Snoopy and the Red Baron – Royal Guardsmen (84)
I started college in 1967. So what music were we listening too back then? I think you might be amazed at the wide variety of music that was popular back then. What do you think – Beatles, acid rock, bubble gum, protest music, psychedelic rock, folk, teeny bopper, soul, R&B, blues?
Let’s look at the top 10 Billboard hits of 1967:
- To Sir with Love – Lulu (pop, From the movie of the same name)
- The Letter – Box Tops (pop)
- Ode to Billie Joe – Bobby Gentry (country)
- Windy – Association (pop)
- I’m a Believer – Monkees (pop)
- Light My Fire – Doors (psychedelic rock)
- Something Stupid – Nancy and Frank Sinatra (pop)
- Happy Together – Turtles (pop)
- Groovin’ – Rascals (R&B)
- Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You – Frankie Valli (pop)
What – no Beatles, no Stones, no Aretha, no Ray Charles, no The Who, no Otis, no James Brown, no Dylan, no Beach Boys, no etc. These weren’t my top 10, but I did like several of them.
The late 60’s were a very eclectic time in music with all kind of musical influences and genres in play. Let’s dig a little deeper and find out some of the other musicians that made the top 100.
Alright, are you ready for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
- Beatles – Penny Lane (55)
- Rolling Stones – Ruby Tuesday (24)
- Aretha Franklin – Respect (13)
- Sam & Dave – Soulman (19)
- Association – Never My Love (20)
- Martha and the Vandellas – Jimmy Mack (36)
- Jackie Wilson – Higher and Higher (53)
- Sonnie and Cher – The Beat Goes On (83)
- Mamas and Papas – Dedicated to the One I Love (62)
And my favorites:
Van Morrison – Brown Eyed Girl (35)
Buffalo Springfield – For What Its Worth (27)
Johnnie Rivers – Baby I Need Your Loving (95)
The Casinos – Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye (40)
Spencer Davis Group – Give Me Some Loving (68)
Grass Roots – Let’s Live for Today (70)
Oh, and there were a few notables I left off.
- Every Mothers Son
- Englebert Humperdink
- Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
- Jefferson Airplaine
- Diana Ross and Supremes
- Stevie Wonder
- Bobby Vinton
- Fifth Dimension
- Herman’s Hermits
- Wilson Pickett
- Booker T and the MGs
- Ray Charles
- Neil Diamond
- Peter, Paul and Mary
- Tom Jones
- The Who
- Petula Clark
- and more
So, I think when one of us oldies complains about music today, we have a good point to make. The late 60’s and early 70’s were a celebration of many kinds of music. We weren’t locked into one specific type of rock – or soul – or folk – or… Music was much more experimental and the big music companies didn’t have the almost total control they have today. It seems to me, that to a large degree, musicians made the kind of music they wanted to make.
Much of todays music is too formulated and success of a musician is based on how many cd’s are sold. I know there are many great musicians, singers, and song writers around today, but in the 60’s, all kinds of music made it onto the radio. We didn’t have to listen to the same 20 songs played over and over again. While I-Tunes, youtube, Internet radio stations, downloading, etc. have made music more easily available, I wonder if it has also had a cheapening effect.
So I applaud today’s musicians that love to jam, that try different styles and genres, that take risks, that play it because they like it. The late 60’s and early 70’s were a very emotional and trying time in America and this was reflected in the music. Maybe that’s what is missing in much of today’s music – the emotion – the personal meaning that a song has to each of us.
So Taylor, too bad you didn’t have a chance to jam with some of the greats back in my day. I think the reason you have so many fans of all ages is because you put the emotion back in the music. Music can be appreciated by listening to it, but to love a song you have to feel it. And Taylor makes you feel it.