but lots of skittering high-end percussion sounds -- tons of synthesised sleighbells and hi-hats and so on -- because a lot of disco equipment had frequency-activated lights, and the more high-end stuff was going on, the more the disco lights flashed... We'll look at a lot of these changes as we go along, but every single new format, every new way of playing an old format, every change in music technology, changes what music gets made quite dramatically. Lucas Hubert asks: “Black Sabbath being around the corner, how do you plan on dealing with Heavy Metal? I feel like for now, what is popular and what has had a big impact in Rock history coincide. But that kind of change with metal, no? (Plus, prog and metal are more based on albums than singles, I think.)” [Excerpt: Black Sabbath, “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”] I plan on dealing with metal the same way I've been dealing with every other subgenre. We are, yes, getting into a period where influence and commercial success don't correlate quite as firmly as they did in the early years -- though really we've already been there for quite some time. I've done two episodes so far on the Byrds, a group who only had three top-twenty singles in the US and two in the UK, but only did a bonus episode on Herman's Hermits, who had fourteen in the US and seventeen in the UK. I covered Little Richard but didn't cover Pat Boone, even though Boone had the bigger hits with Richard's songs. In every subgenre there are going to be massive influences who had no hits, and people who had lots of hits but didn't really make much of a wider impact on music, and I'll be dealing with the former more than the latter. But also, I'll be dealing most with people who were influential *and* had lots of hits -- if nothing else because while influence and chart success aren't a one-to-one correlation, they're still somewhat correlated. So it's unlikely you'll see me cover your favourite Scandinavian Black Metal band who only released one album of which every copy was burned in a mysterious fire two days after release, but you can expect most of the huge names in metal to be covered. Though even there, simply because of the number of subgenres I'm going to cover, I'm going to miss some big ones. Related to the question about albums, Svennie asks “This might be a bit of a long winded question so just stick with me here. As the music you cover becomes more elaborate, and the albums become bigger in scale, how do you choose a song which you build the story around while also telling the story of that album? I ask this specifically with the White Album in mind, where you've essentially got four albums in one. To that end, what song would you feel defines the White Album?” [Excerpt: The Beatles, “Revolution #9”] Well, you'll see how I cover the White Album in episode one hundred and seventy-two -- we're actually going to have quite a long stretch with no Beatles songs covered because I'm going to backfill a lot of 1967 and then we're getting to the Beatles again towards the end of 1968, but it'll be another big one when we get there. But in the general case... the majority of albums to come still had singles released off them, and a lot of what I'm going to be looking at in the next year or two is still hit singles, even if the singles are by people known as album bands. Other times, a song wasn't a single, but maybe it was covered by someone else -- if I know I'm going to cover a rock band and I also know that one of the soul artists who would do rock covers as album tracks did a version of one of their songs, and I'm going to cover that soul artist, say, then if I do the song that artist covered I can mention it in the episode on the soul singer and tie the two episodes together a bit. In other cases there's a story behind a particular track that's more interesting than other tracks, or the track is itself a cover version of someone else's record, which lets me cover both artists in a single episode, or it's the title track of the album. A lot of people have asked me this question about how I'd deal with albums as we get to the late sixties and early seventies, but looking at the list of the next fifty episodes, there's actually only two where I had to think seriously about which song I chose from an album -- in one case, I chose the title track, in the other case I just chose the first song on the album (though in that case I may end up choosing another song from the same album if I end up finding a way to make that a more interesting episode). The other forty-eight were all very, very obvious choices. Gary Lucy asks “Do you keep up with contemporary music at all? If so, what have you been enjoying in 2022 so far…and if not, what was the most recent “new” album you really got into?” [Excerpt: Stew and the Negro Problem, "On the Stage of a Blank White Page"] I'm afraid I don't. Since I started doing the podcast, pretty much all of my listening time has been spent on going back to much older music, and even before that, when I was listening to then-new music it was generally stuff that was very much inspired by older music, bands like the Lemon Twigs, who probably count as the last new band I really got into with their album Do Hollywood, which came out in 2016 