Sunday, November 30, 2008

Childhood, the 1960s

Although The Lucky Strike Papers concerns the late 1940s and early 1950s—the end of the big-band era, and the early years of television—I was born later, in 1956. In the early and mid-1960s (like so many others), I spent much time watching, listening to, the performers of the era: the Beatles, of course, as well as the Dave Clark Five, the Beach Boys, Gerry and the Pacemakers, many others.

I recently came upon a wonderful 1960s video of singer Petula Clark, whose signature song, “Downtown,” I loved, in childhood. The dancers, in the video, offer an enjoyable reminder of 1960s choreography. Clark’s physical movements are spare, understated, sexy; her easygoing vocal ad-libs, interpolations, are lovely, hip. Her singing, in the video—typical of her talent—is strong, and rich, and beautiful.