Soul Serenade: Shirley Ellis, “The Nitty Gritty”

Shirley Ellis - The Nitty GrittyNovember, 1963 was one of the darkest times in American history. It was on the 22nd day of that month that John F. Kennedy was shot down in Dallas. The nation went into a state of mourning which some would argue has never really ended. It was on that November day that this country truly lost its innocence.

Popular music has always been a source of solace when times are hard, and late 1963 is a perfect example of that. It wasn’t long after President Kennedy died that songs by the Beatles were being heard on radios across the country, and by the following February, the band was here in the flesh, making their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964. The young President was not forgotten, but at least there appeared to be a beacon of hope in this cold world … (more)


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