Come On, Come On (The Esquires)

28 FEBRUARY 1966


A bit of frenetic surf-garage rock from Texas band The Esquires and their single ‘Come On, Come On’ (one of four they recorded). This never charted nationally, but perhaps records like this were never really intended to be big hits, and were instead more focussed on the local Dallas scene of the time.

The record has frenetic drumming and high-energy vocals, and the video above, spliced together from various wild dancing clips, is good fun.

Come On, Come On (The Esquires)

Lost Girl (The Troggs)

27 FEBRUARY 1966


The Troggs released their debut single ‘Lost Girl’ in February 1966. This one had many of the ingredients that would later make them a success, but it was a pretty weak song and the record failed to chart.

'Lost Girl' is heavy, pounding garage rock, with a rather muddy production mix and a rare Troggs guitar solo. This one might have flopped, but their next single was to be 'Wild Thing' and their career was about to take off big time.

Lost Girl (The Troggs)

'I've lost my girl,
I can't express
My grieve,
My sorrow,
My emptiness
I hope someday
That she'll hear my plea
And with opened arms
She will run to me

Yes, she will,
Ah, yes, she will now
Ah, yeh, babe

I thought I knew
Her every sound
Her smile,
Her tear,
Her ups and down
But I was wrong
As a fellow can be
Cos she's just turned round
And walked out on me

Yes, she has -
Ah, yes, she has been
Ah, yeah

(break)

The times we had,
The times we spent
The day we met
By accident
Was easy come,
Was easy go
It seems a pity
'cos I loved you so

Yes, I did,
Ah, yes, I did now
Ah, baby

I think someday
I'd take a chance
Go out and find
A new romance
Some other tune,
Some other gal
Someone who'll love me
Like I hope she will

Yes, she will,
I hope she will now
Ah, come here, baby'

I'll Keep Holding On (The Action)

26 FEBRUARY 1966


English mod-soul band The Action released their single 'I'll Keep Holding On' in February 1966. Written by the Motown team of Stevenson-Hunter, this song was originally a decent hit for the Marvelettes in 1965, but the Action's version did not chart. Which is a shame, as this is a professionally-produced and enjoyable dance-floor filler. All the vocals are good (especially lead singer Reggie King), the song is good, the backing track is solid, but it just slipped through the cracks for whatever reason.

The Action never enjoyed mainstream success, but they were a very good mod-soul act and do I quite like some of their heavier freakbeat stuff from the following years.

I'll Keep Holding On (The Action)

'(I'll keep on holdin' on) oh yes I will
(I'll keep on holdin' on)
I know that you're the kind of girl, you've got too much pride
You're scared you love someone, run & hide
Each & every day, & each & every way
My love is growin' stronger
& I know that you can't hold on much longer
When there's no place left to hide
I'll still be by your side
And I'll be (waiting) oh yes, sure 'nough
(Looking for a chance) a chance to make you mine

(I'll keep on holdin' on)
I know you're braggin' to your friends that you can't be caught
Baby, you don't know, so it's time that you were taught
So love, you'd better plan to make your final stand
No matter where you run now
I'll hold on till my will to resist is gone
Till I get you where I want you
There, love, I'm gonna want you
(Waiting) oh yes, sure 'nough
(Looking for a chance) a chance to make you mine
(I'll keep on holdin' on) 
(I'll keep on holdin' on)'

Louie, Louie (The Sonics)

25 FEBRUARY 1966 


The Sonics’ second album ‘Boom’ was released in the US during this month. This Washington-state group were one of the loudest of the (generally unsuccessful) garage bands of the mid-60s. The garage scene would prove very influential over time, however, as stuff like this was 'punk before punk'.

The Sonics' best two songs (in my opinion) came in 1965 - ‘Have Love, Will Travel’ and ‘Psycho’. Like almost every other hard rock band of the day (including the Kinks and the Troggs) they recorded the three-chord thrash ‘Louie, Louie’, which was featured on 'Boom' and is best listened to with the volume set to 11. Probably the most famous version of this was recorded by the Kingsmen, but other favourite versions include those by Paul Revere and the Raiders, and Motorhead.

Louie, Louie (The Sonics)

'Louie Louie, me gotta go now
Louie Louie, me gotta go now
A fine girl, she wait for me.
Me catch the ship across the sea.

Then sailed me ship all alone.
Never think I'll make it home.
Louie Louie, me gotta go now.
Louie Louie, me gotta go now.

