A History of Pop Music – 1965

Featured song: Gerry & The Pacemakers – Ferry Cross The Mersey

This is a series of articles looking at pop music from 1955 when in my opinion proper pop music began up to 1999 when they stopped making it. One article for each year.

I am only going to select one featured song for each article, which makes it hard. I am going to try and select a different artist for each year.

For many people, and I include myself, you tend to still like the tunes you heard during childhood, which your parents often played. So rather than just pick the top 10 hits of each year, I shall let you know what they were, but also the tunes of that year not necessarily in the top 10 or so, what were in my view classics.  I also add a couple of events in history for that year, it helps bring back memories, and hopefully happy ones.

Not everyone will like my choices of course, and you may remember some from each particular year that you feel should have been included, so do please post a link to the song.

So on we go with memories from 1965: (Thank you Wiki)

This year was about the sad death of the greatest British person ever, Sir Winston Churchill.  Brady & Hindley get arrested and one month later the government brings in the Abolition of Death Penalty Act.  Talk about timing.

What was I doing in this year?  – I was 9, I was really into music, as were my sisters.  Our Christmas present was a transistor radio each.  I spent many an hour listening to the pirate stations and Radio Luxembourg.

TV programmes included:

World of Sport (loved the wrestling), the last episode of Stingray, Tomorrow’s World (excellent), Thunderbirds (In Supermarionation), Lost in Space, with that stupid robot, Magic Roundabout, and in December Jackanory started.


7 January – Identical twin brothers Ronnie and Reggie Kray, 31, are arrested on suspicion of running a protection racket in London

15 January – Sir Winston Churchill is reported to be seriously ill after suffering a stroke.

24 January – Sir Winston Churchill dies aged ninety at Chartwell, his Kent home of more than forty years.

30 January – Thousands attend Winston Churchill’s state funeral in London. During the three days of lying-in-state, 321,000 people file past the catafalque, and the funeral procession travels from Westminster Hall to the service at St Paul’s Cathedral, attended by HM the Queen, Prime Minister Harold Wilson, and representatives of 112 countries. He is buried privately at Bladon near his family’s ancestral home in Oxfordshire. – I remember well watching this on the black & white telly.

16 February – The British Railways Board (chairman: Richard Beeching) publishes The Development of the Major Trunk Routes proposing which lines should receive investment (and, by implication, which should not).

11 March – Goldie, a London Zoo golden eagle, is recaptured after thirteen days of freedom.

1 April  – The Greater London Council comes into its powers, replacing the London County Council and greatly expanding the metropolitan area of the city.

13 May – The Conservatives make big gains at the UK local government elections.

3 June – The bank rate is reduced to 6 per cent.

18 June – The government announces plans for the introduction of a blood alcohol limit for drivers in its clampdown on drink driving.

8 July – Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs escapes from Wandsworth Prison

22 July – Sir Alec Douglas-Home suddenly resigns as Leader of the Conservative Party.

27 July – Edward Heath becomes Leader of the Conservative Party following its first leadership election by secret ballot.

1 August – Cigarette advertising is banned from British television.

20 August – The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” is released in the UK.

30 September – First episode of ATV ‘Supermarionation’ series Thunderbirds airs.

7 October – Ian Brady, a 27-year-old stock clerk from Hyde in Cheshire, is charged with the murder of 17-year-old apprentice electrician Edward Evans at a house on the Hattersley housing estate last night.

16 October – Police find a girl’s body on Saddleworth Moor near Oldham in Lancashire. The body is quickly identified as that of Lesley Ann Downey, who disappeared on Boxing Day last year from a fairground in the Ancoats area of Manchester, at the age of ten. Ian Brady, arrested last week for the murder of a 17-year-old man in nearby Hattersley, is suspected of murdering Lesley, as is his 23-year-old girlfriend Myra Hindley, who on 11 October was also charged with the murder of Edward Evans. Police suspect that other missing people from the Manchester area, including 12-year-old John Kilbride (who was last seen alive nearly three years ago) could also be buried there; some reports state that as many as eleven murder victims may have been buried in the area.

