musicology #239


inmodwetrust #6

(The Marvelettes – Someday, Someway)

Bit late with this final instalment of the mod selection. big night Friday night…the Cyprus cats were back in town to celebrate which, although having nothing to do with ‘mods’ certainly deserves a mention. As the regulars know themusicologist is, for me, a musical diary, a soundtrack connecting my feelings to the sweet sound of music, the benefits of which are many. had a great night made even better by making new connections which was a pleasure.

Music wise today’s cut is another from the Berry Gordy and Motown selection by a girl group whose name burned brightly on the emerging Mod/ernist scene especially in the lead up to Soul establishing itself as a mainstream musical force. B-side to their classic Beechwood 45789. Quality double sider that was definately played in and around London back in the day.

Tamla 45 from the pivotal year concerning mods and soul, (1962), whose paths were inextricably linked on the ‘road to freedom’ as oppressed people discriminated by the colour of their skin or, (as was/is the case on these fair shores), the way they spoke, began to break down, (and through), the walls of class and colour boundries to have more opportunities to fulfil their dreams and aspirations.

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6 thoughts on “musicology #239

  1. I’ve a theory on “double-siders”. It’s probably of little academic interest but for the sake of posterity….. My theory is on the the thinking behind “double.siders” (roughly equal quality A and B sides of the same record) which were very, very, rare pre-vinyl.

    With the arrival of the smaller and tougher vinyl 45rpm. came the “home music player”. This came in two forms (a) the family model: usually a piece of furniture, and (b) the portable model: a small brightly coloured box with a carrying handle and a single speaker incorporated at the front (an aside here, the portable model was a prized asset of the teenage members of those families lucky or rich enough to have one).

    Anyway, as I said, these newfangled 45’s were a lot tougher than their fore-runner, the 78rpm. 78’s were relatively heavy as well as being very brittle and so were treated with great care. Now, even thought the home players were kitted out with a “spindle/drop” system which allowed multi (10) stacking of “discs”, 78’s were handled and played one at a time; a time consuming process which disturbed the listeners “groove” and usually led to pregnant silences, debates, arguments etc. This egg-shell handling process proliferated the “A-side good, B-side no value” mind-set.

    But then along came the small, bendy, funky, colourful, stackable, 45’s.

    Now after having picked, stacked, loaded and then continuously played let’s for arguments sake say 10 singles/records/discs people are “in the mood” and the last thing that’s needed/wanted is a break in said “mood”. Thus, the stack is automatically spun over and the B-side’s played…. And, believe me, God forbid any duff stuff….. know what I mean?

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  2. Once again this track has captured the ‘feel’ of those times…in fact Beechwood 45789 was one
    of my favorites..and finding an equally good b.side was one of the great pleasures back in the day, especially as these early american records were so hard to come by…thanks so much for this last weeks theme I’ve enjoyed it immensely.
    p.s. I’d forgotten about turning the stack of 45s over to play the b.sides on the record players!!
    a nice little memory.

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  3. “pre-vinyl?”

    Woops…. we all make ‘mistakes’. Part of the learning process I suppose. Let’s leave it as a metaphorical cock-up okey?
    That being said, how does “wax” sound? Is “wax” a better metaphor for the thing, the product, the instrument which would not only condemn the “shellac” model to the dust-bin of musical history but also turn a whole generation on to “sex, drugs and Rock an’ Roll”? Is the word “wax” big enough to convey that? Methinks not.

    Mind you, why play with metaphors in the first place?

    Anyway, back to “double-siders”. Your post got me to wondering how many there actually were. Personally, I’m struggling to recollect that many (too much of a good thing when I was young perhaps?) so how about some people on here naming some? If it’s okey with you I’ll start with one very dear to my teen memories. Chuck Berry (who else) with Johnny B Goode/Sweet Little Sixteen (before I’m shot down in flames I have to say I’m not even sure that’s right. It could be that the B-side is Run, Run, Rudolf. But that doesn’t change the mood of things because Run, Run, Rudolf was great too).
    While writing this the “old gray matter” sparked back into life and another classic double-sider rolled into the barrel…. Billy Stewart…. ‘nough said?

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