Three nights and days we sailed the sea.
Me think of girl constantly.
And on the ship, I dream she' there.
I smell the rose in her hair.

Louie Louie, me gotta go now
Louie Louie, me gotta go now

Louie Louie, me gotta go now
Louie Louie, me gotta go now
Me see Jamaican moon above.
It won't be long me see me love.

Me take her in my arms again
I tell that I dream her there.
Louie Louie, me gotta go'

I Can Only Give You Everything (Them)

24 FEBRUARY 1966


Taken from Them’s early-1996 uncharting album ‘Them Again’, ‘I Can Only Give You Everything’ is another one of their songs that deserved better.

This song was covered by countless unknown garage bands as well as acts such as MC5, Liverpool 5 and the Troggs. This version, in my opinion, remains the best, although MC5's recording comes a close second. The great driving fuzz-guitar riff from this was memorably sampled for Beck’s 1996 single ‘Devil’s Haircut’.

I Can Only Give You Everything (Them)

'I can't give you more than what I've got
I can't expect to give what I have not
I-I-I can only give ya lovin' 'till the sun goes down
And, until the leaves of summer turn to shades of brown

I try and I try
But baby, you know that I
Can only give you evra'thing

I can't argue with you to a-understand
'Cause afterall, I am just a man
A you-ooo-ooo are on my mind
When stars appear and shadows fall
And when ev'ra little flower close
And no birds call
I try and I try
But baby, you know that I
Can only give you evra'thing

I'll do anything you want me to do
'Cause I don't want to know there's life without you
Ooh, ooh, ooh,
Don't ever go and leave me in this world alone
I-I-I'd be like a little child if I was on my own

I try and I try
But baby you know that I
Can only give you evra'thing

Evra'thing, baby
A little bit of this, a little bit of that
And evra'thing
Ooh, ooh, ooh
FADES
Ooh, ooh, ooh
Whoa, ooh, ooh
Whoa, ooh, ooh
Yeah, yeah, yeah'

Inside - Looking Out (The Animals)

23 FEBRUARY 1966


The Animals release their single ‘Inside - Looking Out’, which peaked at #12 in the UK and #34 on the US Billboard charts.

This was a song about a man in prison, and is supposedly loosely based on an old prison work chant titled 'Rosie', which I'm actually familiar with and have to say that the word 'loosely' needs to be emphasised here. Nevertheless it is a typically cool bit of slow-burning hard-edged rock from the Animals, very much in the style of their preceding singles 'We Gotta Get out of This Place' and 'It's My Life'. And of course the subject matter was in keeping with songs such as 'House of the Rising Sun'. The Animals were not known for love songs.

The excellent video clip below is from a US TV show, and shows them still doing the 'matching band suits' thing that had been so common in '64-'65.

B-side: 'Outcast'; 'You're On My Mind' (USA)
Released: February 1966
Highest chart position: #12 (UK), #34 (US)
Length: 3:44
Label: Decca F12332MGM 13468 (USA)
Producer: Tom Wilson

Inside - Looking Out (Animals)

'Sittin' here lonely like a broken man
Sell my time and do the best I can
I wasn't boss this around in me
I don't want your sympathy, yeah
Oh baby, oh baby, I just need your tender lovin'
To keep me sane in this burnin' oven
When my time is up, be my ....[?]
Like Adam's work on God's green earth
My reaper, my reaper baby, ....[?] is my reaper, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, baby baby baby c'mon c'mon c'mon, yeah
Ice cold waters runnin' in my brain
They drag me back to work again
Pains and blisters on my minds and my hands
From living daily with those canvas bags
Thoughts of freedom their drivin' me wild
And I'll by happy like a new born child
We'll be together, girl, you wait and see
No more walls to keep your love from me
Yeah, can't you feel my love
Baby, baby, need you, squeeze you,
Noooo-body but, nobody but, you girl, I love you, need you
All right, I said everything's gonna be all right
And if you don't believe what I say
Just listen baby and I'll tell you
Can't you feel my love
Can't you see my skill
Can't you yell my love
It's getting louder
It's getting louder
A little closer, yeah
I said baby, I need you, c'mon, squeeze, please
Lord, I love you, I need you, yeah
Yeah, right by my side
I need you here by my side
But I can't help it baby
But, I'll be home soon
I'll be home soon, yeah
All right, whoa:..'

