Category Archives: Music of the 60s

Donald Donny York

Donald Donny York

Happy birthday
March 13, 1949
Donald Donny York
York patiently signing more than a few albums for a fan at an airport

There have been many many members of Sha Na Na over the years, but Donny is one of the only two originals who still remain in the group.

Donald Donny York

Social media footprint

I’ve done many little pieces about the performers at Woodstock, but Donny York is the only one I’ve found a Linked In page for. Under Education, he lists the following:

  • B.A., liberal arts, political science,   – 
  • Transformed the King’s Men into Sha Na Na
  • Activities and Societies: King’s Crown Activities

His Facebook page expands upon his personal information:

  • Studied Political Science at Columbia University
  • Went to Borah High School (Boise, Idaho)
  • Lives in Midlothian, Virginia (though it seems he’s back west now)
  • From Boise, Idaho
  • Married to Lily Grace
Donald Donny York

Pat Boone

Donald Donny York

In addition to his years with Sha Na Na, he worked with Pat Boone on his 2006 memoir. Of that he says: “For me, getting this gig was a case of “Wait until the folks back home find out about this!” It was like the gig of a lifetime—even measured against the great gigs I’ve already stumbled into in places like Woodstock or in cinematic majesties like Grease. I appeared in them, along with other worthy young talents by the dozen. But I’m the only guy who assisted Pat Boone in the preparation of his definitive autobiographical career memoir. Back home they’ll be more impressed about my affiliation with Boone than they were about Woodstock or Grease, and they’ll probably have gotten it just about right. (Think effect on history, as opposed to reflection of it.)

IMDB: He is an actor, known for The Fall Guy (1981), Sha Na Na (1977) and Festival Express (2003).

Here’s a YouTube “video” which is simply an audio recording of Donny describing the beginning of Sha Na Na and more.

Donald Donny York
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November 1 Music et al

November 1 Music et al

Technological Milestone

November 1, 1954: jointly produced by Texas Instruments and TV accessory manufacturer IDEA (Industrial Development Engineering Associates) Corp, the TR-1 was the first consumer device to employ transistors went on sale at a price of $49.95 (less battery). One year after the release of the TR-1, sales approached the 100,000 mark.

Measuring 5×3×1.25 inches and weighing 12.5 ounces, the Regency TR-1 was designed to receive AM broadcasts only. It kicked off a worldwide demand for small and portable electronic products. (see Dec 23)

November 1 Music et al

Howl

November 1 Music et al
Allen Ginsberg, far left, reading in San Francisco on Nov. 20, 1955, and center center, in NYC’s Washington Square Park on Aug. 28, 1966.

November 1, 1956, Lawrence Ferlinghetti published Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg. (see Howl judgement for more)

November 1 Music et al

Beatles in trouble

November 1, 1960: furious that The Beatles had made a verbal agreement to play at rival Peter Eckhorn’s Top Ten Club, Kaiserkeller owner Bruno Koschmider terminated their contract. Despite this, they continued to perform at the club for another three weeks. An additonal reason why Koschmider wanted them out: at 17 years of age, George Harrison was too young to be working in the club. Eckhorn’s statement read: I the undersigned hereby give notice to Mr George Harrison and to Beatles’ Band to leave [the Club] on November 30th, 1960. The notice is given to the above by order of the Public Authorities who have discovered that Mr George Harrison is only 17 (seventeen) years of age. (see Nov 20)

November 1 Music et al

News Music/Bob Marley

November 1, 1964: Bob Marley’s Wailers’s first single, ‘Simmer Down‘, reached Number 1 in Jamaica’s JBC Radio Chart.

November 1 Music et al
News Music/Buffy Sainte-Marie

In 1964 Buffy Sainte-Marie’s first album released. It’s My Way (see Dec 22)

November 1 Music et al

“Wild Thing”

November 1, 1965, Jordan Christopher & The Wild Ones release “Wild Thing.”  Written by Chip Taylor (born James Wesley Voight, brother of actor Jon Voight; uncle, therefore, of Angelina Jolie).  (see July 25, 1966)

November 1 Music et al

“Wonderwall Music”

November 1, 1968: George Harrison became the first member of The Beatles to release a solo project, an LP called “Wonderwall Music.”

Paul McCartney’s January 1967 The Family Way soundtrack recording is sometimes considered to be the first Beatles solo album, but most critics consider Wonderwall Music to be the first, because it was released under George Harrison’s name while The Family Way was credited to George Martin.

The songs, recorded in December 1967 in England, and January 1968 in Bombay, India were virtually all instrumental, except for some non-English vocals and a slowed-down spoken word track. “Wonderwall Music” is notable for being the first official LP release on Apple Records. (see Wonderwall for expanded story) (next Beatles, see Nov 8)

November 1 Music et al

Abbey Road

November 1 – December 26, 1969: Abbey Road  the Billboard #1 Album. The Beatles’ Let It Be album will be released on May 8, 1970 and be the Billboard #1 album from June 13 – July 10, 1970. Let It Be was actually recorded in before Abbey Road in February 1968, January – February 1969. Since most of Let It Be was recorded in January 1969, before the recording and release of the  album Abbey Road, some critics argue that Abbey Road should be considered the group’s final album and Let It Be the penultimate. (see November 26)

November 1 Music et al

Elvis Presley

November 1 – 7, 1969: after seven years off the top of the charts, Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds” is #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It will be his last #1 during his lifetime. (see December 21, 1971)

November 1 Music et al
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1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

1969 festival #17
July 5 and July 11 -12
Spectrum, Philadelphia

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

The Spectrum was an indoor arena that opened in the fall of 1967. Like any modern indoor arena, the venue hosted many things. For Philadelphia it was used for  basketball, ice hockey, arena football, indoor soccer, indoor lacrosse, and, of course, concert events.

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

Festival-filled summer

On July 5 and on July 11 and 12, during that festival-filled summer of 1969, there was a three day event there. It was divided into four shows: one evening show on Saturday 5 July; one evening show on Friday 11 July and two on Saturday 12 July–an afternoon and an evening show.

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

Saturday 5 July

As you can see from the above advertisement,  the first show featured black artists, with the James Brown Show headlining. Chicago’s Young Holt-Unlimited, with their hit Soulful-Strut.

Tyrone Davis, with his hit…

and the comedian Nipsy Russell.

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

Friday 11 July

Friday’s line-up was an impressive one with future Woodstock performers Sly and the Family Stone and Ten Years After along with Jeff Beck, the Mothers of Invention, and Savoy Brown. I would have like to have been there that night!

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

Saturday afternoon 12 July

The Saturday afternoon show only had two bands: Blood, Sweat and Tears and the Hawkins Singers.

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival
from a Led Zeppelin fan site
1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

Saturday evening 12 July

Saturday evening was the stronger line-up: Led Zeppelin, Johnny Winter, Al Kooper, Jethro Tull, and the Buddy Guy Blues Band.

As you may notice, there was a heavy emphasis on soul music and the electric blues whether played by blacks or whites.  Though there were some blues-influenced bands at Woodstock such as Johnny Winter and Ten Years After the following month, the absence of such artists as Buddy Guy and James Brown leave some scratching their heads. Young whites’ interest in the original blues artists had already returned and such artists were regularly featured in many other festivals that summer.

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival

So Long Spectrum

A little more than a year after the arena’s final event (a Pearl Jam concert) took place on October 31, 2009.  the Spectrum was demolished (between November 2010 and May 2011) .

1969 Spectrum Summer Music Festival
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