Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I Like Girls.



Bryon Quertermous loves show tunes. Ray Banks has an unhealthy obsession with Tom Russell. Dusty Rhoades would gladly be a groupie for Steve Earle. Duane Swierczynski knows all the words to In Heaven There Is No Beer.

I'm a sucker for girl groups.

In the years between 1958 and 1964, girl groups dominated the airwaves. Think Party Lights by Claudine Clark, Chapel of Love by the Dixie Cups, or One Fine Day by the Chiffons. Songs written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Smokey Robinson, Holland-Dozier and Holland, Leiber and Stoller.

These songs celebrated teen existentialism, the highs sparked by the heavy chemistry of adolescent infatuation, and the unbearable lows of unrequited love. The Shangrilas gave us Leader of the Pack and the Ad Libs (that's them up there) sang about The Boy From New York City. The sheer joy of the sound makes me want to dance, and I do, like no one is looking.

I got my first transistor radio in 1963 and when I hear The Chiffons sing He's So Fine or Betty Everett do The Shoop Shoop Song, I am back in Catonsville Junior High with Martha Reeves, Darlene Love, The Crystals, and The Ronettes on the radio.

Only a year later, most of these girls would disappear, replaced by The Dave Clark Five, The Animals, The Kinks, and The Beatles. But for a few years, the girls owned the airwaves, and sometimes I just have to put those songs on the stereo ... and dance.

3 comments:

Jeff Shelby said...

I was enjoying this right up until we got to the image of you dancing...

David Terrenoire said...

Jeff, don't look.

Ray said...

Unhealthy? No. My unhealthy obsession is with Tom Waits. My Russell obsession is healthy. And you didn't mention Dave White's prediliction for the works of one Mr Jon Bon Jovi... Ahem.