This is no easy mission. So much great music, so many great artists emerged in the '60's. Should I consider popularity? Influence and impact? I just don't know. So, these are the songs I simply think you must hear.
Jackson – Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash
The first concert I ever attended at the tender age of three or four (I don’t remember exactly) was that of Glen Campbell at Capitol Music Hall in Wheeling, West Virginia. Guess who Campbell’s special guests were? Johnny and June! I was absolutely mesmerized. That show was in the early ‘70’s and in keeping with my mission of not knowing what music will come post 1969 or of not knowing I would see Johnny and June in the flesh, I am safe with this choice. Jackson reached number 2 on the country charts in 1967.
Colours – Donovan
Donovan was considered an imitator of Bob Dylan. But as in all forms of art, when creating music there is no imitation, only inspiration. Colours came to me on a mix-tape-gift by someone I don’t remember. The song, though, is so sweet, it’s unforgettable. And although the mix tape was given to me in the 80’s, I’m safe in my mission. Colours, the single, was released in the UK in 1965.
Wishin’ and Hopin’ – Dusty Springfield
The anthem for the not yet liberated woman of the ‘60’s. Prayers don’t work. However, a great voice and stellar musical performances will get you the guy. Thank you Dusty.
These Boots are Made for Walkin’ – Nancy Sinatra
The anthem for the liberated woman of the ‘60’s, 1966 to be exact. The skirt, the boots, the legs. Am I objectifying Nancy? Forgive me, but she had the moves. And the song? Try standing still while it’s streaming from your music device (being that it's 1969, 'device' means record player or 8-track).
Suite: Judy Blue Eyes – Crosby, Stills and Nash
Performed at Woodstock, this is Stephen Stills’ ode to his break-up from singer-songwriter Judy Collins. If you’re looking for a gateway song into the world of classical music, this is it. Why? It is divided into sections (very remedial reason, I know). That being said, the real reason you should listen to this song is, well, it’s beautiful. The harmony slays my soul. (I promise to work on my ability to describe music. It’s a tough gig).
Light My Fire – The Doors
This one gets you right from Densmore’s opening crack on the drum. Then you have Manzarek’s trippy organ melody, Krieger's guitar, Morrison’s sultry voice. All very mysterious. The first time I heard it I remember stopping what I was doing (probably having a tea party with my imaginary friends) and thinking it was the strangest most wonderful thing I had ever heard. Yes, that would have been the early ‘70’s, but, once again, I’m safe in my mission. Light My Fire was released in 1967.
White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane
Feed your head. Not with drugs. With music.
"Canadian psychologists from McGill University have shown that the neurochemical benefits of music can boost the body’s immune system, reduce anxiety, and help regulate mood." [source]
OK. There is a ton of music you should listen to while visiting with me in the year of 1969: Beatles, Rolling Stones, Hendrix, Monkees, The Kinks, Marvin Gaye. . . . For lack of time, I must close, and transport back to 2013. My children there are hungry.
Our soundtrack as we travel? Movie soundtracks, of course:
The Sound of Music
Thank you, Rodgers and Hammerstein
West Side Story
Thank you, Leonard Bernstein
Back to 2013 in 3…2…1....