Retro Music 42

In 1966, I heard a record on the radio that became a hit in Britain. It was called ‘Summer In The City’, by an American band The Lovin’ Spoonful. I decided to investigate more of their music, and bought the album ‘Do You Believe In Magic?’ which had been released a year earlier. The title song had been a minor hit here as a single, but it had escaped my notice.

This was nothing like the style of music I mainly listened to at the time, but I thought that the lead vocalist John Sebastian had a great voice.

That song became a firm favourite of mine, enduring to this very day. I have featured it on my blog before, but it is good enough to stand a second outing.

Do you believe in magic in a young girl’s heart?
How the music can free her whenever it starts
And it’s magic if the music is groovy
It makes you feel happy like an old-time movie
I’ll tell you about the magic, and it’ll free your soul
But it’s like trying to tell a stranger ’bout a rock ‘n’ roll
If you believe in magic, don’t bother to choose
If it’s jug band music or rhythm and blues
Just go and listen, it’ll start with a smile
That won’t wipe off your face no matter how hard you try
Your feet start tapping, and you can’t seem to find
How you got there, so just blow your mind
If you believe in magic, come along with me
We’ll dance until morning ’til there’s just you and me
And maybe if the music is right
I’ll meet you tomorrow sorta late at night
And we’ll go dancing baby, then you’ll see
How the magic’s in the music, and the music’s in me
Yeah, do you believe in magic?
Yeah, believe in the magic of the young girl’s soul
Believe in the magic of a rock ‘n’ roll
Believe in the magic that can set you free
Ahh, talking ’bout the magic
Do you believe in magic?
(Do you believe like I believe?) Do you believe, believer?
(Do you believe like I believe?) Do you believe in magic?
(Do you believe like I believe?) Do you believe in magic?
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: John Benson Sebastian / John Sebastian
Do You Believe in Magic lyrics © Trio Music Company, Alley Music Corp.

Retro Music 41

I wasn’t always listening to Motown and Soul records in my teens. Once I approached the age of eighteen, my tastes were becoming ever more varied, and I often liked to listen to ‘softer’songs at the time. This was one of them, released in 1970 on the album ‘Déjà vu’ from Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young.

(It still surprises me that 1970 is 53 years ago!)

I’ll light the fire, while you place the flowers
In the vase that you bought today.
Staring at the fire for hours and hours,
While I listen to you play your love songs
All night long for me, only for me.
Come to me now, and rest your head for just five minutes,
Everything is done.
Such a cozy room, the windows are illuminated
By the evening sunshine through them,
Fiery gems for you, only for you.
Our house, is a very, very, very fine house.
With two cats in the yard,
Life used to be so hard,
Now everything is easy ’cause of you.
Our house, is a very, very, very fine house.
With two cats in the yard,
Life used to be so hard,
Now everything is easy ’cause of you.
I’ll light the fire, while you place the flowers
In the vase that you bought today.
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Graham Nash
Our House lyrics © Nash Notes

Retro Music 40

In 1965, The Walker Brothers released a cover version of a Bacharach/David song that had been a minor hit for Jerry Butler three years earlier. With the powerful lead vocal of Scott Walker, the new version became a hit around the world. I already had the original on record, but I bought the new version too.

Here are both versions.

(It was also covered by Dionne Warwick, but not until 1970.)

Retro Music 39

1962, and a big hit for Carole King. Originally written by her and Gerry Goffin for Bobby Vee to perform, the record company preferred her version and released it as a single.
(The Bobby Vee version was released almost a year later.)

As the saying goes, the rest is history.

Retro Music 38

No apologies for featuring another Motown song from Holland/Dozier/Holland. This 1967 hit from the Isley Brothers was Motown magic, and it sounds as fresh to me today as it did back then.

This old heart of mine been broke a thousand times
Each time you break away, I fear you’ve gone to stay
Lonely nights that come, memories that flow, bringing you back again
Hurting me more and more
Maybe it’s my mistake to show this love I feel inside
‘Cause each day that passes by you got me
Never knowing if I’m coming or going, but I, I love you
This old heart darling, is weak for you
I love you, yes, I do
These old arms of mine miss having you around
Makes these tears inside start a-falling down
Always with half a kiss
You remind me of what I miss
Though I try to control myself
Like a fool I start grinnin’ ’cause my head starts spinnin’ ’cause I
I love you
This is old heart, darling is weak for you
I love you, yes I do, yes I do
Ooh, I try hard to hide, my hurt inside
This old heart of mine always keeps me cryin’
The way you’re treating me, leaves me incomplete
You’re here for the day, gone for the week now
But if you leave me a hundred times
A hundred times I’ll take you back
I’m yours whenever you want me
I’m not too proud to shout it, tell the world about it ’cause I
I love you
This is old heart, darling is weak for you
I love you
This is old heart, darling is weak for you
I love you
This is old heart, darling is weak for you
I love you, yes I do, yes I do
I love you, yes I do, darling is weak for you
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Brian Holland / Edward Jr. Holland / Lamont Dozier / Sylvia Moy
This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak For You) lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Retro Music 37

It was very rare for me to buy a completely instrumental record in my teens, but this 1967 release was an exception. Earl Van Dyke was the house keyboard player for Motown Records, and his organ playing on this song is great! Listening now, it sounds not unlike the theme to a contemporary TV show, but it brings back great memories for me when I was 15.