but which I think I heard in 2018. I'm also now of that age where 2018 seems like basically yesterday, and when I keep thinking "what relatively recent albums have I liked?" I think of things like The Reluctant Graveyard by Jeremy Messersmith, which is from 2010, or Ys by Joanna Newsom, which came out in 2006. Not because I haven't bought records released since then, but because my sense of time is so skewed that summer 1994 and summer 1995 feel like epochs apart, hugely different times in every way, but every time from about 2005 to 2020 is just "er... a couple of years ago? Maybe?" So without going through every record I've bought in the last twenty years and looking at the release date I couldn't tell you what still counts as contemporary and what's old enough to vote. I have recently listened a couple of times to an album by a band called Wet Leg, who are fairly new, but other than that I can't say. But probably the most recent albums to become part of my regular listening rotation are two albums which came out simultaneously in 2018 by Stew and the Negro Problem, Notes of a Native Song, which is a song cycle about James Baldwin and race in America, and The Total Bent, which is actually the soundtrack to a stage musical, and which I think many listeners to the podcast might find interesting, and which is what that last song excerpt was taken from. It's basically a riff on the idea of The Jazz Singer, but set in the Civil Rights era, and about a young politically-radical Black Gospel songwriter who writes songs for his conservative preacher father to sing, but who gets persuaded to become a rock and roll performer by a white British record producer who fetishises Black music. It has a *lot* to say about religion, race, and politics in America -- a couple of the song titles, to give you some idea, are "Jesus Ain't Sitting in the Back of the Bus" and "That's Why He's Jesus and You're Not, Whitey". It's a remarkable album, and it deals with enough of the same subjects I've covered here that I think any listeners will find it interesting. Unfortunately, it was released through the CDBaby store, which closed down a few months later, and unlike most albums released through there it doesn't seem to have made its way onto any of the streaming platforms or digital stores other than Apple Music, which rather limits its availability. I hope it comes out again soon. Alec Dann says “I haven't made it to the Sixties yet so pardon if you have covered this: what was the relationship between Sun and Stax in their heyday? Did musicians work in both studios?” [Excerpt: Booker T. and the MGs, "Green Onions"] I've covered this briefly in a couple of the episodes on Stax, but the short version is that Sun was declining just as Stax was picking up. Jim Stewart, who founded Stax, was inspired in part by Sam Phillips, and there was a certain amount of cross-fertilisation, but not that much. Obviously Rufus Thomas recorded for both labels, and there were a few other connections -- Billy Lee Riley, for example, who I did an episode on for his Sun work, also recorded at the Stax studio before going on to be a studio musician in LA, and it was actually at a Billy Lee Riley session that went badly that Booker T and the MGs recorded "Green Onions". Also, Sun had a disc-cutting machine and Stax didn't, so when they wanted to get an acetate cut to play for DJs they'd take it to Sun -- it was actually Scotty Moore, who was working for Sun as a general engineer and producer as well as playing RCA Elvis sessions by 1962, who cut the first acetate copy of "Green Onions". But in general the musicians playing at Stax were largely the next generation of musicians -- people who'd grown up listening to the records Sam Phillips had put out in the very early fifties by Black musicians, and with very little overlap. Roger Stevenson asks "This project is going to take the best part of 7 years to complete. Do you have contingency plans in case of major problems? And please look after yourself - this project is gong to be your legacy." [Excerpt: Bonzo Dog Doodah Band, "Button Up Your Overcoat"] I'm afraid there's not much I can do if major problems come up -- by major problems I'm talking about things that prevent me from making the podcast altogether, like being unable to think or write or talk. By its nature, the podcast is my writing and my research and my voice, and if I can't do those things... well, I can't do them. I *am* trying to build in some slack again -- that's why this month off has happened -- so I can deal with delays and short-term illnesses and other disruptions, but if it becomes impossible to do it becomes impossible to do, and there's nothing more I can do about it. Mark Lipson asks "I'd like to know which episodes you've released have been the most & least popular? And going forward, which episodes do you expect to be the most popular? Just curious to know what music most of your listeners listen to and are interested in." [Excerpt: Sly and the Family Stone, "Somebody's Watching You"] I'm afraid I honestly don't know. Most podcasters have extensive statistical tools available to them, which tell them which episodes are most popular, what demographics are listening to the podcast, where they are in the world, and all that