There was one brief and somewhat tarnished moment during my adolescence — somewhere around 1966-1967 — in which I couldn’t distinguish between the inherent value of the Velvet Underground versus the Monkees or Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention and Paul Revere & the Raiders. That confession is not alarming in view of my age (13 going on 14), but consider the circumstances and suspend revisionism. The late Sixties were the last gasp of true Top 40 radio: At one point in the summer of 1966, for instance, Lee Dorsey’s soulful “Working in a Coalmine” was wedged in on the charts with the Sandpipers’ sappy “Guantanamera” and ? & the Mysterians’ still-vibrant “96 Tears.” A similar week in 1967 saw the innocence of the Turtles’ “Happy Together” and the sheer exuberance of Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels shadowed by the call to arms of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.” Those were the days when 16 magazine was selling over one million copies a month to teenage girls just like me.
– Margaret Moser, The Singer Not the Song, 1999