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Tuesday, August 04, 2015

August 4, 1964

The first Tuesday Timeline of the month of August 2015, and you already know that the subject will be sixties related.  After all, it is SIXTIES WEEK in the blog this week.

So, what year of the 1960s am I going to feature this week?  We'll get to that in a moment.

For now, why don't we take a look at some of the events that took place on August 4 in every decade EXCEPT the sixties?  There's quite a lot that took place!

1327 - During the First War of Scottish Independence, James Douglas leads a raid into Weardale and almost kills Edward III of England

1693 - Dom Perignon invents champagne

1783 - A double whammy takes place in Japan when Mount Asana erupts killing fourteen hundred people - the eruption would later cause a famine which kills another 20,000 people

1789 - Members of the French National Constituent Assembly take an oath to end feudalism

1821 - French fashion designer Louis Vuitton (d. 1892) is born

1875 - Danish poet/author Hans Christian Andersen dies at the age of 70

1889 - Spokane, Washington is the site of a devastating fire which levels thirty-two blocks of the city

1892 - Lizzie Borden's father and stepmother are found dead in their Massachusetts home - the cause of death revealed to be murder

1900 - Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (d. 2002) is born

1901 - Singer Louis Armstrong (d. 1971) is born in New Orleans, Louisiana

1910 - Actress/singer Anita Page (d. 2008) is born in Flushing, Queens, New York

1914 - Belgium and the United Kingdom declare war on Germany following German troops invading Belgium

1921 - Hockey player Maurice "Rocket" Richard (d. 2000) is born in Montreal, Quebec

1936 - The 4th of August Regime is established by Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas

1944 - Jewish diary writer Anne Frank and her family are arrested by the Gestapo

1946 - Over 20,000 people are left homeless following a devastating earthquake in the Dominican Republic

1958 - The Billboard Hot 100 is published for the first time

1974 - 12 are killed, and 22 injured when a bomb detonates in the Italicus Express at San Benedetto Val di Sambro, Italy

1977 - The United States Department of Energy is established by Jimmy Carter

1993 - LAPD officers Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell are sentenced to thirty months behind bars for violating Rodney King's civil rights

2001 - Actor/Garfield voice artist Lorenzo Music dies at the age of 64

2007 - NASA's Phoenix spaceship is launched

2014 - James Brady - the 15th White House Press Secretary - dies at the age of 74

And blowing out candles on a birthday cake today are the following people; Reg Grundy, Carol Arthur, Frank Vincent, Martin Jarvis, Richard Belzer, John Riggins, Billy Bob Thornton, Kym Karath, Barack ObamaLauren Tom, Roger Clemens, Paul Reynolds, Terri Lyne Carrington, Crystal Chappell, James Tupper, Timothy Adams, Daniel Dae Kim, Lee Mack, Marcus Schenkenberg, Michael DeLuise, Ron Lester, Jeff Gordon, Stefan Brogren, Dominic Ochoa, Kurt Busch, Mick Cain, Marques Houston, Meghan Markle, Abigail Spencer, Crystal Bowersox, Cole and Dylan Sprouse, and Jessica Sanchez.

Okay, so what date from the 1960s will we be looking at this week?

Well, how about August 4, 1964?

Yeah, that was the day in which one of the greatest rock songs was released (well, in the United Kingdom anyway).  This song was by a band who managed to have a career that spanned over thirty years.  That's longer than most bands these days.  And although the group went its separate ways in 1996, their music is still spun quite often on Internet playlists, compact discs, and even old school vinyl.

Would you like to hear the song?  I bet you do!

All right.  Here's today's special Tuesday Timeline song, released fifty-one years ago today.

ARTIST:  The Kinks
SONG:  You Really Got Me
ALBUM:  Kinks
DATE RELEASED:  August 4, 1964

So, the story behind the composition of the song goes like this.  In March 1964, the lead singer of The Kinks, Ray Davies - then a young man just shy of twenty - was trying to compose a song to be added onto their yet to be released debut album.  And while he was brainstorming ideas, he was tickling the ivories on his family's piano.  And while he did come up with the basic melody and lyrics for the song that would become "You Really Got Me", it was completely different from the version that you just heard.

Would you believe that the original version was sounded a bit like a jazz record, and wasn't nearly as screechy as the version that was eventually released?  Somehow, I can't quite picture that.  That would be like turning "The Girl From Ipanema" from a sensual slow jam to a rap song.

Anyway, a few days after he wrote "You Really Got Me", he performed the song in front of photographer Alan Ballard, who was known for snapping the photos of some of the up and coming rock musicians emerging from Britain.  He heard the song, and at first he didn't seem impressed...until he added in the section at the beginning of the song that went "Der-der, der, der-der".

Little did they know that little five note segment would be the segment that helped bring the song to success.  And that it would take Ray's younger brother, Dave, to amp it up a lot.

Initially, it was done on a piano...which was fine.  But when Dave heard the song, he thought that it would sound a lot better on a guitar.  And while the guitar sound kind of conflicted with Ray's vision of a jazzy sounding song, once he heard the iconic guitar rift, he knew that it would be a hit.

Though, according to Ray Davies, if you listen closely to the song "You Really Got Me", you might hear something in the song that you really weren't meant to hear.  Let me explain with a direct quote by Ray;

"Halfway through the song it was time for Dave's guitar solo. This moment had to be right. So I shouted across the studio to Dave, give him encouragement. But I seemed to spoil his concentration. He looked at me with a dazed expression. 'F--k off.' If you doubt me, if you doubt what I'm saying, I challenge you to listen to the original Kinks recording of 'You Really Got Me'. Halfway through the song, after the second chorus, before the guitar solo, there's a drum break. Boo ka, boo boo ka, boo ka, boo boo. And in the background you can hear 'f--k off'. You can, you can. When I did the vocal I tried to cover it up by going 'Oh no', but in the background you still hear it 'f--k off'. And it's even clearer on CD, it's really embarrassing."

So, there you have it.  You might be able to hear the F-bomb dropped somewhere within this song.  Listen closely.

And with that, we end our look back on "You Really Got Me" - a song that was released 51 years ago today.

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