Our new year is underway with high hopes – and a new round of anniversaries. In this case, the 60th anniversary of a pivotal year in popular music. 1963 was the last year before everything changed with The Beatles and The British Invasion. And yet – things were already leading to an explosion of exciting new sounds in pop music – even before The Fab Four’s arrival. 1963 was rich with innovation and variety – from Motown Soul to the California surf, the folk music of Greenwich Village in New York and the birth of ‘The Toronto Sound’. There were elements of the more mature easy listening artists alongside Phil Spector’s ‘wall of sound’; Ray Charles was blending the blues with country and Johnny Cash added horns to his ‘Ring of Fire’.
It was quite a time, and I’m excited about the launch of a three-part series I’m calling ’63 from 1963‘. That’s 63 songs in all – 21 on each of the next three Sundays – all bringing back the wonderful hits of 1963. And there’s the new first-hour feature: ‘Our Sunday Best – A Century of #1 Hits‘ which this Sunday takes us from Fred Astaire and Tommy Dorsey in the 30s and 40s to The Beatles and Elton John, and ‘The Story Behind the Song‘ ‘Got My Mind Set on You’, by George Harrison – notable especially for being the last #1 song by any of the former Fab Four.
I hope you’ll tune in for ‘Vintage Favourites’ this Sunday from 2:00 to 4:30pm.