Despite the mention of icicles, this fabulous, romantic hit single by The Murmaids has a distinctively summerlike sound. However, despite all the lyrical allusions to popsicles, drive-ins on Friday night, baseball, and other warm weather activities, "Popsicles And Icicles" was actually released to US charts in October 1963, scoring at #3 on both Billboard and Cash Box in January 1964 right behind "Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen and "There! I've Said It Again" by Bobby Vinton, both which took turns at being #1 until The Beatles upset the applecart and changed music history. Anyway, I guess that's where the icicles finally come in, it being January, although they are actually a part of the composite from all the seasons of the year about the "boy" the girls singing are in love with.
"Popsicles and Icicles" was a rather progressive melody for its time, and a fitting precursor to the British Invasion right around the corner. The reason why it was such a good song doubtlessly was due to the fact that it was composed by David Gates who would go on to form the rock group Bread in 1970. Gates also had a little help composing The Murmaids' blockbuster hit from another early '60s megastar: Shelly Fabares (who recorded "Johnny Angel" in 1962). If you listen closely, you can hear elements in the song that would begin to be used seven years later by Gates in the many hit songs by Bread during the 1970s.
I was 10 when this song was popular and recall that it did get a lot of additional local radio air play the following year in the summer of 1964. DJs tended to do that if songs sounded like they would be good summer hits. 1964 was a wonderful year actually, because American rock n' roll and do wop had pretty much reached a peak in 1963 and the plateau of the '63 sound merged very well with the new music coming out of Great Britain courtesy of The Beatles and various other UK artists. In my mind, though, this lovely little tune still belongs more to the early 1960s. My video treatment of it therefore is very Kennedy-era ... at least as much as I could make it. You could say I have a soft spot for "Popsicles And Icicles" and the girl group that sang it, whether it is a winter or a summer memory, from a very special time growing up in America.
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