1964, The Beatles, beat era & AFN       German

 

The 1960s Beatles & beat wave played a decisive role in shaping rock music which is still dominant all over the world. That's reason enough to take a closer look at the Beatles & beat era and especially its peak in 1964 - the year experienced by Wolfgang Billmann as the crucial year in beat and rock music: first the bands that principally dominated the era; but only at the end of the beat bands in the narrower sense, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, with whom everyone is familiar anyway and which would take up too much space at the beginning of this article. Later on, US bands that played a role in 1964 will be briefly portrayed. - The German AFN listeners were always up to date and on a par with the USA, who were, of course, the world trendsetters as far as pop music was concerned. With the advent of the the Beatles and the beat wave this implicit understanding came to an end, when in the summer of 1964 the Beatles occupied the first five places in the AFN top ten, and other British bands followed so close on their heels in the AFN hit parade that US bands hardly stood a chance.

Overview:
   The Animals
   The Kinks
   The Searchers
   Dave Clark Five
   Other bands shaping the beat wave in 1964
   The Shadows, instrumental guitar band and non-british beat bands
   The Beatles & The Rolling Stones
      a. Beatles & AFN
      b. The Beatles (1964)

      c. The Rolling Stones (1964)
      d. Internet addresses, line-up
   The Kinks, after 1964-65
      a. The Kinks from today's point of view & The Kinks songs after 1964-65
      b. The Kinks members today
      c. The Kinks, literature
   First contact with The Beatles about 1963 & AFN
   Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman" 1964
      a. Melancholy & schmaltzy songs
      b. Evanescence, Breaking Benjamin & Freddy Quinn

   The Beach Boys
   The Four Seasons
   Soul, USA 1964
   The Everly Brothers
   The Byrds
      a. "Mr. Tambourine Man" & e-guitar pioneers
      b. Line-up & other hits
   The AFN
      a. 'Frolic At Five' & 'Stickbuddy Jamborree'
      b. Loss of popularity
      c. Further AFN broadcasts & literature

 

The Animals

http://www.theanimalswebsite.com

Line-up (1964):

. Eric Burdon (vocals)
. Chas Chandler (bass)
. Alan Price (keyboards)
. John Steel (drums)
. Hilton Valentine (guitar)

Other songs (1964):

 

KinksFanclubCropped
The Kinks, 1967. Embedded image, https://
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Kinks
FanclubCropped.png
, July 4, 2019

 

The Kinks

https://thekinks.info

Line-up (1964, essentially until today):

. Ray Davies (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards)
. Dave Davies (lead & backing vocals, lead guitar)
. Mick Avory (drums)
. Pete Quaife (bass, backing vocals, died in 2010)

Other hits (1964-65):

 

The Searchers

http://www.the-searchers.co.uk

http://www.thesearchersandme.com

http://www.mikependersearchers.co.uk

Line-up (1964), vocally strong, from 1990 on two bands: The SearchersThe Searchers and MeMike Pender's Searchers:

. Mike Pender (vocals, guitar), left The Searchers in 1985, from 1990s on: Mike Pender's Searchers
. John McNally (vocals, guitar)
. Tony Jackson (vocals, bass), until the middle of 1964, then Frank Allen (vocals, bass): The Searchers and Me
. Chris Curtis (vocals, drums, died in 2005)

Other hits (1964):

 

Dave Clark Five

http://www.daveclarkfive.com

Until 1964 the Dave Clark Five were considered the main competitors of the Beatles (from the end of 1964, they were usurped in this role by the Rolling Stones). With the lively quintet lineup of lead singer / keyboard, saxophone, guitar, bass and drums, the Dave Clark Five had enormous appeal, but still did not have the guitar dominance which made the rock music of the previously mentioned Animals, Kinks and Searchers, or finally of the Beatles and Rolling Stones so successful.

