Thursday, July 18, 2019

July 18th, 1969 - The Night That Mary Jo Kopechne Went Off A Chappaquiddick Bridge

Billie Joe McAllister be damned, even fifty years later it's hard to make light of the events of July 18th, 1969 ... a girl died at the hands of Senator Edward Kennedy and yet no penalty for this death or negligence on his part was ever served.  Kennedy was literally able to walk away from the scene, ultimately getting away with murder.

A 2017 film recaps (with a fair amount of speculation regarding private conversations that no one could possibly have been privy to) the events of that day and the days following as more and more details were being released (much of which were fed to the press by Kennedy's team.)  It takes the approach to the story based on the way Ted Kennedy presented it to the public ... not allowing for much of the conjecture and speculation that has followed over the past fifty years.

Perhaps the most amazing fact of all is that today, 50 YEARS LATER, we still don't know the truth about what really happened that night.  None of the people involved (many of whom are dead now) have EVER spoken about these events ... so all we're left with is all we've ever had ... speculation, conjecture and the presence of a logical mind to try and sort it all out.) 

The most widely-circulated tales of these events pertaining to the incident are as follows:

Senator Kennedy and Mary Jo Kopechne were at a party on Chappaquiddick Island on Martha's Vineyard when Mary Jo reportedly announced that she was leaving in order to catch the ferry in time to get back to her hotel room.  (Kopechne had worked diligently for Bobby Kennedy's campaign the year before and was a close friend of The Kennedys due to her hard work, dedication and on-going support.)  She was one of a group of girls referred to as "The Boiler Room Girls," a group of six women, all in their early-to-mid 20's, attending the party along with six older men, five of whom were married.  

At about 11:15 pm, Senator Kennedy offered her a ride and, as such, was the one driving the car, a 1967 black Oldsmobile, headed to drop Mary Jo off at the ferry to make her way back to her hotel room.  (Kennedy didn't typically drive this car and had to borrow the keys from his chauffeur in order to do so.)  Somehow, he missed the turn-off and headed off in the wrong direction, ultimately driving his car through the guardrail and into the Poucha Pond.  



Kennedy was able to free himself from the vehicle and said that he then made repeated attempts to dive back down and pull Mary Jo from the car ... but was unable to do so due to the complete darkness and heavy current below the surface.  He then walked back to the party he had left earlier and recruited two of his cronies, Joe Gargan and Paul Markham, to help him solve "a very big problem" ... at which time all three men made several more attempts to rescue Kopechne, all to no avail. 

Instead of immediately calling for more help, support and reinforcements, Kennedy then waited nearly ten hours before reporting the accident to the police, closing forever any remaining window of opportunity for saving the girl before she suffocated and drowned.  (Based on the position of the body when the car was ultimately retrieved, it was clear that Kopechne had done everything she could to keep her head above water before she succumbed to passing out and drowning.  Could she possibly have been saved had somebody been sent down on another diving mission in a timely fashion?  This is just one of the many questions raised that we will never know the answer to.)

[The diver who recovered Mary Jo's body, John Farrar, stated on the record that Kopechne most likely died from suffocation rather than from drowning or from the impact of the overturned vehicle.  He based this analysis on the position of the body, as she was clasping the back seat with her face turned upward, trying to breathe in the air pocket above the water level in the car.  Farrar stated that she probably could have been saved had a more timely rescue attempt been made.  He stated on the record that "It looked as if she were holding herself up to get a last breath of air.  It was a consciously assumed position.  She didn't drown.  She died of suffocation in her own air void.  It took her at least three or four hours to die.  I could have had her out of that car twenty-five minutes after I got the call ... but he didn't call."]  Still, the Medical Examiner signed the death certificate stating the official cause of death as "accidental drowning."  

This lapse of time between the accident and the reporting of the accident also provided Kennedy's team of political experts plenty of time and opportunity to concoct the perfect spin on their version of "what really happened."  Even fifty years later it's hard to believe that Kennedy walked away unscathed, forgiven by the public.  

