Category: 60’s

On this day in music history: April 25, 1966 – “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” by Dusty Springfield is released. Written by Pino Donaggio, Vito Pallavicini, Vicki Wickham and Simon Napier-Bell, it is the ninth single release and biggest hit for the pop vocalist from London, UK. Since making her solo debut in late 1963, Dusty Springfield places one hit after another. In January of 1965, she appears at the Italian Song Festival in San Remo, performing “Tu Che Ne Sai?” (English: “What Do You Know?”). Though not qualifying for the final competition, Springfield hears “Io Che Non Vivo (Senza Te)” (English: “I, Who Can’t Live (Without You)”, sung by Pino Donaggio and US singer Jody Miller. Though Dusty doesn’t understand the Italian lyrics, it moves her to tears. Acquiring an acetate copy of demo, Springfield waits more than year to record it. In the meantime, Donaggio records “Io Che Non Vivo (Senza Te)” for the film Vaghe stelle dell’Orsa. His version hits #1 in Italy in March of 1965. In early 1966, Dusty decides it’s time to record the song. On March 9, 1966, the track produced by Johnny Franz and arranged by Ivor Raymonde, is recorded at Philips Records’ Studios in London. Needing English lyrics, Springfield turns to her friend Vicki Wickham, the producer of the music series Ready Steady Go!, and her manager Simon Napier-Bell (The Yardbirds, Wham!) for help. While having dinner together, the pair agree to pen the lyrics. They come up with a chorus and first verse lyric, riding in the back a taxi. Wickham and Bell later go back to the her flat to finish it. But with neither understanding the original Italian lyrics, they devise a concept on their own. They set out to write an “anti-love song” originally titled “I Don’t Love You”. They change it to “You Don’t Love Me”, then to “You Don’t Have to Love Me”. It’s finally adjusted to “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me”, to fit the melody. Springfield records her vocal the next day on March 10, 1966. Unhappy with the acoustics in the vocal booth, she sings in the outer stairwell. Ever the perfectionist, Dusty records forty seven takes before she’s finally satisfied. Released in the UK on March 25, 1966, “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” leaps to number one on April 28, 1966, becoming her lone chart topper in her home country. Issued by Philips Records in the US after its UK release, it becomes a smash. Entering the Billboard Hot 100 at #76 on May 21, 1966, it peaks at #4 eight weeks later on July 16, 1966, becoming her highest charting single in the US. Becoming a pop standard, “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me” is covered by Elvis Presley, Robert Goulet, Vic Damone, Lynn Anderson, Cher, Tom Jones, Luis Miguel, Taylor Dayne, and Clay Aiken to name a few. Though Dusty Springfield’s recording is still regarded as the definitive version of the song.

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Little Richard photo session circa 1967

On this day in music history: March 27, 1965 – “Stop! In The Name Of Love” by The Supremes hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks, also peaking at #2 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, it is the fourth consecutive chart topping single for the Motown vocal trio featuring Diana Ross, Florence Ballard and Mary Wilson. “Stop! In The Name Of Love” is inspired by an argument that Lamont Dozier has with his girlfriend, when he inadvertently blurts out the phrase in the middle of the squabble. The two laugh at what is said and stop arguing. Later, Dozier tells his writing partners about the incident and they write the song about a woman pleading with her man to remain faithful, and not to stray from their relationship. Recorded on January 5, 1965 at Motown’s Studio A in Detroit with The Funk Brothers providing the musical backing, The Supremes add their vocals on January 11, 1965. Shortly after the song is released on February 8, 1965, The Supremes along with several of Motown’s major acts travel to England for a major tour of the country as well as a make an appearance on the popular music series “Ready Steady Go!”. It is on that show that The Supremes debut the signature choreography for “Stop!” with one hand on their hip and the other hand outstretched in a “stop” gesture. Paul Williams and Melvin Franklin of The Temptations come up with the choreography and teach it to the girls prior to the programs taping. Meanwhile, back at home, the single becomes another instant smash for The Supremes. Entering the Hot 100 at #80 on February 20, 1965, it streaks to the top of the chart five weeks later. “Stop! In The Name Of Love” alsos receive a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Rock & Roll Group Performance in 1966, but loses to The Statler Brothers’ “Flowers On The Wall”. Regarded as a career defining hit for The Supremes, the single is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2001. In 2000, a previously unreleased alternate version of “Stop!” is released on The Supremes’ eponymously titled box set. Running nearly three and half minutes, this other version features foot stomps on the intro and throughout the track like “Where Did Our Love” and “Baby Love”. It also features different lead and background vocals, with Diana Ross singing different lyrics from the officially released version in places. “Stop! In The Name Of Love” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: December 9, 1966 – “A Quick One”, the second album by The Who is released (US release is in May 1967 under the title “Happy Jack”). Produced by Kit Lambert, it is recorded at IBC Studios and Pye Studios in London from September – November 1966. Issued one year and one week after their debut release “My Generation”, The Who’s second full length is an important turning point in the band’s career, as it marks Pete Townshend’s first foray into composing a “rock opera” in the form of the title track. The nine minute long suite of songs at the end of the album’s second side tells a story about a wife’s infidelity while her husband is away. “A Quick One While He’s Away” is also semi autobiographical, as it is the first time that Pete Townshend writes about the periods of separation from his parents as a young boy (in the opening movement “Her Man’s Been Gone”), living with his maternal grandmother, and the sexual abuse he suffers at the hands of one of her male friends (“Ivor The Engine Driver”). The mini opera is the genesis for Townshend’s later works “Tommy” and “Quadrophenia”. The other three members of the band also contribute songs to the album including John Entwistle’s “Boris The Spider”. The band’s US label Decca Records retitles the album “Happy Jack”, after their then current single (#24 Pop) which is added to the track listing. The cover artwork is illustrated by British pop artist Alan Aldridge (The Beatles, Elton John). Released on CD in 1988 with its original mono mix, the US CD release is issued in stereo with five tracks in re-channeled stereo. It is remastered and reissued in 2005, with some tracks newly remixed into stereo. The track “Whiskey Man” is still in fake stereo with the majority of the remaining tracks in mono. The mono version of the album is reissued as 150 and 200 gram vinyl pressings by Classic Records in 2005, with another reissue in 2015. “A Quick One/Happy Jack” peaks at number four on the UK album chart and number sixty seven on the Billboard Top 200.