Bye Bye Birdie (The Moody Blues)

22 FEBRUARY 1966


British band the Moody Blues 'performed' the song Bye Bye Birdie on live French TV show 'A Vous Tents' in February 1966. This was the B-side to their single 'Stop', which failed to chart in the UK but reached #98 in the US. This was despite them having had a #1 in the UK in 1964 with 'Go Now'.

In fact, this was the first of five singles in a row from them that did not chart, a run only broken in late 1967 with the classic 'Nights in White Satin', which was a very, very different sound to this white-boy blues.

This video clip shows them with some great energy on the set, although singer Denny Lane's (later of Wings) struggles to mime a complicated vocal/harmonica performance.

Bye Bye Birdie (Moody Blues)

'I say bye bye, bird. 
I say bye bye, bird. 
I say bye bye, baby. 
I say bye bye. 
Bye bye, baby, bye bye. 
Bye bye, baby, bye bye. 
Bye bye, baby, bye bye. 
Bye bye, Birdie. 
Now if you wanna say ‘goodbye' to your girl 
I wanna give you one or two little tips, yeah. 
Say ‘Bye bye, baby' 
And then you say ‘Bye bye, girl' 
And then you say ‘Get the suitcases, honey' 
‘I don't wanna see you', hear the words. 

Say bye bye. 
Say bye bye. 
Bye bye, baby. 
Bye bye, bird. 

Now if you wanna say ‘goodbye' to your girl 
I wanna give you one or two little tips, yeah. 
Say ‘Bye bye, bird' 
Then say ‘Bye bye, baby' 
‘Bye bye, girl' 
Mmm, not another word. 

I say bye. 
I say bye. 
Say bye bye. 
Say bye bye. 
Bye baye, babe. 
Yeah, let's swing it on, now. 

Bye bye, baby, 
I say bye bye, baby. 
I say bye bye, baby. 
Bye bye. 

Bye bye, baby. 
Bye bye, baby. 
Bye bye, baby. 
Bye bye bye, baby, yeah. 

Bye bye, girl. 
I say bye bye, babe.'

Good Lovin' (The Young Rascals)

21 FEBRUARY 1966


The Young Rascals’ #1 hit ‘Good Lovin’ was released in the USA. It reached #1 on both the US and Canadian charts, but did not chart in the UK. This was the third version of this song, which had been taken to #81 on the Billboard charts by the Olympics during the previous year.

The Young Rascals (later to become just 'The Rascals') rewrote the lyrics considerably for their own version, which was their first big hit, and played it with a lot of exuberance and energy.

The song has gained longevity by being used in the soundtracks of numerous movies and TV shows, including the 'Big Chill' and 'Joe Versus the Volcano'.

B-side: 'Mustang Sally'
Released: 21 February 1966
Highest chart position: #1 (US)
Recorded: 1 February 1966
Length: 2:28
Label: Atlantic

Good Lovin’ (Young Rascals)

Crying Time (Ray Charles)

20 FEBRUARY 1966


Ray Charles reached #5 on the US Billboard chart with 'Crying Time', his biggest hit in three years. This song went to #50 in the UK and won two Grammy Awards in 1967 for 'Best R&B Solo Performance' and 'Best R&B Recording'.

This started out in 1964 as a Country & Western song by Buck Owens, but it failed to chart then. Ray's style was well suited to covering C&W (see 1957's 'I Can't Stop Loving You'), and with this record he had what proved to be his last top ten mainstream Billboard hit of the 1960s. In the 1980s he actually had most of his success in the Country charts.

Released: 1966
Highest chart position: #50 (UK), #5 (US)
Length: 2:53
Writer: Buck Owens
Producer: Sid Feller

Crying Time (Ray Charles)

'Oh, it's cryin' time again, you're gonna leave me
I can see that far away look in your eyes
I can tell by the way you hold me darlin' Oooh
That it won't be long before it's cryin' time

Now they say that absence makes the heart grow fonder (fonder)
And that tears are only rain to make love grow
Well my love for you could never grow no stronger (stronger)
If I lived to be a hundred years old

Oh, it's cryin' time again, you're gonna leave me
I can see that far away look in your eyes
I can tell by the way you hold me darlin'. Yeah now
That it won't be long before it's cryin' time

Now you say you've found someone that you love better (better)
That's the way it's happened every time before
And as sure as the sun comes up tomorrow ('morrow)
Cryin' time will start when you walk out the door

Oh, it's cryin' time again, you're gonna leave me
I can see that far away look in your eyes
I can tell by the way you hold me darlin'. Alright now
That it won't be long before it's cryin' time
(That it won't be long before it's cryin' time)'

My World is Empty Without You (The Supremes)

19 FEBRUARY 1966


The Supremes’ single ‘My World is Empty Without You’ peaked at #5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Written by the legendary team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, this was one of the few songs they wrote for the Supremes that failed to reach #1. In fact, it seems that this didn't even chart in the UK. That seems almost impossible for a group of their stature, but that's what the records tell us.