Among the things that simply don't add up is the fact that, according to the other Boiler Room Girls, Mary Jo hadn't told anybody she was leaving ... and, in fact, had left her purse and hotel key behind at the party ... which makes all of this sound more like a joy ride than a trip home.  (Why would she be returning to her hotel room without her purse and keys ... to get into that hotel room???) It was also revealed that Mary Jo wasn't wearing panties when her body was pulled from the vehicle, indicating that Kennedy was likely "distracted" and quite possibly didn't have both hands on the wheel.  (Even stranger ... although Mary Jo didn't have her purse with her at the time of the party, the purse of another Boiler Room Girl, Rosemary Keough, was found in the vehicle when it was pulled from the pond ... which raises yet another question:  Could there have been a THIRD passenger in the car that night?)

Much speculation was made at the time (and during the years since) that Kennedy and Kopechne were having an affair ... or that he made unwanted (or possibly wanted) advances on her in the car ... or that she was pregnant with his baby at the time and perhaps even broke this news to him that night.  Because no autopsy was ever performed (Kennedy had the body rushed back to her family before this could take place), no one can state with all certainty as to the validity of any of these alleged rumors.  And then, once the body was discovered, Kennedy was not forthcoming with any comments, statements or explanations, leading the minds of the 450 press reporters now on the scene to wonder and speculate all kinds of scenarios.  

Kennedy was often captured on film and photographs as intoxicated during his Senatorial reign and, based on comments we received previously when covering the Chappaquiddick incident in Forgotten Hits, was cited for reckless driving four times while attending law school at the University of Virginia ... including once when he was clocked driving 90 miles per hour in a residential neighborhood after dark with his headlights off ... yet despite all these infractions, his Virginia driver's license was never revoked.  He was also expelled from Harvard when he was caught cheating on an exam ... leading to even more speculation regarding the likelihood that he was telling the truth. 

Of the Kennedy boys, Teddy was considered the "least worthy" and least qualified of any political ambitions or aspirations ... yet after the Chappaquiddick incident he would go on to serve 40 more years as a State Senator for Massachusetts until his death in 2009.  (Some will argue that the accident stripped him of any chances of ever becoming President ... and that this was penalty and punishment enough ... but there was far more wrong with Teddy Kennedy than just this one incident that contributed to the factor as to his worthiness for a Presidential bid.)  In fact, his only bid for the President fell short in 1980 when he was unable to secure the support of his party as their candidate, losing to Jimmy Carter ... he never attempted to run again.

It is no secret that the Kennedys lived a privileged life ... in the eyes of so many, they could do no wrong ... and were considered to be "above the law" by most.  The same set of circumstances surrounding Chappaquiddick for ANY other American citizen would not have yielded the same results. 

While the film offers an insightful view into the mechanics and strategy that went into the mission of how to protect Teddy and the Kennedy name, a far more in-depth and detailed account can be found in the British BBC Television Special "Inside Story" commemorating the 25th anniversary of these events and circumstances of that unnerving week. 

(Despite its "matter of fact" direct approach, however, this documentary also introduces some new theories including one that Kennedy wasn't even in the car ... fear of being seen with a young woman that late at night in the intoxicated state he was likely in would jeopardize both his marriage and his standing in the State of Massachusetts ... thus raising the possibility that Mary Jo drove herself off the bridge ... meaning that Kennedy wasn't even aware of the accident until the following morning, at which time he kicked things into high gear to make himself look like the driver as well as imply repeated failed rescue attempts.)  It all sounds a bit preposterous to me ... and I can't see Kennedy's aides going along with such a ruse.  (Most will agree, however, that one of the explanations Kennedy considered revealing to the press was that Mary Jo was the sole passenger and driver ... but his advisors shut down that angle immediately.)  A more logical preposterous explanation might be that Mary Jo WAS pregnant with his baby and that, rather than avoid a scandal, Kennedy arranged for the car to go over the bridge with only her in it.  Or that Mary Jo was already dead BEFORE the car went over the bridge ... and the accident was staged to look like Mary Jo had driven herself off the bridge ... so why cop to taking blame for an incident that most certainly would have a permanent impact on your career?  Like I said, fifty years later with no crystal clear explanation or verification, the mind can come up with all kinds of "what if" scenarios!  (I have since read THOUSANDS of pages on Chappaquiddick theories and watched dozens of hours of video clips and newsreel footage ... and still can't say that I could conclusively tell you what I think actually happened despite the validity of many solid points raised along the way.  The reason for this is because each new possible consideration invalidates what you thought about something else up to this point.  It truly is a vicious circle, all the more frustrating because NO new evidence has come to light in the fifty years since.)  

