Hey - Get Ready to Rock 'n Roll!
Help Select the Songs for Our DJ!

Do you remember any of the hit songs of our day? Never mind that it was half a century ago! The breadth and depth of song genres and incredible bands from our high school days are unparalleled!  You may recall watching Dick Clarke on American Bandstand to hear the latest tunes and to check out the latest jitterbug fashion.

Do you recall those warm summer evenings (or cold winter nights) in your dad's car when you were at Top's Drive-In ... or hiding out behind the bowling alley when all of a sudden -- from out of nowhere -- "your song" played on the car radio?  Was that "Walk Away Renee" by the Left Banke, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones or maybe "Born to be Wild" by Steppenwolf?
We are assembling a playlist of songs for the DJ to play at our reunion, and hope that you will "CHIME IN" with your favorite tunes from back in the day, as per the instructions in the next 3 paragraphs.  Oh, only around 90-100 songs can be played at the main reunion event due to time constraints, but we'd like a long list to give the DJ to honor song requests.

Our very own Tim Thompson is putting together a DJ playlist of songs for our reunion (thanks to those who have already contributed). To download to your laptop/desktop and view the song list of suggestions already received from your classmates, CLICK HERE ===> Draft DJ Song List

If your memory of the top 100 songs in 1966, 1967 & 1968 needs a bit of a jog, you can download this list to your laptop/desktop CLICK HERE ===> 1966-68 Top 100 Songs

Please email us your song suggestions to expand our DJ song list.  Don't forget to indicate your "favs" by noting the number of the song in this list so as to give the DJ some priorities concerning what you want to hear. Email Tim your suggestions by Clicking here ===> Email Tim Song Requests  We will update the list every 2 weeks or so.

Retrospective: Music of the 1960s
50 years is a long time for anything, so sharpen that memory!  Remember - before iPhones, iPods, cassettes and 8-tracks, we had 45s!  How could you forget the cute 45 single song records and those 33 vinyl albums with those incredible jacket covers!  How many of you still have a workable 33" turntable along with any unscratched and un-warped 45s?
Of course, there were clunky AA battery-operated transistor radios. And after we graduated, the portable Sony Walkman hit the scene with its earbuds which were revolutionary in their time.  Then we "moved up" to cassettes, and finally "moved on" to the big league with CDs! Interestingly, most new cars don’t even offer the option of a CD player. Welcome to the world of wizardry with Spotify, Sirius and Pandora playlists!

Do you remember what any of the US TOP 40 SINGLES were around the time that we graduated from YHS? Here are 10 singles for the week ending June 15, 1968 that may help to refresh your memory: 
1 MRS ROBINSON –•– Simon & Garfunkel - 3 weeks @ #1
2  THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU –•– Herb Alpert
5  MACARTHUR PARK –•– Richard Harris
8  A BEAUTIFUL MORNING –•– The Rascals
9  THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY –•– Hugo Montenegro
10 THE LOOK OF LOVE –•– Sergio Mendez & Brasil
12 HONEY –•– Bobby Goldsboro
20 IF I WERE A CARPENTER –•– The Four Tops
22 REACH OUT OF THE DARKNESS –•– Friend & Love

Close your eyes, and reach back into that memory bank of yours -- How many 1960s music genres can you recall?  Do you remember the British Invasion, Hard Rock, Roots Rock, Mowtown, Surf Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Folk and Protest music?  We had it all back then -- and unlike the rap music of today - we could discern the words in the songs and even sing along!

Classic Bands of Our Time
The 1960's was a time of upheaval in society, fashion, attitudes and music. The assassination of President Kennedy, the escalation of the war in Vietnam and the forward-progress of the Civil Rights Movement greatly impacted the mood of American culture. This was also reflected in the music of the day. In addition, the "British Invasion" began around 1963 with the arrival of The Beatles.  Did you see the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show?  How about the rabid fandom that followed them and changed the way people would view and interact with music and musicians? 
Roots Rock and Hard Rock

