What Happened, 1963-1965

September 8, 2017 at 7:05 am (Music What Happened Mixes)


Everyone knows that on the evening of February 9th, 1964 The Beatles made their first appearance on national TV in America, simultaneously kicking off the British Invasion and the modern era of rock and roll. What’s a little less known is that by the time the Beatles showed up on the Ed Sullivan Show, they were already a big deal in the States, having begun a decade-long assault on the US singles charts weeks earlier, in 1963.

Thus the start of the Beatle era–usually tabbed at 1964–is properly placed sometime in 1963, when followup singles to “Love Me Do” began to move units, as they say. This era is also the high and low tide of surf music, as well as the last time — other than some oddities, novelties, and some individual performers (Dylan, etc.)– that socially conscious, intellectual folk music would be massively popular across a wide swath of the pop music listening audience.

For me, the happiest discovery in Scott Miller’s excellently chosen selections from this era is just how good some of that early 60s folk was. My perception, filled in by snide caricatures in movies like Animal House and TV shows like the Beverly Hillbillies, was that folk music during this huge era was over-earnest and hyper-serious, and that’s what eventually doomed it commercially. Perhaps that’s so, but the five or six folk selections Miller’s chosen for 1963 are absolutely lovely and gob-smackingly good. To illustrate, I’ve always found Sinatra’s “It Was A Very Good Year” version to be pretty off-puttingly shallow. (You’re Frank Sinatra in the 1960s. Every year is a very good year, dude.) The hard-to-find (trust me) Brown & Dana folk version that Miller uses here is aces though, and restores all the longing that song deserves.

We need to cover some mix notes, too. For starters, with 1963 and on through 1970, Miller breaks one of his self-imposed rules: only one song per year by any one artist. As he states in justifying the need to bend that rule, how the hell are you gonna pick just one Beatles’ song in any given year in the 1960s? I mean….right? So, for the 1960s, multiple Beatle tracks are allowed in a year, as long as they’re by different primary writers. So…possibility of a John song, a Paul song, and a George song in each year.

Some year specific notes also:

In 1963 there’s nothing too noteworthy to discuss. The vinyl pops on that Brown & Dana track are authentic though. Also, the version of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” is the mono mix. I accidentally put a stereo mix on an earlier version of this and boy howdy is that terrible to listen to. Also, that John Fahey track is just goose-bump inducingly awesome. The live versions of “Mrs McGrath” by The Womenfolk and “Gantanamera” by The Weavers are intentional. Miller deliberately chooses these two versions (and describes the live stage patter well enough to make them easy to track down) and so that’s duplicated here.

For 1964, we have our first accidental anachronism from the book with the song “Secret Agent Man,” although it isn’t as egregious as I first feared. “Secret Agent Man” didn’t get released as a single by Johnny Rivers until 1966…but it existed before that. It was the theme song for the American series called “Secret Agent”, which was actually a re-run of a UK series called “Danger Man”. And, Wikipedia tells me that for Season two of “Secret Agent”, the theme song was indeed changed to “Secret Agent Man.” Unfortunately, season two of the show didn’t air in the States until May of ’65, meaning the song was likely recorded in January or February of that year. Still. Close enough. Just wanted to provide a heads-up.

Also, I need to talk about “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals. In the book, Miller opens his passage on this song by saying that this song should be ripped from a worn 45, preferably. As you’ll hear, the version in this mix has that provenance. Also in 1964, don’t sleep on that Skeeter Davis track. It’s absolutely aces.

1965 is pretty straightforward, although it is largely our last fling with jazz, at least in this context. Also the choice of “Think for Yourself” as one of three Beatles cuts is inspired. As Miller notes, it’s one of the most obvious early showcases of their adventurousness with melody, and happens to be a personal favorite of mine.

What Happened, 1963

1963 mp3 to download and track list:

  1. “Surfin’ Bird” The Trashmen
  2. “All My Loving” The Beatles
  3. “Pipeline” The Chantays
  4. “Be My Baby” The Ronettes
  5. “Anji” Davey Graham
  6. “Duet Solo Dancers” Charles Mingus
  7. “Louie Louie” The Kingsmen
  8. “When Springtime Comes Again” John Fahey
  9. “Ring Of Fire” Johnny Cash
  10. “It Was A Very Good Year” Brown and Dana
  11. “I Wanna Be Your Man” The Rolling Stones
  12. “Da Doo Ron Ron” The Crystals
  13. “In My Room” The Beach Boys
  14. “Mrs McGrath” The Womenfolk
  15. “Guantanamera” The Weavers
  16. “Cast Your Fate To the Wind” Vince Guaraldi
  17. “Blowin’ in the Wind” Bob Dylan
  18. “On Broadway” The Drifters
  19. “Afro Blue” John Coltrane
  20. “I Want To Hold Your Hand” The Beatles


What Happened, 1964

1964 mp3 to download and track list:

  1. “I’m Into Something Good” Herman’s Hermits
  2. “Secret Agent Man” Johnny Rivers
  3. “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” The Righteous Brothers
  4. “The Crying Game” Dave Berry
  5. “Goin’ Out of My Head” Little Anthony and the Imperials
  6. “House of the Rising Sun” The Animals
  7. “Let Me Get Close To You” Skeeter Davis
  8. “Where Did Our Love Go?” The Supremes
  9. “Time is on My Side” The Rolling Stones
  10. “Gloria” Them
  11. “Baby I Need Your Loving” The Four Tops
  12. “Oh, Pretty Woman” Roy Orbison
  13. “A Summer Song” Chad and Jeremy
  14. “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss)” Betty Everett
  15. “The Times They Are A-Changin'” Bob Dylan
  16. “My Girl” The Temptations
  17. “The Pink Panther Theme” Henry Mancini
  18. “Don’t Worry Baby” The Beach Boys
  19. “Downtown” Petula Clark
  20. “She’s Not There” The Zombies
  21. “You Really Got Me” The Kinks
  22. “If I Fell” The Beatles


What Happened, 1965

1965 mp3 to download and track list:

  1. “I Ain’t Marching Anymore” Phil Ochs
  2. “Yesterday” The Beatles
  3. “Eve Of Destruction” Barry McGuire
  4. “It Ain’t Me Babe” The Turtles
  5. “Never to Be Forgotten” The Bobby Fuller Four
  6. “Tired of Waiting for You” The Kinks
  7. “A Love Supreme Pt. II–Resolution” John Coltrane
  8. “My Generation” The Who
  9. “Death Letter” Son House
  10. “What Do You Want of Me” Man Of La Mancha Original Cast Recording
  11. “Girl Don’t Tell Me” The Beach Boys
  12. “Think For Yourself” The Beatles
  13. “In The Midnight Hour” Wilson Pickett
  14. “King of the Road” Roger Miller
  15. “Tracks of My Tears” Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
  16. “Mr. Tambourine Man” The Byrds
  17. “Linus and Lucy” Vince Guaraldi
  18. “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” The Rolling Stones
  19. “Like A Rolling Stone” Bob Dylan
  20. “Help!” The Beatles


What Happened 1963-1965

What happened 1963-1965 three-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.

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