Wednesday, October 19, 2016

SHG: The Village Stompers: "Washington Square"

Village Stompers: “Washington Square”
Entered the chart on: 10/5/63
Peaked on: 11/23/63
Weeks at #2: 1
Song at #1: “I’m Leaving It Up to You” by Dale & Grace seems that we here in the States weren’t completely barren of Dixieland jazz in the 60s. Here we have a homegrown group; though as you can tell from their name and the title of their one big hit, they hail from New York and not N’awlins. They’re considered to be adjacent to the folk boom we’ve already been examining with some earlier hits this year, and called their style “folk jazz.”

There’s a check-mark next to this entry in my copy of Joel Whitburn’s Top 40 Hits, but I can’t say I remember what this sounds like. Time to give myself a little reminder...

Starting with a ragged, almost out-of-tune electric guitar part, we get the lead played on a banjo. This is not what I expected at all! It’s almost like something out of an Ennio Morricone western soundtrack! It doesn’t really start sounding Dixieland until two-thirds of the way through, when the piano and drums finally join in, and the horns, which had been softly crescendoing in the background for a while, finally start blasting fortissimo notes.

I don’t know what it is about these 60s instrumentals, but they have something that really appeals to me. I get the feeling that if I was alive in 1963, I would have owned this record. Simple, yet highly appealing.

Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. I first heard this song on a Time-Life Early 60's Instrumental Collection. I could have sworn it was a re-working of "Erie Canal" - Here's the only version I could find - Springsteen!