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Solstice '65


Neighborhood cyclist, summer of '65

Much of what we’re exploring on PorchLight revolves around the fundamental concepts of place and time. I’m using that adjective fundamental because both place and time find their highest purpose by being translated into the here and now. When it comes to solving this mystery of life, what else is there?

Each part of this next episode’s title, Solstice ’65, connects directly with place and time. The solstice referred to here is the summer solstice. Memorial Day weekend notwithstanding, the summer solstice marks the natural onset of the season aka the longest day of the year. This is where place comes in: The summer solstice is June 21 in the northern hemisphere and December 22 south of the equator. We’ll get a little more precise on place soon with our guest on Party Of 2.

The ’65 in the title refers to date not age. I realize that you may not have been alive in the year 1965, so your consciousness of both time and place here may be a little elusive. A good time to remember novelist L. P. Hartley’s quotation: “The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.” Very true, even if you were actually there doing them. Yes, many of us grow up listening to the language and later forget how to speak it.

Then to complicate matters further, we’re going to introduce a powerful intoxicant into your system: music. I’m going to play a diverse collection from the Billboard Top 40 Pop Chart – specifically, songs that first emerged during that particular summer solstice: Monday, June 21 through Thursday, September 23, 1965.

You don’t mind me using the word intoxicant, do you? After all, it spans everything from that first blush of love to caffeine. Pop music works in the very same ways. It immediately grabs your attention. It will greatly alter your awareness of place and your perception of time. Consider the reaction to most any music you have come to love.

Remembering in detail exactly where you were when you first heard (fill in the blank, not multiple choice). And also, with pop singles especially, acquiring a whole new realization of just how rich a mere three minutes or even thirty seconds can be.

Understandably, you might still be questioning how your individual experiences in the there and then can possibly relate to your goal of increased consciousness in the here and now. Hey, it just proves you’ve already done this once. 

Song, Artist, Album

Satisfaction, Rolling Stones, Out Of Our Heads  

Mr. Tambourine Man, Byrds, The Very Best

Help, Beatles, Help

Back In My Arms Again, Supremes, More Hits

In The Midnight Hour, Wilson Pickett, The Very Best

I’ve Been Lovin’ You Too Long, Otis Redding, The Very Best

The In Crowd, Ramsey Lewis Trio, The In Crowd

California Girls, The Beach Boys, Summer Days

We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, Animals, Best Of

Do You Believe In Magic, Lovin’ Spoonful, Do You Believe In Magic

Shankin’ All Over, Guess Who, Anthology

Same Old Song, Four Tops, Second Album

Baby I’m Yours, Barbara Lewis, Baby, I’m Yours

Youth Of A Thousand Summers, Van Morrison, Enlightenment