Most interesting about the BBC expose is their coverage of the inquest and reopening of investigations after the original round of Chappaquiddick coverage had pretty much been put to bed.  It shows several instances where Kennedy is caught in a lie ... changing his story and the sequence of events ... and at one point, even combining bits and pieces of two different versions of the story.  It's pretty compelling stuff and well worth watching. (The video link I originally had posted here has since been disabled ... but search for it ... it is definitely worth seeing.)

The "Inside Story" episode also allows for the Kennedy car being seen by the local sheriff prior to the accident.  In this scenario, after being spotted by the police car, Kennedy's car takes off at high speed when he believes the cop is going to follow him ... it just wouldn't look right to be seen out with a single woman at nearly 1 am, being a married man with a pregnant wife at home ... especially if you're likely intoxicated, too ... so he has Mary Jo drop him off (which is why he REALLY walked back to the party) ... and then, in a panic, Mary Jo drove herself off the bridge.  This supposition allows that Kennedy would have been completely unaware of the accident until the following morning when the car was pulled from the pond ... meaning he really hadn't waited 9-10 hours to report the accident after all ... because he didn't even know it had occurred.  Either way, it's all pretty sensational stuff ... even fifty years later ... with so many unanswered questions ... and so many of the participants no longer with us (and never having talked about any of this on the record.)

Much has been made over the years that nothing short of a man landing on the moon could have kept the story of Chappaquiddick off the front pages of newspapers from coast to coat but incredibly that is EXACTLY what happened!  Kennedy's car went off the bridge during the wee hours of the morning of the 19th ... and he didn't report it until much later that day, at which time a crew was dispersed to pull the wreckage from the river.  The following morning, Apollo 11 landed on the moon, an event watched worldwide by upwards of 500 million viewers ... and when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon's surface and uttered the infamous "One small step for man ... one giant leap for mankind" speech, nobody outside the Kennedy camp ... who were likely all still sweating bullets while trying to come up with the story they were going to tell the public  ... paid much attention to anything else.  

Still, Kennedy couldn't resist the P.R. aspect of this whole circus ... he showed up at Mary Jo's funeral wearing a neck brace for all photo opportunities ... something he had NOT been seen wearing since the accident.  Stories of a concussion also circulated as a contributing factor to taking him so long to report the incident.  (The neck brace idea backfired big time ... he was ridiculed in the papers the next day.  Even his closest aide, Joe Gargan, told him "You are not the victim here, Senator ... a woman has died.")  Gargan resigned after the Chappaquiddick incident was closed, severing life-long ties with the Kennedy family.  When his own mother, Rose Kennedy's sister, died when Joe was six, he was raised by Ted's parents from that point forward ... yet he found the circumstances of this event so appalling that he could no longer associate with his cousin.




Incredibly, Kopechne's family forgave the Senator immediately.  (Speculation has always been that they were financially compensated by the Kennedy Family for their loss.  Records released years later showed that in addition to a $50,000 life insurance policy on their daughter, they also received $90,904 from Kennedy personally, who also picked up the tab for all of the funeral expenses.  When asked why they didn't take further legal action and pursue more, they felt that this would be perceived as "looking for blood money.")  Although later admitting that they felt there were still a lot of unanswered questions, they never really discussed the incident again.

Neither have any of the Boiler Room Girls ... or Teddy himself, who took whatever undisclosed facts that may exist with him to his grave.  (Many of the key players in this God-awful horror show have also since passed on ... none ever revealing anything on the record that would help to fully explain the events that actually transpired on Chappaquiddick Island ... meaning that at this point, we will never really know the full story.)

Deputy Sheriff Christopher Look testified that he saw Kennedy's car (with a female passenger in the front seat) at about 12:40 am.  This, too, doesn't quite add up.  Teddy stated that he and Mary Jo left the party around 11:15 ... the last ferry departed at midnight ... and Look's eye-witness account states that at 12:40 am Kennedy and Kopechne were still driving around.  They easily could have made it to the ferry before midnight had they headed straight there ... even making the wrong turn doesn't add up ... there simply isn't enough road left to still be driving around at 12:40 am ... if that's the way they were headed, his car would have gone off the bridge an hour sooner if this were the case ... but it couldn't have if Look spotted the two of them together at 12:40 am.  Where were they really?  And had Mary Jo really intended to go back to the hotel if she left her purse and hotel key behind at the party?

