Some mornings I wake up with a song that I have no idea why it’s stuck. Now this is indeed, my all-time favorite early Beatles song, I can’t say exactly why. I will admit that as a teenager I could relate to the story the song brings out. But that was a long time ago.
The track doesn’t really have all that strong of a guitar part, so George (my favorite of the Beatles) isn’t really featured. It is primarily a Lennon composition, and as I’ve mentioned before both my brother and I consider John as the best rock and roll composer ever.
This track was released originally in the UK on the 1964 album Beatles For Sale and in the US on the Beatles ’65.
The year was 1965, I was 7, and like all the other kids, thought this song about Snoopy. But alas, it’s not.
“My Girl Sloopy” was first recorded by the Los Angeles-based R&B vocal group, the Vibrations in 1964, for Atlantic Records (45-2222). It was a hit, reaching number 10 on the R&B chart, and number 26 on the US pop chart. In April 1965, The group members were Don Bradley, Carl Fisher, Dave Govan, James Johnson, and Ricky Owens. The song then became a local hit in the Pacific Northwest in a cover version by James Henry & the Olympics (Jerden Records), but it was quickly eclipsed in August when the Indiana pop group the McCoys released their iconic retitled version. “Hang On Sloopy” went to number one in the U.S. in October 1965.
The original members were all from Union City; however, the Zehringer boys were initially from Fort Recovery, Ohio. The band members were guitarist and lead singer Richard Zehringer, his brother Randy on drums, and bassist Dennis Kelly. This first line-up was known as The Rick Z Combo, and later known as Rick and the Raiders. When Kelly left for college, the Zehringers were joined by bassist Randy Jo Hobbs, saxophonist Sean Michaels, and keyboardist Ronnie Brandon. This was the line-up that took the name of “The McCoys”. Brandon left the group in 1965 and was replaced by Bobby Peterson on keyboards.
Never heard of these guys? Well, The McCoys may have been sent to the “one hit wonder” pile of the 60’s, but that Rick Zehringer guy didn’t. You will know him better as Rick Derringer, he of “Rock And Roll Hoochie Koo“ fame. The McCoys did have other hits on the charts including “Fever” (Billboard #7) and “Come On, Let’s Go”, Billboard #21). But this on hit #1 on 2 October.
Mr. Derringer is, supposedly, the subject of Steely Dan’s “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”. But probably not;
Just to clear up a generation’s worth of rumors about the lyrics of “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” Walter Becker stated for the record in a 1985 interview in the pages of Musician that the “number” in question was not slang for a marijuana cigarette (“send it off in a letter to yourself,” supposedly a way to safely transport one’s dope back before the post office abolished general delivery mail, was held up as the key line), and an uncharacteristically forthcoming Donald Fagen has similarly revealed that the “Rikki” in question was simply a woman he’d had a crush on in college. It says something about Steely Dan’s reputation as obscurantists that even a straightforward lost-love song like “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” could be so widely over-interpreted. … It’s unsurprising that “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” ended up becoming Steely Dan’s biggest commercial hit … as it’s one of the group’s most gentle and accessible songs.
Talking this selection over with Wifey™ we both remember this as Hang On Snoopy. We’re completely wrong of course, but that’s how we both remember it. We seem to recall a cartoon of Snoopy set to this song. But maybe that’s just wishful remembrance.
Faithful readers (I do have a couple of faithful readers, right? RIGHT??), will remember that I do not start the “Christmas Season” until two things happen. First, I have to hear John Lennon’s, Happy XMas (War Is Over) and we’ve seen National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
We can control when we watch the movie, but hearing the song has a more strict requirement. I have to hear it while out of the house, and it can’t be played at my request. It just has to be on a random playlist, usually while shopping. But this year, I’ve only been to the mall once, and even then I never left the little pub. I still can’t walk long distances, so I sat and had a few beers while Wifey and son-the-younger did the shopping.
As usual, I do most of my shopping, holiday or not, on-line. Since Amazon doesn’t have background music like the mall stores do, the chance of hearing Happy X-Mas is slim to none. And Slim just walked out the door.