Backing them up in the studio were the also-legendary Funk Brothers, the Motown session musicians who played on so many of the label's classics. Despite the driving beat here, the music here seems slightly baroque and somehow sadder than had been usual with the Supremes' earlier work.

B-side: 'Everything Is Good About You'
Recorded: Hitsville U.S.A. (Studio A); 1965
Released: 29 December 1965
Highest chart position: #5 (US)
Length: 2:33 (original release), 3:26 (remastered)
Label: Motown M 1089

My World is Empty Without You (Supremes)

'My world is empty without you, baby
My world is empty without you, baby

And as I go my way alone
I find it hard for me to carry on
I need your strenght
I need your tender touch
I need the love, my dear
I miss so much

My world is empty without you, baby
My world is empty without you, baby

From this old world
I try to hide my face
From this loneliness
There's no hiding place
Inside this cold and empty house I dwell
In darkness with memories
I know so well

I need love know
More then before
I can hardly 
Carry on anymore

My world is empty without you, babe
Without you, babe
(My world is empty) without you, babe

My mind and soul 
Have felt like this
Since love between us
No more exist
And each time that darkness falls
It finds me alone
With these four walls

My world is empty without you, babe
Without you, babe
(My world is empty) without you, babe

Without you, babe
Without you, babe'

I Can't Let Go (The Hollies)

18 FEBRUARY 1966


The Hollies released their single ‘I Can’t Let Go’ on this day. It reached #2 on the UK charts, a return to form after the relative disappointment of their previous single ‘If I Needed Someone’.

This was driving guitar pop, high on the treble, that highlighted the greatest strength of the band, namely the harmonies of Clarke, Nash and Hicks. The song had been recorded in 1965 by Evie Sands and was a minor regional hit in the US, and while the Hollies' version was quite faithful to the original it had a lot more urgency.

This was the last Hollies single to be recorded with original bassist Eric Haydock, who was afterwards replaced with Bernie Calvert. While George Harrison had criticised their last single, this one was praised by Paul McCartney, who was particularly impressed by Nash's vocal work here.

B-side: 'Running Through the Night' (UK), 'I've Got A Way Of My Own' (US)
Recorded: 13 January 1966, Abbey Road Studios
Released: 18 February 1966
Highest chart position: #2 (UK), #42 (US)
Length: 2:26
Label: Parlophone R5409 (UK), Imperial 66158 (US)
Producer: Ron Richards

I Can't Let Go (The Hollies)

'Oh I try and I try but I can't say goodbye

Feel so bad, baby Oh, it hurts me
When I think of how you love and desert me
I'm the broken-hearted toy you play with, baby

[Chorus:]
You got me going I need you, baby
I can't let go, and I want you, baby
I gotta have you, you know, I can't let go

Though I'm just one of your lovers
And I know there are so many others
You do something strange to me, baby, baby

[Chorus]

Oh I try and I try but I can't say goodbye
Know that it's wrong and I should be so strong
But the thought of you gone makes me want to hold on

[Chorus 2x]

I can't let go
I can't let go
I can't let go
I can't let go'

These Boots Are Made For Walkin' (Nancy Sinatra)

17 FEBRUARY 1966


Nancy Sinatra’s single ‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin'' was at #1 in the UK charts, where it stayed for four weeks. It also spent a week at #1 on the US Billboard chart.

Nancy had been releasing singles since 1961 but her only charting record to this point had reached a lowly #86. ‘These Boots Are Made for Walkin''  was a great song with memorable lyrics and a kind of cool brassy country sound, and it followed a substantial image overhaul that her father apparently wasn't too thrilled about, but it launched her relatively short-lived chart career. This video leaves no doubt about what kind of image she was trying to create. The sixties were certainly starting to get a bit sexier and swingier.

