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Where The Action Still Is


The title of this next episode is "Where The Action Still Is." On PorchLight, we’ll revisit various themes from time to time, a tacit admission that there’s always far more to consider. I have limited our musical selections over these two installments to particular songs and acts that once appeared on a television series that ran for two seasons over a half a century ago. And yes, I left a lot on the table.

Most creative product that endures over time has the wind at its back and a rising tide that will lift a lot of boats. Take classic children’s novels from the third quarter of the 19th Century or American films from 1930 to 1960 or what informed observers refer to as the Golden Age of Television – which is apparently happening right now.

There is no set recipe for broad sustained excellence in artistic expression, but you’ll find certain common ingredients showing up quite often. Favorable demographics for one: Young people getting involved to provide fuel for the making and marketing of product: like Baby Boomers, two post war-generations, or an entire race being formally emancipated after two and a half centuries of bondage. America certainly has done its part.

Technology is yet another factor, as in: Where would rock n roll be without the convenient emergence of electric guitars, long-playing record albums, and toward the end of the 1960s, the introduction of multi-track recording.

And then, always and forever, the type of social change that allows for a little more inclusiveness, keeping hidden doors unlocked after someone knocks first. Bessie Smith – Billie Holiday – Aretha Franklin. No, you can’t make this stuff up, but somehow they did. The three of them running their team’s relay in just under 50 years: record time.

Some of what we’ll play here will likely prove unfamiliar to you, even though when it first saw the light of day you may have been both alive and very interested in listening. Isn’t that a wonderful phrase? “To first see the light of day.” It perfectly describes both discovery and present consciousness and also reminds us that whenever it may happen, don’t describe – just enjoy.

Song, ArtistAlbum

When Will I Be Loved, Everly Brothers, The Fabulous Style

Soulville, Aretha Franklin, Unforgettable

You Really Got Me, Kinks, Kinks    

96 Tears, ? and the Mysterians, 96 Tears

For Your Love, Yardbirds, Ultimate Collection

Iko Iko, Dixie Cups, Very Best

You Really Got A Hold On Me, Miracles, The Fabulous Miracles

Walk On By, Dionne Warwick, Make Way For

Wipeout, Surfaris, Wipeout

I Can’t Help Myself, Four Tops, The Motown Story – Vol. I

Wedding Bell Blues, Laura Nyro, The First Songs

Sit Down I Think I Love You, Buffalo Springfield, Buffalo Springfield

In The Midnight Hour, Wilson Pickett, Very Best      

Call My Name, Them, Them Again

Diddy Wah Diddy, Captain Beefheart, Legendary A&M Sessions

Monday Monday, Mamas and The Papas, If You Can Believe Your Eyes