Category: the turtles

On this day in music history: July 12, 1965 – …

On this day in music history: July 12, 1965 – “It Ain’t Me Babe” by The Turtles is released. Written by Bob Dylan, it is the debut single release for the pop/rock band from Los Angeles, CA. Originally formed in early 1965 its members are attending Westchester High School in L.A., the band consists of Howard Kaylan (nee Kaplan) (lead vocals), Mark Volman (background vocals), Al Nichol (lead guitar, keyboards), Chuck Portz (bass), Don Murray (drums) and Jim Tucker (guitar). Initially a surf rock band calling themselves The Crossfires, they quickly develop a following. While playing their weekly gig at The Revelaire club in Redondo Beach co-owned by KFWB and KEWB DJ Reb Foster, The Crossfires are approached by two entrepreneurs and ask if they want to make a record. Jumping at the chance, the band change their the sound from surf rock to folk rock, influenced by fellow L.A. contemporaries The Byrds who have helped popularize the genre. The band also change their name to The Tyrtles, as a play on the spelling of The Byrds, but quickly amend it to the regular spelling “The Turtles”. While searching for songs to record at their first session, Kaylan hits upon the idea of covering Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe”. A track from Dylan’s fourth album “Another Side Of Bob Dylan”, released the previous year, and with The Byrds then racing up the charts with their first big hit, a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man”, The Turtles create their own arrangement of “Babe”. Recorded at United Recording Studios in Hollywood, CA in June of 1965, the single is released just a few weeks later by White Whale Records. “It Ain’t Me Babe” becomes a smash on local radio in Los Angeles, and quickly hits nationally. Entering the Hot 100 at #76 on August 7, 1965, it peaks at #8 on September 18, 1965, launching The Turtles career, and becoming the first of five top ten, and nine top 40 hits the band have over the next four years.

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Born on this day: June 22, 1947 – Turtles lead…

Born on this day: June 22, 1947 – Turtles lead singer and one half the great background vocal duo Flo & Eddie, Howard Kaylan (born Howard Kaplan in New York, NY). Happy 72nd Birthday, Howard!!

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

The Turtles photographed by Gene Trindl, 1967.

The Turtles photographed by Gene Trindl, 1967.

On this day in music history: March 25, 1967 -…

On this day in music history: March 25, 1967 – “Happy Together” by The Turtles hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks. Written by Gary Bonner and Alan Gordon, it is the biggest hit for the L.A. based pop band. Written while members of a band called The Magicians, Bonner and Gordon play their song for numerous publishers trying to generate interest. The pair are are unable to attract any interested parties, when their demo is rejected over a dozen times. The Turtles first hear the song via a worn out acetate demo recording received from the songwriters. The Turtles create their own arrangement of the song, and begin performing it live before cutting it with producer Joe Wissert and engineer Bruce Botnick (The Doors) in Studio One at Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA on January 2, 1967. Recorded on the very first 8-track multi-track tape machine ever manufactured by the 3M company (the second unit is shipped to Abbey Road Studios in England and first used by The Beatles), the basic rhythm track (guitars, bass, and drums) is recorded live across the first three tracks, with the lead and background vocals, keyboards, and brass overdubs being recorded over the remaining tracks. Featuring the band’s peerless vocal harmonies led by vocalists Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, “Happy Together” doesn’t take long to attract attention. Released in late January of 1967, the single is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #79 on February 11, 1967, it races to the top of the chart just six weeks later. “Happy Together” is covered by numerous artists over the years, with The Turtles original version being featured in dozens of films and television programs. “Happy Together” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: December 30, 196…

On this day in music history: December 30, 1968 – “You Showed Me” by The Turtles is released. Written by Jim (Roger) McGuinn and Gene Clark, it is the fifth and final top ten hit for the Los Angeles, CA based pop band. The song is originally recorded in 1964 prior to the formation of The Byrds when McGuinn and Clark performed as a trio with David Crosby called The Jet Set. The Turtles version is recorded in late 1968 with producer Chip Douglas for their album “The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands”. It peaks at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 on March 1, 1969, becoming the groups’ last major hit single. Some copies of the original US 45 come in a picture sleeve with the band posing naked, only covered by over sized fig leaves. The back cover features them dressed in suits and holding instruments, fitting in the with the “battle of the bands” concept of the album. Years later, the song is the subject of a lawsuit when De La Soul samples the track for their song “Transmitting Live From Mars”. “You Showed Me” is also covered by The Lightning Seeds (basing their version on The Turtles arrangement) for the film and soundtrack of “Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery” in 1997, and by rap duo Salt ‘N’ Pepa on their 1990 album “Black’s Magic”. The Turtles version of “You Showed Me” is also backed with the track “Buzz Saw” which is also widely sampled, most notably by rapper D-Nice in 1990 for hit “Call Me D-Nice”, with Ice Cube sampling a portion of D-Nice’s record for “Jackin’ For Beats” later in 1990, and by Jermaine Dupri on the remix version of Mary J. Blige’s single “Everything” in 1997.

