Tag Archives: 1965

Fred Neil – A Little Bit Of Rain (1965)

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fred-neil

Fred Neil is not as famous as he should be, partly because he gave up the bright lights to hang out in Florida. In 1965, a year before he wrote the classic ‘Everybody’s Talkin”, the singer-songwriter wrote the 1965 album Bleecker & MacDougal. Track #4 is ‘A Little Bit Of Rain’. “If I should leave you/Try to remember the good times/Warm days filled with sunshine/And just a little bit of rain/And just a little bit of rain.” Pure folk-blues.

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Billy Stewart – Sitting In The Park (1965)

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Billy Stewart

Over and above producing an R&B classic when he wrote and sang ‘Sitting In The Park’, Billy Stewart also created one of the great piano breaks. The single was released in 1965 on the Chess label and would feature on his debut album I Do Love You.

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The Kinks – I Go To Sleep (1965)

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The Kinks Kinda

The Pretenders may have made this song their own with their inferior cover, but ‘I Go To Sleep’ was in fact another piece of genius from Ray Davies. The lo-fi demo feel of the track gives it a real sense of modernity. It would be released as a bonus track on a 1998 reissue of their sophomore album Kinda Kinks. However, the Kinks never in fact played the Davies demo. Have a great weekend.

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Nara Leão – Insensatez (1971)

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Nara Leão

As with ‘The Girl from Ipanema’ and ‘Corcovado’, Tom Jobim wrote ‘Insensatez’ for João Gilberto – originally released in 1961. Ten years later, one of bossa nova’s muses, Nara Leão recorded a cover for her album Dez Anos Depois. It is my favourite version. Leão was no copycat, she had calibre too. During the 1950s, she had performed with João Gilberto. In the 1960s, she toured with Sérgio Mendes and would eventually team up with the Vila Velha Gang (e.g. Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Gal Costa) to feature on the 1968 album Tropicália: ou Panis et Circencis, a manifesto for the Tropicália movement.

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Ray Pollard – Drifter (1965)

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Ray Pollard
After a decade of so with The Wanderers and before a stint with the Latin-Soul Hector Rivera Orchestra, the late great Ray Pollard recorded three solo singles for United Artists, including the classic ‘The Drifter’. A veteran of the Korean War, where he had lost his left hand while serving in the United States Army, Pollard was able to tap into his experiences to create this beat ballad. It would go onto become a staple track of the UK Northern Soul scene. Before he died in 2005, soul DJ Ralph Tee popped across the pond and captured the Vegas-set video featured.

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Oscar Brown Jr. – Brother, Where Are You? (1965)

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Oscar Brown Jr.

In 1963, Oscar Brown, Jr. composed the classic ‘The Snake’ by Al Wilson, which became a Northern Soul staple in the following decade. But Oscar was no one hit wonder – in 1965, he released Mr. Oscar Brown Jr. Goes to Washington, an album of his songs recorded live at The Cellar Door nightclub in Washington D.C. During the recording, he did this… ‘Brother, Where Are You?’. Terry Callier was listening.

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The Sonics – Santa Claus (1965)

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The Sonics

“Yeah-h-h-h-h-h-h Santa Claus, Where have you been?”

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Nina Simone – Sinnerman (1965)

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Nina Simone 1971

I have already featured the funkier side of Nina Simone in this blog, but now for her exemplar jazz gospel rendition of ‘Sinnerman’. Nina Simone recorded her definitive 10-minute-plus version of ‘Sinnerman’ for her 1965 long player Pastel Blues. Simone learnt the lyrics of this song during her childhood and would use her interpretation as an end to her celebrated performances of the early 1960s. Have a great weekend.

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Vince Guaraldi Trio – Christmas Time Is Here (1965)

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Last Friday, a friend was a little disappointed in the lack of festivity in my choice of sound. No such accusations this week, surely. This instrumental has been on and off in the Samuel household all Christmas break. I cannot work out whether I connect with this tune because it is embedded as the sound of Christmas itself or because it brings back childhood memories of Charlie Brown at Christmas. I should not think so much. My first resolution. Happy New Year!

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