kind of thing. They use that information to sell advertising spots, which is how they make most of their money. You can say "my podcast is mostly listened to by seventy-five year-olds who google for back pain relief -- the perfect demographic for your orthopedic mattresses" or "seven thousand people who downloaded my latest episode also fell for at least one email claiming to be from the wallet inspector last year, so my podcast is listened to by the ideal demographic for cryptocurrency investment". Now, I'm lucky enough to be making enough money from my Patreon supporters' generosity that I don't have to sell advertising, and I hope I never do have to. I said at the very start of the process that I would if it became necessary, but that I hoped to keep it ad-free, and people have frankly been so astonishingly generous I should never have to do ads -- though I do still reserve the right to change my mind if the support drops off. Now, my old podcast host gave me access to that data as standard. But when I had to quickly change providers, I decided that I wasn't going to install any stats packages to keep track of people. I can see a small amount of information about who actually visits the website, because wordpress.com gives you that information – not your identities but just how many people come from which countries, and what sites linked them. But if you're downloading the podcast through a podcast app, or listening through Spotify or Stitcher or wherever, I've deliberately chosen not to access that data. I don't need to know who my audience is, or which episodes they like the most -- and if I did, I have a horrible feeling I'd start trying to tailor the podcast to be more like what the existing listeners like, and by doing so lose the very things that make it unique. Once or twice a month I'll look at the major podcast charts, I check the Patreon every so often to see if there's been a massive change in subscriber numbers, but other than that I decided I'm just not going to spy on my listeners (though pretty much every other link in the chain does, I'm afraid, because these days the entire Internet is based on spying on people). So the only information I have is the auto-generated "most popular episodes" thing that comes up on the front page, which everyone can see, and which shows the episodes people who actually visit the site are listening to most in the last few days, but which doesn't count anything from more than a few days ago, and which doesn't count listens from any other source, and which I put there basically so new listeners can see which ones are popular. At the moment that's showing that the most listened episodes recently are the two most recent full episodes -- "Respect" and "All You Need is Love" -- the most recent of the Pledge Week episodes, episodes one and two, so people are starting at the beginning, and right now there's also the episodes on "Ooby Dooby", "Needles and Pins", "God Only Knows", "She Loves You" and "Hey Joe". But in a couple of days' time those last five will be totally different. And again, that's just the information from people actually visiting the podcast website. I've deliberately chosen not to know what people listening in any other way are doing -- so if you've decided to just stream that bit of the Four Tops episode where I do a bad Bob Dylan impression five thousand times in a row, you can rest assured I have no idea you're doing it and your secret is totally safe. Anyway, that's all I have time for in this episode. In a week or so I'll post a similar-length episode for Patreon backers only, and then a week or two after that the regular podcast will resume, with a story involving folk singers, jazz harmony, angelic visitations and the ghost of James Dean. See you then.
Label: RCA 7783Year: 1960Condition: M-Price: $40.00Here's a beautiful copy of this early Sam Cooke classic... one of the nicest I've had in the store since opening in 2001! Have a listen to the mp3 "snippet" to recall what a great tune this is. It comes in a Near Mint copy of the release's cool picture sleeve. Note: The 45 itself grades very close to Mint across the board (Labels, Vinyl, Audio). The picture sleeve has no ringwear on one side but a significant amount on the other.
In this episode Ian Allison talks to Chuck Rainey, one of the most admired bass players in popular music. Chuck has played and recorded with the likes of King Curtis, Sam Cooke, Etta James, The Supremes, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Steely Dan, Roberta Flack and Quincy Jones. This is an excerpt from Bass Space 2022.
Sam Cooke Dec 11 1964 Clarksdale Mississippi was shot by a hotel manager. His accuser was sentenced for prostitution and second degree murder in a another case later in 1979. --- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/cassandra711/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/cassandra711/support
A group of musicians pivotal to multiple popular music genres, golden age and modern variety shows, and titans of their style. Cupid, originally by Sam Cooke, Covered by Bernadette Peters, and by Boyz II Men. Outro music is Blue Moon, by Rod Stewart featuring Eric Clapton, who managed to outclass Tony Bennet that year -- Just listen. Everything will be clear.
