Category: Albums of 1969

Dusty Springfield ‘Dusty in Memphis’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#927 in the Series) is Dusty Springfield, Dusty in Memphis The stable of Blue-Eyed Soul fillies from across the pond has been Kentucky Derby quality over the last 10 years. Duffy, with her 2008 release Rockferry has more of a sensitive delivery than her more bombastic contemporaries that should serve her well with the AOR crowd as her career progresses. Joss Stone burst on to the scene in 2003 with The Soul Sessions, an unabashed tribute to the soul singers of the past sounding more like Carla Thomas or Aretha Franklin than a sixteen year old girl recording her eponymous album.  But even though her later releases seem to lack direction and continuity...

Santana ‘Santana’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Evil Ways” by Santana from “Woodstock” This week we are celebrating the 44th anniversary of “An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music” which took place August 15-18th 1969 on Max Yasgur’s farm. While most people are familiar with Santana’s blazing performance of “Soul Sacrifice” that single handedly established the group to the American public and appeared in the movie, most people have never seen anything else from the group’s afternoon set on 8/16/69. At the time, the band was totally unknown out of their native San Francisco, and so was this now classic rock standard. The song wouldn’t become popular for many months, after the group released the studio...

The Shaggs ‘Philosophy of the World’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (# 873 in the Series) is The Shaggs, Philosophy of the World. Parents. We all think that our kids are special. They are. To us. In 1969, Austin Wiggins thought that his daughters were a musical gift to the world. With little training and experience to go with their poor equipment, the Shaggs were to record an album that would launch Dot, Helen, Betty, and Rachel Wiggin to superstardom. The resulting long player has become a document of great discussion. Is it an amateurish attempt at music? Is it a thing of misunderstood brilliance? Is it to be embraced? Is it to be avoided like the plague? Some of the greatest moments in...

Jefferson Airplane ‘Volunteers’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Good Shepherd” by Jefferson Airplane The epiphany of an eight year old… The backdrop of my childhood played out with images of the Viet Nam war and the unrest that culminated in the protests at the 1968 Democratic Convention coming over the television screen. While I wasn’t privy to what it all meant, I did know that the world around me was changing and that my older sister and her peers were making it happen. And I also knew that I very badly wanted to be a part of it all. I was eight years old in 1969 visiting my grandmother’s house when up the drive came the coolest MG convertible...

Taj Mahal ‘Giant Step/De Old Folks at Home’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Take A Giant Step” by Taj Mahal There is no rhyme or reason as to how I come up with the songs I choose to write about every day. They usually spring out of something I’ve been listening to or something I’ve read. So, if you regularly follow this column, you’ll get a pretty good idea of some of the stuff I listen to on a daily basis. For instance, today’s Song Of The Day came about after reading a review of the first of three Rolling Stones concerts in Chicago this week. Now, I’m not planning on attending any of their shows here as I believe they’ve not only totally...

Original Soundtrack Recording ‘Midnight Cowboy’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Midnight Cowboy Theme” by John Barry Not only is today’s Song Of The Day perhaps one of the greatest movie themes of all time, it is also from one of the greatest films of the 1960s. The 1969 film Midnight Cowboy was based on the 1965 novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy. The movie starred Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight (in his film debut) and was directed by John Schelsiinger. It won three Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. When it was originally released, it was given an X rating, so it also holds the distinction of being the only X-rated film to...

James Taylor ‘James Taylor’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Knocking ‘Round The Zoo” by James Taylor It is indeed an amazing story as to how a recovering from heroin singer songwriter from America came to the attention of The Beatles in 1968, leading to the release of the first album by an American artist to be released on The Beatles’ newly-christened Apple Records. James Taylor came from a wealthy family and grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where he learned to play cello and then guitar. The family vacationed in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts during the summers where he first met Danny “Kootch” Kortchmar at the age of 14. Even at their young age, Kootch realized that Taylor’s singing...

Theo Bikel ‘Piggies’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Piggies” by Theo Bikel Broadway and film star, folk singer, songwriter, civil rights activist, and back in 1969 Theodore Bikel attempted to add pop star to his list of credentials with the release of one bright and shining album for Reprise Records. As a Broadway star, Theodore Bikel originated the role of Captain Von Trapp in The Sound Of Music on Broadway and he’s portrayed the role of Tevye from Fiddler On The Roof on stage over 2000 times. In film, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in The Defiant Ones (1958) and also acted in The African Queen (1951) and Frank Zappa’s 200 Motels...

Mort Shuman ‘Caramels’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Caramels” by Mort Shuman “For those who will listen and not just hear…” That was the intended audience for the album where today’s Song Of The Day comes from, according to its back cover, and they certainly broke the mold after this one was committed to wax. But back in 1969 record labels like Reprise let artists experiment and follow their muse, resulting in one of the most eccentric records ever pressed. Long before Mort Shuman released this kooky and bizarre album, he was Doc Pomus’ songwriting partner in the Brill Building. Together they composed some of the best known songs of the ‘50s and early ‘60s including  “Surrender,” “Viva...

Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash ‘The Dylan-Cash Sessions’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “One Too Many Mornings” by Bob Dylan & Johnny Cash Still a mystery to me why these recordings have never been officially released… The Dylan-Cash Sessions took place in Nashville’s Columbia Studio A on February 17-18, 1969 at the tail end of the Nashville Skyline recording sessions. During the same week that Dylan turned in such indelible recordings as “I Threw It All Away,” “Lay Lady Lay,” “To Be Alone With You” and “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You,” Johnny Cash, who had been recording in an adjoining  studio turned up for some recording fun. What transpired were several days of session in which the two traded songs and...

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