After a little research on the internet, I discovered that my flashback most probably went back to 1958, when I was just 5 years old. I found some interesting websites, whilst carrying out my detective work and came across some other songs, which also brought back vivid memories.
My parents bought me my first Dansette record player a few years later. We crowded around it, in the living room, on the day my father brought it home. By then, I must have been 9, because the first 45 I ever played was Lovesick Blues, by Frank Ifield and, apparently, it was a hit in 1962. In the following months, amongst others I added to my collection, were Venus In Blue Jeans, by Mark Wynter, Return To Sender, by Elvis Presley and The Night Had A Thousand Eyes by Bobby Vee. (If you have a few seconds to spare, the Bobby Vee video is quite comical!) By the time I bought Return To Sender, however, I had been banished to the draughty 'front' room to listen to my favourite pop singers.
By 1964, Liverpool had become the capital of popular music and I enjoyed the Mersey Sound as much as anyone. The Beatles' songs have been played so often, that, on the whole, they don't evoke many memories of the 1960s, for me. Other songs do, though, such as Anyone Who Had A Heart and You're My world, by Cilla Black. Whenever I hear these songs, I immediately recall my bedroom, in the same terraced house, back in 1964. The wallpaper has been completely obliterated by posters extracted from Fabulous, one of my favourite 60s magazines, but there is some evidence that my childhood hasn't been totally left behind, as my Tressy doll sits on the shelf, by the side of my bed, wearing clothes I have designed and hand sewn for her.
Many songs released in 1966/67 bring back bitter/sweet memories. Songs such as You Can't Hurry Love, by the Supremes, Reach Out I'll Be There, by the Four Tops, Hi Ho Silver Lining by Jeff Beck and Whiter Shade Of Pale by Procul Harum. I was 13/14 years old. It was a time of moods, tears, crossing boundaries and arguments with my father. A time of secrecy, first discos, first kisses, first dates and first cigarettes.
A lot of my recollections of 1968 are to do with traditional seaside holidays and day trips, with my best friend and our families. Songs such as This Guy's In Love With You, by Herb Alpert and Do It Again by the Beach Boys remind me of sun, sand, bikinis, transistor radios, knickerbocker glories and formica topped cafe tables. 1968 was a year of Dusty Springfield eyes, the ever shorter skirt, fun fairs, roller coasters, missed curfews and first real relationships.
My best friend and I often went out with our first boyfriends in a foursome. I can still recall the surprise I felt when she confessed that she felt Young Girl, by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap had been written especially for her. Contrary to the lyrics, however, she wasn't intending to run away from her situation. I couldn't believe that she was contemplating having sex, with her boyfriend, at fifteen, but she was and she did. I must have been a late developer.
My first relationship lasted 18 months. My friend married her first boyfriend, against her parents' wishes, at the age of 19 and had her first baby at the age of 21. I lost touch with her, at the age of 18, when we both left school, but I caught up with her news, a few years later, when I had a chance meeting with her next door neighbour. I sometimes wonder whether my friend is, now, a proud grandmother.
There are many other songs, from the years I have mentioned and subsequent years, which evoke strong memories, for me, but none as piercing as those I have just described. They were special years and special times, which have remained vivid in my memory, partly due to the popular music of the period.
Are there any songs, which cause waves of nostalgia to wash over you? Are you old enough to remember any of the songs I have mentioned? Do they bring back any memories for you?