Blog Archives

FlinterFile: Elvis Presley- Viva Las Vegas

Next to having a big career in music, Elvis also was a movie star. Read the rest of this entry


FlinterFile: Louis Armstrong- Hello, Dolly!


In 1964, Louis Armstrong recorded a song for the musical Hello, Dolly!. The song is a little older, from 1835… Read the rest of this entry

FlinterFile: The Searchers- Needles And Pins


In 1964, The Searchers recorded a cover of Jackie DeShannon. She did not have a big hit with the song, since it spread like a wave across the USA. The Searchers heard it in Germany, when Cliff Bennett performed the song. They thought it would be a good song for their next single, and recorded it with two 6-string guitars, which, by accidentely leaving on an echo-switch, sounded like a 12-string guitar. The result was good enough: the song hit number 13 in the US and number 1 in the UK. Enjoy

The Searchers- Needles And Pins

FlinterFile: Dionne Warwick- Anyone Who Had A Heart


In 1964, Burt Bacharach and Hal David wrote a big hit for Dionne Warwick. The shifting of the time signature was accidental, Burt Bacharach normally did not even pay attention to the bars. The song is both soft and loud, rich and emotional, it has everything a good song should have. After Dionne Warwick released the original, Cilla Black, who worked in the Cavern Club, took the song and made it an even bigger hit, a number 1 in the UK. Dionne Warwick made it a number 42 hit in the UK, and a number 8 hit in the US. Enjoy

Dionne Warwick- Anyone Who Had A Heart

FlinterFile: Gene Pitney- Twenty-Four Hours From Tulsa


In 1964, Gene Pitney continued his work with the songwriter-duo Burt Bacharach and Hal David. They had earlier written the song The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, which was written for the movie with the same name, but never used. The new song was not written for a movie, since there was no movie to write for. Therefore, Hal David came up with his own movie plot. The song has a simple plot: a man gives in to temptation.The song became one of the biggest hits for Gene Pitney, peaking at number 5 in the UK and number 17 in the US. Enjoy

Gene Pitney- Twenty-Four Hours From Tulsa

FlinterFile: The Honeycombs- Have I The Right?


In 1964, the Honeycombs scored a big hit with their debut. The song was produced by the famous Joe Meek, and written by Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley. They wrote more hits, for artists like Petula Clark and Elvis Presley. Their drummer (a woman, named Honey Lantree), worked at a hairdresser. The song was recorded in the house of Meek, with the members of the band stamping their feet to get a better drum effect and microphones fixed with bicycle clips. It was a number 1 hit in the UK and a number 5 hit in the US. Enjoy

The Honeycombs- Have I The Right?

Song of the day: Gilbert Becaud- Nathalie


In 1964, Gilbert Bécaud recorded Nathalie. This was a French song about a guide who lead Gilbert through Moskow. The song was especially a hit in France. Bécaud did more than just singing, he for example also co-wrote Love On The Rocks (sung by Neil Diamond in the Jazz Singer). Enjoy

Gilbert Bécaud- Nathalie

Song of the day: The Zombies- She’s Not There


In 1964, the Zombies reached number 12 in the UK with their debut single She’s Not There. Rob Argent, the writer of the song, started with the title of a John Lee Hooker song, namely No One Told Me. This became the first line of his song. On a performance, he played the first verse, and Ken Jones encouraged him to write the rest of the song. The song’s distinctive feature became the harmonies with an electric piano. Enjoy

The Zombies- She’s Not There

Song of the day: Them- Gloria


In 1964, the band Them recorded the song Gloria. It was written by one of the members of Them, Van Morrison. He wrote it on tour in Germany when he was eighteen years old! It was recorded along some other songs on the Decca label, where Them had just signed up. The song was a b-side from the single Baby, Please Don’t Go, and was more successful in the solo version of Van Morrison. Enjoy

