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may music news rock n roll years

1967 Part 1

I last posted an episode of The Rock n Roll Years in July 2018 which covered the year 1965. Unfortunately I don’t have the 1966 episode so I’m going to jump ahead to 1967. For the history of music in general and what is most important to me – my history of music, 1967 is an absolutely key year so I’m going to do a couple of posts on the subject, especially as for obvious reasons I’ve got plenty of time at the moment to do such things.

However I will write more on the subject in the next post. For now here is the programme. Apologies that the 1st couple of minutes are missing. The Forsyte Saga clip was the 1st item though.

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music news politics rock n roll years

fifty three years ago

a couple of posts ago in this series which covered 1962-63 i did an analysis of the uk singles charts for those years. this time for my text covering this post i thought i would do a little analysis of the uk album charts of 1965. top of the charts in this period was dominated by the beatles the rolling stones and the sound of music. the beatles with 3 albums beatles for sale, help! and rubber soul, the stones with their 1st 3 albums.

but to me the main story is that of bob dylan. i think there was only 1 week when he got to number one in the album charts that year but all 6 of the albums that reach to the end of 1965 were at some point in the top 20 and frequently 3 or 4 of them at a time. the key thing i think was the release of bringing it all back home in march which was a revolutionary album that changed the world of pop music – the concept of having a serious lyric with a rock and roll format song with a beat to it.

as for the sound of music it’s another film i’ve never watched but the soundtrack album is the only one of all the albums i’ve referred to in this post that i actually own a vinyl copy of other than highway 61 revisited.

here’s the 1965 edition of rock and roll years –

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music rock n roll years

The Missing Years No 1

So far I have kept a steady consistent stream in my posting of the Rock & Roll Years series. But as I have earlier alluded there are gaps in my collection and sadly a significant gap in that 1962 and 1963 are both missing. I have always thought that these would have been 2 of the most interesting years in that it was during these 2 years that something started to happen with the chart pop music. If you look at the promoters who took charge of the early British bands then in some ways nothing much was different but there was a sudden surge of cultural creativity that – for a while at least – changed the nature of the entertainment business.

Actually most of 1962 was pretty much like the late fifties and the first couple of years of the new decade. It wasn’t until the twenty-second of November of that year that The Beatles got to number twenty-three in the UK charts with Love Me Do. Nothing of that nature had ever got into the popular music charts before – obviously it was based on the music that had been coming from the USA – Chuck Berry, Everly Brothers above all Buddy Holly, but it took elements from all of those and more and did them in a different way. This didn’t completely come from nowhere – it had been building up for a while but Epstein made sure that his band was the first to break through. Love Me Do stayed in the charts for several weeks but never got higher than seventeenth. But two months later they released Please Please Me which got to number three in the charts by the sixth of February, number two a couple of weeks after that. Then on the twenty-first of March, Gerry and the Pacemakers jumped into the chart at number twenty with How Do You Do It?. After three weeks that song got to number one which so far The Beatles had failed to do. But the week after that – April the eighteenth 1963 – The Beatles brought out their third charting single, From Me To You which jumped into the charts at number twenty-three and in two weeks knocked Gerry and the Pacemakers off the number one slot and stayed there for the next six weeks until Gerry and the Pacemakers took it back with their next hit I Like It.

Other British groups to make it into the charts in 1963 were Freddie and the Dreamers, The Hollies, Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, The Searchers and by the end of the year, The Dave Clark Five. On August the first The Rolling Stones’ single Come On reached number thirty-two but this early sortie wasn’t followed up until I Wanna Be Your Man was released and started moving upwards in November.

In the meantime The Beatles continued to dominate with She Loves You entering at number twelve in August and reaching top place two weeks later, dropping to number three in October but back at number one by the end of November.

So that’s what’s been missed. Here’s the Rock and Roll Years 1964 for your consideration

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film music rock n roll years

Nineteen 61 Revisited

The next Rock ‘N Roll Years post is that of 1961. You can find it below but first as I’ve done a couple of times before I’ve selected some of the films released that year and stuck them in a table with a link which is generally to the film’s trailer but where possible to see the film itself (although these things can come and go like the tide).

Some comments on some of the films :-

La Notte was the first Antonioni film I ever saw, this was on TV in about 1970 or so, I’ve never watched since but would like to, ideally on a big screen somewhere.

Around the same time I saw Last Year In Marienbad on TV. I’d already seen and loved Hiroshima Mon Amour as mentioned earlier in this blog, but the Marienbad film was a total revelation for me and within another few years I managed to see it 3 or 4 more times. This of course was before the era of VHS or DVD so that had to be at a cinema or film club. There’s a simple game in the film where objects (doesn’t matter what – I think in the film it’s cards) are laid out in rows and you take turns to remove them – one or more but only from a single row at a time. The person who picks up the last object loses. I spent a lot of time for a year or so showing people how to play that and invariably beating them as the mysterious character in the film does. Actually if both players know what they’re doing it’s simple in that the person who goes first will always win.

