This is the second installment of a series, you can find the first post here: http://seattlesportsinsider.com/blogs/will-one-ders-never-cease
If you want to read about the intent and content of the series, they are explained in that initial post.
The second half of the sixties, though fed by the seeds of the first half, we far, far different as these one-hit wonder songs will attest.
This offering is much, much longer. By all means, let's proceed right to it.
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The Boy From New York City, The Ad Libs
Cast Your Fate To The Wind, Sounds Orchestral
The decade saw several instrumental become hits. This jazz piano and orchestra number rose to number 10 on the charts.
Baby, The Rain Must Fall, Glenn Yarbrough
Written collaboratively by Elmer Bernstein as the title song to a movie starring Steve McQueen and Lee Remick, I personally really like this song, though I don’t strictly adhere to it’s theme.
Concrete and Clay, Unit 4 Plus 2
Sounded better on a transistor radio back then than it does now with full audio fidelity.
The Eve of Destruction, Barry McGuire
The very real nightmares of nuclear war, the Vietnam War, and racial and social strife are captured by the raspy McGuire in a way that later became an anthem of the protest movements of the late sixties.
Liar Liar, The Castaways
All I can say is, as a ten-year-old I REALLY did “dig” this song when it came out.
Flowers on the Wall, The Statler Brothers
Unique harmonies and amusing lyrics in 1966. And that bass voice comes in at just the right time. And any song that references watching Captain Kangaroo simply HAS to be something special.
Lies, The Knickerbockers
Beatles sound-alikes came along a couple of years late, but a great hit.
No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In), The T-Bones
Aw, c’mon! An Alka-Seltzer commercial jingle that became a popular sensation? Yup!
Hey Joe, The Leaves
The epitome of sixties garage band music.
Oh How Happy
Just a great, positive, sing-along type song
They're Coming to Take Me Away, Napoleon XIV
Once in awhile a song came on the radio that was literally like nothing you’d ever heard before. Boy did this one fit that profile! Silly. Stupid. Strange. Weird. Crazy. Berserk. And it worked for this guy, becoming an overnight sensation.
Psychotic Reaction, Count Five
Garage band music in the year that saw psychadelica begin to invade popular music, art and culture.
WInchester Cathedral, The New Vaudeville Band
The vaudeville sound meets sixties pop rock.
But, It's Alright, J.J. Jackson
What can I say. Nothing special. I just liked it.
We Ain't Got Nothin' Yet, The Blues MaGoos
Nobody ever said good grammar was needed in the song titles.
Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye, The Casinos
Extraordinary early sixties Doo-Wop, seemingly out of place in the year of psychedelic rock. Peaceful, wonderful. Sigh-inducing in the good sense.
Sit Down I Think I Love You, The Mojo Men
Way better version than the more famous original by Crosby, Stills and Nash. Great harmonies done smoothly.
Friday On My Mind, The Easybeats
Lots of “can’t wait ‘til the weekend” songs in the sixties. Note the experimental intervals and chords. The sense of clash and disjointedness mirrored what was going on in society.
Come On Down To My Boat Baby, Every Mother's Son
No real comment. Just decided to include it.
Back On The Street Again, The Sunshine Company
I gotta admit, I just love this song. Still do. Love the harmonies.
Happy, The Sunshine Company
Okay, I cheated. This group is a two-hit wonder. This second hit isn’t as good, but the one who makes the rules gets to break them once in awhile.
1968 – One Hit Wonders Simply EXPLODE Upon The Scene
Green Tambourine, The Lemon Pipers
Psychedelic carryover from 1967.
Nobody But Me, The Human Beinz
A song about ‘60’s dance moves that wasn’t really a dance song, of which there were plenty in the decade.
Summertime Blues, Blue Cheer
Heavier psychedelic-rock style cover of a late-50’s song. IMO done better than would be done by The Who in 1970.
