Guilty Pleasures

(Pictured – The Tymes)

Why “guilty?” Well, after a while when you’re listening to and blogging about blues and jazz and prog, a reader – or a fellow music enthusiast – might think that that’s what you grew up on and listen to exclusively.

Nope. I grew up on rock and roll, doo-wop, r&b, soul, and pop. I didn’t even really hear a blues song until the mid-60s and I didn’t really follow it till after that. I was 18 when I heard my first recognizable jazz tune. I did a whole series on “The Indispensable 150” a while back which covered pre-Beatles 50s and 60s tunes.

So my first loves were in what I heard on AM radio. And while these songs had zero cool cachet, I loved them then and I love them now.ย  And let us not forget there was nothing particularly cool about “She Loves You” or “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.” So here we go down memory lane…

“Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” is a 1972 song by American pop rock band Looking Glass from their debut album, Looking Glass. It was written by Looking Glass lead guitarist and co-vocalist Elliot Lurie. ”

I remember one review when this came out where the reviewer said that bands shouldn’t be allowed to write about the sea if they hadn’t gone. Well, idiot, you know, it’s just a song, right? John Fogerty was nowhere near a bayou but he wrote about it convincingly.

With its story of a sailor whose love is the sea and the woman who loves him, “Brandy” – with its catchy melody – was a hit. The single reached number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box Top 100 charts, remaining in the top position for one week. I later worked with a woman who told me this was her and her husband’s special number at their wedding reception. Really?

“Redbone is an American rock band founded in 1969 by brothers Pat and Lolly Vegas. All band members during their commercial peak were of Mexican American and Native American heritage, which was reflected in their songs, stage costumes, and album art.”

Until I looked into this tune, I had no idea that any of that was true. I always thought they were a one-hit wonder R&B band. According to band member and co-writer Pat Vegas, “If you listen carefully, the bass line drives the song. What we came up with was a Native American dance beat. When you dance to the Indian tom-tom, it’s a straight beat with an emphasis on the upbeat.”

He goes on to say that when he played it for his mother, she “got up and started doing a tribal dance. She heard the beat and was so proud.” So, well, yeah I don’t hear it at all but what do I know. I wish I had a woman that beckoned to me and said, ‘Come and Get Your Love.”

Edison Lighthouse are an English pop band, formed in London in 1969. The band was best known for their 1970 hit single “Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)” recorded in late 1969.” The song reached the number one spot on the UK Singles Chart on the week ending 31 January 1970, where it remained for a total of five weeks

I found this interesting tidbit in Wikipedia: “Toward the end of 2021, the song saw a massive resurgence due to it becoming popular onย TikTok. Between December 25, 2021, and January 3, 2022, the song saw a growth of 1,490% in its on-demand audio streams and moved onto Spotify’s U.S. Top 200 Chart.”ย 

“Everlasting Love” has been recorded by numerous people most notably a nice version by U2 and Gloria Estafan did one too. But the one I always dug most was the original recording by a guy named Robert Knight. (Interestingly, it wasn’t my intent at all to make this a one-hit-wonder post but it seems to be turning out that way.)

Proving once again that ME is, if nothing, an incurable romantic, (three songs have the word “love”!) we bring you “So Much In Love” from 1963. This version is by a band called The Tymes who clearly came out of the a capella era. From MEs hometown of Philadelphia, PA.

Ah, yes, the interestingly named Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds. “Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds were a 1970s soft rock trio from Los Angeles. The original members were Dan Hamilton (guitar/lead vocal), Joe Frank Carollo (bass/vocal), and Tommy Reynolds (multi-instrumentalist/vocal), all of whom had previously played in The T-Bones, a 1960s band noted for the instrumental hit “No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In).” (Based on music, believe it or not, from an Alka-Seltzer commercial).

Recorded in December 1970, “Don’t Pull Your Love” was released in April 1971and reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 dated 31 July 1971, in which month the single was certified gold for sales of one million units (Billboard also afforded “Don’t Pull Your Love” a No. 4 ranking on the magazine’s Easy Listening chart).”

Here is “Don’t Pull Your Love (out just yet).*

*That’s what she said.