We did go to Wifey’s office Christmas party last night and they had Christmas music playing in the background. The song may have played, but luckily they had the volume low enough that I could only catch brief bits of the music hear and there. So I don’t know if it played or not. They didn’t have the old standards playing so it may have, but I didn’t hear it.
If you haven’t caught on by now, I really, really, really don’t like the usual Christmas music. Granddaughter-the-elder had her class Christmas program earlier this week. It was quite enjoyable. Other than the hand bell part, which was the old standards, the rest of the program was new music. They even did We Will Jingle, set to the tune of Queen’s We Will Rock You complete with foot stomps and hand claps. That was cool. And even better my wee bonnie lass had a small speaking part and she nailed it!
I’m thinking we will probably watch the movie this weekend. I’m sure it’s available on one of the streaming services I pay for. If not, Pay For View is always an option. As long as I can find it without commercial interruption. I absolutely despise commercials.
Today is also the Army Navy football game. This is probably the only football game I care about. And even then, not that much. I won’t watch the game since son-the-elder is currently overseas with his Army unit. But as an Army retiree, I have to say #GoArmyBeatNavy.
What are your holiday requirements and/or traditions? Get the conversation started by leaving a comment!
P.S. Wifey has the old The Monkee’s TV show playing while I’m writing this, so here’s a totally unrelated video…
P.P.S. The Monkees have ended and the old Partridge Family show has come on. Wifey said she didn’t remember how ugly the clothes were back then!
P.P.P.S. This is, what day 14 of the “official” Christmas season and not a single bit of the craptastic music has been played. ‘Nuff said.
OK. It’s not quite that classic Beatles song. But! You have the correct band.
On 12 October 1969 the Rock and Roll world went crazy. Why? Because Paul was dead. Yes, it all began at a Detroit radio station WKNR and DJ Russ Gibb. All it took was a phone call from a listener.
Fifty years ago, a Detroit DJ accidentally started the biggest hoax in rock & roll history: the “Paul is dead” craze. It blew up on October 12, 1969, when Russ Gibb was hosting his show on WKNR. A mysterious caller told him to put on the Beatles’ White Album and spin the “number nine, number nine” intro from “Revolution 9” backwards. When Gibb tried it on the air, he heard the words, “Turn me on, dead man.” The clues kept coming. At the end of “Strawberry Fields Forever,” John says, “I buried Paul.” What could it all mean?
The link above has the story, I’m just going to post the videos that go along with it. But I would suggest going to the original article so you can listen to the audio as the story progresses. I won’t just copy and paste the entire article here. That little thing called plagiarism you know.
I can remember my sister showing me all the hints on the Beatles albums. They were some very serious discussions we had. Many theories were discussed. Then I had to pass them on to all my friends. And still do today! This may have been the beginning of my intense study of music and musicians. No, lets not call it study, but obsession is too heavy. Maybe immersion. Yeah, that’s the ticket!
It was a lot of fun looking at the album covers and talking about them. A rough estimate is 4 stylists or needles on my turntables that I destroyed listening to backwards music.
This week will be the 50th Anniversary of the legendary “Woodstock” music festival. Admittingly, I was too young to attend, not to mention it was many miles away from my south Florida home.
Just in case you’re unsure about the whole thing let me quote from the wiki page;
Woodstock was an American music festival held August 15–18, 1969, which attracted an audience of more than 400,000. Billed as “an Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music”, it was held at Max Yasgur‘s 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York, 43 miles (70 km) southwest of Woodstock. It was alternatively referred to as the Bethel Rock Festival or the Aquarian Music Festival. Thirty-two acts performed outdoors despite sporadic rain. It has become widely regarded as a pivotal moment in popular music history, as well as the definitive nexus for the larger counterculture generation.
I was healthy 9 years old at the time, so my musical tastes were more inline with The Monkees and The Beatles than Jimi Hendrix. But that all changed when my sister brought home the 2-album set. I listened to those records constantly.
