‘The big education for me is that civilisation is fragile and can be destroyed in a heartbeat' - Jeremy Brade, former peacekeeper in Sarajevo.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

THURSDAY BACKTRACK: Music and news from 60 years ago - week ending 19 August 1961

 At #5 this week is Petula Clark's 'Romeo':

Some memorable events (via Wikipedia):

13 August: The first move is made to construct the Berlin Wall - a barbed wire barrier: 

East German soldiers, left, set up barbed-wire barricades at the border separating East and West Berlin on August 13, 1961. West Berlin citizens, right, watch the work.
This photo and others of the Wall over time can be found here: 


14 August: East African Kikuyu rebel Jomo Kenyatta is released from prison. In 1963 Kenya becomes an independent State, Kenyatta its first Prime Minister, and in 1964 its first President.


19 August: Harvard professor Timothy Leary delivers a lecture in Copenhagen titled 'How To Change Behavior.' It is inspired by his experience of taking the psychedelic drugs psilocybin and LSD, both legal in the United States at that time. His first taste of 'magic mushrooms' was twelve months before in Cuernavaca, some 50 miles south of Mexico City; he called it 'the deepest religious experience of my life.' 
    Also at the Copenhagen conference is the English writer Aldous Huxley, who had been experimenting with mescaline since 1954 and who speaks before Leary - a transcript of his talk entitled 'Visionary experience' can be found here: https://www.organism.earth/library/document/visionary-experience (htp: this blog.) Both lectures are later published together in one volume, in 1963: https://www.lornebair.com/pages/books/46531/drugs-aldous-huxley-timothy-leary/visionary-experience-and-how-to-change-behavior . Huxley also uses LSD and takes two doses while he is dying, two years later on 22 November 1963.
    Huxley has been invited to the conference by Richard Alpert, who is working with Leary on the Psilocybin Project at Harvard (both professors are later dismissed, in 1963.) In 1967 Alpert, continuing his spiritual search, travels to India and meets a Hindu guru called Neem Karoli Baba who persuades him to give up drugs and renames him Ram Dass, with a mission to help others on their quest.
    Roughly coincidentally in time and place, Cuernavaca is also the place where Roman Catholic priest and radical thinker Ivan Illich founded his Centre for Intercultural Formation (CIF), originally a training centre for missionaries to Latin America (incorporated March 3, 1961.)


UK chart hits, week ending 12 August 1961 (tracks in italics have been played in earlier posts)

Htp: Clint's labour-of love compilation https://www.sixtiescity.net/charts/61chart.htm


1

You Don't Know

Helen Shapiro

Columbia

2

Well I Ask You

Eden Kane

Decca

3

Johnny Remember Me

John Leyton

Top Rank

4

Halfway To Paradise

Billy Fury

Decca

5

Romeo

Petula Clark

Pye

6

Reach For The Stars / Climb Every Mountain

Shirley Bassey

Columbia

7

A Girl Like You

Cliff Richard and The Shadows

Columbia

8

Time

Craig Douglas

Top Rank

9

Pasadena

The Temperance Seven

Parlophone

10

Hello Mary Lou / Travellin' Man

Ricky Nelson

London

11

You Always Hurt The One You Love

Clarence 'Frogman' Henry

Pye

12

Temptation

The Everly Brothers

Warner Brothers

13

Quarter To Three

The U.S. Bonds

Top Rank

14

Runaway

Del Shannon

London

15

Don't You Know It

Adam Faith

Parlophone

16

The Frightened City

The Shadows

Columbia

17

Cupid

Sam Cooke

RCA

18

The Writing On The Wall

Tommy Steele

Decca

19

That's My Home

Acker Bilk

Columbia

20

How Many Tears

Bobby Vee

London

No comments: