Tuesday, May 24, 2016

45 Years Ago Today (5-24)



This is an example of the chart I would look at when buying my favorite records at Saffells in Richland Center. when I was growing up.  I used to get one every week.  The chart info came from Record City in Mequon, Wisconsin.  Later I believe it was Radio Doctors that supplied the charts to area music stores.  It is hard to believe that it was 45 years ago this month that this chart was posted.   
I think 1971 ranks as one of my favorite years for music.  I still think 1967 is tops.  '71 or '73 battle for second place in my humble opinion. 
It is awesome to think that this is a chart that I picked up after I cruised through the record bin and now it is being seen worldwide!  I look forward to seeing it posted.
Phil - WRCO

1967 was the year for me ... but there was some mighty good music released in 1971, too.  (1973???  Not so much!  lol)

Thanks to Me-TV-FM, we're hearing many of the tracks on this list on the radio again ... a WIDE variety of music from every era.  (I'll bet I heard at least a dozen of these within the last week alone!) 

I graduated High School in 1971 ... which would have put me right around this date, too, so this was a very special time in my life.  (see kk early '70's photo below!)  That means our 45 year High School Reunion is coming up right around the corner!  (Actually, I think I already saw an announcement about a September date!)


As for personal favorites, I'd be hard pressed to pick less than 40 out of the Top 80 ... wow!!!  A Top 80 Chart!!!  

I've featured a baker's dozen great tracks below ... some of which I'll bet you haven't heard in AGES!!!

Thanks for sharing, Phil!  (kk) 

























Monday, May 23, 2016

The Monday Comments

Dear kk - 
The Paul Anka show was incredible. At 75, his voice was magnificent. I didn't detect even one questionable note. What a special ensemble of talent supporting him! 
The stories were interesting, the jokes, albeit lame, were cute, and his timing was perfect. And after performing for 59 years, his enthusiasm and respect for his audience was off the chart. 
Unlike so many of his contemporaries all of his songs were performed pretty much using the original arrangements so you never heard anything " jazzed " up and questioning what you just heard. I enjoyed the two hour effort and felt I heard EVERYTHING I was hoping to hear.  
My daughter was with me ... she's 46 and was mesmerized by the event.  
Highlites for me personally --  
His entrance - he entered right by my seat - very cool.
The duet with Sammy was special.
Being a vet and also a fan of the movie, the dramatic rendition of The Longest Day brought me to tears. Him doing the presumably unrehearsed requests was neat.
The way he descended into the audience to perform and his amusing interaction was pulled off perfectly.  I thought he brought the full house to their peak of excitement. What fun!
Finally the segue from My Way to Diana was as good a finale as any I could have wished for.
I was not prepared to experience what turned out to be one of the finest concerts I've witnessed. Took me 59 years to get to see him perform but as the cliché goes " Well worth the wait ".
I nearly forgot ... how well done was the guitar ensemble medley and of course, me being familiar with the history of "I Guess It Doesn't Matter Anymore" made it more personal.
My ONLY regret from the evening is not having the opportunity to say hello to you. Perhaps some other time.
Continued success to you ... looking forward to read your remarks.
God Bless,
Jim Nowoc  

Hi  Kent,  
I've got a question for Bobby Rydell ...  
What were your first impressions of Ann Margret when you worked with her and are you still friends??  
(Can you tell I am a big Ann Margret fan!!)   
Keep up the GREAT work Kent!  
Carolyn   
Bobby and Ann have kept in touch over the years and still see each other from time to time ... but probably not as often as either would like. (In fact, they still call each other "Kim" and "Hugo" most of the time!!! lol)  
He talks quite a bit about working together on "Bye Bye Birdie" ... as well as some special "reunions" since.  (The name of the high school in the musical "Grease" was "Rydell High" ... another great tribute to this early teen idol!)  I know that "Bye Bye Birdie" and "Grease" are two of my daughters' all-time favorite musicals ... and we've seen them numerous times over the years.  
Don't forget to send us YOUR questions for Bobby Rydell ... We'll be talking with him next week ... so, if there's anything you've ever wanted to know, drop us a line and we'll include the best questions as part of our interview! And, enter now to win a free copy of Bobby's new book, "Teen Idol On The Rocks".  
Just drop us a line and put "BOBBY BOOK" in the subject line ... and we'll enter your name in our drawing to win a copy of this new biography!  (kk)


