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 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.

Retro Music 32

Also in 1963, The Ronettes hit the charts with this song. One of the earliest examples of Phil Spector’s ‘Wall of sound’ technique, it was a huge hit almost everywhere.

Ronnie (Veronica Greenfield) formed the group with her sister and cousin, and later married Phil Spector the music producer, becoming well-known as Ronnie Spector. They divorced in 1972. Ronnie died in 2022, at the age of 78.

The night we met I knew I needed you so
And if I had the chance I’d never let you go
So won’t you say you love me?
I’ll make you so proud of me
We’ll make ’em turn their heads every place we go
So won’t you, please (be my, be my baby)
Be my little baby? (My one and only baby)
Say you’ll be my darlin’ (be my, be my baby)
Be my baby now (my one and only baby)
Whoa-oh-oh-oh
I’ll make you happy, baby, just wait and see
For every kiss you give me, I’ll give you three
Oh, since the day I saw you
I have been waiting for you
You know I will adore you ’til eternity
So won’t you, please (be my, be my baby)
Be my little baby? (My one and only baby)
Say you’ll be my darlin’ (be my, be my baby)
Be my baby now (my one and only baby)
Whoa-oh-oh-oh
So come on and, please (be my, be my baby)
Be my little baby? (My one and only baby)
Say you’ll be my darlin’ (be my, be my baby)
Be my baby now (my one and only baby)
Whoa-oh-oh-oh
Be my little baby? (My one and only baby)
Oh-oh-oh (be my, be my baby)
Oh (my one and only baby)
Whoa-oh-oh-oh (be my, be my baby)
Oh-oh-oh (My one and only baby)
Oh (be my, be my baby)
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Ellie Greenwich / Jeff Barry / Philip Spector
Be My Baby lyrics © Abkco Music Inc., CTM Publishing, Songtrust Ave, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Spirit Music Group, Warner Chappell Music, Inc

Retro Music 31

A big hit on both sides of The Atlantic in 1963, this song performed by The Chiffons often pops into my head. It crossed over from Doo-Wop into mainstream pop, spanning both musical genres and pleasing listeners all over the world.

It wasn’t their only hit, but it was the first one of their records that I bought.

He’s so fine
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
Wish he were mine
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
That handsome boy overthere
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
The one with the wavy hair
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
I don’t know how I’m gonna do it
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
But I’m gonna make him mine
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
He’s the envy of all the girls
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
It’s just a matter of time
(Do-lang-do-lang)
He’s a soft [Spoken] guy
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
Also seems kinda shy
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
Makes me wonder if I
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
Should even give him a try
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
But then I know he can’t shy
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
He can’t shy away forever
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
And I’m gonna make him mine
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
If it takes me forever
(Do-lang-do-lang)
He’s so fine
(Oh yeah)
Gotta be mine
(Oh yeah)
Sooner or later
(Oh yeah)
I hope it’s not later
(Oh yeah)
We gotta get together
(Oh yeah)
The sooner the better
(Oh yeah)
I just can’t wait, I just can’t wait
To be held in his arms
If I were a queen
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
And he asked me to leave my throne
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
I’ll do anything that he asked
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
Anything to make him my own
(Do-lang-do-lang-do-lang)
For he’s so fine
(So fine) so fine
(So fine) he’s so fine
(So fine) so fine
(So fine) he’s so fine
oh yeah
(He’s so fine) he’s so fine
(So fine) uh-huh
(He’s so fine)
He’s so fine…
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Ronald Mack
He’s So Fine lyrics © Abkco Music, Harrisongs Ltd

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