The Sounds Of The Sixties

Sheet Music Scans

 

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Sheet Music Scans

 

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Sheet Music Scans

 

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Sheet Music Scans

 

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Sheet Music Scans

 

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Sheet Music Scans

 

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Sheet Music copies: where did they all go? We bought them, scrounged them, begged them, borrowed them, sometimes swapped them with rival groups and collected them with little hope of ever playing the tunes in the published key.  Between myself and the bass guitarist in our group, we must have bought a couple a week  for several years.

And how many can I find now, 40 odd years on? Well, nowhere as many as I should be able to, that's for certain.  We had all The Rolling Stones singles on sheet music - I remember that; it was the only way I could learn them. Have a look on Ebay and see if you can find a decent copy of Paint It Black, 19th Nervous Breakdown or Get Off My Cloud. Good luck if you can, and if you do it won't be cheap.  I bought Arnold Layne  and See Emily Play by Pink Floyd in the sixties. One of my friends - who happened to be the rhythm guitarist in our group 50 years ago - was convinced some of my earlier sheet music was up in his attic with some of his own, and search revealed one or two of mine - including to my delight Midnight To Six Man.

Anything original by Pink Floyd in the sheet music or singles line is fetching daft money. See Emily Play fetches around £150 on Ebay, and Arnold Layne nearer £200.  Glad I hung on to mine.

And have a look on Ebay for sheet music by the Yardbirds.  Still I'm Sad will fetch upwards of 40 quid.  Happenings Ten Years Time Ago - which I never bought at the time -  will set you back 140 quid!  I paid less than half that for an AC30 from Frank Hessy's in 1966 (but at least I've still got that).

There are one or two rare-ish ones one here I've managed to keep hold of over the years.  The Ramrods "Riders In The Sky" is one; Love Sculpture's "Sabre Dance" is another, and The Big Three's "By The Way" is also hard to find.  Gun's Race With The Devil and Arthur Brown's Fire are another two which are difficult to get hold of in decent condition. I honestly can't remember buying many of the sheet music copies below; some probably drifted in from my late dad's collection.  The Beatles "Eleanor Rigby" in the glossy card is quite collectable ;there were several in that glossy series - Penny Lane was another.  I've got that somewhere.  She's Not There, by The Zombies is another scarce one. I've actually got three copies of this one - all duly placed on this site, one of which has miraculously remained intact in fine condition for almost 50 years.

The full collection of 4 Fabulous Song Books by The Beatles is hard to come by as a collection; I've had mine for nearly 50 years.  Some music copies are scarce because they weren't printed heavily,  weren't easily obtainable, or weren't popular choices. Adam Faith sheet tended to use the same photo on the cover, differently presented or coloured; so did a lot of Roy Orbison sheet music. Anything by Ricky Valance is hard to come by.  "Tell Laura I Love Her" is here on the first page, but it's the one which includes pictures of the other two recording artists (John Leyton & Ray Peterson). If you look on Ricky Valance's own website, you'll see scans of his sheet music, but no Tell Laura I Love Her. I suspect this one was never printed, which is strange when you consider what a huge hit his song was.  Try finding a picture of The Ramrods (Riders In The Sky) any where on the Internet.  

Three of the scans come from 1959, but were still being played in the 60's so - as I had them - I've included them. There are one or two sheet music copies from the late 1950's' I've included them because the artists in question were active in the 60's.

I haven't included every piece of 1960's sheet music I've got.  Some of them are too grubby, ripped or stained to include.  She's not there by The Zombies is one of these, and one of my copies of Arthur Brown's Fire is another, although better copies of both are included on the list.  

Anyway -  below you find a good selection of 60's sheet music. You'll probably find the chords and lyrics somewhere on the net (Chordie, TAB Robot etc.)  but they won't come with nice pictures on the front.  If you do want scans of the original sheet music, mail me and we'll see what we can do. You'll also find lots of lyrics and chords on our Chords & Lyrics pages.

If anybody viewing the site has copyright to any of the photographs, and doesn't want them on view - let me know, and we'll take them off.

