One of the things that’s often overlooked, when it comes to the History of Rock n’ Roll is how some musical genres, though highly influential, didn’t transform the landscape instantly. And that very often the ripple effect didn’t take place for at least a year or two after its introduction.
As much as we’d like to think of 1967 as the year Psychedelia took over music, truths to tell, it didn’t. And the bastions of mainstream music were still very much entrenched in music from 10 and 20 years earlier. Change, as we’ve learned, is very slow in coming where the mainstream reaction to art and commerce is concerned.
Top Of The Pops was one of the most popular programs offered by BBC Radio to overseas listeners, via their Transcription Service. Every week the program would spotlight then-current popular acts, with each recording tracks specifically for the show. Not that the “underground bands” were excluded from the program – but the program reflected what was popular in the area of singles charts – and in the 1960s, tastes were pretty much all over the place.
On this particular program, the acts comprise some of the more pop aspects of 1967. Geno Washington and The Ram Jam Band were a very popular Soul group, active from 1965 to 1968, with Washington doing a good Otis Redding take on I Can’t Turn You Loose. Also featured on the program were The Action, a blue-eyed Soul outfit who slowly dipped their feet into Folk-Rock and Psych and were active from 1963-1969. Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours, a purely Pop band active from 1965-1969, a sort of breezy take on Sunshine Pop. Rounding out the program were singers Anita Harris and Matt Munro, very much of the Vickie Carr/Andy Williams genre. As always, Brian Mathew was emcee.
All together, a generous slice of musical mainstream in Britain from 1967 without getting too heavy or deep. The Pink Floyd‘s, John’s Children’s and Jimi Hendrix’s would be tucked away in the late-night hours.
Radio has changed. The Mainstream . . .in truth, not so much. It’s all about Pop to the broadest audience.