Tag Archives: Beatles

October 17 Music et al

October 17 Music et al

Some dates just seem to have a whole lot a music et al going on and October 17 is one of those days. Just look at what happened on October 17 throughout the 60s.

Save the Last Dance for Me

October 17 – 23, 1960:  “Save the Last Dance for Me” by the Drifters was #1 on the  Billboard Hot 100.

The story behind the song is that Doc Pomus found a wedding invitation in a hatbox. The invitation reminded him of his own wedding reception and watching his brother Raoul dance with his new wife, Willi Burke, a Broadway actress. Doc watched because the effects of childhood polio kept him in his wheelchair.

The memory inspired him to stay up all night writing lyrics. He used the invitation for stationery.

Earlier that day, Doc’s musical partner, Mort Shuman had played a Latin melody. Doc wanted the lyrics to sound like a poem translated into English  They do suggest jealousy: “If he asks if you’re all alone, can he take you home, you must tell him no.”

Pomus ended his night of songwriting by writing down the words that would become the title: “Save The Last Dance For Me.”

Famous composers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller produced the song. Ben E King was the Drifters lead singer at the time. Ironically, equally famous Atlantic Records Ahmet Ertegun and Jerry Wexler decided to put “Save the Last Dance for Me” on the B-side. Dick Clark of American Bandstand flipped over the single, listened to “Dance,” realized what a great song it was, and played it on his show American Bandstand.

It was the Drifters only #1 hit.

The song’s popularity continues into our 21st century. Unfortunately, Pomus and Willi Burke’s marriage did not make it out of the 60s.

October 17 Music et al

Beatles first Christmas wishes

October 17 Special Music Edition

October 17, 1963 was a(nother) busy day for the Beatles that began mid-afternoon. First they recorded their first Christmas disc. Click below to hear it, likely hear it again. American fans did not receive this recording because Americans did not yet know about the Beatles. The Beatles continued to record these annual fan club gifts until 1969. The Official Beatles Fan Club mailed this disc out on December 9.

Later, the Beatles again recorded Smokey Robinson’s “You Really Got a Hold On Me,” but were still not satisfied. The version we hear on With the Beatles is actually a combination of earlier attempts.

The main goal of the day was to record their next single, “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” It took 17 takes.

They then recorded (in 15 takes) “This Boy.” They overdubbed some of the vocals which are the hallmark of the song.

Their day ended at 10 PM though they had taken a break between 5:30 and 7 PM.

October 17 Music et al

Do Wah Diddy Diddy

October 17 Music et al

October 17 1964 was the first day that Manfred Mann’s version of Do Wah Diddy Diddy hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot  100. It remained there until October 30.

Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich wrote the song and the American group the Exiters first recorded it in 1963.

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (see above) had hired Barry and Greenwich who are also famous for many other songs such as  “Chapel of Love”, “People Say”, and “Iko Iko,”  “Remember (Walkin’ in the Sand),” and “Leader of the Pack”

Manfred Mann recorded the song (with the extra Ditty in the title) and had the number one hit with it.

October 17 Music et al


1967’s October 17 Special music event is the first one that feels like the 60s as many remember it. Very much so.

The play, Hair premiered off-Broadway at the Public Theatre and ran for a limited engagement of six weeks. Although the production had a “tepid critical reception”, it was popular with audiences.

James Rado and Gerome Ragni wrote the play. Galt MacDermot the music. and music by Galt MacDermot. The play reflected the counter-cultural times with its depiction of the use of illegal drugs, sexuality, and treatment of the flag.  A nude scene caused much comment and controversy. It became the blueprint for future so-called “rock musicals.”

October 17 Music et al

Brian Epstein

October 17, 1967:  although the Beatles had not attended manager Brian Epstein’s funeral on August 29, John, Paul, George, and Ringo attended the memorial service for Brian Epstein at the New London Synagogue, Abbey Road. [Beatles Bible article] (see Nov 27)

Sugar Sugar

And we come full cycle. October 17, 1969, just two years after Hair opened (and continued to run) was the last day  Archies’ “Sugar Sugar” was the Billboard #1 song. Who co-wrote “Sugar Sugar”? None other than Jeff Barry whom we find in the middle of today’s post with his wife Ellie Greenwich.

