One of the soundtrack songs of my youth is Cherish, performed by the Association. It was released in 1966, and you can take a listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hysdyVGpsE Shortly after reading that cherish was today’s daily prompt, the opening bars of this song became the lead ear worm on my internal playlist.
Somewhere between 1964 and 1966, I was given a transistor radio. This was a big deal for me, as I then had the freedom to listen to the music of my choosing in the privacy of my room. KIMN was the Denver station which played the top 40 hits of the day. I can still hear their jingle: “95 fabulous Kimn”. I didn’t listen all the time, but often would tune in at night as I was going to sleep. I listened to many of the top tunes of the day including early Beatles, Beach Boys, the Association, whatever was getting airtime.
For my 11 year old self, this was a pretty big deal. Like many kids that age, I was trying to figure out the big world, and how my pre-adolescent self might eventually fit into it. I had some exposure to news and popular culture. We got Life magazine, which I read every week. I also read some of the local newspaper, and we saw the local news on TV, followed by the national news, the Huntley-Brinkley report. We didn’t watch much other TV, so the radio was my source of info on what was up in the world of popular music.
1966 really was a time of great change in the world. The conventionality of the Eisenhower years had metamorphosed into the more politically active 1960’s, driven by opposition to the Vietnam war, feminist, black power and environmental sensibilities. A look at the Billboard top 100 for 1966 illustrates this: Number 1 is The Ballad of the Green Berets, #2 is Cherish, and #8 is the Supreme’s You Can’t Hurry Love. Continuing through the list, there are songs by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Dionne Warwick, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass.
I’m amazed at the variety on this list, and I’m also surprised at how many of these songs I know. Reading through the list, there are only 12 titles that I don’t recognize, and I imagine that if I listened to them, I might know half of those. Quite a soundtrack. Take a gander yourself–what do you recognize? Or perhaps a different year provides the soundtrack that you most cherish.
The Billboard Year-End Hot 100 Singles of 1966. Taken from Wikipedia.