All this week SiriusXM is featuring music from the festival. The Deep Tracks channel is playing the complete tapes. Every band and every song all week long. While I haven’t heard Country Joe McDonald’s “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag” and it’s now legendary audience involvement, I did hear something that I don’t remember being on the albums. Before I get to that let’s mention a few of the other performances.
Richie Havens opened the show, 3 ½ hours late. He was scheduled fifth on the bill on the opening day. Problem was, all the acts for that day were stuck several miles away at the area motels reserved from them. The roads were blocked by cars that had just parked in the street since there was no other place to go, so the bands couldn’t get their gear nor themselves to the concert area. Richie had the least equipment, one guitar for him, one guitar for his lead guitarist, and a set of conga drums for the percussionist, was all that was needed, so they were the first to be helicoptered in. Richie was a bit afraid to be the first one on. Since the show started so late, he was worried that the crowd would be angry and hostile. Needless to say, that was anything but the case.
Joan Baez closed out the fist day (the “folk” day), she was 6 months pregnant! Her set was from roughly 1 – 2 AM.
Santana did a 45-minute set on day 2, and Carlos Santana was totally tripping the entire time. The video of that entire set is electrifying!
John Sebastian (best known as part of the Lovin’ Spoonful) was not on the bill but was there enjoying the show (he had a house in the area). He played a short set while, again, other performers were delayed in arriving.
And who can forget Joe Cocker’s physical rendition of “With A Little Help From My Friends”? This single performance catapulted him into the US conciseness. Also giving John Belushi a new act.
Crosby, Still, Nash & Young doing an hour at 3AM. I still get chills listening to their set. To produce such vocal harmonies, live, and at that time of night, blows me away.
Let’s get to what is stuck in my head. I heard just the end of this yesterday. (I have SiriusXM streaming while at work) I wasn’t exactly sure just what I was listening to, and there was no mention, that I heard, of the performer. I recognized the song, but not the artist.
Another thing that was interesting, was that I had just finished reading an article about the song which was written by John Lennon. This song stunned all The Beatles when John first played it. The entire band, George Martin (producer) and everyone in the studio all thought it was “stunning”. And then I hear it again on the way to work this morning.
Here is Richie Havens’ “Strawberry Fields Forver”.
Seems like today is the second anniversary of this blog. I would like to give my faithful, and casual, readers a big thank you! I realize that I do not post anything world-changing. In fact I tend to post mostly useless stuff!
But if you really want useless stuff, then today is also my eleventh anniversary on Twitter! Talk about useless stuff. You should see my feed, it’s all over the place.
This is one of those songs that comes and goes at very random times. Maybe because so many people have recorded it.
This song is of unkown authorship and is considered a traditional folk song. It may have started out that way, even when Bob Dylan recorded it in 1961 for his debut album. But by the time that The Animals recorded it on 18 May 1964 it was transformed into a “folk rock” hit.
Lead singer of the Animals, Eric Burdon, tells the tale that the group needed a song to end their set while on tour with Chuck Berry, that was different. Not a straight out rocker that most bands were ending sets with. To do this, they took this song, put Eric in a single red spot on stage and rocked it some. The response was so positive they decided to record it over the reluctance of their producer. The song was recorded in one take, all of 15 minutes or so.
The Animals had begun featuring their arrangement of “House of the Rising Sun” during a joint concert tour with Chuck Berry, using it as their closing number to differentiate themselves from acts that always closed with straight rockers. It got a tremendous reaction from the audience, convincing initially reluctant producerMickie Most that it had hit potential, and between tour stops the group went to a small recording studio on Kingsway in London to capture it.
But, that’s not what I came here to tell you about (you were waiting for that line, weren’t you?). Back in the day when I was a worship leader in churches, we used to play around during warm ups by playing Amazing Grace to the tune of House of the Rising Sun. Since it’s a very basic song in A minor, and in 4/4 time, the basic melody and rhythms can accept many other lyrics.
For fun, play in your head Amazing Grace to the tune of Peaceful Easy Feeling or better yet the theme song from Gilligan’s Island.
And now that I’ve got that stuck in your head, my job is done here.