Eve of Destruction

“Eve of Destruction”  is a protest song written by P. F. Sloan in mid-1964.  Several artists have recorded it, but the best-known recording was by Barry McGuire.  This recording was made between July 12 and July 15, 1965 and released by Dunhill Records.  The vocal track was thrown on as a rough mix and was not intended to be the final version, but a copy of the recording “leaked” out to a DJ, who began playing it.  The song was an instant hit, and as a result the more polished vocal track that was at first envisioned was never recorded.  McGuire’s single hit #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the UK Singles Chart in September 1965.  (More from Wikipedia)

Barry McGuire had a prominent and influential hit song in 1965 with “Eve of Destruction” (written by P. F. Sloan); he was with New Christy Minstrels for a time and sung lead on their first hit song, “Green, Green”.  McGuire became a born again Christian in 1971 and released an album on Myrrh Records in 1973 called Seeds.  Singing background vocals on the album is a family trio that later became an early CCM band, 2nd Chapter of Acts.  


(July 2014)


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Later I picked up the Pebbles, Volume 4 LP (subtitled “Summer Means Fun”).  There are songs by Lloyd Thaxton, a piano-playing DJ from LA whose show ran on TV in the afternoon when I was growing up; two songs by the immortal Trashmen (the flip side to their big hit “Surfin’ Bird, “King of the Surf”, plus “New Generation” that features a hydrogen bomb blast); “Masked Grandma” by the California Suns, an answer song to the Jan & Dean hit “Little Old Lady from Pasadena”; “California Sun ’65” by the Rivieras (a remake by this Michigan surf band of their own well-known hit, “California Sun”); “Anywhere the Girls Are” by the Fantastic Baggys (composed of P. F. Sloan, author of “Eve of Destruction among many other songs, and Steve Barri); a version of “Hot Rod High” by the Knights; and a paean to the California capital city “Sacramento” by Gary Usher.  A bonus track is a radio jingle for Coca-Cola by Jan & Dean.  


(December 2014)


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In 1965, David White and John Madara formed a band called the Spokesmen with a popular Philadelphia disc jockey named Ray Gilmore. They had an “answer song” that year to the Barry McGuire protest song Eve of Destruction that was called “The Dawn of Correction” (“You missed all the good in your evaluation . . .”). I used to play those two singles back to back all the time back in the day. White and Madara produced the song, which was written by all three bandmembers. A cover version of the Beatles song “Michelle” by the Spokesmen was a minor hit in the Philadelphia area.
(August 2015)
Last edited: March 22, 2021