Tag Archives: The Everly Brothers

1001 Songs – 1960

List Item:  Listen to the 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die

Wondrous Place – Billy Fury

At first blush this song feels like yet another British attempt to be Elvis Presley (it really didn’t help that Elvis didn’t tour in the UK). His voice doesn’t have the same depth of tone and his humming at the end felt a little nasal.

I feel that we have heard other slow rock and roll songs like this in the list already that are better. I guess it’s on here to get an entry for Billy Fury.

Save the Last Dance for Me – The Drifters

In a previous post I mentioned how glad I was to hear the first inklings of a Phil Spector type production. I felt the same way, but instead was greeted with the names Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Turns out that Phil ‘Wall of Sound’ Spector was an intern of theirs and clearly learned a lot from them. You can really see this link in the production of the song.

A short while in I knew there was going to be this swell of instrumentation at the end. There was just this feeling that it was going to build. Lo and behold it did.

Chaje shukarije – Esma Redzepova

I did not expect the screaming in the beginning. I don’t think anyone could have expected that screaming in the beginning. Talk about a complete change in tone!

Apart from a bit of klezmer and one gypsy-style music concert I went to in the very distant past I have no real experience with this sort of music. I wish that the screaming in the beginning had been edited out as I spent the rest of the song hovering over the volume of my laptop.

As a woman Esma Redzepova is as remarkable as her set of pipes. I can’t imagine there being another Nobel Peace Prize nominee on this list. Whilst I probably would not listen to an album of this at work, I would more than happily watch this sort of music live.

Oh Carolina – The Folks Brothers

And so we have the first ska song on the list (which means reggae isn’t behind, oh joy of joys). Since it one of those songs that provided the seed from which reggae (and the associated rasta movement) grew, there is no denying the importance of songs like ‘Oh Carolina’ in musical history.

Personally, I would take Esma Redzepova’s pipes over this any day. But I think I am in a minority there.

The Click Song (Qongqothwane) – Miriam Makeba

Back when I listened to Miriam Makeba’s eponymous album (in a failed attempt to listen my way through the 1001 album list) I remember absolutely falling for this song.

The clicks in this traditional Xhosa folk song just sound so alien because of the ease that the singers are able to accomplish them. I have always adored this song for one reason – it never fails to make me smile. I don’t know what it is about this song, but I love it.

Will You Love Me Tomorrow – The Shirelles

We are still a long way from Carole King’s debut album and her magificent second album Tapestry. I know this song more as a slow version, so this more upbeat version by The Shirelles is actually quite jarring.

I like this version, I’ve heard it before in adverts. So it shouldn’t be a complete surprise that this faster paced girl group version exists.

Whatever happened to all this girl groups anyway? In the 1950s and 60s there was a wealth of them and the only currently running version that comes to mind is Little Mix… and that’s not exactly the same.

Love Hurts – The Everly Brothers

Another song I know better from one of my list albums (this time it’s from Gram Parson’s Grevious Angel).

Compared to the music we have heard so far in 1960 (and 1959) this song actually feels like a throwback. It’s amazing how much the musical scene has changed since we last heard The Everly Brothers singing ‘All I Have To Do Is Dream’. Must have been hard being that sort of musician and seeing your marketplace start to evaporate.

September Song – Ella Fitzgerald

Ella Fitzgerald is probably most famous for covering the great American songbooks. It’s no suprise hearing her refer to herself in a song using male pronouns, we just accept that she’s just doing another one of her songbook pieces. Nowadays we’d change things to suit, but not Ella.

As topics go this is not something I think I have encountered in a song before. You have an aging man making a plea to a young woman (the song itself uses the term “May-December”) to reject the advances of young men and be with him. Ella makes this song beautiful rather the gruffer rendition of the original version.

Shakin’ All Over – Johnny Kidd & The Pirates

It’s high time that we had something a bit more rocky. Aside from Billy Fury in the beginning of this list of ten we have actually been pretty rockless.

