What Happened, 1960-1962

September 4, 2017 at 9:00 am (Music What Happened Mixes)


My music knowledge of these first years of the 1960s comes almost completely from biographies of British Invasion bands such as The Beatles, The Stones, and The Who. These biographies assure me with great confidence that popular music became a desolate wasteland the moment Buddy Holly’s plane smacked into the ground, not to be redeemed until the Fab Four shook their hair on the Ed Sullivan Show in February, 1964.

So imagine my surprise on discovering a whole lot to like in this time period. Soul music starts to come to the forefront. Traditional American blues has its final moment in the charts, though its influence would last forever. Jazz and showtunes and even the quintessential easy listening track get to take their final bows on the pop music stage before a rock and roll revolution ushers them off.

Some notes:

For 1960, everything’s as-is from the book. This set of years was one of the few that didn’t require tons of outside research. I will say this though: artists and record labels who re-record original hits years and years later are the bane of my existence for this. The other thing that happens in 1960 is that we get our first tastes of American folk music, a genre that looms large in this collection, pre-1964. Perhaps it’s the fake-documentary, A Mighty Wind, (from Christopher Guest and his group of comedic actors) from years ago that has colored my view of folk music, but I’d sort of thought of these years in folk as being strident, polemic, and kind of unlistenably way-too-serious. “Ten Thousand Miles” by Penny and Jean are one of many well-chosen folk tracks to come that challenged my assumptions. It’s warm and full of life. And then there’s Joan Baez and “All My Trials”, which Scott Miller puts in the running for best vocal performance of the rock era. I can’t argue.

1961 was another research year for me, mostly for the ultimate song on this mix: “Moon River” by Henry Mancini. The challenge: there are at least three versions of the song on the soundtrack of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, so already I need some clues from the book for which version he means. I’ve always been partial to Audrey Hepburn’s lovely acoustic solo version, where she’s sitting in a window in the movie, playing the song on guitar and singing into the night. But while Miller mentions Hepburn in his review, he’s clearly referring to a different version of the song. He mentions the interrupted rhythm caused by Mancini’s interesting and unique double-tap percussion arrangement, and also mentions the lyrics in the song. There’s only one version from the original soundtrack recording with percussion and vocals, and it’s this one.

1962 has Bob Dylan entering the picture for the first (but by no means last) time. We also get the first Beatles single, and a reprise of West Side Story (Miller freely admits to cheesing this up so he can include two songs from the musical, by this time listing Marni Nixon’s turn on the original movie soundtrack on “Tonight”.) I also love the way he writes about 1962’s capper, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.” Remember how I described my impression of folk music of this period? Yeah, Miller’s having none of it. After mentioning that yes, it does require him to go halfway to not get caught up in this as a parody of “bleeding-heart folkies”, he drops this on you:

“I am in fact a bleeding-heart, I like folk music quite a bit, and the music and words are beautiful, touching, and clever in a way for which I will ultimately cast my lot with the laughed-at if it comes to it. When there’s no longer an overarching sadness that too many soldiers are ‘gone to graveyards,’ maybe I’ll skip back with a light heart and a smirk to reassess.”

What Happened, 1960

1960 mp3 to download and track list:

  1. “Apache” The Shadows
  2. “Exodus” Ferrante and Teicher
  3. “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” The Shirelles
  4. “Four on Six” Wes Montgomery
  5. “Ten Thousand Miles” Penny and Jean
  6. “Money (That’s What I Want)” Barrett Strong
  7. “Shakin’ All Over” Johnny Kidd and the Pirates
  8. “Dig Dis” Hank Mobley
  9. “Cathy’s Clown” The Everly Brothers
  10. “Concierto de Aranjuez” Miles Davis
  11. “Walk Don’t Run” The Ventures
  12. “Theme from A Summer Place” Percy Faith and His Orchestra
  13. “Shop Around” The Miracles
  14. “Spoonful” Howlin’ Wolf
  15. “All My Trials” Joan Baez
  16. “Syeeda’s Song Flute” John Coltrane
  17. “Try to Remember” Jerry Orbach, Fantasticks Original Cast Recording


What Happened, 1961

1961 mp3 to download and track list:

  1. “I Pity the Fool” Bobby “Blue Bland
  2. “Doozy” Benny Carter & Quincy Jones and His Orchestra
  3. “Town Without Pity” Gene Pitney
  4. “You Don’t Miss Your Water” William Bell
  5. “The Red Rooster” Howlin’ Wolf
  6. “Stand By Me” Ben E. King
  7. “Gloria’s Step” Bill Evans
  8. “A Shot of Rhythm and Blues” Arthur Alexander
  9. “Hide Away” Freddie King
  10. “Finnegan’s Wake” The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem
  11. “The Wanderer” Dion
  12. “Little Sister” Elvis Presley
  13. “At Last” Etta James
  14. “Hoe Down” Oliver Nelson
  15. “Hit the Road Jack” Ray Charles
  16. “I Fall To Pieces” Patsy Cline
  17. “Aisha” John Coltrane
  18. “Runaway” Del Shannon
  19. “Moon River” Henry Mancini


What Happened, 1962

1962 mp3 to download and track list:

  1. “Man of Constant Sorrow” Bob Dylan
  2. “Monster Mash” Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers
  3. “Cry to Me” Solomon Burke
  4. “Up on the Roof” The Drifters
  5. “The James Bond Theme” John Barry
  6. “God Bless the Child” Sonny Rollins
  7. “Chains” The Cookies
  8. “Some Other Guy” Richie Barrett
  9. “Watermelon Man” Herbie Hancock
  10. “Boom Boom” John Lee Hooker
  11. “Twist and Shout” The Isley Brothers
  12. “Fleurette Africaine” Duke Ellington
  13. “The Loco-Motion” Little Eva
  14. “Love Me Do” The Beatles
  15. “Anna (Go to Him)” Arthur Alexander
  16. “Night Train” James Brown and the Famous Flames
  17. “Telstar” The Tornadoes
  18. “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
  19. “Tonight” Jim Bryant and Marni Nixon, West Side Story Original Movie Soundtrack
  20. “Mr. Syms” John Coltrane
  21. “Green Onions” Booker T. and the M. G.s
  22. “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” The Kingston Trio


What Happened, 1960-1962

What Happened 1960-1962 3-year mp3 mix to download.


What’s all this then? It’s what happened, musically, during these particular years. No really! Hit that link for more info.

1 Comment

  1. More about this thing I’m making… | Popnarcotic said,

    […] What Happened 1960-1962 […]

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: