Everybody's Talkin' (Fred Neil)

30 NOVEMBER 1966


'Everybody's Talkin'' was a huge hit for Nilsson in 1969, after the song featured heavily in the movie 'Midnight Cowboy'. It had, however, been written, recorded and released in late 1966 as a track on folk singer Fred Neil's self-titled second album. The song was composed near the end of a New York recording session for the album, when Neil was anxious to wrap things up and get back home to his family in Miami, Florida. His manager promised that Neil could go if he wrote and recorded one last track. 'Everybody's Talkin'' - clearly speaking for Neil's state of mind at that exact time - was the result, and it was recorded in one take.

Neil's recording lacks the comparative urgency and slick production values of the Nilsson version, but is still a good song and deserves the respect that originals should get. Unfortunately Neil did not enjoy commercial success - although the 'Fred Neil' album was reissued in 1969 after the success of 'Midnight Cowboy' - and he more or less left the industry by the 1970s.


Morningtown Ride (The Seekers)

29 NOVEMBER 1966


‘Morningtown Ride’ by the Seekers was at its peak UK chart position of #2.

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Morningtown Ride (The Seekers)

A Love Like Yours (Ike & Tina Turner)

28 NOVEMBER 1966


A Love Like Yours (Ike & Tina Turner) at its peak of #16 in the UK.

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A Love Like Yours (Ike & Tina Turner)

Semi-Detached Suburban Mr James (Manfred Mann)

27 NOVEMBER 1966


Manfred Mann’s ‘Semi-Detached Suburban Mr James’ was at its peak UK chart position of #2.

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Semi-Detached Suburban Mr James (Manfred Mann)

Can I Get to Know You Better (The Turtles)

26 NOVEMBER 1966


The Turtles’ ‘Can I Get to Know You Better’ was at its peak US Billboard Hot 100 chart position of #89. This was a decent bit of jangly sunshine pop that really deserved to go Top 20. However, their biggest year was just around the corner with enduring hits such as 'Happy Together' and 'She'd Rather Be with Me' in 1967.

‘Can I Get to Know You Better’ was a cover of Betty Everett's non-charting 1964 single 'Can I Get to Know You', and it is actually a substantial reworking of the original, which was quite pedestrian.

Can I Get to Know You Better (The Turtles)

Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa [Sad Song] (Otis Redding)

25 NOVEMBER 1966


Otis Redding’s ‘Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song)’ was at its peak UK chart position of #23.

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Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa [Sad Song] (Otis Redding)

Strawberry Fields Forever (The Beatles)

24 NOVEMBER 1966


The Beatles began recording the psychedelic classic ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ at the Abbey Road studios on this day. It was intended to be on the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ album but was instead released as a single in early 1967. Imagine that album with 'Stawberry Fields Forever', 'Penny Lane' and 'All You Need is Love' on it!

The song reached #2 on the UK charts, ending an unbroken four-year run of #1 hits for the band, and it reached #8 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Releasing this heavily psychedelic number with seemingly nonsensical lyrics as a single was probably their riskiest stylistic statement to date, but it has gone down in history as a classic and one of their most loved songs. The days of 'yeah, yeah, yeah', however, were well and truly over.

A-side: 'Penny Lane'
Released: 13 February 1967 (US), 17 February 1967 (UK) 
Recorded: 24 November-22 December 1966, EMI Studios, London
Highest chart position (1967): #2 (UK), #8 (US)
Length: 4:05 
Label: Parlophone (UK), Capitol (US) 
Producer: George Martin

Strawberry Fields Forever (The Beatles)

If I Were a Carpenter (Bobby Darin)

23 NOVEMBER 1966


Bobby Darin’s ‘If I Were a Carpenter’ was at its peak position of #9 in the UK charts.

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If I Were a Carpenter (Bobby Darin)

For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her (Simon and Garfunkel)

22 NOVEMBER 1966


'For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her', a typically quiet, intricate and lovely ballad from Simon & Garfunkel, featured on their October 1966 album 'Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme'. It was also the B-side of their single 'A Hazy Shade of Winter'.

Sung solely by Garfunkel, this song was a perfect showcase for his exemplary voice. It became very popular among the duo's fans, and a live version was released as a single in 1972 to support their greatest hits album, and reached #53 on the Billboard Hot 100.

For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her (Simon and Garfunkel)

Rain on the Roof (Lovin’ Spoonful)

21 NOVEMBER 1966


‘Rain on the Roof’ by the Lovin’ Spoonful was at its peak US Billboard chart position of #10.

The kind of song you might expect to be sung on Sesame Street.

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Rain on the Roof (Lovin’ Spoonful)

Painter Man (The Creation)

20 NOVEMBER 1966


The Creation’s ‘Painter Man’ was at its peak UK chart position of #36. It also reached #8 in Germany, a country where they established a larger fan base.

The similarities between this group - who had a background in loud pop art - and the Who are fairly obvious, and the two bands (along with the Kinks and the Easybeats) were produced by Shel Talmy. Guitarist Eddie Phillips used a violin bow to play his instrument on this song, allegedly the first guitarist to do so.

The Creation did not enjoy much commercial success (this was their biggest hit) and they disbanded in 1968, although they were later seen as an influential band and have reformed on a number of occasions.

'Painter Man' was covered by Boney M in 1979, when it made #10 in the UK.

B-side: 'Biff, Bang, Pow'
Released: October 1966
Highest chart position: #36 (UK)
Label: Planet
Writers: Kenny Pickett, Eddie Phillips
Producer: Shel Talmy

Painter Man (The Creation)


You Keep Me Hanging On (The Supremes)

19 NOVEMBER 1966


The Supremes’ ‘You Keep Me Hanging On’ was at #1 on the US Billboard charts.

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You Keep Me Hanging On (The Supremes)

Dead End Street (The Kinks)

18 NOVEMBER 1966


The Kinks ‘Dead End Street’ is released. It was at #5 in the UK charts. Rollicking stuff.

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Dead End Street (The Kinks)

Good Vibrations (The Beach Boys)

17 NOVEMBER 1966


The Beach Boys groundbreaking ‘Good Vibrations’ was at #1 in the UK charts, and stayed there for two weeks.

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Good Vibrations (The Beach Boys)

The Crystal Ship (The Doors)

16 NOVEMBER 1966


The Doors - 'Crystal Ship'.

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The Crystal Ship (The Doors)

I Can Only Give You Everything (MC5)

15 NOVEMBER 1966


MC5’s ‘I Can Only Give You Everything’ was recorded in winter 1966.

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I Can Only Give You Everything (MC5)

Try a Little Tenderness (Otis Redding)

14 NOVEMBER 1966


The Otis Redding classic ballad 'Try a Little Tenderness' was released on this day in 1966. It peaked at #25 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, #4 on the R&B chart, and #46 in the UK. Otis might be recognised as one of the Soul greats now, but during his lifetime he never enjoyed a Top 20 hit in the US. This record, however, was deservedly placed in 204th position on Rolling Stone's 500 greatest songs of all time list.

This was quite an old song, first recorded in 1932 by the Ray Noble Orchestra and again in 1933 by Bing Crosby. Redding's version is notable for its slow, measured opening that gradually builds in intensity while adding elements from the Duke EllingtonLee Gaines song 'Just Squeeze Me (But Please Don't Tease Me)'.

B-side: 'I'm Sick Y'all'
Released: 14 November 1966
Recorded: Stax Studios, Memphis, Tennessee,1966
Highest chart position: 
Length: 3:46 (Album version), 3:20 (Single version) 
Label: Volt/Atco, V-141 

Try a Little Tenderness (Otis Redding)

Poor Side of Town (Johnny Rivers)

13 NOVEMBER 1966


Johnny Rivers’ ‘Poor Side of Town’ was #1 on the US Billboard chart.

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Poor Side of Town (Johnny Rivers)

I’m a Believer (The Monkees)

12 NOVEMBER 1966


The Monkees’ 'I’m a Believer’ was released in the USA. It reached #1 in both the USA and the UK.

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I’m a Believer (The Monkees)

Swami (The William Penn Fyve)

11 NOVEMBER 1966


San Francisco-based group William Penn and His Pals released this - their only single - under the name The William Penn Fyve during this month. 'Swami' is a deliciously sardonic putdown of what seems to be a fairground fakir, but could also be read as a thematic precursor to songs about disillusion with the late '60s mystical spiritualism scene, such as the Beatles' 'Sexy Sadie'. This record failed to chart, although it was later included on the respected compilation album 'Pebbles, Vol. 3: The Acid Gallery'.

The fuzz guitar, growling bass and Eastern-style chanting and instrumentation give this song a strong psychedelic flavour that would have not been considered just a couple of years earlier. William Penn and His Pals disbanded in 1967.

Swami (The William Penn Fyve)

Stop Stop Stop (The Hollies)

10 NOVEMBER 1966


The Hollies’ ‘Stop Stop Stop’ was at its peak UK chart position of #2.

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Stop Stop Stop (The Hollies)

Hymn No.5 (The Mighty Hannibal)

9 NOVEMBER 1966


The Mighty Hannibal's controversial single ‘Hymn No.5’ reached #21 on the US R&B charts during this month, and #115 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Unfortunately the modest commercial success of this song about soldiers returning from the Vietnam War addicted to opium only fuelled Hannibal's (real name James Timothy Shaw) own heroin addiction problem, and he then spent 18 months in prison for failing to pay a tax bill.

His only other charting record was 'The Truth Shall Make You Free', which reached #7 on the US R&B chart in 1973. Shaw died in January 2014.

