Wednesday, April 22, 2009

60s Music: The Truth About Those Pop Songs

This review is from: Behind the Hits/Inside Stories of Classic Pop and Rock and Roll (Paperback). It's about the songs you heard on the radio and what inspired them. Bob Shannon and John Javna have written an excellent easy-to-read tome primarily about rock 'n' roll songs of the late 1950s to the early 1980s. Some stories are well known, but did you know...
"We've Only Just Begun" was a bank commercial?
"Mother And Child Reunion" was inspired by a Chinese menu?
"By The Time I Get To Phoenix," and "Wichita Lineman" were songs inspired by the same person called Renee (who is she?) from the song, "Walk Away Renee"?
There is some dispute as to who wrote "Blowin' In The Wind". The final pages present evidence in favor of Bob Dylan but they also present evidence in favour of a man named Lorre Wyatt.
"Puff The Magic Dragon" is not about smoking dope.
There are many surprises in the book. Maybe the most surprising being that Neil Sedaka's second career (the 1970s) was much bigger than his first.
And was Singapore pop 60s affected by these revelations? Go get a copy. Interesting read.
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