B-side: 'The City Never Sleeps at Night'
Recorded: 19 November 1965, Western Recorders, Hollywood
Released: 22 February 1966
Highest chart position: #1 (UK and US)
Length: 2:42
Label: Reprise
Writer: Lee Hazlewood
Producer: Lee Hazlewood

These Boots Are Made for Walkin' (Nancy Sinatra)

'You keep saying you've got something for me
Something you call love, but confess
You've been a-messin' where you shouldn'ta been a-messin'
And now someone else is gettin' all your best

These boots are made for walkin'
And that's just what they'll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you
Yeah

You keep lying when you oughta be truthin'
And you keep losin' when you oughta not bet
You keep samin' when you oughta be a-changin'
Now what's right is right, but you ain't been right yet

These boots are made for walkin'
And that's just what they'll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you

You keep playin' where you shouldn't be playin'
And you keep thinkin' that you'll never get burned, ha!
I just found me a brand new box of matches, yeah
And what he knows, you ain't had time to learn

These boots are made for walkin'
And that's just what they'll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you

Are you ready boots?
Start walkin'!'

Girl (St Louis Union)

16 FEBRUARY 1966


‘Girl’ by the Manchester freakbeat band 'St Louis Union' reached its peak UK chart position of #11. This was yet another cover of a song from the late-1965 Beatles' album ‘Rubber Soul’.

Short-lived mod band the Truth also released their version of this song during this month, taking it to #27 in the UK in March 1966. So not only are there two versions of the Beatles' ‘Michelle’ in the UK charts this month, there are two versions of ‘Girl’ as well. As with the 'Michelle' covers, these were largely uninspired recordings that added nothing to the originals and would probably have sunk without a trace if not for the Beatles connection.

Girl (St Louis Union)

'Is there anybody going to listen to my story
All about the girl who came to stay?
She's the kind of girl you want so much it makes you sorry
Still, you don't regret a single day

Ah, girl, girl, girl

When I think of all the times I tried so hard to leave her
She will turn to me and start to cry
And she promises the earth to me and I believe her
After all this time I don't know why

Ah, girl, girl, girl

She's the kind of girl who puts you down
When friends are there,
You feel a fool
When you say she's looking good
She acts as if it's understood.
She's cool, ooh, ooh, ooh

Ah, girl, girl, girl

Was she told when she was young that pain would lead to pleasure?
Did she understand it when they said
That a man must break his back to earn his day of leisure?
Will she still believe it when he's dead?

Ah, girl, girl, girl'

Kathy's Song (Simon and Garfunkel)

15 FEBRUARY 1966


Simon and Garfunkel's breakthrough album 'Sounds of Silence' was still high in the charts. 'Kathy's Song' is an album track from that record, and was never released as a single, although a live version appeared on their 1972 'Greatest Hits' compilation.

It was written about Paul Simon's then-girlfriend Kathy Chitty, an English woman who was also referenced in songs such as 'Homeward Bound' and 'America'. Simon described their relationship as 'his most peaceful time'. Chitty, however, reportedly struggled with the media attention that comes with being in a famous relationship.

Kathy also appeared on the cover of Simon's solo album 'The Paul Simon Songbook'.

Kathy's Song (Simon and Garfunkel)

'I hear the drizzle of the rain
Like a memory it falls
Soft and warm continuing
Tapping on my roof and walls

And from the shelter of my mind
Through the window of my eyes
I gaze beyond the rain-drenched streets
To England, where my heart lies

My mind's distracted and diffused
My thoughts are many miles away
They lie with you when you're asleep
And kiss you when you start your day

And a song I was writing is left undone
I don't know why I spend my time
Writing songs I can't believe
With words that tear and strain to rhyme

And so you see, I have come to doubt
All that I once held as true
I stand alone without beliefs
The only truth I know is you

And as I watch the drops of rain
Weave their weary paths and die
I know that I am like the rain
There but for the grace of you go I'

You Were on My Mind (Crispian St Peters)

14 FEBRUARY 1966


English singer-songwriter Crispian St Peters’ single ‘You Were on my Mind’ was at its peak UK chart position of #2. This was the first top ten hit for Crispian (real name Robin Peter Smith), his only other success to this point being a #44 song in Australia.

The song itself had been written in 1962 and had featured on an album by folk duo 'Ian and Sylvia' in 1964. It was a big hit for 'We Five' in the US in 1965 (the fourth biggest-selling single of the year), but does not appear to have charted in the UK. In the sixties these situations always provided an opportunity for someone else to step in and release their own version. Crispian's version also reached #36 in the US.

