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 30

When most people of a certain age think of this song, they will hear the Mamas and Papas version in their heads. However, because my dad worked in the record business, I was aware of earlier versions years before the big hit from the famous American vocal group.

Written and released by The 5 Royales in 1957, it was re-released in 1961, and I got my copy then. Around the same time, the song was covered by The Shirelles, who also re-released their cover version the same year. (Which I also bought) In 1967, The Mamas and Papas picked up the song, and had a huge hit with it around the world. I still have a soft spot for the original, but it is such a good song that they all warrant listening to.

So here are all three versions.

This is dedicated to the one I love
While I’m far away from you, my baby
I know it’s hard for you, my baby
Because it’s hard for me, my baby
And the darkest hour is just before dawn
Each night before you go to bed, my baby
Whisper a little prayer for me, my baby
And tell all the stars above
This is dedicated to the one I love
Life can never be
Exactly like we want it to be
But I can be satisfied
Just knowing you love me
There’s one thing I want you to do
Especially for me
And it’s something that everybody needs
Each night before you go to bed, my baby
Whisper a little prayer for me, my baby
And tell all the stars above
This is dedicated to the one I love
This is dedicated to the one I love
This is dedicated to the one I love
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Lowman Pauling / Ralph Bass
Dedicated To The One I Love lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Royalty Network, Universal Music Publishing Group

Retro Music 25

The Kinks were a London-based pop group formed in 1963 by two brothers, Ray and Dave Davies. In 1964, they had a hit with the song ‘You Really Got Me’, and that attracted my attention at the age of 12. Three years later, they released a track from their latest album. It was called ‘Waterlo Sunset’, and I immediately identified with the lyrics. It is almost a hymn to London sung in an English accent, and still as relevant today as it was when I was 15.

Dirty old river, must you keep rolling
Flowing into the night?
People so busy, make me feel dizzy
Taxi light shines so bright
But I don’t need no friends
As long as I gaze on
Waterloo sunset
I am in paradise
Every day I look at the world from my window
But chilly, chilly is the evening time
Waterloo sunset’s fine (Waterloo sunset’s fine)
Terry meets Julie
Waterloo station
Every Friday night
But I am so lazy, don’t want to wander
I stay at home at night
But I don’t feel afraid
As long as I gaze on
Waterloo sunset
I am in paradise
Every day I look at the world from my window
But chilly, chilly is the evening time
Waterloo sunset’s fine (Waterloo sunset’s fine)
Millions of people swarming like flies ’round
Waterloo underground
But Terry and Julie cross over the river
Where they feel safe and sound
And they don’t need no friends
As long as they gaze on
Waterloo Sunset
They are in paradise
Waterloo sunset’s fine (Waterloo sunset’s fine)
Waterloo sunset’s fine
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Raymond Douglas Davies

Retro Music 23

Soul music wasn’t just about Tamla Motown, back in the day. In 1967, I heard a great soul song by Chuck Wood, called Seven Days Is Too Long. I bought it the next day, released by Roulette Records. A real foot-tapper!

First time I called you girl
They say you wasn’t home
Then second time I tried it
They say you wan’t be left alone
We have a lot of quarrels yes we have
Like all lovers do
I’m ready to make up
It’s all of left to you now
Seven Days Too Long without you baby
Come on back to me now
I feel so break up because i’m alive
Cause’ my love is too strong girl to let it down
The source of problem
Cause I see the danger sign you know
It’s ripped on your face
Justice (…)
Let’s stop playing girl I go sick
I can’t stand being without you baby another week
You got me soured, I can’t even concentrate
You know good things come, I say good things come (…)
I can’t wait no longer listen to me girl
Seven Days Too Long Without You Baby
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Vernon Harrell / Jim Bailey
Seven Days Too Long lyrics © Emi Longitude Music

England In The 1960s: More Photos From Tony Ray-Jones

Tony Ray-Jones loved to observe English people when they were relaxing. I found more of his photos online.

A boat trip off the coast at Eastbourne, 1967.

A beauty contest in Newquay, Cornwall. 1967

Enjoying an ice cream at the Epsom Derby, 1967.
(Littering did not seem to bother them.)

Schoolboys on a break at the prestigious Eton College, 1967.

Afternoon dancing in the ballroom at Morecambe, Lancashire. 1968.

Getting a good viewpoint at the Isle of Wight pop festival, 1968.

Enjoying a sit at the seaside, location unknown. 1968.

Retro Music 17

Tamla-Motown had a big impact on my life as a teenager, and quite a few of the songs released by that company will feature here. Written by Smokey Robinson, and recorded by The Marvelettes in 1967, this was a classic song for radio or juke boxes; under three minutes long, and with a catchy chorus. I didn’t hesitate to buy it the same day I first heard it.

