02 May


Baby Music Maven


A year of change. The searing pain of President Kennedy’s assasination was still fresh in many minds. The world was changing, everywhere.

New “things” like the Ford Mustang, Shea Stadium, the first IBM Super Computer, and Jeopardy! were introduced. The Surgeon General first told the American public that smoking may be hazardous to your health. Exciting new plans were announced for the New York World Trade Center. President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law, and sent 5,000 additional “military advisors” to South Vietnam. The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Yankees in 7 games to take the World Series and Malcolm X makes the fateful decision to leave the Nation of Islam. Roald Dahl completes the masterpiece of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

In September, right before Hurricane Hilda hit South Louisiana, a little Libra Dragon appeared on the scene, providing another big change to the world. I took to music right off the bat. Maybe it was because my mother played the radio in my room every night next to my crib. And, what a great year it was. In February, The Beatles took “the states” by storm and provided for 60% of the total singles sales. They would produce 14 Billboard hits in 1964 and in April would hold the top 5 slots on the charts.

One of the Biggest Moments in TV History

I was barely six weeks old when Sam Cooke was killed in a Motel in L.A. after an altercation with the manager. Change Gone Come was posthumously released and became a top seller. There was only ONE Sam Cooke.

Bring it on Home

These interviews show what a very smart and articulate artist, mentor and businessman Sam Cooke was.

Here are some of my favorites from 1964…..

Ferry Cross the Mersey – Gerry & The Pacemakers

Chapel of Love – The Dixie Cups

The #1 song on the day I was born….

Oh Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison

More from ’64….

Come See About Me – The Supremes

House of the Rising Sun – The Animals

I’m Into Something Good – Herman’s Hermits

GLORIA – Van the Man and THEM

Hang on Sloopy – The McCoys

…..and probably the most FAMOUS song from 1964:


NOTE:  Temporary Music Files deleted.



Posted by on May 2, 2007 in through the years


19 responses to “1964

  1. Hickstyeria

    May 3, 2007 at 1:33 am

    Love that photo – is that a ‘kiss curl’I see?

    Ah, Gerry and the that ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey’ and always think of them when I hear another song they recorded and which is often heard being sung by fans at football (soccer) games – ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone.

    1964. The year my brother was born, in November, and one of the snowiest winters in the UK I believe. Also the year of ‘Walk On By’ recorded by Dionne Warwick – I loves me some Bacharach!

    And, a little off-topic, I caught the wonderful PBS documentary this evening on Ahmet Ertegun, the founder of Atlantic Records. Worth every minute of the 2 hour broadcast chronicling the start of the label in 1947 and their early artists such as Ruth Brown and Big Joe Turner to more contemporary artists such as Kid Rock and Paolo Nuttini. Great footage of Otis singing ‘Try A Little Tenderness’ live …took me back to about this time last year with a certain American Idol…

  2. music maven

    May 3, 2007 at 6:48 am

    What can I say, my mother has a peculiar sense of humor.

    Ah, yes….Ahmet Ertegun. I’ve actually been working on an on-going post about him. Truly a change agent and he had some of the BEST talent at Atlantic, including the incomparable Ray Charles.

    Oliver Wang at Soul Sides has some good stuff in his archives about Ertegun as well. (See blogroll.)

  3. brc

    May 3, 2007 at 7:32 am

    Ahhhhhh, 1964… it was a very good year.

    Your post made me both happy and sad. I mean how can you not smile with joy at watching the Beatles on Ed Sullivan?

    All of the music you posted and all of the young faces left me with a happy impression of innocence. Hearing this music in the context of the year 1964, I’m struck by how the real rebelliousness of the 1960’s hadn’t yet made it’s way full-force into the music. Much of it still has the innocent sound of music I would typically associate with the 1950s.

    It made me sad because so many of these great artists are no longer with us and also because it highlights how much innocence our society has lost in just 40 years… basically in my lifetime.

    Sam Cooke is one good-looking and articulate dude. Thanks for posting those interviews. I’m also impressed at what a fantastic and natural interviewer Dick Clark was. Oh, and I love the harmony of the Beach Boys.

    And the Gilligan’s Island post, well that just brings back so many memories. Haven’t seen the show in DECADES and I can still sing along.

  4. Little Deb

    May 3, 2007 at 7:58 am

    I have to add what we were listening to in my house. Yes’ I’m an old lady.

  5. Dingo

    May 3, 2007 at 8:03 am

    Well aintchyu the cute little thing! 1964, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The same could be said about today but thats for another forum.