As an example of the contemporary 'open season' attitude to recording the same song, 'You Were on My Mind' was actually a hit three times in Italy during 1966, with versions by Barry McGuirePaul Anka and Equipe 84.

You Were on My Mind (Crispian St Peters)

'Well I woke up this morning
You were on my mind
I said you were on my mind

Oh, I got troubles, oh, oh
I got worries, oh, oh
I got wounds to bind

So I went to the corner
Just to ease my pain
I said just to ease my pain

Oh, I got troubles, oh, oh
I got worries, oh, oh
I came home again

But I woke up this morning
You were on my mind
You were on my mind

Oh, I got troubles, oh, oh
I got worries, oh, oh
I got wounds to bind

But I've got a feeling
Yeah, down in my shoes
I said way down in my shoes

Well, I gotta ramble, oh, oh
I gotta move on, oh, oh
I gotta walk away my blues

When I woke up this morning
You were on my mind
I said you were on my mind

Well, I got troubles, oh, oh
I got worries, oh, oh
I got wounds to bind, yeah'

Let's Hang On (The Four Seasons)

13 FEBRUARY 1966


The Four Seasons’ ‘Let’s Hang On’ was still in the UK top ten, having peaked at #4. It had previously reached #3 in the US.

The Four Seasons were still selling well after scoring a string of big hits earlier in the 1960s, and even with fashions changing fast they managed to keep charting fairly well until late into the decade (and then re-emerged in the mid-1970s).

The ability of the Four Seasons to tweak their basic sound to incorporate changing trends can be heard in the inclusion of two prominent fuzz guitars in this recording, a sound not too far away from the Rolling Stones' 1965 song 'Satisfaction'.

B-side: 'On Broadway Tonight'
Released: September 1965
Highest chart position: #4 (UK), #3(US)
Length: 3:15
Label: Philips
Producer: Bob Crewe

Let’s Hang On (The Four Seasons)

'There ain't no good in our goodbye-ing
True love takes a lot of trying
Ooooh I'm crying

Let's hang on to what we've got
Don't let go girl, we've got a lot
Got a lot o' love between us
hang on, hang on, hang on to what we've got
(Doo-woop, doo-woop, doo-woop)

You say you're gonna go and call it quits
gonna chuck it all and break our love to bits
(breaking up) I wish you never said it
(breaking up) No no, we'll both regret it

That little chip of diamond on your hand 
ain't a fortune babe but you know it stands 
(for your love) a love to try and bind us
(such a love) we just can't leave behind us 
Baby (don't you go) baby (no no no)

Baby (think it over and) stay-ay
Let's hang on to what we've got
Don't let go girl, we've got a lot
got a lot o' love between us
Hang on, hang on, hang on to what we've got
(doo-woop, doo-woop, doo-woop)

there isn't anything i wouldn't do
I'd pay any price to get in good with you
(patch it up) give me a second turnin'
(patch it up) don't cool off while i'm burnin'

you've got me cryin' dyin' at your door
don't shut me out, let me in once more
(open up) you're arms I need to hold you
(open up) you're heart oh girl I told you
Baby (don't you go) Baby (no no no)

Baby (think it over and) Stay-ay
Let's hang on to what we've got
Don't let go girl, we've got a lot
Got a lot o' love between us
Hang on, hang on, hang on to what we've got
(doo-woop, doo-woop, doo-woop)'

Un Jeune Homme Bien (Petula Clark)

12 FEBRUARY 1966


Petula Clark had been recording since the 1940s, and by the 1960s was living in France. She spoke French well and recorded numerous songs in that language (as well as Italian, Spanish and German). While she had some big UK hits in the 1950s, and was a major star in continental Europe, her British career was in decline by the early 1960s before she had a huge hit with 'Downtown' in 1964.

In 1966 she released an album of French recordings which became known as ‘Petula ‘66’. One of the highlights is this very solid and faithful cover version of the Kinks’ ‘A Well Respected Man’, here titled 'Un Jeune Homme Bien'.

Un Jeune Homme Bien (Petula Clark)

'Cause he gets up in the morning,
And he goes to work at nine,
And he comes back home at five-thirty,
Gets the same train every time.
'Cause his world is built 'round punctuality,
It never fails.

And he's oh, so good,
And he's oh, so fine,
And he's oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He's a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And his mother goes to meetings,
While his father pulls the maid,
And she stirs the tea with councilors,
While discussing foreign trade,
And she passes looks, as well as bills
At every suave young man

'Cause he's oh, so good,
And he's oh, so fine,
And he's oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He's a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And he likes his own backyard,
And he likes his fags the best,
'Cause he's better than the rest,
And his own sweat smells the best,
And he hopes to grab his father's loot,
When Pater passes on.

