Looking Back! 1962

Gary:”It was a good time to be a Canadian, living in Toronto. The city’s clubs were exploding with live music, the white sanitized Pop Music the major companies were attempting to sell were just starting to be rejected.

In Toronto in 1962, along with great Rock and Roll, we would just see the start of California Surf Music. Soul Music was getting a following and all of the little coffee houses in Yorkville were discovering Folk Music.

I was glad it was changing, but all in all I do not consider 1962 a great year for music. The job market was good, the clothing styles I just loved, it was a fun time.

I would still be working on Bloor Street, riding TTC public transit (subway tokens were 10 cents).

Toronto’s TTC Subway 1962 “The Red Rocket”

I was now working full time in the Computing Department. I was going to get married, but that would fall apart in November of 1962.

Now, because I was getting married, it was decided that my “Beautiful 1961 Impala Convertible” was “no longer practical”, so in September I purchased a 1963 Corvair Monza; bad decision, but who knew.

I gave up this…
… for this; NOT a good trade – all because of a woman!

Looking Back


I was 22 and was going to get married (for the wrong reasons). It seemed that all of my friends were engaged or married, so it seemed like the thing to do.

Jackie was a great girl (the wrong girl and she knew it too), but we partied well, danced well together and appeared to like all of the same superficial things, but we were smart enough “not” to get married.

Now Russ on the other hand was doing his computer thing, and still blowing his horn; at the club that would become extremely famous “The Blue Note” …Russ was part of the House Band, “The Silhouettes” and the Blue Note would host some of the most famous Canadian’s and American’s. It was THE place – not only for good music, but you could hear “Soul Music”.


The things I remember most about 1962 were:

John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth /
Mariner 2 sends us pictures of Venus /
The Telstar Satellite transmits the first world wide TV Show: a newscast with Walter Cronkite, Chet Huntley and the BBC’s Richard Dimbleby in Brussels /

Everyone was terrified for three weeks in October because of the Cuban Missile Crisis. It may have been the closest we have ever come to Nuclear War.

P5M VP-45 and DD-835 with Foxtrot sub at Cuban Missile Crisis 1962

October 27, 1962 a U-2 Spy Plane is shot down over Cuba and it’s Pilot Major Rudolf Anderson is killed.

US Air Force U-2 reconnaissance aircraft

Major Rudolf Anderson Killed


The winners on the Big Screen were:

Best Actor / Gregory Peck / To Kill a Mockingbird /

Gregory Peck and Brock


Best Actress / Anne Bancroft / The Miracle Worker /

Patty Duke, Anne Bancroft


Best Picture / Lawrence of Arabia /

Lawrence and Sherif


Other great Movies of 1962

Birdman of Alcatraz /

The Longest Day /

Longest Day – John Wayne

Longest Day - Robert Mitchum.
The Man who shot Liberty Valance /
The Manchurian Candidate /
… And we lost MARILYN / Marilyn Monroe


New on the Small Screen in 1962

Johnny Carson takes over from Jack Paar on the Tonight Show /

The Beverly Hillbillies

Beverly Hillbillies – Buddy Ebsen

McHale’s Navy /

This was not a good year for great looking cars, nor was it a particularly good year for music.

a few of the Cars that I liked!

1962 Ford Galaxie /  62Ford
1962 Ford Thunderbird / 62Tbird
1962 Chevrolet Impala /
1962 Corvette /
1962 Pontiac Bonneville /
1962 Carroll Shelby put his 260 into a British Ace Roadster, this became the AC Cobra /
1962 the German Amphicar made it’s debut /


Now my favourite music of 1962

Well in my opinion, the major record companies, still controlled the content and gave us Sanitized Pop, the hard edge of Rock and Roll was definitely gone.

Now ever so slowly things were changing; Female vocalist’s would top the charts, Surf Music would raise it’s head, and Soul Music would start to be recognized.

Overall, in my opinion, it was not a great year for music, but here are some that I liked.

Duke of Earl / Gene Chandler
I Know / Barbara George
Hey Baby / Bruce Channel
Twistin’ the Night Away / Bring it on Home to Me / Sam Cooke
Dream Baby/ Roy Orbison /
Johnny Angel / Shelley Fabares
Love Letters / Ketty Lester
Mashed Potato Time / Dee Dee Sharp
Slow Twistin’ (with Dee Dee Sharp)/ Limbo Rock / Chubby Checker
Young World / It’s Up Too You / Rick Nelson
Any Day Now / Chuck Jackson
I Can’t Stop Loving You / Ray Charles
Palisades Park (written by Chuck Barris of the Gong Show)/ Freddy Cannon
Bristol Twistin’ Annie / The Dovells
Lemon Tree / If I had a Hammer / Peter Paul & Mary
Twist and Shout / The Isley Brothers
The Wah Watusi / Don’t Hang Up / The Orlons
Breaking Up is Hard to Do / Next Door to an Angel / Neil Sedaka
The Loco-Motion / Little Eva
Sheila / Tommy Roe
Let’s Dance / Chris Montez
Sherry / Big Girls Don’t Cry / The Four Seasons
Surfin’ Safari / 409 / The Beach Boys
He’s a Rebel / The Crystals (Darlene Love)
Remember Then / The Earls
Good Luck Charm / Return to Sender / Elvis
Fortune Teller / Bobby Curtola & the Martels (this is the Group Russ currently plays with since 1989)

Bobby Curtola 1962

Some instrumentals from 1962:

Wild Weekend / The Rockin’ Rebels
Let’s Go / The Routers
Wiggle Wobble / Les Cooper

Les Cooper


2 responses to “Looking Back! 1962

  1. What a great site! I currently live in Don Mills but I did not arrive in T.O. until 1969. No big deal but, since I’m also a car nut I thought I’d mention that the “62” Ford is a “64” and the “62” T-bird is a ’63. Also, “77 Sunset Strip” started in 1958, not 1959. You’ve done such a great job I’ll be visiting this site often!

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