Now here’s my darling husband writing about his favourite decade of music – and he’s certainly got a very refined taste, too!
Roberta’s keeping you entertained with her favourite music through the decades. Here’s a small contribution from the old git. Roberta loves the 60s too of course but I actually lived through it all. So here’s ten tunes that I personally love from the decade.
We’ll do it in reverse order if you can bear the excitement. (????) First up at No 10 is a great old Cajun classic from Johnnie Allan. Swamp pop they called this music from the late 50s and early 60s. I find it irresistible.
10) Johnnie Allen “South To Louisiana”
Next we’ll have one of the best voices in country music. Jim Reeves was huge in Britain when I was growing up and he was still there for a while after the Beatles changed the face of music. This is arguably his best song.
9) Jim Reeves “He’ll Have To Go”
Here’s another fellow who surged up the British charts to take on the Beatles and the other homegrown hits. This to me is old style blues/RnB at its best- perfect voice and perfect instrumentation for the job in hand.
8) Tommy Tucker “High Heel Sneakers”
No apologies for choosing another pop song from South Louisiana. Pop is by no means the only type of music that Louisiana does better than most other places. This is a beautifully song full of youthful wonder and concern.
7) Tommy McLain “Before I Grow Too Old”
Tina Turner is one of Roberta’s absolute favourites so she certainly approves of this one. I grew up knowing her as part of a duo though she’s had a long subsequent solo career. But an oldie such as I is not sure she ever bettered this superb performance- a snarling rhythmical wildcat in action
6) Ike and Tina Turner “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine”
I’ve already mentioned the Beatles twice. Perhaps back in the day I did prefer the American stuff but interestingly they’ve grown on me again as I age. Even when young they had the capacity to sing about life as a whole. This has become my favourite Beatles track.
5) The Beatles “In My Life”
The old 60s, in reality a continuation of the 1950s, was fading when my next track hit No 1. It was ushering in the second half of the decade, the half everybody continues to talk about to this day. Not everything was up to this standard though. The singing and the whole production here is excellent. Cher’s debut (I think) and her finest hour.
4) Sonny and Cher “I Got You Babe”
For my next track I’ve chosen something a little darker. The late 60s were fine if you were young and white but not necessarily if you were black. This superb performance of justified anger reflects realities that still haven’t quite gone away in America as current events show.
3) J. B. Lenoir “Down In Mississippi”
On to number two. Here’s my favourite British performer. Dusty had such a beautiful voice and a way of singing and phrasing a song. The tensions in her personal life are reflected in her material. This white girl could certainly sing the blues- from deep within her own soul.
2) Dusty Springfield “Going Back”
And finally the moment you’ve all been waiting for (????). My number one. This is one of the greatest popular music recordings I have ever heard. It’s a performance, a performance drenched in emotion and sexual longing. She must have been exhausted after laying this down. It’s a track apart, an almost unbelievable rendition in my opinion.
1) Lorraine Ellison: “Stay With Me Baby”
By Ian Craine