I know this song. I don’t know how, but it’s that guitar lick that so stands out to me.

I wish I could take this song more seriously… but he’s wearing an eyepatch on the single cover. I guess that’s going with the theme… but really? Were eyepatches cool back then only to be ruined by Pete Burns?

Non, je ne regrette rien – Edith Piaf

Easily the most famous song in the bunch. It’s one of those songs that feels powerfully defiant and yet celebratory at the same time. No matter who has covered this since the song belongs to Edith Piaf. I have to be up at 5am tomorrow meeting so I can travel to Wales for a meeting… so cutting this post here here.

1960 was an interestingly varied year for this list – it’s one of the last shorter years on the 1001 song list before the 1960s heats up.

Progress: 122/1021

1001 Songs – 1958

List Item:  Listen to the 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die

3 months of real time since last doing this. Man, these wrist injuries have really done a number on me. Anyway here goes:

It’s Only Make Believe – Conway Twitty

Conway Twitty means two things to me: a brilliantly done running joke in a Family Guy episode and a game of Trivial Pursuit being played by the stranded cast of One Foot In The Grave.

These thoughts clouded my first listen of the song. So I listened to a Fiona Apple cover of it to clear my head. By this time it is amazing to think how many people came out of the woodword with similar voices to Elvis Presley. I prefer the Fiona version (and she needs to release it), but maybe that’s just me.

Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry

Marty McFly ❤ How can anyone hear this without thinking of Back to the Future? This song symbolises to me that moment that rock and roll really got its wings and began to fly. A lot of the elements come together here so much more effectively than in the songs that lead up to it.

That guitar riff is just immortal nowadays and the whole thing just makes you want to get up and dance… oh God I’ve seen what’s next.

Move It! – Cliff Richard & The Drifters

It’s better than any of his Christmas songs I’ll have to give him that.

Cliff Richard was always meant to be Britain’s answer to Elvis Presley (a terrifying idea). When you hear this song directly after ‘Johnny B. Goode’ he is just outclassed. It is interesting, however, to see what music was doing on this side of the pond though. Next!

La Bamba – Ritchie Valens

First thing to note is how much slower this song is compared to some of the covers that came later. What this and Cliff have gone to show is how that sweet rock and roll song was just starting to permeate between borders and find live everywhere.

‘La Bamba’ straddles that line between rock and roll and tejano with a really interesting result. Ritchie Valens released this just 5 months before the famous plane crash where he died alongside Buddy Holly. Only 17. Jesus.

Yakety Yak – The Coasters

Oh my god, I just one of those moments where I completely forgot I knew this song. Now that I listen to it ‘Yakety Yak’ is a funny song of a teenager getting annoyed at having to do all the household chores.

I have no idea where I’ll know this song from, probably an advert of some sort. This is just another example of how rock and roll was branching out – this time with a bit more doo-wop thrown in.

At the Hop – Danny & The Juniors

I want something other than rock and roll! Jesus other than the Conway Twitty song this is just a unbroken run of rock and roll songs.

We are still in doo-wop territory with that piano in the background, but this time this is a song about a place where teenagers would go to dance. That’s it. I mean sure sometimes kids would take their shoes off for a ‘sock hop’, but that’s it. Imagine going to a club and being okay enough with the state of the floors to be dancing around in your socks. Simpler times.

Stagger Lee – Lloyd Price

Here we have a song with a bit more substance. Based on a folk song about a man murdering his friend. The lyrics are dark with a man begging to have his life spared for the sake of his sick wife. The description of the bullet breaking his bones as if they were glass… just wow I was expecting it to be a bit more sanitized.

I’m enjoying the repeated refrain of ‘Oh Stagger Lee’ in the background. This song might go down as the happiest suprise of this year.

