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I'm the co-host of THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl (Sunday nights, 9 to Midnight Eastern, www.westcottradio.org).  As a freelance writer, I contributed to Goldmine magazine from 1986-2006, wrote liner notes for Rhino Records' compilation CD Poptopia!  Power Pop Classics Of The '90s, and for releases by The Flashcubes, The Finkers, Screen Test, 1.4.5., and Jack "Penetrator" Lipton.  I contributed to the books Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth, Shake Some Action, Lost In The Grooves, and MusicHound Rock, and to DISCoveries, Amazing Heroes, The Comics Buyer's Guide, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Comics Collector, The Buffalo News, and The Syracuse New Times.  I also wrote the liner notes for the four THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO compilation CDs, because, well, who could stop me?  My standing offer to write liner notes for a Bay City Rollers compilation has remained criminally ignored.  Still intend to write and sell a Batman story someday.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

This Is 1965!

Shindig! Shindig! Rah, rah SHINDIG!

On Monday night, as Brenda and I were watching The Voice, we saw contestant Sundance Head join his coach Blake Shelton for a performance of "Treat Her Right," a classic song which was a # 2 hit in 1965 for Sundance's father, Roy Head. The performance included vintage video of Roy Head himself, singin' his song on (I think) Shindig! back in '65. And I was struck once again with this firm, resolute conviction:

1965 was pop music's greatest year.

I know a lot of peers who say the same thing about 1966, and it's tough to argue with a year that gave us The Greatest Record Ever Made ("Rain" by The Beatles), the greatest album ever made (Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys), and the debut of The Monkees, among many, many other highlights. Many will speak on behalf of 1964, the year the British Invasion hit the colonies, and The Kinks shredded speakers with "You Really Got Me."  Some will opt for different years, even different eras altogether. But I know what I believe: those years are great, but there was only one 1965. The wealth of pop treasures released and/or discovered in '65 is nearly unparalleled, and the extent to which the best stuff was generally also the most popular stuff is unparalleled. As our final bit of evidence on behalf of '65, it's worth noting that every single one of that year's Billboard # 1 hits--every one--was at least pretty good, and often just plain terrific. That is beyond unparalleled; that is unique to 1965.

A year ago this week, This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl paid tribute to pop's best-ever year, with a special TIRnRR we called THIS IS 1965! Given the overwhelming rot of our current year, I must agree with The Barracudas: I wish it could be 1965 again!

For this week’s exercise in The Best Three Hours Of Radio On The Whole Friggin’ Planet, This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio traveled back five decades for THIS IS 1965!, a celebration of pop music’s best year ever. Close your eyes, and imagine an epic three-hour edition of Shindig, Hullabalo, Bandstand, and Where The Action Is!!, too. There is no Auto-Tune; there is no Bro Country; there is no Nae Nae. It’s all right. THIS IS 1965!
Thanks again to writer Jeff Tamarkin, whose recent Relix article on lost hits of 1965 (https://www.relix.com/articles/deta...) inspired us to do this. 