'Cause he's oh, so good,
And he's oh, so fine,
And he's oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He's a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And he plays at stocks and shares,
And he goes to the Regatta,
And he adores the girl next door,
'Cause he's dying to get at her,
But his mother knows the best about
The matrimonial stakes.

'Cause he's oh, so good,
And he's oh, so fine,
And he's oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He's a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.'

A Well Respected Man (The Kinks)

11 FEBRUARY 1966


The Kinks’ ‘A Well Respected Man’ was at its peak US Billboard chart position of #13 on this day.

Unlike their other single ‘Till the End of the Day’ (which was riding high in the UK charts during this same week), this was Ray Davies in his more inventive and satirical mode, writing of the fake veneer of 1960s suburban middle-class respectability. It was apparently inspired by a negative experience Ray had with some snooty types while he was staying at a posh resort in 1965.

This song was never released as a single in the UK (where it instead appeared on the EP 'Kwyet Kinks').

B-side: 'Such A Shame' (US), 'Milk Cow Blues' (Europe)
Recorded: Late July/Early August 1965
Released: September 1965 (UK, on an EP), October 1965 (US), March 1966 (Europe)
Highest chart position: #13 (US)
Length: 2:41
Label: Reprise 0420 (US), Pye Records 7N 17100 (Europe)
Writer: Ray Davies
Producer: Shel Talmy


'Cause he gets up in the morning,
And he goes to work at nine,
And he comes back home at five-thirty,
Gets the same train every time.
'Cause his world is built 'round punctuality,
It never fails.

And he's oh, so good,
And he's oh, so fine,
And he's oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He's a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And his mother goes to meetings,
While his father pulls the maid,
And she stirs the tea with councilors,
While discussing foreign trade,
And she passes looks, as well as bills
At every suave young man

'Cause he's oh, so good,
And he's oh, so fine,
And he's oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He's a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And he likes his own backyard,
And he likes his fags the best,
'Cause he's better than the rest,
And his own sweat smells the best,
And he hopes to grab his father's loot,
When Pater passes on.

'Cause he's oh, so good,
And he's oh, so fine,
And he's oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He's a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.

And he plays at stocks and shares,
And he goes to the Regatta,
And he adores the girl next door,
'Cause he's dying to get at her,
But his mother knows the best about
The matrimonial stakes.

'Cause he's oh, so good,
And he's oh, so fine,
And he's oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He's a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.'

Thoughts of You (The Piggy Bank)

10 FEBRUARY 1966


The Piggy Bank released this single ‘Thoughts of You’ sometime in 1966. I'm not sure when, and can’t find out much about this song or this group, except to say that they were from New Mexico, were previously called the Monkeymen, and this record was generally ignored. One of the rare mentions I can of this band online states that;
"The Piggy Bank, ( Vic Gabriele, George Orona, Don Gleicher, Wes Smythe and Benji Martinez) recorded at least one single on Lavette Records “Thoughts of You”/”Play With Fire” (a Stones cover). Lance Monthly newsletter declared “There is a strong indication that the flip side will be the one that will go” And go it did, straight into the bin of obscurity."
Which is a great shame because it's genuinely good. Maybe it could have been produced to a higher polish, but it's a solid song and played well. I can easily imagine the Beatles recording this as the B side to 'Help', or the Kinks using it as an album track. A small band like this from Albuquerque never had access to the marketing or distribution machinery needed to promote this record beyond their city in 1966, but fortunately YouTube exists and helps to keep this undeservedly obscure stuff alive.

Thoughts of You (The Piggy Bank)

Uptight (Everything's Alright) (Stevie Wonder)

9 FEBRUARY 1966


Stevie Wonder’s ‘Uptight (Everything’s Alright)’ was released in the UK during, and went on to peak at #14 there. It reached #3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart (and #1 on the R&B charts for five weeks). 

This was the first hit single to be co-written by Wonder, whose career was floundering at this point after his earlier success as a child prodigy. He was still only 15 years old at this time, but Motown were thinking of dropping him from their roster. The success of this song changed their minds.

This track features some excellent machine-gun drumming and a Motown hit production machine still at its peak. Wonder had toured with the Rolling Stones during the previous year and the driving beat here was partly inspired by 'Satisfaction'. I can hear something of 'Get Off My Cloud' here too.

