Sister Side of ’66 – 40 Gems For Your Summer Spirit

Y’all. A long time goal of mine is starting to wrap up as we close out the second decade of this century. If you’ve been with me, following and listening, you know that heart & soul of what I love doing is highlighting the efforts by women, primarily Black Women, that crafted and created music some half century ago that get little notice in today’s world.

A-391187-1304695678.jpegI started with 1965 . But there’s 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1968 and 1969. We were missing 1966 until now. And we’ll have 1967 before the year is out and I’ll crown us a new decade in with 1970. It’s a marvel to the ear to hear all of these starting to pile up against each other, seeing names that were in the game just about the full decade in the face of strife and segregation.

1966 is an interesting year to ponder within the context of the proceedings however. Although the predominant narrative told to us is that women were thrown off the charts by The British Invasion in 1964, the charts tell a different story. As we know, it was a year of #1 hits for Mary Wells, The Dixie Cups and The Shangri-Las, as well as 3 # chart toppers that kicked off a run of 12 for The Supremes. Martha & The Vandellas had the biggest pop hit of their career, as did Betty Everett, and Dionne Warwick made the top 40 4 times.

9cde42f7d8e125c1e7b505fee31c8b50However, 1965 and 1966 slowed considerably, with only Motown’s top ladies The Supremes, Martha & The Vandellas and The Marvelettes making consistent hit records. Other efforts of success, such as The Chiffons “Sweet Talking Guy” or The Toys “Attack” or “Long Live Our Love” pulsed with an energy more like the Motor City than anything unique. Oft at this stage, most of the stage guise for girl groups, but especially Black Girl Groups featured the empire waisted armor pioneered on stage by The Supremes post their landmark engagement at The Copacabana in the summer of 1965.

That however doesn’t translate to the records they produced or songs they committed to tape that year. Still, coast to coast and across the pond, a diversity of sounds sought and fought for attention above the fray. Here we have 40 gathered for you mid-summer’s delight and listening.

  1. The Sapphires – Slow Fizz
  2. Madeline Bell – I Really Got Carried Away
  3. The Marvelettes – Sugar’s Never Been As Sweet As You
  4. Doris Troy – I’ll Do Anything (He Wants Me To Do)
  5. Maxine Brown – One In A Million
  6. Brenda Holloway – He’s My Kind Of Fellow
  7. The Shirelles – He’s The Only Guy I’ll Ever Love
  8. The Blossoms – Let Your Love Shine On Me
  9. Jackie Day – Before It’s Too Late
  10. The Supremes – Come & Get These Memories
  11. The Three Degrees – Tales Are True
  12. Dionne Warwick – I Never Knew What You Were Up To
  13. Barbara McNair – A World Without You
  14. The Royalettes – I Don’t Want To Be The One
  15. Judy Clay – Turn Back The Time
  16. Barbara Lewis – Baby, What Do You Want Me To Do?
  17. Patti Austin – Someone’s Gonna Cry
  18. Mary Love – Lay This Burden Down
  19. Candy & The Kisses – The Last Time
  20. Gladys Knight & The Pips – If You Ever Get Your Hands On Love
  21. Martha & The Vandellas – Happiness Is Guaranteed
  22. The Exciters – Just Not Ready
  23. Della Reese – Solitary Woman
  24. Esther Phillips – Try Me
  25. Verdelle Smith – You Only See Her
  26. Mary Wheeler – Prove It
  27. The Toys – Silver Spoon
  28. The Chiffons – Just A Boy
  29. Jean King – Don’t Say Goodbye
  30. Ruby & The Romantics – Remember Me
  31. Betty Everett – In Your Arms
  32. The Fascinations – Say It Isn’t So
  33. Mary Wells – Hands Off My Baby
  34. Fontella Bass – You’ll Never Know
  35. Ketty Lester – Are You Ready For A Woman?
  36. Patty & The Emblems – Try It, You Won’t Forget It
  37. Patti LaBelle & The Bluebelles – Family Man
  38. Jean Wells – Hello Baby, Goodbye Too
  39. The Mirettes – He’s Alright With Me
  40. The Apollos – My Soul Concerto

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