    A lot was happening in the 60’s. Never a dull moment and we were wide eyed with wonder. Thats what ahm missing today. That wide eyed look that we all walked around with back then.

    People werent afraid to interact with each other, they wanted to talk and boy did we ever have a lot to talk about. These days its like we all are trying to be isolated and yet, as the social animals we are, we seek people out on the internet and we debate and we laugh and we cry and we share but we do it all from the secrecy of our own private bat caves.

    Strange buggers we humans. We crave companionship and then we do everything possible to make sure it never happens. We’re too busy driving an hour and a half to and from work and working 12 hour days and eating take out but at the end of the day, we run to our computers to check our email and to get online to “talk” with people and share our own musings.

    Its crazy.

  6. brc

    May 3, 2007 at 8:18 am

    DebSays…was THAT from 1964 too? Once again… innocence.

    Professor Dingo… can I sign up for your sociology class? Interesting observations. I think part of the Internet thing is shared interests. I have several very good friends, but they’re not particularly interested in music, Taylor or photography… three things I love. The internet (for me) provides a convenient way to find and communicate with those of similar interests. Now when that interferes with real life (which I have to say it does sometimes for me), then we’ve got an interesting debate.

    MM… could you have been any cuter as a baby? Also… who was sitting with Mike Douglass and Sam Cooke in the interview you posted?

  7. brc

    May 3, 2007 at 8:20 am

    Ooops… I meant Little Deb, not DebSays!

  8. music maven

    May 3, 2007 at 8:30 am

    I was born to older parents and two pre-teen siblings (yes, Christmas 1963 got outta hand), so I always skewed to the older stuff.

    Little Deb — I lerve Dino and he was a fixture around our house too. One of the best songs of 1964 was Sinatra’s Softly As I Leave You. I don’t have it ripped to my hard drive and it’s not to be found (by Frank) on YouTube, but it’s SOOOOOO good. I’ll try to put it up later.

    To brc’s and Dingo’s points, ’64 was when America still had one foot on the dock and one foot on the boat. Music was still very innocent but we were starting to see the beginnings of exploration. I think GLORIA did more for that than any of the ’64 Beatles tunes.

    Dingo — interesting. I think you make some very illuminating points. Somewhere along the way, we Boomers grew up thinking we had to win at everything. We (speaking as a group) push our kids and ourselves to exhaustion, neglect relationships with “dysfunctional” family members, and generally, die before we can enjoy the money we spent years sacrificing and hustling to save.

    When I was a little girl, one of my favorite things to do was to sit on the front porch with my Grandmother and watch the folks walk by or drive by. We’d talk about who they were and who their family was, etc. I think that it should be mandatory now for houses to have a front porch and taxes should be pro-rated as to how much time you spend out there.

    For some perspective, my husband was a Sophomore in high school in ’64 (yes, he’s WAY older) and he says that the time when he grew up was the BEST time in America. Although society was changing, it was kinder and gentler and yes, brc, definitely more innocent.

  9. Dingo

    May 3, 2007 at 8:40 am

    When I was a little girl, one of my favorite things to do was to sit on the front porch with my Grandmother and watch the folks walk by or drive by. We’d talk about who they were and who their family was, etc. I think that it should be mandatory now for houses to have a front porch and taxes should be pro-rated as to how much time you spend out there.

    DD, that was the best paragraph. I did the same with my full blooded Italian grandma in my all Italian neighborhood where you waved to everyone and anyone who walked across your path and if you didnt recognize them you watched them like a hawk and/or wondered who they “belonged” to. Society was very open and friendly…UNLESS you were Black. I remember those awful pictures of the high pressured water hoses and the dogs so it wasnt all kittens and roses thats for sure. But many of us were trying, those pictures dont reflect MY family or MY values and when I watch them I always get teary eyed for realizing the inhumane side to us humans.

    Remember all the sidewalk games with chalk we played? Blue Jay, Hopscotch, Red Ball…the “A” my name is Ann and my husband’s name is Arthur, we lived in Arizona and we sold apples? game?

    If we needed another person we would just ask anyone who was around to play so we could have teams. I have to go get my hair colored and cut now and then go see my elderly neighbors but I will be back. I have so much to say.

    Re Gloria, I know exactly what you are saying.

  10. jenfera

    May 3, 2007 at 8:43 am

    Hmm, I wasn’t born until ’71, so I don’t have much to say about ’64. I can appreciate some of the music, but I am not particularly “into it.”