I went to see The Guns of Navarone with my brother and sister and I think a couple of other kids at the cinema in Huddersfield when it was out. My father dropped us off and was going to pick us up later. In those days most films, especially one as long as this were screened with 2 reels so that there was a longish break between each half of the film. Our timing was out so badly that we watched the 2nd half of the film first and then the 1st half – very post-modern but not to be recommended in general.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mysterious Island but I’d really like to – animation by the great Ray Harryhausen, a score by the great Bernard Hermann, but above all for the presence of one of my favourite actresses – the magnificent Joan Greenwood.

And finally while on the subject of favourite actresses, Ozu’s The End of Summer was the last time that Setsuko Hara worked with the master.

Films of 1961
Title Director Link
La Notte Michaelangelo Antonioni Trailer
One-Eyed Jacks Marlon Brando Full film
Whistle Down The Wind Bryan Forbes Trailer
The End Of Summer Yasujiro Ozu Trailer
Through A Glass Darkly Ingmar Bergman Trailer
Breakfast At Tiffany’s Blake Edwards Trailer
The Colossus Of Rhodes Sergio Leone Full film
Viridiana Luis Buñuel Trailer
The Comancheros Michael Curtiz Trailer
El Cid Anthony Mann Full film
The Innocents Jack Clayton Full film
Last Year At Marienbad Alain Resnais Full film
Mysterious Island Cy Endfield Trailer
The Guns Of Navarone J Lee Thompson Full film
Yojimbo Akira Kurosawa Trailer
Categories
music rock n roll years

now we are sick

here i present another programme in the rock and roll years series – this time it’s 1960. if you look at the music of this year there’s not really that much to indicate what was going to happen in the next few years. one interesting thing about the pop music of that year is the incredible shortage of female contributors. in the melody maker top twenty charts for 1960 there are only 10 female artists involved. 2 of those are man, woman duos and one of those duos consists of actors in a film spin-off.

connie francis
the avons
brenda lee
the shirelles
connie stevens
kaye sisters
shirley bassey
sophia loren
nina and frederick
edith piaf

that percentage is incredible really although it’s actually greater than you might think because with the male artists it is the same old names cropping up again and again, with the odd novelty act like the piltdown men creeping in. there are some good songs though and i can recommend watching the show – you might learn something. incidentally if you have been following this series i have now corrected the faulty soundtrack in the 1958.

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music rock n roll years

Rock And Roll Years 1959

The last couple of times I have posted episodes of The Rock And Roll Years I have put a list of first films of the year in question and secondly albums released in the year in question. I thought for this one that I would extend the range and I was thinking of poetry books published in the year, but it proved beyond my capabilities or maybe I just thought it wouldn’t work anyway so instead I’ve just repeated the films thing.

Films of 1959
Film Director
The 39 Steps Ralph Thomas
Les Quatre Cent Coups François Truffaut
Ben-Hur William Wyler
The Devil’s Disciple Guy Hamilton
Floating Weeds Yasujiro Ozu
The Gunfight At Dodge City Joseph M Newman
Hiroshima Mon Amour Alain Resnais
I’m All Right Jack John Boulting
Look Back In Anger Tony Richardson
Nazarin Luis Buñuel
North By Northwest Alfred Hitchcock
Our Man In Havana Carol Reed
Pickpocket Robert Bresson
Rio Bravo Howard Hawks
Shadows John Cassavetes
Some Like It Hot Billy Wilder
The World Of Apu Satyajit Ray

I don’t think I saw any of these films when they came out in 1959 but I almost certainly did see some films in that year when I was 5 years old. Most of these films I have seen at some time or another some in the cinema some on tv. A few of them I have either never seen or forgotten whether I’ve seen them or not and those are the ones that I would like to see most.

Here’s some random reminisces about some of them. Hiroshima Mon Amour was the first film I saw by Alain Resnais which was on BBC2 in about 1970 the first in a series of his films that they broadcast in the World Cinema programme which I think was late on a Thursday night back then. Other films included were Last Year At Marienbad and Muriel possibly more. When they first started that programme the first director they featured with a series was Luis Buñuel and the first film they showed in that sequence was The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de San Cruz from memory I would say that the film is about a serial killer who likes to hear a certain music-box being played while his victim is dying but I may be wrong about that. Also from memory I would say that there’s something correspondent with the look of the music-box and the miniature ballerina in David Lynch‘s Eraserhead but maybe that’s just my imagination. Nazarin wasn’t part of that BBC2 series and I can’t remember when or where I first saw it but it was much later. The first Buñuel film that I saw when it first came out at the cinema was The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie and that was in Jericho, Oxford.

The only time I saw Ben-Hur at the cinema was in Paris Easter 1975. It was dubbed into French so I may have missed some of the sense of the dialogue. One of the things it’s famous for is stuntsmen dying during the chariot race apparently this is untrue.

I would have given you a link to watch the whole film for The Devil’s Disciple but all the ones I could find are those ones where you have to click on a meaningless link and I just don’t trust those. I managed to find a couple of clips from the film (one of those I don’t think I’ve ever seen before) and the impression I got was that the American producer (Harold Hecht) in order to get the film to sell better in the USA emphasised the patriotic American elements and anti British army. Shaw‘s play is not really about that. Alexander Mackendrick was originally the director of the film but he was replaced during production probably because he didn’t approve of the way it was going. A number of Shaw’s plays have been turned into films but in my opinion never really succesfully. Please let me know if I’m wrong.