Reports also state that on Kennedy's walk back to the party he would have had to walk past four houses ... yet he didn't stop at any of them to make a call for help.  Instead, he went to get his aides Gargan and Markham in order to make additional attempts to rescue the body.  Obviously at this point it was already clear in his head that he did NOT want the events of the evening to become public. (So much for his "clouded thinking" excuse.)

When these additional efforts proved unsuccessful, all three men went to the ferry landing, where Kennedy then dove into the water and swam across the 500-foot channel back to his hotel room.  Why? Perhaps he was, as stated, a little bit crazed at this point ... or perhaps he wanted to look as drenched as possible as a means of presenting the look of someone who made repeated attempts to save the body.  Kennedy says he returned to his hotel room at about 2:30 am ... and made it a point to run into the hotel desk clerk and ask him for the time (thus establishing a solid alibi as to his whereabouts at that hour) ... but despite assuring Gargan and Markham that he would call the accident into the police, he still failed to do so.  The following morning, before notifying the police, he called numerous friends and lawyers for advice ... all from a pay phone back at the ferry station rather than from his hotel room.  (Several calls ... including a couple to another mistress ... were also made from a detached room at the cabin where the party had been held that night.  Kennedy aides quickly cleared out all evidence of liquor and any other party paraphernalia and, once the story had been leaked to the press, all of the remaining Boiler Room Girls were rushed off the island before they could be questioned by the police.  (Nope ... no cover up going on there!)



At around 8 am, a fisherman's son saw the submerged car in the pond, told his father and they notified the authorities ... again before Kennedy himself had made the call.  He was still at the ferry pay phone when he heard that the car and body of Mary Jo had been discovered ... at which point he went straight to the police station to make a statement:

On July 18, 1969, at approximately 11:15 pm in Chappaquiddick, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, I was driving my car on Main Street on my way to get the ferry back to Edgartown. I was unfamiliar with the road and turned right onto Dike Road, instead of bearing hard left on Main Street.  After proceeding for approximately one-half mile on Dike Road, I descended a hill and came upon a narrow bridge.  The car went off the side of the bridge.  There was one passenger with me, one Miss Mary Kopechne, a former secretary of my brother, Senator Robert Kennedy.  The car turned over and sank into the water and landed with the roof resting on the bottom.  I attempted to open the door and the window of the car but have no recollection of how I got out of the car.  I came to the surface and then repeatedly dove down to the car in an attempt to see if the passenger was still in the car.  I was unsuccessful in the attempt.  I was exhausted and in a state of shock.  I recall walking back to where my friends were eating.  There was a car parked in front of the cottage and I climbed into the backseat.  I then asked for someone to bring me back to Edgartown.  I remember walking around for a period and then going back to my hotel room.  When I fully realized what had happened this morning, I immediately contacted the police.

A full week after the accident, on July 25th, Kennedy plead guilty to the charge of leaving the scene of an accident causing bodily harm.  His lawyers argued that any impending jail sentence should be suspended due to his age and prior reputation.  The prosecutors agreed. Judge James Boyle sentenced Kennedy to two months' incarceration, the minimum penalty for these charges in the state of Massachusetts, which he then suspended, referring to Kennedy's "unblemished record," stating that he "has already been, and will continue to be punished far beyond anything this court can impose."  (He did, however, have his driver's license suspended for sixteen months ... yeah, that'll show him!!!  Kennedy didn't even have a valid drivers license when he was driving the death vehicle on the island!)

That evening, Kennedy made a prepared statement, which was broadcast live on all three networksThere was no press present and there were no questions asked afterwards.  It is believed that Kennedy had two speeches prepared that night ... one resigning his position as State Senator and one asking for forgiveness and appealing to the citizens of Massachusetts as to whether he should continue his term in office.  He chose to go with the latter ... and leave the resigning decision up to his public.

Highlights of the fifteen minute speech included statements that:

"Only reasons of health" had prevented his wife from accompanying him to the regatta.  (Kennedy's wife Joan, pregnant at the time, was confined to bed rest, due to two previous miscarriages.  She ultimately attended Mary Jo's funeral and stood beside her husband in court three days later.  Shortly thereafter, she suffered a third miscarriage, which she blamed on the Chappaquiddick incident.)