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On this day in music history: December 9, 1966 – “Fresh Cream”, the debut album by Cream is released. Produced by Robert Stigwood, it is recorded at Rayrik Studios and Ryemuse Studios in London from July – October 1966. The first release by the British rock super group is the first release on manager/producer Stigwood’s newly formed Reaction Records in the UK, and will be released by Atlantic Records subsidiary Atco in the US. Featuring a mixture of covers and original material, it includes some of the bands’ signature songs including their first single “I Feel Free” and the blues standards “I’m So Glad”, “Spoonful” and “Rollin’ And Tumblin’”. The US version of the album differs from its UK counterpart by deleting “Spoonful”, replacing it with “I Feel Free” and moving the latter to the start of the first side. When the album is reissued by RSO Records in 1977, it is restored to its original UK track listing. A later LP reissue in 1985 reinstates “I Feel Free” to the track listing, with all subsequent CD releases containing both songs. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the album’s original release, it is releases a three CD + Blu-ray audio disc box set in January of 2017. The first three CD’s feature remastered versions of the original mono and stereo mixes of the album, single versions, alternate takes, and BBC radio broadcast recordings. The Blu-ray disc features high definition audio (24 bit/96k) of the mono stereo mixes, B-sides. It is also issued as a limited edition six LP vinyl set. “Fresh Cream” peaks at number six on the UK album chart,  number thirty nine on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: December 9, 1965 – “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, the tenth album by the Vince Guaraldi Trio is released. Produced by Vince Guaraldi and Lee Mendelson, it is recorded at Whitney Studios in Glendale, CA and Fantasy Recording Studios in San Francisco, CA in October 1964 and November 1965. Beginning modestly, in only nine newspapers around the US on October 2, 1950, cartoonist Charles M. Schulz’s comic strip “Peanuts” grows into a worldwide phenomenon. By the 1960’s, the strip hits its stride and expands beyond the news page. That expansion begins in 1960, when The Peanuts Gang appear in a series of print ads and commercials for the Ford Falcon automobile. In 1963, Schulz is approached about a documentary about Peanuts. Titled “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” it is never aired, but spins off an album titled “Jazz Impressions Of A Boy Named Charlie Brown” by San Francisco based jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi in 1964. TV comes calling again when executives from Coca Cola, ask Schulz and commercial producer Lee Mendelson to create a half hour animated Christmas special, after Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder and Snoopy appear on the cover of Time Magazine on April 9, 1965. Schulz agrees to the special, writing it over the course of a weekend. It immediately goes into production with Mendelson and animator Bill Melendez at the helm. Vince Guaraldi is hired to compose the music. Though Guaraldi is credited with musicians Colin Bailey (drums) and Monty Budwig (bass), other uncredited musicians including Jerry Granelli (drums) and Fred Marshall (bass), also perform on the tracks. A children’s chorus from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in San Rafael, CA, perform on three songs. The track “Christmas Time Is Here” features lyrics written by Lee Mendelson, when Guaraldi is unable to come up with any himself. The soundtrack is recorded over three sessions, and is completed shortly before the TV special is scheduled to air. When screened by executives at CBS, they initially hate it and Guaraldi’s jazzy score. Fate has other plans when “A Charlie Brown Christmas” airs on December 9, 1965. The special is a ratings blockbuster, coming in at #2 in the ratings for the week behind “Bonanza”. The music also becomes instantly iconic, turning into one of the best selling holiday albums of all time, as the special has become a Christmas staple. Reissued multiple times, Fantasy Records alters the original cover artwork in 1978, but is restored in the early 2000’s as it is remastered and reissued on CD, vinyl, DVD-A and SACD. It is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2002, and is added to the National Recording Registry by the Library Of Congress in 2012. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” peaks at number twenty three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: December 9, 1964 – “All Day And All Of The Night” by The Kinks is released. Written by Ray Davies, it is the third single release for the rock band from London, UK. With the chart topping success of their breakthrough single “You Really Got Me”, The Kinks’ UK label Pye Records pressure them to follow it up with a similar sound-a-like. Feeling that they’re in no position to argue, they do just that. Bandleader Ray Davies takes the original riff from “You Really Got Me”, flips it over sideways, and creates another hard rocking power pop gem. The lyrics on the other hand, are something different. Titled “All Day And All Of The Night”, it borders on the songs’ male protagonist being completely obsessed (and borderline neurotic) over his girl, not wanting to be away from her for even a moment. The track matches the lyrics in intensity, powered by another crunchy main riff, played by guitarist Dave Davies. To achieve that signature guitar sound, Dave plays an Epiphone Casino through a pair of Peavey Mace amplifiers. Working again with producer Shel Talmy, “All Day” is recorded at Pye Studios (Studio No. 2) in London on September 23, 1964. Initially, Pye Records are not enamored of the song, rejecting it on the grounds of being “too blue-collar, too working-class”, and that the guitar riff sounded like “a dog’s bark”. In spite of this opinion, “All Day And All Of The Night” is  released in the UK exactly one month later on October 23, 1964. Any doubts about its hit potential are quickly squashed, when the single is an instant smash, peaking at #2 for two weeks on the UK singles chart behind The Supremes’ “Baby Love”. The Kinks’ american label follows suit immediately, releasing “All Day And All Of The Night” just two weeks after “You Really Got Me” peaks at #7 on the pop chart late November. Entering the Hot 100 at #69 on December 26, 1964, it peaks at #7 six weeks later on February 6, 1965 (holding for three consecutive weeks), matching the chart position of its predecessor. Becoming one of The Kinks’ most popular and enduring songs, “All Day And All Of The Night” inspires other musicians as well. The Doors’ second number one single “Hello, I Love You” bares similarities to The Kinks’s song, to the point where the band’s song publisher wanted to sue The Doors. However, Ray Davies steadfastly refuses to take any legal action. Ironically, Davies borrows from himself again, when he recycles the riff of “All Day” in the song “Destroyer” in 1981. Acknowledged as a rock classic, “All Day And All Of The Night” has been covered many times over, including versions by Gary Lewis & The Playboys, The Remains, The Stranglers, and Quiet Riot.

