The Martha Reeves. The Martha Reeves of Martha and the Vandellas. The woman who sang Heatwave and Nowhere to Run and Dancing in the Streets. That Martha.
I don't get Twitter messages from former Detroit City councilwomen and Motown stars very often. (I know, I know. You'd think it would be an everyday experience). But then I guess it's not very often that I tell the world (or Herald Scotland readers at any rate) that Dancing in the Streets was the best song of 1964.
I suspect that statement begs a few questions. Like what about Leader of the Pack or A Hard Day's Night? Or why are you telling people your favourite song of 1964 in the first place? The answer is a Herald Scotland blog, Not Fade Away, that celebrates the last 60 years of pop music. Think of it as a pop music parlour game. Every Monday for the last few months I've been choosing a song a year and trying to tell the blog's readers why I think it's the best of that particular year. I started in 1952 with Hank Williams's I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive and I'm currently up to 1976 and Anarchy in the UK by The Sex Pistols. In between we've had everyone from Cliff Richard to the Beatles, Elvis to Sinatra and The Ronettes to Nick Drake. Oh and David Essex. That one brought me some flak but I stand by it.
It is clearly a dumb idea. It is impossible to narrow down the glories of pop in any 12-month period to one three-minute burst of noise and harmony and/or feedback. But so what? The fun of it is making ridiculous, impossible decisions and trying to justify them anyway. And then getting the proverbial ripped out of me for my decisions (I always knew that not picking any Dylan would put me in the firing line).
The downside is that I'm being forced to make agonising decisions on a weekly basis. For 1966, for example, I had to choose between Ike and Tina singing River Deep - Mountain High, Paint It Black by the Stones and God Only Knows by the Beach Boys among many others (I ended up choosing Tomorrow Never Knows by the Beatles).
The upside is that I get to talk about my favourite music and have conversations about it as a result. It's been a lovely learning experience.
I've learnt Martha Reeves visited Edinburgh Castle in 1964 on a UK Motown tour, and that there's a lot of love out there for Sandy Denny. I've been told about teenage nights in Wales and drug-taking on stage at the Glasgow Apollo, and that Simon Shirts were the thing to wear in the early seventies. And I love the fact that as a result of the blog, Graham McKay sat in Moscow airport trying to get wi-fi to listen to Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys (hope you managed, Graham).
We're just over a third of the way through our 60-year odyssey and if anything, I expect it's going to get more interesting as we get into the late seventies and the early eighties.
Which reminds me. When did Bucks Fizz release Making Your Mind Up anyway?