We continue our journey through Garage Bands of Rock and Roll from the 1960s. It’s important to remember that these bands fall into several overlapping music genres; however, our exploration is not a discussion of these genres. These Garage Bands were all started by a group of people who got together to form a band. Typically, these were young people who practiced their music in their parent’s garage, basement or other similar area. These groups, regardless of how many hit songs they had, were an important influence on several musical genres and sub-genres.

The Byrds

formed in Los Angeles in 1964. Despite several lineup changes throughout their career, Roger McGuinn remained with the group until they broke up in 1973. The Byrds are considered to be one of the most influential bands of the era and launched the careers of members such as Gram Parsons and David Crosby. They first combined folk rock with the sound of the Beatles and the British Invasion. They were also important in the development of psychedelic rock as well as country rock.

They played in local clubs and achieved national success in 1965 with “Mr. Tambourine Man” which reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The group continued with several other hits most notably “Turn, Turn, Turn” in 1965 which reached number one on the US Charts and “Eight Miles High” released the same year.

“Eight Miles High” was banned by many radio stations due to some thinking that the lyrics advocated drug use. However, the song reached number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is often considered the first psychedelic rock recording.

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The Cryan’ Shames

The Cryan’ Shames in 1966. This picture was taken in Piper’s Alley, Old Town-Chicago, IL. Front Row – Denny Conroy. Back Row, Left – Right Gerry Stone, Jim Fairs, Jim Pilster, Tom Doody and Dave Purple (Wiki)

Hailed from Chicago forming in 1966. The band was short-lived with limited national success; however, they were extremely popular in the Chicago area with their singles and albums reaching the local top ten. Because of their coverage in Lenny Kaye’s renowned “Nuggets” anthology of 60s garage bands, the group’s music remains relevant. The band has a very catchy as well as haunting melody with incredible drums.

Their biggest hit nationally was “Sugar and Spice” reaching number 49 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966.

This was followed by “I Wanna Meet You” which topped the local Chicago charts, but only reached number 85 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Cryan” Shames cracked the Hot 100 three additional times in 1967 and 1968 with minor hits, but failed to reach much national success. A couple of other notable songs by the group were “Mr. Unreliable” and a cover of “Hey Joe (Where You Gonna Go)” both in 1967. They group broke up in 1969.

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The Left Banke

Formed in New York City in 1965. Their first release in 1966 “Walk Away Renee” reached number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100.

It is listed by Rolling Stone as one of The Greatest Songs of All Time. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame lists it as one of the 500 songs that shaped Rock and Roll.

Their second release “Pretty Ballerina” reached number 15 on the US Chart. These are mainly the songs that the group is remembered for, but they had a major influence on other bands. Because of the band’s use of a harpsichord and other string instruments along with their classical music arrangements and vocal harmonies, their style became known as baroque pop. The group did not have a lot of success after these hits mainly because of tension within the band. Due to a lack of success and financial problems, the original band disbanded in 1969.

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Manfred Mann

from England formed in 1962. They had a distinctive sound that gained them a following in London’s clubs.

After some minor hits in the UK, they struck fame with the release of “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” in 1964 which reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Their next release was a cover of The Shirelles “Sha La La” which peaked at number 12 on the US charts in 1964.

After a string of hits and a change in lead vocalists, Manfred Mann continued to achieve chart successes. In 1968, they released their most well-known song “Mighty Quinn” which reached number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The group disbanded in 1969.

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The bands we covered this week all had an influence on several other artists and groups. Each had a desire to form a music group. They more than likely began practicing in someone’s garage, basement or similar area. Any success they had was not instantaneous. As is the case with most bands, it took years of practice and often lineup changes to reach attention in the music world. Garage Bands of the 1960s, regardless of how long their success lasted, are a large part of the foundation that continues to build rock and roll music.

– Jack B. Stephens

Sources and Further Information:

The Byrds | Biography & History | AllMusic

Although they only attained the huge success of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and the Beach Boys for a short time in the mid-’60s, time has judged the Byrds to be nearly as influential as those groups in the long run.

The Byrds Biography

The Byrds pioneered folk-rock, combining traditional acoustic music with early Sixties pop. The group’s signature sunny melodies, lush harmonies, and ringing 12-string guitars – as well as their eventual exploration of psychedelic rock – made for some of the decade’s best singles.

The Byrds – Wikipedia

The Byrds were an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1964. The band underwent multiple lineup changes throughout its existence, with frontman Roger McGuinn (known as Jim McGuinn until mid-1967) remaining the sole consistent member, until the group disbanded in 1973.

Stock Photo – THE BYRDS POP GROUP (1966

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Legendary ‘Nuggets’ Album Gets 40th Anniversary Reissue

‘Nuggets’ would eventually go on to inspire countless rock and roll bands from 1972 right up through today. The collection, first reissued in 1976, would also spawn a seemingly endless catalog of garage rock compilations from ‘Pebbles’ and ‘Rubble’ to ‘Back From the Grave’ and ‘Teenage Shutdown’ to name but a few.

The Cryan’ Shames | Biography & History | AllMusic

The Cryan’ Shames actually were a big deal in Chicago in the mid- and late ’60s, when a bunch of their singles hit the local Top Ten; some of them were small national hits as well.

The Cryan’ Shames – Wikipedia

The Cryan’ Shames are an American garage rock band from Hinsdale, Illinois. They originally formed as The Travelers, with founding members Tom Doody (“Toad”), Gerry Stone (“Stonehenge”), Dave Purple (“Grape”) of The Prowlers, Denny Conroy from Possum River, and Jim Fairs from The Roosters, Jim Pilster (“J.C.

The Cryan’ Shames

Psychedelic group, founded 1966 in Hinsdale, Illinois USA. Original members included: Tom Doody (Toad) Gerry Stone (Stonehenge) Dave Purple (Grape) Denny Conroy Jim Fairs Jim Pilster (J.C. Hooke) They all previously performed together as The Travelers before changing their name in 1966.

The Left Banke

The Left Banke

The Left Banke: Teenage Pioneers Of Jangle-Pop

In the 1960s, it was hard to form a rock band, especially in New York. With connections, though, you could make it – and that’s how one of the most mysterious and legendary New York bands, The Left Banke, came to be.

The Left Banke – Wikipedia

The Left Banke is an American baroque pop band, formed in New York City in 1965. They are best remembered for their two US hit singles, ” Walk Away Renée” and ” Pretty Ballerina”. The band often used what the music press referred to as ” baroque” string arrangements, which led to their music being variously termed as ” Bach-rock” or ” baroque rock”.

Manfred Mann | Biography, Albums, Streaming Links | AllMusic

Find Manfred Mann bio, music, credits, awards, & streaming links on AllMusic – British Invasion band named for its keyboardist…

Manfred Mann – Wikipedia

The Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers were formed in London by keyboard player Manfred Mann and drummer/ vibes/piano player Mike Hugg, who formed a house band in Clacton-on-Sea that also featured Graham Bond.

Stock Photo – MANFRED MANN – UK pop group in 1965 from l: Mike Hugg, Klaus Voorman, Manfred Mann, Tom McGuinness and Mike d’Abo

Download this stock image: MANFRED MANN – UK pop group in 1965 from l: Mike Hugg, Klaus Voorman, Manfred Mann, Tom McGuinness and Mike d’Abo – BJHPA4 from Alamy’s library of millions of high resolution stock photos, illustrations and vectors.