How Good Was The Year (in music) - 1963?

I was having a dig around 1963 and came across Mancini’s score for Charade, I loved the main theme’s mix of insistent rapping, a twangin cimbalom hook and more than a bit of Bond.

I like the vocal version too where it’s rendered as a sad little waltz, ended up watching the film over the weekend too. It’s often referred to as “the best Hitchcock movie Hitchcock never made” but I don’t know, twisty sure but it’s a screwball comedy really.

I knew Jack Nitzche as one of Neil Youngs Stray Gators and for his score to One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, didn’t know he co wrote this though…

…which thanks to Jackie’s voice and the arrangement I much prefer to the Searchers version. A hell of a melody.

This is a cool track too


Hi @Octobadger this one should be in the album nominations list, just to avoid any confusion come poll time.

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Going to nominate album Charles Mingus - The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, because it has to be there, absolute towering achievement, and song Dusty Springfield - I Only Want To Be With You.

There’s never as many nominations for the early 60s threads so will up it to 2 nominations per person if anyone wants to add another one or two over the next day or so before I open the polls.

Also I made a playlist of tracks for the year including nominations and other big tunes which is something I probably should have done for all these threads to be fair, but never find the time!


I was hoping you were going to say that! I love the early 60s threads even though I’m in a minority with that. I’ll definitely add another song nomination before the close.


Nominate song Beach Boys - ‘In my room’


I think I will nominate a couple

Album Nomination
Lee Hazlewood - Trouble Is A Lonesome Town

Album Nomination
Kenny Graham - The Small World of Sammy Lee

Hazlewood’s debut, a concept album set in a town called Trouble. Between tracks there’s a lot of chat about the folk stuck there, like a cowboy take on Under Milk Wood I guess, we meet poor despised Ugly Brown, even his dog can’t stand him and whereas Llareggub’s undertaker was Evans the Death Trouble has Sleepy Gilreath who rests easy 'cause he knows we’ll all be giving him a little business sooner or later. Yeah, enjoyable.

I don’t expect anyone else to vote for the Kenny Graham album but i gave it a listen the other day and was charmed all over again.

Hi @Octobadger, Anyone Who Had A Heart is a song nom, would love it to be an album pick tbh but think it came out the year after.

I like the 60’s threads, I’ve been introduced to some great stuff and I like going down the rabbit hole in a way that I wouldn’t so much for recent years because the avenues are so overwhelming. I’m still rooting round and finding stuff, like this theme from a film I can’t find any info about at all, apparently the film was released in 1962 and directed by Louis Grospierre, aside from that nothing. Love its sneaky nocturnal vibes and the doodly organ.

this is lovely and airy with a beautiful arrangement by Morricone


Second Song Nomination
Roy Orbison - In Dreams

I went to a fancy dress party at a youth club when I was 8 or so dressed as Roy. Parents put me in a black suit, gave me shades, a guitar, hair just so. Didn’t have a clue who he was.


OK may make my second album nomination:

John Fahey: Death Chants, Breakdowns and Military Waltzes


Song nominations:

Anita Carter - (Love’s) Ring of Fire
I was going to nominate Johnny Cash’s great Ring of Fire, but learned the first version of it was recorded by Anita Carter in the same year. Interestingly the song was co-written by Cash’s eventual second wife, June Carter (sister to Anita). June eventually recorded her own version in 1999. I don’t think I’d heard Anita’s version until a few weeks ago, and love Cash’s, but I’ll give Anita the nod.

Sam Cooke - Another Saturday Night
I also made myself a playlist, seeded from a 1963 hits I found on Spotify. I couldn’t have named a 1963 tune off the top of my head but of course many were instantly recognizable. I’m just not familiar enough with track names or release dates for this era. I played the list a few times in the last few weeks and this is a great one.


Never heard this before. Love it!

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Taking this post as a cross-topic nomination unless you have any objection @paulo!

I was just scrolling through the thread thinking “when did I nominate something??” haha. It’s all good, I would have never have thought to nominate it anyway, so thanks for posting :+1:

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Nominate a second song: The Kingsmen - Louie Louie

Portland, Oregon band The Kingsmen took Richard Berry’s song from the mid-50 (though they based their cover on the ‘61 version by Rockin’ Robin Roberts and the Wailers), did this garage rock version of it in a one-hour studio session, left in a significant error cos they didn’t have the money to pay for more studio time to fix it (Jack Ely starts singing the verse after the solo a couple of bars before the band expect, so there’s a quick drum fill to cover it up and off he goes again), got investigated for 2+ years by the FBI for obscenity (no case to answer because the feds couldn’t decipher Ely’s slurred vocals and apparently missed the drummer saying ‘fuck’ when he makes a mistake at 54 seconds) and popularised this song so much that it was covered again hundreds of times and is considered a touchstone of proto-punk. Not bad going.


Nominate a second album: Doris Troy Sings Just One Look & Other Memorable Selections

I’ve been listening to a fair bit of Northern Soul lately, which got me onto Doris Troy, aka Mama Soul, and this great 1963 album featuring mainly original songs and her only big solo hit - Just One Look (later covered by the Hollies). She became a successful backing singer alongside her solo career when she moved to the UK to sign to Apple Records (working with Dusty Springfield, Pink Floyd and George Harrison, among others).


Been sorely neglecting this thread due to time constraints but will try to get things back into a rhythm as we close this out and follow up with something more recent next time.

Polls open until Friday.

DiS’s Favourite Albums of 1963 (can choose up to 3 )

  • The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan
  • James Brown and the Famous Flames - Live At The Apollo
  • Jorge Ben - Samba Esquema Novo
  • Francoise Hardy - Francoise Hardy
  • Prince Buster - I Feel The Spirit
  • Charles Mingus - The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
  • Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach - Money Jungle
  • John Fahey - Death Chants, Breakdowns and Military Waltzes
  • Lee Hazlewood - Trouble Is A Lonesome Town
  • Kenny Graham - The Small World of Sammy Lee
  • Doris Troy Sings Just One Look & Other Memorable Selections
  • The Beatles - Please Please Me
0 voters

DiS’s Favourite Tracks of 1963 (can choose up to 3 )

  • Martha Reeves & The Vandellas - ‘Heatwave’
  • The Jaynetts - Sally, Go Round the Roses
  • The Searchers - Love Potion Number 9
  • The Ronettes - Be.My Baby
  • Dusty Springfield - I Only Want To Be With You
  • Sam Cooke - Another Saturday Night
  • Anita Carter - (Love’s) Ring of Fire
  • Roy Orbison - In Dreams
  • Dionne Warwick - Anyone Who Had A Heart
  • Beach Boys - ‘In my room’
  • The Kingsmen - Louie Louie
  • Surfaris - Wipe Out
0 voters

Overall Rating (out of 10) for 1963

  • 1
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  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
0 voters

That’s a wrap for 1963, reaching 6.57, an unsurprisingly low score given the trend for the earliest years so far, only beatng the two preceding years and 1985.

DiS users’ favourite albums of 1963 were:

:1st_place_medal: Bob Dylan - The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan
:2nd_place_medal: Charles Mingus - The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
:2nd_place_medal: Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Max Roach - Money Jungle
:2nd_place_medal: Francoise Hardy - Francoise Hardy

and our songs of 1963 were:

:1st_place_medal: The Ronettes - Be My Baby
:2nd_place_medal: Dusty Springfield - I Only Want To Be With You
:3rd_place_medal: Beach Boys - In My Room

New thread coming soon.


Love these threads Octo.