Monday, March 01, 2010

Remembering some 1960s pop music: Dave Clark Five, Gale Garnett, We Five.

Many of us boomers think of the 1960s as the acme of pop music. Several genres had their origin, and sometimes their demise, in that decade: Motown, Philly and Memphis Stax/Volt soul; surf; Phil Spector's "wall of sound"; British invasion (itself consisting of several sub-genres such as Merseybeat, the Oxford sound, and various R&B influenced styles: London--think the Rolling Stones; Newcastle--think the Animals; and Belfast--think Them and Van Morrison); folk rock; San Francisco psychedelia; and even an early sort of disco exemplified by Joey Dee and the Starliters. In this post, I've collected a few of the perhaps less enduringly famous remnants of that decade which I nevertheless remember fondly. Some of these are grainy black and white videos with less than perfect sound, but I hope you can enjoy them.

The Dave Clark Five, "Glad All Over" and "Bits and Pieces":
During 1964 and '65, this group--unusual in being named for their drummer--rivaled the Beatles and Stones in popularity. The British Pathé news clip above introduces the band and shows "live" (lip-synched) performances of their first two hits: "Glad All Over" and "Bits and Pieces".

Gale Garnett, "We'll Sing in the Sunshine":

The radio soundtrack for my first term at the University of South Florida in the fall of 1964 prominently included this song, along with Manfed Mann's "Doo Wah Diddy Diddy", Gene Pitney's "It Hurts to Be in Love", and "She's Not There" by the Zombies. Gale was later an occasional visitor to the Lion's Head, but I never met her.

We Five, "You Were on My Mind":

We Five were not quite a one hit wonder; after "You Were on My Mind" a later recording, now forgotten, made it to 31 on the pop charts. "You Were on My Mind", written by Sylvia Fricker Tyson of Ian and Sylvia, reached number three on the Billboard "Hot 100" in August of 1965. Much of its success, and that of the subsequent album, can be attributed to the style and vocal range of their lead singer, Beverly Bivens. She has been compared to, among others, Fairport Convention's first female singer, Judy Dyble.