Monday’s Music Moves Me: The 1960’s (Part 1!)

Image by Jazella from Pixabay

So today Alana, our guest conductor, wants us to pick a decade and feature the music from it. I gave it a lot of thought and decided to do the 1960’s. Now, the ’60’s were a musically diverse period in popular music, and I wanted to spend a little time talking about what all was popular back then, and had this grandiose idea of including samples of all the different kinds of music that was popular during that decade. Well, pretty soon I had a huge list of songs that I was going to throw at you, and I knew you’d be ready to kill me if I threw at you, so what I did was stop at ten and do another ten next week to get the other kinds of music.

You’ll notice there are fifteen videos in the following playlist: ten are songs, and I decided to throw in some commercials from the period, just for fun.

  1. The Hollywood Argyles, "Alley Oop": WLS in Chicago became a Top 40 station on May 2, 1960, and this was the first song they played. I look at this as a bridge between the ’50’s and ’60’s: you still have the doo-wop group in the background, but the music is definitely moving away from it.

  2. Bobby Vinton, "Mr. Lonely": Bobby is here representing the crooners and male singers that were popular in the early ’60’s, before the British Invasion.

  3. Beech-Nut Fruit Stripe Gum commercial: Dick Clark, who would be best known for hosting American Bandstand, was the host of The Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show, which ran on Saturday night and was sponsored by Beech-Nut, purveyors of fine gum. It actually lost its flavor after a minute or so…

  4. Elvis Presley, "Bossa Nova Baby": Elvis was doing movies through most of the decade, and most of his hit songs were from those films. This was from his 1963 movie Fun In Acapulco, which starred Elvis, Ursula Andress, and Elsa Cardenas. One of my neighbors was a huge Elvis fan, and this was one of his favorites.

  5. Lesley Gore, "California Nights": This is one of her later hits, and the clip is from an episode of Batman (another ’60’s phenomenon) where she was a protege of Catwoman, played by the lovely Julie Newmar.

  6. Certs commercial: An advertisement for Certs, which was both a candy mint and, with a golden drop of Retsyn, was also a breath mint. It’s two! two! two mints in one!

  7. The Beatles, "I’m A Loser": One of the more popular TV shows of the time was Shindig!, which ran on Friday nights on ABC. Naturally, The Beatles showed up on it, several times in fact. Here, they’re doing "I’m A Loser," from the UK album Beatles For Sale and the US album Beatles ’65. John is having considerably better luck with playing the guitar and harmonica than I did.

  8. Ted Cassidy, "The Lurch": Another show that ran on ABC on Friday night was The Addams Family, based on the cartoons of Charles Addams. The breakout star of the show was 6’9" Ted Cassidy, who played the butler, Lurch. They talked Ted into recording a song called "The Lurch," more of a novelty record than anything, which only made him more popular.

  9. Clearasil commercial: The bane of teens in the ’60’s (and probably today) was acne, and there were a number of products on the market for the temporary relief of acne, one of which being Clearasil. I was thankfully spared…

  10. Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass, "A Taste Of Honey": The ’60’s were the decade for instrumentals, with over 500 recorded during the period. Herb Alpert played the trumpet and gathered a group of sidemen he called The Tijuana Brass, who had quite a few albums during the decade and even beyond. Herb was also part-owner (with Jerry Moss) of A&M Records, on which the TJB issued its albums.

  11. Paul Mauriat, "Love Is Blue": This came out in 1968 and was a huge crossover from the Easy Listening chart to the Top 40. A song for the grownups on their kids’ radio station.

  12. Clark’s Teaberry Gum "The Teaberry Shuffle" commercial: Advertisements for Teaberry gum featured the music of Herb Alpert, specifically "The Mexican Shuffle," which was renamed "The Teaberry Shuffle" and used to sell gum. Evidently it sold a lot of gum, and it was a "cute" commercial.

  13. Bobbie Gentry, "Ode To Billy Joe": Speaking of cute… Bobbie Gentry was a singer, songwriter, and guitar player who wrote one of those "Southern Gothic" songs (at least I think that’s what they’re called) that had everyone talking in 1967. This is the story of a family learning that someone they know from the area has died and the effect it has on them.

  14. Roger Miller, "King Of The Road": Roger Miller was a country singer who found a lot of success on the Top 40, and this was one of his more popular songs. Just a story about a man living a life of freedom and precious little else.

  15. Post Sugar Crisp cereal commercial: Sugar Bear goes into a haunted house (haunted by none other than Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In‘s Ruth Buzzi, and of course sees right through everything and gets his Sugar Crisp. Those of you from Kellogg’s houses recognize this as Sugar Smacks.

And that’s MondAy’s Music Moves Me for August 16, 2021.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by Marie, Cathy, Alana, and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.

20 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: The 1960’s (Part 1!)

  1. What a trip down memory lane. I remember all those commercials (but of course) and now, with my 2021 eyes, they look…should I say a little tacky? But I chewed Fruit Stripe gum (Yikes! Stripes! and the stripes were the novelty, of course) and ate Sugar Crisp cereal (the more sugar, the better). Thanks for the commercial breaks. My favorite song of that set is Ode to Billie Joe and all the spectulation about what the singer and Billie Joe were dropping off the Tallahatchie Bridge. That was a big thing! (And then, the bridge collapsed in 1972). Good (at times) times!

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    1. For me, the Beech-Nut gums all lost their flavor after about ten minutes. I’m glad the commercial breaks went over so well.. I think they should become a regular feature on Monday’s Music Moves Me…

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  2. Though I wasn’t around in the 60s, I’ll concur that they were so diverse. It is kind of crazy to think how many genres really blossomed during that time.

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    1. I knew I needed to do a second week (and who knows, maybe a third) going into the first part. I missed surf, soul, funk, psychedelic, bubblegum, folk, easy listening (yep, part 3)… There was just so much going on then musically. It was a great time to be alive…

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  3. I always liked “King of the Road”

    I’m not getting notifications from your blog, John. I assume you’re still at it. I’m searching now for your “Share your world” post.

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    1. The no-notification thing is a recurring problem for you, too, isn’t it? I send notifications to Twitter as well (@onehandtypingb1), if that helps. Are my posts ending up in your reader?

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  4. Hi John – this is fun … and thanks for the reminder of the commercials too … great idea – looking forward to next week – cheers Hilary

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  5. I do love the instrumentals…I must have been born in the wrong decade:). Lurch is great and I hope he got royalties from his song(s). I love the Bossa Nova song and Elvis is in deep do-do with the 2 gals I remember the 2 certs in one..not that exact commercial but they repeated that one for many years. I do know the Sugar Crisp commercial and who is the voice of the bear because he sounds so familiar??

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    1. Those were the days where kids could eat all the sugar they wanted and they never gained an ounce because they were outside playing all the time, and they walked everywhere or rode bicycles. None of this “Mom drives you everywhere” unless it was more than ten miles away. They needed the sugar for the energy.

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