Sunday, December 09, 2012
Music Sunday: The "60s Music Infomercial" Edition
I have a confession to make.
I don't think it is a particularly shocking confession, but for someone who hates, loathes, and detests infomercials, it is a difficult one to make.
Okay...here it is: I will sit and watch those half-hour Time-Life music collection infomercials all the way through, every time I find one. I won't watch all of them, but the ones with lots of sixties and seventies music are impossible for me to turn away from.
Oh, I'll never buy any of those collections, but only because I can't afford them. But their main selling point is correct: the music included in them includes songs that bring back memories of when I was first listening to music up through my high school years. Many of those songs make me smile, plain and simple. Additionally, I really enjoy watching the old clips they show of the artists from the time the songs were originally recorded.
All this comes up because I found one the other night. I was already in bed, and about to fall asleep, but I took one last surf through the channels and came in on the very beginning of the ad for a collection called "60s Music Revolution". And, despite the fact that I had really been fighting to stay awake (it was after midnight), I watched the whole freaking ad.
Since then, I've been searching around on the Internet to find some clips of the songs advertised in the ad I watched. I've come up with some songs that, even if they aren't the best music ever made, are songs that I have liked and listened to for years, and that bring back all kinds of memories.
There is this, for example, Mason Williams with "Classical Gas", which I think I first heard on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, a show which presented music that most other television shows ignored:
And then there is this silly song, for which I found an even sillier clip. But, no matter how silly, I've always loved this song, "Happy Together", by The Turtles:
One of the best (I think) of the psychedelic songs from the mid-1960s, "Incense and Peppermints", by The Strawberry Alarm Clock, also finds its way into collections like this, but they don't use this clip, from the 1968 film, "Psych-Out". If you look carefully, you'll see a young Jack Nicholson on stage with the band:
A song that frequently appears in collections like these is The Mamas and the Papas 1965 song, "California Dreaming". There's a good reason for that. It's a great song:
I'm surprised that "In The Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus)", released by Zager and Evans in 1969, ever made any of these collections. It is an odd, pessimistic song, but one I've always liked, perhaps because if its science fiction feel. But it does, indeed, turn up on the "60s Music Revolution" collection:
The Byrds' cover of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man", released in 1965, also often makes the cut in these sorts of collections: