what was the music like 50 years ago? remember, in america at least, this was post-rock-n-roll and pre-beatles music (at least in the us).
some of it was over-the-top wacky ("yackety sax," "poppa oom mow mow"), some was tastefully if not syrupy sweet ("our day will come," "blue velvet"), and some was a vision of the future ("watermelon man," "it's all right").
then there were the heavy hitters: bob & earl's "harlem shuffle," and johnny cash's "ring of fire."
all 24 songs are listed here.
yes, there was some good music in 1962, even though that was a year in the musical dead zone: after the rock and roll/r & b explosion of the 50s but before the beatles/rock revolution of the 60s.
this week i'll play ray charles' "one mint julep" and his unfortunately schmaltzy arrangement of "i can't stop loving you," a fascinating mexican melody by brazilian classically trained guitarists los indios tabajaras (pictured, who were encouraged to dress up in native amazonian costumes), a slow blues by howlin' wolf, and songs from the debut albums of bob dylan and the beach boys. and some goofy songs as well.
in retrospect, i'd say that 1962's dearth of lasting music was compensated for by its uneven variety.
check out all the tunes here.
The music of 1962 was overtly mellow at the time, but now, with 50 years of hindsight, there are some surprising and radical gems to be discovered.
First is the classic "dance" tune: David Rose's "The stripper"--music to strip paint by. Bob Dylan released is first album, which contained the semi-original "Talkin' New York." At the time he was just a kid singing old folk songs; hard to imagine he'd be creating a new genre of music in a few short months.
Surf music was getting underway. The Beach Boys were at the heart of it, and one of the twangy, surfy guitar songs from that year was The Gamblers' "LSD-25." Who knew that that substance was at the heart of surf music?
And don't forget the original--and in some ways better--"Twist and shout" by the Isley Brothers [pictured].
The fascinating playlist is here: 1962 tunes.