Over the last year or so I've acquired a few more pieces of sheet music via Ebay or antique & collectors book fairs, but you have to be careful. Dealers who've latched on to the fact people collect 60's music, are coming out of the woodwork and trying to obtain ludicrous prices for old tatty pieces of sheet music from the sixties.  Typical examples are The Move's Blackberry Way and Arthur Brown's Fire -  both invariably advertised as extremely rare. They're not.  Both were number one hits and published in their thousands at the time.  I've got three copies of Blackberry Way, and two - one of which is admittedly a bit scruffy - of Fire.  

If I've got two or more copies of a piece of sheet music  - they'll all be one here. Shapes Of Things, Fire Brigade, Blackberry Way, She's Not There, It's Good News Week, Evil Hearted You, Still I'm Sad, Come Outside and I Can Hear The Grass Grow are all on the pages more than once. In fact, Come Outside by Mike Sarne makes four appearances - all of which are in good condition. House Of The Rising Sun by The Animals (another one frequently described as “rare”) manages 5 appearances.

I had the amusement of watching Pink Floyd’s Apples And Oranges  start at £150 on Ebay not so long ago, and finish at getting on for £600.  I truly hope the new owner didn't buy it to learn the song, because the original sheet music doesn't contain the complete song.  I know  - I've got the original sheet music for this one.


Collecting Sheet Music


As far as I can see the internet contains no articles, help, advice or information on the subject of collecting 60's sheet music; if it does, I've never found it.  It's not as if there's no interest in the subject, because  Ebay has no end of adverts for sheet music from the 1960's. Ebay - as I've already said  - is a good source of sheet music, but needs to be treated with caution. I once found a Facebook page dedicated to 60's sheet music, but it hadn't been updated for ages,  wasn't all that informative anyway, and didn’t seem to be UK based either.

There are one or two sellers/dealers on Ebay who keep a pretty good stock of 60's sheet music.  All their music is shown and described fairly, and it's up to you if you want to pay the price asked.  Anything else - unless it's really, really well described - contact the seller prior to bidding and ask a few questions. 

The Beatles: I collected The Beatles at the time; the majority of my sheet music has survived and is shown on these pages. One or two of them are a bit worn, but considering how many people probably handled them at the time, this is hardly a surprise. They were published in their thousands almost from the time they became popular, so don't be mislead into thinking that any of The Beatles sheet music is necessarily rare.  Obviously, though, anything in really fine condition is going to be hard to find.  The Beatles were one of the few groups who had single sheet music copies published from their LP's.  I Call Your Name would very scarce if it was a UK publication, but it isn't. It was given to me years ago by a friend who bought it somewhere abroad while he was serving with the merchant navy.  If I was going to stick my neck out and name a scarce sheet music copy by The Beatles,  it would be  Rain - the B side of Paperback Writer. Towards the later sixties,   Beatles sheet music occasionally came with printed replicas of signatures of The Fab Four.  Not genuine signed copies, obviously - but I've seen a copy of Hello Goodbye going on Ebay for 50 quid, accompanied by the comment "signed by The Beatles". Nope.

On the subject of signed sheet music, another one to watch out for is  Don’t Bring Me Down by The Pretty Things. The front cover looks like it’s signed by all band members - quite authentic looking, in fact - but it is part of the printing. I know this, because I’ve got three copies of this particular sheet music and all three covers - including the signatures - are identical.

Condition: when I think of the way we treated our sheet music in the 1960's, it's a wonder any of it survived at all.  Despite that, I managed to keep the majority of my sheet music without folding it, or without scribbling chords or other annotations on the inside. I still don't buy sheet music which has been folded.  

If a seller on Ebay describes his piece of sheet music as "OK For Its Age "  this usually is a euphemism for rotten condition.  Don't take any notice of sellers claiming their sheet music copy is rare. I've seen Blackberry Way by The Move  called "rare",  and Fire by The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown described as "very rare".  Both songs were number one hits, heavily published, and I've got more than one copy of each.  "Hard to find" and "Rare" or "Very Rare" is a matter of opinion. Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix I'd class as scarce. Had it in the 60's - I can still remember it, and the chords we learnt - but it disappeared like many of the sheet music copies we had at the time.  I've never seen it for sale anywhere as an original sheet music copy.  What I do remember about it, though, is that it didn't include the famous and distinctive lead intro, nor did it have any sort of middle eight solo.  But that was pretty much the same for any sheet music of the 60's;  all you usually got was the chords and the lyrics.   I’ve also seen The Animals’ House Of The Rising Sun advertised as “scarce or rare”. There are five decent copies of this piece of sheet music on the following pages.