Them- Gloria

Song of the day: Gerry & the Pacemakers- Ferry Cross The Mersey


A sixties song, released in 1964! The song was written by Gerry Marsden, the Gerry from the band. It was a hit in both the UK and the US, respectively number 8 and number 6. It actually was a soundtrack song, from the movie with the same name. The Mersey is a river, which flows through Liverpool. The band was from Liverpool, and that was not the only thing that’s the same as the Beatles. They shared their manager (Brian Epstein) and their producer (George Martin), too. Enjoy

Gerry & The Pacemakers- Ferry Cross The Mersey

Song of the day: The Shangri-Las- The Leader Of The Pack

shangrilas leader of the pack

In 1964, a song produced by George Morton was released. This song would be a golden oldie or evergreen, and is a typical example of a teenage tragedy song. The vocals were recorded in a hotel in Manhattan, the instrumentals were already recorded and would later be added. About the sound of the motorcycle, the sources vary: one says one was driven through the hotel to record the sound, though others say it was taken from the effectsroom. The BBC first refused to play the song, but still it would chart on number 11 in the UK. Enjoy

The Shangri-Las- The Leader Of The Pack

Song of the day: The Righteous Brothers- You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling

righteous brothers you've lost that lovin feeling

A 1964 number one hit today, and a good one, too! The song is a typical example of the Wall Of Sound by Phil Spector, and it was the last big hit he produced. The lead vocals were done by Bill Medley, with Bobby Hatfield joining in the chorus. The last was a bit annoyed by this, and wanted to know what to do while Bill Medley was recording his vocals. Spector would have answered this with the words “You can go straight to the fucking bank.” Gene Page arranged the strings and one of the backgroundsingers was Cher. There was one problem, though. The song was too long, namely 3 minutes and 45 seconds! Spector had a solution for this: he printed on the single 3:05, added a false ending so DJ’s would think the song was shorter, and released the thing. It made it to number one and is still seen as one of the greatest songs ever. Enjoy

The Righteous Brothers- You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling

Song of the day: The Animals- The House Of The Rising Sun

house_of_the_rising_sun the animals

Possibly this is a song which makes you have more questions than answers. Where is the House of the Rising Sun? That’s one of the questions that no-one is really sure of. The origin of the song is better known: it started as a traditional folk song. The first and oldest recorded version was recorded in 1934 by Clarence “Tom” Ashley and Gwen Foster. They could sing it since the song was passed on by the grandfather of Clarence Ashley. Through several artists, this song came to Lead Belly in 1944, was it recorded in 1958 by Pete Seeger, and the version of Bob Dylan followed in 1961. Via several other ways, the song was sung in a pub, where Eric Burdon heard it. He was a member of the Animals and wanted to sing it to have something else for the tour, which they did with Chuck Berry. Bob Dylan was accused of plagiarism, because the cover became such a hit. He stopped singing it, but liked the version a lot. And most people did: it became a number one hit in the UK, the US, Canada, Sweden and Finland. Later it was recorded by many other artists, though this version stayed the most popular. Enjoy

The Animals- The House Of The Rising Sun

Song of the day: The Drifters- Under The Boardwalk

the drifters under the boardwalk

Today the spotlight is on a song from 1964.  It’s a song about a man and a woman, who want to meet somewhere in private. They decide to do it out of sight and out of the sun, under the boardwalk. The song was not the problem, actually, it rather was another affair: the lead singer, Rudy Lewis, died the evening before the planned recording date. The Drifters then decided to bring back a former member of the band, to sing the vocals, namely Johnny Moore. They had a hit with the song, peaking at number 4 in the Billboard chart. The song has been recorded by very much artists since then, including The Beach Boys, the Tom Tom Club (who brought it to the UK charts as the first artist), and the summer version of Bruce Willis (one of these singing artists, along with David Hasselhoff…). Enjoy the original:

The Drifters- Under The Boardwalk

Song of the day: Roy Orbison- Oh Pretty Woman


Roy Orbison is one of the artists I have learned to adore in the past year. My father has some CD’s by him, but until last year, I didn’t really like his music. However, I learned to appreciate it and now I can’t understand there was a time I disliked his music. He’s a genius, and this is one of the best songs he made! Of course, it was in the end of the year chart of 1964, so enjoy

Roy Orbison- Pretty Woman