Too much tertiary education... Former performer/wrestler, teacher, scientist; Published author & Father... Want to be a writer if I grow up...
Published October 21st 2021
Yeah groovy baby
It's been a little while since this has happened, but I have been asked to make a playlist for a person's birthday. I've done this in the past, but not for a while.
The father of one of the ladies I do some exercise with is turning 70 years old. He was a teenager in the late 1960s and went through a hippy phase, which he grew out of before my friend remembers anything (though she has photos). However, one thing that has held on is that he often says the word, "Groovy," when he agrees with something or thinks it is good. He's done this for as long as my friend can remember – it's not an Austin Powers thing. So, she asked me for a list of songs with that word in the title.
And, as usual, I made it into a WeekendNotes list as well!
Now, this list was easy to collate, mainly because I have very few songs with the word 'groovy' in the title. Not grooving, not groove, but groovy. Still, I have ten. And for the purposes of this list, the rule of one song per artist is waived. Just songs with 'groovy' in the title, one version of each song, out of my collection, I need to like the song.
Let's get groovy, man!
'Groovy Little Suzie' by Little Richard (1964)
This song was co-written by Harry Nilsson. Well, I thought that was interesting. Anyway, while not a favourite Little Richard song, it is still a fun one, just lacking some of the real oomph of his earlier songs.
'The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy)' by Simon & Garfunkel (1966)
A shorter track from this duo, it's a decent little song, maybe a touch twee, but you cannot deny those vocal harmonies are so glorious. Very laid-back and pleasant.
'Somebody Groovy' by The Mamas And The Papas (1966)
Dominated by Mama Cass and Michelle Phillips, this early track from The Mamas And The Papas is a piece of wonderful 60s pop, with the magnificent voices we've come to expect.
'A Groovy Kind Of Love' by The Mindbenders (1966)
Most people today know the Phil Collins version, but, to my surprise, I discovered this version by the Mindbenders is also a cover! A duo named Diane & Annita recorded the first version in 1965. Still, this is a slow song, and the love is apparently groovy, and I really like this track.
'We've Got A Groovy Thing Going' by Simon And Garfunkel (1966)
This is a more up-tempo Simon and Garfunkel track and is actually the first track of theirs I heard. My father was not a fan, but this was on one of the compilation albums he'd bought when he was a teenager, so I got to hear it. I think that's why I have a soft spot for this song; it is still a decent track.
'(If You Think You're) Groovy' by P.P. Arnold with The Small Faces (1967)
P.P. Arnold has one of the best voices in rock and this track from early in her career, is certainly one of the better ones from her catalogue. There is also a more string-laden version without The Small Faces out there as well, but this is the better of the two.
'My Old Man's A Groovy Old Man' by The Valentines (1969)
Australia's own The Valentines, featuring a pre-AC/DC Bon Scott, had one significant hit… and this is it. Written by the Vanda/Young duo of The Easybeats, this is a fun bit of late-60s pop, and it's easy to see why it became so popular. But from this to AC/DC via Fraternity? Really, Bon?
'Groovy Movies' by The Kinks (1973)
I'm not sure when this was recorded; it was released on an album of lost and rejected songs in 1973, so that's the best I have. The song itself is reminiscent of the style they began to adopt at the end of the 60s, start of the 70s, and it is a fun song.
'Groovy Little Hippy Pad' by ZZ Top (1981)
El Loco was the album where ZZ Top first really started to play with synthesised sounds, and this track is one of the more blatant in that regard, but the way they use them to create a semi-psychedelic soundscape is quite good. Fun track.
'Groovy Train' by Farm (1991)
Trying to match the sounds of the 60s with modern instrumentation and indie rock sensibilities makes for an interesting song that, I seem to remember, did okay in the charts at the time. At least, it was on radio a bit. I quite like it.
Now, I usually don't include comedy songs in my lists, so that's why I decided to add an extra song to this one because it fits so well:
'Such A Groovy Guy' by 'Weird Al' Yankovic (1983)
From Al's debut album, so dominated by the accordion, this fun track tells how Al considers himself the titular groovy guy. This is one of his better early tracks, and is a nice way to finish off this rather groovy list.
And there you are – groovy in song. I don't even know the man's name, but happy birthday to you, and I hope that your birthday is, at least, groovy.