Slow and steady wins the race: I’m nuts about The Turtles and I have been for my entire life. A 45 of “Happy Together” b/w “Eleanor” purchased on a family trip to Washington, DC when I was 8 or 9 years old was one of the first singles that I ever bought. Loved it then, loved it now and their Turtle Soup album (which was produced by head Kink Ray Davies) easily places in my top ten of all time.
Most people know The Turtles’ two biggest hits, but the soaring falsetto harmonies of Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman can also be heard on classic songs like “Get It On (Band a Gong)” by T.Rex, Blondie’s “T Birds,” “Love My Way” by the Psychedelic Furs and Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart.”
In any case, fellow Turtles fans, this half-hour compilation of “The Turtles in the 1960s” is a treat. It even has footage of the pre-Turtles surf-rock group, The Crossfires. The entire thing is a delight, but there are some especially fun moments, like during the clip of “Outside Chance” that starts at the 15:40 mark. Mark Volman was known for often “playing” an instrument not being heard whenever the group was obliged to mime along to their records on TV. Here he sticks out his arm and Howard Kaylan pretends it’s a keyboard. In a performance of “Happy Together” (32:17) Volman sports a sort of infantile “Baby Huey” outfit that’s almost… disturbing.
But what I especially want to call to your attention—aside from a young Mark Volman’s uncanny resemblance to Jonah Hill (who should option the rights to The Turtles’ life story stat)—is the promo clip made for the group’s final single, their absolutely gorgeous rendition of folk singer Judee Sill’s “Lady-O.” That starts at 26:25. I’ve never seen a watchable version of this on YouTube. The song’s a stunner.
Also included, “She’s My Girl,” “She’d Rather Be With Me,” “Eleanor” and more.
Bonus: I wanted to see if there was a video for their single “A Guide for the Married Man,” a number composed by John Williams and Leslie Bricusse for the 1967 bedroom farce of the same name starring Walter Matthau and directed by Gene Kelly. There is a performance clip of the song, but I’m going to embed this one, which is cut to scenes from the film. I’ve never seen this before, but it looks like a must! Dig the cameos! Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, a young Robert Morse, Terry-Thomas, Jayne Mansfield, Sid Caesar, Louis Nye, Phil SIlvers, Carl Reiner, Joey Bishop, Art Carney and the voice of “Underdog” Wally Cox:
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Voices of angels on AM radio: Isolated vocal track for The Turtles’ ‘Happy Together’