In early 1962 “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by The Tokens was the Number One song in America. That January “The Twist” by Chubby Checker broke loose, followed by “The Peppermint Twist” by Joey Dee and The Starliters, and on Feb 24, 1962, “The Duke of Earl” by Gene Chandler was rockin’ at the top. It seems to me, maybe without knowing it, we were bubble-gumming ourselves to death. Just add high school sweaters, no thinking required.
But things were about to change. On March 20, 1962, 52 years ago, “Hey Baby,” a little known and not often remembered ditty by Bruce Channel, was holding at Number One—and Bob Dylan released his first album. The self-titled album didn’t make it to the Billboard Top 100, only selling 5,000 copies, but four months later he would record the track “Blowin’ in the Wind,” which would change music and many lives forever. Dylan never had a number-one hit—the closest he came was Number Two with “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Rainy Day Woman,” but everyone from Norah Jones to the Ramones has done covers of Dylan’s tunes. After 52 years, I think it’s safe to say his influence on music has been number one. Robert Allen Zimmerman, born May 24, 1941, will soon celebrate his 73rd birthday. In my life and many others, he has made a big, positive difference. Thanks, Mr. Dylan.
In a notable historical fact, Louis Réard, a French mechanical engineer, introduced a new garment to the media and the public on July 5, 1946, at Piscine Molitor, a public pool in Paris. He named it the bikini.
In other events, ‘The Mouth,’ as I call him (or should I say one of the mouths of show business), Kanye West, was given 24 months’ probation and ordered to do 240 hours of community service for hitting a photographer at LAX airport. He is also required to complete 24 sessions of a level-two anger management program and must turn himself into the LAPD for a formal booking. Anger management? Well, it’s a start.
I was born at the right time—Dylan and the Bikini. There’s more on the shores of Rambling Harbor. Stop by and give a listen. The media player is just below the Contac form.