I just had a great read, and fully enjoyed The Bobby Darin Story link.  
I also just finished reading Tommy James' "Me, the Mob, and the Music" and found it very good reading.  
And, I just ordered the book "Bobby Darin: The Incredible Story of an Amazing Life".  I am sure I will enjoy it, especially after reading the link from your great site.  
I wish Omaha wasn't so far from the Arcada Theatre ... I would love to be able to see some of the great entertainment that seems to always be there.  
I do have tickets to see The Happy Together tour that is coming on September 3rd. I know it will be a great time.
norio
The Arcada puts on some amazing shows ... in the course of a week you can see big name Vegas acts like Paul Anka and Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. ... country star Crystal Gayle ... rocker Sebastian Bach ... psychedelic groups like The Strawbs ... the inventive Todd Rundgren ... and classic rockers like The Orchestra followed by The Glenn Miller Orchestra!  ALWAYS something interesting going on, with the widest variety of musical styles you're ever going to find.
The Tommy James book is being made into a movie (I'll have to ask Tommy how things are coming along with that) and, after doing all my research for the Bobby Darin article, I have become a full-fledged fan.
The Happy Together Tour line-up this year consists of The Turtles, Chuck Negron, Gary Puckett, Mark Lindsay, The Cowsills and The Spencer Davis Group.  As of right now, there's no Chicago stop listed ... but they ALWAYS come to The Paramount Theatre so I'm hoping they follow suit.  This is a GREAT line-up and you should have a great time.  (kk)

Speaking of The Happy Together Tour, Mark Volman has been declared "cancer free" ... I recently got this note from FH Reader Tom Cuddy ...

Mark Volman, the frizzy-haired co-frontman of the Turtles and the “Flo” half of Flo & Eddie, has been given a clean bill of health after undergoing treatment for throat cancer. 
The news was broken on Twitter by the band’s other frontman, Howard Kaylan, who wrote, “Thanks for all of your positive thoughts. Here to tell the world, Mark (Flo) Volman is Cancer Free!!

Joel Whitburn's new "America's Greatest Albums, 1956 - 2015" Top Ten Albums book has just started to ship ...

It is the PERFECT companion piece to his recent America's Greatest Hits compilation, listing The Top Ten Records on The Billboard Pop Singles Chart for EVERY week from 1940 thru 2015.
You can order your copy now thru the Record Research website ...
Or enter to WIN a copy now by dropping us an email with the words TOP TEN ALBUMS in the subject line.
We'll pick one lucky winner over Memorial Day Weekend and send them a copy of this hot new book ...
So get your entries in NOW to qualify!  (kk)

Jim Peterik has a few more local shows set up to promote his new album "The Songs" ... featuring brand new arrangements of some of his most popular and best-known tracks.
We missed his show at The City Winery a couple of weeks ago ... had to work late again at the last minute ... but we're shooting to catch him on Saturday, June 25th, at the Rau Center For Performing Arts in Crystal Lake.  (He also has shows coming up at The Acorn Theater in Three Oaks, MI, on June 4th and another one on July 17th at The Space in Evanston.  Check the jimpeterik.com website for more details.)  kk

Jim's also has some Ides shows coming up ... in fact, the group also recently visited their altamater (and mine as well), Morton West High School.  (see photo below)


Catch The Ides Of March June 24th at The Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis, MN; July 3rd at Ribest in Naperville, IL; July 9th at Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI; July 16th at The Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, IL, August 6th at Romeofest in Romeoville, IL; The Arcada Theatre on September 3rd in St. Charles, IL (part of the Cornerstones of Rock show) and The Theatre of Western Springs on November 5th in Western Springs, IL.  
More dates are being added all the time so be sure to check The Ides Of March website for all the latest information.
http://theidesofmarch.com/shows/  

Regarding "Never Be Lonely" by The New Colony Six ... last month when I saw Bob Wilson - the writer of this song - we discussed it fondly. He and Ronnie Rice talk quite often, and it would be so cool to get Ron down here to perform it with Bob and his band.
David Lewis
The story goes that Bob Wilson brought the song with him when he joined The New Colony Six after leaving The Boyz.  (However, further research says that Wilson was never officially a member of The NC6 ... he just supplied them with material, including another "bubbling under" hit "People And Me".)  I'd be curious to get HIS take on all of this since we've never spoken to him about it.  (Maybe you can speak with him, David, and have him get back to us???)  Meanwhile, here is a copy of the very rare Boyz version of this tune.



