This is Dedicated to Bob and Barb

A month or so back, I happened upon a compilation titled (if memory serves) Sunshine Days: ’60s Pop Classics. As I was listening to this grab bag of pop nuggets and unrepentant schlock, it occurred to me where I’d heard a number of the tracks before—my parents’ living room.

Mom and Dad had a decent-sized record collection of mostly unoffensive pop records from the Sixties and early Seventies.  This collection was not the revelation that my cousins’ collections were (no Dead, Zeppelin, Springsteen or arena rock to be found), but each had purchased the American versions of the first Beatles LPs and a smattering of Motown staples—stuff most kids can get into. They had the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds (scratched to hell), which had piqued my interest as a young ‘un. There were also a number of records by groups like the Association, the Mamas & the Papas, the Fifth Dimension, and so forth—stuff I thought was pretty vanilla at the time, but which I’ve grown to enjoy a great deal over the years. My dad also had some comedy albums (Allen Sherman and the Smothers Brothers, y’all!) and some bizarre bachelor pad instrumental records that Jackie Gleason had apparently recorded with an orchestra. Oh, and my mother had a penchant for Barry Manilow, too (knowing the Manilow catalogue would, years later, serve me and my brother well in our respective dating lives. That’s a story for another time).

Anyway, it’s those wonderful Sixties pop records that flashed back at me recently, and I decided, on the occasion of my parents’ 42nd wedding anniversary three weeks ago, to create the mixtape below, to accompany the Home Depot gift card I bought for them. Now, not all of these tracks are songs from Mom and Dad’s collection, necessarily, but they’re chiefly from the same era (late Sixties, mostly from ’67 and ’68) and definitely cut from the same cloth.

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad. May you have 42 more wonderful years together, whether you like it or not.

Dion & the Wanderers—Can’t Help but Wonder Where I’m Bound from King of the New York Streets (1965, 2000)

Mama Cass Elliott—Make Your Own Kind of Music from Mama’s Big Ones (1971)

Merrilee Rush & the Turnabouts—Angel of the Morning from Angel of the Morning (1968)

Spanky and Our Gang—Sunday Will Never Be the Same from Greatest Hits (1967, 2007)

The Association—Cherish from And Then … Along Comes the Association (1966)

The 5th Dimension—Workin’ on a Groovy Thing from The Age of Aquarius (1969)

Brooklyn Bridge—Worst that Could Happen from The Greatest Hits (1969, 1992)

The Box Tops—Neon Rainbow from The Best of the Box Tops: Soul Deep (1967, 1996)

The Buckinghams—Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Song) from Mercy, Mercy, Mercy: A Collection (1967, 1991)

The Grass Roots—Melody for You from Let’s Live for Today / Feelings (1967)

The Happenings—See You in September from The Happenings / Psycle (1967)

Harpers Bizarre—Feelin’ Groovy (59th Street Bridge Song) from Feelin’ Groovy (1967)

The Mamas & the Papas—Dedicated to the One I Love from Deliver (1967)

The Monkees—Daydream Believer from The Birds, the Bees, & the Monkees (1968)

The Sidekicks—Suspicions (1966)

The Sunshine Company—Look Here Comes the Sun (1968)

The Turtles—Elenore from The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands (1968)

BJ Thomas—I Just Can’t Help Believing from Everybody’s Out of Town (1970)

The Friends of Distinction—Grazing in the Grass from Grazin’ (1969)

Gary Puckett & the Union Gap—Over You from Incredible (1968)

About the Author

Rob Smith

Rob Smith is a writer, teacher, wage earner, and all-around evil genius who spends most of his time holed up in his cluttered compound in central PA. His favorite color is ultramarine blue. His imaginary band The Dukes of Rexmont tours every summer.

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