Tuesday, September 16, 2014

1964: Movies: THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY

It's easy to see why the sixties is not regarded as a great era for U.S. films if you look at this list.
Some of the more notable US films that year were DR. STRANGELOVE, BECKETT, THE KILLERS, A SHOT IN THE DARK, A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, THE PINK PANTHER, A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, MARNIE, MY FAIR LADY, THE PAWN BROKER and SEND ME NO FLOWERS.

One of my favorites, and I saw it again a few weeks ago and perhaps mentioned it, was THE AMERICANIZATION OF EMILY with James Garner, Julie Andrews , James Coburn and and an amazing Melvyn Douglas, Billed as a comedy, it's actually a very dark film. Garner is having an easy time of it caring for the needs of top brass in Europe just before the landing at Normandy. A pretty cushy assignment until a few things change the game. Highly recommended.

What is your favorite movie from 1964? Click the link above if you don't remember the year's films.

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 SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, John LeCarre
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.