You are under my power
It is the power of love
Eyes that hypnotize
And all it takes is just once glance
Just one look at him
Puts me in a lover’s trance
Now listen, no rabbits in his hand
No pigeons up his sleeve
But you better believe (You better believe)
When I prove he can do so much
My baby must be a magician
‘Cause he’s sure got the magic touch
Oh, my morale was low
Then he appeared just like a genie
His love has the power
He’s my private great Houdini
No reading decks of cards
No cords that disappear
No special gear (No special gear)
Like Alladin’s lamp and such
But my baby must be a magician
‘Cause he’s sure got the magic touch
Whenever I’m feeling bad
My baby simply kisses me
And then Presto, Chango, Alakazam
I’m alright again
Oh, yes I am
Yes, I am alright
No mystic crystal ball
No long black flowing cape
But I can’t escape (I can’t escape)
From his tender loving touch
Oh, my baby must be a magician
‘Cause he’s sure got the magic touch
Say, my baby must be a magician
‘Cause he’s sure got the magic touch
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: William Robinson Jr.

Retro Music 15

When Otis Redding died in a plane crash in 1967, I was 15 years old, and already a huge fan of the singer. I had even managed to see him live in London earlier that year, as part of the legendary Stax/Volt Tour. I was very upset when he died that December. He had many hits, but my personal favourite was his updated version of ‘Try A Little Tenderness’, a song originally recorded in 1932, and already covered by every famous singer since that date.

There is not a month that goes by when I do not play this song, to remind me what a talent we lost in Otis.

Film nostalgia

After a brief exchange on Twitter earlier, I decided to reblog this 2015 post about one of my favourite films. Apologies to those of you who have already seen it.

beetleypete

(This is about the 1967 film, not the 2013 remake.)

When I first saw the film ‘Bonnie and Clyde’, I was fifteen years old. I liked it so much, I went to see it again the following week. I didn’t know a lot about Warren Beatty or Faye Dunaway at the time. I had never heard of Estelle Parsons, Gene Wilder, or Gene Hackman either. I thought I recognised the strange face of Michael J. Pollard, but I didn’t know where I might have seen it. The man playing the Texas Ranger was Denver Pyle, and I knew him immediately, from old westerns. The same applied to Dub Taylor, who played the father of C.W. Moss in the film.

I had been going to the cinema for as long as I was old enough to sit up straight in the seat. I had seen all kinds of films…

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Retro Review: Point Blank (1967)

***No spoilers***

I was about 16 years old when I went to see a new American crime thriller at the cinema. Starring Lee Marvin, and directed by John Boorman, I had seen some trailers for it, and watched a good review on a TV film show too. I am pleased to say that I was not disappointed. From the iconic opening sequence, the film is relentless, with a performance from Marvin that must rate as one of the best of his career.

He plays Walker, a career criminal that has a partner, Mal Reese. (John Vernon) The pair plan to steal from the couriers of an organised crime syndicate known as ‘The Organisation’, with the robbery set to take place in the deserted Alcatraz Prison. After the crime, they count the money, and find they have $93,000. But then Rees unexpectedly shoots his partner, and leaving him for dead, runs off with his wife Lynne, revealing they have been having an affair behind Walker’s back.

Helped by the mysterious Yost, (Keenan Wynn) Walker recovers, then sets out to get his revenge, and to retrieve his half of the loot, which Rees has handed over to the syndicate to pay off old debts. What follows is a series of set-pieces, flashbacks explaining parts of the plot, and enough twists and turns to keep even me happy. Walker’s quest comes to the attention of the bosses of The Organisation, and they cannot understand why he is so determined to recover his $46,500, which they consider to be a trifling sum. One scene where he takes a car on a test drive, then slowly demolishes it to gain information from the man who owns the dealership is really memorable, and Marvin keeps his terrifying cool all the way through the film.

A top notch cast, great location filming, and Marvin as a completely believable gangster with nothing to lose, all add up to making this one of the best thrillers of the 1960’s, very much a ‘film noir’, when such descriptions were no longer fashionable.

If you think this sounds familiar, you would be right. A very similar film called ‘Payback’ was made in 1999, starring Mel Gibson. The robbery victim was changed to Chinese Triads, and Gibson’s character was called Porter, not Walker. Enough things were changed to avoid any ‘remake’ tag, and some gritty humour was added too, very much in the style of Gibson. As a stand alone film, it is good enough, but cannot hold a candle to ‘Point Blank’.

Here’s the trailer for the 1967 film.