Author Topic: 1965 — Folk 'n Roll  (Read 19419 times)

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1965 — Folk 'n Roll
« on: January 01, 2010, 12:56:41 PM »


1965

FOLK 'N ROLL — LIBERTY LRP-3431 (M); LST-7431 (S) (November)


• I Found A Girl
(Phil Sloan - Steve Barri)

• Hang On Sloopy (My Girl Sloopy)
(Russell-Farrell)

• I Can't Wait to Love
(Jan Berry - Jill Gibson - George Tipton)

• Eve of Destruction
(Phil Sloan)

• It's a Shame to Say Goodbye
(Jill Gibson - Don Altfeld)

• Where Were You When I Needed You
(Phil Sloan - Steve Barri)

• A Beginning from an End
(Jan Berry - Roger Christian - Cleve Hermann - George Tipton)

Yesterday
(McCartney - Lennon)

• The Universal Coward
(Jan Berry - Jill Gibson - George Tipton)

• It Ain't Me Babe
(Bob Dylan)

• Folk City
(Jan Berry - Roger Christian)

• Turn, Turn, Turn
(Seeger)
_____________________________

Produced by Jan Berry for Screen Gems, Inc.

Arranged by Jan Berry and George Tipton

Engineers: Bones Howe and Lanky Linstrot

Liner Notes: Uncredited

Cover Design: Woody Woodward

All Photography: Ken Kim

CHART: BILLBOARD #145 — CASH BOX #87

Kentucky Surfer

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Re: 1965 — Folk 'n Roll
« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2010, 05:17:49 PM »
Very simply stated, this is my favorite Jan & Dean album. 

Ban n Bean

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Re: 1965 — Folk 'n Roll
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2010, 07:31:33 PM »
That's something one doesn't read everyday.  I think it's better than some might give it credit for.  Certainly the subject matter has changed and I suspect that's what turns some people away.  The Hot Rod songs are gone.   The liner notes are a bit goofy with references to potest songs and may have also been a bit off-putting to the young generation.  Is the album a parody, not a parody or a mix of both?

As the USA population was in the process of polarizing, it was difficult or impossible to walk the line in-between.

I think it's a great production.  While the stereo mix at the time did no justice to the production (why was it done that way?  Haste?), the remixes on "All The Hits" compilation presents the tracks in all their glory.  A remix of the entire album would be greatly appreciated by these ears.

A bit of a mystery to me is the involvement of George Tipton.   I'll start a thread on him.

Mark A. Moore

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Re: 1965 — Folk 'n Roll
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2010, 10:38:24 PM »
There is satire on Folk 'n Roll.

"The Universal Coward" in 1965 was a spoof of the growing anti-war movement. But on the same album, Jan included "Eve of Destruction" -- perhaps the most iconic anti-war anthem of the era -- a Yin and Yang statement.

1965 was the first big year in the social (mainly youth) backlash against Vietnam. By 1966, statistics showed that people against the war were joining a growing majority.

Yet in early 1966, Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler's patriotic, pro-soldier "Ballad of the Green Berets" spent a whopping five straight weeks at #1 on the Billboard charts.

Not unlike Jan's 1965 "Universal Coward," The Beach Bums did a short-lived Sadler parody in 1966 called "The Ballad of the Yellow Beret," about a draft dodger.

The country was still divided.

Jan & Dean's "Only A Boy" -- about a young American soldier killed in Vietnam -- came out in 1967.

The following year in 1968, a rendition of Sadler's song was featured in a John Wayne Vietnam war movie called The Green Berets -- a film that sought to portray America's defense of South Vietnam against the Communist North as a noble and just cause. 1968 saw the height of America's military involvement in Vietnam . . . The bloody Tet Offensive, etc.

From World War II to the present, Hollywood has a long tradition of churning out films covering the nation's current wars. Witness the recent Oscar-winning Hurt Locker.


owen

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Re: 1965 — Folk 'n Roll
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2010, 02:26:51 AM »
Mark, where do you get your information that Universal Coward was intended as satire?

I am old enough to remember buying Folk N Roll when it first came out and being a) delighted that my heroes were moving with the times, and b) horrified that the embarrassing Universal Coward seemed to indicate they had joined the wrong camp. This was particularly so since I (and I suppose many others) were well aware that this was an "answer song" to Buffy Sainte-Marie's Universal Soldier, at a time when answer songs were a part of pop tradition.

If it was a joke then the humour was buried deeply enough for me to miss it at the time, and doubt its existence now.

(Sidenote: my interest in Dean as more than the amusing sidekick actually began back then when I found that he had insisted that the single didn't have his name on it, with the result that it was a Jan solo single.)