A lot of sheet music came with extra pages inside the folded cover, and these are common casualties inasmuch as they often go missing with time. Sellers  - who often don't know the first thing about the song sheet they're selling, or even know much about the music of the 60's generally - often sell incomplete sheet music  without knowing they're doing so.  A good example of this is Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood by The Animals.  I've got my original copy of this, and another acquired along the way, and they both have their extra pages present. There are 7 pages altogether.  Quite a bit of music by The Shadows - and many other instrumental groups - came with an extra page of music tucked inside the folded sheet; something to really watch out for, particularly if buying from Ebay. Most sheet music pages are numbered - the title page likely to be numbered "2", the next page "3" and the rear page  - if there is one - "4".

The Last Time/Play With Fire by The Rolling Stones pops up regularly on Ebay.  I've got 5 copies of this, but I've only got one with the original Play With Fire insert; most came with sheet music collections. One I bought off Ebay a few years ago was described as in "fine condition". It was, as it happens  - but the Play With Fire insert was missing.  Luckily my original Play With Fire insert was better than the rest of the sheet music copy it came with, so I swapped it with the one off Ebay.  Another one with an insert page is Pictures Of Lily, by The Who. This one - although not really scarce - is hard to come by in good condition, so if you buy it without handling it or seeing it personally, ask and make certain all five pages are there.

Sheet Music Sources: gone are the days when music shops sold off their old or obsolete sheet music stocks cheaply. And if there are still a few about, I'm pretty certain that all the 60's ones have long gone. ATV Television sold off their entire sheet music library a few years ago, and some of these pop up from time to time to time on Ebay - always with he ATV Studios stamp somewhere on the front of the music copy.  I've got a couple of them. acquired over the years.  Another large studio sold off all its sheet music about five years ago, but nearly all were listed as having punch holes in them. Considering the punch holes, I thought they were a bit pricey. A lot pricey, in fact.  I wouldn't normally consider buying sheet music with folds or with punch holes, but there were a couple I not only hadn't got,  but I'd never seen before.  

I don't do Car Boot Sales, but last year a friend of mine 'phoned one Sunday evening. He was about to ruin my week, but didn't know it.  He'd trying phoning me that morning but we were out. He'd spotted two Yardbirds sheet music copies at a car boot sale he frequents.  Apparently he ended up not buying them because the seller wouldn't budge with his price of £1 each, and Chris wouldn't move from his offer of  £1 for the two.   Over Under Sideways Down and the very-hard-to-find Happenings Ten Years Time Ago  were lost for the sake of 50p.  I was there the next week, as you can imagine, but the seller didn't turn up again.  My original Over Under Sideways Down is too scruffy to put on here. I've only ever seen one copy of Happenings Ten Years Time Ago; it's one of the scarce ones.

Book Fairs:  I regularly find sheet music copies in my friends large second hand book shop; he usually gets them in job lots from other dealers, or the occasional attic or house clearances.  Book fairs are a good place to find sheet music, but you do have to stand and sort through endless piles and boxes which contain mainly 30's & 40's piano music, or traditional classical music.  You will find piles of sheet music occasionally in antiques fairs, but - again - you'll probably need to sift through a few piles of old music to find the odd one from the 60's.  

I've mentioned Ebay, which is a good source of sheet music  - probably the best - but you do need to watch what you buy or bid for.  I don't buy expensive, over priced, or allegedly rare sheet music, because all I'm doing is compiling a selection of sixties sheet music to put on this web site.  I started off using the sheet music I had in my own collection - somewhere around 300 or so pieces - mostly in decent condition - but over the years I've added to it from various sources.  However  - to be fair, not much of it has come from Ebay.  The problem with Ebay, usually, is the condition of the sheet music.  If a seller has several items of sheet music for sale, and has sold sheet music via Ebay in the past, the chances are he or she has learned to describe the sheet music honestly and fairly.  Some photos on Ebay can be misleading. They look fine until you have them in front of you; that's when you discover the seller forgot to mention the annotations and heavy chord or key changes on the inside, or the fact that the rear of the sheet music had been used as a tea/coffee coaster.

