Making the once known known again.

1966: 19 Songs To Lose Yourself In

During my freshman year of college I made one of the best decisions of my life.  A decision that would change everything forever.  A decision that still bears fruit in my everyday existence.  I know the suspense is killing you so I won’t leave you waiting any longer.  That year I made the decision to subscribe to the Time Life AM Gold Collection.

The AM Gold Collection is a vintage pop music series.  Upon subscribing, Time Life delivered a CD to me every six weeks containing twenty-two songs that defined a particular year.  After I received my first CD, AM Gold 1971, there was no turning back. Many a night I shoved aside my music theory homework so I could listen to “Never Can Say Goodbye” by The Jackson 5 or “Sunshine” by Jonathan Edwards.  The CDs kept coming and vintage pop became the soundtrack of my college years.  If I liked a particular year, I would research other artists/albums/songs that made it big but weren’t included in the collection.  Thus, my obsession started.

Through the AM Gold collection I discovered that my favorite year for music is 1966.  Something about the freedom and honesty of the music that year resonated with me and still does to this day.  I’ve experienced some disappointment during the past couple weeks and upon seeking comfort  I was directed to the truth of ’66.  In the music of that year I’m able to lose myself and discover the person I was created to be.  For Ryan Chavez, everything flows from 1966.

That said, I’d like to present you with “1966: 19 Songs To Lose Yourself In.” These songs are NOT all found on the AM Gold 1966 CD.  A couple of them are but the others I discovered through different mediums.  These songs mean everything to me and they hit a piece of my heart that no other music is able to.  Give them a shot.  You may be surprised at what you discover about yourself.  There’s a Spotify link at the end that will take you to the playlist.  Again, these are not all found on the AM Gold CD.

1. “The Sound of Silence” – Simon and Garfunkel.  “And the people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made…” This song intimates the internal conflict alive in each of us.  Simon and Garfunkel do it so beautifully that you’ll miss the message if you’re not paying attention.

2. “What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted” – Jimmy Ruffin.  Jimmy takes his pain and turns it into a thing of beauty.  It’ll make you wish your heart was broken just so you’ll know what he’s talking about.

3. “Five O’Clock World” – The Vogues.  Do you spend your 9 to 5 patiently waiting for the 5?  This song is for you.

4. “The More I See You” – Chris Montez.  Makes me want to buy a velvet smoking jacket, grab a fine woman and go to a cocktail party.

5. “Oh How Happy” – Shades of Blue.  An ode to the joy of loving someone.  Not bubblegum love though.  A true love where commitment and devotion has been proven.  I can’t listen to it without smiling.

6. “Cherish” – The Association.  “You don’t know how many times I’ve wished that I could mold you into someone who would cherish me as much as I cherish you.”  Ever been there?

7. “19th Nervous Breakdown” – The Rolling Stones.  The Stones’ warning to a young spoiled girl that if she doesn’t start appreciating what she has, it’s all going to come crashing down.  Still relevant today.

8. “If I were a Carpenter” – Bobby Darin.  Numerous artists have covered this song but Darin’s is my favorite version.  A guy wanting a love with no limits.  Pure and simple.

9. “Uptight” – Stevie Wonder.  The opening bars will have you tapping your feet.  The verse will have you doing the jerk.  The chorus will make you run down the street looking for the nearest “Soul Train” dancer auditions.

10. “Bus Stop” – The Hollies.  Love can be found in the most common of places.  Like a bus stop.

11.  “Time Won’t Let Me” – The Outsiders.  This may be my favorite song of all time.  Through it I learned that life is too short to sit around wishing I was somewhere/someone else.  Gotta enjoy the day.

12. “Walk Away Renee” – The Left Banke.  The keyboard player was in love with the bassist’s girlfriend Renee.  Shady? Yes.  But it’s real.

13. “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me.” – Dusty Springfield.  Dusty just wants her man close to her whether he loves her or not. It’s a song about loving someone so much that their feelings for you are of the least importance.  Beautiful.

14. “Good Vibrations” – The Beach Boys.  Brian Wilson changed the game with this song.  He employed instruments and techniques that had not been used before in pop music.  Electro-theremin anyone?

15. “You Keep Me Hanging On” – The Supremes.  Over a pulsating Funk Brothers arrangement and H-D-H production, Diana begs to be set free from a lover who is having his cake and eating it too.  Add Mary and Flo to help plead her case and the result is pop perfection.

