50s and 60s Music

Sunday, September 28, 2003
Posted in category Uncategorized
Comments Off

In my CD collection, my 50s and 60s CD collection alone (pop, R&B, Soul, surf, instrumental, Hit Parade) probably numbers about 600-700. In terms of charted pop music, I am interested mainly in that which charted from #25 – #100, and in addition, those great songs that never charted. Oldies radio absolutely stinks nowadays. How can anyone listen to those frightening playlists that play the same 25 songs, over and over?

All this music is before my time, but stealing away with my mother’s Gary Lewis & the Playboys albums and my older brothers’ 1960s albums, got me started on this music when I was real young. The first hard rock I was exposed to was at about six years old, and that was the Door’s first album, the Rolling Stone’s Flowers, the Mamas and the Papa’s If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears. From that I backed into 50s and 60s pop charted music. I’ll write about more on this later.

If you are into 50s and 60s R&B-soul, here’s a few gems. First, there’s the little-known Sweet Soul Music compilation that includes the original version of Some Kind of Wonderful from the Soul Brothers Six, and obscure gems from O.V. Wright, Don Covay and the Goodtimers, Otis Clay, and John Carr. Kudos to the record companies for recognizing the best music that never makes it to mainstream oldies radio. Then there’s the great Rhino Records (the Number One oldies reissuer) Doo Wop compilations, volumes I and II. And these guys actually managed to do a volume III! This set gets into some obscure stuff like Nite Owl byTony Allen & the Champs, along with some modern, pseudo-doo wop, but it too is great. By the way, I like alot of the Boys II Men stuff.

Try some more classic CDs:

- First, the king of all box sets: Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974

- The Complete Stax-Volt, 1959-1968

- The Specialty Story

- Brook Benton’s 40 Greatest Hits: a voice that is like magic

- Hank Ballard & the Midnighter’s Sexy Ways

- Marvin & Johnny’s Flipped Out

- Lloyd Price: So underrated

- And the fabulous Don & Dewey. How many folks ever even heard of them? These guys are one of the great duos of all time. I met them in a California nightclub about a dozen years ago, along with Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers, and I was so excited. They had just performed a 20-minute set. I approached these guys after the show, at their table, and spent a half-hour gushing over the fact that I was sitting there, having a drink with them. They were in their 50s or so, and they were really blown away that some twenty-year-old white gal knew their entire catalog, and they told me that!

If you listen to one song in your life, listen to Ivory Joe Hunter’s Empty Arms. Another song in that category is Johnny Ace’s Pledging My Love. And this Clyde McPhatter CD is phenomenal, with I Can’t Stand Up Alone and A Lover’s Question.

Be Sociable, Share!
Both comments and pings are currently closed.