26 thoughts on “Guilty Pleasures

  1. I cant underestimate the influence my early radio listening days had on me. My older sis or brother brought me a little transistor radio back from Japan in the 60’s. That thing was glued to my ear.
    I totally get this take. Familiar with a couple of the cuts you posted. I have a hard time remembering the titles of the songs and the bands that I liked. I looked one up and found the title ‘Dancing In the Moonlight’ by King Harvest. There were a lot more but when songs like ‘Sunny Afternoon’, ’96 Tears’ Brown Eyed Girl’ I Can See For Miles’ etc came on it was just a whole different thing. So like you I didnt grow up in a whore house listening to Louis Armstrong. The radio was a big part of my music world. Then I wanted to hear the stuff they werent playing and things got interesting. There were some nasty ones that got imbedded in my head from those days. Im still trying to get them out. Good post.

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    1. That’s the thing. It’s not like I was some cool 8-yr-old listening to Coltrane. I was probably listening to the Four Season or for all I know, Alvin and the Chipmunks. All that pop stuff informed my tastes. But then, like we talked about before, bands like Cream, the prog guys, and Weather Report expanded our horizons. But for my money you can’t beat a good three-minute pop song.

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        1. Right. It’s nice to go back and dust off the old ones once in a whole. The soulful ones that weren’t written by committee, played by computer and AutoTuned.

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        2. That new stuff you’re talking about is not conducive to my ear. I get a taste of it when they push it on Spotify. I could be a lot more descriptive on how much my ear doesnt take to it.

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        3. You misunderstood C to the B. I’m not talking about that crap at all. I’m thinking of the transistor radio stuff. Maybe not all pop but, well, you get the idea.

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        4. I know what your talking about. I answered that on my first comment. The second comment was referring to your “Computer auto tuned” CB does not get things wrong. Ask my gal.

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  2. Jim, I love each of these songs and knew all of them! That said, except for “Everlasting Love” and “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)”, which I recognized based on their titles only, I needed to start playing the music to remember them.

    I think what all of these songs have in common are great vocals, catchy melodies and a warm sound – all properties that are of particular interest to me, which in my view help them make timeless.

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  3. I’m a little iffy on some of these but I adore Everlasting Love. The version I’m used to is a 1960s one by Love Affair. It’s pretty sophisticated – there’s a key change going from the intro to the verse. It’s a little schmaltzy maybe, but it’s a brilliantly constructed song IMO.

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        1. Well, I don’t know that they are any more or less polarizing than any other set of tunes. For the record, if you read the comments, you are the outlier on this set of tunes. But my guess is you may be the youngest commenter on that post, don’t know. Not even sure if it’s that so much as what we grew up on respectively.

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  4. The phrase ‘guilty pleasure’ is definitely an odd one, more based on perceived response than anything else. These days I think, unless you’re enjoying something like peeling babies and rolling them in salt (a Lemmy reference), then really who gives a flying rat’s arse: if you enjoy it that’s what counts. These are all brilliant tunes by the way, sir.

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    1. Yes it’s a bit tongue in cheek. Maybe best reserved for a blog where I pledge undying love for the Archies and songs like ‘Yummy Yummy Yummy.’ Glad you enjoyed them. Great songs to sing along to and ruin everybody else’s enjoyment of them.

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        1. People absolutely love it when I sing ‘Rosalita’ at the top of my lungs at a Bruce show. They’re all pointing at me so I assume they love it.

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  5. I was the youngest of 7 kids and I was surrounded with all different types of music from Kiss, Zeppelin, Sabbath to Fleetwood Mac and the Bee Gees and then Pop radio and then my parents were some of the classics like Sinatra to stuff like Kitaro and even Air Supply. And with all the different stuff, I have a lot of guilty pleasures that just remind me of being a kid hanging with my siblings

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    1. I was the youngest of three. My two older sisters had music blasting all the time. As Tony reminds me, there’s nothing guilty about liking what you like and so it’s somewhat tongue in cheek. But I use it in the sense that well, imagine you and a chum are listening to Miles Davis. And then you say, Hey, do you like “Love Grows Where my Rosemary Goes?’ Hip credentials – out the window. But I no longer care.

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  6. There’s nothing wrong with any of these songs, Jim, and you have nothing to feel guilty about. All great choices. Several years ago I wrote a post called “No Guilt, Just Pleasure” covering this same subject. I will shout about my love of so-called “guilty pleasures” from the rooftops at full volume. ๐Ÿ˜€

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    1. Yeah, I don’t really feel that way, just a fun title I cribbed from an article I once read. When I was younger I would want to be seen as cool as my (supposedly) cool jazz friends. Now I don’t even care. I love these tunes.

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