The Defining Music Artists of the 60s and 70s

by Administrator 19. April 2017 11:43

Who was the defining artist or band in the 60s and 70s?

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of ways that you can answer this question. And, while you likely have your own personal favorite artist from the 60s or 70s, choosing just one to define an era is still not an easy task. How could it be? Not only did the era provide us with an assembly of talent to choose from but each individual artist and band were so interconnected with one another that it seems impossible at times to talk about the contributions of one without discussing the contributions of all of the others. So while it may seem difficult to choose just one, the good news is that you often don’t need to.

Tommy Strand & The upper Hand, The Spinners, and The Sisters Love are all prime examples of this. While each of these groups was immensely talented in their own right, it’s easy to hear the influences that other prominent artist had on their work. In other words, when you pick up any of their albums, you’re not just getting the best of one group – you’re getting the best of a generation. Here are a few of those records that defined, and were defined by, an era.

Instant Reaction by Tommy Strand & The Upper Hand-Fame

Instant Reaction by Tommy Strand & The Upper Hand-Fame

Side A: Instant Reaction

Side B: Funky Way to Treat Somebody

Tommy Strand & The Upper Hand was a high-energy band that was active in the late 60s and early 70s. The band was well-known throughout South Florida for its original, blue-eyed soul and funk music. For many, Strand may also be recognizable due to his time spent playing alongside Buddy Decker and Hughie Burns in The Accents. The Florida-based band is perhaps best known for the two years when Jaco Pastorius was with the band. Pastorius, who is widely considered one of the most influential bass guitarists of all time, furthered the already considerable level of talent the band offered with his mastery of jazz and electric bass.

Released in 1969, “Instant Reaction” was an instant hit, delivering the quality of soul and funk that you would expect from some of the most prominent talents of the time. The eponymous track provides an upbeat and funky beat that you can’t help but move to. It’s no wonder, then, that the song has been covered by several artists over the years. “Funky Way to Treat Somebody”, on the other hand, speaks to the original connotation of funk – feeling down. Nevertheless, the song embodies the kind of beat that won’t let you stay down for long. Before you know it, you’ll be dancing right along with the band. 

That's What Girls Are Made For by The Spinners--Tri-Phi

That's What Girls Are Made For by The Spinners---Tri-Phi

Side A: That’s What Girls Are Made For

Side B: Heebie Jeebie’s

The Spinners, the Detroit Spinners, the Motown Spinners – however you may know them, you likely know them for their smooth R&B and Soul sound. For many people, the original members of the band are also instantly recognizable. Bobby Smith, who had been the group’s main lead singer since its inception, is perhaps best known for charting singles like “Truly Yours” in 1966 and “I’ll Always Love You” in 1965. Marvin Gaye, who played drums, had a number of hits as a solo artist including “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)” in 1964 and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” in 1966.

Released in 1961, “That’s What Girls Are Made For” was the debut single for The Spinners – and what a debut it was! Smith’s silvery voice, alongside a slow rhythm and a classic tale about romance, is undeniably charming. It’s no wonder then that it reached number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 5 on the Hot R&B songs chart. Heebie Jeebie’s, which is the second song on the record, is meant to get you and your sweetheart onto the dance floor after you’ve won them over with the first track. No matter how you look at it, The Spinner is one of the most iconic R&B/Soul bands of both then and now. So, of course, their debut record is absolutely one you’ll want to cherish.

I Know You Love Me by The Sisters Love---Man-Child

I Know You Love Me by The Sisters Love---Man-Child

Side A: This Time Tomorrow

Side B: I Know You Love Me

Like Tommy Strand & The Upper Hand and The Spinners, The Sisters Love was not only tremendously talented on their own but also had the opportunity to work alongside some of the greatest artists of their time. Even with just a brief look into their history, this becomes obviously. The Sisters Love was founded in 1968 by former members of Ray Charles’s backing ensemble. Over the course of their career, the group recorded singles for Man-Child Records, A&M Records, and MoWest Records. During this time, they also toured with the Jackson Five.

“This Time Tomorrow” is one of those songs that can only be described as “powerful” from its first moment to its last. With strong lead vocals and harmonious backup vocals, this song provides everything that you would want from a female Funk and Soul group. It seems like the group already knew then that the only way to improve upon what already seemed like the perfect recipe was adding an element of Pop to their music – and that’s exactly what “I Know You Love Me Does”. The Sisters Love doesn’t just stand out as a phenomenal Funk/Soul female group of the 60s; they simply stand out as a phenomenal group. Just one listen and we’re certain that you’ll agree.

Define Your Music Collection

We all have songs that define a special time in our lives, whether that are an era, a decade, or even just an individual moment. At Parker’s Records and Comics we help people reconnect with those songs that define important times in their lives and even connect with new songs for the moments ahead.

Pricing, details (grade, side A/B, quantity) and sound clips for each of the above records can be found via the following links:

Instant Reaction-Tommy Strand & The Upper Hand

That’s What Girls Are Made For-The Spinners

I Know You Love Me-The Sisters Love

We provide a simple online ordering form for any of our records.  Enter your billing and shipping information, provide details about the record you're requesting and hit submit.  From there, sit back, relax and enjoy knowing that your records are on the way!


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