Monday’s Music Moves Me: The 1960’s (Part 2!)

Last week I showcased the music of the 1960’s, as well as some commercials from the period. It was a time when there were all different types of popular music, and when I reached 15 somgs I realized that I would need at least another week to go over the other types. I sat down and made a list of the different types of popular music there were, and this is what I came up with:

  • Folk
  • Surf
  • Psychedelic
  • Bubblegum Pop
  • British Invasion
  • Bossa Nova
  • Soul/R&B
  • Sunshine Pop
  • Crooners/Chanteuses
  • Movie Scores and Songs
  • Instrumentals
  • Country

I realize that a lot of these overlap and a song might fit into one or more categories. Still, the Top 40 and the Hot 100 were not just rock tunes, even though rock might be at the base of them. Anyway, I have another list of ten songs and five commercials, since that seemed to go over so well last week…

  1. The Rooftop Singers, "Walk Right In": There was a big folk revival at the end of the ’50’s and beginning of the ’60’s, and you might even argue that it was a trend that continued. The Rooftop Singers were looking for a distinctive sound for the record, and Eric Darling and Bill Svanoe used 12-string guitars, which they had to custom order from Gibson because it was almost impossible to walk into a music store and find one on the wall (and Svanoe needed a left-handed model besides). The record reached #1 in the US and Canada and #10 in the UK, and demand for 12-string acoustic guitars shot up overnight.

  2. The Brothers Four, "Greenfields": The Brothers Four were a group out of Seattle that started in 1957 and had a hit record with "Greenfields" in 1960. The song reached #2 in the US and #40 in the UK, and was a #1 hit in Norway, of all places. The Brothers Four continue to this day with Bob Flick being the sole original member.

  3. COMMERCIAL: GloCoat floor wax: My guess is that there aren’t too many linoleum floors that have to be waxed anymore, at least not in homes. In the 1960’s, though, washing and waxing the kitchen floor was a weekly job, and God help you if you walked on the floor while it was still wet. You would usually cover the floor with newspaper to keep that floor clean until the wax had hardened. And the bane of every housewife was black heel marks that were left behind by dress and school shoes. GloCoat’s main selling point was that it prevented black heel marks.

  4. The Temptations, "Ain’t Too Proud To Beg": Soul and R&B music were starting to be a force in the mid- to late-’60’s thanks to societal changes such as the Civil Rights Act, that guaranteed equal treatment regardless of race or color. (That was the intent, anyway.) Soul and R&B music was becoming mainstream on radio and TV, with Ed Sullivan leading the way by featuring African American musical acts out of Detroit, Philadelphia, Memphis, and Chicago. The Temptations were a vocal quintet out of Detroit that had a number of hit records during the period, including "Ain’t Too Proud To Beg," which was released in 1966 and topped the R&B chart while reaching #13 on the Hot 100.

  5. The Four Tops, "Baby, I Need Your Loving": Another vocal group out of Detroit were The Four Tops whose first hit, "Baby, I Need Your Loving," hit the charts in 1964, reaching #11 on the Hot 100 and #4 on the R&B chart.

  6. COMMERCIAL: Prell shampoo: The gimmick with Prell shampoo was that it was so thick and rich a pearl would sink very slowly through the bottle, while a pearl dropped in any other shampoo would drop quickly to the bottom. We used Prell at home, which came in the heavy glass bottle you see in the ad. If you were lucky, as we were, you didn’t drop the bottle on the floor and have to clean up the mess created when it broke.

  7. The Ohio Express, "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy": Oh yeah, the ’60’s were also the era of "bubblegum pop" music, aimed at the preteens who had significantly more money than their predecessors had. Frequently, the "bands" were amalgamations of studio musicians. Such is the case with The Ohio Express, which, as Wikipedia tells us, "Though marketed as a band, it would be more accurate to say that the name ‘Ohio Express’ served as a brand name used by Jerry Kasenetz’s and Jeffry Katz’s Super K Productions to release the music of a number of different musicians and acts." "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" was their biggest hit, reaching #4 in the US, #1 in Canada, #5 in the UK and #7 in Australia in 1968. A later record, "Sausalito (Is The Place To Go)," was actually done by 10cc.

  8. The Archies, "Bang Shang A Lang": Saturday morning cartoons in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s included The Archie Show, featuring the characters from the Archie comic books that have been around forever. The producers of the show decided that Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica, and Reggie needed to be a band, so they were shown with musical intruments and "playing" their hits. The actual group behind them was headed by vocalists Ron Dante and Toni Wine along with a retinue of studio musicians (most likely not The Wrecking Crew). Their biggest hit was 1969’s "Sugar, Sugar," but their first record was "Bang Shang A Lang," which reached #22 in the US and #11 in Canada in 1968.

