Chapter 11

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Here's my favorite style of music, or at least one of my favorites:
The semi-rock crooner era circa 1958-1962.

Gene Pitney was probably the king of writing and producing and singing in that era. If you've ever heard an original 45 of "The Ballad of Liberty Valance" on a good hi-fi, you know what it feels like to jump out of your skin.*

You've got Bobby Vee with the great songs and production that his management got for him, and a whole bunch of other Bobbies. The Shirelles and the Chantels planted time bombs that would, a few years later, kick off a girl group explosion. There was Del Shannon's "Runaway", the perfect record. The Marvelettes gave Motown Records its first #1 hit, "Please Mr. Postman".

Everything was just so well done, during that little slice of time.

This was, by the way, the environment that the Beatles sprang from: Well-crafted pop tunes a step above rock-and-roll. There are a lot of chords in "I Want to Hold Your Hand" or "Please Please Me".


Maybe I just like transitional periods. My favorite Beatles song is Penny Lane, and I even like the Stones' attempt at that vibe, Ruby Tuesday.**

Just a small little turning point, these songs were. A doorway from Carnaby Street to the LSD era.


* Re-issues won't do it, not even 45rpm reissues.
You need the original 45 with its original mastering.

** The Stones always seemed to be cashing in on whatever was happening at the moment. They were known to be money motivated. They were rich before the Beatles were.