The Turtles - unlikely trailblazers of West Coast Folk-Rock.

The Turtles - unlikely trailblazers of West Coast Folk-Rock.
The Turtles – unlikely trailblazers of West Coast Folk-Rock.

The Turtles – BBC Saturday Club – June, 1967 – BBC Radio Light Programme

A very short one tonight, a little over four minutes to be exact. But a rare one

Anyone who spent any amount of time on the West Coast, most notably Southern California, in the 1960s will be well aware of The Turtles. They were very much a part of that West Coast renaissance which combined Folk with Rock and landed squarely in the mainstream as a result. Not as hugely popular as The Byrds from the same location around the same time, but still, a band who very much made a dent in the history books and whose songs  have become part of the soundtrack for that very jumbled decade.

The Turtles strived to become a bit more than pigeon-holed in the top-40 stereotype. They eventually tried to break free but with not the same level of success. They would always be known as a band with well-executed songs, loaded with hooks, displaying the perfect pop formula. A formula most bands around that time would have killed for, and probably still would.

At the time they were new and part of the flood of music that begged to be discovered. They have aged reasonably well – probably better if you are of a certain age and remember them for the first time. They are one of those bands, like so many bands we grow up with that can be directly traced to a particular moment at a particular time. No getting around it. It happens to all of us, no matter how or when. It goes under the heading of Rite Of Passage whether it’s 1967 or 2021.

So some of you might listen to this session, recorded at the BBC for the Saturday Club program in June of 1967 and register very little other than knowing  you’ve heard these songs someplace – maybe even a supermarket. And some of you may listen to this session and immediately be drawn back to a place and time when hearing these two tracks, including the 60s anthem Happy Together made all the difference in the world.

Music is funny that way – Popular music is even funnier. But like they always say – looking at the past is okay – just don’t stare at it.

Enjoy the notes whether you know them or not.

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