"The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of" ... Bogart, Shakespeare, The Maltese Falcon, Those Great Movies

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Was One Of Those Girls....

It really was like this!

I am experiencing a strange kind of writers's block.  My next post was going to be about famous sci-fi movies behind the scenes.  I don't know, maybe I have been struck by a ray from Mars.  In any case, I've been in the mood for nostalgia, not movie nostalgia, but teenage music memories.  With some of them I actually wasn't yet a teenager at all, just a little girl, but they were famous and I heard them a lot then.  So, just for fun, here are a few that made my heart go pitter-pat, made me cry litttle teen tears, or just made me want to dance.

Gene Pitney -- I had forgotten what a darling he was, with a fabulous voice.  He's singing my favorite of his songs on a British American Bandstand-type TV show.  He is obviously lip-synching, as they usually did then, but it's the best version anyway.

The Dave Clark 5 -- I was madly in love with Mike, the lead singer/keyboard player. Now I remember why!

The Animals -- Eric Burdon was a small guy but powerful, and seemed a little dangerous.  This one was not liked by parents, including mine!  I, of course, loved it!


The next two songs are...well...let's just say that after the feminist movement came along, you will never hear their like again.

Shelley Fabares -- Those of you who remember the Donna Reed show will get a kick out of seeing this clip from the show where Shelley sings "Johnny Angel".  You will see Donna, and a young James Stacey, before his terrible accident when he lost an arm and leg.

Joannie Sommers -- There were a lot of Johnny's in those days.  This is another one for which I will be chastised by women a lot younger than me.  Hey, I was just a kid in a different time.  I thought it was so romantic!

John Gary -- this last number is not by a teenage heart-throb, but a very popular singer whose career was cut short by the rock music invasion.  Bell-like tenor voice, just a lovely man with an incredible talent.

Had to add one more -- this is for you, FlickChick!  Darlin' Bobby Darin!


Hope you enjoyed this trip backward in time with me.


  1. Funny you should mention Gene Pitney and lip synching in the same sentence. To my mind, he is the all-time best and most fun singer to lip synch to (with?). When "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" or "Town Without Pity" - oh, especially "Town Without Pity" comes on the radio, a spatula turns into a microphone and I just hope I'm alone in the kitchen.

  2. Becky,
    Have you seen "The TAMI Show"? I love it, and if you're on a nostalgia kick, it's a groove and a gas.
    PS: Yeah, I wrote up The TAMI Show as well: http://ivanlandia1.blogspot.com/2010/08/like-pop-music-addled-schoolgirl-from.html

  3. Becky, since I first began appreciating rock and roll music when I was a little kid growing up in the Bronx, your reminiscence about the music of your (our :-)) youth put a big smile on my face and set my toes a-tappin'! I'm especially grateful for your footage of The Dave Clark Five singing "Do You Love Me," because I've always heard (and loved) The Contours' version, and I knew The Dave Clark Five did a version, too, but I was never able to find it until now. Thanks a million for including it, Becks!

  4. Every time "Johnny Angel" is mentioned I can't help but remember coming being with one of my cousins (Danny, age 8 or 9) singing "Johnny Angel" back in the day. As I listened, I realized he didn't quite get the lyrics, he thought the song was "Johnny and Jeff." Even tho I set him straight, I still think of the song - with a smile - as "Johnny and Jeff."

  5. Caftan Woman, I do that all the time, just like you, hoping nobody is watching or listening! You are so right, Town Without Pity is a great one!

    Ivan, I have not seen the TAMI show, but I'm going to look up your post- I bet I'll like that show!

    Dorian, Dave Clark 5 definitely does the best version -- you know, looking at them now, they were so young - just babies themselves! Of course that's from a viewpoint of years later. Strange feeling though...

    Eve, that is a darling story about Danny. Adults just never know what kids are hearing -- reminds me of the child who thought God's name was Howard -- "Our Father, Who art in heaven, Howard be Thy Name"...

  6. Becky,
    Don't be upset but I haven't heard of any of these singers. LOL
    I had a huge crush on Sean Cassidy when I was a kid and I listened to my Fleetwood Mac and Heart albums until I wore them out.