Line-up (1964):

. Mike Smith (lead vocals, keyboard, died in 2008)
. Denis Payton (saxophone, died in 2006)
. Lenny Davidson (guitar, backing vocals)
. Rick Huxley (bass, backing vocals, died in 2013)
. Dave Clark (drums, backing vocals)

Dave Clark Five hits (1964):

 

Other bands shaping the beat wave in 1964

After the first mentioned bands, which mainly determined the beat wave in 1964 - apart from the Beatles and Rolling Stones portrayed here right at the end of the typical beat groups -, there are other bands that characterised the 1964 beat era. However, bands such as The Who, The Troggs, The Small Faces, etc., were only to play a decisive role after 1964 and are not listed here.

 

The Shadows, instrumental guitar band and non-british beat bands

Instrumental guitar bands (practically without vocals) or non-British beat bands were also represented in the hit parades of 1964. Examples of these guitar bands, which were successful even before 1964, include: The Shadows, The Ventures or The Spotnicks. The Ventures actually came from the US and the Spotnicks from Sweden.

Particularly the Shadows were a major influence on the dominance of the guitar (lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar) even before 1964, and this is still typical of rock music today. The Shadows became famous for their purely instrumental guitar hits, but even sang a few pieces in several voices or were the backing band of Cliff Richard (successful singer from the early 1960s) even before 1964.

The Rattles (Germany) and the Kingsmen (USA) could be described as non-British beat bands. The Beach Boys (USA) actually had the typical line-up of a beat band. But their polyphonic vocals in surf rock style had a softer sound than British beat.

 

The Beatles, Belfast 1964 (18226214220)
The Beatles, 1964. Embedded image, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_
Beatles,_Belfast_1964_(18226214220).jpg
, Juli 4, 2019

 

The Beatles & The Rolling Stones

After the more or less typical beat bands came the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, who had the greatest influence on the beat wave of 1964 (and on rock music in general). Both bands are the unequivocal epitome of the beat wave. And they are familiar names to practically everyone. Already in 1964 they had many hits - see a selection of these below.

a. Beatles & AFN

The 1963 hit, "Please Please Me", one of the most beautiful Beatles songs, already hinted that here was an extraordinary band on the rise. Just in time for Christmas 1963 and at the turn of the year 1963/64, "She Loves You" was released and brought the international breakthrough of the Beatles. In the summer of 1964, the Beatles attained a supremacy in the music world, as no one has ever experienced. The Beatles simultaneously conquered the top five places in the AFN and US hit parade which dominated popular music in West Germany and internationally. The remaining places in the AFN and US top ten were occupied by other British beat groups that no US band could match. In the U.S. this era is called the 'British Invasion'.

With these developments, the US Army broadcasting station AFN had suddenly become less interesting as an authentic source of rock & roll and early rock. From early 1964, the BFBS (a broadcasting station of the British troops in Berlin) with its Top Twenty aired on weekends, had taken its place. Radio Luxembourg reception was pretty fuzzy in the Berlin area, but it was possible to tune in on medium wave in the evening - broadcast from 'London West One' - and supplemented the BFBS as well the upcoming beat wave already from about 1962 onwards. As a result of the Beatles and the beat wave, Great Britain ousted the US from its global popular music supremacy in 1964. It was not until the summer of 1965, once beat music was on the wane and soul was gaining popularity, that the US regained its dominance in the world of popular music.

From the beginning of the 1960s and when the Shadows (founded in 1958) became famous, there were signs that the global dominance in popular music would shift from the USA to Great Britain. From about 1962, however, not only in Britain, but also in Germany and other European countries, numerous bands emerged with the line-up that was later to prove typical for beat music: joint vocals - mostly sung by the guitarists -, lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, drums, and occasionally keyboards. From the sudden onset of the beat wave in 1964 onwards, these resulted in a plethora of particularly amateur bands who were trying to emulate the Beatles. This turned into rock music, which today still dominates popular music the world over, whether in countless hobby bands or professional computer-generated 'acts' receiving a billion and more social media clicks.

b. The Beatles (1964)

c. The Rolling Stones (1964)

d. Internet addresses, line-up

https://www.thebeatles.com

https://www.rollingstones.com

While the Beatles existed from 1960-70, the Rolling Stones are still active today, but with a different rhythm guitarrist and bass guitarist.