Hymn No.5 (The Mighty Hannibal)







Sunny Goodge Street (Judy Collins)

8 NOVEMBER 1966


Judy Collins’ album ‘In My Life’ was released in the US during this month. It peaked at #46 on the album charts. Collins had been a well-established star of the folk scene for some years, but for a change of tone this album heavily featured orchestral arrangements.

It included a range of covers, including Dylan and the seemingly obligatory-for-1966 take from ‘Rubber Soul’ ('In My Life'). One of my favourites from this album is the Donovan-penned song ‘Sunny Goodge Street’.

Sunny Goodge Street (Judy Collins)

She Comes in Colours (Love)

7 NOVEMBER 1966


The Los Angeles band Love released their second album ‘De Capo’ during this month. It displayed a marked musical evolution from their self-titled garage-folk-rock album that came out seven months earlier. It was also a definite stylistic step towards their classic ‘Forever Changes’ album which came out 12 months later, with more intricate rhythms and baroque arrangements. This song 'She Comes in Colours' is a prime example of that shifting style. It was released as a single but failed to chart.

The video shown here cuts between shots of Love singer and songwriter Arthur Lee strolling around town, and shots of a topless woman. They don’t make videos like this anymore.

B-side: 'Orange Skies'
Released: December 1966 
Recorded: 1966 at RCA Studios 
Length: 2:43 
Label: Elektra
Writer: Arthur Lee
Producers: Paul A. Rothchild

She Comes in Colours (Love)

Love is a Hurtin’ Thing (Lou Rawls)

6 NOVEMBER 1966


Lou Rawls’ ‘Love is a Hurtin’ Thing' was at its peak US Billboard chart position of #13.

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Love is a Hurtin’ Thing (Lou Rawls)

B-A-B-Y (Carla Thomas)

5 NOVEMBER 1966


Carla Thomas’ ‘B-a-b-y’ was at its peak position of #14 on the US Billboard charts.

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B-A-B-Y (Carla Thomas)

Satisfy'n Sunday (The Underground)

4 NOVEMBER 1966


If the Mamas and the Papas were to go into the recording studio with the Irish group Them, this would be the result - 'Satisfy'n Sunday' by The Underground (not to be confused with the Velvet kind). Despite the muddy production values, this is actually very good, and obviously influenced by the Mamas and the Papas vocal arrangements. The singers here might not be up to the standard of that group, but they aren't too far off.

This was released in November 1966 and never went anywhere, which is a shame. With a production tweak here and there, and better marketing and distribution, this could have gone national Top 40. As it was, they had to settle for local chart placings such as #18 in Gary, Indiana, and #20 in Acron, Ohio. In 1967 the Underground released a follow-up single 'Get Him Out Of Your Mind', which also flopped and then they appear to have disbanded.

B side: 'Easy'
Released: November 1966
Label: Mainstream Records
Writers: L O'Keefe, J Wright

Satisfy'n Sunday (The Underground)

Norwegian Wood (The Folkswingers)

3 NOVEMBER 1966


Following the success of the Beatles' 'Norwegian Wood' and the Stones' 'Paint It Black', there was quite a lot of instrumental sitar-rock crossover stuff about in the mid-'60s. An early-'60s pioneer of this kind of music was Vinnie Bell, inventor of the electric ('coral') sitar, but the master of the 'raga rock' sub-genre was probably highly-respected session guitarist 'Big' Jim Sullivan, who recorded the albums 'Sitar Beat' (1967) and 'Lord Sitar' (1968).

The Folkswingers - a Los Angeles studio group featuring session musicians from the very wonderful Wrecking Crew along with sitar virtuoso Harihar Rao - were quickly onto this fad and released their 'Raga Rock' album in late '66. Despite the talent, this album is quite uneven and often unoriginal. There were obvious covers of 'Norwegian Wood', 'Eight Miles High' and 'Paint It Black' mixed in with sitar takes of other recent chart hits such as 'Homeward Bound' and a pre-Hendrix 'Hey Joe'. Some worked better than others. 
 
Featured here is 'Norwegian Wood', complete with a drone instrument that sounds rather too much like a mooing cow at times. Still, this material has an inherent ''66 grooviness' to it that is quite enjoyable.

Norwegian Wood (The Folkswingers)

Stone Free (The Jimi Hendrix Experience)

2 NOVEMBER 1966


The Jimi Hendrix Experience recorded the song 'Stone Free' on this day in 1966. This was the first song they recorded for their upcoming debut album 'Are You Experienced?'

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Stone Free (The Jimi Hendrix Experience)

I Can’t Control Myself (The Troggs)

1 NOVEMBER 1966


The Troggs’ ‘I Can’t Control Myself’ was at its peak UK chart position of #2.

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I Can’t Control Myself (The Troggs)