Category Archives: 1960s

“Baby Baby Don’t Cry The Miracles”

“Baby Baby Don’t Cry The Miracles”

Baby, Baby Don’t Cry”, released in December 1968, is a single recorded by The Miracles for Motown Records‘ Tamla label. The composition was written by Miracles lead singer Smokey Robinson, Motown staff writers Al Cleveland and Terry Johnson, a former member of The Flamingos. Robinson, Johnson, and Miracles member Warren “Pete” Moore were the song’s producers.

Baby Baby Don’t Cry” was a top 10 pop hit for The Miracles, peaking at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and at a Top 10 R&B hit as well,peaking as number three on Billboard’s R&B singles chart.It sold over one million copies,and has inspired cover versions by Gerald Wilson and His Orchestra, and Projekt. The song is noted for Smokey’s spoken recitation at the beginning as well as before the second verse. The spoken lines are: “Nothing so blue as a heart in pain/Nothing so sad as a tear in vain”, and “You trusted him and gave him your love/A love he proved unworthy of”. The song uses an extended bridge that repeats the minor and diminished chords before going up half a step for the final repeated Choruses.

Although not given writing credit on this particular tune, Miracle Marv Tarplin’s outstanding guitar work plays an important role in this song,his gentle but effective riffs being evident from the song’s beginning,giving a “raindrop” effect reminiscent of someone crying (the song’s main theme).

The Miracles performed this song on a 1969 Telecast of The Mike Douglas Show, a performance that was re-broadcast many years later on VH-1.

The success of this song ended a period of relatively mediocre chart action for The Miracles during 1968, and set the stage for their biggest hit ever with Smokey as lead singer, 1970’s multi-million selling #1 hit The Tears of a Clown.

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Posted by on March 18, 2019 in 1960s, music, pop music/motown


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“Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (From Now On)”

Lee Dorsey

Dorsey’s songs have been covered by artists as diverse as Petula Clark and Johnny Hallyday (“Ya Ya Twist”, a 1962 French version of “Ya Ya”) and Devo(“Working in the Coal Mine”). “Ya Ya” was covered on John Lennon’s Rock ‘n’ Roll album. “Get Out of My Life, Woman” (1966) was performed often by the Byrds (who based their instrumental “Captain Soul” on it), the Jerry Garcia Band, also predated the boom bap beat of the 90s Hip Hop; and Robert Palmerhad a hit with “Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley”. His version of the Allen Toussaint song “Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (From Now On)” is referenced in the Beastie Boys’ song “Sure Shot”, with the lyric “Everything I do is funky like Lee Dorsey.” “Ya Ya” was spoken by Cheech Marin in Cheech and Chong’s Next Movie, as he was waiting for his girlfriend.


Posted by on March 18, 2019 in 1960s, r&b, reflections, soul oldies


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The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by the Tokens

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The Lion Sleeps Tonight” is a song written and recorded originally by Solomon Linda with the Evening Birds[1] for the South African Gallo Record Company in 1939, under the title “Mbube“. Composed in Zulu, it was adapted and covered internationally by many 1950s and ’60s pop and folk revival artists, including the Weavers, Jimmy Dorsey, Yma Sumac, Miriam Makeba and the Kingston Trio. In 1961, it became a number one hit in the United States as adapted in English with the best-known version by the doo-wop group the Tokens. It went on to earn at least US$15 million in royalties from cover versions and film licensing. The pop group Tight Fit had a number one hit in the UK with the song in 1982.



Posted by on March 18, 2019 in 1960s, pop music


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I Heard It Through the Grapevine” is a song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown Records in 1966. The first recording of the song to be released was produced by Whitfield for Gladys Knight & the Pips and released as a single in September 1967; it went to number two in the Billboard chart

The Miracles recorded the song first and included their version on their 1968 album, Special Occasion. The Marvin Gaye version was placed on his 1968 album In the Groove, where it gained the attention of radio disc jockeys, and Motown founder Berry Gordy finally agreed to its release as a single in October 1968, when it went to the top of the Billboard Pop Singles chart for seven weeks from December 1968 to January 1969 and became for a time the biggest hit single on the Motown label (Tamla).

The Gaye recording has since become an acclaimed soul classic, and in 2004, it was placed 81 on the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. On the commemorative fortieth anniversary of the Billboard Hot 100 issue of Billboard magazine in June 2008, Marvin Gaye’s “Grapevine” was ranked sixty-fifth. It was also inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame for “historical, artistic and significant” value.