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On this day in music history: December 9, 1962 – “Meet The Supremes”, the debut album by The Supremes is released. Produced by Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson, Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Raynoma Liles, it is recorded at Motown Studio A in Detroit, MI from October 1960 – September 1962. It features the first four singles released by the group during 1961 and 1962, including “I Want A Guy”, “Let Me Go The Right Way”, “Buttered Popcorn”, and “Your Heart Belongs To Me”. All fare poorly on the charts which lead people around Motown to dub them the “no hit” Supremes, in spite of the labels’ best writers and producers efforts to come up with a hit single for the group. “Meet” is reissued in early 1965 (originally issued in mono only) it is remixed in true stereo with different cover artwork, after their breakthrough success with the “Where Did Our Love Go? album”. Original copies of “Meet The Supremes” are among the rarest of the early Motown LP’s and command up to $500 for a near mint copy today. In 2010, the album is remastered and reissued as a two CD edition through Hip-O Select Records, with the mono and stereo versions of the original album along with alternate versions and seven live tracks recorded in 1964.

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Television, film, stage and voice actor René Auberjonois (born René Murat Auberjonois in New York, NY) – June 1, 1940 – December 8, 2019, RIP

Sesame Street puppeteer Carroll Spinney (born Carroll Edwin Spinney in Waltham, MA) – December 26, 1933 – December 8, 2019, RIP