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The 1961 Landscape

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  • #31
    Originally posted by jimarilyn View Post
    Hi Julie,

    An excellent thread you started here. Music is my biggest passion [anything from Mozart to Dylan so long as it's good on the ear] and 1961 (when I was 9 years old) happens to be my favourite year for music. It was a year before my hometown group, The Beatles, exploded onto the music scene (with 'Love me do'). So many great songs around that year such as the Everly Brothers with 'Walk right back', Billy Fury with 'Halfway to Paradise', Elvis with 'Are you lonesome tonight', 'Wooden Heart' and 'Surrender', John Leyton's 'Johnny remember me' and loads more too numerous to mention.

    One of my favourite songs that year was the extremely catchy 'Hello Mary Lou' by Ricky Nelson ( a few years before he dropped the 'y' ). 1961 was the first year my sisters and I went on the locally arranged annual coach trip to Southport Funfair. It was organised each August by a certain Mrs McLean and something we all looked forward to each summer. I clearly recall 'Hello Mary Lou' being played repeatedly on the juke box in Southport Fun House that summer. Very fond memories of spending a few hours in that Fun House, especially that spinning contraption that was almost impossible to remain seated on. That was a big draw with everyone and great fun.. Who knows, perhaps that particular day trip to Southport FunFair might even have occurred on August 22nd 1961.
    Hi Jim

    Glad you like the thread. I thought it would be a bit of light relief but also an opportunity to discuss the social and political landscape that shaped people's reaction to the crime and the Hanratty execution.

    Growing up in Liverpool must have been very exciting at this point in time. A few posts back there was some discussion about whether the Beatles or the Stones wrote the best songs. I was only three years old in 1961 (four that September) but I had an older brother and sister who were teenagers at the time. For me there is no contest - it has to be the Stones! Track for track - they have the edge on the Beatles because of their blues influence (although I can detect an upbeat blues theme in Love Me Do). My favourite Beatles tracks were actually written by Goerge Harrison (Something and Here Comes the Sun) but I do think that around the time of Rubber Soul onwards the Beatles became a very good band indeed.

    I think the greatest tribute that anyone has ever written to a home town is Gerry Marsden's Ferry Cross the Mersey. It's an absolutely wonderful track that sums up the spirit of the time beautifully. The only track that comes close is the Kinks Waterloo Sunset which I suppose is a tribute to being a young Londerner in the 1960s.

    I am interested to hear your fondness for Hello Mary Lou as it was written by Gene Pitney - a singer I have seen live many times. He was a superb song writer and performer and is greatly missed.

    Like you - I am passionate about music. I listen to a lot of classical music but I am also a great blues fan (I was born in Walthamstow - home of one of the earliest & greatest but least remembered British blues bands - Sam Apple Pie) and a great folk fan. I also like decent rock music (Led Zepplin - Pink Floyd - Peter Green Fleetwood Mac days - The Clash) and decent 1960s/70s pop/rock such as The Animals - The Yardbirds - Jimi Hendrix - Janis Joplin - Neil Young .... oh I could go on forever!

    I have Hanratty down a bit of a country fan. What do you reckon?

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    • #32
      Hi Julie,
      You know much more about the music scene than me but like you I prefer the Stones usually---and I think its for the reason you state and Jagger"s dancing.But "Something "and" Here Comes the Sun" are great songs.For me Lennon"s "Working Class Hero" is terrific and "Imagine" is a beautiful song too.I suppose Dylan"s," Lay lady Lay" and Leonard Cohen's,"Hallelujah" and "Tower of Song"---these three are my favourites with Edith Piaf"s," Je ne Regrette Rien.[1961?]".Janis Joplin---oh yes wonderful.But Elvis started me off with Heartbreak Hotel!Now its more Verdi and Mozart and Bach----

      psst I reckon Hanratty was a Sinatra fan---"I did it my way"![but then I am talking about him as an innocent man---not a murderer].
      Last edited by Natalie Severn; 10-30-2010, 09:15 PM.

