Rock and roll may have been a man’s world in the early days, but the year 1963 belonged mostly to the girls — never was there a year so good to the “girl group” sound. And where were the boys, you ask? Surfing, mostly. But some were holed up in the garage, creating the sound of the mid-Sixties. The British Invasion would soon come along to change everything, but, as this list proves, in ‘63 rock was still about multipart harmonies, high romantic drama, catching a wave, and going up on the roof to get away from it all. Contains trivia, recording info, release info, and more.
Uptown and/or Chicago Soul took adult contemporary arrangements and flamboyant pop drama to create a lush version of soul that any tortured romantic could enjoy. Read more about Uptown Soul, its biggest hits and artists, and its influence on music to come in my brand-new encyclopedia entry.
Two halves of two famous rock songwriting teams — Lieber & Stoller and Ashford & Simpson — passed away late Monday. Jerry Lieber (top), who along with partner Mike Stoller defined rock songwriting in the 50s and 60s, died of natural causes at the age of 78 at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The Lieber/Stoller team brought the Coasters into pop with “Yakety Yak” and “Charlie Brown,” penned many of Elvis’ biggest hits, such as “Hound Dog” and “‘Jailhouse Rock,” and helped develop “Uptown Soul” by writing and producing the Drifters’ “There Goes My Baby” and “Under The Boardwalk” (as well as former lead Drifter Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me”). Their last hit was 1969’s Peggy Lee standard “Is That All There Is?”