Category: Albums of the 60s

Sammy Davis, Jr. ‘What Kind of Fool Am I and Other Show Stoppers’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “A Lot Of Livin’ To Do” by Sammy Davis, Jr. It’s the wham of Sam, from the musical Bye Bye Birdie. Without Sammy Davis Jr., there wouldn’t have been a James Brown or Prince. He was clearly the most talented of the Rat Pack by a mile…could sing circles around Frank and Dino…and had the moves and comedic talents to make him the total entertainment package. He was in a word, a dynamo! Davis was born into a family of vaudevillians, and he began his career dancing as part of the family act at the age of three. Over the years, he gained popularity as a standout in the act...

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...

The Buckinghams ‘Made in Chicago’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Susan” by The Buckinghams Transistor radios…beaches…the warmth of the sun…crashing waves…Chicago? Yup! The Bucking hams were the epitome of 1960s sunshine pop with their perfect blend of warm harmonies and sophisticated horn-drenched productions. Their sound was more akin to California than their native Chicago, and they were responsible for a string of perfect pop singles during the late sixties like the number one hit “Kind Of A Drag,” “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” the sublime “Don’t You Care,” “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” “Hey Baby, They’re Playing Our Song” and today’s Song Of The Day. Digging a little bit deeper than the singles also proved rewarding with some great would-have-been, should-have-been hits from their...

Four Just Men ‘Things Will Never Be The Same’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Things Will Never Be The Same” by Four Just Men Last week I wrote about Freddie & The Dreamers single, “I’m Telling You Now,” and the American album of the same name. The record was not a Freddie & The Dreamers album per se, although they were the featured group on the cover. It was a compilation released in 1965 to introduce unknown British Invasion groups to American audiences featuring two tracks each by Freddie & The Dreamers, Mike Rabin & The Demons, The Toggery Five, Linda Laine & The Sinners, Heinz and the group whose song is today’s Song Of The Day, Four Just Men. Four Just Men were...

Gabor Szabo ‘Bacchanal’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Bacchanal” by Gabor Szabo Yesterday, I wrote about the Lena Horne/Gabor Szabo album Lena & Gabor. In doing so, I listened to that album, plus records by Lena Horne and Gabor Szabo while researching the piece.  As a result, I decided to feature one of Sazabo’s great albums today, and to reuse some of the information that I used in yesterday’s post. Gabor Szabo was one of the few guitarists whose stands comfortably beside Jerry Garcia when it comes to guitar sound, technique and improvisatory style. His use of Indian and Middle Eastern scales had a profound influence on the likes of John McLaughlin, Carlos Santana, Robbie Krieger of The...

The New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert 1965

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” by The Animals (Live NME Version 1965) Some classic Animals from the 1965 NME Poll Winners Concert, as “Song Of The Day by Eric Berman” looks at a terrific “grey area” CD release! The New Musical Express is a weekly British newspaper that has focused solely on the music scene for nearly 50 years. For several years during the 1960s, the paper sponsored concerts featuring artists who topped their music polls. The 1965 edition took place at Wembley Stadium on April 11, 1965, and was filmed. An edited version of the concert was screened on ABC TV in the U.S. on April 18 of that...

Clyde McPhatter ‘Songs of the Big City’

    Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “The Shelter Of Your Arms” by Clyde McPhatter Singles and albums that came out of the Brill Building during the early 1960s have a distinct sound of their own. It’s not just down to the great songs that were written by the best songwriters New York City had to offer, or the now-legendary musicians who played on the sessions, but it also came down to the production sound, which was the key ingredient that made each record sound good coming out of a mono speaker on a car radio, transistor radio or record player. Without that production sound, there was no record. One of the great albums to come...

Nina Simone ‘Forbidden Fruit’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Work Song” by Nina Simone Here’s one that was released the year I was born, yet it sounds as hip and current as, well, I am.  OK, it is hipper and more current than I am, but it goes to show just how timeless Nina Simone’s recordings really were. Simone’s interpretive talents as a singer and piano player earned her the nickname, “The High Priestess Of Soul,” and put her right up there with greats like Anita O’Day, Odetta, Sarah Vaughan and Judy Henske, who all possess a similar earthy style. She was a terrific songwriter, comfortable mingling soul, gospel, folk and blues into a stew that was uniquely her...

Marvin Gaye ‘M.P.G.’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “Only A Lonely Man Would Know” by Marvin Gaye The Marvin Gaye albums What’s Going On, Let’s Get It On and Here, My Dear are considered to be his finest by fans and critics alike, and it would be hard to argue the contrary with what’s in the grooves. But it mystifies me that the critics fail to mention the album M.P.G. in the same breath as the others. M.P.G. came out in April of 1969, and was one of Marvin Gaye’s last records before he took the control of his career away from Motown, and began calling the shots himself. That said, M.P.G. (for Marvin Pentz Gaye, not miles...

Freddie and the Dreamers ‘I’m Telling You Now’

  Song Of The Day by Eric Berman – “I’m Telling You Now” by Freddie & The Dreamers I’m writing this on the 49th anniversary of The Beatles historic first performance on The Ed Sullivan Show, and while I have a vague memory of The Beatles playing on Sullivan, I don’t think it was their very first performance. Well, heck, I must have only been four or five years old. But even then, I do remember there was a sense of importance about the event in my house because of my older sister, who made it that way. Some of my earliest memories of the British Invasion include hits and albums by the Herman’s Hermits including “Mrs. Brown You’ve...

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