Monday, September 15, 2014

Music from 1964: I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND

1964: Books

It is 1964 here this week to celebrate my trip next week to DC to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the class that graduated the year before me. (It is more a reunion of the cheerleaders for me). I attended a very small school in Wyncote, PA and my graduating class was 21. The class of 1964 was 14.

So I have been thinking of that year and what was going on. I am starting with the books that graced the NYT Bestseller list of that week. Only one way to gauge what people were reading, I know, but a handy one.

Four books especially the first, dominated the best seller list in 1964. THE SPY was the biggest seller of the year.

THE GROUP, Mary McCarthy
HERZOG, Saul Bellow
THE RECTOR OF JUSTIN, Louis Auchinclos

I was a big fan of all four of these writers but may have not read these books until later.
Some of the other dominant books that year were: THIS ROUGH MAGIC (Mary Stewart), THE HAT ON THE BED (John O'Hara), CANDY (Terry Southern) ARMAGEDDON, Leon Uris, several books by Ian Flemming, THE MAN, Irving Wallace, JULIAN, Gore Vidal.

John Updike won the National Book Award for THE CENTAUR. 

Many of the non-fiction books dealt with the recent Kennedy assassination.

Some of the crime fiction that debuted that year included: A CARIBBEAN MYSTERY, Agatha Christie, THE DEEP BLUE GOODBYE, John D. MacDonald, POP 1280, Jim Thompson, FROM DOON WITH DEATH, Ruth Rendell, THE PERFECT MURDER, H.R. Keating

The Edgar went to  Eric Ambler for THE LIGHT OF DAY. 

Did you read any of these before or later?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

My Special History with Rock and Roll -25 song meme

New Hope, PA 1966

My list is limited to songs in the sixties. Before that I only listened to my parents' sort of music.
In 1970, I had a child and my relationship with music became much more distant. I felt like I needed to leave rock behind and go forth to classical and jazz.

In the sixties, music was very important to me. As I looked through the list of songs from the years that I was 12 to 22, I realized I could sing many of them--maybe even half. I also realized that the songs I liked most often had a memory attached to it. So here they are and with some I have added a memory. I see they are mostly the music a young girl would choose. Not songs I might choose today.

If I misidentify a year, it doesn't really matter.

1) Gigi, Lerner and Lowe, well this is a year or two earlier than 1960, but my grandfather gave me my first turntable and this is the album he gave me to go with it. I definitely can sing every song on this album as well as songs all of the fantastic musicals from this era.

2) The Twist, Chubby Checker-This was the first dance that came along that I worked hard to master. We had dancing in our middle school at lunchtime and I really wanted to do it well. I practiced every day after school at my friend, Karen's house. We put on American Bandstand and danced the afternoon away.

3) The Theme from the Apartment, Ferrante and Teicher-The movie was important to me--giving me an insight into adult life before I was ready for it but yearned to know.. And with horrible misperceptions because I really never understood what was going on it that apartment. And the music was gorgeous.

4) Runaway, Dell Shannon.

5) Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow, Shirelles. I literally could put all of their songs on here. I think they spoke to young teenage girls better than anyone in the early sixties.

6) Runaround Sue, Dion. At our church on Sunday nights, we had an activity called Luther League where for some reason they allowed us to dance and flirt with each other.  I remember this song playing often.

7) Sheila, Tommy Roe, In the summer of 1962, I walked up on the boardwalk at Ocean City, alone for the first time, (visiting a friend whose father owned a bakery in OC, NJ. ) and this song was blasting from a pizza joint named Bob's.

8) Sherry Baby, Four Seasons-same as above. It takes me back to that summer when I poured a bottle of bleach on my hair, sat on the beach, and became a blonde until I went home and my mother had it dyed black within hours.

9) Where Have All the Flowers Gone-Kingston Trio-same summer (maybe Megan is right about being 14 your whole life) We went down to the beach one night and a group of strange people are strumming guitars and singing this song. I decide immediately to become a beatnik.

10) Be My Baby-Ronettes- I fell in love with a boy named Jerry the next year. This was "our" song. Or at least I thought so. We had a tumultuous romance because he found it very hard not to spend all of his spare time drinking and stealing cars with his male friends. It ended when my parents enrolled me in a private Christian school.

11) One Fine Day, Chiffons, (see above)

12) I Want to Hold Your Hand/She Loves You (or any Beatles' song) We are out in our new gold Chevy when my brother and I hear this. Lightening Strikes.

13) Where Did Our Love Go, Supremes. I have a summer job in New Hope, waitressing. This song wafted down the street every day of that summer. I am an adult. HA!

14) The House of the Rising Sun, Animals. Not sure I knew what the House was!

15) Louie, Louie, The Kingsmen

15) I Can't Get No Satisfaction-Rolling Stones. I meet Phil. This song and My Man by Barbra Streisand remind me of the summer of 1965.