Faith Crusader Influenced by the likes of icons of music, such as Metallica and Sam Cooke, growing multi-genre artist Faith Crusader is driven to inspire masses through his rich musical compositions. Rooted within the themes of honesty, originality and uniqueness, the artist intends to know who he is, no matter where he is in life, staying true to himself and what his music stands for. With his varied musical brilliance, Faith Crusader aims to weave together a myriad of life experiences and snapshots of his life seamlessly into song and music, as he turns 50. Donny Dey born in atlanta, ga… to immigrant parents from india
Today, I have the honor of introducing a friend doing incredible things in the world of music as an artist and worship leader. Some of you may know him from a popular network TV show (NBC) and I'm overjoyed we finally got to have a conversation today to share his story with you. Our conversation dove into the faithfulness of God in our stories today and the encouragement to live your life fully trusting God no matter what comes. He's worked it all out for your good, so as you take steps forward to live in the places between, opportunities to trust God along the way will present themselves. Dive into our conversation today as we get to know Biff Gore a little more! A husband and the proud father of 7 kids. He is a powerful, soul singing Blues and R&B songwriter and His rich vocals landed him a spot on season 6 of NBC's The Voice, singing “A Change Is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke with Team Usher. His grueling blues sound moved him on to the top 8 with Team Blake. And while that was a bit ago Biff can still be found playing gigs and writing new material. His timeless vocal styles are not to be missed! In fact, he just released a new single called “Made to Worship” and you can find it on Apple Music and Spotify. I'm so excited for this upcoming conversations so grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and dive in with us to the Places between. Find Biff today on Facebook here. or Instagram @biffgore. Learn more about The Places Between, Join a Retreat! Or Get in touch with us at ThePlacesBetween.com Consider following us and helping us spread word about the podcast at @The_Places_Between on Instagram. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/theplacesbetween/support
This episode is part of Pledge Week 2022. Every day this week, I'll be posting old Patreon bonus episodes of the podcast which will have this short intro. These are short, ten- to twenty-minute bonus podcasts which get posted to Patreon for my paying backers every time I post a new main episode -- there are well over a hundred of these in the archive now. If you like the sound of these episodes, then go to patreon.com/andrewhickey and subscribe for as little as a dollar a month or ten dollars a year to get access to all those bonus episodes, plus new ones as they appear. Click below for the transcript Transcript Today's backer-only episode is an extra-long one -- it runs about as long as some of the shorter main episodes -- but it also might end up containing material that gets repeated in the main podcast at some point, because a lot of British rock and pop music gets called, often very incorrectly, music-hall, and so the subject of the music halls is one that may well have to be explained in a future episode. But today we're going to look at one of the very few pop hits of the sixties that is incontrovertibly based in the music-hall tradition -- Herman's Hermits singing "I'm Henry the Eighth, I Am": [Excerpt: Herman's Hermits, "I'm Henry the Eighth, I Am"] The term "music hall" is one that has been widely misused over the years. People talk about it as being a genre of music, when it's anything but. Rather, the music hall -- which is the British equivalent of the American vaudeville -- was the most popular form of entertainment, first under that name and then under the name "variety", for more than a century, only losing its popularity when TV and rock-and-roll between them destroyed the market for it. Even then, TV variety shows rooted in the music hall continued, explicitly until the 1980s, with The Good Old Days, and implicitly until the mid-1990s. As you might imagine, for a form of entertainment that lasted over a hundred years, there's no such thing as "music-hall music" as a singular thing, any more than there exists a "radio music" or a "television music". Many music-hall acts were non-musical performers -- comedians, magicians, acrobats, and so forth -- but among those who did perform music, there were all sorts of different styles included, from folk song to light opera, to ragtime, and especially minstrel songs -- the songs of Stephen Foster were among the very first transatlantic hits. We obviously don't have any records from the first few decades of the music hall, but we do have sheet music, and we know that the first big British hit song was "Champagne Charlie", originally performed