MacArthur Park, Richard Harris
Camelot’s Arthur (from the 1967 movie musical) turned vocalist. I confess I was captured by this song the first time I heard it. I still don’t comprehend all the words, but it is a beautiful and wonderful blend of vocals, orchestra, piano and rock.
Reach Out In The Darkness, Friend and Lover
In the new era of peace and love introduced in the hippie movement, songs like this abounded. In these years, you really did hear hip cats use the word “groovy” a lot.
Tiptoe Through The Tulips, Tiny Tim
Oh, come on. How can you do one-hit wonders from 1968 without including this ridiculous overnight sensation that literally took over TV and radio for a couple of months.
Grazing In The Grass, Hugh Masekela
The original instrumental version, covered the following year with a vocal version by the Friends of Distinction. How many songs do YOU know that start with a steady cowbell beat?
Classical Gas, Mason Williams
Another instrumental (I skipped over Paul Mauriat’s “Love Is Blue” also from 1968), and perhaps the best of them all from 1968.
Pictures of Matchstick Men, Status Quo
A classic example of psychedelic pop-rock. Liberal use of the Wah-Wah pedal and other effects. I was particularly fond of this song.
Harper Valley PTA, Jeannie C. Riley
One of a number of country music crossover hits from the era. This one caused a sensation. The late sixties were all about challenging the staid traditions and hypocrisies of the establishment culture.
Indian Reservation, Don Fardon
Way better than the later 1971 version done by the more famous Paul Revere and the Raiders.
Fire, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
It is hard to describe the shock when first hearing this song. “I am the god of hellfire!” That’s how the song STARTS! In a time when it seemed like society and the whole world was literally burning down around us (the threat of nuclear war, race riots, political riots over the draft and the Vietnam war, drugs, free love, etc.), this wild ride of a song captured a dread felt by many and an ethic embraced by some).
In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, Iron Butterfly
Okay, I won’t say this was one of my favs. But it was a significant song, in that it was one of the first apperances in mainstream pop music of what was considered at the time the dark side of rock. This is the single version, the album cut was much longer.
Piece of my Heart, Big Brother and the Holding Company (Janis Joplin)
Janis Joplin takes this song to an emotional edge nobody had ever heard before. The ultimate case of leaving it all on the stage. Again, note the the sense of being unhinged in the vocals and the guitar riffs. Very 1968.
1969 - The explosion continues
Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero, Rene and Rene
Alongside the world shaking music that was coming out in this era there were simple love songs like this one, which was exceptional on the pop charts in that it’s title and initial verses were done completely in Spanish.
Worst That Could Happen, Brooklyn Bridge
I guess I just like this song.
Will You Be Staying After Sunday, The Peppermint Rainbow
Good music. Endorsement of the music doesn’t mean I endorse it’s ethos, but that’s true of a lot of songs.
Love Can Make You Happy, Mercy
All was not strife and chaos. This song is a beautiful and relaxed celebration of lifelong love.
Israelites, Desmond Dekker
Music and lyrics born out of the poor streets of Jamaica, sometimes even described as reggae or ska.
In The Year 2525, Zager and Evans
Science fiction comes to sixties pop music with religious themes. People were questioning just where the world was headed, and this song painted a bleak picture if man’s course was not altered, a popular theme of the late sixties.
Color Him Father, The Winstons
I always loved this song. It is the heartwarming expression of a young man’s respect and gratefulness for the stepfather who saved his mother and himself, teaching him the value of responsibility, education, hard work and sacrifice in the process.
Polk Salad Annie, Tony Joe White
Rural Looosiana comes to the pop charts.
Get Together, The Youngbloods
An anthem of the era.
When I Die, Motherlode
Another song I truly love. A noble song about a young black man’s plea for his woman’s patience and love as he tries so hard to make it in a tough word.
Baby, It's You, Smith
A terrific late-60’s rock rendition of a song originally written by Burt Bacharach and performed by the early Beatles among others. This gal approaches Janis Joplin-level with her vocal intensity.
Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye, Steam
Familiar to more modern sports fans as a chant to mock the losing team. This was a huge song at the time.