Tunes Du Jour Presents 1968

In the tumultuous year of 1968, the world was ablaze with social and political upheaval, and the music of the time resonated deeply with the spirit of change. As we reflect on the sounds that defined this pivotal era, it’s impossible not to be swept away by the eclectic mix of genres and emotions that filled the airwaves. From soulful ballads to psychedelic rock anthems, the music of 1968 was a reflection of the turbulent times in which it was created.

One cannot delve into the musical landscape of 1968 without acknowledging the timeless classics that continue to capture hearts and minds today. Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” remains a soulful testament to the power of love and betrayal, while The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” stands as an enduring anthem of hope and resilience. Meanwhile, Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” evokes a sense of quiet contemplation amidst the chaos, its melancholic melody lingering long after the last note fades away.

The year also saw the rise of revolutionary artists who pushed the boundaries of conventional sound and style. Jimi Hendrix’s electrifying rendition of Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower” redefined the possibilities of guitar-driven rock, while Sly & the Family Stone’s “Dance To The Music” infused funk with a vibrant energy that transcended racial and cultural divides. Steppenwolf’s “Born To Be Wild” became the anthem of a generation, capturing the restless spirit of rebellion that coursed through the veins of youth around the world.

Each track on this playlist is a testament to the power of music to unite, inspire, and console, even in the darkest of times. Let us remember the year that was 1968 and the enduring legacy of the artists who helped shape it.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 10-21-23

“This is a song I wrote for my first album. It was the only song I ever wrote that was a Top 10 hit. It wasn’t for me, it was for a group called Manfred Mann’s Earth Band. They were a great band, but they changed the lyrics. And it pissed me off. Because I have a big ego. And I wanted to hear my words coming out of the radio. But they had a hit, so I was happy about that. But what they did was, they took out one of my lines and they put in one of their own. And their line became one of the most misunderstood lines of all time. In my version, the line went: ‘Cut loose like a deuce, another runner in the night.’ A deuce is a 1932 Ford Coupe, a very hot car back in the day. But they changed it to: ‘Blinded by the light, revved up like a deuce, you know the runner in the night.’ Now that makes no sense. But that’s OK, because it rhymed. But then people started to mishear that line. And they misheard it as: ‘Blinded by the light, wrapped up like a douche, another rumor in the night.’ A douche is not a car. It’s a feminine hygiene product. And it doesn’t even rhyme! So I don’t know how they got that. But that’s what people heard. And that’s what they’ve been singing for 40 years.” – Bruce Springsteen

Manfred Mann was born Manfred Lubowitz on this date in 1940. A few of his hits are on today’s playlist.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 7-17-23

The Spencer Davis Group were under pressure from their manager, Chris Blackwell, to come up with a hit single. He put them in a studio. By around 11:30 AM they had a riff. By noon the song was written and the band headed to a café down the road for lunch. Blackwell was livid when he found them eating rather than working on their new record. His anger subsided when the song, “Gimme Some Lovin,” recorded in just one or two takes, became a worldwide smash. It is now considered a rock n roll classic.

The late Spencer Davis was born on this date in 1939. A couple of the Group’s tracks are included on today’s playlist.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 10-20-22

Today’s playlist celebrates the October 20 birthdays of Snoop Dogg, Tom Petty, Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake, Wanda Jackson, The Cribs’ Gary & Ryan Jarman, The Tokens’ Jay Siegel, Eddie Harris, and New Vaudeville Band’s John Carter; and the October 21 birthdays of Dizzy Gillespie, The Cramps’ Lux Interior, The Go-Go’s’ Charlotte Caffey, The Teardrop Explodes’ Julian Cope, Manfred Mann, The Skyliners’ Jimmy Beaumont, Elvin Bishop, Kathy Young, Doja Cat, and Industry’s Jon Carin.

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A Bob Dylan Playlist

“I wish that for just one time you could stand inside my shoes / You’d know what a drag it is to see you”

Me-OW, Bob. Me-OW.

Bob Dylan turns 80 years old today. Lots of blogs are making Dylan’s 80 Best Songs playlists. Not Tunes du Jour. An 80 song playlist is a challenge, but distilling Bob Dylan’s career into 30 songs? That’s more challenging! I’m not saying the 30 songs below are his best. This list is a good place to start, though. I threw in a couple of covers of Dylan songs for good measure.

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Throwback Thursday: 1964

Nobody would deny that 1964 was among the most pivotal years in rock and roll. Nobody except Lester, a guy I worked with decades ago. He was an idiot. The Beatles and the other artists who stormed the US pop charts during the first British Invasion made an indelible impact on contemporary music and culture. Motown was ascending and producing classic singles. Girl groups were still hanging around creating pop perfection. Bob Dylan was making himself known, messing with the vocals one expected on a hit record. And Dionne Warwick was already the queen of Twitter.

Here are thirty songs that partly defined 1964. Take note, Lester.

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist (2-24-21)

Celebrating the February 24 birthdays of N.E.R.D.‘s Chad Hugo, Manfred Mann’s Paul Jones, Earl Sweatshirt, M People’s Mike Pickering, Rupert Holmes, Plastic Bertrand, George Thorogood, Barry Bostwick, Joanie Sommers, and 16 Horsepower’s David Eugene Edwards; the February 23 birthdays of Josh Gad, Japan’s David Sylvian, and Aziz Ansari; and the February 22 birthdays of Marni Nixon, Sublime’s Brad Nowell, Ernie K-Doe, Bobby Hendricks, Oliver and Guy Mitchell.

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