The fact that Jan recorded Only A Boy shortly afterwards might be taken as evidence that neither song was in fact intended as a joke but either as reflecting his political beliefs at that time, or as a cynical attempt to reach a new market that did have those political beliefs.

On the other hand, I have always seen Eve of Destruction as an intended joke, partly because it sounds so much like someone trying to sound like someone trying to sound like a "protest singer", and partly because it was written by PF Sloan about 6 months after he was writing surf songs for them. Maybe I was looking hopefully for humour where none was intended :)

The album does contain absolutely cracking versions of I Found a Girl and Where Were You When I Needed You though, both of which should have been big hits.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2010, 02:29:56 AM by owen »

Mark A. Moore

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Re: 1965 — Folk 'n Roll
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2010, 10:31:44 PM »
In my view, the personal political leanings of J&D in 1965-66 are of little consequence.

Both sides were fair game. I mean, we're talking about Jan & Dean here. "Universal Coward" poked fun at the anti-war movement -- and "Eve of Destruction" was -- to quote a phrase I've used before -- delivered with "exaggerated angst." And the latter was on Folk 'N Roll because it had just been a #1 record for Barry McGuire (and the tie with Sloan sealed it).

The problems between J&D by that time went far deeper than Dean refusing to be part of "Universal Coward" (or any other song Jan was working on at the time). And if Dean was standing on political principal in that case, he certainly turned right around and sang on "Only A Boy" in early '66. And Dean is definitely singing on that record. You can clearly hear him, but the session tapes remove all doubt. So that kind of wipes out the political argument, in terms of Dean's refusal to participate.

According to Roger Christian -- who was as close to Jan as anyone -- the establishment viewed "Only A Boy" as an anti-war song -- because it was soliciting sympathy for a kid (a soldier) who's life had been snuffed out before it really began. And Roger said the DJs at his station were told not to play the record. Strange, given the popularity of the Sadler tune. But despite the Youth Movement, the country was still divided.

So again, whether Jan was personally Right Wing, Left Wing, or somewhere In Between, is -- in my opinion -- immaterial.

By the way, the flip of "Universal Coward" was "I Can Wait To Love You" on Jan's solo single. And when Dean sold his Rainy Day masters to Sundazed for their '96 release, he took the backing track for "I Can't Wait To Love You" -- a Screen Gems master written and arranged by Jan -- and sold it to Sundazed as "Rain Clouds Long Gone" (replacing the song's true writers with his own songwriting alias -- Nat Ormsby).

Remember, too, that Dean is currently a Republican residing in Organe County, a Right Wing enclave in Blue State California.

I think you'd have a hard time trying to paint Dean as a Liberal.

Relx1

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Re: 1965 — Folk 'n Roll
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2010, 09:58:16 AM »
Mark,

I have to agree with Owen. When I first listened to Folk n Roll as a teenager, I too was embarrased by the lyrics to the "Universal Coward," and to a lesser degree, "Only A Boy." (Though both are great musically). And despite whatever  "the establishment" felt at the time, "Only A Boy" is clearly a pro-war song--"He helped people stay free from the misery of tyranny, yeah he died without fright in a fight that he knew was right." Pretty unambiguous right-wing, pro-war sentiment. 

Now, my being a fan of Jan and Dean is not predicated on my agreeing or disagreeing with their political views from 45 years ago, but I do think that neither "Universal Coward" nor "Only A Boy" are satire--in the way "Folk City" clearly is--and that both songs likely reflect Jan's political views at the time. Even Dean--I know, not always the most reliable source--has been quote as saying something to the effect of "Jan was in favor of war--as long as he didn't have to fight in it."

Mark A. Moore

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Re: 1965 — Folk 'n Roll
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2010, 03:08:55 PM »
Yeah, "Only a Boy" isn't satirical. As we said in the "Carnival" liners, it has a mixed message -- sympathy for the soldier while alluding to a just cause. Politically, both the Left and the Right can take something from it. So it either works for the listener, or it doesn't.

In my opinion, "Universal Coward" is a parody, no matter how you slice it. Even if you argue that Jan was Right Wing, that makes it even funnier, because his youth audience would largely be against it. And it certainly wasn't the only anti-war parody at the time.

It would make a certain amount of sense that Jan would be sympathetic to the military. His father was an engineer for Hughes Aircraft - - which was a major contractor for the military. Missile systems, etc.

The family's good financial standing made it possible for Jan not to have to worry about anything but going to college, medical school, and making music -- and trying to keep his school deferrment in place :)





Salzburg Surf Scene

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Re: 1965 — Folk 'n Roll
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2010, 01:18:19 AM »
Have always loved the album - and might even go as far to say its my favourite.

