‘Spillyear 1962

An album of folky standards sung by a young man who couldn’t sing. A debut single by some kids from Liverpool with 3 chords and some catchy harmonica. Could anybody in 1962 have had the slightest inclination of the seismic cultural impact they would have over the next few years? Well?

Add your top 3 tracks to the playlist

Alternative link: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLSM6V5dN78_B0aXrqIuFHQxu6AsQOEcLJ&jct=9AfjSAC_9-BUJCflUthpontBG_E76Q

61 thoughts on “‘Spillyear 1962

  1. Just a couple of obvious ones from me to get the playlist going:

    1. Bob Dylan – Song For Woody
    2. The Beatles – Love Me Do

    • I was 1-2 years old, so i can’t claim any memories here. So i guess i can’t say i would have gessed what the Beatles and Bob Dylan would have wrought. If i had any memories, they would probably be of Francis Albert, which i’d guess was what was playing chez mom and dad.

      Howlin Wolf – Spoonful (more fine tracks on that album)
      Peter, Paul, and Mary – Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

      honorable mention –

      Crystals – He Hit Me (And it Felt Like a Kiss)

      Looks like a pretty good year for jazz.

    • Crying In The Rain by the Everly Brothers
      Multiplication by Bobby Darin
      Silver Threads and Golden Needles by the Springfields

  2. I was born on the cusp of Elvis singing “Good Luck Charm” and B. Bumble and the Stingers “Nutrocker” taking over at number 1 in the UK. I can’t work out the ins and outs of the official charts and what exactly was toppermost of the poppermost at which time.

    The recording and actual release date of John Coltrane’s “Ballads” album is between 1961 and 1963 depending on which website you look at. I shall check my copy back home, and tentatively claim it for 1962 !

  3. I was seven years old, eight at the end of the year. I think that I was becoming more aware of pop music and also understanding that what my parents liked wasn’t in any way the same thing as what I liked.

    I remember that one the big exciting tunes of the year was Telstar by The Tornadoes. It rode on the wave of excitement generated by the space race. I’d love to be able to say that i was grooving away to Booker T and the MGs superb Green Onions but I don’t think I was even aware it existed back then. Bernard CribbinsHole In The Ground was another fave, though, as was his Right Said Fred.

    I can also remember If I Had A Hammer by Peter, Paul and Mary which, to me inexplicably my father hated. I only understood why later on. The James Bond Theme was a hit back then, by the John Barry Orchestra. That was a popular one with me, too.

    My mother was oddly attracted to the dreadful music of Frank Ifield, but I, even then, knew he was absolute pants.

    Of course, at the end of the year we were all introduced to The Beatles and Love Me Do but barbryn’s had that one.

    I can remember a few more reasonable songs that I liked back then, so to try and give my tastes some credibility, here are my three.

    The Tornadoes – Telstar
    The Shadows – Wonderful Land
    Cliff Richard and The Shadows – The Young Ones

    • I can’t believe I forgot Green Onions ! My wife got me a 7″ vinyl copy for my 50th birthday precisely because it’s the same age as me. And I went to see Georgie Fame in 2012, who explained how he’d gone out to buy a Hammond Organ fifty years before, after hearing it in a club in Carnaby Street.

    • I was eight in April of 1962, and your whole post mirrors my experience. My mum loved Frank Ifield and I thought he was pants! There is a morning programme on Classic Radio out of Abu Dhabi every day, and they do requests for kids and Right Said Fred is still played on a regular basis, as is Helloe Mudder . . . which came out in 1963. Big donds for all three.

  4. Okay, I wasn’t around, but I’m going to bag Dav(e)y Graham’s Anji which was released in 1962 to start with.

  5. I was nine for most of 1961 and was much enamoured of Bernard Cribbins’ classic singles but I distinctly remember buying Pat Boone’s Speedy Gonzales on a trip to see the newly opened Coventry Cathedral.

    I was also aware of the new pop music (The Beatles were, indeed, fab and Telstar was fantastic and inspirational) and so I’ll add Helen Shapiro’s Walking Back To Happiness and Bobby Vee’s Rubber Ball

    • I was nine for most of 1962, I meant….. And my last two picks were from 1961 as well….

      So, I’ll have Chubby Checker’s Let’s Twist Again and Little Eva’s The Loco-Motion

      • Just recalled that I won my Primary school’s Twist competition at the 1962 Christmas Party! For which I received a copy of Oliver Twist (geddit? Teachers, eh?). I never finished the book.

  6. There was this woman who used to come into the shop my parents owned, “Boom Boom Boom” by John Lee Hooker could have been written for her.
    The Isley Brothers’ “Twist and Shout” is pure earthy filth. Love it.
    Dee Dee Sharp’s “Pony”… I’m sure you know where this is going.

    1962. Phew!

    • Just a reminder, you young folks – none of these would’ve been played on the radio in the UK in 1962. Radio Luxemburg – possibly.

      • I also have the same problem convincing young folks that it is now easier to hear the music of, let’s say, 1977 than it was in 1977.

        I only know the Isley’s version from compilations and… I only got to know tracks like Soul Bossa Nova via sampling

        Soul Bossa Nova was 1962 and cos I forgot Quincy Jones last week I’ll add that in.

  7. Lastly Shirley Bassey with ‘I (who have nothing)’. I look forward to reading other, better informed suggestions 🙂

  8. Several Ray Charles albums, including two volumes of Modern Sounds In Country and Western Music. People didn’t waste studio time in those days… From them, I’ll choose I Can’t Stop Loving You

  9. I was four for most of 1962 and probably not aware of pop music at all. I can see (on rate Your Music) two singles that I would have heard – and liked – fairly soon afterwards I think. Plus one that I didn’t hear until decades later. None of them startling or unexpected. All classics I think.

