Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!
When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was giving his famous “I have a dream” speech, the world was in turmoil.
And as is often the case in times of angst and disparity, feel-good pop music was abundant on the airwaves.
Fervor Records’ vintage collection has a few gems in it from that era, and here is a little taste of what 1963 sounded like, from various corners of the American musicscape…
“Don’t hesitate if your heart should break, take a look at me, lonely girl”
Jay Ramsey’s “Lonely Girl”, from the Fervor Records release Cult Hits of the 1960’s Vol. 2, has a distinctly pop sound with lots of falsetto vocal layers and a lush production, a la Phil Spector meets the Beach Boys. It was recently featured in AMC’s Mad Men Season 4 to help underscore the critically acclaimed period show. Pictured on the right is a photo of Jay Ramsey’s band, The Expressions, taken in 1963.
“Now everybody’s heard about the Bird..”
Meanwhile, Brother Zee and the Decades were pumping out some fiesty doo-wop rock and roll with their upbeat cut “Sha-Boom-Bang”, which you might have heard in ABC’s PanAm series. The track is available on the Fervor Records release Amazing Hits of the Transistor Era, Vol. 2.
“When the moonlight turns the ocean blue to silver, in my dream ship I’ll come drifting home to you..”
And from the Country and Western sector, here’s the Jody Brian Quartet’s 1963 Country classic “Drifting Home To You”, from the Fervor Records release Vintage Country 1959-1967, which was recently featured in Fox’s Lie To Me.
As much as Dr. King’s message prevails today, the music also lives on and tells a story of a nation coming together, recognizing the common experience that bonds us all.