Henry Mancini (1965) The Latin Sound of Henry Mancini (LP) RCA 3356

Henry Mancini

The Latin Sound of Henry Mancini


RCA 3356

*** noteworthy

While Hank is of course the man (“Peter Gunn,” “Pink Panther,” “Moon River”….), unless you’re a huge fan of commercial orchestra music, you might as well leave most of his albums in the bin at the thrift store where you found them, but if you’re a fan of Latin lounge, this one is worth grabbing.

Connie Smith (1965) s/t (LP) RCA 3341

Connie Smith



RCA 3341

Produced by Bob Ferguson

***** Good Shit

While some of her female contemporaries might be more well known, Connie could easily stand next to any of them, as this debut album surely shows.

Bill Anderson is credited on nearly half of the selections, the other songs credited to a variety of other songwriters: Betty Sue Perry, William B. Morgan, Baker Knight, Hank Cochran, and Willie Nelson.  All of the cuts are good, and the majority are great.

Ferguson’s production is a wonderful balance of just enough but not too much, and the same can be said about the band’s contributions.  Smith’s beautiful voice is wisely the center of all the songs, but the involvement of others help make this such a classic.  She’s the statue, and the others rise her up and provide the lighting to accent her beauty.  This is a work of art built to last.


Any respectable fan of hillbilly music, should give this set a spin.  If you’re looking for a place to begin with this artist, you just found it.

— winch (author of Junk Like That and Kalamazoo: Growing Up Sideways in the 1970s)

Bert Jansch (1965) Lucky Thirteen (LP) Vanguard 79212

Bert Jansch
Lucky Thirteen
Vanguard 79212 


Good Shit *****

First U.S. release by this folk guitarist from Scotland, half of the selections from Bert Jansch(1965), the others from It Don’t Bother Me (1965), this collection alternating between vocal cuts and acoustic guitar solos, the latter especially strong but the vocal cuts powerful as well, some of them strong enough to put a chill to your bones. 

The cautionary tale “Needle of Death,” is as poignant as any drug song, ranks up there with Lou Reed’s song about the same subject matter, this one in sharp contrast to the celebratory drug songs of the 60s.  Other highlights include the traveling tales “Running From Home” and “Rambling’s Gonna Be the Death of Me.”

While the selections come from two albums, they fit together like cars in a freight train, the instrumentals chiming like chains, the sequencing creating a musical journey, a train ride through various landscapes, occasionally slowing down to gaze at people along the way.

This clearly influenced much of the music that followed, not just folk singers but rock artists as well.  It puts most of the competition to shame.

— winch

The Kinks: Kinkdom (1965)

The Kinks
Reprise 6184 
Rating: ***** (Good Shit)
Fifth album, released December 1965 (US only), reached #47. 
This set was part of something we saw happening in England in 1965, bands leaving the copycat stuff to the blues purists (aka assholes) of the UK.  Meanwhile the Kinks and other groups pushed forward with pop music.  We see this with the Who’s classic debut album (also released in December ’65) and the changing sounds of the Yardbirds with their first three albums, all released in ’65 (especially the changes after they got rid of Clapton and started to focus on their original pop songs.)  Not only were the songs becoming more original, albums were beginning to be more than just homes for the hits with filler filling the rooms.  We can hear the changing times when we compare Beatles ’65 at the beginning of the year to Rubber Soul in December, or with the direction the Rolling Stones would take with Aftermath early the next year.  While some of the places these trends would take rock music should have been avoided, in 1965 change was creating more inventive music and better albums, especially in England.

While the Kinks were always more original than most British bands, this set really sees them focusing on their own songs and their own sound, what made them so interesting from the start.  The covers weren’t needed, but the entire set is enjoyable, and the strong cuts are great.  While there’s a sprinkling of social commentary in the collection, most of the songs focus on girls.  Most of the best pop songs are about girls.

A melancholy runs through several cuts, and this not only foreshadows some of their classic songs in the years to come, it’s easy to hear the influence this music had on other bands in the years and decades that followed.  This band also knew how to rock, instead of just offering watered-down versions of American R&B like too many other British Invasion bands.  The Kinks clearly came from the garage.  

The Kinks were one of the very best bands to ever come out of England, and this is one of their best albums.

Rating: ***** (Good Shit)

— winch

The Kinks: Kinda Kinks (LP)

The Kinks
Kinda Kinks

Rating: **** (Recommended)

Released March 1965, August in the US,
reached #60 in the US, #3 in the UK.


While the Kinks arrived like blasts from a double-barrel shotgun in 1964 with “You Really Got Me” and “All Day and All of the Night,” the first album was a varied set.  The same is true with this second album, except here Davies reveals an introspective side of his songwriting that suggested this group might become the most noteworthy British group of the ’60s.


One could say this was the Kinks’ version of Rubber Soul, but of course the opposite would be more accurate as this came eight months before Rubber Soul.

— winch



Girl Group 1965

girl group
Classic sides

s e l e c t i v e
(selected by winch)





“Say It Again” (Simpson/Ashford/Armstead)
“That’s No Way To Treat a Girl” (Elgin/Millrose/Bruno/Sping)
Marie Knight (New York)     Musicor (1106)     1965

“I Can Never Go Home Anymore” (George Morton)
The Shangri-Las (Queens)     Redbird     1965

“Take a Look Around You” (B. Jerome, M. Aiese)
Reparata and the Delrons     RCA Victor (47-8721)     1965

“Downtown” (Tony Hatch)
“(There’s) Always Something There To Remind Me” 
“Girl Don’t Come” (Chris Andrews)
“Baby I Need Your Lovin’” (Holland/Dozier)
“Gotta See My Baby Every Day” (Chris Andrews)
Sandie Shaw (England)     Sandie Shaw  Reprise (6166)     1965

“What’d I Say” (Ray Charles)
Three Blonde Mice     Atco (6353B)     1965

“Darling Baby” (Holland/Dozier/Holland)
“Put Yourself In My Place”  (Holland/Dozier/Holland)
The Elgins (Detroit)     V.I.P. (25029)     1965

“Yes, I’m Ready” (B. Mason)
Barbara Mason (Philadelphia)     Arctic (105A)     1965

“A Lover’s Concerto” (Linzer/Randell)
The Toys (New York)     DynoVoice (209A)     1965

Them (1965) LP


Parrot 1005
Released June 1965, reached #54 in U.S.

Good Shit *****

In 1965, the London music scene was swelling, the Beatles at the top with four hit albums released that year; the Stones, the Animals and the DC5 also riding high; but my particular interests bring me to other places: the Who’s classic debut and the three 1965 albums by the Kinks, the improving sounds of the Yardbirds and this classic debut by this Irish outfit.
With all four outfits, the strongest songs were the originals, all borrowing heavily from American R&B but delivering something original.  This is especially true on this album.  Along with the contrasts of “Here Comes the Night” and “Gloria,” the set features lots of lesser known gems.  The album is essential.


(Apparently, most of the members didn’t perform on the album, and this was mostly producer Bert Berns with Van Morrison, backed with session musicians–including a young Jimmy Page.) — winch

(author of Kalamazoo: Growing Up Sideways in the 1970s)
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