musicology #341

AlternativeSoundtrack4 #8

(Shirelles – Will You Love Me Tomorrow)

The G20 ‘conference’ has disrupted my plans making it impossible to go out to work today so I’m directing my energies in other directions.

Today’s slice of the Alternative Hustler pie finds Eddie and Sarah together after their first night of passion. Not, I hasten to add, following on from yesterday’s piece of the action where she knocks him back for being ‘too hungry’. That night didn’t end up the way Eddie planned it so the next day he trys to hustle and finds his reputation has already spread around town making it difficult. He manages to find a dive where no-one knows him and makes a few bucks, returns to the bus station, (without knowing exactly why), and after a while Sarah arrives. She looks at him and without speaking they head off, arms entwined to her apartment…

The cut is another Town Hall/Dancehall early mod classic but this time from original girl group The Shirelles. (Shirley Owens, Alston Reeves, Doris Coley Kenner Jackson, Addie Harris McPherson, and Beverly Lee). The song was written by Carol King and Gerry Goffin with Luther ‘Strings’ Dixon producing. Recorded and released on Florence Greenberg’s Scepter label in 1960 it was the first song by an all girl group that hit #1 ushering in a new musical era that came to be known as ‘Soul’.


10 thoughts on “musicology #341

  1. it would be hard to convey just how big that song was back in the day…it stills sends ‘shivers down my backbone’, I can almost hear the raised voices
    singing along whilst dancing to this fabulous piece
    of music in the dancehalls….Sarah conveys that
    plea in her voice on this piece of dialogue perfectly!


    1. Easy to overlook the ‘Classics’ in the endless quest for the ‘Rare’ but for and on themusicologist the ‘right’ piece is the ‘right’ piece and for me this cut is the perfect musical answer to Eddie’s question.


  2. Sir,
    This piece of music is a Mod milestone… it not only heralds the Mod invasion of the West end club scene, thus squeezing the others – the Modernists, the Trad Jazz heads and the Skiffle mob – out of the headlines, it also introduces GIRLS into equation; Mod girls, Mod girlfriends, the music of the girl groups and soloists, girls as individuals, girls as ‘punters/consumers’ etc.

    Ergo. Female emancipation says hallo to working class women….. I know, that’s one hell of a statement to make, but I stand by it!


    1. Correct me if i’m wrong but wasn’t 1960 a couple of years too early for ‘Mods’ I would have placed it at the vanguard of the ‘nameless thing’. Not that I was there of course but I always thought that the ‘Invasion’ happened in 1963/4. Agree about the cut being a milestone though as it was the first song by an all girl group to be a hit.


  3. “Female emancipation says hallo to working class girls” (not GROWN UP women is what I ment… big difference).

    Up till the late fifties girls were considered to be ‘seen but not heard’. Late fifties, working class, Rock an’ Roll girls with their bobby sox and candy striped hooped skirts made a visual impact but little else. No disrespect, but they were tolerated. In the baleful “public eye” they were seen as nothing more than Teddy Boys’ “trappings”… Lots of skirt… no trousers!!

    Mod girls changed that. They not only took to the trousers (physical as well as metaphorical), they were loud and passionate about it. And the by now modern “public eye” i.e. the media, smelling a “story” (not to mention a new and potentially large customer base) took notice.

    Thus, ‘Girls’ hit the front pages and I’m pleased to say stayed there. Not just that but they rightly went on to carve themselves a good and growing slice of the cultural pie. The rest is Womens Rights history.

    P.S. Fashion-wise, imagine this…. A female social group without ‘named’ hairdressers. Impossible?
    In the early 60’s Videl Sassoon opened the very first ‘named’ hairdressing salon catering to a young generation without regard to ‘class’ – money was another thing entirely, Sassoon wasn’t cheap.

    Mod girls also gave us the mini-skirt…. but that was later!!! Let me tell ya… those would have been fantastic times for a time-traveller… or fly on the wall… hahahaha!!


    1. As far as I can make out it has been about money since the French revolution in the late 18th Century when the Bourgeoisie, (Middle Class), used the power of the peasents, (Working Class), to overthrow the monarchy. For me ‘Class’ relates more to culture.


  4. Skiffle… ever heard of it? No. Not surprising. As a musical form/genre it deserves its consignment to the bin of musical history. But as a catalyst for all that followed in “Swinging” Britain it’s an amazing and sadly under-reported and (true) story.

    As to 1960 and Mods. Yes, you’re right…. and wrong. As I’ve already said “kids who rejected Modernists but didn’t YET know they were Mods”. It’s a difficult one this…. I ask myself the same question!!!


    1. Skiffle…yep I have, (if that question was directed at me?), Lonnie Donnegan’s (second rate), cover of the Leadbelly song Rock Island Line springs to mind but also Joe Brown, (who influenced among others a yong Steve Marriott), deserves a special mention in the evolution of British ‘pop’. Alongside ‘Chicago Blues’ practitioners like Alexis Korner, Cyril Davies etc they were certainly a catalyst for what followed, (over here at least).

      As to the Mod/Modernist/Stylist issue obviously you were there so could confirm, (if you remember), what ‘West End’ clubs were invaded, when and by whom !!!
      p.s my research suggests that ‘Mods’ were born between 1946-1949 so invading West End clubs clubs at 13/14?

      again..I wasn’t there…but, in retrospect the first Soho, (Greek Street), club I went to, (Le Beat Route), I couldn’t have been older than 13. First ‘all nighter’ was in the same year !!! thems were the days…hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha


  5. SKIFFLE…..

    In my opinion, the fascinating thing about ‘skiffle’ wasn’t the music…. no way! It was a couple of very simple but painfully hard facts of 50’s working class life…. money and education!!!

    Skiffle was relatively easy to learn, easy to perform, and even easier to pay for.

    A skiffle group (at first a trio. Purcussion only came later, with success) required no more than a broom-pole attached to a tea-chest with a piece of string running between pole and chest as bass, a wash-board, for want of a better discription, as rhythm, and a cheap banjo/ukulele 4/6 string instrument as lead. Total outlay? Not much!

    Personal transport was a luxury which if necessity dictated could be done without. Even a tea-chest was allowed on a bus. And so a skiffle group was up and running!!

    Haven’t time here to go into the education (and nerve) side of the skiffle ‘kids’. Enough to say… they helped pave the way!!!


  6. You got a really useful blog. I have been here reading for about an hour. I am a newbie and your success is very much an inspiration for me.


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