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Musical Reflections Of Songs By Black Musicians From 1960 To 1961-Part 2

By Edited Jun 16, 2014 0 0

Artist Name: Chubby Checker

Song Name: The Twist

Composer: Hank Ballard

Release Date: August 1960

Record Label: Parkway

Chart Peak Position: Pop: 1 and R&B: 2

Even before the song began, memories flooded my mind at a rapid pace with no sign of stopping. This particular song sung by Chubby Checker brings back thoughts about my father dancing at the numerous family weddings I attended along with the rest of my big Italian family. I could picture the light in my father’s eyes when he first hears the beginning of the song come on, he then searchers the room to find his dancing partner who happens to be me. We then take to the dance floor and twist the night away. I can still hear the sound of Chubby Checker’s voice while I am bending my knees along with the rest of the dance floor, to see who can twist the best. Ultimately, this song brings feelings of togetherness and thoughts of family to my mind because it has been with me ever since I was a little girl.

 Artist Name: Brook Benton

Song Name: Kiddie

Composer: Brook Benton, Clyde Otis

Release Date: August 1960

Record Label: Mercury

Chart Peak Position: Pop: 7 and R&B: 1

 This song performed by Brook Benton has a very cool feel to it, despite the desperate plea that the lyrics express. The song is based around the idea that the singer cannot get this one particular woman off his mind. As a result of thinking about her all the time, he wants her to agree to be with him forever because he feels as though there must be a reason as to why he cares about her to the extent that he does. Unfortunately, this woman keeps on rejecting his advances toward her. The storyline of this song is not far from reality, and i am happy to know that songs such as these were released because they allow individuals to relate their similar experiences of those of the singer. Being able to relate parallel experiences will make the listener better about himself because he will no longer feel alone.

 Artist Name: Maurice Williams

Song Name: Stay

Composer: Maurice Williams

Release Date: October 1960

Record Label: Herald

Chart Peak Position: Pop: 1 and R&B: 3

 During the listening of this song by Maurice Williams, it brought back memories concerning my vacation to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. This song was always played when we would go to the main theatre just after dinner, before the show was scheduled to start. I could picture all the happy couples dancing in the isles with their tropical drinks in one hand and their lover’s hand in the other. This song made everyone in the resort feel good to be on vacation, and more importantly, to be on vacation accompanied by the people who they care about. The lyrics speak about staying for a longer period of time and that is what I am almost positive everyone staying on the resort wanted to do. If I had the opportunity to travel back to Punta Cana for a second visit I would love to.

 Artist Name: Hank Ballard & The Midnighters

Song Name: Let’s Go, Let’s Go, Let’s Go

Composer: Hank Ballard

Release Date: November 1960

Record Label: King

Chart Peak Position: Pop: 6 and R&B: 1

 The message of this song revolves around the free spirits of teenagers, and how when an individual is experiencing their teenage years they want to explore and challenge the rules as much as possible. The lyrics mention wanting to go to a house party that is further away from town, and these are the sort of adventures teenagers thrive for. While listening to this song, the image that came to my mind contained a vast amount og teenagers crowding the local diner and dancing their hearts away. The teenage years are all about rebellion against parental authority and pushing the limits, and I think this song is a clear representation of that stage of life. I firmly believe that an individual’s teenage years are crucial in aiding him or her in developing into the person he or she was meant to be.

 Artist Name: Jerry Butler

Song Name: He Will Break Your Heart

Composer: Butler, Carter, Curtis Mayfield

Release Date: November 1960

Record Label: Vee-Jay

Chart Peak Position: Pop: 7 and R&B: 1

 Listening to this song sung by Jerry Butler caused an immense amount of old and hurtful feelings to come back to me. I was placed in a situation such as this one not too long ago, and I can relate to the individual for whom this song is being sung for. It is extremely difficult to put such strong feelings aside for someone, even though everyone around you is telling you that you deserve much better. The worst part is that you yourself know that you deserve better, but for some reason you look past your common sense and go with your gut feeling. Speaking from experience, I can state that even though it is difficult to let go of someone you care for so deeply, sometimes it is better to just walk away than to be continuously hurt for the rest of your life.

 Artist Name: The Shirelles

Song Name: Dedicated To The One I Love

Composer: Pauling-Bass

Release Date: February 1961

Record Label: Sceptre

Chart Peak Position: Pop: 3 and R&B: 2

 I enjoyed listening to this song very much because I liked the slow and steady beat of the song. I also loved the voices of The Shirelles because they are strong yet serene at the same time, which is a unique combination. The lyrics deal with the situation whereby two lovers are far apart from one another and the song is expressing the feelings each of the two lovers are experiencing. The singer is expressing how immensely she misses her man, and how she is aware of the pain he is going through. This is because of the similar pain she is feeling for him. Moreover, the lyrics to this song describe the women telling her boyfriend to do certain actions that will remind him of her whenever he misses her. This will be done to bring the couple closer together. I think these little things that remind a couple of one another are some of the greatest things in the world because they are one of a kind and exclusively shared between that couple.



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