A Marvelous, Mod Mash-up for May

Do your thing, whatever that may be
Take a trip to distant shores
No one knows the time
But everything is free
What you find is always yours

These lyrics come from a bouncy piece of pop called “Trinity Street” by an obscure UK male-female foursome called Two of Each. Penned by songwriting couple Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent, and produced by Hatch, the tune’s light and breezy “do your thing” attitude pretty much sums up how I felt planning the May edition of “C’est La Mode.”

Image courtesy of www.45cat.com

The show also celebrates the birthdays of Cher (May 20), Donovan (May 10), and Susan Cowsill (also May 20) of The Cowsills. One set spotlights The Cowsills. Maybe it’s just me, but I think their work typically gets sidelined as bubblegum pop. But most of it, written by eldest brothers Bill and Bob, has a lot of depth and is worth exploring.

Listen to May “C’est La Mode”

A Few Highlights…

Out and About — Boyce & Hart, 1967

The songwriting duo, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, are probably best known for writing and producing hits for The Monkees, but they recorded and released material as a duo in the late ’60s as Boyce & Hart. Their biggest hit was 1968’s “I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight?”

“Out and About,” a ’67 single opens their debut album on A&M, “Test Patterns.” The guys also appeared on an episode of “I Dream of Jeannie,” playing the song as they audition for producer Phil Spector (as himself). In the clip, Jeannie plays the drums! See the clip here: https://youtu.be/R5GoGClBvOg

(L to R): Bobby Hart, Tommy Boyce, and Barbara Eden on “I Dream of Jeannie,” 1967. Photo courtesy of YouTube.

KatamangoSylvie Vartan, 1967

A rousing number from the Queen of ’60s French Pop’s sixth LP, “Comme Un Garcon,” co-written by French singer-songwriter Eric Charden and arranged by Reg Guest. Love the chunky, psych-tinged guitars on this track. Legend has it that Vartan recorded this song and the rest of the album in London in a marathon 12-hour session! The album is one of my favorites and I love the cover!

Sylvie Vartan, Comme Un Garcon, 1967
Comme Un Garcon LP, Sylvie Vartan, 1967, Photo courtesy of Discogs.com

Sunny South Kensington — Donovan, 1967

This is one of the more upbeat songs on the folk-psych troubadour’s “Mellow Yellow” album. The fact it mentions French actor John-Paul Belmondo and fashion designer Mary Quant literally teleports you to the middle of swinging mod London. A jerky beat, accented by harpsicord and guitar, and Mr. Leitch’s speak-singing style make it a favorite of mine and quintessential listening!

Donovan C'est La Mode
Donovan performing on Ready, Steady, Go! in 1966. Photo courtesy of rickresource.com.

Listen to May “C’est La Mode”

Be sure to tune in to “C’est La Mode” Friday, June 18, 4:30-6:30 p.m. EST on Jolt Radio!