Summertime Blues – Eddie Cochran

Still rocky, but this feels a bit more country. Like old style rockabilly Elvis. Where ‘Yakkity Yak’ is about a teenager pouting at chores and ‘At The Hop’ is about teenagers dancing with their socks off (still weird), ‘Summertime Blues’ is very much in that ‘Rebel Without A Cause’ vein.

He’s seen as protopunk and, considering the times, I can see how ‘Summertime Blues’ can be seen that way. He died only two years later in a car crash at the age of 21. His last action? Shielding his girlfriend from the crash. Who knows what more Eddie Cochran could have achieved.

What’s with all these young dead singers!?

Dans mon île – Henry Salvador

‘Dans mon île’ is dreamy. It’s like the ultimate antidote to all the rock and roll songs. It feels like a song you would have in a dream sequence of a stuffy office worker imagining themselves on their own private island.

This song is not quite chanson, it’s close though. It’s actually proto-bossa nova. You can hear shades of ‘Girl of Ipanema’ and the future work of the Gilberto family in ‘Dans mon île’.

Lonesome Town – Ricky Nelson

You might know this song from Pulp Fiction, it’s not one of the more explicit cuts from that film’s soundtrack but it is there.

He’s a good looking man and I just want to take him away from the Lonesome Town if you know what I mean. If you look at the album cover you’ll see what I mean.

This is rockish, but it’s more Chet Baker style vocals in tone.

Fever – Peggy Lee

Edna Krabappel bursting a balloon suit with a lit cigarette. Enough said.

Okay maybe not. ‘Fever’ was not a new song, but Peggy Lee made it what it was. It’s an incredibly sexy lounge song with new lyrics and arrangement by Peggy Lee herself (and with no credit given… damn patriarchy) that have since become the standard.

She is this song. That sultry voice, those finger clicks, that sexual charisma. Weird to think that three years earlier she wrote and sung most of the songs in Disney’s Lady and the Tramp. What a woman!

One for My Baby (and One More for the Road) – Frank Sinatra

This is one where myself and hub disagree on (then again it’s more his sort of music). I wasn’t exactly moved by this song. It was okay and it’s interesting at how this song meanders around in a torch song fashion.

Maybe I’ve missed the point?

Le poinconneur des Lilas – Serge Gainsbourg

A nice bit of chanson here combined with jazz. So different to anything we have heard so far in this batch of 1958 songs. It’s a song about a ticket punch at Lilas station (the percussion giving us the illusion of the trains).

I really enjoyed this song and the chorus where the phrase ‘des petit trous’ or ‘little holes’ is repeated. It’s a fun song and one of two songs he has on the 1001 song list (you can guess the other). This is a lot of fun!

Nel blu dipinto di blu- Domenico Modugno

This song is better known as ‘Volare’ and was actually the Italian entry at the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1958 where it came third.

Where we have had songs that are almost chanson ‘Volare’ is absolutely a chanson song, it’s just delivered in Italian instead of the more typical French.

This song is massive. Not only did it sell 20+ million copies worldwide, but it was the first winner of Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the inaugaural Grammy awards. Not bad for third place at Eurovision.

All I Have to Do Is Dream – The Everly Brothers

Another one of those “oh my God” moments where I finally have a title of a song. I know it’s uncool, but I really do feel happy whenever a song by The Everly Brothers is featured in a TV show or film.

Finally we have a song where I can start to see the elements of pop start to take shape. Sure it’s a long way before we go from ‘All I Have To Do Is Dream’ to some of the trash on the radio… but it will take us via The Beach Boys and The Mamas and the Papas. That’s a journey worth taking.

To Know Him Is to Love Him – The Teddy Bears

Wall of Sound? Is that you I can hear in this Phil Spector produced song? I know he’s turned out to be modern day Phil Spector, but you have to just listen to some of that swelling production in the background and know that he is coming. It’s subtler than what you have later in his career, but it’s exciting to know this is where it starts.

Progress: 105/1021