    Ketty Lester – Love Letters
    Chris Montez – Let’s Dance
    Francoise Hardy – Tous les Garcons et les Filles

    The first and third have voices that “send me” (authentic sixties-speak) and the one in the middle has that fantastic tinny organ sound. Could you ask for anything more?

  10. A quiet year in jazz, gathering itself for the mid-sixties… but notable for Herbie Hancock’s debut “Takin’ off” and his hit single “Watermelon Man”. I’d rate Cannonball Adderley’s Jive Samba from Jazz workshop revisited as a classic (” we think that you will dig this, because brother Lateef carries on in grand fashion.. everybody acts mean on this one”) and to round things off add Thelonious Monk’s perfect, solo deconstruction of “Just a gigolo”.

  11. I’m going for

    Hey Baby – Bruce Channel
    Breaking Up Is Hard to Do – Neil Sedaka
    Big Girls Don’t Cry – Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

    A year on the cusp of something new, heralded by the Fab’s Love Me Do for which huge donds. Remember hearing those first few notes and immediately feeling that here was something different and special. A time of hope, I think. I’d left school at 16 and after a failed attempt at being a librarian (as previously mentioned) and an evening class in typing which has stood me in good stead to this day, I’d just started at art college, although completely clueless about what I was supposed to be doing. We were taken to see the newly-opened Coventry Cathedral, and also to London, to the National Gallery and the Courtauld, my first ever visit.

  12. I was 4 years old but with astounding musical taste (!!) so

    The Wanderer – Dion (one of the all time great singles)
    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance – Gene Pitney
    Good Golly Miss Molly – Jerry Lee Lewis

  13. ’62 was a radical year for me, I was 28, the previous year I’d quit my job and left the USA because of the Cuban Missile crisis, I was quite sure that war was inevitable; we spent a year in England and France and then at a loss as to what to do, we returned to LA. No jobs, no house, no idea! So we did what had always seemed ‘the way to go’, we applied and were accepted at a university. Probably the best move I’ve ever made, one of those ‘forks in the road’ and everything flowed from that decision.
    I hate to argue with Amy but it was the worst year ever for jazz, I’d been an obsessive fan for over 15 years and suddenly there was not much there. Cannonball and Herbie of course but it was thin on the ground. A special treat was that I saw Cannonball at a small club in San Diego. I lost interest in the way that jazz was evolving and started listening to pop radio, [plus my album collection] We were right at the transition from Folk to Pop, Ray Charles made a big impression, the Beatles were getting going, Booker T, the Beach boys, and a lot of nondescript stuff, Telstar, Moon River, Nat Cole, Kingston Trio and Peter Paul & Mary.
    Here’s a few of the cuts that I recognize from 1962.
    I Can’t Stop Loving You, Ray Charles
    Ramblin’ Rose, Nat King Cole
    Green Onions, Booker T and The MG’s
    You Don’t Know Me, Ray Charles
    Moon River, Henry Mancini
    Walk On the Wild Side, Jimmy Smith
    Where Have All The Flowers Gone, The Kingston Trio
    If I Had a Hammer, Peter, Paul & Mary
    Surfin’ Safari, The Beach Boys
    “Baby Let Me Follow You Down”, Dylan
    Telstar – the Tornados
    Tony Bennett, I Left My Heart In San Francisco
    John Lee Hooker Boom Boom

    If I have to choose three they’d be:

    Can’t stop loving you – Ray Charles
    You don’t know me Ray Charles
    Telstar – The Tornados

    • Nah, GF, argue away, i have no case at all. I’m not really a jazz fan at all, i just saw a lotta jazz names on the list of albms.

    • There’s an interesting detail that I omitted from that tale.
      I’ve no idea how we came to be parked outside that university that day, I’d literally just driven directly from New York and arrived that morning. Out of the blue I saw a person I knew, I’d worked with him and we’d shared an apartment when I first arrived in the US and there he was 20ft away! We hadn’t seen each other for about 4 years so there was a lot of catching up to do, I asked him what he was doing and he said that he’d just enrolled at the university and he suggested that we do the same. On top of that he said that he’d just bought a 3 bedroom house about a mile away and needed someone to share the rent, were we interested? Well suddenly everything changed, we had a place to live, we had a car and we were accepted at the university and it only cost about $400 a year for tuition!
      Well I was ultimately offered a teaching position there which I accepted and that led to my becoming the Director of Media for the university, the largest one in California. I stayed there for about 25 years, I got an MFA from UCLA and my wife got a PhD from UCLA. If you believe in ‘fate’ maybe that had something to do with all those elements coming together, for me it was just another fork in the road and my eternal good luck!

  14. I was 3 in 1962 so I can’t honestly say I remember much about it. But I was definitely in love with Adam Faith from a tender age (not sure why); also Dr Kildare (ditto). I wasn’t in love with Kenny Ball but I remember KB and his orchestra as a background to childhood, so here goes:

    Adam Faith – Lonesome
    Johnny Spence and his Orchestra – Theme from Dr Kildare
    Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen – The Green Leaves of Summer

  15. Acker Bilk – Stranger on the Shore
    Mike Sarne & Wendy Richards – Come Outside (Is this a comedy record, or a dangerous invitation?)
    Ketty Lester – Love Letters

    • Acker Bilk lived in Potters Bar at the same time I did. One day I went for a little nosy mooch to look for his house, and was astonished to find that it was the same design as ours – a ’30s speculative builder special – except that his was at the top of a slope and he’d had an underground garage built underneath.

  16. “Al di la” ~ Emilio Percoli
    “Green Onions” ~ Booker T & the MGs
    “Percolator (Twist)” ~ Billy Joe & The Checkmates

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