Last weekend Adèle and I met up with an old schoolfriend of mine, Annie, and there was much poring over her old photographs and other school memorabilia, and much reminiscing about old times. Thinking more about all this during the last week has got me going on songs from that time, hits of the era, records we used to play at Saturday night parties or just listen to or sing as we went about. Well, you get my drift. I've assembled 18 links here to songs of the period - approximately 1956 to 1961 - that I loved then and (mostly) still do now. And if I've got anything wrong in my temporal placing, never mind; this is nostalgia, not music history.
(1) To set the ball rolling, the Everly Brothers with 'Bird Dog'.
(2) Guy Mitchell, 'Singing The Blues'. For some reason this reminds of being in Ian R's back yard.
(3) Elvis Presley, 'All Shook Up'. We were living behind the shop in Abercorn Street.
(4) Buddy Holly and the Crickets, 'That'll Be The Day'. Lionel and I had just heard it and were riding back to his place, in Gifford Avenue, raving about how good it was.
(5) The Del-Vikings, 'Come Go With Me'. Also a memory I associate with Lionel, aka Lemmy the Bleet – listening to it on his verandah.
(6) The Shadows, 'Apache'. The Shadows came to Bulawayo one time, and I haven't forgotten Dave M telling me in rapturous tones how the show opened, with the curtain rising on the band's 'walk'.
(7) Little Richard, 'Tutti Frutti'. No specific memory, but who can ever forget that opening?
(8) Del Shannon, 'Runaway'. This one I associate with sitting in the back of the school truck, on our way to
Fairbridge Falcon to play rugby.
(9) Emile Ford, 'What Do You Wanna Make Those Eyes At Me For?'. Party at Fiona M's house in Spreckley Road.
(10) 'Raunchy'. Nothing, just itself; never even knew who it was by.
(11) The Platters, 'The Great Pretender'. 'Too real is this feeling of make believe'. You can say that again. Too real is this feeling of being back there.
(12) Fats Domino, 'Blueberry Hill'. No specific memory.
(13) Chuck Berry, 'Memphis, Tennessee'. And again.
(14) Pat Boone, 'Love Letters In The Sand'. Got to admit to it, I'm afraid.
(15) Cliff Richard, 'Living Doll'. Ditto. And a daytime party, as I recall, at Rosie W's house.
(16) 'Get A Job'. Sha na na na, sha na na na na.
(17) Eddie Cochrane, 'Cut Across Shorty'. Ian R again. The song is linked in my mind with him.
(18) Jerry Lee Lewis, 'Great Balls Of Fire'. We were in at the birth of rock 'n' roll, what can I tell you?