Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Take a Top 40 Mind Trip - The Journey

The community radio station I volunteer for, WTJU recently finished their spring fund drive. I hosted a special three-hour program featuring psychedelic-inspired Top 40 hits from 1966-1969. In my previous post, I outlined the criteria for selecting the tracks and some historical background. As promised in that post, here are the actual sets I aired.

San Francisco 1
- The Summer of Love started in San Francisco, which spawned the first round of psychedelic hits.
  • San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) - Scott MacKinzie
  • San Francisco Nights - The Animals
  • Fantasy Fair radio ad (a three-day open-air SF music festival. 20 bands, including the Doors, Grass Roots, Jefferson Airplane, and the Sunshine Company for $3.00!)
  • Neon Rainbow - The Boxtops
- Bright colors were an integral part of psychedelic posters, fashion, and imagery in lyrics.
  • Green Tamborine - The Lemon Pipers
  • Strawberry Fields Forever - The Beatles
  • The Happening Night Club radio ad (This 1967 Seattle club ad touted a visiting SF band, and local fave Merilee and Persuasions. Merilee Rush would later chart with "Angel of the Morning.")
  • Crystal Blue Persuasion - Tommy James and the Shondells
Light Psych 
- There were many gatekeepers to ensure only appropriate songs got airplay. In this set, the drug references are oblique, but quite obvious if you were hip.
  • Good Vibrations - Beach Boys
  • Along Comes Mary" - The Association
  • Vox WaWa w/the Electric Prunes radio ad
  • I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night - The Electric Prunes
Heavy Psych 
- The songs in this set were heavier in their sound, and the psychedelic imagery really took flight.
  • Time Has Come Today - The Chamber Brothers
  • Pictures of Matchstick Men - The Status Quo
  • 7 UP Uncola Underground - radio ad (The Uncola Underground was a commercial co-op of the underground radical movements sprouting up on college campuses. The Uncola Underground would break into a 7 Up commercial with a subversive broadcast of their own.)
  • In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida - Iron Butterfly (this was the radio edit version)

Psych Out 
- The reports of LSD users inspired psychedelic imagery. The drug culture also had to be coded to get past AM radio music directors.
  • Eight Miles High - The Byrds
  • Kicks - Paul Revere and the Raiders
  • Psych-Out radio ad (Dick Clark's exploitation movie was filmed on location in Haight-Ashbury and featured music by the Seeds and the Strawberry Alarm Clock.)
  • Incense and Peppermint - Strawberry Alarm Clock
The Trip 
- Another drug-inspired set
  • Itchycoo Park - The Small Faces
  • Cloud Nine - The Temptations
  • Levis Jeans/Jefferson Airplane radio ad (a truly psychedelic radio experience)
  • White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane

Sunshine Classics
 - The hippie movement grew out of the early psychedelic scene, and the sun was an important motif. Musically, it formed a sub-genre of light psych called sunshine pop.
  • Come to the Sunshine - Harpers Bizarre
  • Sunshine Girl - Parade
  • Falstaff Beer with Cream radio ad (Cream sings their own Falstaff jingle)
  • Sunshine of Your Love - Cream
More Light Psych
  • Morning Dew - Lulu (Though well-known to Grateful Dead fans, and recorded by Love, Lulu's version was the only one that charted)
  • Naturally Stoned - Avante-Garde
  • Crimson and Clover - Tommy James and the Shondells
Hippy Chick
 - The concept of the free-spirited flower child was another Top 40 favorite
  • Windy - The Association
  • Georgy Girl - The Seekers
  • Clairol Psssssst radio ad
  • The Rain, The Park, and Other Things - The Cowsills
Feeling Groovy
 - "Groovy" part of the early psych vocabulary. By the time it was used by Cheerios in 1969, it was old hat.
  • Groovy Kind of Love - Wayne Fontane and the Mindbenders
  • The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) - Harpers Bizarre
  • Cheerios Feelin' Groovy radio ad
  • Groovin' - The Young Rascals
The Bad Trip
 - LSD trips weren't always just bright colors and sounds.
  • 19th Nervous Breakdown - The Rolling Stones
  • Psychotic Reaction - Count Five
  • The Trip radio ad (This exploitation film purportedly duplicated an authentic LSD trip for the audience.)
  • Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds - The Beatles
Hair, the Musical
 - You know a trend is over when it reaches Broadway. "Hair" was indeed a product of its time, Although the cast album sold briskly, the tunes only charted when covered by others.
Hair - The Cowsills
Good Morning Starshine - Oliver
Easy to be Hard - Three Dog Night
Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In - The Fifth Dimension

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