Ballads and Love Songs of the British Invasion
Roan Michaels

The British Invasion was, quite simply, one of the watershed developments in American popular music history. The phenomenon involved the virtual domination of AM radio and the record industry in the United States by British artists, particularly the beat groups who had proved adept at recycling the American rhythm and blues and rockabilly songs of the 1950s.

In the dozen years between 1964 and 1978 there were approximately three waves of the British Invasion; First Wave brought us, The Animals, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who, The Zombies, the Dave Clark Five, Herman’s Hermits, The Searchers, Chad and Jeremy, Petula Clark, Freddie and the Dreamers, Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Hollies, Donovan, The Moody Blues, Manfred Mann, Lulu, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, Peter and Gordon, The Yardbirds, Them, among others.

The Second Wave gave us The Bee Gees, Blind Faith, Joe Cocker, Cream, Deep Purple, Free, Jethro Tull, Elton John, Van Morrison, Mott the Hoople, Pink Floyd, Cat Stevens, Procol Harum, Traffic, The Troggs; and the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

The Third Wave gave us progressive rock and pop, such bands as Bad Company, Electric Light Orchestra, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Yes, and Wings.

Each successive wave brought new takes on our own country’s rhythm & blues, mixed with folk, country, delta blues, soul, electronic and psychedelic styles adding in their own skiffle, English dance hall and Celtic, Welsh and British folk influences to make a zesty stew that revitalized and changed American, nay, Worldwide music forever after.

In this workshop I’m giving out a handout with a brief history of the British Invasion. I’ve prepared a dozen and a half of my favorite songs (or as many as we can get to) that I and a few of my music friends will perform highlighting selections from the First and Second Waves of a more gentler emotional nature: tender love songs, moody and evocative ballads and memorable snapshots of sad and/or beautifully colorful characters. Songs will include As Tears Go By, Yesterday, Nights In White Satin, In My Life, Ferry Cross the Mersey, A Summer Song, Sunny Afternoon, Catch The Wind, House of the Rising Sun, A World Without Love, Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter, She’s Not There, To Love Somebody, Everyone’s Gone To The Moon, and Your Song.

For those who want to stay, we hope to have the room for an open jam and play as many other favorites until we’re kicked out or crash from fatigue.


Roan Michaels has been a fixture as a singer and guitarist at Bay Area jams and parties for almost 15 years and has played Beatles songs for more than 40 years. He’s a retired City and County of San Francisco computer network engineer who now spends his time doing live sound and producing shows for the S.F. Hootenanny and the S.F. Folk Festival amongst various other acoustic gigs, and he putters around as much as he can in his home recording studio.