B-side: 'Purple Rain Drops'
Released: 22 November 1965
Highest chart position: #14 (UK), #3 (US)
Length: 2:52
Label: Tamla
Writers: Stevie Wonder, Sylvia Moy, Henry Cosby

Uptight (Everything’s Alright) (Stevie Wonder)

'Baby, ev'rything is all right, uptight, out of sight.
Baby, ev'rything is all right, uptight, out of sight.

I'm a poorman's son, from across the railroad tracks,
The only shirt I own is hangin' on my back,
But I'm the envy of ev'ry single guy
Since I'm the apple of my girl's eye.
When we go out stepping on the town for a while
My money's low and my suit's out of style,
But it's all right if my clothes aren't new
Out of sight because my heart is true.

She says baby ev'rything is alright, uptight, out of sight.
Baby, ev'rything is alright, uptight, clean out of sight.

She's a pearl of a girl, I guess that's what you might say,
I guess her folks brought her up that way,
The right side of the tracks, she was born and raised
In a great big old house, full of butlers and maids.
She says no one is better than I, I know I'm just an average guy,
No football hero or smooth Don Juan,
Got empty pockets, you see I'm a poorman's son.
She says give her the things that money can buy
But I'll never, never make my baby cry,

And it's all right, what I can't do,
Out of sight because my heart is true,
She says baby ev'rything is alright, uptight, clean out of sight.
Baby, ev'rything is alright, uptight, clean out of sight.
Baby, ev'rything is alright, uptight, ah ah ah ah,
Baby, ev'rything is alright, uptight, clean out of sight.
Baby, ev'rything is alright, uptight, clean out of sight.'

It's All Over Now, Baby Blue (Them)

2 FEBRUARY 1966


The Northern Irish band Them released their second album ‘Them Again’ in January 1966, but it failed to chart. It featured the song ‘It’s all Over Now Baby Blue’ which was not released as a single, except in the Netherlands in October, when it somehow failed to chart, and also Germany, where it was a modest hit. That’s a huge shame as this was a very inventive cover of the Dylan original with a brilliant vocal from Van Morrison, nicely effective use of the new-fangled Mellotron keyboard, and a bass line not a million miles away from 'Stand By Me'.

Unfortunately. the group split up in mid-1966 after disputes between band members and management over money, but Van Morrison went on to bigger and better things.

B-side: 'I'm Gonna Dress in Black' (Holland); 'Bad or Good' (Germany)
Recorded: 1965, Decca Studios, London, England
Released: October 1966 (Holland), December 1973 (Germany)
Highest chart position: #13 (Germany)
Length: 3:50
Label: Decca
Writer: Bob Dylan
Producer: Tommy Scott

It’s all Over Now Baby Blue (Them)

'You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last
But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast
Yonder stands your orphan with his gun
Crying like a fire in the sun
Look out the saints are comin' through
And it's all over now, Baby Blue

The highway is for gamblers, better use your sense
Take what you have gathered from coincidence
The empty-handed painter from your streets
Is drawing crazy patterns on your sheets
This sky, too, is folding under you
And it's all over now, Baby Blue

All your seasick sailors, they are rowing home
All your reindeer armies, are all going home
The lover who just walked out your door
Has taken all his blankets from the floor
The carpet, too, is moving under you
And it's all over now, Baby Blue

Leave your stepping stones behind, something calls for you
Forget the dead you've left, they will not follow you
The vagabond who's rapping at your door
Is standing in the clothes that you once wore
Strike another match, go start anew
And it's all over now, Baby Blue'

No Matter What Shape Your Stomach's In (The T-Bones)

7 FEBRUARY 1966


Instrumental group the T-Bones’ single ‘No Matter What Shape Your Stomach's In’ was on its way to a peak position of #3 on the US Hot 100 Billboard chart. It was not a hit in the UK.

This was their only hit of any note (a follow-up single reached #62), and was based on the music and title of a famous Alka-Seltzer commercial of the time. None of the band actually played on the recording of this hit.

The clip below is from a US TV show, complete with mandatory zany off-stage antics.

B-side: 'Feelin' Fine'
Recorded: 9 December 1965
Released: 1965
Highest chart position: #3 (US)
Length: 2:15
Label: Liberty
Writer: Granville Sascha Burland
Producer: Joe Saraceno

No Matter What Shape Your Stomach's In (The T-Bones)