If there is one of these films that I saw in 1959 then that will be The 39 Steps and the more I think about that then the more it seems likely. I was 5 then and if the rest of the family wanted to go to the cinema it would have been simpler to take me with them rather than get a baby-sitter. And at that age I was perfectly capable of sitting quietly watching films for a couple of hours. Cinema for us then took place in Alloa, Clackmannanshire. I certainly remember watching this film very early in my life. The Forth railway bridge was just down the road from us and if we went to Edinburgh for the day to visit zoo or castle or both we would get the ferry along side it and fairly early on in my life I would have gone across the bridge in a train so the sequence of the film which happens on the bridge (pretty much copied from Hitchcock‘s superior 1935 version) would have been particularly meaningful for me. Later I read all the Richard Hannay books. I once wrote a song that was called Island Of Sheep. I’ve got the words somewhere but I can’t remember how the music went actually I could probably re-construct it if I could be bothered in fact I think I may have a recording of the music somewhere.

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jazz news rock n roll years vinyl

When I Was 4

Here’s the next year of the Rock And Roll Years series. I better confess now that I don’t have all of these. In fact I’m missing some of the ones that I would most like to have in particular those that cover the period when British bands first made their extraordinary impact. In addition some of the episodes I have aren’t complete. This one pretty much is except I’m missing the closing credits. I’m sure you can live without those. In fact you can probably live without the final act. I would hope so anyway.

For 1957 I went through some of the films released that year. This time I’m going to cover some of the albums released in the year in question. I’m taking my information from the 1958 albums category page in wikipedia. Not a definitive list no doubt but an interesting and thorough enough work in progress. My aim is to concentrate on those albums which I have in vinyl. I’m sure I could dig through my collection and find albums missing from the list in my collection, but I must say I would be happy to get hold of any of the albums that are covered in the list, pretty expensive items some of them must be.

Firstly there are 2 great Miles Davis albums, Milestones and Porgy and Bess. I’m discounting 1958 Miles because that shouldn’t be on the page as it wasn’t released in 1958.

Then Miles crops up again on the brilliant Cannonball Adderley album Somethin’ Else.

None of those 3 do I have on original releases from the 50s, but the next 2 I do.

Art Blakey‘s Jazz Messengers With Thelonious Monk. The title sort of says it all. The other musicians playing on the session are Bill Hardman on trumpet, Johnny Griffin on tenor saxophone and Jimmy “Spanky” DeBrest on double bass.

Finally there is The Modern Jazz Quartet at Music Inn Volume 2 which has Sonny Rollins as guest artist. My copy of this is not pristine, there’s a chunk of the front cover missing. Anyway this one shouldn’t really be there because although recorded in 1958 it wasn’t released until 1959. Well I suppose the whole premise is rather arbitrary. Really does it matter?

Just enjoy the programme.

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birds film rock n roll years

MCMLVII

the next episode of the rock ‘n’ roll years covers 1957. i’ve put together a list of some of the classic films of that year. the choice is fairly arbitrary and it could well be that i haven’t actually seen some of those that i’ve listed. only one of them i think is mentioned in the programme. it’s not difficult to guess which. i only have dvds for 3 of them. at least i think i have. if i don’t have them now i once had. you can have a look through and guess which those are.

1957
director title
akira kurosawa throne of blood
ingmar bergman the seventh seal
david lean the bridge on the river kwai
richard thorpe jailhouse rock
john sturges gunfight at the ok corral
stanley donen funny face
delmer daves 3:10 to yuma
sidney lumet 12 angry men
lewis gilbert the admirable crichton
jack arnold the incredible shrinking man
charles chaplin a king in new york
federico fellini nights of cabiria
otto preminger saint joan
george cukor wild is the wind
luchino visconti white nights
yasujirō ozu tokyo twilight

ok i’ll put you out of your misery though if you knew me well and knew your films you might have got that. it’s the kurosawa the bergman and the fellini. 3:10 to yuma i remember watching with my brother on tv it was a great film. i haven’t watched the remake to be frank i’d rather see the original again which i don’t think i’ve seen since that time on tv which was probably back in the 60s.

Categories
music rock n roll years

Back to 1956

You can find this now on Youtube, I don’t know if my version is better but here it is anyway I hope you like it. I have most of this series from the 80s and I will try to work my way through it. For me it starts a couple of years after I was born so it is pertinently particularly poignant for it is the story of what was happening during my life and when it gets to the 60s sometimes it still seems a bit of a shock when you go through it all. It was impossible to make sense of it then and is maybe even more impossible to make sense of later.

One thing that is clear in this first episode of the series is how white-centric the early popular breakthrough of the music was although it was essentially the elements of black American music that made the whole thing so exciting to people. It’s not until near the end of the episode that the first black artist (Little Richard) features and the division between the all black band and the well-dressed white couples who make up the audience shows clearly that a crossover between the two worlds could not possibly be depicted on a popular film.