21 October – Ian Brady and Myra Hindley are charged with the murder of Lesley Ann Downey and remanded in custody.

8 November – The Murder (Abolition of Death Penalty) Act suspends capital punishment for murder in England, Scotland and Wales, for five years in the first instance, replacing it with a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.

8 November – The Race Relations Act outlaws public racial discrimination.

13 November – The word “fuck” is spoken for the first time on British television by the theatre critic Kenneth Tynan.

29 November – Mary Whitehouse founds the National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association. (Sniggerz).

27 December – The British oil platform Sea Gem collapses in the North Sea, killing thirteen of the 32 men aboard it.

The Top 10 Singles with a You Tube hyperlink on the title:

 1 The Seekers I’ll Never Find Another You
   2 Ken Dodd Tears
   3 Horst Jankowski A Walk In The Black Forest
   4 The Seekers World Of Our Own
   5 Elvis Presley Crying In The Chapel
   6 The Beatles Help
   7 The Hollies I’m Alive
   8 Marcello Minerbi Zorba’s Dance
   9 Roger Miller King Of The Road
   10 Cliff Richard & the Shadows The Minute You’re Gone

Another very difficult choice as ever to make for 1965 as the featured song, could have been any Beatles or Rolling Stones song, Cliff, and I especially loved The Seekers.  I have to pay tribute to Gerry & the Pacemakers though.  Probably there most cherished song is Walk On, but that was a hit in 1963 and the Beatles had to be the featured song for that year.   They are most remembered for being the first act to reach number one in the UK Singles Chart with their first three single releases: “How Do You Do It?”, “I Like It” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.  This record was not equalled for 20 years, until the mid-1980s success of fellow Liverpool band Frankie Goes to Hollywood.  Consequently, they stand as the second most successful pop group originating in Liverpool.

The tune: “Ferry Cross the Mersey” is a song written by Gerry Marsden.  It was first recorded by his band Gerry and the Pacemakers and released in late 1964 in the UK and in 1965 in the United States.  It was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, reaching number six in the United States and number eight in the UK.  The song is from the film of the same name and was released on its soundtrack album. I remember going to see the film, but not the actual film, I may look it up sometime.

More writings on this song here: More on this song.

In my view the best songs of the year, after the featured track are:

The Rolling Stones – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

The Rolling Stones – Get Off of My Cloud

The Rolling Stones – The Last Time

Moody Blues – Go Now

Sam the Sham and the Pharaos – Wooly Bully – Best played loud, then just try and stop those feet from tapping.

The Animals –  Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

The Supremes – Stop In The Name Of Love

Righteous Brothers – You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling

The Walker Brothers – Make It Easy On Yourself

Peter & Gordon – To Know You Is To Love You – much copied.

Petula Clark – Downtown

The Bachelors – Marie – My heart is breaking, I am soppy.

Sonny & Cher – I got you babe

The Byrds – All I Really Want To Do

Dave Berry – Little Things

Dave Clark Five – Catch Us If You Can

Tom Jones – It’s not unusual

The Byrds – Mr. Tambourine Man

The Seekers – A World of our Own

Unit 4 + 2 – Concrete and Clay

The Hollies – Yes I Will – I have put this lower down, as they were sounding far too much like the Beatles on this track.  Good tune though.

Sandie Shaw – Long Live Love

Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-Changin’ – It would not be right to not include some Bob Dylan, but I have to confess, I really like many of his songs like what he writes, just not when he sings and plays them.

Fun song: Shirley Ellis – The Clapping Song

24 songs for 1965 in my favourite lists, though I like all 10 in the top 10 as well.

In my view the best songs of the year, after the featured track are:

Hat tips to:

http://www.uk-charts.top-source.info/  These give the top 100 selling charts for each year

http://www.everyhit.com/chart1.html   These give the top 10 songs for each year

https://www.youtube.com/  You know them.

Next time, 1966.

© Phil the test manager 2018

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