If a Mike Nesmith guest appearance at an upcoming Monkees show means that we will get to hear "Me And Magdalena" live, please tell Mike to just keep writing his book, which also sounds like it's gonna be a real winner ... NOT!
Dave The Rave 
I thought Mike's participation on the new album was going to be vintage tracks that have been in the can for four or five decades ... but believe it or not, this is a brand new track, written by Ben Gibbard of Death Cab For Cutie, who says ...   

Before The Beatles, before The Velvet Underground and before punk and / or indie rock, The Monkees were the first band I truly loved. Their albums were always on in our home when I was a kid (especially Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.), and I learned to sing alongside them. I spent countless hours in front of the TV in the '80s watching Monkees reruns wishing I could climb through the screen and be in the show with them. They made being in a band seem so fun — and goddammit, it should be! For these reasons and a million others, I can say with absolutely zero hyperbole that contributing "Me & Magdalena" to this album has been the greatest honor of my career.
-- Ben Gibbard

The new album "Good Times" is available this Friday (May 27th)  kk

Hi Kent, 
Regarding Image Of A Girl ...
Bobby Rey of the Hollywood Argyles told me that he produced that and he was the one playing the "ticking clock" sound that Larry Neal refers to in his email. 
I dated a girl who's 1st husband was a later member of the Safaris (not on the record). 
I saw Safaris lead Jimmy Stephen on a SoCal Doowop Soc show circa early 90s. 
Gary E. Myers / MusicGem

Sunday, May 22, 2016

PAUL ANKA


Las Vegas came to St. Charles, Illinois Thursday Night ...

And landed center stage at The Arcada Theatre.  

Paul Anka blew the doors off with a kick-ass two-hour performance to a full house of enthusiastic fans ... and I don't think I've ever a crowd so appreciative.



It was an all "pro show" from start to finish ... and our VERY sharply dressed host and Arcada CEO / President Ron Onesti was beaming throughout the entire evening.  

Prior to Anka taking the stage Ron told the audience that booking Paul had been on his bucket list for nearly thirty years ... well, Ron, it was well worth the wait ... Anka is the consummate showman who has the art-form down to a science.  

Paul told the crowd that this month marks his 59th year anniversary performing in show business.  Man, what a career this man has had.  (I couldn't help but think about how many times a week I'll hear a coworker, vendor or customer, beat up by the daily grind, say, when asked how they're doing, answer "oh, you know, livin' the dream" ... but Paul Anka truly IS living the dream ... and he's being doing so for going on sixty years now!) 


Even his entrance was spectacular.  While a prerecorded overture played, his 12-piece band / orchestra slowly took the stage and then, once all members were seated and began playing on their own, we heard the booming, crystal clear voice of Paul Anka off stage begin singing "You Are My Destiny".  

As he finished the first verse, the whole audience was up on their feet, waiting for him to come out from behind the curtain backstage, only to find out that Anka had entered from the back of the theater.  As the spotlight hit him, the crowd went crazy with applause.  The look of pure joy and excitement on all the faces only made each audience member smile wider as Paul worked his way down the aisle through the crowd, shaking hands and slapping high-fives with audience members along the way.  Anka is a superstar legend, both as a performer and a songwriter, who has enjoyed a stellar career.

His voice is probably stronger and more powerful than ever ... yet he still retains every bit of the youthfulness we came to love over the years buying his records.


Throughout the night a series of vintage videos were run on the big screen ... Anka on The Ed Sullivan Show, Anka with Dick Clark, interview clips and publicity stills of Paul with everybody from Frank Sinatra to The Beatles to Annette Funicello to Muhammad Ali to Michael Jackson.  A video clip of Sammy Davis, Jr. performing one of Paul's tracks was especially moving.  (Anka was an "honorary member" of "The Rat Pack" and hung out regularly with Davis, Dean Martin and ring leader Frank Sinatra, who dubbed him "The Kid", and finally coaxed him into writing what would go on to become one of the biggest hits of both of their careers.)  