Roots rock emerged in the mid to late 1960s combining elements of folk music, blues, country and rock 'n' roll. The genre was exemplified by its "back to basics" sound. Some of the bands that created music in the style of this broad genre included The Rolling Stones, The Doors and The Beatles.
Hard rock took the elements of rock 'n' roll and made them heavier, characterized by more aggressive tones and delivery. Hard rock vocalists are identified by their higher range and distinct and often raspy voices. This genre of music was influenced heavily by blues rock, garage rock, and rhythm and blues. It was also associated with rebellious youth and an anti-authority demeanor, with a few acts even destroying their own instruments on stage, like The Who.
Due to their hard-partying lifestyles, many musicians associated with the hard rock scene developed drug and alcohol problems. As a result, a number of influential musicians died at a young age from substance abuse or related accidents like Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. Notable hard rock bands of the 1960s include The Who, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and Steppenwolf. 
The Mowtown Sound

The "Mowtown Sound" and popular R&B music were significant in terms of the Civil Rights movement and integration in American society during the sixties. Mowtown started as a Detroit-based record label in the late fifties and early sixties, consisting mainly of African-American groups & singers as well as songwriters. Two of the most influential Mowtown groups were Smokey Robinson & the Miracles and Diana Ross & the Supremes. The success of Mowtown also paved the way for R&B singers as well. Some other popular Mowtown and 1960's R&B artists include The Temptations, The Marvelettes, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin and the Jackson Five. 
Surf Rock

Surf rock began in Southern California as music about the beach scene, fast cars, and surfing. The most influential and popular group in this genre were The Beach Boys whose vocal harmonies and well-crafted compositions defined this genre. 

Psychedelic Rock
Psychedelic rock was popular during the latter half of the 1960s. It was associated with the hippie counter-culture and hallucinogenic drug use. The lyrics were often strange and made reference to drugs. Bands would often use unusual instruments like the sitar, tabla, harpsichord and organ. Many popular rock bands experimented with this genre, including The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin & the Jefferson Airplane.
Folk Rock and Protest Music

Folk rock came onto the scene in the 1960s and grew out of protest movements. Bob Dylan was one of the most prominent songwriters of the decade. Other popular groups were The Byrds, Peter, & Paul and Mary, & Simon and Garfunkel. This genre was characterized by its melodic sound. Some folk rock contained protest messages even though there may not have been a lyrical connection to a specific protest movement.
Protest music was distinctly different since it had a message and was not confined to the sound and style of folk rock. This music was often a reaction to social injustice, cultural changes, and news events.  Both folk and protest music were connected to the "hippie" movement at the time and were greatly influenced by the feelings of freedom, love and peace. Examples of folk rock and protest musicians from the 1960s include Peter, Paul and Mary, Cat Stevens, Buffalo Springfield, Simon and Garfunkel, and Pete Seeger.

The Renowned YHS '68 Skiffle Band

Last but not least, there were a few unforgettable hits from our senior class Skiffle Band. Many of you Patriots will remember how clever their tunes were, not to mention the lyrics and rhythm  - gotta love their stage attire!
  • Skip Simpson played a broom stick with three strings on it which was stuck into a wash tub
  • Ricky Whiting was a singer
  • Bill Rogers played the kazoo stuck in a Model A Ford Muffler
  • Mark Merritt played the guitar
  • Ricky Summers played the drums, and John Sethian played a cigar box bass (not pictured here)
Can you remember some of the hilarious original lyrics sung by the Skiffle Band, and which song below had the punch line "Good Golly Miss Pawley"?….…

--"General Liilards Senior Skiffle Band" based on "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band," by The Beatles.
--"The S.C.A." based on "The M.T.A,"  by The Kingston Trio.
--"VP with the Blue Dress," based on "Devil with The Blue Dress,"  by Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels.
--"We Gotta Get Out of This Place," based on "We Gotta Get Out of This Place,"  by the Animals.



Of course, don't forget our fabulous YHS Marching Band which rocked our pep rallies & kept us engaged during football games with their incredible & contagious music. Kudos if you remember the YHS fight song!  Were you a member of the YHS Orchestra, Mixed Chorus, the Madrigals &/or the Modern Music & Folk Music Clubs, all of whom entertained us at many school assemblies?

Don't forget our fantastic Madrigals! Featured here are Libby Blamphin, Bill Stone, Bobbie Bebb, Mark Schoomaker, Suzy Young, David Stites, Betty Teague & Nancy Boykin. In addition to singing at YHS assemblies & concerts, they taped Christmas music which was played over the WMAL radio station throughout the holiday season. 


Hey - You've had 50 years to perfect your Rock 'N Roll dance style!  Practice with your spouse or guest so you can show off your "dance moves" at the reunion!  And we'll really be impressed if you can sing along with our songs from back in the day!  Don't disappoint!