Category Archives: 1960’s

Liner Notes: In Memory of Hal David 1921-2012

What the World Needs Now is Love – Jackie DeShannon (1965)
Hal David started a songwriting partnership with Burt Bachrach in 1957 which produced some of the most enduring popular songs of the 20th century. The most frequent and visible benefactor of David’s lyrics and Bachrach’s music was Dionne Warwick, but they also worked with a wide variety of other top vocalists, as demonstrated by this track. David was recognized with an Oscar, multiple Grammys, Johnny Mercer Award, Ivor Novello Award (the first non-Briton to do so), and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. Earlier this year, he & Bachrach were the first collaborative team to earn the Gershwin Prize. Mr. David passed away Saturday at the age of 91.

Whatever Happened To… Ben E. King?

Stand by Me – Ben E. King (1986)
Born Benjamin E. Nelson, King originally recorded and released this hit in 1961. It resurfaced 25 years later when it became the theme song for a film of the same name. With the re-release, King was discovered by a new generation, and his career experienced a resurgence. He delivered some original material in the early 90’s, but has since largely relied on his back catalog of hits, plus those of his contemporaries, to fuel his recordings and performances. King’s latest album came out in 2010, and he toured extensively in Europe throughout 2011.

Old School: Nina Simone

I Put a Spell on You – Nina Simone (1965)

Nina Simone
(1933-2003)

Genre: Jazz / Blues / Gospel / Folk
Origin: Tryon > North Carolina > US
Career: 1954-2003
Tidbit: Born Eunice Waymon, Simone was a classically-trained pianist who begrudgingly performed popular music, so she could afford her music studies. In the 60’s, she became an active participant in the US civil rights movement.

Old School: The Monkees

Valleri – The Monkees (1968)

The Monkees
Micky Dolenz (1945-present), Michael Nesmith (1942-present), Peter Tork (1942-present), & Davy Jones (1945-2012)

Genre: Pop-rock / Bubblegum pop
Origin: Los Angeles > California > US
Career: 1966-1970
Tidbit: Cast and launched for a television series, most of the Monkees were musicians…but none of them was a drummer. Davy Jones, the only non-musician, was too short and got lost behind the drums, so Micky Dolenz won the job. And then learned how to play drums.

Old School: Dean Martin

Everybody Loves Somebody – Dean Martin (1964)

Dean Martin
(1917-1995)

Genre: Big band / Traditional pop
Origin: Steubenville > Ohio > US
Career: 1939–1995
Tidbit: Born Dino Crocetti, Martin had a career that spanned music, film, and television. This single, recorded during his years in the “Rat Pack,” bucked the onslaught of rock & roll and the British Invasion at the time by knocking the Beatles out of the #1 spot on the US charts.

Old School: Jimi Hendrix

Little Wing – The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1968)

Jimi Hendrix
(1942-1970)

Genre: Blues / Psychedelic / Hard rock
Origin: Seattle > Washington > US
Career: 1959–1970
Tidbit: Born Johnny Allen Hendrix (and later renamed James Marshall Hendrix), Hendrix has been repeatedly recognized as one of the top guitarists of all time. He was posthumously awarded with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and UK Music Hall of Fame.

Whatever Happened To… Creedence Clearwater Revival?

Down on the Corner – Creedence Clearwater Revival (1969)
This American band were together less than five years, but *what* a five years it was: Seven studio albums, 13 singles, and 30 million records sold in the US alone. Following their split in 1972, vocalist and lead guitarist John Fogerty released a couple solo albums later in the 70’s with limited commercial success. But he came back in both the 80’s and 90’s with commercially and critically successful releases. He’s reportedly currently in the studio working on a new album. Bassist Stu Cook & drummer Doug Clifford continued to work together as session musicians and in another band. In 1995, they launched Creedence Clearwater Revisited, which has toured internationally. Rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty (John’s brother) pursued a moderately successful solo career during the 70’s and 80’s. He died in 1990 of complications from AIDS.

Old School: Henry Mancini

Moon River – Henry Mancini & His Orchestra (1961)

Henry Mancini
(1924-1994)

Genre: Film & television scores (Big band, classical & traditional pop)
Origin: Cleveland > Ohio > US
Career: 1946–1994
Tidbit: Born Enrico Mancini, Henry attended Juilliard School of Music before being drafted to serve in World War II. His work was recognized with 20 Grammy Awards and four Oscars.

Old School: The Cowsills

Indian Lake – The Cowsills (1968)

The Cowsills
Bill (1948-2006), Richard (1949-present), Bob (1949-present), Paul (1951-present), Barry (1954-2005), John (1956-present), Susan (1959-present), & Barbara (1928-1985)

Genre: Pop-rock / Bubblegum pop
Origin: Newport > Rhode Island > US
Career: 1965–1972, 1978–1980, 1990–present
Tidbit: This musical family was the inspiration for the television sitcom The Partridge Family (1970-1974).

Old School: Ray Charles

Georgia on my Mind – Ray Charles (1960)

Ray Charles
(1930-2004)

Genre: Blues / Jazz / Country
Origin: Albany > Georgia > US
Career: 1947-2004
Tidbit: Born Ray Robinson, Charles attended the Florida School for the Deaf & the Blind, where he developed his musical talent. He’s one of the most recognized artists of all-time:

  • 17 Grammy Awards
  • Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Grammy President’s Merit Award
  • Polar Music Prize
  • Georgia State Music Hall of Fame
  • Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
  • Kennedy Center Honors
  • Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Jazz Hall of Fame
  • National Black Sports & Entertainment Hall of Fame
  • George & Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement
  • National Medal of Arts
  • Hit Parade Hall of Fame