This song MEANS the summer of ’69 to me.
I often say that it’s the seldom-played songs that really take me back to years past. The oldies and classic rock radio staples never really went away, so they’re associated with, say, last Tuesday, but a song like “When I Die” transports me back to being a seven-year-old with a GE 6-transistor radio strapped to the handlebars of my Schwinn Sting Ray. Since they stopped playing it on the radio long ago, it never got a chance to be tied to later events in my life, so it’s indelibly linked to just a few weeks before I began the third grade.
Even if it didn’t stir such memories, it’s still a great song. It sounds like it could have come from Motown or Philly, but Motherlode was a Canadian group from London, Ontario. They formed in 1969, recorded one album, and broke up the following year. The song reached #18 in the States and #5 in Canada in the late summer/early fall of ’69. Another one-hit wonder story, right? Sort of. The Canadian record company owned the rights to the group’s name, so they formed a new Motherlode around one original member. This group recorded one single that went nowhere. The record company tried again with a third incarnation, but that flopped, too. The original group reunited a few years later, but had no success, either. I guess it is a classic one-hit wonder story.
I’ll let “Music Mike” handle the intro, which comes complete with an instrumental version of the famous CKLW jingle:
Another excellent song that didn’t deserve to be forgotten. Or was it? Watch this performance from 2008. The owner of the video has disabled embedding, so you’ll have to click on the YouTube logo and watch it there. It’s worth the extra effort, I promise.
Yep, they still got it.
Watch later today for two classic T10FB’s from 1970 and 1987, then come back tomorrow morning for a fresh one. Why would you go anywhere else? Look for another forgotten favorite right here on Monday.