On the Universal Coward question, I have to agree with Mark. I'm pretty convinced its a satire, although one that works on two levels. On the one hand it is certainly mocking the rather self-righteous stuff that some of the protest singers were putting out; but at the same time it is mocking the pro-war stuff. I can't believe that the lines "He just can't get it through his thick  skull why the mighty USA has got to be the watchdog of the world" (which sounds like something from the movie Team America) or "He's twisted into thinking fighting is all wrong", or that he runs from "an elf" are completely serious. There are so many ironic/sarcastic lyrics in J&D material which I think most people miss (think of a song like Dragstrip Girl, which is dripping in innuendo). In addition, the song is balanced by Eve of Destruction (which I think is also a parody) on opposite sides of the record.

The question whether anyone got it, however, is another matter. I still can't take the line "my blood's so mad feels like coagulatin'" from Eve of Destruction seriously - but McGuire's version of the song was taken seriously enough at the time for some radio station to ban it. I think part of the point of Universal Coward was that music had suddenly become very serious indeed, and "serious" was something  J&D didn't usually do. Indeed, in the face of such humourless seriousness, what else would you expect Jan to do? That people didn't get it, in a sense, makes it even funnier - because it proves the point that they are taking the music too seriously. Jan is mocking both extremes (which leave the question of his own politics somewhat mute).

Interesting discussion!

Mark A. Moore

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Re: 1965 — Folk 'n Roll
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2010, 09:57:34 PM »
Dave Marsh and I discussed this topic last summer in New York, and we came to the same conclusion. There are jabs at both sides.


Jan & Dean - The Universal Coward
The Universal Coward — Written By Jan Berry, Jill Gibson, and George Tipton. Single released October 1965 (LP released in November 1965).


Glen Campbell - Universal SoldierThe Universal Soldier — Glen Campbell version, 1965. Note the instrumental similarity to Jan's version in the opening. #45 on Billboard in October '65. A year and a half later, Glen would be singing on tracks for Jan's production of Carnival of Sound.


DONOVAN - UNIVERSAL SOLDIER
The Universal Soldier — Donovan Version. #53 on Billboard in October '65.


Jan & Dean - I Can't Wait To Love You (Jan Berry)
I Can't Wait To Love You — Written By Jan Berry, Roger Christian, and George Tipton. Single released October 1965 (LP released in November 1965). Disregard the photo in this video. It's from '62.



« Last Edit: May 24, 2010, 10:00:31 PM by Mark A. Moore »

cupboy

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Re: 1965 — Folk 'n Roll
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2010, 08:29:23 PM »
It would make a certain amount of sense that Jan would be sympathetic to the military. His father was an engineer for Hughes Aircraft - - which was a major contractor for the military. Missile systems, etc.


That's interesting. My dad worked there also. I wonder if they knew each other.

Ban n Bean

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Re: 1965 — Folk 'n Roll
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2011, 07:16:18 PM »
And if Dean was standing on political principal in that case, he certainly turned right around and sang on "Only A Boy" in early '66. And Dean is definitely singing on that record. You can clearly hear him, but the session tapes remove all doubt.

A bit late to the topic but somehow I missed this back then:  Since "Only A Boy" exists in mono only (as far as I know) and the version on "Carnival Of Sound" is, I think, a dub off a 45 -- what session tapes....?   :)


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Re: 1965 — Folk 'n Roll
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2011, 09:45:22 PM »
And if Dean was standing on political principal in that case, he certainly turned right around and sang on "Only A Boy" in early '66. And Dean is definitely singing on that record. You can clearly hear him, but the session tapes remove all doubt.

A bit late to the topic but somehow I missed this back then:  Since "Only A Boy" exists in mono only (as far as I know) and the version on "Carnival Of Sound" is, I think, a dub off a 45 -- what session tapes....?   :)

Well, Ban . . . these would be session tapes from the 1966 4-track overdub sessions (stereo),  from Jan Berry's personal collection, which I have in my possession. Dean's voice is clear as a bell.

You can hear Dean on the released single version . . . but you can hear him even more prominently on the stereo overdubs.  ;)


Kentucky Surfer

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Re: 1965 — Folk 'n Roll
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2014, 06:25:40 AM »
I was listening to this album this week, and then I happened to hear Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction" on the local oldies station.  The backing track sounds identical.   Given Jan's working relationship with P.F. Sloan, did Jan have a role in McGuire's record?  Or did Jan & Dean just use the original arrangement note for note?   That would be uncharacteristic of Jan, given his love of music and his skill with producing and arranging songs.  Perhaps he was simply pressed for time.  Any thoughts?

jdman

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Re: 1965 — Folk 'n Roll
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2014, 05:49:20 PM »
yes, we discussed this before. Jan probably just used the original track. This was definitely just a filler. Not a Jan production. There were always one or two fillers on their albums to get to 12 songs( except for Drag City and DMC)