The Beatles, line-up 1964:

. John Lennon (vocals, guitar, died in 1980)
. Paul McCartney (vocals, bass)
. George Harrison (lead guitar, backing & rarely lead vocals, died in 2001)
. Ringo Starr (drums, rarely lead vocals)

The Rolling Stones, line-up 1964:

. Mick Jagger (lead vocals, percussion)
. Keith Richards (lead guitar, vocals)
. Brian Jones (rhythm guitar, backing vocals, died in 1969)
. Bill Wyman (bass, backing vocals), left The Rolling Stones around 1990
. Charlie Watts (drums)

 

Rolling Stones 1967
The Rolling Stones, 1967. Embedded image, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:
Rolling_Stones_1967.jpg?uselang=de, July 4, 2019

 

The Kinks, after 1964-65

Photo link: The Kinks, 1965, Deutschland (Germany, Federal Republik), Recklinghausen

a. The Kinks from today's point of view & The Kinks songs after 1964-65

From today's point of view, the Kinks are considered the most important beat group after the Beatles and Rolling Stones.

The Kinks hits (after 1964-65):

https://www.youtube.com/user/TheKinksMusic

b. The Kinks members today

. Ray Davies (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards): 'In den USA hielt man uns für Kommunisten' ('In the US, we were considered communists'), Spiegel Online, 2018
. Dave Davies (lead & backing vocals, lead guitar): Youtube
. Mick Avory (drums)
. Pete Quaife (bass guitar, backing vocals): died in 2010

c. The Kinks, literature

  1. Allmusic.com, The Kinks
  2. Ray Davies, Americana, The Kinks, the road and the perfect riff, 2013
  3. Keith Gildart, From 'Dead End Streets' to 'Shangri Las',Negotiating social class and post-war politics with Ray Davies and the Kinks, in: Youth culture, popular music and the end of 'consensus', The Subcultures Network (editor), 2014, chapter 2
  4. Journal popular music and society
    - Volume 29, 2006, issue 2, Special issue on The Kinks
    - Volume 37, 2014, issue 2, pages 210-232: Andrew Palmer, 'In a land that I love', Working-class identity and the end of empire in Ray Davies' Arthur or the decline and fall of the British Empire
  5. Thomas M. Kitts, Ray Davies, Not like everybody else, 2007
  6. Andy Miller, The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society, 2003
  7. Allan F. Moore, Rock, The primary text, Developing a musicology of rock, 2017
  8. Jon Stratton, Britpop and the English music tradition, 2010, chapter 3: Englishing popular music in the 1960s

 

First contact with The Beatles about 1963 & AFN

AFN Berlin (US Army broadcast station), summer hits of 1961/64 (until the British Beatles and beat wave in 1964):

 

Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman" 1964

a. Melancholy & schmaltzy songs

Roy Orbison (1936-88) was considered to be a very melancholy US super singer in the 1960s. A mid-1960s issue of 'Bravo', a youth magazine covering pop, beat and German 'Schlager' (pop songs) news as well as sex education, reported that Roy Orbison - despite his sentimental outpourings on the subject of emotional cruelty, practically grounds for divorce at that time in the US - was divorced by his wife.

Definition: German: 'Schnulze' = schmaltzy song: term for hits and songs that are full of emotional clichés and sentimental to the point of pathos: a manifestation of musical kitsch. Favourite themes are lovesickness and homesickness.' (From: Wicke / Ziegenruecker, Handbuch der populaeren Musik, revised and extended new edition, 2001, page 480)

b. Evanescence, Breaking Benjamin & Freddy Quinn

Whether one should also regard the melancholy in songs such as "Sweet Sacrifice" by Evanescence, 2007, or "I Will Not Bow" by Breaking Benjamin, 2010, or even "Junge Komm Bald Wieder" ("Boy Come Back Home") by Freddy Quinn (voc), 1963, as schmaltzy, is debatable. In any case, Roy Orbison was undeniably a virtuoso singer and, at least in the USA, had already achieved huge success with his mournful style before "Pretty Woman" was released in 1964; for example with

