Posts Tagged ‘Gypsy’

Saturday Single No. 492

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

The Top Ten at the Twin Cities’ KDWB fifty years ago today was studded with records that were familiar to the kids around me at the time and have since become familiar to anyone who cares at all about mid-century Top 40 (or anyone, for that matter, who listened to the radio during Mrs. Villalta’s art classes at St. Cloud’s South Junior High School):

“(You’re My) Soul & Inspiration” by the Righteous Brothers
“Bang Bang” by Cher
“California Dreamin’” by The Mamas & The Papas
“Daydream” by the Lovin’ Spoonful
“19th Nervous Breakdown” by the Rolling Stones
“Nowhere Man” by the Beatles
“The Ballad of the Green Berets” by Ssgt. Barry Sadler
“I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” by B.J. Thomas & The Triumphs
“Time Won’t Let Me” by the Outsiders
“These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” by Nancy Sinatra

And looking further down the station’s “Fabulous 40 Confidential” from fifty years ago today, there are only three records that stick out as unfamiliar, two of which were debuting on the survey that week. Sitting at No. 33 in its first week in the survey was a country ditty called “Tippy Toeing” by three siblings from Arkansas who recorded as the Harden Trio. It would peak on KDWB at No. 23 in four weeks; nationally, it went to No. 44 on the Billboard Hot 100, their only record to reach the pop chart. (The record went to No. 2 on the country chart, and the trio had two other records hit the country Top 40 in the next year.)

Parked at No. 40, and also in its first appearance on KDWB’s survey that long-ago week, was a drum-heavy cover of Bo Diddley’s “Mona” by a Twin Cities group called T.C. Atlantic. According to Discogs.com, the group put out at least seven singles and a live album from 1965 through about 1969. The record, which I think I would have dug in art class, peaked on KDWB at No. 30 in early May. It never got to the Billboard chart.

The third record unfamiliar to me in that April 16, 1966, survey is the Underbeats’ version of “The Book of Love” that was a little bit doo-wop and a little bit subdued garage rock. It was sitting at No. 12 in its fifth week on the survey, and it would go no higher. Like the T.C. Atlantic single, “Book of Love” would get no national notice.

But the Underbeats, well, they would get their shot at national attention four years later after revamping their style considerably and becoming the band Gypsy. I told the tale long ago, and over the past several weeks, as I’ve ferried the Texas Gal to and from work, among the music coming from the CD player in the car has been most of the early 1970s work from Gypsy, both the group’s self-titled album from 1970 and its 1971 follow-up, In The Garden.

And one of the tracks I’ve enjoyed most could easily have fit into our Long Form series here. I was reminded of it one evening this winter when I was driving home after a meeting at church. “Man,” I thought as I crossed the Mississippi River and headed down Kilian Boulevard, “that sounds like Gypsy.” I memorized a few of the lyrics in case I needed them, and almost as soon as I got into the house, I checked the playlist on WXYG. It was indeed Gypsy.

Tying all those threads together this morning – the Underbeats’ appearance in the KDWB “Fabulous 40 Confidential” from fifty years ago today, the presence of Gypsy in the car CD player in recent weeks, and a long track heard in that same vehicle on a cold evening sometime in the past few months – makes for an untidy piece of work, I suppose.

But I don’t care. The music hits my sweet spot, temporally and emotionally, and that’s why “As Far As You Can See (As Much As You Can Feel),” the longest track from Gypsy’s 1971 album In The Garden, is today’s Saturday Single.

Another One About Tomorrow

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Those who stop by regularly have probably already figured out that this week is not going as I hoped it would. Whatever the weather has been this week, I’ve been under it. And about all I can say today is that I hope to do a post tomorrow that is more substantial than this.

Given that, here’s a tune with a suitable title, though the lyrics may not quite fit. But it’s a fine tune, nevertheless, from a Minnesota band – one I’ve written about before – that should have made it big:

I’ll be back soon, and I hope it’s tomorrow.

Saturday Single No. 182

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

It’s a rainy day. The windows of my study are streaked with the passage of water obeying the law of gravity. In the dining room, the morning newspaper is spread on the table in order to dry a few places that got soaked as it waited for me on the front step.

It’s not raining hard, but it’s supposed to continue for most of the day, and that’s changed our plans. We likely won’t be getting into the garden today.

We spent an hour the other evening staking off our territory for this summer in the community plot and then putting up a short chicken wire fence. It’s still too early to do too much, but the Texas Gal had planned to plant a few seeds this weekend: peas, radishes and maybe cucumbers.

Last weekend, we got a start on the flower beds around the house, putting in some coleus and some petunias, planting some cosmos and marigold seeds and installing a swatch of ground cover called red nancy. It’s been warm most of the week, but there was one morning when temperature hovered near freezing, and the red nancy looks a little bedraggled.

The Texas Gal is anxious to get into the garden and to get the rest of our summer hopes planted: We’ll do tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, onions, broccoli and maybe eggplant, some from seeds and some from plants we set in. Given Minnesota’s northern location, I’ll be reluctant to set any plants in the ground until the middle of May at the very earliest, but I think the Texas Gal may veto that and move earlier than I would.

Even she agrees, however, that the folks from the apartment building next door who put tomato plants into their garden plot this week are on the wrong side of the caution and risk dichotomy. I shrugged. It’s their garden, I thought. Last year, the same folks planted in early May, and I thought they were lucky not to lose anything to a late frost. This year, they’re two weeks earlier than last year, and I think they’ll be very fortunate to come through the next three weeks with their plants intact.

Of course, for all of us, it’s a hobby. Losing a cluster of plants to a late frost would be a disappointment, not the disaster that it might easily have been for our forebears. Having moved our plot to a sunnier location this year, all we’re hoping for is a few more tomatoes and peppers and other vegetables than we had last year. Our lives or livelihoods don’t depend on the success of our garden this year. And – hopes aside – that’s probably a good thing.

So here’s a song whose title, at least, matches up with all of that: From In The Garden [1971], here’s Gypsy with “Here (In the Garden), Parts 1 & 2,” your Saturday Single:

The album is long out-of-print and evidently quite rare on CD. You can find some copies of it here or at GEMM.