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      • #33
        Hi Julie and everyone

        I believe I did go to Frinton with the church. I had to have my arm twisted to go to Sunday school, because school is school. But they did give out lovely little stamps the colour of stained glass.

        I tend not to go for religious music much, except obviously Bach, Mozart etc, also a few of Frankie Laine's songs, which entered my consciousness from Day One and have stayed there (e.g. he did a beautiful song called My Friend).

        I tend to regard pre-Beatles rock music as rather square, I'm afraid. I did like "All Shook Up." But some of that stuff that Showaddywaddy revived in the 70s - ugh! - it's music for zimmer frames.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by Robert View Post
          Here's a list of the top 100 singles of 61. I only had about 10 of these but then I was only 6.

          http://www.addlong.co.uk/UK-Hits/1961top.html
          Thanks for that, Robert. I remember nearly all those songs. 1961 was I suppose a big year for me as I lost my virginity aged 15 (and I've been looking for it ever since). Tomorrow I hit the big 65. If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.
          allisvanityandvexationofspirit

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Natalie Severn View Post
            Hi Julie,
            You know much more about the music scene than me but like you I prefer the Stones usually---and I think its for the reason you state and Jagger"s dancing.But "Something "and" Here Comes the Sun" are great songs.For me Lennon"s "Working Class Hero" is terrific and "Imagine" is a beautiful song too.I suppose Dylan"s," Lay lady Lay" and Leonard Cohen's,"Hallelujah" and "Tower of Song"---these three are my favourites with Edith Piaf"s," Je ne Regrette Rien.[1961?]".Janis Joplin---oh yes wonderful.But Elvis started me off with Heartbreak Hotel!Now its more Verdi and Mozart and Bach----

            psst I reckon Hanratty was a Sinatra fan---"I did it my way"![but then I am talking about him as an innocent man---not a murderer].
            Yes Norma - got to agree - Hanratty was bound to have liked Sinatra! I doubt if he'd have appreciated Stranger in the Night though - if you get my drift.

            Lay Lady Lay is a great favourite of mine too. It's one of my three all-time loved love songs (the others being I Need Your Love So Bad (Peter Green) and Have I Told You Lately That I Love You (Van Morrison). Eddie and I love Dylan for his versitility and his politics of course. I also like Leonard Cohen. My brother-in-law had an album of his when I was about ten and I was transfixed by 'Suzanne'.

            My sister was an Elvis fan before she defected to the Stones. I can well remember toasting bread by the coal fire with the aid of a long toasting fork. Wooden Heart was playing in the background and I seem to remember it might have been around Christmas time. My brother was into Cliff Richard (but we don't talk about that!!!!).

            I adore Mozart. The adagio from the Clarinet Concerto must surely be the music they play at the gates of heaven.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Robert View Post
              Hi Julie and everyone

              I believe I did go to Frinton with the church. I had to have my arm twisted to go to Sunday school, because school is school. But they did give out lovely little stamps the colour of stained glass.

              I tend not to go for religious music much, except obviously Bach, Mozart etc, also a few of Frankie Laine's songs, which entered my consciousness from Day One and have stayed there (e.g. he did a beautiful song called My Friend).

              I tend to regard pre-Beatles rock music as rather square, I'm afraid. I did like "All Shook Up." But some of that stuff that Showaddywaddy revived in the 70s - ugh! - it's music for zimmer frames.
              Showaddywaddy? They were shameful - truly shameful!

              I love Frainkie Laine's I Believe and also the track he recorded for the film High Noon. Johnny Ray was a great singer also - although some of the songs he chose were a bit wet.

