Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Breakfast Show – 1960s Hits Part Two – Special Guests John W. Howell and Jennie Fitzkee

Over the last four weeks we have been featuring the hits in the charts of 1960-1962. We have also included some of the notable events in those years for the up and coming stars who were centre stage at the time. You can find these posts:The Breakfast Show with hosts William Price King and Sally Cronin

We will be sharing the music of the 1960s until the end of May before moving on to the 1970s. Participate in the spin-off shows and share your memories of the music of the 60s. An opportunity to share your work and here are the details: The Breakfast Show 2021

The first guest today is John W. Howell who shares his wonderful memories of the 1960s and his time as a D.J on radio.

John in the 1960s

Thanks, Sally for allowing me to give my impressions of the decade of 60s music.

When I look back on the 60s, my memories always go to the very earliest part of that decade. I had graduated from high school and was off to college. I left a high school sweetheart behind, and of course, time and distance do not make suitable relationship binders. The relationship fell apart, and so there were plenty of songs to help balm the bruised heart. In May of 1960, Roy Orbison released his biggest hit, “Only the Lonely.” This song became my anthem for the rest of the year.

In addition to losing what I thought was the only love of my life, I was also serving as a class officer, so I tended to work hard to avoid thinking of my problems. The term ended, and it was time for the summer break. The biggest song that wouldn’t go away was “Theme from a Summer Place” by Percy Faith. I can still imagine us all at the drive-in restaurant with the radios up loud, trying to convince our dates that we were in love.

School came back into session, and around October 1960, Edith Piaf released her finest song Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien. Edith and I went way back. When I was ten, my father passed away, and I collected Edith Piaf records. They ended up almost unplayable after I listened to them hundreds of times. For some reason, her story and her songs gave me a lot of comfort. Her release of the record brought back the earlier sadness. More importantly, the song with Edith singing it had the effect of making me realize I had weathered the storm and had nothing to regret. So I offer as my favorite 1960’s song Edith Piaf and “Non Je Ne Regrette Rien.” ondrejtis 

John Howell turned to writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes thriller fiction novels and short stories. His story Cold Night Out won an honorable mention in Writers Digest Popular Fiction contest this year. He also won first place in the Kurt Vonnegut Kilgore Trout novel contest, celebrating Kurt Vonnegut as an author. His short story Never Give Inn was selected to be published in the Miracle E-zine fifth issue published in April of 2014. Since then John has published three books in the John Cannon thriller series, a novel Circumstances of Childhood, a collaboration with Gwen Plano, The Contract a paranormal thriller, and his latest release Eternal Road an adventure in the afterlife.

John lives in Lakeway Texas with his wife Molly and their spoiled rescue pets.

Books by John Howell

Read the reviews for John’s books: Amazon USand : Amazon UK – Goodreads:John Howell Goodreads Blog: John W. Howell. com – Twitter@HowellWave

The final guest this weekend is Jennie Fitzkee who shares the music that she grew up with and which she now shares with the children in her class every morning.

A new generation discovering the music of the 1960s

My parents had a HiFi that was off limits to me and my sisters. I was fascinated by the record changer and being able to stack multiple records at one time. They loved playing albums, particularly Frank Sinatra albums. His music remains a favorite of mine to this day. Do you know that young children need to hear soft jazz in the background at school? Yup, I play Frank at school every morning.

And then it was 1962.

I discovered American Bandstand on TV. Every rock and roll song was played. Teenagers voted on the songs. And oh, the dancing! I was on my feet for the entire show. That fall I started in a new school, 7th through 12th grade. The lunch cafeteria was in the basement, and there was another room with a juke box. The juniors and seniors always played songs and danced. I walked in on my first day and listened to “Do You Love Me” by the Contours. That was it. I was in rock and roll Seventh Heaven, and still am. R&B was in my blood.

And then it was 1964.

The Beatles had made their first record album, “Meet the Beatles.” I remember going downtown to the department store and buying the album with my babysitting money. I have played it hundreds of times. I still play the album. It was “ I Want To Hold Your Hand” that sent me to the moon. I’ve been there ever since. February 9, 1964, I forced my parents to watch Ed Sullivan and even threatened anyone who dared talk. It was wonderful.

My love of rock and roll and R&B has never waned. As the music grew, I did too. From the Supremes to Janis Joplin, this was a decade of great music. Woodstock is still one of my favorites albums. I bring my 1960’s music into my classroom, playing my albums on a record player. This is fascinating for children. They love the music as much as I do. Most recently a Boston Massachusetts robotics company videoed their robots at Boston Logan Airport dancing to “Do You Love Me”. I nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw this! I showed this to the children many times, and we have written a letter to the company.
“One of my favorite songs is “Twist and Shout.” The original is by the Isley Brothers, and the redo is by the Beatles. Both are terrific! I danced and did the Twist in stocking feet till I had no stockings left on the bottom of my feet.”

Good music never goes away!

Here is the Beatles version “Twist And Shout” The Beatles

About Jennie Fitzkee

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It’s the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That’s what I write about.

I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease’s bestselling book, “The Read-Aloud Handbook” because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.

Connect to Jennie – Blog: Jennie Fitzkee – Facebook: Jennie Fitzkee – Twitter: @jlfatgcs


Thanks for joining us today and as always we would love your can all the Tuesday Breakfast Shows so far in the directory Here

190 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Music Column – The Breakfast Show – 1960s Hits Part Two – Special Guests John W. Howell and Jennie Fitzkee

  1. Brilliant this awoken so many memories…Edith Piaf was one of my favourite artists when I was a student… I am sure we wore that record out on the juke box..every lunchtime we ate in a little cafe on Tottenham court Road run by an old French couple who were quite happy to have all her tracks on repeat…wow…thank you for the memory, John, it was buried in the recess of my mind…I am loving this series Hugs xx

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  2. It’s a thrill having John Howell and Jennie Fitzkee with us this morning, Sally. Music somehow always coincides with the relationships we’re having at the time and it’s wonderful how Roy Orbison and Percy Faith led the way to Edith Piaf. Edith Piaf is an icon of French popular music, and this video shows her at her best. I remember The Contours’ “Do you love me” very well, it was on the playlist at most of the high school parties I attended back then, Jennie. The Beatles, with their strong melodies, won me over, too, and it’s great that you get to share this music with the children at school. Thanks to both of you, and Sally, for sharing your exciting stories with us. It’s a pleasure having you on the Breakfast Show. Hugs

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  3. Sally, thank you including me on The Breakfast Show. It was such fun to be here. I’m honored to be on the show with John Howell, one of my favorite bloggers. His memories and songs still pull at my heart when I hear them today. Mine make me want to dance. I think between the two, we have given your readers a great piece of the 60s. Many thanks!

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  4. What great choices by two of my favourite bloggers! John looks like a guy I knew in high school. I didn´t become familiar with Edith Piaf until I was an adult but I love that song! And Jennie, I too love Twist and Shout and was ready to dance with my doggies when I played this right now. I´m sure the kids just love it!!

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  5. Thank you for another great posting, Sally! As we are having a former D.J., a great teacher and you as an former Radio- and TV-Host it seems you soon can start a very own channel on this too. 🙂 Lets rock the aisles, and the whole world. Michael

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  6. I adored Piaf when I was young, and still do. Though my favourite song of hers is ‘La Vie En Rose’. I also prefer the Isley Brothers version of ‘Twist and Shout’ to the Beatles’ cover, but then I was never much of a Beatles fan. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

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  7. What a great series this is going to be! I was born in the late 50s, so I’m sure people’s memories will be before my time. Only the Lonely (John) and Twist and Shout (Jennie) were great tunes. I also watched American Bandstand for the music and the dancing. Even as a young kid, I remember thinking that Dick Clark was pretty cool and wondered how he got to hang out with all these young people.

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    • Thank you very much, Pete. Glad you enjoyed. I guess we were all fans of American Bandstand. It was, indeed, the coolest tv show at the time. All the best.

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    • The music from this decade certainly hung around much longer that songs seem to do today.. I suspect because there were far fewer groups and solo artists in the charts, and fewer music genres. And for many of them their music is being played by a new generation today which I am not sure can be said for some modern music…xx

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      • I think people tend to be more sentimental toward the music they grew up with. I’m not very current in some ways (especially technologically), but I like music from all eras. My preferred genre is rock, and I still like the music of today. My wife walks by the computer room at least once a week, shaking her head, wondering how she married a teenager. That is one of the highlights of my week. 🤣🤣🤣

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    • Thank you, Pete. These were great songs and a great decade of music. How do I know? My kids have told me so. “Mom, you grew up with the best music.” One day I’ll have to find some old American Bandstand reruns to show them. They love my old record albums, as much as my preschoolers at school do. We are playing “Do You Love Me” and watching the robots every single day at school. It’s their new ‘wake up song’ after rest. Here’s to the music of the 60s!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the song Twist and Shout, you can’t hear it without wanting to dance! I remember hearing that the Beatles recorded the album in like 12 hours, and John had a cold. They saved this song for last to preserve his voice as long as they could, and you can tell there is definitely strain on the vocal cords, which gives it even more interest!

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  9. What fun to see John and Jennie here with their favourite 60s songs, Sally. The Beatles weren’t that popular during the late 80s and early 90s so I only remember Hey Jude. That song got played a lot for some reason. I have not heard of Edith Piaf before, but I’ll ask my mother if she remembers her.

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  10. What a fun post, Sally! Experiencing the 60s through music is always a delight. And experiencing the decade with John and Jennie made it extra special. I was young during the early 60s and is my only excuse for not having listened to Edith Piaf. What a beautiful voice! Hugs to all! 💗

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  11. This was a fun post. I loved the songs choices, I remember both 🙂 Wonderful pictures, I especially love John’s pic.

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  12. My only sibling is twelve years my senior, so I’m as fond of sixties music as I am that of the seventies. The Beatles will always be my favorite group and I still have a ’45 of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” that my brother gave me for my sixth birthday. We had an old black and white TV and one of the tubes was on the fritz. You could see the screen and night but not during the day. My brother and I would drape a heavy quilt over the TV and crawl underneath in order to watch American Bandstand. (Yes, even in the hot summer with no A/C!)

    John – I remember “A Summer Place” as well as several Roy Orbinson songs (wow, what a voice!). I didn’t know you were once a D.J.

    Thanks for a trip down memory lane!

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  13. Such a fun post. I remember playing 45 rpm records in the 60’s and doing the twist in the garage. I love Roy Orbison, John. He never went out of style. And of course, Jennie’s classroom is full of dance music! Thanks for the music, Sally.

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  14. This was a lot of fun! Poor lovelorn John. I appreciated his choice of “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien.” It’s been quite some time since I last heard it. I can just see Jennie in her American Bandstand days. Now, she will appreciate this: I finally realized just how old I am when colleagues at work didn’t know to what I was referring when I said, “It’s got a good beat, and you can dance to it” in the context of damning with faint praise.

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  15. Heavens to Betsy, but you have a lot of great people jumping on board here, Sally! Love John mentioning Roy Orbison; talk about an incomparable voice! And Jennie mentioning the little known fact that the Isley Brothers ( from my hometown of Memphis) doing Twist and Shout! Well done, Jennie. I’ll be following this subject raptly through May. When we get to the 70’s, I’ll be talking 🙂

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  16. Thank you to John and Jennie for sharing their memories and music choices. I’ve always enjoyed that version of Twist and Shout. Currently listening with my speakers turned up high!

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Pingback: Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – Weekly Round Up – 31st January – 6th February 2021 – 1960s Music, Bloggers, Book Reviews, Hormones, Shortstories, Slowcooking and Funnies | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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