    I love your posts that you come up with during your 'writers block'! I just wish I had your creative mind during my dry spells.

    Of all of the clips I really liked The Animals but I can just picture you dancing around in your bobby socks to Fabraes.


  7. Page, I'm not upset *sob* -- we just were teens at different times! I was born in '52 and perfectly happy with that (well, nothing is perfect now that '52 is so far away! LOL!)

    I'm glad you enjoyed my flung-together memory post. The Animals were great -- Eric Burdon was definitely not the kind of guy my Dad would be pleased to see at the door picking me up for a date! As for Shelley Fabares (the Youtube poster spelled her name wrong) -- you may not be able to picture me in bobby socks, but I was probably about 9 or so when that show aired, and I can assure you I was doing just that!

  8. Becky,

    A great trip back. The Dave Clark Five were really popular back then. They in fact were the strongest competition The Beatles had in the beginning as far as popularity goes. Gene Pitney had a great voice and The Animals, like The Rolling Stones were one of the darker, nasty bands of the time, unlike the more "wholesome" fluffy groups who were popular then (Herman's Hermits, Gerry and the Pacemakers, and awful, awful Freddy and the Dreamers). And man did I have a crush on Shelley Fabrares!

    Ivan BTW is right, The TAMI Show is a must see! I actually wrote a review about it myself too.


    A great trip back.. They were Glory Days as Bruce sings!

    - John

  9. There you are - just hiding back in time, weren't you? I was a Dave Clark 5 gal, too, but besides John Lennon, my 2 heart throbs were Bobby Darin (still to this day) and Ray Davies from the Kinks. Girl, you really got me goin', you got me so I can't sleep at night....

  10. John, it's so much fun to share these memories! Yeah, my Dad hated the Stones, not for their abilities, but because they wanted "satisfaction" from his teenage daughter! I have to admit I have a soft spot for Gerry and the Pacemakers -- they did "Gerry 'Cross the Mersey", didn't they? I LOVED that song.

    FlickChick, this is my time to look back for some reason. And just for you, I added Bobby Darin's appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. The Youtube post is out of sync, not Bobbie's lip-synching (there was another one of taht show where it was perfect, but the sound and picture were bad). "Dream Lover" -- sigh...

  11. John, for Pete's sake, I meant "FERRY", not "GERRY"!! LOL!!

  12. Oh, Becky - thank you!!!!!! He is my "Dream Lover." I never got over the break up with Sandra Dee. Sigh is right!

  13. great blog. you posted a lot of music i really love. thanks!

  14. gene pitney: what a voice. that is a great (lip-synced) performance. i am glad that the dc5 FINALLY made it to the hall of fame. i love their youthful, careful, energetic sound. eric burdon: one of the best ever vocalists of the rock era. i love the sound of the animals's records: the production + the instruments. i like those early 60's 'girl' singers + teen idols. i know that they really didn't have much input on the recordings, but i love the production on them. many sound like they were recorded in a vacuum. i am not familiar with john gary; will have to check into his work. darin was one of the bets all around entertainers and artists EVER.

  15. careFREE sound, not careful

  16. Thanks so much, john! You made some great points about the quality of the recording (I laughed about your vacuum remark!). I had forgotten that most of these songs had no ending -- they just kind of driftted away, making lip synching that much more obvious! LOL! And don't sweat the typos -- happens to me all the time!

  17. Becky, what a fun post! Did you know Dave Clark was once a movie stuntman? The Animals evolved from the Alan Price Combo. Alan played keyboards for the Animals, but eventually left the group. He then wrote the fabulous songs for O LUCKY MAN! (which Paul and I both admire). As for Shelley, she was in one of my fave BP imitators: RIDE THE WILD SURF!

  18. great stuff becky...I remember all these very well...GENE PITNEY has kind of been forgotten...where is MACK THE KNIFE???

  19. Rick, you always know so much about musical groups! I had no idea pretty little Dave had been a stunt man! Alan Price was really good on the keyboard -- reminds me of Ray for the Doors. The charismatic lead singers, like Jim and Eric, got all the attention, but the music would have been nothing without those talented pianists! I just loved Shelley too - I was still a little girl, and wished I was just like her!

