Wednesday, June 28, 2006

60's Culture: Music

Album Released: January 20, 1964
I Want to Hold Your Hand (2:27)
Recorded: October 17, 1963
at Abbey Road, London, England
British Release: November 29, 1963
American Release: January 13, 1964

Dora: We all know where we were when Kennedy was assassinated ,but how many of you remember the first time you heard the Beatles sing and where you were? I was with Pat and Lynda in the little, white corvair and the song, "I want to hold your hand" came on the radio. I was in the seventh grade, Pat the ninth and Lynda the tenth grade. Seems like only yesterday when I heard Pat say to Lynda, "this is that new group from England". Will you still know me when I'm 64? Can you believe Paul McCartney is 64? What happened that we managed to stay 35! This is also the era of when Edie would do her British accent. Sula, Edie and I would go to The Place BEHIND GOLDSMITHS, and she would pretend she was from England. Jan was visiting another teenage club in Levy's while we were at The Place.. I can remember Pat calling our "group of girls" the "in crowd". We were so cool!

Sula: On February 14, 1964, my sweet friend Jimbo Justiss (God love him), gave me a first edition release (sold out by that time) "Meet the Beatles" album. I think the first time I heard "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" was just before that on Wolfman Jack's radio show out of Chicago...only after "lights out," late at night, could you pick up the signal.

Paul: Yes, the Beatles really shook up our world – along with Elvis, the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, and before too long…Jimi Hendrix. I think “Meet the Beatles” must have been the most commonly owned record in FC in 1964-65. I also remember doing the Twist at a 7th grade dance party at Dora’s – WHAT?!…Baptists dancing?!! I think I saw “A Hard Day’s Night” three times at the Imperial Theater – and later went to Memphis to see “Yellow Submarine” at the Malco (hmmmm…maybe that was the college years…kinda fuzzy for some reason). I was also really into the Dave Clark Five…and then about the same time as Jimi Hendrix came onto the scene, that FM station in Memphis (can’t remember the call letters) introduced me to LED ZEPPLIN!! I was never the same after that. I still listen to their first album – with the volume turned way up.

Okay, as much as I liked Led Zepplin, Jethro Tull, the Yardbirds, and The Stones, I think we all have to acknowledge that the Beatles paved the way for them all - and Beatles music has stood the test of time. BUT, what record did we play when we really, REALLY wanted to party?!! Louie Louie (The Kingsmen - Portland's first "garage band")!! There has NEVER been a better party song - ever! How many of you thought you knew the words?! Can you ever remember a bad party with Louie Louie playing? I bet Louie Louie takes the prize for the most covered song ever! Sorry, if this creates an entirely new (Paul G.)

From Paul: Listen Louie, Louie - Longtime Kingsmen drummer Dick Peterson on the book he's written about the song and the band. (6/12/06; Length 4:47)

From Sula: Here's a vintage video clip of Paul Revere & the Raiders on George Klein's Talent Party, 1966. You gotta see the hair, the dark hose, the dance moves of the girls...and what's that on the back walls? Colored paper plates?

Carnival Knowledge: A Cotton Carnival Experience

*A title “borrowed” from Michael Finger of Memphis Magazine

Paul Gibson:One warm evening back in June of 1964, two years before I could legally drive, a friend and I convinced an older acquaintance (a classmate of my older sister, Neva) with a car and a legal driver’s license, to take us to the Cotton Carnival on the banks of the Mississippi River in Memphis. Naively, we thought we might meet and impress some Memphis girls even though we barely had enough money to get in – and had no idea how to dress properly for this event. We were wearing what most teen boys did that summer, blue jeans, sneakers, and white t-shirts.

Once there I was a bit overwhelmed by the size of the crowd. I am not sure I had ever been in the midst of a crowd that large before – and mainly an older “adult” crowd at that. Plus, we had to pay money to park! I think we were all a bit dazzled by all that was going on simultaneously - exhibits, people in costumes, carnival rides, and various performances. After wandering around in shock and awe for a bit, we were drawn to a stage with loud music surrounded by a large enthusiastic crowd. We worked our way around to a back corner of the stage where we could actually see the performers…

There was an all-Black group of musicians playing R&B/blues type music…but…it was the three women dancing on stage that COMMANDED our attention – they were dancing in a very energetic, suggestive, and “liberated” manner… in very short and revealing dresses. The night suddenly got very HOT. Needless to say, I had never seen anything like this on TV!! Elvis was mild compared to the overt eroticism on this stage!. At times I thought I could see up the dancer’s dresses…and I felt flushed all over.