 Another thing worth mentioning; there’s a lot of music turning up on Ebay with the description PVG Sheet Music (PVG - Piano Vocal Guitar), giving the impression they’re original sheet music, but they’re not; they’re copies, and probably illegal. Sometimes advertised as resource material or for educational purposes.  

One absolute must with Ebay: make certain before you buy the sheet music that you and the seller have the same understanding of how you want the  music copy packed - particularly if it's a bit hard to find or you've paid a bit for it.  I speak as one who - a couple of years ago - bought Curly by The Move; I'd already got this sheet music, but the one on Ebay was described - and looked it - as in fine condition.  No arguments with the description when it arrived, but sadly somewhere along the way it had managed a good soaking in the rain and the seller hadn't put in a plastic wallet.  He'd used packing to stiffen the envelope (very necessary) but some of the ink on the packaging had leaked into the sheet music, effectively ruining what was a pretty good piece of sheet music.  Now if I buy from Ebay, I always ask that the packet has a good solid piece of plain corrugated card in it, and some sort of plastic wallet or bag.

 Also worth mentioning; not everybody has the same idea of what is a good piece of stiff card. I always mean a piece of thick corrugated card and I say so, because some sellers think that stiff card is the back of a corn flakes box.   

Condition Guidelines.

Below are the guidelines I personally use for sheet music condition. I don’t buy sheet music which has been folded, nor has had heavy annotations added.

Mint. As good as you are ever going to find. Possibly an unused publishers copy that’s never even been opened. No signs of handling or wear. Rare but not impossible.

Fine.  The most practical best condition likely to be found.  No tears, rips, folds,creases or stains. Bright and clean and crisp with no shop stamps or annotations of any sort.  Obviously any insert pages should be present and in the same condition as the rest of the sheet music.

Excellent.  Bright and clean with no rips, tears,folds, creases or stains.  No annotations.  Signs of handling acceptable with very minor corner creasing. A shop stamp is acceptable if the sheet music is scarce or hard to find.

Very Good.  Bright and clean  with no rips, tears, folds or stains. Minor creasing likely and acceptable as is a shop stamp.  No annotations.  A discreet previous owners name  is acceptable if the sheet music is a scarce or hard to find one.

Good. To me - the least acceptable condition. No rips, tears or folds, but likely to be showing its age.  Handling creases and a shop stamp likely to be present, as is an owners name.  Age related very minor stains acceptable, but no heavy annotations to the score.

Fair. Below the standard I will buy unless it’s one of the scarce ones, but sadly the most common condition generally available on Ebay - usually accompanied by the comments “used but very good”. Likely to have rips, chips, creases, tears, folds, heavy chord annotations with the probable combination of the lot, including the likely hood of it being used for a coffee/tea coaster.

Of course, these are only guidelines.  Sometimes the scarcity of the sheet music will have an impact on the price even if the condition wouldn’t normally be acceptable.  Sometimes you get lucky; I’ve got a copy of Johnny Kidd’s Restless in fine condition.  Found it in a bookfair for £4.  Johnny Kidd’s Always And Ever I found in a bookshop in with a pile of old music. Cost me £3, but it came with punch holes - so I automatically grade it as Fair, but if it didn’t have the punch holes it would be Excellent.  Johnny Kidd’s Shakin’ All Over is hard to find, but my copy is in Excellent condition except that a previous owner for some inexplicable reason has handwritten “start”   after the opening famous lick.  Even with the - admittedly discreet - annotation I paid £10 for the sheet music because of it’s scarcity.


Going back to watching  what you buy on Ebay, have a look at the two copies of See Emily Play below. The one on the left I bought in 1967 from Fidlings (honestly - that really was the name) music shop in Ellesmere Port. It’s a little bit scruffier than the one on the right, which I bought from a book fair for £5 about twenty years ago, and which came with punch holes.  But it’s the price which is odd; my original copy had a proper price of 3 shilling on it  - written in the style of practically every other piece of sheet music I’ve got  - but the one bought at the book fair has a price of 3 shillings written on it in a format which I never saw used in the sixties. Arnold Layne, alongside the two copies of See Emily Play, has the price of 3 shillings written in the proper format.




1st October 2017

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