Saturday, December 05, 2009

A Poor Boy...

..but a hot boy, and a great singer.. The mid-60s were a golden era in US pop music, and a shining light of the period was (then) 24-year-old Baton Rouge transplant based in New York, John Henry Ramistella, aka Johnny Rivers.. A golden and versatile voice and an accomplished guitarist and songwriter, Rivers spanned rock, blues, folk, and country,

(years later at Manufacturers Hanover Trust, we had a client named Juan Enrique Riveros who my then-boss jokingly referred to as 'Johnny Rivers..' My then-boss was a 6-foot-1 giantess and fellow Vassarette - I wonder what happened to her.. Back to JR... He was also kind of cute....

Now and then American pop music touched on the theme of class.... In November 1966, Johnny Rivers sailed to #1 singing the blues from 'The Poor Side of Town...'

I was unaware of "Poor Boy" when it hit, but being a TV kid,
I do remember 'Secret Agent Man,' Rivers' wonderful US theme song to the British Spy series 'Danger Man,' which was re-christened 'Secret Agent' for its US debut. Here's a grainy - but very electric worthwhile - live performance at LA's Whiskey-A-Go-Go.. As Wikipedia points out, the lyric 'They've given you a number and taken away your name' appears to anticipate The Prisoner, the 1967-68 mind-bender where replacement of name by number is imposed on all characters, prisoners and jailers alike. 40 years later, 'Secret Agent Man' is the opening theme of Rivers' website. Coming soon: clips from both aforementioned series....

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