When one takes into account how ridiculous the past year has been, it’s hard to put into reference or frame of mind that the world has always been a bit bent out of shape. One of the preferred ways of coping is turning one’s stress about strife to the songs and singers that keep us delighted, entertained and engaged through our daily lives.
Like now, we’ve always turned to the arts for solace, and 1968 was no different. A fraught election year with the escalation of The Vietnam War to frantic pace, we saw politically some of the first cannon fire shots in the culture wars we still deal with today. Assassinations took Civil Rights deity Martin Luther King and Camelot rekindled hopeful Bobby Kennedy. In the turmoil that followed, The Silent Majority pushed Richard Milhous Nixon into the Oval office. Soon after, the progression of the 1960’s and burgeoning middle class opportunities stagnated and regressed, as we still find ourselves in the fall out of that cultural shift.
What was happening in the world of R&B? Motown Records faced a downward spiral with the lawsuits flying between them and Holland-Dozier-Holland as Aretha Franklin shifted the paradigm of what soul music was. Meanwhile, Gamble & Huff, Thom Bell & Linda Creed were giving more credibility to Philly Soul that would soon come to dominate the Soul Music scene in the next decade. As the “Me” Generation got underway, we see that Girl Groups and the such were on the wane as solo starts took their place.
With that, I invited you to close out this year with some fine selections from 50 years ago. At just over 2 hours of listening, it gives plenty of time to reflect where we’ve been as a country, and the infinite possibilities that still await us.
Happy Holidays, and soon to be new year.
2) The Whispers – I Can’t See Myself Leaving You
3) J.J. Barnes – Sad Day A-Comin’
4) The Sweet Inspirations – I Could Leave You Alone
5) Martha Reeves & The Vandellas – I’ve Got To See You
6) Edwin Starr – My Weakness Is You
7) Inez And Charlie Foxx – Baby Drop A Dime
8) The Shirelles – Wait Til’ I Give The Signal
9) The Intruders – Slow Drag
10) The Baby Dolls – (Please) Don’t Rush Me
11) The Exciters – (Take One Step) I’ll Take Two
12) Jean Wells – Ease Away A Little Bit At A Time
13) Dee Dee Sharp – You’re Gonna Miss Me
14) The Delfonics – Can You Remember
15) Jackie Ross – Mr. Sunshine
16) Dionne Warwick – Lonely In My Heart
17) The Radiants – The Tears Of A Clown
18) Florence Ballard – Walk On By
19) Diana Ross & The Supremes – Keep An Eye
20) Baby Washington – I’m On The Outside Looking In
21) Jerry Butler – Are You Happy?
22) Della Reese – I’ve Got The Blues
23) Chuck Jackson – Where You Gonna Run To Now?
24) Denise LaSalle – Countdown And Fly Me To The Moon
25) The Parliaments – The Goose That Laid The Golden Egg
26) Dee Dee Warwick – I’ll Be Better Off Without You
27) The Show Stoppers – How Easy Your Heart Forgets Me
28) Frankie Beverly & The Butlers – If That’s What You Want
29) Carla Thomas – Where Do I Go?
30) Billy Vera & Judy Clay – Ever Since
31) Barbara Lewis – You’re A Dream Maker
32) Barbara McNair – Where Would I Be Without You?
33) The Four Tops – I’m In A Different World
34) Diane Lewis – I Thank You Kindly
35) Gladys Knight & The Pips – Baby, I Need Your Lovin’
36) The Shades – When You Said Goodbye
37) The O’Jays – I Miss You
38) The Marvelettes – Someway, Somehow
39) Marvin Gaye – It’s A Desperate Situation
40) Billy Butler – Burning Touch Of Love
41) The Spinners – Bad, Bad Weather (Til’ You Come Home)
42) Vonda Maria – Open Arms, Closed Heart
43) The Mellow Moods – When You Go Take Your Memories
44) Anthony & The Imperials – I’m Hypnotized
45) Steve Mancha – A Love Like Yours
46) Mamie Galore – This Time Tomorrow
47) Maxine Brown – Just Give Me One Good Reason
48) Chris Clark – Whisper You Love Me Boy
49) The Blossoms – Tweedlee Dee
50) Jan Bradley – You Gave Me What’s Missing