The Crystals “Then He Kissed Me” (Philles 115, Pop #6, 1963)
Gemini Roll Call is in the final stages of the year. We’ve got a few more signature soul singers to cover and we start the final hours with one that climbed the wall of sound and managed to survive the collapse of it. La La Brooks celebrates her 68th Birthday today. As one of the defining voices of the girl group era, she was yet another one of the more assertive voices; strident and mature in expressing nascent desires rare given to women of color previous, especially Teenage ones.
It’s rare that I go with an obvious big hit for my blogging purposes, but sometimes you just have to go with timeless. Moreso out of a number of Girl Group Songs, this is the one that set my expectations for romance, physical affection and sex more than any other. The fact that La La Brooks conveys so much weight and so much passion in an alternatingly controlled and exuberant fashion still rings in my ear each time I’m bestowed a first kiss that has some weight, some affection and some passion behind it. That’s the power of music really; it serves as a blueprint of the complex emotions you might feel when you experience these situations yourself.
It would be appropriate that we’d be closing out the Gemini Season with one of the best messengers of the 1960s. Happy Birthday La La Brooks. And thank you for the continuing work that you do on stage and off.