When Tom Jones recorded “It’s Not Unusual” in November 1964 he was still an unknown singer. The song was written by Les Reed and Gordon Mills, and Tom Jones was used to record a demo of it with the intent of having Sandie Shaw later do a proper record. Shaw was impressed with Jones’ demo and recommended that he release his version instead.
A then-unknown teenage keyboard player named Reginald Dwight was brought in to play for the one day recording session as Jones’ regular keyboard player was absent. You may be familiar with “Reg” because he is now better known as Elton John!
Released in early 1965, “It’s Not Unusual” became the first hit for Jones, reaching number one in the UK, and peaking at #10 in the US.
The single was used as the theme song for This Is Tom Jones, his late ’60s-early ’70s variety TV series.
In this 1965 video clip from The Hollywood Palace, We Five performs “You Were On My Mind” live. The Hollywood Palace was an hour-long ABC TV variety show that generally aired on Saturday nights. It ran from January 4, 1964 to February 7, 1970. On the episode of this clip, Fred Astaire was guest host, and here he introduces the group.
We Five was based in San Francisco, California, with Beverly Bivens as the lead singer for the band. “You Were on My Mind” was a remake of a song originally performed by married Canadian duo Ian and Sylvia (Tyson). The song was written by Sylvia.
“You Were On My Mind” turned out to be the biggest hit for We Five. It reached #1 on the Cashbox chart, #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
The Who would be responsible for many classic songs over the years. The group’s first single released under the name The Who was “I Can’t Explain.” Their previous single, “I’m the Face”/”Zoot Suit,” was released under their former band name, The High Numbers.
Pete Townshend, who wrote “I Can’t Explain,” pointed out the song’s similarity to “All Day and All of the Night” by The Kinks. He noted, “It can’t be beat for straightforward Kink copying. There is little to say about how I wrote this. It came out of the top of my head when I was 18 and a half.”
Fun fact: Jimmy Page, of later Led Zeppelin fame, played rhythm guitar on “I Can’t Explain” as a session guitarist.
Recorded in November 1964, the song was issued as a single in December 1964 in the United States, and on January 15, 1965 in the United Kingdom.
OldieVideos.com features videos of oldies and classic songs from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The aim of this site is to find the best oldies on video, and add facts and original commentary for educational purposes.
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