Retro Music 36

This song was the soundtrack to my summer in 1963. Another marvellous composition from Holland, Dozier, Holland, performed perfectly by Martha and The Vandellas. Released on the Gordy label in the USA, in Britain it was a Motown record. I cannot keep still when I hear this song, even now. My legs are jiggling away as I type this!

Whenever I’m with him
Something inside
Starts to burning
And I’m filled with desire
Could it be a devil in me
Or is this the way love’s supposed to be?
It’s like a heat wave
Burning in my heart (It’s like a heat wave)
I can’t keep from crying (It’s like a heat wave)
It’s tearing me apart
Whenever he calls my name
Soft, low, sweet, and plain
Right then, right there, I feel that burning flame
Has high blood pressure got a hold on me
Or is this the way love’s supposed to be?
It’s like a heat wave
Burning in my heart (It’s like a heat wave)
I can’t keep from crying (It’s like a heat wave)
It’s tearing me apart
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh, heat wave
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh
Ooh, heat wave
Sometimes I stare in space
Tears all over my face
I can’t explain it, don’t understand it
I ain’t never felt like this before
Now that funny feeling has me amazed
Don’t know what to do, my head’s in a haze
It’s like a heat wave
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
(But it’s all right, girl)
Oh
(Go ahead, girl)
Yeah, yeah
(Well, it’s all right, girl)
Oh
(Can’t miss it, that’s love, girl)
I feel it burning
(Don’t pass up this chance)
Right here in my heart
(It sounds like a true romance)
Don’t you know it’s like a heat wave?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (Burning, burning)
Oh (Burning, burning, burning)
Yeah, don’t you know it’s like a heat wave?
Burning right here (Burning, burning, burning)
In my heart (Burning, burning, burning)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (Burning, burning)
Oh (Burning, burning, burning)
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Lamont Dozier / Brian Holland / Eddie Holland
Heat Wave lyrics © Stone Agate Music

Retro Music 35

I am going back to 1962 with this choice. I was only 10 years old, but I knew I had to have this record as soon as I heard it on the radio. This was his only major hit, but it was a very big one. Chris Montez changed his style later and became a ballad singer, never achieving the same level of fame again. Now aged 80, he is still working.

Retro Music 34

1963 again, (That was a great year for music!) and another pop classic from America. Lesley Gore was just 16 years old when she recorded this song, which was produced by none other than Quincy Jones. She went on to have more hits, including the classic “You Don’t Own Me”. In later life she also acted, and wrote songs with her brother for the musical ‘Fame’. Lesley was also known for being an ‘Out’ Lesbian, and had the same partner for most of her life. She died in 2015, at the age of 68.

It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to
Cry if I want to
You would cry too, if it happened to you
Nobody knows where my Johnny has gone
But Judy left the same time
Why was he holding her hand
When he’s supposed to be mine?
It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to
Cry if I want to
You would cry too, if it happened to you
Play all my records, keep dancing all night
But leave me alone for awhile
‘Til Johnny’s dancing with me
I’ve got no reason to smile
It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to
Cry if I want to
You would cry too, if it happened to you
Judy and Johnny just walked through the door (walked through the door)
Like a queen with her king
Oh, what a birthday surprise
Judy’s wearing his ring
It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to
Cry if I want to
You would cry too, if it happened to you
Oh, it’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to
Cry if I want to
Cry if I want to
You would cry too, if it happened to you
It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: John Jackson / Wally Gold / John Gluck Jr / Taiwan Green / Herb Weiner
It’s My Party lyrics © Emi April Music Inc., Chappell & Co. Inc., J Brasco, Chappell & Co., Inc.

Retro Music 33

In 1964, the American teenage girl group The Shangri-Las had a number one hit with the song ‘Leader Of The Pack’. This was in a short-lived musical genre known as ‘Teenage Tragedy’. I didn’t buy that record, but the same year I did buy another of their records. This one.
The lyrics are on the video.

I discovered that a 15 year-old Billy Joel is playing the piano on this record! The girls officially split up in 1967, and the current group touring using the same name is nothing to do with the original.