              For me - the king of rock-n-roll was more Buddy Holly than Elvis as he influenced so much that followed and was a very good guitarist and song writer. However - Elvis had a magnificent voice nad was absolutely gorgeous to look at.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Stephen Thomas View Post
                Thanks for that, Robert. I remember nearly all those songs. 1961 was I suppose a big year for me as I lost my virginity aged 15 (and I've been looking for it ever since). Tomorrow I hit the big 65. If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.
                A very very happy birthday to you for tomorrow Stephen. 65 is a spring chicken these days. Have a lovely day and - Rave On!

                Comment


                • #38
                  Hi Julie and Stephen

                  Well Julie, I'll have to take your word for it that Elvis was gorgeous to look at.

                  I just wish Buddy Holly's songs didn't suffer from those backing vocals, also that they had a bit more oomph. I mean, Not Fade Away was all stop-start. The Stones did a better version.

                  Stephen, I'm 55 but I always say, I may be 55 but I have the body of a 54 year old.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Limehouse View Post
                    A very very happy birthday to you for tomorrow Stephen. 65 is a spring chicken these days. Have a lovely day and - Rave On!
                    Many thanks for that. Very greatly appreciated. You were pointed out to me at the Conference and I regret not having introduced myself as I enjoy all your posts and, may I say, you are one good looking lady.
                    allisvanityandvexationofspirit

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                    • #40
                      Julie, interesting your mentioning Johnny Ray. I do have one of his 78s - "Walking My Baby Back Home." I also have the Nat King Cole version, and I suspect that, as often used to happen, both these versions were in the charts at the same time. My uncle must have bought both versions.

                      The Nat King Cole one had a beautiful song called "Somewhere Along The Way" on the other side. I don't know whether this was the A side or the B side, but it wouldn't be the first time that a B side was superior to an A side.

                      A bit later on, Conway Twitty's "It's Only Make Believe" was actually the B side originally, but somehow audience opinion persuaded the DJs to start playing IOMB as the A side.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Stephen, have a happy birthday tomorrow. I was going to do a cake candle joke, but I think I will save it for Howard Brown.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Robert View Post
                          Stephen, I'm 55 but I always say, I may be 55 but I have the body of a 54 year old.
                          Hi Robert

                          I've got the body of an 18 year old.

                          I keep it in the freezer.

                          (old Woody Allen joke)
                          allisvanityandvexationofspirit

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Limehouse View Post
                            1961 began on a Sunday. In many ways it was going to be an important year politically. The 'young' President - JFK - was sworn in signalling a new Democratic Government in the USA but over in Europe political storm clouds gathered as Berlin was divided by a huge wall that would keep families and friends apart for almost thrity years.
                            The construction of the Berlin wall had in fact started about 10 days prior to the A6 Murder, Julie. It was the major political talking point of the day and understandably dominated the TV, radio and Newspaper headlines that month of August 1961. Below is an article on the matter taken from The Times on the actual day of the A6 murder.............
                            Attached Files
                            Last edited by jimarilyn; 10-31-2010, 02:11 AM.

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                            • #44
                              Top 40 Hits of August 1961

                              Helen Shapiro's song "You don't know" was the number 1 single at the time of the A6 Murder. For all those interested here are the top 40 singles for August 1961. Some absolute gems in there........


                              http://www.everyhit.com/retros/index...&day1=1&day2=3


                              Great site incidentally. Curiously enough (or perhaps not) three of those hits have very similar sounding titles, "You don't know", "You'll never know" and "Don't you know it". Gary (US) Bonds was at No.15 with "Quarter to three". Strange title for a song. That was approximately the time that Michael Gregsten was murdered.........Perhaps there's a few clues in there Watson.
                              Last edited by jimarilyn; 10-31-2010, 02:45 AM.

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by jimarilyn View Post
                                Gary (US) Bonds was at No.15 with "Quarter to three". Strange title for a song.
                                Not that strange. As Gary sang in the first line: "Don't you know that I danced, I danced till a quarter to three..." Good song. My foot is tapping just thinking about it. I'm pretty sure it hit number 1 on this side of the pond.

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