Tuesday, May 24, 2011

1970: Her hair is kind of wild and free

On New Year's Day, 1970, mum came into the room I shared with brother, drew the curtains and announced: 'It's 1970 today, boys". And from that moment, I became aware of life. I'm pretty sure it was snowing that day too.

I was five, and now it all started really going in. We'd always had the radio on, and I do dimly recally things like These Boots Are Made For Walkin' and Sunshine Superman, and was aware of groups like Marmalade and The Beatles, so much so, that I remarked to my dad that we'd not heard much from the Beatles lately and he told me they'd split up.

So songs like this today's featured tune were rammed into my young head relentlessly. This came out in February, 1970, and I was ready. The kid-friendly bubblegum nature of songs like this, Christie's Yellow River, Middle Of The Road's Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep and The Pipkins' Gimme Dat Ding all made their mark, and whenever I hear them I get a warm glow of nostalgia and everything is alright with the world.

On another note, it was not unusual for songs to be sung about women called Barbara, Rosemary, Marie, Pamela, Jane, etc. To the modern eye it'd be like singing a song about Margaret, Edna or Maureen, names for - in the main - old women. Has the name song died out? I can't think of one in recent memory, unless you know better.


  1. This is one of my favourite records of the 70s, and you can almost guess that it was a 1970 release because of the still very safe 60s nature of its structure. On the radio, I've regularly got the words "grows" and "goes" the wrong way round when back announcing.

  2. Well, Lady GaGa has a song out called 'Judas' :) . But I know what you mean. I think that Beautiful South 'Song For Whoever' was the signal they were all over.

    A song that sticks in my head from when I was 4 or 5 or so is 'The Fool On The Hill'; I can remember being in the kitchen, sunny morning with a bottle of orange drink.

  3. 1970 did feel very modern indeed; I was seven when it 'arrived' so slightly oder than you, and remember feeling quite excited.

    Rosemary was already quite a dated name by then, though - I do remember thinking the song would have been much better if it had been about Stephanie. I wanted to be called Stephanie when I was seven. Now THAT name's dated as well.

    One of the first songs to enter my consciousness was out just a few months before this: "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" by Bobby Gentry. I remember being a bit puzzled that there could possibly be a downside to having a boyfriend. Hah.

  4. Stephanie now as dates as they come isn't it. Who ever calls a child that nowadays? I can see the glamour for you though - that Stephanie De Sykes...

  5. I was minus 1 in 1970, but it doesn't stop me loving "Love Grows...". I know, like many "groups" of the era, they were a bit of a fabrication, but there must be some weird legal copyright stuff going on with that lot. Try looking this up on Spotify and all you get is some shitey modern day re-recorded version. And how comes Tony Burrows was all over the show in 1970?

    Other stuff that I love from that year: Brotherhood of Man's "United We Stand", Pickettywitch "That Same Old Feeling", Steam "Na Na Hey Hey...", Hot Chocolate "Love Is Life" and (of course) CCS's "Whole Lotta Love"