Category: Albums of the 60s

Gary McFarland ‘The In Sound’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Bloop Bleep” by Gary McFarland Gary McFarland towed the line between samba infused light jazz and orchestral mood music. He was a vibist from California who was known as much for his vibe playing as he was for his arranging and orchestrations for others. After serving in the army where he took up trombone, trumpet and keyboards, McFarland settled on the vibes and began fronting an orchestra that backed the likes of Anita O’Day, Bill Evans and Stan Getz. He also recorded notable sessions with Bob Brookmeyer and Gary Burton. McFarland began to make a name for himself as an artist after recording a 1963 album with Bill Evans called The...

Ray Berretto ‘Acid’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Soul Drummers” by Ray Barretto Like Tito Puente before him, Ray Barretto is one of the all-time greatest “Soul Drummers” of them all.  He gave us the “El Watusi” in 1961, “Senor 007” in 1969 and this gem in 1967.  The music emanated from el barrio, the South Bronx and Spanish Harlem in New York City, via the then-fledgling Latin record labels like Tico and Fania. Like Rap music in the early 1980s, this music sprang up from the streets and changed the world forever. Ray Barretto was born in New York City and cut his teeth playing conga with Charlie Parker, José Curbelo and Tito Puente.  He replaced Mongo Santamaria...

Willie Nelson ‘Crazy: The Demo Sessions’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Undo The Right” by Willie Nelson “If you can’t say you love me say you hate me / And that you regret each time you held me tight, If you can’t be mine forever then forsake me / If you can’t undo the wrong, undo the right.” Totally brilliant in its simplicity! And so is this demo recording made for Pamper Music, the music publishing company owned by Ray Price and Hal Smith. Only Willie Nelson could put this song over so matter of fact, and that’s why he is not only considered one of the greatest songwriters of all time, but also one of the greatest song stylists bar none....

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...

The Beatles ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Lovely Rita” by The Beatles I just heard The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band for the first time today! Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve been listening to this record since it was new. I guess that’s one of the big positives of having older siblings, you got to hear cool records when they came out, way before your peer group caught on to them. I’ve been reading the Howard Kaylan biography Shell Shocked which was written by Kaylan and Jeff Tamarkin. Howard Kaylan was a member of The Turtles and The Mother’s Of Invention. He was also Eddie of Flo & Eddie. So far, the book is a...

Whistling Jack Smith ‘I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman’

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “I Was Kaiser Bill’s Batman” by Whistling Jack Smith Whistler’s brother? Actually, no. Then who was Whistling Jack Smith, and why is his sole hit from 1967 haunting me? I played an album of British Invasion hits released on the Parrot Record label from the late ‘60s before I went to work this morning. When this song came on, my ears quickly perked up. Although I recognized the recording, I hadn’t heard it in years and didn’t even know who it was or what it was called. Ever since then, this little ear worm has ceased to leave me alone. The song was initially titled “Too Much Birdseed” and was written...

The Grateful Dead ‘Rare Cuts & Oddities 1966’ .. Plus a ‘Record Store Day’ Recap

Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Walkin’ The Dog” by Grateful Dead/Record Store Day Recap I’m a dyed in the wool, straight up record collector. I’ve been collecting records for more than 40 years and my thirst for music is pretty much insatiable. Today, I got totally played on by “the man.” I’m talking about “the man” who presses the records I buy. The man that I help keep relevant by going back to the tap and sipping in new music in all different formats. It gives me pleasure and enjoyment. By now, record labels fully how to push record collector buttons to get me back into the record store. They’ve turned record buying into a holiday,...

Robert Preston ‘Chicken Fat’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Chicken Fat” by Robert Preston It’s “Poultry in motion!” (Sadly, I didn’t write this line but it was too great to pass up.) How many of you remember this gem from the early 1960s? Even though I was only one year old when this record was released to public schools across the nation, I distinctly remember exercising to this song in gym class when I was in grade school. “Go you Chicken Fat, Go Away!” Childhood obesity is nothing new. Even though the problem has risen to epidemic proportions, it was an issue in America as early as the late 1950s. Enter Chicken Fat to save the day! In the...

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...

Unit 4 + 2 ‘Concrete and Clay’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Concrete And Clay” by Unit 4 + 2 Today’s Song Of The Day is a somewhat forgotten British Invasion classic from 1965, featuring future members of The Kinks and Argent amongst its band members. Unit 4 was a British harmony vocal group that was started in the early 1960s by Brian Parker who had a gig with Adam Faith’s backing band The Roulettes. Parker set out to form his own band and recruited Buster Meikle on vocals and guitar, Tommy Moeller on vocals and piano and Peter Moules on bass. Soon thereafter, they added two more members, Rod Garwood (bass) and Hugh Halliday (drums) who became the “+2” of their...

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