I knew I was seeing something that 14 year olds were not supposed to see and felt too obviously out of place to be comfortable. I was SURE that any moment I would feel the grip of some disapproving adult on my shoulder and a stern warning…”You don’t belong here son – at least not for another 8 or 10 years!” - as they threw me out. But, no one was noticing us!! The entire crowd was MESMERIZED – especially by the lead (middle) dancer who sang, danced, strutted, shaked, shimmied, and gyrated all over the stage…goodness, did she ever dance! After about three songs I finally remembered to breathe. Then the band leader thanked us all for appreciating the Ike and Tina Turner Revue!! Little did I know…

These photos might give you a small notion of how strongly this experience was burned into my memory. Who was with me? I have NO idea – Tina Turner seems to have hijacked all my memory cells from that evening.

B.J. said...
What I remember of the Cotton Carnival was going to the carnival at the fairgrounds. We welked through rows and rows of games where we could throw darts or shoot little rifles or throw balls at milk cartons to win a prize. There were always people walking around with huge stuffed dogs or apes they'd won, but all I ever managed to win was a cupie doll. My dad always told me not to bother because the games were rigged. But, there was one game I just couldn't resist. The game i spend the most money at was one where you tried to throw little rings over coke bottles. At this game you could actually win a live Pomeranian puppy! They were so cute, but I never saw anybody win one.I remember rides that were my favorites. The Twister, and the Pippin. My mother and I loved to ride that huge Pippin rollercoaster made out of wood that looked ancient. I can still hear the clacking of the rails and that first big dive over the top with our hands and hair in the air. My dad and brother waited on the ground while we road it two and three times. And of course my favorite thing to eat was cotton candy. I remember the Mid-South Fair later on when I was in high school, but was this just a different name for the same thing? I may be confused in my old age.

Paul says...B.J., I believe the Mid-South Fair was a different event than the Cotton Carnival. I am pretty sure the Mid-South Fair happened in the early fall – sometime in September or early October (like most State Fairs), while the Cotton Carnival occurred in early June. The Cotton Carnival was right on the banks of the Mississippi River near Mud Island in downtown Memphis, while the Mid-South Fair was at…the Fair Grounds (wherever that was! I just know it was “inland” from the river.). I am sure you remember when the Folklores sang in the talent competition at the Mid-South Fair – and won an audition to the Ted Mack Amateur Hour…?

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Anonymous Sula said...

Oh Paul - I have a whole blog entry on the Dave Clark Five. Edie & I went twice to see them in Memphis, once with a front row seat. We were bouncing teenagers faking English accents. But Hendrix? Man O Man...puh-leeez---Saw him in Memphis my first year of college. 1969...the weed smoke was so was the start of something entirely different than the Beatle era... childhood was definitely over by then. There was way more than weed in the air.

Thu Jun 29, 05:55:00 PM 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can remember Annettes Dad taking a station wagon load to Memphis to see the Rolling Stones. I can not remember who all went but I loved it!

A depressing note- I saw Steppin Wolf- spelled wrong Magic Carpet Ride- my freshman year in college. Years later Sula and I went to see them at a casino in Mississippi! There was only one original left as the others had passed on!!! It hit me as we sat there that it had been 33 years since I first saw them! Reality set in!

Sun Jul 16, 12:34:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Administrator said...

Paul said...
Anyone remember "Talkin' 'bout my Generation" by the Who - and their phrase..."Hope I die before I get old..."? Pete Townsend (who was still a teenager) said he couldn't trust anybody over 30 years old! At the time, I almost agreed.

I saw the Who in concert about three years ago and they were absolutely AWESOME -one of the top five rock concerts I have ever heard.

Fri Jul 21, 08:51:00 AM 2006  

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