Sgt Pepper Summer

Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band  was released on June 1, 1967, so this is a little late for a happy-41st birthday post. But then I was late getting to it in the first place. I spent the summer of 1969, when I was 6 going on 7, listening to it all day every day – and I mean that pretty literally. That was what I did that summer. Got to know the album pretty well (so did my mother, who wasn’t quite so enthralled). Someone gave my parents a copy of Sgt Pepper and they didn’t want it, so it got passed on to me (or appropriated by me, really).

Before the Beatles the most exciting record I had heard was Oscar Brant singing risqué folksongs (I still remember a lot of the lyrics). This was way better. Plus I got to write all over the cover, labelling the Beatles incorrectly and then crossing things out and writing more. The inside cover with the yellow background didn’t have a yellow background for long, let’s just put it that way.

got it!

I spent the entire summer of 1969 – and I do mean everyday – listening to it. I was six going on seven and that was what I just HAD to do. Iy was the most amazing thing i had ever heard. We had other records of course but they were either classical or a boxed collection of world music from the UN (which was pretty good) or Oscar Brant singing risqué folksongs (which I memorized as best I could, in fact I still remember a lot of the lyrics today).Sgt Pepper really was the best though. I loved looking at the cover too. I wrote all over it as well, trying to label each Beatle. Got them wrong and had to cross everything out.

After this, I discovered the Beatles cartoon on Saturday mornings, which was about the only time you got to see cartoons back then. The best part of these was the Beatles song that got played. I remember hearing “And Your Bird Can Sing” on the show and thinking, this group is absolutely the best. Not that it was all that hard to top Miss Louise on “Romper Room” singing the Do-Bee song and exhorting children to walk around with the red Romper Room plastic-basket thing on their heads to promote good posture. But still!

I wish I still had the Sgt Pepper record. Now we just have CDs, and they’re convenient and sound good but really, no fun at all. And there’s not enough doodling space on them, either. Just in case you need to label who’s John and who’s not John!

Image from Wikimedia Commons.

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9 thoughts on “Sgt Pepper Summer

  1. Honey, I think your phonograph needle got stuck. I think you should leave your post the way it is, though. It seems appropriate for psychadelic music.

    I also took possession of many of my parents’ records when I was a kid. Harry Belafonte, Theresa Brewer, and Patti Page, to name a few. I used to balst my folks out of bed when they tried to sleep late on weekends with “Coconut Woman” on 45rpm. “Yellow Bird” was another favorite of mine. Oh, and The Platters!

    Funny, though, I was never a Beatles fan.

  2. p.s. I meant blast, blast it. I reckon both of our record players are faulty. Mine is a portable, by the way, with a removable lid. It has a big, thick needle that you have to change periodically.

  3. I wasn’t even born back then to enjoy the beatles but I really like their music now. My favourite records of theirs are “Abbey Road” and “Revolver”. Groovy baby!

  4. I remember the Let It Be album better than this one. My parents’ record collection leaned more towards Johnny Horton, Kitty Wells and Peter, Paul and Mary.

  5. Can’t say I was much of a Beatles fan either. Do I dare say, I vaguely remember them on Ed Sullivan until my father walked in the house and said get those so and so’s off the TV. Oh, but what I would do to have their record collection now. Oh wait, I do! Guess who my favorite child star is? My favorites were always those fairy tale musicals and the songs that inspired them. Look at me, it’s a warm sultry day in New York and I’m tapping and Singing in the Rain! in my mind that is…

  6. Bill – Oh, I remember those big needles you had to change…This Sgt Pepper thing was well before I acquired a portable record player (also black, with a lid that became really poor speakers). My poor mother. The stereo was in the living room. Why she didn’t just tell me to stop playing the damn thing I’ll never know…

    Amy – My favorite of theirs is also Revolver. I also really like Rubber Soul (I prefer the mid-60s stuff).

    T.W. – I have seen a bit of the Bee Gees’ movie, they show it around New Year’s here on Much Music. It is really, really awful, yes indeed! I saw a novel version from the 70s in a secondhand boostore once. Also awful. Didn’t get it (I would now, I think!)

    Kathy – My parents liked world music (a UN collection, not bad), Cuban music, classical and Oscar Brant singing risque folksongs (I memorized those in a hurry!). Also Lawrence Welk. Ugh.

    Louise – Singing In the Rain is one of my favorite movies ever. And On the Town when they get off the ship and seemingly see ALL of NYC in about 10 minutes (the trains must have been running REALLY well that day!)

  7. Oh, now I know I had cool parents,
    at least my mom… who listened to
    radio with the top ten hits, watched
    and danced to Dick Clarks bandstand,
    played Elvis 33′s loudly. I got to see
    on Ed Sullivan, The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Dave Clark Five, Paul Revere & the Raiders – the whole British Invasion!
    I like all kinds of music now, including some of the stuff my tween likes. My gf had that album, it was like gold to us. Have a great day!

  8. I’m a huge Beatles fan and didn’t even get into them until I was 19 or 20 years old…which was about 21 years after they broke up.

    One thing I love about them so much is that I can put their music away while I get into someone else, and when I listen to them again, I feel like I’m hearing their songs for the first time. They’re still that fresh and innovative to me. Sgt. Pepper certainly fits that category – a groundbreaker on so many levels. It marked the real turning point in their career when they decided to become studio musicians, and making music that could not be easily reproduced live on stage (which didn’t matter as they had decided the previous year that touring life was over for them.) It was also the first album that featured printed lyrics and had an extensive marketing campaign to accompany it.

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