More music from 1966/1967

Song referencing Long Island

Here’s more of my mixed CD for 1966/1967.

Somebody To Love – Jefferson Airplane. Surrealistic Pillow was the first Airplane album with Grace Slick.

I’m Ready For Love – Martha and the Vandellas—a Holland-Dozier-Holland song. On my greatest hits CD, “I’m ready” in the bridge repeats, then “right now” does the same. It’s a failure of the pressing process, not a skip; it’s too precise.

I Second That Emotion – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Smokey explains that the title line was a mistake. Some of the guys were in a store deciding something, and one wanted to say, “I that that motion,” but misspoke.

Mercy, Mercy, Mercy – the Buckinghams. I heard the Cannonball Adderly version much later.

(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher – Jackie Wilson. Some of the Funk Brothers, who played on the Motown hits, went to Chicago to play on this track to make more money.

My Baby Must Be A Magician – the Marvelettes. The first voice you hear is Melvin Franklin from The Temptations. This song was written and produced by Smokey Robinson.

Wang Dang Doodle – Koko Taylor. It’s a Willie Dixon song.

Big Noise From Speonk – the Lovin’ Spoonful. This is the final cut on the group’s Daydream album, which I got from the Capitol Record Club when I failed to return the postcard in time. I love the collection. Speonk is a hamlet in Southampton, Suffolk County, NY.

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – Otis Redding. A cover of a British band’s song.

19th Nervous Breakdown – the Rolling Stones

Obscure Motown

No More Water In The Well – the Temptations. Written by Warren Moore, Bobby Rogers, and Smokey from the Miracles. From my all-time favorite Temps album, The Temptations With A Lot o’ Soul

Love’s Gone Bad – Chris Clark. I found this Holland-Dozier-Holland song on two Motown compilation albums I own. Here’s her IMDb page.

The Mission: Impossible television theme. This was one of my father’s favorite shows at the time. I have at least seven albums with TV theme songs.

Five O’Clock World– the Vogues. This was the theme for the second season of The Drew Carey Show.

Boris The Spider – the Who. Because I like to say, “Boris, the Spider.”

At The Zoo – Simon and Garfunkel. I wrote a blog post about it.  

The Mixed CD cavalcade

“new” music

The Mixed CD cavalcade solves two of life’s little problems for me. But first, what IS it?

In 2005, when I first started blogging, I went to my friend Fred Hembeck’s roster of links. I visited several of my fellow bloggers, often leaving comments.

One of them, Lefty Brown, organized a mixed CD swap with a bunch of us, including Fred, Eddie Mitchell, SamuraiFrog, Mike Sterling, and even Greg “living in a desert”  Burgas. I reviewed some of these collections back then in my blog. We almost always created a list of the enclosed songs. 

Fred and I also had our private exchange of music. Several of Fred’s involved Beatles covers, so I reciprocated.

Then, I got so into curating music that I started making mixed CDs for myself. Oddly, though, I never included a playlist. So I have about 30 discs, and I have no idea what’s on them other than the title. (1966/67, War, Troublemakers)

Also, I need “new” music to augment the playing of albums tied to the artists’ birthdays. So I’ll play some of these, and they’ll become blog content. And when I run out of mine, I’ll play those discs from Fred and probably the others. Some of them are very good. Some are weird. These are not mutually exclusive terms.

One reality is that I have no computer with a disc drive presently, so I can’t make more of these. I suppose it could make me sad. Instead, I’m grateful for the ones I already created. Call it a smidgen of musical nostalgia.


If I had to play only one year of music, it would be 1966. It was the year I turned 13. When I used to listen to an oldies station in the early 1980s that played songs from 1955 to approximately 1974, about 30% of my favorites were from 1966. I’m not saying the music was better, but it did resonate more for me.

Here are the first ten, with the remaining 16 coming up soon—all of them I still own on CD.

Cool Jerk – the Capitols. I wrote a whole post about this track. My, I love this song. Incidentally, Grammarly wanted to change Cool to Fantastic.

Keep On Running– The Spencer Davis Davis Group. This song has long been in my head. This is the first song of an unauthorized collection called Winwood, which I bought in a store then.

Along Comes Mary– the Association

One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer – John Lee Hooker

Till The End Of The Day – the Kinks

I Feel Good – James Brown

Got To Get You Into My Life – The Beatles. It’s probably my second favorite Fab Four song.

Hold On, I’m Coming – Sam and Dave

Everlasting Love – Robert Knight. This song by Jamie Dornan was one of the best things in the movie Belfast.

Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart – the Supremes. This is my favorite Supremes song, and I never understood why it only went #9 pop, #7 RB on the Billboard charts. I have this extended version from a Supremes anthology.

Torturing others with Barry Sadler


barry Sadler.Green BeretsI had a grand time after church in late October. And I had S/Sgt. Barry Sadler to thank.

A group of us were talking about music. For some reason, the truly awful song The Men In My Little Girl’s Life came to my mind. Pure treacle. It was sung by Mike Douglas, the TV host. The very title made my companions shriek. I remember it went to #6 in ’66. – sign of the devil. So yeah.

One of my buddies was talking about how they had gone through all of the songs that had reached #1 on the pop charts. The discovery was that some of the ones before the rock and roll era weren’t very good.