16) Positively Fourth Street, Bob Dylan. It could have been many early Dylan songs but I remember howling this one with four friends, driving home from college in Massachusetts.

17) California Dreaming, The Mamas and the Papas. Love the harmony. Love Mama Cass.

18) You Don't Have to Say You Love Me, Dusty Springfield. another song to fall in love to

19) Light My Fire, The Doors. The sixties are now in full bloom

20) Different Drum, Linda Ronstadt, (The Stone Ponies) what a powerful voice

21) Respect, Aretha Franklin. What a powerful statement

22) White Rabbit-Jefferson Airplane but really Grace Slick. So surreal

23) Hey Jude, Beatles. I remember them singing this on THE SMOTHER BROTHERS. It seems like they sang it for fifteen minutes.

24) Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In, The Fifth Dimension- HAIR-finally a musical for young people.

25) Bad Moon Rising, Credence Clearwater-Love that pulsating beat.

So this is my list.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Loudon and Martha

Friday's Forgotten Books, September 12, 2014

 Be back after two today to add any new links in.

Timothy Hallinan is the Edgar- and Macavity-nominated author of the Poke Rafferty Bangkok Thrillers and the Junior Bender Mysteries. 

Gitana, Dominic Martell

Gitana is the third and final book in an unhappily short series (the others are Lying Crying Dying and The Republic of Night) by Dominic Martell. The hero, Pasqual Rose, lives a life on the margins in Barcelona, working at a small bar in a dicey neighborhood. This isn't the Barcelona of Gaudi or even Woody Allen, it's a much tougher town, populated by Gypsies, skinheads, and the occasional slumming tourist, a maze of ancient alleyways, dark enough to cloak the worst of misdeeds.
Pascual is shielding an enormous secret: a more than a decade ago, as a young, impressionable man, he fell in with the Palestinian cause and committed acts of terror in its name before he recoiled from what he'd become and fled into hiding. He's ridden with guilt and hopelessly seeking some kind of absolution—but he's still got the reflexes and instincts developed by years spent looking over his shoulder. When an American man comes into the bar and calls him by name, alarms go off in Pascual's head; and when the American is murdered shortly afterward, Pascual knows that someone or something is sniffing him out.
And then there's Sara, who sings in the bar where Pasqual works, and whom he's fallen in love with, and there's Serrano, the cop who knows part of Pasqual's story, and there's Campos, the journalist who may know nearly all of it and wants to write a book. And back behind all of it, cranking on clockwork Pascual can only guess at, is someone who wants him dead and who doesn't care about collateral damage. And there's also the secret in Sara's past, that Pascual can't even guess at.
Gitana is beautifully plotted and written. Martell obviously knows Barcelona inside out, because I've rarely read a book with a stronger and more persuasive sense of place. The triumph of the book for me, though, is characterization—there isn't a character in the book, who doesn't leap off the page, who doesn't seem to possess a genuine subconscious. I read the book for the skill with which it's written and the spell of the setting, but I loved it because of the people in its pages, Dominic Martell, who also writes crackerjack Chicago thrillers as Sam Reaves, is (I think) a criminally underrated writer, and I'm delighted to see the Pascual trilogy gradually becoming available in ebook form.

Sergio Angelini, SLEEP WITH SLANDER, Dolores Hitchens
Joe Barone, CURSED TO DEATH, Bill Crider
Brian Busby, FASTING FRIAR, Edward McCourt
Martin Edwards, THE SHORTEST WAY TO HADES, Sarah Caudwell
Curt Evans, DON'T LOOK NOW, Daphne DuMaurier
Rich Horton, THE MAN FROM SCOTLAND YARD, David Frome
Randy Johnson, THE TINSELTOWN MURDERS, John Blumenthal
Nick Jones, A SPACE ODYSSEY, Arthur C. Clarke
George Kelley, TARZAN: THE LOST ADVENTURE, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Joe E. Lansdale
Margot Kinberg, DEAD SIMPLE, Peter James
Rob Kitchin, SALTY, Mark Haskell Smith
Evan Lewis, RIDDLE IN THE RAIN, Robert Leslie Bellem
Steve Lewis/Marvin Lachman, THE ROAD TO GANDOLFO, Robert Ludlum
J.F. Norris, THE DEADLY CLIMATE, Ursula Curtiss
James Reasoner, BLACK HORIZON, Robert Masello
Kevin Tipple.Patrick Ohl, THE TOLL HOUSE MURDER, Anthony Wynne
TomCat, THE BALCONY, Dorothy Cameron Disney
TracyK, SEASON OF DARKNESS, Maureen Jennings; THE MOVING TARGET, Ross Macdonald
Zybahn, INSOMNIA, Stephen King