Posts Tagged rock video
Sunday night, February 9, 1964 on The Ed Sullivan Show, television introduced the Beatles to 73 million Americans, or nearly 40% of the total population of the country at the time (by comparison, this past Sunday’s broadcast of the Super Bowl, the highest rated showing of that annual extravaganza, was viewed by an estimated 106 million Americans, or about 30% of the population).
The February 9 airing of Ed Sullivan’s weekly variety program (his “really big shoo”) was the first of three consecutive Sunday evenings on which the Fab Four appeared on the show. That night they performed five songs in two sets, opening with “All My Loving”, followed by “Till There Was You” and “She Loves You.” In the show’s second hour they came back with “I Saw Her Standing There” and ended with “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”
Click here for an interesting side-by-side video of two versions of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” – one taped earlier in the day for inclusion on the February 23 show, and the other filmed live on February 9. For my Beatles playlists, click here.
Lip-synching on music shows aired from a TV studio was an accepted practice in the 60s and early 70s. But a growing trend toward “real” live performances is evidenced by Poco’s rendition (click here) of “A Good Feelin’ To Know” on a TV/radio simulcast with album-rock station WPLJ-fm in New York in 1972. The song was the title track to the fifth studio album from one of the longest running country-rock bands. The line-up pictured here was their early 70s version. Founding member, lead vocalist and guitarist Richie Furay would leave in a year, bassist Tim Schmit went to the Eagles in 1977 and drummer George Grantham quit in 1978. Guitarists Rusty Young and Paul Cotton continued on with various replacements in the 80s and the band continues performing to this day. Poco is in the Playlist Vault at DrRock.com and A Good Feelin’ To Know is available from Amazon and iTunes.
Shindig. Hulabaloo. Soul Train. Kraft Music Hall. The Midnight Special. Remember them? They’re all iconic 60s and 70s TV music programs that aired on the major U.S. networks and featured the hottest bands of the day lip-synching and fake playing their way through the hits of the day. And the Dave Clark Five’s appearance (click here) on Shindig in 1965 was typical of a mid-60s British Invasion challenge to the Beatles’ dominance. “Catch Us If You Can” was the DC5’s good-time signature song and made it to #4 in the U.S. in the fall of 1965. Shindig aired on ABC for about 18 months until January 1966 when it was replaced by a new series called Batman. Holy cow!
At first listen, The Turtles seemed to be just another late 60s upbeat pop-rock harmony band. On closer inspection, however, they were more than that. Led by sarcastic frontmen Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman and singing tongue-in-cheek lyrics with beautiful harmonies, the Turtles vamped and camped their way to the top of the AM charts for an all-too-brief time in the late 60s. And their performance of “Elenore” on NBC’s Kraft Music Hall show in September 1968 (click here for the video) is ultimate Turtles: Kaylan in a lounge-style tuxedo; overgrown (in hair and stature) Volman overacting on back-up vocals; and the infectious sound and simple-minded lyrics of “Elenore” that Kaylan actually penned as a protest to the very notion of AM pop hits. Unfortunately, the Turtles were gone by 1970. Luckily for us, Kaylan and Volman joined Frank Zappa’s irreverent Mothers Of Invention, then recorded five FM radio-friendly albums in the late 70s before returning to the oldies circuit in the 80s. They’re still touring as The Turtles, and I recommend you see them (as I did last summer). They make for a great show. (“Elenore” appears on the excellent concept album, The Turtles Present The Battle Of The Bands, which is on Amazon and iTunes. A Turtles playlist is in Dr. Rock’s Playlist Vault.)
The New Riders Of The Purple Sage performed “Hello Mary Lou” on the German public TV program, Beat-Club, which premiered in 1965 and went off the air in December 1972, six months after this video was taped. The song was co-written by country-pop-rocker Gene Pitney and became a hit for Ricky Nelson in 1961. The New Riders included “Hello Mary Lou” on their second album, Powerglide, in 1972 and it was a staple of their live shows and albums thereafter. (For New Riders CDs and track downloads, check Amazon, iTunes and the New Riders playlist in Dr. Rock’s Playlist Vault).
Dick Smothers introduced Paul Revere & The Raiders as a “group of youngsters” for their performance (click here) of “Ups And Downs” on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1967, about two years before the controversial CBS program was cancelled due to its anti-establishment content. “Ups and Downs” was in the middle of the band’s string of eight straight Billboard Top 25 hits between 1965 and 1968. That was the peak of their popularity, although they would chart several more singles and continue releasing albums well into the 70s. Paul Revere & The Raiders appear in several playlists in Dr. Rock’s Playlist Vault.
Only drummer Jerry Edmonton is really playing in this June 1969 video of Steppenwolf “performing” their 1968 hit, “Born To Be Wild” (click here) on the pop music showcase program Beat-Club. The show aired from 1965 to 1972 on Germany’s national TV. “Born To Be Wild” revs up the start of the cult movie, Easy Rider and is widely credited for introducing the term “heavy metal,” even though the lyrics suggest it’s an homage to biking on the open road as opposed to the soon-to-be-introduced splinter of hard rock (“I like smoke and lightning/Heavy metal thunder/Racin’ with the wind/And the feelin’ that I’m under…”). Steppenwolf is in Dr. Rock’s Playlist Vault.