    Doc, I don't know why Gene Pitney is not better remembered. He had tons of No. 1 records, wrote many very well-known songs for other singers -- it's a mystery to me. And, I almost picked Mack the Knife, but I loved the clip with dear old Ed Sullivan in it -- and Flickchick and I were in a "dreamy" Bobby mood!

  20. When I think of the fifties, I think of jazz, baby, jazz!

    I think of Miles Davis charting new universes with his trumpet, propelled by musical wonderlust and icy heroin.

    I think of John Coltrane embracing his sax in an ocean of incense and cigarette smoke.

    I think of Charles Mingus slamming his bass strings, angry at the world that he was so desperate to prove himself in.

    I think of jazz clubs, sunglasses, cheap drinks, newly pressed records, and radio stations that still gave a damn about music.

  21. My gosh, Nate, your comment is like a definition of jazz, with soul! I sure do miss radio stations with actual music on them...I don't have any favorite station now except the classical music one. They play jazz and blues as well. I tend more toward the blues, the good old stuff, Robert Johnson, Billie Holliday. Love 'em!

  22. Becky, I love your writers block post..
    From your favorite teen age music, Eric Burdon and The Animals, was my favorite. Do you remember (my all time favorite) Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, when they first came on the music scene?

  23. Thanks so much, Dawn -- I had a lot of fun with it! The Animals were so good! I liked Stevie and Lindsey -- Stevie was my real favorite. I just saw you posted a Stevie song on your blog! I'm going right over now to hear it!

  24. Several wonderful acts mentioned. Gene Pitney did so many great records throughout the '60s -- he was a fine Burt Bacharach interpreter ("Twenty-Four Hours From Tulsa") and was a fine songwriter as well. (Check out one of his late-sixties records, "Something's Got A Hold Of My Heart," which didn't do much in the U.S. but was a huge hit in Europe and was revived by Mark Almond in the '80s.)

    The Dave Clark Five explored slightly different turf than the Beatles, as they had a splendid R&B-tinged sound; my favorite record of theirs is "Anyway You Want It," a song later covered by Kiss and the Ramones, among others.

  25. Oh, and Gerry & the Pacemakers have a tie-in with Bobby Darin: he wrote "I'll Be There" (not to be confused with the later Jackson Five song of the same name), which was a hit for them in early 1965 and is one of their best ballads.

  26. Great post, Becky. Ah, memories.

    I loved HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN by The Animals. Still love it. Never stopped loving it. :)

    Dave Clark Five were favorites too and Gene Pitney and Bobby Darin. Those were the days.

    Stella By Starlight is the song supposedly written by Ray Milland's character in one of my all time favorite movies, THE UNINVITED. Though in the movie the song had no lyrics.

    Just because we're on the topic:
    I remember seeing THE ROLLING STONES in action once upon a time. Somewhere on Long Island, I think. Not sure. They arrived by helicopter. I was in the screaming audience along with my ex-husband. (Well, he wasn't my ex then, we were newly wed.) Near the end of the show some kid ran onstage and wrapped his arms around Mick Jagger's legs and wouldn't let go.
    Good times.

    When the Beatles arrived in NY for the Ed Sullivan Show I was working a few blocks from the Plaza where they were staying.(If I remember correctly.) Hundreds and hundreds of screaming girls surrounded the hotel. I went over there at lunch time but didn't see anything much EXCEPT hundreds and hundreds of screaming girls.
    And cops. Lots of cops.

    Good times.

  27. How cool is that -- to be part of a Stones crowd! The closest I ever got was The Ed Sullivan Show! And the Beatles -- of course I loved them, but especially during the later 60's. My later teen favorites were The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, Joni Mitchell, Janis Joplin. I know it isn't politically correct to say so, but the drug years gave us fantastic music! LOL!

    You are so right, Yvette. They were good times.

  28. VP, interesting info about DC5 and Gene Pitney! And I had no idea Bobby Darin had written "I'll Be There"! I was a fan of Gerry and Pacemakers too! Great to see you come by!