Re: Evanescence, Breaking Benjamin and Freddy Quinn: 

 

Sullivan Beach Boys
The Beach Boys, 1964. Embedded image, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sullivan
_Beach_Boys.jpg, July 4, 2019

 

The Beach Boys

https://www.thebeachboys.com

The Beach Boys, here again in detail, as well as the following US 'acts' were actually no beat bands, but played a significant role in 1964, during the peak of the beat wave and the Beatles. The Beach Boys line-up in 1964:

. Mike Love (vocals)
. Carl Wilson (vocals, lead guitar, died in 1998)
. Alan Jardine (vocals, rhythm guitar)
. Brian Wilson (vocals, keyboards, bass)
. Dennis Wilson (vocals, drums, died in 1983)

The Beach Boys hits:

 

The Four Seasons

https://www.frankievallifourseasons.com

Important US band in 1964, mainly a vocal group:

. Frankie Valli (lead vocals)
. Tommy DeVito (vocals, guitar)
. Bob Gaudio (vocals, keyboards)
. Nick Massi (vocals, bass guitar, died in 2000)

The Four Seasons hits:

 

Soul, USA 1964

 

The Everly Brothers

http://www.everly.net

Like Roy Orbison, The Beach Boys, and The Four Seasons, The Everly Brothers were another 'act' from the as yet US-dominated pre-Beatles era, whose influence continued into the Beatles and beat wave era from 1964 onwards. The period 1958-63 can be referred to as the pre-Beatles era, a typical example of which is "Peter Gunn" by Duane Eddy (g), considered to be the first-ever rock song. The Everly Brothers were actually a vocal/guitar duo mostly accompanied by a band:

. Isaac Donald 'Don' Everly (1937-)
. Phillip Jason 'Phil' Everly (1939-2014) 

The Everly Brothers hits:

 

The Byrds (1966)
The Byrds, 1966. Embedded image, https://www.swr.de/swr1/bw/termine/konzertgalerie-impressionen-von-pop-poesie-in-concert/
-/id=446400/did=22205752/format=pdf/gp1=22205752/gp2=23841030/nid=446400/vv=gallery/119tc9e/index.html, July 4, 2019

 

The Byrds

They are considered one of the most beautiful rock band of the 1960s.

a. "Mr. Tambourine Man" & e-guitar pioneers

'Schlager Der Woche' ('Popsongs Of The Week'), a radio show that was well known in Berlin and beyond, avoided English rock music, but played "Mr. Tambourine Man" for several weeks in 1964. Fred Ignor moderated 'Die Schlager Der Woche' at RIAS Berlin on two working days a week and presented mainly German 'Schlager' (pop songs) (starting from Peter Alexander and Freddy Quinn through to 'proto-Beachclub 6' hits such as "Ich Will Keine Schokolade Aber Lieber Einen Mann" = "I Don't Want Any Chocolate But Just Give Me A Man"). Here, English-language songs of the 1960s were played in the antiquated rock & roll style of the 1950s, and the then lively and modern early-rock style of the beat groups was hardly given any airtime. Above all, no attention was paid to the Beatles until they sang "Sie Liebt Dich" and "Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand" ("She Loves You" and "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" in German in 1964).

Even connections could be drawn from the Byrds to today's Blackberry Smoke:

  1. 'Everybody loves guitar' (by: Charlie Starr of Blackberry Smoke in 2018): In 1964-65 the Byrds were said to be pioneers in playing US folk and other guitar songs with electric guitar. After all, the guitar sound was essential for the enthusiasm for the Byrds
  2. 'Charlie Starr's excellent and clear voice ... fits the band ...' (from: statement somewhere on Google), similar to the sound of the former Byrds voices. Their polyphony sounded like miraculously. In their repertoire, the Byrds also covered old English hits that just sounded miraculously new in the Byrds' style.

http://www.thebyrds.com 

b. Line-up & other hits

The Byrds line-up (as in image above):

. Roger McGuinn (vocals, guitar, 1942-)
. Gene Clark (vocals, tambourine, guitar, 1944-91)
. David Crosby (vocals, guitar, keyboards, 1941-)
. Chris Hillman (vocals, bass guitar, 1944-)
. Michael Clarke (drums, 1946-93)

