You never know who you’re going to meet on the internet and I came to know Peter Tibbles (bio here) via email over the past couple of years. His extensive knowledge of most genres of music and his excellent taste became apparent only gradually (Peter’s not one to toot his horn) but once I understood, I knew he needed his own column at Time Goes By – or, better, that TGB needed his column – which appears here each Sunday. You can find previous Elder Music columns here.
What happened in 1965?
- Well, I was hanging around Melbourne University, drinking coffee in the caf, playing music, checking out the chicks, occasionally attending maths lectures.
- Canada got a terrific new flag. A pity we here in Oz didn’t as well.
- Lyndon Johnson managed the passing of the voting rights bill. Politicians are now trying to undo this measure.
- Bob Dylan went full tilt rock & roll at the Newport folk festival.
- The Pillsbury Doughboy made his debut.
- Brook Shields, J.K. Rowling, Bryn Terfel and Robert Downey Jnr were born. Doesn’t that make you feel old?
- Australia won the Davis Cup (again).
- Nat King Cole died.
This was the year of…
Like A Rolling Stone
Mr. Tambourine Man
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
Ticket to Ride
Get Off My Cloud
We Gotta Get Out Of This Place
Positively 4th Street
Turn! Turn! Turn!
None of which will be featured here today.
FONTELLA BASS was the daughter of gospel singer Martha Bass who was one of the Clara Ward Singers.
She showed musical talent at a young age; at five she was playing piano for grandma at funeral services and later accompanying mum on her gospel tours.
As a teenager, she started playing secular music, much to mum’s chagrin (and maybe granny’s if she was still around). Indeed, mum dragged her from a train when she was heading off on tour, insisting she stick with gospel music.
Well, that didn’t last.
Fontella made it to Chicago and signed with Chess records. She had a few moderately successful records and then hit it big. She co-wrote Rescue Me but when she received the cheque for the royalties, she ripped it up and threw it back at them because of how small the amount was.
She demanded a better royalty rate but her next record didn’t have her name on it as composer: “Oh, it’s okay, it’ll be in the legal documents,” they said. It wasn’t, of course and she sued the company.
Later, she sued American Express and Ogilvy & Mather for using her song without her permission. She gained a reputation for being a “trouble maker” – i.e. someone who only requested what she was owed. Go, Fontella.
She eventually gained credit for her tunes. I don’t know if she received money for them – I sure hope so. This is her song, Rescue Me.
The next was a rather surprise hit this year, as it was a jazz track recorded live, by the RAMSEY LEWIS TRIO.
Ramsey was from Chicago and he started piano lessons at the age of four. He joined his first jazz band when he was 15. This was called The Cleffs.
He left that group taking two musicians with him. They were Isaac “Redd” Holt who played drums and Eldee Young, a bass player. Thus the trio was born.
After their big hit, The “In” Crowd, Redd and Eldee left to form their own group. They were replaced by a couple of others so the trio kept on going. Ramsey still lives in Chicago, still plays jazz and indeed, has a lot to do with the jazz scene in that city.
The SIR DOUGLAS QUINTET were not from Britain, they came from San Antonio. It was there that Doug Sahm got together with his old friend Augie Meyers and formed the group. They recruited Frank Morin, Jack Barber Johnny Perez for the group.
Like a lot of Texas bands, their music was a hybrid, part Tex-Mex, part blues, some soul and a bit of rock & roll, even some Cajun and western swing. They had quite an impact because of those various styles, influencing other groups to try different styles of music other than basic rock & roll.
Later, in the Nineties, Sam and Augie joined Freddy Fender and Flaco Jimenez in the group, The Texas Tournados. Doug died of a heart attack in 1999, but the others are still involved in the music industry.
This song is more in the traditional rock & roll style, She’s About a Mover.
This isn’t the best song released this year, but it’s also not the worst. It’s by THE TOYS.
They may have had other songs but I don’t remember them. The group consisted of Barbara Harris, Barbara Parritt and June Montiero. The first two were from North Carolina and the third from New York. Their song was A Lover’s Concerto and it was “written” by Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell.
I used the quotes as this tune is actually the Minuet in G major by J.S. Bach (although some say it was actually Christian Petzold). I suppose The Toys wrote the words, though.
BILLY JOE ROYAL is from Valdosta, Georgia.
He became quite a bit of a star around various places in that state where he met Joe South. Joe is a great guitarist and fine songwriter. He played on a couple of Bob Dylan’s albums so he must have something going for him.
Sorry, this is supposed to be about Billy Joe Royal. Okay, Joe produced Billy Joe and wrote most of the songs that were hits for him, including this one, Down in the Boondocks.
Nobody could hold a candle to THE FOUR TOPS. Okay, I suppose they could if the power went off and they needed a bit of illumination, but otherwise they were the premier singing group for this period.
The Tops were Levi Stubbs, Abdul “Duke” Fakir, Renaldo “Obie” Benson and Lawrence Payton. This group was together for more than 40 years without a single change of personal; that must be some kind of record.
They met at school in Detroit and originally called themselves the Four Aims but changed their name rather being confused with the Ames Brothers. Berry Gordy signed them to Motown records and the rest is history. This is It’s the Same Old Song.
THE ZOMBIES‘ second hit before they split asunder was Tell Her No.
I don’t think this is as good as their previous hit, way back in 1964, but it’s not bad. The Zoms were a very good group indeed, and extremely influential. However, they didn’t last long – they had split up before their first album was released.
To cash in on the oldies’ circuit, they’ve got themselves together again and are playing once more. Here’s the song.
This is a song I really liked from this year. I still do. It’s by THE FORTUNES They were really good harmony singers – there seem to a number of those this year.
I had to include this picture because I thought “Abbey Road,” even down to the VeeDub in the background. I was wrong – I got out my Beatles album and it’s a completely different crossing and a completely different car, but it had me fooled there for a minute or two.
The Fortunes were from Birmingham (the English one) and seem to have had a dozen or two members over the years. They had a few songs that tickled the charts a bit and one giant one. This is it, You’ve Got Your Troubles.
I guess we have to have the BEACH BOYS in this series somewhere, and here they are.
The Beach Boys initially consisted of the brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin, Mike Love and a friend, Al Jardine. As most of you would know, they started out performing surf/rock & roll songs but evolved into one of the most creative outfits around, mostly due to the composing and arrangement skills of Brian.
This is from close to the beginning of the evolution process, Help Me Rhonda.
Bob Dylan sure started something with his protest songs, although he refused to call them that. Every second-rate songwriter decided to emulate him. One of those was P.F. Sloan. He wrote a song that was a huge hit for BARRY MCGUIRE.
Barry started out singing in a duo with another Barry and they called themselves Barry and Barry. Pretty clever, huh? They both joined the New Christy Minstrels who were a large folk group and sang and recorded with them.
Our Barry went out on his own as a solo singer and recorded Eve of Destruction as well as others. This, however, is the song we remember him for. As of this writing, he’s still out there performing including an updated version of the tune.