In addition to being released several times by Motown artists, the song has been recorded by a range of musicians including Creedence Clearwater Revival, who made an eleven-minute interpretation for their 1970 album, Cosmo’s Factory; and has been used twice in television commercials – each time using session musicians recreating the style of the Marvin Gaye version: the 1985 Levi’s commercial, “Launderette”, featuring male model Nick Kamen, and the 1986 California raisins promotion with Buddy Miles as the singer for the clay animation group The California Raisins.


Posted by on March 16, 2019 in 1960s, pop music/motown, r&b


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Stevie Wonder – Contract On Love

Stevland Hardaway Morris (né Judkins; born May 13, 1950), known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist. A child prodigy, he is considered to be one of the most critically and commercially successful musical performers of the late 20th century.

Wonder signed with Motown’s Tamla label at the age of 11,[2] and he continued performing and recording for Motown into the 2010s. He has been blind since shortly after birth. source

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Posted by on March 10, 2019 in 1960s, pop music


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“Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come”


Samuel “Sam” Cooke
(January 22,1931 – December11,1964)
was an American recording artist and singer-songwriter, generally considered among the greatest of all time.

Influential as both a singer and composer, he is commonly known as the King of Soul for his distinctive vocals and importance within popular music. His pioneering contributions to soul music contributed to the rise of Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Al Green, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Billy Preston and popularized the likes of Otis Redding and James Brown. AllMusic biographer Bruce Eder wrote that Cooke was “the inventor of soul music”, and possessed “an incredible natural singing voice and a smooth, effortless delivery that has never been surpassed.”

Cooke had 30 U.S. top 40 hits between 1957 and 1964, plus three more posthumously. Major hits like “You Send Me”, “A Change Is Gonna Come”, “Cupid”, “Chain Gang”, “Wonderful World”, and “Twistin’ the Night Away” are some of his most popular songs. Cooke was also among the first modern black performers and composers to attend to the business side of his musical career. He founded both a record label and a publishing company as an extension of his careers as a singer and composer. He also took an active part in the Civil Rights Movement.

On December 11, 1964, at the age of 33, Cooke was fatally shot by Bertha Franklin, the manager of the Hacienda Motel in Los Angeles, California. After an inquest, the courts ruled Cooke’s death to be a justifiable homicide. Since that time, the circumstances of his death have been consistently called into question by Cooke’s family and his wide circle of friends and acquaintances.

Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come:


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“Dionne Warwick – Alfie” 1967

Alfie, from the 1966 Michael Caine classic, was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and was an Academy Award nominee for Best Song From A Motion Picture for 1966 (Born Free, the title track from the film of the same name, won). Bacharach wrote the tune with Warwick specifically in mind, but when the tune was pitched for the movie in London, Bacharach was overridden because the producers wanted a British singer to record the tune.

Cilla Black recorded the tune and her version died at number 95 in the USA, although a hit in England. Ironically, Cilla’s version was not used in the UK and European prints of the film; Sonny Rollins is heard in Australian prints of the film. When the film was released in the USA, United Artists felt a singer on their label should record the tune, so for the American prints of the film, Cher can be heard over the final credits, and her version peaked at 34 on the charts in 1966.

Alfie was recorded by 42 other singers before Burt finally got his wish to record Alfie with Dionne and she took it all the way to # 5 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Chart and #15 on Billboard’s Hot 100. Dionne has stated Burt insisted that she record the tune since he had written it specifically for her to sing in the film, and she was reluctant after 42 other versions had been released and asked Burt, “How many more recordings of Alfie do you need?” Burt’s reply? “Just one more, yours.” She agreed to cut the tune because she needed one more track to complete the album according to Steve Tyrell. Originally released on the Here Where There Is Love LP in early 1967, the track was pulled from the album and played frequently by DJs all over the country. Dionne sang Alfie at the Academy Awards Ceremony in March to a world-wide audience too much critical acclaim and the public began snap up her LP containing the tune.

In March 1967 Scepter released the tune as the “B” side of The Beginning of Loneliness, a little known but beautiful Bacharach/David ballad. But, DJ’s once again had the final word on the single and flipped it to make Alfie a huge hit, after Dionne’s stunning performance of Alfie at the Academy Awards. The Here Where There Is Love LP hit the top twenty on the Billboard album chart and received an RIAA gold record award. In 2008,

Dionne Warwick’s recording of Alfie was chosen for the Grammy Hall of Fame. Previous Warwick recordings honored by the Hall of Fame: Walk on By-1998, and Don’t Make Me Over-20.


Posted by on March 1, 2019 in 1960s, female vocalist, theme song


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