I wondered if The Ballad of the Green Berets by Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler was an outlier, but they didn’t remember it. This surprised me because it’s so different than most of its contemporary tunes. I confidently said it was the #1 tune of 1966, which was true if being #1 for five weeks is the measure. We Can Work It OutSoul and InspirationMonday MondaySummer In The City, and Winchester Cathedral all topped the charts for three weeks that year.

But they were young and didn’t understand its impact until I asked someone younger than I, I think, but older than them about the song. She immediately launched into “Fighting soldiers from the sky…” This generated a look of utter disbelief, and I had to laugh. You did not need to be a supporter of the Vietnam war to have that song stuck in your head for decades without having heard it again.

A new verse?

The song was so ubiquitous in the day that I could have, but didn’t, recite the lyrics of the last verse.
Back at home, a young wife waits
Her Green Beret has met his fate
He has died for those oppressed.
Leaving her his last request…

I knew the song was controversial at the time, of course. What I didn’t realize until recently is that there is a new, more inclusive version that has this verse:

Delta Force and CIA
They clear the way.
Covert missions are now in play
These special ops
like the Green Beret

Some in the military apparently hate the additional words. I think they’re clunky.

I blame Chuck Miller for getting the original song stuck in my head. On his radio show, he played the B-side of Ballad of the Green Berets, a song called Letter from Vietnam, right before that church discussion.

The movie

Oh, yeah, I also saw the movie The Green Berets (1968), starring John Wayne, and fresh off the TV show The Fugitive, David Janssen. It also starred Jim Hutton of Binghamton, NY as Sgt. Petersen, which may have been a factor in me seeing it at the time.

Janssen’s character, George Beckworth, was a newspaper reporter cynical about the war until seeing Col. Mike Kirby (Wayne) and his troops in action. That’s a little oversimplified, but so was the film, which was pilloried by the critics as a WWII film.

Music albums for the year 1966

I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times

East-west_coverA couple of months back, I was nominated on Facebook “to post 10 albums that affected my life. No stories, no reason.”

That was unpossible, as someone said. I did it anyway, but I limited it to albums released in 1966. I didn’t necessarily BUY them in 1966, or even in that decade.

Watchout! – Martha and the Vandellas. I’m pretty sure I bought this as an LP cutout from some store – Woolworths, maybe?
Jimmy Mack, #10 pop, #1 RB in 1967.
I’m Ready for Love, #9 pop, #2 RB in 1966.
Full album.

Daydream – the Lovin’ Spoonful. I got this album on the Kama Sutra label from the Capitol Record Club because I didn’t send the card back in time. And a good thing, too, because I LOVE this album.
It’s Not Time Now – I took this as a conversation among Jimmy Carter, Ted Kennedy, and Jerry Brown fighting for the 1980 democratic nomination for President. Brown: “I can’t seem to get a word in edgewise anyhow.”
Jug Band Music.
Full album.

East-West – The Butterfield Blues Band. Another cutout, and an outstanding find.
Mary, Mary – a Mike Nesmith song that the Monkees were criticized for recording in some circles!
Work Song.
Full album.


The Supremes A’ Go-Go – the Supremes. The one album on the list that I didn’t/don’t own. My sister Leslie did, so I heard it a lot.
Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart, #9 pop, #7 RB in 1966. Possibly my favorite Supremes song.
You Can’t Hurry Love, #1 for two weeks, both pop and RB.
Full album.

If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears – the Mamas and the Papas. I probably bought this debut album in a store. The first of two 1966 albums by the group, the other being the eponymously-titled one.
Go Where You Wanna Go – Leslie and I would sometimes sing this in our green Family Singers days, a rare pop song in the repertoire.
Got a Feelin’, B-side of Monday, Monday.
Full album.

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme – Simon and Garfunkel. A store purchase. Did my father buy this? He was really taken by 7 O’Clock News/Silent Night.
A Simple Desultory Philippic (Or How I Was Robert McNamara’d into Submission).
The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine, B-side of the Dangling Conversation.
Full album.

Aftermath – the Rolling Stones. A cutout. The first real Stones’ album, I thought, as opposed to hits and filler.
Lady Jane, B-side of Mother’s Little Helper, #24 in 1966.
I Am Waiting.
Full UK album.

The Cream

Fresh Cream– Cream. Probably a cutout. Our 7th-grade history teacher, Mr. Stone, referred to the group as The Cream. My friend Karen quickly corrected him.
I Feel Free, #116 in 1967, not on the UK album.
N.S.U., B-side of I Feel Free.
Full US album.

Blonde on Blonde – Bob Dylan. I heard this a lot – my HS girlfriend was a big Dylan fan – but never actually BOUGHT it until the CD era.
I Want You, #20 pop in 1966. This appeared on a Columbia compilation album called Best of ’66.
Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again.
Full album.

Revolver – the Beatles. The last Beatles album I got from the Capitol Record Club. I first owned the UK version on a The Beatles Collection.
Got to Get You into My Life, #7 in 1976.
Tomorrow Never Knows.
Full UK album.

Pet Sounds.
I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times.
Wouldn’t It Be Nice , #8 in 1966.
Full album.

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