by George Leybourne, and here performed by Derek B Scott, a professor of critical musicology at the university of Leeds: [Excerpt: Derek B. Scott, "Champagne Charlie"] If you've ever heard the phrase "the Devil has all the best tunes", that song is why. William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, set new lyrics to it and made it into a hymn, and when asked why, he replied "Why should the Devil have all the good tunes?" The phrase had been used earlier, but it was Booth who popularised it. "Champagne Charlie" also has rather morbid associations, because it was sung by the crowd at the last public execution in Britain, so it often gets used in horror and mystery films set in Victorian London, so chances are if you recognised the song it's because you've heard it in a film about Jack the Ripper or Jekyll and Hyde. But the music hall, like all popular entertainment, demanded a whole stream of new material. The British Tin Pan Alley publishers and songwriters who wrote much of the early British rock and roll we've looked at started out in music hall, and almost every British popular song up until the rise of jazz, and most after that until the fifties, was performed in the music halls. We do have recordings from the later part of the music-hall era, of course, and they show what a wide variety of music was performed there, from pitch-black comedy songs like "Murders", by George Grossmith, the son of the co-writer of Diary of a Nobody: [Excerpt: George Grossmith, "Murders"] To sing-along numbers like "Waiting at the Church" by Vesta Victoria: [Excerpt: Vesta Victoria, "Waiting at the Church"] And one of the most-recorded music-hall performers, Harry Champion, a London performer who sang very wordy songs, at a fast tempo, usually with a hornpipe rhythm and often about food, like "A Little Bit of Cucumber" or his most famous song "Boiled Beef and Carrots": [Excerpt: Harry Champion, "Boiled Beef and Carrots"] But one that wasn't about food, and was taken a bit slower than his normal patter style, was "I'm Henry the VIII I Am": [Excerpt: Harry Champion, "I'm Henry VIII, I Am"] (Incidentally, the song as written on the sheet music has "Henery" rather than "Henry", and most people sing it "Enery", but the actual record by Champion uses "Henry" on the label, as does the Hermits' version, so that's what I'm going with). Fifty years after Champion, the song was recorded by Joe Brown. We've talked about Brown before in the main podcast, but for those of you who don't remember, he's one of the best British rock and roll musicians of the fifties, and still performing today, and he has a real love of pre-war pop songs, and he would perform them regularly with his band, the Bruvvers. Those of you who've heard the Beatles performing "Sheikh of Araby" on their Decca audition, they're copying Brown's version of that song -- George Harrison was a big fan of Brown. Brown's version of "I'm Henry the Eighth I Am" gave it a rock and roll beat, and dropped the verse, leaving only the refrain: [Excerpt: Joe Brown and the Bruvvers, "I'm Henry the Eighth I Am"] Enter Herman's Hermits, four years later. In 1964, Herman's Hermits, a beat group from Manchester led by singer Peter Noone, had signed with Mickie Most and had a UK number one with "I'm Into Something Good", a Goffin and King song originally written for Earl-Jean of the Cookies: [Excerpt: Herman's Hermits, "I'm Into Something Good"] That would be their only UK number one, though they'd have several more top ten hits over here. It only made number thirteen in the US, but their second US single (not released as a single over here), "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat", went to number two in the States. From that point on, the group's career would diverge enormously between the US and the UK -- half their US hits were never released as singles in the UK, and vice versa. Several records, like their cover version of Sam Cooke's "Wonderful World", were released in both countries, but in general they went in two very different directions. In the UK they tended to release fairly normal beat-group records like "No Milk Today", written by Graham Gouldman, who was also writing hits for the Yardbirds and the Hollies: [Excerpt: Herman's Hermits, "No Milk Today"] That only charted in the US when it was later released as a B-side. Meanwhile, in the US, they pursued a very different strategy. Since the "British Invasion" was a thing, and so many British bands were doing well in the States partly because of the sheer novelty of them being British, Herman's Hermits based their career on appealing to American Anglophiles. This next statement might be a little controversial, even offensive to some listeners, so I apologise, but it's the truth. There is a large contingent of people in America who genuinely believe that they love Britain and British things, but who have no actual idea what British culture is actually like. They like a version of Britain that has been constructed