In the wake of the Fab 4’s explosion onto the music scene, many, many bands with shaggy hair, strong harmonies, and sweet love songs got signed to record labels. A few of them were really good bands who happened to have the misfortune of living in The Beatles considerable shadow.
The bands and songs on this list are some of my favorites from the era. History has not been kind to most of these bands. When you think of ‘60’s music, the socially conscious, protest, and hippie stuff springs to mind first. While in retrospect, that music probably had the strongest impact on society and music, it was not necessarily the most popular music at the time. Take the top songs of 1965:
Billboard Top 10 songs of 1965
01.Wooly Bully » Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs
02. I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) » Four Tops
03. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction » Rolling Stones
04. You Were On My Mind » We Five
05. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ » Righteous Brothers
06. Downtown » Petula Clark
07. Help! » Beatles
08. Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat » Herman’s Hermits
09. Crying In The Chapel » Elvis Presley
10. My Girl » Temptations
One Rolling Stones song, and one Beatles song. Petula Clark, the Four Tops, and Elvis were still very popular. This reinforces the point that while the boomer generation may want to remember the ’60’s as a time of social consciousness and musical exploration, simple pop music ruled the roost.
The following list highlights some of my favorite music from the era that history has chosen to overlook. So, hop over Youtube, Pandora or Spotify and listen to some of these bands/songs that represent the best of ’60s pop music.
The Turtles “Elenor”, “Happy Together”
The Zombies “She’s Not There”, “Tell Her No”
Herman’s Hermits “I’m into something good”, “There’s a kind of a hush”
Grass Roots “Midnight Confessions”
Tommy James & The Shondells “I Think We’re Alone Now”
The Monkees “Steppin’ Stone”, “Daydream Believer”, “You just may be the one”