More Byrds hits (in addition to above, "Mr. Tambourine Man"):

 

The AFN

Particularly in the 1950s-70s, the fact that the US Army radio station AFN was stationed in several West German cities such as West Berlin, Nuernberg, Frankfurt/Main, Kaiserslautern and Stuttgart as well as Kassel, was of great significance for the popular music scene. Nearly all of these AFN stations produced a signature music show which was then broadcast from all AFN stations to most of West Germany. The approximate pattern was to broadcast a news summary on the hour followed by around 50 minutes of one of these typical programs, always at the same time, Monday to Friday.

a. 'Frolic At Five' & 'Stickbuddy Jamborree'

Popular shows included:

'Frolic At Five' (approx. 17:10 - 18:00) from AFN Berlin * with the current greatest rock-and-roll, rock and soul hits, and hence, with the exception of the Beatles and beat wave era from approx. 1964-67, the most influential 'popular music' show practically for the whole of Germany well into the 1960's. - George Hudak, 'Frolic At Five', embedded video, July 9, 2019:

'Stickbuddy Jamboree' (approx. 16:10 - 17:00) from AFN Frankfurt with the most popular country songs and quasi the '2nd most influential' music show into the1960's. The US soldiers stationed in Germany were particularly attached to this program, and made up its greatest fanbase. Not only this, but the show was also the inspiration par excellence for many German country bands. - ... 'Stickbuddy Jamboree', embedded video, July 9, 2019:

b. Loss of popularity

Into the 1960s, the Top Ten or hit parade was aired mainly in 'Frolic At Five', usually on the last working day of the week. Thus, the German AFN listeners were always up to date and on a par with the USA, who were, of course, the world trendsetters as far as pop music was concerned. With the advent of the Beatles and the beat wave this implicit understanding came to an end, when in the summer of 1964 the Beatles occupied the first five places in the AFN top ten, and other British bands followed so close on their heels in the AFN hit parade that US bands hardly stood a chance.

From the middle of the 1960s, above all the Vietnam war took a further toll on the hitherto uncontested dominance of the AFN. In the 1970s other programs on the AFN network gained in popularity, e.g. the regular top hits /charts shows, 'Casey's Coast To Coast' (or similar) on weekends, and the more soul and funk oriented shows with Wolfman Jack (1938-95) on weekday evenings. He became famous for his wolf-like howling interspersed in his commentary and his 'slightly strange, full-throated' voice.

c. Further AFN broadcasts & literature

In the 1960s, there were already other, only slightly less popular programs which aired in the time before or after 'Frolic At Five' and 'Stickbuddy Jamboree'. These included 'Bolero Time' (or similar, salsa) and 'Polka Time' (or similar, folk music, also broadcast from the former Chechoslovakia, Poland, or even Spain, etc.). Apart from 'Bolero Time', there were opportunities at Deutsch-Amerikanischen Volksfests (German-American festivals), such as Berlin-Clayallee, to witness how with Santana, until around 1970 the bass drum and hence the drum kit made its way into salsa music and salsa bands.

All these more or less popular programs were broadcast on AFN mainly on medium wave. By contrast, somewhat 'more cultivated' music such as classical or older and, as it were, 'less exciting pop music' was broadcast by the AFN on VHF. Jazz on the other hand, was mostly to be heard after midnight, i.e. seldom, - even though the USA was considered to be the homeland of jazz. The weekend nights were mostly taken up with live coverage of baseball and football matches from the USA, often distorted and with interference.

In the meantime, a number of books and videos have appeared about the AFN era in Germany; these can easily be found on the Internet, e.g. in the Karlsruher Virtueller Katalog (KVK, Karlsruhe Virtual Catalog) or via Google, and are therefore not specified here. From German reunification in 1990 onwards, the former significance of the AFN in Germany became a thing of the past. However, it left (and still leaves?) a legacy of enormous influence, 'whether in West or East, Centre, Left or wherever ...'

 

 

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