Tuesday, August 30, 2016

What Real Radio was like in 1966 -- Thank You Barbara Perez from Rosamond California

WEST SACRAMENTO CA (IFS) -- It all started with what you hear on the radio station locally  is just what is playing across the United States, as Barbara Perez (of Rosamond California),  began to explain to this writer, that the music charts are very different all across the United States.  It was during those days when radio controlled the airwaves and FM Station was just getting started. The Mamas & the Papas"Monday, Monday" was the Number One record on the charts with the Monkees very close behind on this particular weekend before school was going to be out.

With the Texas trip with the family just one year early, I did manage to tie it all together.  In every little town, for over two thousand miles, it was just the same top forty records that we herd.  This was a major shift in the record business in those days, as the British Music Invasion continued day after day month after month, year after year forever.

Our small library did not subscript to Billboard Magazine, Cash Box Magazine, Juke Box Magazine, or even Bill Gavin.  During those days, if you landed on Bill Gavin's playlist, you just hit a home run.

It was Perez earlier in the Seventh Grade that turned my head about "listening" to music, as our English teach put on a piece by Vivaldi and asked the students, including me to write about what the music was speaking to each one of us.  I swear it, Barbara wrote over to pages on both sides of the paper.  I on the other hand just managed to get one paragraph out of the music.
  
The yellow background indicates the #1 song on Billboard's 1966 Year-End Chart of Pop Singles.

Issue Date Song Artist(s) Reference

January 1 "The Sound of Silence" Simon & Garfunkel
January 8 "We Can Work It Out" The Beatles
January 15
January 22 "The Sound of Silence" Simon & Garfunkel
January 29 "We Can Work It Out" The Beatles
February 5 "My Love" Petula Clark
February 12
February 19 "Lightnin' Strikes" Lou Christie
February 26 "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" Nancy Sinatra
March 5 "Ballad of the Green Berets" SSgt Barry Sadler
March 12
March 19
March 26
April 2
April 9 "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration" The Righteous Brothers
April 16
April 23
April 30 "Good Lovin'" The Young Rascals
May 7 "Monday, Monday" The Mamas & the Papas
May 14
May 21
May 28 "When a Man Loves a Woman" Percy Sledge
June 4
June 11 "Paint It Black" The Rolling Stones
June 18
June 25 "Paperback Writer" The Beatles
July 2 "Strangers in the Night" Frank Sinatra
July 9 "Paperback Writer" The Beatles
July 16 "Hanky Panky" Tommy James and the Shondells
July 23
July 30 "Wild Thing" The Troggs
August 6
August 13 "Summer in the City" The Lovin' Spoonful
August 20
August 27
September 3 "Sunshine Superman" Donovan
September 10 "You Can't Hurry Love" The Supremes
September 17
September 24 "Cherish" The Association
October 1
October 8
October 15 "Reach Out I'll Be There" Four Tops
October 22
October 29 "96 Tears" ? and the Mysterians
November 5 "Last Train to Clarksville" The Monkees
November 12 "Poor Side of Town" Johnny Rivers
November 19 "You Keep Me Hangin' On" The Supremes
November 26
December 3 "Winchester Cathedral" The New Vaudeville Band
December 10 "Good Vibrations" The Beach Boys
December 17 "Winchester Cathedral" The New Vaudeville Band
December 24
December 31 "I'm a Believer" The Monkees

One thing this writer remembers is that Peter Paul and Mary's "Puff The Magic Dragon" did not play much in Falls County Texas, City of Marlin in 1966.  But Percy Sledge did alot, along with BB King, Bobby Blue Bland, KoKo Taylor, Ernestine Anderson and Lee Rogers among many artists of those days.

With my first years in radio, one of my jobs was to compile the best songs that all of the kids in our local high schools and college was listening too.  It was nothing like the radio.

Early songs were like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Steppenwolf, Captain Beefheart, The Doors and HMS Bounty in Lancaster California in those days. So now you know who was on our first lists top 50 songs of Alternative Music Artists in those days. - KHS  

Friday, August 19, 2016

Surprise! Son builds parents their dream cars, bringing them to tears.

The Essential Features Of A Hit Record

The Essential Features Of A Hit Record

We have all heard those hit songs that can be considered ‘timeless classics’.
Whether it’s a hip hop track, a rock classic or an 80’s power ballad, these songs share some essential features that ensure they will be on the airwaves for years to come. Obviously there is not one hard and fast rule for this as every song is different, but here is a list of features that many of these hit records share.
A ‘catchy’ song
Starting with the obvious, a hit record must be a great song. Above all the melody must be strong, as this is what a listener focuses on and this should be accompanied by some great lyrics and a good groove. You can apply the best production techniques possible, but if the song is weak then the record will sink without a trace!
A strong vocal
Having a great vocal is a real asset to any record. If you have a quality song and you have a strong vocalist to sing the melody, then this can be the golden ticket to creating a hit record. A great vocal does not necessarily need to be technically proficient, but more to do with how a singer can successfully interpret the emotion in the song i.e. how they can convey the message in the lyrics.
A creative arrangement
After the song and the vocal, you need to ensure you have a strong arrangement. This involves using the right structure and ensuring each section of the music is interesting for the listener. This can be achieved by adding extra instruments, adding a counter melody, changing the drum pattern, or changing the key etc. Have a listen to some hit songs, and pay attention to the subtle differences between each section. How is verse 2 different to verse 1? How is the last chorus different to the first?
An accomplished performance
You may have the heard the crude expression “You can’t goldplate a turd” and this definitely applies to creating a hit record. A track must sound like there is ‘life’ in the performance and no amount of editing in the studio, fiddling with EQ’s, compression or reverb can replicate this. It can be hard to put your finger on it at times, which is all the more frustrating, but sometimes one take just sounds better than another. If you have musicians who put there all into a performance and play with real emotion and intensity, then the production phase becomes far easier!
A well produced track
Although there are examples of hit songs which don’t technically sound very good, generally the really big and timeless records do sound excellent. A well engineered record does not guarantee it will be a smash, especially if the song, vocal, arrangement and performance are not up to scratch, but it can add an extra dimension to the overall sound, if the EQ’s are well balanced and the right amount of reverb and compression is applied.
The timeless factor
Despite having all the previous factors in place, if the track sounds like the last trend, and the musicians or band members look like it too, then the record might not take off as you would like. Having said that, a ‘retro’ look and sound to a band can work out really well if you go back two or more trends.
Are all the above factors essential for every hit song?
Well, in short, no.
There will always be some songs which become hit records and cannot be explained. You will find some songs with weak vocals and melodies which take the charts by storm.
However, on most of the really big hits, you will find they contain the majority, if not all, of the factors in this article. Songs like “Merry Christmas Everybody” by Slade will be heard every December in shopping malls and on the radio. Other hits like “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson and “Imagine” by John Lennon will be played all year round for many years to come.
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Visit Martyn’s website http://make-music.net