Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Radio Schedule Update!

During the summer of 2009, "Strictly the Sixties" airs twice a week - Tuesdays from 1-3 p.m. (Eastern) and Thursdays from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Because WCCR is a campus radio station, our program schedule changes quite a bit from semester to semsester. I will update this post to let you know when "Strictly the Sixties" is on the air. Thanks for listening!

Cantaloupe Eyes, Come To Me Tonight!

In late 1967, John Fred and His Playboy Band took "Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)" to the top of the Billboard charts, where it stayed for two weeks, ultimately spending thirteen weeks in the Top Forty. Although they recorded a lot of great music, "Judy" was their only Top Forty hit. Often described as a parody of The Beatles' "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds," "Judy" bears little resemblance to "Lucy" once you get past their titles.

Nevertheless, "Judy" is one of those Perfect Records from the 1960s; the quintessential Top Forty pop-rock hit. Among its many lovable qualities, "Judy" features a very cool drum introduction, a pounding piano-driven rhythm, memorable horn riffs, strings, and lyrics that still sound mildly scandalous forty years later. If you love "Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)" like I do, you might enjoy this wonderful lip-sync from the Golden Age. Note the absence of a drummer, piano player, and amplifiers. Ahh, those were the days!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Cronkite!

Although he was not a musical figure in the strictest sense, CBS newsman Walter Cronkite played a significant role is shaping the political AND popular culture of the 1960s. Martin Lewis of the Huffington Post has written (and re-posted) a fascinating article about the role Cronkite played in the early days of American Beatlemania, leading up to the group's February 9, 1964 appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. "Tweet the Beatles" bears witness to the fact that Cronkite was not only the greatest television journalist since Edward R. Murrow, but also a sensitive and intelligent observer of the popular culture. Many of us know the basic story of the early British Invasion, but this is a chapter that is frequently overlooked. Thank you, Uncle Walter!

PS - Here is the CBS News Story Mr. Lewis writes about in his article. Unfortunately, there is no introduction by Mr. Cronkite, but it's a great piece of Beatle History.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I Saw A Short Animated Film Today, Oh Boy . . .

As a lifelong fan of The Beatles and animated cartoons, I was particularly thrilled when a friend sent me the link for "I Met the Walrus." Directed by Josh Raskin, the film brings to life a 1969 interview with Lennon, conducted, amazingly enough, by a fourteen year old fan named Jerry Levitan. This film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2008. It lost to "Peter and the Wolf," another spectacular animated film. Nevertheless, "I Met the Walrus" might just be the best merger of Beatles mythology and animation since Yellow Submarine. Spoiler Alert: John Lennon was a genius.