entirely from pop-culture aimed at an American market, and have a staggeringly skewed vision of what Britain is actually like, one that is at best misguided and at worst made up of extremely offensive stereotypes. People who think they know all about the UK because they've spent a week going round a handful of tourist traps in central London and they've watched every David Tennant episode of Doctor Who. (Please note that I am not, here, engaging in reflex anti-Americanism, as so many British people do on this topic, because I know very well that there is an equally wrong kind of British person who worships a fictional America which has nothing to do with the real country -- as any American who has come over to the UK and seen cans of hot dog sausages in brine with "American style" and an American flag on the label will shudderingly attest. Fetishising of a country not one's own exists in every culture, and about every culture, whether it's American weebs who think they know about Japan or British Communists who were insistent that the Soviet Union under Stalin was a utopia). For their US-only singles, most of which were massive hits, Herman's Hermits played directly to that audience. The group's first single in this style was "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter", written by the actor Trevor Peacock, now best known for playing Jim in The Vicar of Dibley, but at the time best known as a songwriter for groups like the Vernons Girls and for writing linking material for Six-Five Special and Oh Boy! That song was written for a TV play and originally performed by the actor Tom Courtenay: [Excerpt: Tom Courtenay, "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter"] The Hermits copied Courtenay's record closely, down to Noone imitating Courtenay's vocals: [Excerpt: Herman's Hermits, "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter"] That became their first US number one, and the group went all-in on appealing to that particular market. Noone started singing, not in the pseudo-American style that, say, Mick Jagger sings in (and early-sixties Jagger is a perfect example of the British equivalent of those American Anglophiles, loving but not understanding Black America), and not in his own Manchester accent, but in a faked Cockney accent, doing what is essentially a bad impersonation of Anthony Newley. (Davy Jones, who like Noone was a Mancunian who had started his career in the Manchester-set soap opera Coronation Street, was also doing the same thing at the time, in his performances as the Artful Dodger in the Broadway version of Oliver! -- we'll talk more about Jones in future episodes of the main podcast, but he, like Noone, was someone who was taking aim at this market.) Noone's faked accent varied a lot, sometimes from syllable to syllable, and on records like "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" and the Hermits' version of the old George Formby song "Leaning on a Lamp Post" he sounds far more Northern than on other songs -- fitting into a continuum of Lancashire novelty performers that stretched at least from Formby's father, George Formby senior, all the way to Frank Sidebottom. But on the Hermits' version of "I'm Henry the Eighth, I Am", Noone is definitely trying to sound as London as he can, and he and the group copy Joe Brown's arrangement: [Excerpt: Herman's Hermits, "I'm Henry the Eighth I Am"] That also became an American number one, and Herman's Hermits had truly found their niche. They spent the next three years making an odd mixture of catchy pop songs by writers like Graham Gouldman or PF Sloan, which became UK hits, and the very different type of music typified by "I'm Henry the Eighth I Am". Eventually, though, musical styles changed, and the group stopped having hits in either country. Peter Noone left the group in 1971, and they made some unsuccessful records without him before going on to the nostalgia circuit. Noone's solo career started relatively successfully, with a version of David Bowie's "Oh! You Pretty Things", backed by Bowie and the Spiders From Mars: [Excerpt: Peter Noone, "Oh! You Pretty Things"] That made the top twenty in the UK, but Noone had no further solo success. These days, there are two touring versions of Herman's Hermits -- in the US, Noone has toured as "Herman's Hermits featuring Peter Noone", with no other original members, since the 1980s. Drummer Barry Whitwham and lead guitarist Derek Leckenby kept the group going in the rest of the world until Leckenby's death in 1994 -- since then Whitwham has toured as Herman's Hermits without any other original members. Herman's Hermits may not have the respect that some of their peers had, but they had incredible commercial success at their height, made some catchy pop records, and became the first English group to realise there was a specific audience of Anglophiles in the US that they could market to. Without that, much of the subsequent history of music might have been very different.