Rest in peace, Hal Blaine: The Ronettes, “Be My Baby” (1963)

Word circulated Monday that the greatest rock and roll drummer who ever lived passed away. Hal Blaine was 90. That sentence, in some circles, may start an argument. Except that it's hard to argue just how important Hal Blaine was to rock and roll. There are estimates suggesting that he played on up to thirty … Continue reading Rest in peace, Hal Blaine: The Ronettes, “Be My Baby” (1963)

Don’t buy the liverwurst: Allan Sherman, “Shticks of One and a Half Dozen of the Other” (1963)

(Above: Yet another #1 album for Allan Sherman.) I always enjoyed comedy and parody.  The earliest radio projects that I did (the ones I wrote about from sixth grade) involved taking something established and turning it on its ear in some way. When I got my own college radio morning show I sprinkled in liberal … Continue reading Don’t buy the liverwurst: Allan Sherman, “Shticks of One and a Half Dozen of the Other” (1963)

Lost in translation: Kyu Sakamoto, “Sukiyaki” (1963)

(Above: The French 45 cover, replete with vaguely racist font.) In June of 1963 a catchy song that very few Americans could sing went to the top of the pop charts and stayed there for three weeks. That song was "Sukiyaki." Actually, that's not entirely accurate; the song is really titled "Ue o Muite Aruko" … Continue reading Lost in translation: Kyu Sakamoto, “Sukiyaki” (1963)