    DD, I like older men too. My husband is 10 years older than me. I have noticed that after being with him for 10 years, my musical tastes have shifted a bit in favor of what he likes. Let’s face it, as fun as the 80’s were (see Tuesday’s Monkbot thread), a lot of the music just wasn’t that great. I thought it was then, but it just doesn’t hold up as well as a lot of the stuff from the late 60’s and 70’s that my husband favors.

  11. music maven

    May 3, 2007 at 9:27 am

    brc — I believe the “co-hosts” with Mike Douglas in the Sam Cooke clip are Joan Bennett (actress) and the tall fella is Howard Keel. He was a singer but you’ll more aptly remember him as “Jock Ewing” on Dallas.

  12. Rich

    May 3, 2007 at 10:08 am

    I was a sophomore in 1964 and I think the song with the biggest impact on me and my friends was the House of the Rising Sun by the Animals. These were pretty inocent times and this song was pretty risque for that time. Plus it didn’t sound like anything else on the radio.

    Think about female singers on the charts today and then look at 1964 – Millie Small, Betty Everett, Dixie Cups, Martha and the Vandellas, Supremes, Mary Wells, Dusty Springfield, Leslie Gore, Dionne Warwick, Diane Renay, Shangri-Las, Nancy Wilson, and Barbra Streisand.

    The Beatles, with songs such as I Want to Hold Your Hand, She Loves You, Love Me Do, and Please, Please Me, were popular with young girls, but hadn’t picked up much of a guy following yet. My younger sister and her friends loved the Beatles, but my friends and I were more into other British Invasion bands like Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Animals, and the Dave Clark Five, plus Blues and Soul music.

  13. Rich

    May 3, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    My family moved from Louisiana to Virginia in 1966 and I don’t remember ever hearing Van Morrison while I lived in LA. Gloria was written in 1964, but wasn’t a hit in US until 1966 (Shadows of Knight #10) (Them #71). The first song I remember from Van Morrison (and I think this was his first US hit) was Brown Eyed Girl in 1967 (#10).

  14. brc

    May 3, 2007 at 5:13 pm

    So the Gilligan post got me thinking about tv shows. Here’s a list of the top 25 shows from the fall of 1964…

    1. Bonanza
    2. Bewitched
    3. Gomer Pyle, USMC
    4. Andy Griffith Show
    5. The Fugitive
    6. Red Skelton
    7. Dick Van Dyke Show
    8. The Lucy Show
    9. Peyton Place II
    10. Combat
    11. Walt Disney
    12. Beverly Hillbillies
    13. My Three Sons
    14. Branded
    15. (tie) Petticoat Junction
    Ed Sullivan Show
    17. Lassie
    18. The Munsters
    19. Gilligan’s Island
    20. Peyton Place I
    21. Jackie Gleason Show
    22. The Virginian
    23. Addams Family
    24. My Favorite Martian
    25. Flipper

    Given that I was only 3 years old in that year I’m surprised how many of these shows I remember — there are maybe only 5 or 6 that I don’t recall watching! Which ones did all of you watch?

  15. Dingo

    May 3, 2007 at 6:46 pm

    I never recovered from the Lassie episode “The Long Journey Home”. Jesus, I cried for 3 years. Also, “Old Yeller”. Who in hell takes their kid ta see THAT one? I still aint over it.

  16. music maven

    May 3, 2007 at 6:57 pm

    brc — I know…I vividly remember many of these “shows”, except for those that were on NBC. Our NBC affiliate was 40 miles away and you could only get it when the weather was just right and one of us held the left rabbit ear. Therefore, we had two channels — ABC and CBS.

    Jackie Gleason was one of my old time favorites —
    “And, awaaaayyyy we goooooo….”

    And, this is another favorite “theme song”…

    Jed’s Lament

    Oh and Dingo…totally OT but the movie, The Champ with Ricky Shroeder did that to me. I still can’t watch it.

  17. shrewspeaks

    May 3, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    Okay first…Saweet curl! Folks I have met MM and she looks he same today only taller.

    1964 from what I have read was a watershed year…seems the pressure of the Beatles landing on the scene yielded a many faceted diamond. Soul, folk, bubble gum, girl groups, british infused blues, gritty country. Songs looking backward, forward and inward on all the influences.

  18. music maven

    May 3, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    Speaking of The Beatles and a little soul….

    This is KEWL.

  19. Dingo

    May 4, 2007 at 6:21 am

    Oh and Dingo…totally OT but the movie, The Champ with Ricky Shroeder did that to me. I still can’t watch it.
    LOL DD. I thuink I like animals more than I like people but I think had I been younger when The Champ came out I would have felt like you did. It was a tearjerker to be sure.


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