Anatomy Of A Song – A Surprising Super Hit

Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong were busy and successful music pros who wrote a lot of memorable songs for the Temptations. But one that they avoided for a couple of years would end up as a #1 hit for the group and become a signature song. Written in 1969, "just My Imagination" was a ballad, … Continue reading Anatomy Of A Song – A Surprising Super Hit

In Pursuit Of Seeing Clearly

You probably remember Johnny Nash's 1972 number-one hit "I Can See Clearly Now" (you can hear it below), but it has added meaning for me because I hope to sing it myself in the not too distant future. (Well, at least hum it -- my singing voice is something along the lines of the sound … Continue reading In Pursuit Of Seeing Clearly

Saluting Silly Songs – A Travelin’ Man

I remember Hank Snow's "I've Been Everywhere" from back in the early Sixties when it was a number-one hit for him. It's all about a travelin' man who has been all over the map, and he  proceeds to rapidly list all the places he's been, many of them with colorful or odd names. But it … Continue reading Saluting Silly Songs – A Travelin’ Man

Masters Of Sunshine Pop

Monkees "Theme Song" Monkees "Last Train to Clarksville" Monkees "Valleri" Monkees "(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone" (Originally Paul Revere and the Raiders) Jay & the Americans "Come a Little Bit Closer" Curtis Lee "Pretty Little Angel Eyes" Little Anthony & the Imperials' "Hurt So Bad" Fats Domino "Be My Guest" Boyce & Hart "I Wonder … Continue reading Masters Of Sunshine Pop

Ruby And The Romantics – The Pride Of Akron

You wouldn't normally think of Akron, Ohio, an average Midwestern city, as the birthplace of a R&B group with a number-one hit in the 1960's, but that's exactly what happened when Ruby and the Romantics hit the top. Their 1963 recording of "Our Day Will Come" was a huge success, topping the charts in the … Continue reading Ruby And The Romantics – The Pride Of Akron

Screaming Lord Sutch And The Radio City Pirates

Radio City, the short-lived pirate radio station that operated off the coast of England for a while in the 60's, was mentioned recently in a post titled Tony Newman And The Crazy 60’s Music Scene, but if you want to know more about it we probably should start with some history. Pirate radio has been … Continue reading Screaming Lord Sutch And The Radio City Pirates

Tony Newman And The Crazy 60’s Music Scene

Today we're going to focus on British rock guitarist/singer Tony Newman, but don't confuse him with the drummer of the same name, a contemporary of his who had a long career that included stints with bands like T. Rex and Boxer, and also accompanied David Bowie, Eric Clapton and others. Our Tony Newman's career didn't … Continue reading Tony Newman And The Crazy 60’s Music Scene

Connecting The Dots With Johnny Tillotson

  It always tickles me when I discover a surprising connection between two completely different types of musical artists. Johnny Tillotson, the subject of today's post, has been entertaining fans for more than a half-century as a successful country/pop singer, but I think he'd be the first to agree that a lot of his early … Continue reading Connecting The Dots With Johnny Tillotson

So Exactly What Is A Mungo Jerry?

A huge hit record from 1970 that has sometimes approached earworm status for me is a skiffle song called "In The Summertime" by Mungo Jerry. But even though I've heard it countless times in the last forty-plus years (and it's probably going through your head right now) it has never occurred to me to find … Continue reading So Exactly What Is A Mungo Jerry?

The Redemption Of Johnny Carroll 

One of the most unappreciated rockabilly artists of the 1950s was Johnny Carroll, a talented and magnetic performer who was in many ways reminiscent of his friend, the much more successful Gene Vincent. In fact, Carroll's surge of popularity later in his career was partly due to his appreciation for Vincent's music, along with his … Continue reading The Redemption Of Johnny Carroll