On this day in music history: September 2, 196…

On this day in music history: September 2, 1968 – “Elenore” by The Turtles is released. Written by Howard Kaylan, Mark Volman, Al Nichol, Jim Pons and John Barbata, it is the fifteenth single release for the pop/rock band from Los Angeles, CA. Even after having scored eight top 40 singles in three years, The Turtles’ label White Whale Records isn’t entirely satisfied. After band top the pop singles chart with the classic “Happy Together” in March of 1967, their unwillingness to remain in the same place for long musically is at odds with their labels belief that they should stick to one successful formula. After numerous requests from White Whale to deliver “another "Happy Together”, they decide to do just that, but with a deeply sarcastic and humorous twist. “Elenore” is written literally as a snarky, mocking swipe at their record label, and as an in joke amongst themselves. Actually penned entirely by Howard Kaylan but credited to the whole band, he fills the song with deliberately cliched rhymes and a chorus that begins “Elenore, gee I think you’re swell…” to further drive the point home. Recorded in the Summer of 1968 at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood, CA, The Turtles work with producer Chip Douglas (The Monkees, Linda Ronstadt) on the song. Featuring an excellent arrangement supported by Kaylan and Volman’s peerless vocal harmonies, the song ends up having the opposite result of the bands intent. Instead of White Whale realizing The Turtles were making fun of them, the label loves “Elenore” and insists that it be released immediately. Issued as the first single from The Turtles fourth album “The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands”, the song is an instant smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #97 on September 21, 1968, it peaks at #6 six weeks later on November 2, 1968, becoming The Turtles biggest hit since “She’d Rather Be With Me” (#3 Pop) over a year before. “Elenore” is also big hit internationally, hitting the top ten in Canada, the UK, Australia and topping the chart in New Zealand.

On this day in music history: July 12, 1965 – …

On this day in music history: July 12, 1965 – “It Ain’t Me Babe” by The Turtles is released. Written by Bob Dylan, it is the debut single release for the pop/rock band from Los Angeles, CA. Originally formed in early 1965 its members are attending Westchester High School in L.A., the band consists of Howard Kaylan (nee Kaplan) (lead vocals), Mark Volman (background vocals), Al Nichol (lead guitar, keyboards), Chuck Portz (bass), Don Murray (drums) and Jim Tucker (guitar). Initially a surf rock band calling themselves The Crossfires, they quickly develop a following. While playing their weekly gig at The Revelaire club in Redondo Beach co-owned by KFWB and KEWB DJ Reb Foster, The Crossfires are approached by two entrepreneurs and ask if they want to make a record. Jumping at the chance, the band change their the sound from surf rock to folk rock, influenced by fellow L.A. contemporaries The Byrds who have helped popularize the genre. The band also change their name to The Tyrtles, as a play on the spelling of The Byrds, but quickly amend it to the regular spelling “The Turtles”. While searching for songs to record at their first session, Kaylan hits upon the idea of covering Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe”. A track from Dylan’s fourth album “Another Side Of Bob Dylan”, released the previous year, and with The Byrds then racing up the charts with their first big hit, a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man”, The Turtles create their own arrangement of “Babe”. Recorded at United Recording Studios in Hollywood, CA in June of 1965, the single is released just a few weeks later by White Whale Records. “It Ain’t Me Babe” becomes a smash on local radio in Los Angeles, and quickly hits nationally. Entering the Hot 100 at #76 on August 7, 1965, it peaks at #8 on September 18, 1965, launching The Turtles career, and becoming the first of five top ten and nine top 40 hits the band have over the next four years.

Born on this day: June 22, 1947 – Turtles lead…

Born on this day: June 22, 1947 – Turtles lead singer and one half the great background vocal duo Flo & Eddie, Howard Kaylan (born Howard Kaplan in New York, NY). Happy 71th Birthday, Howard!!

On this day in music history: March 25, 1967 -…

On this day in music history: March 25, 1967 – “Happy Together” by The Turtles hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks. Written by Gary Bonner and Alan Gordon, it is the biggest hit for the L.A. based pop band. Written while members of a band called The Magicians, Bonner and Gordon play their song for numerous publishers trying to generate interest, but is rejected over a dozen times. The Turtles first hear the song via a worn out acetate demo recording received from the songwriters. The Turtles create their own arrangement of the song, and begin performing it live before cutting it with producer Joe Wissert and engineer Bruce Botnick (The Doors) in Studio One at Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA on January 2, 1967. Recorded on the very first 8-track multi-track tape machine ever manufactured by the 3M company (the second unit is shipped to Abbey Road Studios in England and first used by The Beatles), the basic rhythm track (guitars, bass and drums) is recorded live across the first three tracks, with the lead and background vocals, keyboards, and brass overdubs being recorded over the remaining tracks. Released in late January of 1967, the single is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #79 on February 11, 1967, it races to the top of the chart just six weeks later. “Happy Together is covered by numerous artists over the years, with The Turtles original version being featured in dozens of films and television programs. “Happy Together” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: December 30, 196…

On this day in music history: December 30, 1968 – “You Showed Me” by The Turtles is released. Written by Jim (Roger) McGuinn and Gene Clark, it is the fifth and final top ten hit for the Los Angeles, CA based pop band. The song is originally recorded in 1964 prior to the formation of The Byrds when McGuinn and Clark performed as a trio with David Crosby called The Jet Set. The Turtles version is recorded in late 1968 with producer Chip Douglas for their album “The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands”. It peaks at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 on March 1, 1969, becoming the groups’ last major hit single. Some copies of the original US 45 come in a picture sleeve with the band posing naked, only covered by oversized fig leaves. The back cover features them dressed in suits and holding instruments, fitting in the with the “battle of the bands” concept of the album. Years later, the song is the subject of a lawsuit when De La Soul samples the track for their song “Transmitting Live From Mars”. “You Showed Me” is also covered by The Lightning Seeds (basing their version on The Turtles arrangement) for the film and soundtrack of “Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery” in 1997, and by rap duo Salt ‘N’ Pepa on their 1990 album “Black’s Magic”. The Turtles version of “You Showed Me” is also backed with the track “Buzz Saw” which is also widely sampled, most notably by rapper D-Nice in 1990 for hit “Call Me D-Nice”, with Ice Cube sampling a portion of D-Nice’s record for “Jackin’ For Beats” later in 1990, and by Jermaine Dupri on the remix version of Mary J. Blige’s single “Everything” in 1997.