THIS IS ROCK ‘N’ ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl streams live every Sunday night from 9 to Midnight Eastern, exclusively at www.westcottradio.org
THIS IS ROCK ‘N’ ROLL RADIO # 804, 12/13/15: THIS IS 1965!
THE BARRACUDAS: “I Wish It Could Be 1965 Again” (Voxx, Drop Out With The Barracudas)
ADAM FAITH [with THE ROULETTES]: “It’s Alright” (EMI, The Very Best Of Adam Faith)
THE BYRDS: “Mr. Tambourine Man” (Columbia, Mr. Tambourine Man)
JAMES BROWN: “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag, Pt. 1” (Polydor, The 50th Anniversary Collection)
THE CASTAWAYS: “Liar, Liar” (Rhino, VA: Nuggets)
DICK & DEE DEE: “Thou Shalt Not Steal” (Varese Sarabande, The Best Of Dick & Dee Dee)
THE SMALL FACES: “What’cha Gonna Do About It” (Decca, Small Faces)
WILSON PICKETT: “In The Midnight Hour” (Rhino, A Man And A Half)
FONTELLA BASS: “Rescue Me” (Masters, VA: Soul Classics Volume 1)
SHIRLEY BASSEY: “Goldfinger” (Capitol, VA: The Best Of James Bond)
THE DIXIE CUPS: “Iko Iko” (Varese Sarabande, The Complete Red Bird Recordings)
THE TURTLES: “Let Me Be” (Sundazed, You Baby)
SIMON & GARFUNKEL: “The Sound Of Silence” (Columbia, Old Friends)
THE ANIMALS: “It’s My Life” (Abkco, Retrospective)
THE BEATLES: “I Feel Fine” (Apple, 1962-1966)
THE DAVE CLARK FIVE: “Catch Us If You Can” (Hollywood, The History Of The Dave Clark Five)
THE BEAU BRUMMELS: “Laugh, Laugh” (Sundazed, Introducing The Beau Brummels)
BUCK OWENS & HIS BUCKAROOS: “I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail” (Sundazed, I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail)
BOB DYLAN: “Positively 4th Street” (Columbia, The Essential Bob Dylan)
OTIS & THE ALL NIGHT WORKERS: “Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket” (WSEN, VA: The Syracuse History Of Rock-N-Roll)
THE WHO: “I Can’t Explain” (MCA, My Generation)
THE VOGUES: “Five O’Clock World” (Varese Sarabande, The Best Of The Vogues)
THE ROLLING STONES: “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (Abkco, Out Of Our Heads)
ROGER MILLER: “King Of The Road” (Mercury Nashville, All Time Greatest Hits)
THE BEACH BOYS: “Help Me Rhonda” (Capitol, Today! & Summer Days [And Summer Nights!])
THE BOBBY FULLER FOUR: “Let Her Dance” (Del-Fi, Never To Be Forgotten)
THE YARDBIRDS: “Heart Full Of Soul” (Rhino, Ultimate!)
THE FOUR TOPS: “It’s The Same Old Song” (Motown, The Ultimate Collection)
THE ZOMBIES: “Tell Her No” (Big Beat, Zombie Heaven)
GENE PITNEY: “Last Chance To Turn Around” (One Way, Ultimate Anthology)
THE AD LIBS: “The Boy From New York City” (Real Gone Music, The Complete Blue Cat Recordings)
OTIS REDDING: “Respect” (Rhino, Otis!)
THE TEMPTATIONS: “My Girl” (Motown, VA: Hitsville USA)
THE LOVIN’ SPOONFUL: “Do You Believe In Magic” (Buddha, Greatest Hits)
MIMI & RICHARD FARINA: “Reno Nevada” (Vanguard, The Complete Vanguard Recordings)
SONNY: “Laugh At Me” (Collectors’ Choice Music, Inner Views)
BARRY McGUIRE: “Eve Of Destruction” (One Way, Anthology)
TWINKLE: “Golden Lights” (RPM, Golden Lights)
SAM THE SHAM & THE PHARAOHS: “Wooly Bully” (Sundazed, The MGM Singles)
FREDDY CANNON: “Action” (Shout Factory, Boom Boom Rock ‘n’ Roll)
DONOVAN: “Colours” (Epic, Troubador)
THE MARVELOWS: “I Do” (Rhino, VA: Beg, Scream & Shout!)
FREDDIE & THE DREAMERS: “I’m Telling You Now” (EMI, The Best Of Freddie & the Dreamers)
THE KINKS: “All Day And All Of The Night” (Essential, Kinks)
THE KNICKERBOCKERS: “Lies” (Sundazed, Lies)
THE SUPREMES: “Stop! In The Name Of Love” (Motown, The Definitive Collection)
THE STRANGELOVES: “I Want Candy” (Epic, I Want Candy)
THE FORTUNES: “You’ve Got Your Troubles” (Spectrum, The Very Best Of The Fortunes)
MARVIN GAYE: “Ain’t That Peculiar” (Motown, Gold)
PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS: “Steppin’ Out” (Sundazed, Just Like Us!)
THE SIR DOUGLAS QUINTET: “She’s About A Mover” (Sundazed, The Best Of The Sir Douglas Quintet)
GEORGE JONES: “The Race Is On” (Epic, The Essential George Jones)
THE SHANGRI-LAS: “I Can Never Go Home Anymore” (Mercury, The Best Of The Shangri-Las)
THE MARVELETTES: “I’ll Keep Holding On” (Rhino, VA: One Kiss Can Lead To Another)
PETULA CLARK: “Downtown” (BMG, Ultimate)
STEVIE WONDER: “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” (Motown, VA: Hitsville USA)
THE HOLLIES: “Look Through Any Window” (EMI, Clarke, Hicks & Nash Years)
JAY & THE AMERICANS: “Let’s Lock The Door (And Throw Away The Key)” (Fuel 2000, Absolutely The Best)
SONNY & CHER: “Baby Don’t Go” (Elektra, The Beat Goes On)
GEORGIE FAME & THE BLUE FLAMES: “Yeh, Yeh” (Polygram, The Very Best Of Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames)
HERMAN’S HERMITS: “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter” (Abkco, Retrospective)
THE SUNRAYS: “I Live For The Sun” (Collectables, The Very Best Of The Tower Recordings)
THE BEATLES: “Nowhere Man” (Apple, 1962-1966)
THE T-BONES: “No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)” (BGO, No Matter What Shape [Your Stomach’s In]/Sippin’ ‘N Chippin’)
POSTSCRIPT:  This was a BLAST!  We played more than 60 songs from 1965, all reinforcing my belief that '65 was pop music's best year ever. From the great custom intro that Dana created, through our closing instrumental by The T-Bones, I think we represented 1965 in proper fashion. In spite of the long list of 1965 artists we didn't have time to include--The Miracles, The Searchers, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass (though that one was a victim of a defective CD), The Velvelettes, The Ivy League, Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders, Jr. Walker & the All-Stars, Sandie Shaw, The Righteous Brothers, Edwin Starr, Gerry & the Pacemakers, The Newbeats, Them, Jan & Dean, Carmen & the Vikings, The Impressions, among many others--I'm satisfied that we got this one right.

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