16. “Reach Out I’ll Be There” – The Four Tops.  A pop symphony.  Lead singer Levi Stubbs sings that he is the cure-all for all of his lover’s problems.  His passionate, gruff, almost shouting delivery makes you believe every word.

17. “Poor side of town” – Johnny Rivers.  Poor boy loves poor girl.  Poor girl leaves poor boy for rich boy.  Rich boy dumps poor girl. Poor girl comes back to poor boy.   You’ll feel poor boy’s pain.

18. “Darling Be Home Soon” – The Loving Spoonful.  Not sure who John Sebastian wrote this one for but I consider it an ode to my future wife.  The plan is to sing it at my wedding.

19.  “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” – The Temptations.  In my head I’m the sixth temptation and we’re singing this song at The Apollo.  I’m a weak dancer so they make me stand towards the back.  I’m fine with this.

If you have thoughts please share them.  The link to the playlist is below.  Enjoy!

1966: 19 Songs To Lose Yourself In


15 comments on “1966: 19 Songs To Lose Yourself In

  1. Casey
    July 23, 2012

    I love this. I love reading the backstories of these songs. Especially like songs 12, 15, & 17. I heard “Poor Side of Town” on the radio the other day, and listened to the words. You’re so right, you feel the poor boy’s pain–in both the lyrics and the music. So much great music from then that is still relevant now.

    Have you ever tuned in to 94.5? It’s my most recent pre-set in my car.

    • PopExcavators
      July 23, 2012

      That song breaks my heart! Glad you feel the same way. What’s 94.5? We finally have a good oldies station??

  2. Auntie Jan
    July 23, 2012

    I remember the AM gold cd days. Good times. Many of the songs remind me of my nephew circa 2000 and my own childhood listening to AM radio. Many of the songs are honest but quite painful. # 2, 13, 15, 16, 17, 19, can live without those emotions, but great songs. I like your list.

    • PopExcavators
      July 23, 2012

      Haha yeah the good old days of AM Gold. I flock to the heartbreak songs. Don’t know why.

  3. rockpapersessions
    July 25, 2012

    These are some great pics!
    #3 dude I love this song!!

    • PopExcavators
      July 26, 2012

      Yeah man #3 is great. The Vogues have another song “Turn Around Look At Me” that I like even better.

  4. rockpapersessions
    July 25, 2012

    This is my heart your playing. I appreciate it, man.
    And I don’t take it lightly.

  5. Levi
    July 25, 2012

    Loving the playlist. PopExcavators has too much good work to do to worry about reviewing new albums. The industry cranks out hits faster than we can learn the words. Thanks for helping us to stop and smell the roses. Not sure what on the playlist is my favorite…yet.

    • PopExcavators
      July 26, 2012

      You’re welcome my friend! Thanks for taking the time to listen to the playlist.

  6. Nadia
    July 25, 2012

    We sang #6 at our high school pops concert, loved the song ever since. Numbers 1 and 14 and 15 also favorites.

    • PopExcavators
      July 26, 2012

      You have great taste! I bet the choral arrangement of “Cherish” was beautiful.

  7. @TheSchorner
    July 28, 2012

    I’d like to comment on “The Association”. They are amazing! If I were a performing male vocalist, I’d try to find a group like this to be in. Strong baritone and tenor ensemble with intricate and tight harmonies! Every collector should have there greatest hits! I love “Everything that Touches You” and “Never My Love”.

    • PopExcavators
      July 28, 2012

      Dude. The Association is one of the most underrated vocal groups of the 60’s. Cherish alone should have gotten them into the Vocal group hall of fame. Windy, Along Comes Mary, Never My Love…. Beautiful music.

  8. Nicole
    July 30, 2012

    I am continuously amazed at the musical encyclopedia that is Ryan Chavez of Pop Excavators. My favorite on the list is “Darling Be Home Soon”. I like the original but Joe Cocker’s voice is one of my favs so of course I love his version. “And I see that the time spent confused. Was the time that I spent without you and I feel myself in bloom”<<<<perfection. Lyrically it doesn't get any better than that. LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

    • PopExcavators
      July 30, 2012

      Thank you. Thank you very much. I love John Sebastian so in my opinion nothing is better than the original!

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This entry was posted on July 23, 2012 by in Phonograph and tagged , , , , .
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