Cheap Thrills Love Child

Cheap Thrills Love Child

Cheap Thrills Love Child. What?

On November 30, 1968 two ladies were at #1. Diana Ross & the Supremes with their “Love Child” single and Big Brother & the Holding Company’s Janis Joplin’s “Cheap Thrills” album. I would never compare these great singers. The sexy silky smooth Motown’s Ms Ross. The tough as nuts, sensitive as a teenager’s ego Texas Janis.

We Baby Boomers were fortunate to have such women sing to us.

Cheap Thrills Love Child.

Cheap Thrills Love Child
Diana Ross & the Supremes, Love Child

 

Cheap Thrills Love Child

So Long Hey Jude

On November 30 (until December 13, 1968) Diana Ross  & the Supremes’ single, “Love Child” became the Billboard #1 single. It was their 11th #1 single in the US. It knocked the Beatles’ “Hey Jude” out of the #1 spot, a spot “Hey Jude” had held for two months.

Cheap Thrills Love Child.

I started my life in an old, cold, rundown tenement slum

My father left, he never even married Mom

I shared the guilt my mama knew

So afraid that others knew I had no name

Cheap Thrills Love Child

Big Brother

On the same date, November 30 (thru December 20, 1968) Big Brother and the Holding Company’s Cheap Thrills returned to the Billboard #1 album spot. It had alrady been there from October 12 to November 15 when Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Landland album replaced it for two weeks.

It’s tough to choose one song from Thrills, but to my mind “Ball and Chain”  has one of the greatest starts to any song ever. It leaves you hanging…and then simply drops you!

Janis loved comic artists. R. Crumb in particular. She asked him to do something and what he came up with is an unforgettable album cover, one for the ages and one that listeners held and stared at while the album spun — over and over.

According to Columbia’s art director John Berg:  [Janis] Joplin commissioned it, and she delivered Cheap Thrills to me personally in the office. There were no changes with R. Crumb. He refused to be paid, saying, “I don’t want Columbia’s filthy lucre.

Cheap Thrills Love Child
Big Brother & the Holding Company, Cheap Thrills album cover
Cheap Thrills Love Child

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin was only with Big Brother from 1966 to 1969 and Cheap Thrills was her last album with them. But what an album! Rolling Stone magazine’s review didn’t quite think so, but the NYT wrote quite a bit about Big Brother & Janis. Ironically, today the cover is ranked number 9 on Rolling Stone’s list of one hundred greatest album covers.

Cheap Thrills Love Child

Cheap Thrills Love Child. Cheap Thrills Love Child. Cheap Thrills Love Child.

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November 29 Beatles Singles

November 29 Beatles singles

November 29 Beatles Singles
Beatles 1963

The way most fans first heard the Beatles was by way of their singles, those little records with the big holes. By late 1963, the Beatles were exploding in the UK and the Ed Sullivan fuse was lighted for early 1964.

They recorded “I Want to Hold Your Hand” on October 17, 1963 and Parlophone released it in the UK on November 29, 1963, more than two months before that famous Sullivan Show appearance. There were more than one million advance orders. With such numbers, it must have hit #1 immediately, yes?

November 29 Beatles Singles

No

Their hit “She Loves You” blocked “I Want to Hold Your Hand” for two weeks before it finally reached #1 on the British charts. Once there, it stayed for five weeks and remained in the UK top fifty for twenty-one weeks in total.

Capital records released “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in the US on December 26. With great backing by Capital (unlike their previous US releases). It became the Billboard #1 single on February 1, where it stayed for seven weeks to be replaced by, you guessed it, “She Loves You.”

November 29 Beatles Singles

Exactly six years later…

A lot of troubled water had passed under the Beatle bridge between the UK release of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and the double-A sided “Come Together/Something” hitting #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 exactly six years later on November 29, 1969.

John Lennon wrote “Come Together” though writing credits showed the traditional Lennon/McCartney authorship.

Beatles singles
Come Together/Something

According to Lennon, “The thing was created in the studio. It’s gobbledygook; Come Together was an expression that Leary had come up with for his attempt at being president or whatever he wanted to be, and he asked me to write a campaign song. I tried and tried, but I couldn’t come up with one. But I came up with this, Come Together, which would’ve been no good to him – you couldn’t have a campaign song like that, right?”

For a more contemporary view of the song and Lennon, see >>> Imagining John Lennon, In a Time Of Anguish

November 29 Beatles Singles
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Palm Beach Music Art Festival

Palm Beach Music Art Festival

1969 festival #38
From the “Palm Beach Pop Festival” short
Palm Beach Music & Art Festival
poster for Palm Beach Music & Art Festival. Note how the festival used “music and art” in their title (the earlier Woodstock was the only one to do that) and note the “bird/peace symbol”…too similar to Woodstock’s to be a coincidence
Palm Beach Music Art Festival

Palm Beach

For many people, the only festivals in 1969 were the famous Woodstock Music and Art Fair and the infamous Altamont Speedway Free Festival. There were many more: none larger than Woodstock, all more peaceful than Altamont.

The Palm Beach Music & Art Festival was one of the last that year. It was the 38th of the year.

It ran on Thanksgiving weekend, November 28 – 30, 1969.  Like most of those many other 1969 festivals, little can be found about them. Organizers didn’t record nor film them. Occasionally someone’s hand held movie or recording pops up.

Palm Beach Music Art Festival

Documentary

But over all, the Palm Beach Music & Art Festival remains unknown. There are some still pictures and a group is trying to collect anything anyone has to create a documentary:

Palm Beach Music Art Festival

Sheriff Bill Heidtman

There is a 2009 Palm Beach Post article: Then-Palm Beach County Sheriff Bill Heidtman vowed to make life miserable for the free-loving, pot-smoking, anti-establishment youngsters who were coming to the Palm Beach Pop Festival. He threatened to herd alligators toward the crowd, gathered on a grassy field at the Palm Beach International Raceway. And he promised to dig out fire ant colonies and relocate them at the venue.

Palm Beach Music Art Festival
Palm Beach Music & Art Festival
Palm Beach Music Art Festival

Palm Beach Music & Art Festival

The Festival was at a drag strip outside of West Palm Beach. Among others, Grand Funk played three nights also. The show featured Iron Butterfly, King Crimson (Robin Fripp and Greg Lake), Jefferson Airplane, Rotary Connection (Minnie Ripperton), PG&E, Rolling Stones, Vanilla Fudge, Janis Joplin and Her Full Tilt Boogie Band, Johnny Winters, and others.

On the third night, Winters played, then Vanilla Fudge, followed by Janis Joplin. Afterwards, the announcer said, Johnny wants it, Janis wants it, and the Fudge wants one. All three bands came out on stage and jammed. Winters jammed with the guitar players and scatted with Janis.

Wavy Gravy was there in his WW2 pilot helmet or whatever it was, guiding a car backwards trying to help them and backed them into the pond. We’d like to think he knew it was the police in an unmarked car and put them in the pond on purpose since we know he didn’t do drugs.

2014 Palm Beach Post retrospective article 

Palm Beach Music Art Festival
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