  9. COMMERCIAL: Cover Girl makeup: A lot of the teen-oriented TV shows were sponsored by Cover Girl makeup, and I believe they had radio ads as well. The girls learned about makeup from these ads, while the boys mostly just sat there and gawked at the models.

  10. Spanky & Our Gang, "Sunday Will Never Be The Same": Another phenomenon that appeared in the ’60’s was "sunshine pop," originally "soft pop." Wikipedia tells us, "Rooted in easy listening and advertising jingles, sunshine pop acts combined nostalgic or anxious moods with ‘an appreciation for the beauty of the world.’" The Turtles and The Association were typical of the genre, which started in Southern California, but a lot of bands fit in the rather broad category, including Spanky & Our Gang, who got their start in Chicago. "Sunday Will Never Be The Same" was on their eponymous 1967 debut album and was their biggest hit, reaching #9.

  11. The Monkees, "I’m A Believer": The Monkees fit into the sunshine pop category as well. They were assembled as a band for the 1966-68 TV show of the same name, and while they played musicians on the show, they actually were musicians who eventually decided "hey, we can do this for real." "I’m A Believer" was their second #1 hit in the US (after "Last Train To Clarksville") and it was an international #1 in 1966-67.

  12. COMMERCIAL: Heaven Sent: You knew I had to throw this in, didn’t you? I really like this jingle, especially the line "you’re an imp wearing angel’s wings." This actually kind of fits the "sunshine pop" genre, as an advertising jingle that expresses an appreciation for the beauty of the world.

  13. Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In": Psychedelic music was becoming popular in the late ’60’s concurrent with the popularity of psychedelic drugs. Funny that a band that normally played music with a country folk feel to it would have their first hit with this song, but it reached #5 in the US.

  14. Iron Butterfly, "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida": From the album of the same name, of which it comprises the entire second side. A thankfully shortened version was made for Top 40 radio, and it reached #30. The album actually sold better than the single.

  15. COMMERCIAL: Funny Face drink mix: Pillsbury’s answer to Kool-Aid, Funny Face was pre-sweetened with cyclamates, which meant that you didn’t have to add sugar, making it easier for the young’uns to make on their own and not bother their mother while she was watching As The World Turns. The tradeoff was that the stuff tasted pretty awful, not to mention whatever the cyclamates were doing to young metabolisms. Two of the flavors, Injun Orange and Chinese Cherry, were renamed Jolly Ollie Orange and Choo-Choo Cherry when Pillsbury got complaints.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for August 23, 2021.

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

16 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: The 1960’s (Part 2!)

      1. They did the same thing as many other bands did like the Beach Boys at times, Mama’s and Papas, and The Byrds first recording sessions.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi John – thanks for these … they are fun to see and for me from back in the old country to see the ads etc … and I love listening to some of the golden oldies, others are interesting! Take care – cheers Hilary


  2. Truthfully, as someone who is in her late 60’s, I’m find the commercials just as interesting as the songs. Starting with the songs, I knew all of them except the Archie song and yes, some old favorites there. (Also, thank you for not posting the long version of In A Gadda Da Vida, as much as I love it) The commercials? I never heard of Glo Coat nor had I heard of Funny Face (did you read about the original names of two of the flavors, by the way?) drink mix. Guess the latter wasn’t popular in New York City, where I grew up. I also found out that Prell had been discontinued years ago, but apparently has been brought back. Thank you for this most interesting and educational list.


    1. I remember the original names for Injun Orange and Chinese Cherry. There are ads that show the original names out there.

      You can tell a lot of history through those commercials.


  3. An interesting mix… I remember being surprised years ago finding out Neil Diamond had written I’m A Believer!


  4. Can’t you just hear what the Wrecking Crew would do with Archies songs? Not to mention the language uttered when they were told they had to.


  5. Thanks for a nice stroll down memory lane! I related to every sing and commercial you shared. I could smell the Prell. I could hear words to the songs and remember where I was, who I was dating, and taste the bubble gum. The weirdness of the drugscene that gave me fun music though I didn’t partake. Fun post!


  6. I have decided to read your posts every day, because they keep me from sinking into total despair! Thanks, John. Love this song. And all of them bring back good memories. Where do you find all this nostalgia to post? 🙂 The commercials and all.


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