1965… Part Two

Yes, I was tempted to confuse and say part three… but it’s been done. (see Traveling Wilburys… Volume 3)

We’ve been talking (well, at any rate, I have) about 1965.  That year (see part one) served as my initiation to pop music.  I was still taking piano lessons and still struggling with reading music (not my forte then, not my forte now) but I was also discovering that I could listen to a song and then, after fiddling for a while, kinda/sorta play the song (more or less) on the piano.  This skill proved very handy, both for playing hymns on the piano (and organ and accordian) in our small church and for enhancing my “pop music” experience.  After a while I was able to pick out melodies with my right hand and underpin them with chords in my left.  I also came to recognize commonly used chordal patterns which would recur from song to song.  It was never a refined art and, to my future wife’s annoyance (Jane excelled in singing harmony extemporaneously.. a skill I envied/envy), I often changed the chords in my playing of a song from one occasion to the next (even one verse to the next!)  Try to harmonize with that…

By the end of the sixties, the pop charts had changed.  Yes, there was still the number one, the top ten, the top twenty, the top forty and the top one hundred… but with the increasing dominance of FM and the move to longer songs and whole album play, the supremacy of the three-minute (or less) single was being challenged.

BUT… this is 1965 and knowing the top songs of the week was de rigueur for most adolescents.  So I started to build a repertoire of current hits I could play and, as time progressed (early high school), could even play some requests (as long as I had heard the song several times).

Below is a very short medley of four melodies from the year.  If you are of a certain age, you may even recognize some of them.  In this case, I’ve played one of the four songs for years.  The other three?  Well, they’re from  1965 so I know them well but I hadn’t played them until I decided to make this little quiz.  Try your luck…

How did you do?  I’ve been talking about “top 100’s” so here’s one example of a top one hundred list from 1965.   The first three songs are #23, 31 and 83 on the list.  To find the final song you have to go to another list (all lists are not created equal).  My fourth song is #59 on the list.

Maybe next post I can move on to 1966!

A p.s. or two…

1.  If you are looking for the “epic post” of our trip to England and France, head back to July.  Just as a followup, here are two rather good aerial shots of Glastonbury Tor and Stonehenge, courtesy of Jason Hawkes.

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2. Which song in the quiz had I been playing for years (you ask)… (not that it matters)

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