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161017 October 17, 2016


Our Music Lives On
In TV Commercials
Tommy Towery
LHS '65
        We may be getting a little older, but it appears some of the music of our times is ageless. Over the last week I have seen two television commercials for modern products using songs which were recorded in 1963 and have always been favorites of mine. These are songs we danced to when we were students in high school, and now, over 50 years later they are still being enjoyed. I imagine many younger folks who watch the commercials have no idea about the background of the songs used.

        Don't scroll ahead, there is a trivia question I want you to think about before you get to the bottom of this story.

        This week I shall highlight one of those songs, and pose a trivia challenge for the second one. The song I am writing about was recorded by a 17 year old girl in 1963 and made it all the way to number two on the Billboard’s Top 100 list. The song remained at number two for three consecutive weeks on 1 February 1964, unable to overcome the Beatles' hit, "I Want to Hold Your Hand."

        The singer of the song was born Lesley Sue Goldstein on May 2, 1946, in Brooklyn and became known in the music world at the age of 16 when she recorded a hit song about a girl's birthday party. The singer was a junior in high school when she recorded it.   Her father was the owner of Peter Pan, a children's swimwear and underwear manufacture. At the party in the song, her boyfriend went off with a girl named Judy. If you don’t recognize her name, that is because it was changed to Lesley Gore for recording purposes.

        Gore was one of the featured performers in the T.A.M.I. Show concert film, which was recorded and released in 1964 by American International Pictures, and placed in the National Film Registry in 2006. Gore had one of the longest sets in the film, performing six songs including "It's My Party", "You Don't Own Me", and "Judy's Turn to Cry".

       The song featured in the TV commercial of which I write, is “You Don’t Own Me.” Here is a video of Lesley doing it live - which is not exactly the way we remember it from the 45 RPM version.

You Don't Own Me

            Do you know the TV commercial which uses that song? Before you scroll down to see it, here is a little more information about Lesley Gore while you think about it..

        She composed songs for the soundtrack of the 1980 film Fame, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for "Out Here on My Own", written with her brother Michael. Michael won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for the theme song of the same film. Gore played concerts and appeared on television throughout the 1980s and 1990s.

    Here is Irene Cara singing "Out Here on My Own" from Fame.

Out Here On My Own

        Lesley had been working on a memoir and a Broadway show based on her life when she died of lung cancer on February 16, 2015,

        Her New York Times obituary stated that with her songs, all recorded before she was 18, such as "the indelibly defiant" hit, “You Don’t Own Me,” Lesley Gore made herself "the voice of teenage girls aggrieved by fickle boyfriends, moving quickly from tearful self-pity to fierce self-assertion.

        Here is the TV commercial I am writing about.

TV Commercial

Did you know it?

Next Week's Trivia

        Now, here are some hints about the Trivia Question about next week's story about the other 1963 hit currently being used in a TV commercial.

        It was recorded by a 15-year-old, who was the youngest female artist to have a U.S. chart-topping single.

        The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 27, 1963

        The commercial which included the song features a balloon.

        Here are the Trivia Questions?

        1. What is the name of the song?

        2. Who recorded it in 1963.

        3. What product does the commercial advertise?

        4. Do you have any special memories about the song?


        Memphis, TN - Sorry not to have any pictures or information about the 1966 Reunion last week, but I was not able to attend and no one sent me anything except for Darla Gentry Steinberg, saying what a good time she had.

        I sometimes let it get to me that people will send me stuff for months ahead asking me to print the information about an upcoming event, and then never follow up with any information about it after it happens, but that is the life of a high school newspaper editor I suppose.

        Thanks go out to Mike Crowl, who continues to support the Traveller with his contributions. Others are invited to follow Mike's example.

Thursday, October 27, 2016
11:00 a.m.
Logan’s Restaurant – fireplace room
Balmoral Drive
Huntsville, AL

A Taylor Wright Story
Mike Crowl
              LHS '65          

        This story is about Taylor Wright, LHS Class of '66. I don't think Taylor will mind; we have been friends since school. We used to run around together during our school years and even double dated with our girlfriends.

          I was at the theater one weekend with a date and noticed Taylor sitting up in the balcony. He had a very beautiful girl with him. I had no idea who she was; she didn't go to Lee. They were all cozied up there in the balcony, and my curiosity was killing me to find out who she was. 

        I will repeat myself, this  girl was beautiful.

       After the movie ended, I found Taylor in the lobby. I begin asking him who that girl is. Taylor played me like a fiddle. He really had me going. 

        Finally his date came up to us.Taylor introduced her to me. This pretty girl was his mother. 

        I was a little embarrassed, but his mother was very sweet about it all. I still say she didn't look old enough to be his mother and she was a beautiful women.

        When one reminisce about it, it sure was sweet , that Taylor took time to have a mother and son night!

My brother Don (back), my mother, and me and our TV on East Clinton Street.

The Vintage Television
Tommy Towery
LHS '64


1959 TV Shows

 Had you forgotten about any of these?  




From Our Mailbox 


Subject:    TV

Mike Crowl

LHS '65

      Tommy, I really enjoy reading your articles about TV shows.It made me think back on my school years. When I was growing up , we really didn't get to watch much TV. I don't remember watching TV until my senior year. My parents didn't get a TV until  1963 or '64. 

        I remember spending spare time listening to my little transistor radio. I listened to that radio many a night until late in the night. I liked seeing what other states I could pick up. I vaguely remember listening to radio stations in New York, Chicago, and other states.

        It use to marvel me, that my little transistor radio could pick up radio stations so far away.I just couldn't comprehend how all that was possible.

       My little transistor radio was also my radio for my first car.I use to hang it on my rear view mirror . Boy , I thought I was living the American dream.

       Other than my little transistor radio, a football, basketball, and a baseball were the things that kept me busy during my school years. Life was so simple then. I never felt like I was missing out on anything and still don't have any regrets.


Subject;        1966 Reunion
Darla Gentry Steinberg
LHS '66

     Last weekend's reunion was so much fun. A big thank you to Linda Collinsworth Provost who did a wonderful job of planning the evening for us. She spent many hours on the slideshows and trivia game and all the activities that we enjoyed. I personally enjoyed catching up with some classmates I have not seen in 50 years. It was a great time missed by all who could not attend.

Subject:        Hurricane Betsy
Chip Smoak
LHS '66

        My parents moved me and my younger brother back to Shreveport, LA just before the start of the 1965/1966 school year, my senior year and my brother's junior year.  In January of 1966 my parents moved to New Orleans which my brother and I did not visit until August of that year.  The following summer the whole family resided in New Orleans.

        We, of course, became aware of Hurricane Betsy and the damage done to the Gulf Coast.  When we went to Gulfport and Biloxi the dive bars and cheesy souvenir shops were back in full force only two years after Betsy and the beaches were clean as if Betsy had never happened. 

        However, I do not know if it has ever fully recovered from Camille, but I have been away from that area since 1990. 

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