The tracks he chose to perform for this show were incredible ... a full career retrospective ... including a number of "Forgotten Hits" that the die-hard fans in the audience really loved hearing again.  (MAJOR hits that radio has forgotten all about like "Let The Bells Keep Ringing", "All Of A Sudden My Heart Sings", "My Home Town","Tonight, My Love, Tonight", "A Steel Guitar And A Glass Of Wine", "Hold Me 'Til The Morning Comes" and "The Times Of Your Life", during which time he encouraged the crowd to "take as many pictures as you like" ... absolutely fitting, of course, since that song was used in a Kodak ad campaign for years.)   

Speaking of taking pictures, the audience got another treat when Paul came out into the seats to sings some of his biggest early hits, posing for pictures with audience members during "Lonely Boy" and "Puppy Love" and slow-dancing while crooning "Put Your Head On My Shoulder" into the ear of a female fan up front.  (He even sang into one man's cell phone, later joking that it wasn't fair that the person on the other end of the line was hearing the show for free!)


He also honored a couple of requests from the crowd ... (although it was pretty obvious that these were not quite as "ad-libbed and spontaneous" as they were made out to be) and did one of my personal favorites, "Do I Love You" from 1971, although it was barely recognizable as he had slowed down the original tempo drastically.  It all became clear as to why, however, when he segued into Prince's "Purple Rain", which he belted out like a bonafide rocker!

Another highlight was a brief "unplugged" segment where Anka performed the song he wrote for Buddy Holly, "It Doesn't Matter Anymore", backed by an incredible accompaniment of acoustic guitars, violin / fiddle and harmonica, which he then turned into a medley of other great hits from this early era including "Oh, Lonesome Me" and "Bye Bye Love".  It was an absolute stand-out performance (in a fun, pickin' and grinnin' sort of way!)

In between we heard some GREAT stories about the people whose paths he crossed along the way ... a stirring tribute to the military, tied into a tale about his role in the film "The Longest Day", for which he also wrote (and performed) the title track ... lots of corny jokes and Vegas glitz ... like I said, he's got this whole show business thing down to a science ... but the audience totally ate it up ... this was a class act all the way. (Truthfully, some of the "spoken word" style of singing for dramatic effect wore a little thin for me at times ... and I personally could have done with about fifty less "strike a pose" / "ain't I great" moments but hey, Paul Anka's proud of all he's done and accomplished ... and he should be ... he's had one hell of a career and based on what we saw Thursday Night, it's still going strong.)


When he did his big #1 hit "Havin' My Baby", the female vocal lines were covered by his very talented violinist (who REALLY cooked on the aforementioned "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" and played beautifully throughout the night.)  I enjoyed this "duet" comeback phase of his career and would have loved hearing a few others like "I Believe There's Nothing Stronger Than Our Love" and "I Don't Like To Sleep Alone", tracks he originally cut with Odia Coates.  Likewise, I would have welcomed hearing his version of "Love Never Felt So Good", the GREAT posthumous track released last year by Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake.  (Sadly these hits were missing from the line-up Thursday night.)

Naturally things closed up with "My Way", the monster, defining track he wrote for Frank Sinatra and "Diana", his breakthrough hit.  It was two hours of pure showmanship.

(very special thanks to Luciano Bilotti for all these great shots!
uncredited shots by Frannie Kotal)

After performing at The Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield, Ohio, last night, Anka takes a short hiatus ... but then returns to the road for half a dozen concert dates in July ...

July 22nd - Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis, MA
July 23rd - South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset, MA
July 24th - Mohegan Sun in Mohegan Sun, CT
July 29th - Sands Casino in Bethelehem, PA
July 30th - Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, NJ
July 31st - Westhampton Beach PAC in Westhampton Beach, NY  

Visit Paul's website for more information:
http://paulanka.com/ 

And check out all of the five-star reviews posted on the Ticketmaster website 

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Friday Flash

Coppock's Topics  
Chet stated that "The Safaris' "Image of a Girl" is the most underappreciated song from rock's first golden era."  I agree ... not sure if it's the "most", but it is a great song ... for some friends of mine in 7th grade, it was THEIR song ... I guess he had found the right "image".  
BUT, for that same time-frame (early 60's), the Cascades "Shy Girl" is another great song that should have been BIG in the pre-Beatles era.  It has the signature guitar-chink rhythm of that era.  It should have been the "slow-dance" favorite at sock hops.  It was the first song on the only Cascades album (that had Rhythm of the Rain).  Another great Cascades song, a year or two later,  was "Cinderella" that had some success in Japan.  
Billy Fairfield

I just recently subscribed to satellite radio. Of course I immediately found the 60's channel. I loved it, until Cousin Brucie started his show. He may have been big in NY, but I found him boring. I switched channels. However, Chet, you may be a bit prejudiced about Dick Biondi. I think Dick's act played out long ago too.  
Jewel and Carole King in the same sentence? I don't think so. Perhaps had Jewel written huge sellers for as a diverse cross section of artists as Carole had, we could have some agreement. Jewel and Celine Dion? That's even more ludicrous. Celine doesn't belong in the same sentence as Jewel.
Dark Star had the misfortune of being paired with Just A Song Before I Go. Radio programmers love songs that clock in at around 2:10. No doubt that it was pitched like that. Had the label stuck some nondescript song on the back of Just A Song ... and then released Dark Star as the followup, you could have had your wish come true.
I don't have a problem with Toto being overrated, but they have some stiff competition. I'm not silly enough to name some names. Suffice to say some are FH faves.
Can't comment about some of Chet's other topics, as either I wasn't there, or I'm not familiar enough with the given song to say thumbs up, or down. 
Jack Levin 

Chet said that the Safaris' IMAGE OF A GIRL is the most underappreciated song from rock's first golden era. I don't know about that, but from day one and up through the years, I have always liked the clock, metronome, whatever, ticking in the background. I can't imagine the record being played without it.  
Larry Neal 



Toto overrated?  Chet does know that this band consisted of some of the most seasoned, accomplished and versatile studio musicians in the world, right? 
Lisa 
And, they're coming to The Arcada Theatre in August!  (We saw Bobby Kimball there a few years ago and he was great ... but this show should be a killer!  Wonder if Chet'll be in attendance that night!!!)  kk  

Hey Kent,I'll bet you knew you were going to hear from me on THIS one, right? Actually, I cleaned up my language a bit. Toto is, and has been, made up some of L.A.'s finest studio musicians. It is a solid, innovative group. So for a legendary sports broadcaster to place Freddie and the Dreamers into the same category as that band, pleases me to no end. 
- John LaPuzza  
You DO know that he was kidding, right???  (lol)  kk

Bobby Rydell
Kent ...
You said that you were about to read Bobby Rydell's Autobiography.  
I liked it ... interesting and well written.
His father supported him 100% ... his mother not so much.  (You won't hear much about his mother till the end of the book.)
One thing I noticed:  Bobby Darin and Bobby Rydell were both opening acts for George Burns in Las Vegas. George told Rydell to stay out of the casino. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember a similar story about Bobby Darin.
He was gambling in the casino. I think he won some money and George Burns got mad at him for not listening to his advice. I think he even slapped him in the face.  
Bobby Darin never went into the casino again.
Frank B.
I'm about halfway through the Bobby Rydell book and I am enjoying it very much ... well-written and very entertaining.
The George Burns story struck me as odd, too, as it was SO similar to the Darin situation.
Here's how we covered it in our Bobby Darin feature (now permanently posted on the other Forgotten Hits website):

'60's FLASHBACK:


The "finger-snappin', swingin' style" of BOBBY DARIN was a perfect fit for the Las Vegas nightclubs and soon he would become (at 23) the youngest headliner ever on the Strip!  His first break came when legendary comedian GEORGE BURNS invited BOBBY to be his opening act at HARRAH's in Lake Tahoe.  They became an incredible draw and BOBBY learned SO much from the vaudeville master.  DARIN loved GEORGE BURNS and referred to him many times as the father he never knew ... even though he only ever referred to him as "MR. BURNS" his entire career.  BOBBY went so far as to once comment that if he could have chosen his own father, GEORGE BURNS would have been the man.  (BURNS replied that he felt EXACTLY the same way about BOBBY ... but that BOBBY was too YOUNG to be his father.)  GEORGE BURNS and GRACIE ALLEN ... who by then had stopped performing due to illness ... welcomed BOBBY into their lives as part of their family.  When GRACIE died, BOBBY actually slept in her bed for several nights so that GEORGE BURNS wouldn't be alone.  He finally convinced BURNS that the only way he would ever come to terms with his wife's death was to also sleep in her bed.
Back in the earliest days of his nightclub career, GEORGE BURNS was paying BOBBY $1750 a week to learn the ropes ... and BOBBY was happy to get it.  After hits like MACK THE KNIFE and winning a couple of GRAMMY AWARDS, BOBBY certainly didn't need to play second-fiddle to ANYONE ... yet years later he STILL turned down two more lucrative (and career-advancing) offers to appear with BURNS as his opening act.  Truth is, GEORGE BURNS laid a pretty heavy guilt trip on BOBBY DARIN.  BOBBY was sure his old friend would find a replacement for him, especially in light of the circumstances.  BURNS, however, tore into BOBBY, criticizing him for his irresponsibility in not honoring the old contract.  "If I were still paying you peanuts and you had a chance to better yourself, I wouldn't think twice about it, but for the kind of money I'm paying you (BURNS had raised BOBBY's take to $7500 per week), you have a responsibility to me!"  (BURNS had NO idea that BOBBY took a $17,500 per week paycut to open for his old friend ... but that's exactly what BOBBY did ... and he never told him.)  "I'm sorry, MR. BURNS ... you'll have me in Vegas with you," he said.
BOBBY remained close with BURNS for the rest of his life.  In 1964, he even wrote the theme song to BURNS' short-lived television series WENDY AND ME, costarring CONNIE STEVENS.  (He also wrote the theme for the comedy series CAMP RUNAMUCK that year ... but we won't hold EITHER of these against him!)
GEORGE BURNS loved to tell the story of the time that BOBBY DARIN won $1800 during his first gambling go-round in Las Vegas.  BURNS congratulated his young protege on his winnings but warned him not to go back to the tables ... he could lose that money just as easily as he had won it.  In fact, he even offered to hold BOBBY's winnings for him until they left town to insure its safe-keeping ... or, give BOBBY some "pocket money" so he could still have fun in the casinos but also have something to show of his winnings when they left town.  BOBBY snapped back that he was old enough to take care of himself and then promptly proceeded to lose every penny of it!  In a heated "I told you so" argument just before showtime, BURNS slapped BOBBY across the face for his stupidity and arrogance.  Normally, during the show, BURNS would give a long-winded introduction before bringing BOBBY on stage ... the two would then shake hands and then BOBBY would do his show.  This night, BURNS simply told the audience, "Ladies and Gentlemen, BOBBY DARIN."  As BOBBY walked on stage, BURNS refused to shake his hand, slapping it away as he walked off the stage.  BOBBY was devastated.  He felt that he had alienated the best friend he ever had in show business ... not to mention insulted and disappointed a living legend.  "MR. BURNS," he called out on stage, "If you don't give me my regular introduction, I won't be able to work."  BURNS looked at BOBBY's sad expression and then came out to talk to the audience.  "This little boy just lost $1800," he said, and then told the audience the entire story.  When he finished, he asked the audience if they felt BOBBY should be punished or forgiven.  The crowd voted for forgiveness, at which point BURNS went over to BOBBY, gave him a big hug and then gave his normal introduction.  BOBBY went on to give a great performance that night and ... legend says ... never gambled again.
 
SPEAKING OF BOBBY RYDELL, HERE'S ANOTHER FORGOTTEN HITS EXCLUSIVE .  
We're going to be interviewing Bobby Rydell in the next week or two ...
This is YOUR chance to ask him anything you like ...
If there's anything you've EVER wanted to know, NOW is the time to prepare your questions.
We'll run the best of what we receive ... along with Bobby's answers ... AND a review of his autobiography in an upcoming edition of Forgotten Hits!  So send them in NOW!!!  (kk)

Michael Nesmith
FH Reader Tom Cuddy sent us this recent interview with The Nez ... 
MONKEES: Mike Nesmith on Why He's Not on the Tour  
(His commitment to finishing a book took up the same time as the 50th anniversary tour.)
(Mike Nesmith says he would love to joined Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork, but he faced a hard deadline to complete his memoir.)
Just hours before the band's 50th Anniversary Tour kicked off in Fort Myers, Florida, we spoke with him in New York. 
Mike Nesmith says his book commitment stood in the way of joining The Monkees tour.
"Double booked. I had already made plans for this summer, and had it set up and made a commitment to my publisher to deliver a book by the end of October. So it just laid right over the time they were going to do the tour; we talked about it. And what we're trying to do is we're trying to work it out so that after I deliver the book, if they've got some dates or if we've got a way to put together a 50th anniversary concert, then we'll do it." 
Nesmith says online rumors that he's planning to do cameos at some shows on the West Coast or other surprise appearances simply aren't true. 
Mike Nesmith says don't try to guess when he might join a Monkees show before November.
"I'm definitely not going to show up as a surprise on any of these shows out there. But we talk about if there a gap where our schedules will open up, and I can go there and get the rehearsal in or so forth... I'll go do a show or two or three. We'll make sure that everybody knows that I'm coming -- and you're not going to play the lottery and go and hope that Nez is there, 'cause he's not. Right now, there's no plans to do it. And when there are plans to do it, we'll say, 'OK, we're going to play this show and this date at this time certain'." 
But the idea of a special night or two, teaming with Micky and Peter, as well as the young writers who contributed to their upcoming Good Times! album holds a lot of appeal -- even if it has to wait till much later this year. 
Mike Nesmith promises Monkees fans they won't be kept in the dark if the guys do a special show with a number of guests. OC: ...I'll let you know.  
"We're also trying to target, we're going to play 'this 50th anniversary concert' and we've invited Fountains of Wayne and we're invited Ben Gibbard and Death Cab [For Cutie] and we've invited Noel [Gallagher] and Paul [Weller] -- and we'll do a big party like that. Those are all pipe dreams right now; they don't really exist. So the best, straight up thing to do is just to say, 'I'm not going to be at any of them that we know of. But if I am going to come to one, you'll know about it.' We'll promote it, we'll make sure that you get an opportunity to come there and if it's that important for somebody to be up there playing Mike, I'll let you know."  
As far as the book, Nesmith says, "It's nothing about The Monkees. I mean there's a chapter in there that kinda touches on it. It's about counter-culture, it's about my life in the counter-culture, about living, growing up. It's about the beginning of the cyber culture. It's memoir-ish, it's about living my life through a series of bands." The tentative title: Listen to the Band
Asked why fans retain such loyalty for The Monkees, Nez says he "just doesn't know... We all carry around a love for that [youthful] part of our life and for that kind of connection between people."
The brand new Monkees album drops next week ... and yesterday Rhino leaked another track ... this time a Mike Nesmith tune featuring Mike and Micky on lead harmony vocals.  You can check it out here ...
http://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2016/05/19/478417461/song-premiere-the-monkees-me-magdalena 


Diggin' Forgotten Hits:  
>>>Things have been pretty hot and hectic here lately.  I am SO far behind on commitments right now it's ridiculous!  Working on four new radio shows ... have already promised five book reviews ... most of which also tie into artists interviews ... and have something like fifteen concerts to attend between now and the 4th of July ... in addition to still working about 55-60 hours per week out in the REAL world!!!  (Between all of this and still trying to get Forgotten Hits out everyday, this leaves time to enjoy all the good stuff that is going on right now ... and that's a REAL shame!!!)
I hear you, Kent - but it sounds like these are mostly labors of love, so it is a blessing!
At the risk of turning you into Napoleon the XIV, take a moment now and then to enjoy all that's going on in your life right now.
Bob Rush
Thank you, Bob ... and I appreciate the encouraging words ... and I really DO appreciate all that's going on ... sometimes it just seems like it's happening so fast that I don't get to truly savor the moment ... but things are definitely great music-wise right now.  (And wait till you see what we've got planned for next year!!!)  kk

Kent,
I can see all you put into this.  Don't know how you do it. But it's great! 
The music world wouldn't be the same without you.
Ken Evans / The Fifth Estate
Thanks, Furv, I appreciate it.
LOTS going on in YOUR world right now, too, in the way of new releases and being back out doing live shows again.  (Stay tuned ... we just may pull together another Fifth Estate / Forgotten Hits give-away in the next week or two!)  kk

Hi Kent, 
Recently I had to get a new computer because of over heating. You had some great playlists that I stored on my Itunes. Using what songs I had I tried to recreate those lists you had so I could listen to them anytime I wished. While transferring the playlists, my old computer died. Two of those lists were the Top 200 Hits from The Beatle Years and the Top 100 from the British Invasion. Could you please tell me where the posts were so I could look them up. 
Thank You Very Much,
Randy Anderson
The Top 200 Hits of The Beatles Era is permanently posted on the other Forgotten Hits website here:
I had to do a little digging for the other one ... because we counted 'em down over a series of days ...
However, I DID find a "recap" ... ironically enough requested by YOU last year!  (lol)
Here you go:
This is fantastic and I thank you very much. This is a great help. I think the world of Forgotten Hits.
Randy 

Good response to the "What's The Name Of That Song" radio special that Phil Nee of WRCO ran over the past weekend ...

Phil -
I just wanted to let you know that I very much enjoyed your show last night. I am a frequent listener and at 64 years old appreciate the oldies you play. I went on and bookmarked that forgottenhits.com website and it is amazing and I will enjoy those old memories. Thanks for mentioning it.
Also glad you guys have that 107.7FM now because I can now enjoy that music at night and without static. Keep up your needed and great work. God Bless.
Mike

Kent -
Thanks again for your great work.  I hope we can do another show soon.
Phil
We're working on several different radio "themed" shows right now so we'll keep you posted.  Thanks, Phil!  (kk) 

Recent Reviews 
Kent, 
I agree with what you said in your review of Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis. To use them again as the example, I just want to hear their hits that they had. I don't want any artist or group to do hits that other artists or groups had. I also don't want said artist or group to do a medley of their hits. I just want to hear the entire songs.
Larry

Robin Gibb
Taking just a moment to remember Robin Gibb of The Bee Gees, who passed away four years ago today.



Cornerstones Of Rock:
As one who has both supervised and been hands-on in the post-production editing / assembling / mixing of numerous video productions, it is possible that WTTW a) figured that no one would notice the deleted songs (!) and b) wanted to keep the project as cost-effective as possible.  If the latter is true, they simply did not allocate adequate funding to add extra footage to the DVD release.   Post-production studio and personnel time is not cheap.  At least one producer, editor and writer would have had to been on the clock to source and work in interviews, backstage bits, etc.   WTTW apparently did not believe that the results would boost sales sufficiently to justify the added expense. Regarding the songs, if they were technically good enough to be included in the original broadcast, there's no reason why they would be deleted from the DVD.  That makes no sense at all.  And if they were technically NOT good when originally taped -- then the technical director would have known this right away -- why wasn't a second take shot of the subpar content before the production wrapped?  
Yes, the makers of the DVD have to pay songwriting royalties to the writers and publishers of any music heard in their release, but it's hard to believe that they couldn't clear 100% of the songs performed.  Over the years I have cleared thousands of tunes -- not just writer - publisher royalty rights but also record companies' master licensing agreements -- and have NEVER had a problem with ANY writer - publisher.  Licensing the musical compositions writer and publishers own is how they make their money! 
It's also quite possible that key players in the production of the special were NOT fans and had little or no real knowledge of the music and the acts being showcased.  That would explain their sometimes odd choices of tracks to feature and the amount of time devoted to each act.  I know that if I had supervised the Cornerstone project, the balance of airtime among the acts and the final choice of spotlight songs would have been somewhat different.  I also would have tried to shoot enough material to compile a complete SECOND Cornerstone special out of the outtakes.  
That's been done before.  I remember Karen Carpenter telling me that when she and her brother set about recording tracks for their 1978 "Christmas Portrait" LP, the duo wound up with a full album and a half of first-rate tracks.  Karen said they had a tough time whittling the list down to just enough for a single LP.  She hoped to later record more Yuletide tunes but didn't live long enough to do it.  Two years after her death, her brother, Richard, took the leftovers from "Christmas Portrait" and newly recorded enough instrumentals to pad out the running time,  The result, in 1985, was the second Carpenters Yuletide LP, "An Old-Fashioned Christmas."  .  
Gary Theroux