October 17 Music et al

John Winston Ono Lennon

John Winston Ono Lennon

October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980
“Here Today” by Paul McCartney (1982)

John said…

“Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.”

“Nothing you can know that isn’t known. Nothing you can see that isn’t shown. Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be. It’s easy.”

“All we are saying is give peace a chance.”

“Love, Love, Love. All you need is love. Love is all you need.”

“Keep you doped with religion, and sex, and T.V., And you think you’re so clever and classless and free, But you’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see.”

“Love is free, free is love. Love is living, living love. Love is needing to be loved”

“Woman Is the nigger of the world.”

“Love is the answer and you know that for sure. Love is a flower you got to let it grow.”

“God is a concept by which we measure our pain”

“In the middle of the night, in the middle of the night i call your name. Oh Yoko, oh Yoko, my love will turn you on.”

“Here I stand head in hand, Turn my face to the wall. If she’s gone I can’t go on, Feeling two-foot small”

“And when I awoke I was alone, this bird had flown. So I lit a fire, isn’t it good, Norwegian wood?”

“Love is all and love is everyone. It is knowing, it is knowing…”

John Winston Ono Lennon

In My Life…In Our Lives

There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

In my life I love you more

John Winston Ono Lennon

We miss you everyday, John

John Winston Ono Lennon

Rolling Stones Sing Beatles

Rolling Stones Sing Beatles

Rolling Stones Sing Beatles

We typically think of the Rolling Stones relationship with the Beatles as being friendly, yet competitive.

Beatlemania bursts open

It was in 1963, the early blasts of Beatlemania beginning, that the Beatles recommended to Andrew Loog Oldham, their PR person, that he go listen to the Stones. Oldham “signed” them.  I use quotes because Oldham was actually too young at the time, 19, to legally do that and needed assistance. Another story for another time.

The Beatles and the Stones loved American music. Their early covers demonstrate that. The Beatles eventually began to compose their own music and their success inspired many bands, including the Stones, to follow suit.

The Beatles followed a path of innovation. Along with George Martin, John, Paul, George and Ringo’s albums each expanded the range of rock.

Rolling Stones Sing Beatles

Rock v Pop

The Stones stuck with who brung them there: rock and roll. And they did it so well, they are still often referred to as the Greatest Rock and Roll Band.

When any artist is first testing their personal artistic chops, borrowing is often an option. We all stand on the shoulders of our fellow inspirations.

So did the Stones. They had released their first single, Chuck Berry’s “Come On” in June and mentioned to their friends the Beatles that another single had not yet happened.

Rolling Stones Sing Beatles


Mick invited his friends to their session at the DeLane Lea Studios in London. There, Paul and John finished up “I Wanna Be Your Man” in front of the Stones. Thoroughly impressing the band.

Paul McCartney was the primary composer of “I Wanna Be Your Man,” but like many McCartney compositions, John helped out along the way. (And visa versa, of course.)

And so the Stones made quick work of recording the song. Literally. It comes in at a scant (even for those times) 1:43.

Rolling Stones Sing Beatles

UK Success

It was October 7, 1963. Decca UK released it on November 1. It peaked at #12 on the UK charts.

London released the single in the US on November 1 without any success. London used it was the B-side to the Not Fade Away single in March 1964.

Rolling Stones Sing Beatles

Beatle inclusion

The Beatles themselves, of course, used the song themselves and included it on their second UK album, With the Beatles, in November.

Rolling Stones Sing Beatles

American fans did not hear the song until its inclusion on the first US Beatle album, Meet the Beatles! and we got to hear Ringo sing.  The Beatles gave us 14 seconds more!

Rolling Stones Sing Beatles