There was "no truth whatever to the widely circulated suspicions of immoral conduct" regarding his behavior with Kopechne that evening.  (This remains a huge matter of debate.  All of the Kennedy boys were known for their libido!)

He "was not driving under the influence of liquor" ... also a bit hard to believe for such a well-known drinker ... I mean he DID leave a party where plenty of alcohol was being served.  Kennedy had also consumed a number of drinks earlier that day at the annual boat races in which he was a participant.  (One might wonder if Senator Kennedy ever spent day not "under the influence of liquor!")

He stated that his doctors had informed him that he had suffered a cerebral concussion and shock (something that is believed to have been concocted after meeting with his political advisors ... the "Chappaquiddick" motion picture says the doctor never examined him at all).  He said that he was not seeking to use his medical condition to escape responsibility for his actions ... and that his conduct during the hours immediately after the accident made no sense to him at all, going on to state that "I regard as indefensible the fact that I did not report the accident to the police immediately." 

He stated that "all kinds of scrambled thoughts" went through his mind after the accident, including "whether the girl might still be alive somewhere out of the immediate area," whether "some awful curse actually did hang over all the Kennedys" (another sympathy tactic ... brothers John and Bobby didn't bring their unfortunate circumstances upon themselves!), whether there was "some justifiable reason for me to doubt what had happened and to delay my report" and whether "somehow the awful weight of this incredible incident might in some way pass from my shoulders."  He said that he was overcome by "a jumble of emotions ... grief, fear, doubt, exhaustion, panic, confusion and shock."

He explained that instead of notifying the authorities immediately, he instead "requested the help of two friends, Joe Gargan and Paul Markham, and directed them to return immediately to the scene with me, it then being sometime after midnight, in order to undertake a new effort to dive down and locate Miss Kopechne."  After unsuccessful efforts to find and save her, he instructed Gargan and Markham "not to alarm Mary Jo's friends that night" and then returned to the ferry with the two men and "suddenly jumped into the water and impulsively swam across, nearly drowning once again in the effort, returning to my hotel around 2 am and collapsed in my room."  (Please note that absolutely NO mention of enlisting the help of Gargan and Markham was in Kennedy's original police report written at 11 am after the body had been found.  Read it again above and you'll see how the lie evolved to fit the circumstances.)

Before concluding his statement by reading a passage from his brother John's book "Profiles In Courage" (another sympathy ploy), he asked the people of Massachusetts to decide whether or not he should resign ...

If at any time, the citizens of Massachusetts should lack confidence in their Senator's character or his ability, with or without justification, he could not in my opinion adequately perform his duties, and should not continue in office.  The opportunity to work with you and serve Massachusetts has made my life worthwhile.  So I ask you tonight, the people of Massachusetts, to think this through with me.  In facing this decision, I seek your advice and opinion. In making it, I seek your prayers.  For this is a decision that I will finally have to make on my own.

Clearly, he had the support of the People of Massachusetts, who stood by him then ... and for the next forty years, regardless of conduct and innuendo.

In the fifty years since the Chappaquiddick Incident, dozens and dozens of books have been written, claiming to tell the story of "what really happened" ... new "eye-witness accounts" ... hidden back-stories by some of those involved with "the cover-up" ... (is there ANYTHING related to the Kennedys that doesn't have some sort of a conspiracy theory attached to it???) ... but perhaps the most interesting angle of all ... is that there was a third person in the car that night.

That scenario goes something like this ... 

Kennedy was NOT having an affair with Mary Jo Kopechne but WAS having an affair with either the wife of a highly placed political figure, who was also on the island that night ... or another one of the boiler room girls, most likely Rosemary Keough, whose purse was found in the car when it was recovered.  Mary Jo had too much to drink at the party and went to lie down at some point ... but the party noise was still so loud and boisterous that she couldn't sleep ... so she instead went to sleep in the back seat of Kennedy's car.  (This would also explain why her purse and hotel key were left behind ... she had every intention of "sleeping it off" and then returning to the party.)

However, at some point and time Kennedy and his REAL lover decided to rendezvous ... driving off in that car completely unaware that Mary Jo was sound asleep in the backseat ... and really DID drive off the bridge and into the water.

This would mean that both Kennedy and his "date" were able to escape, leaving the car in the water before making their way back to the party.  (Kennedy apparently still planning on not notifying the authorities until the morning, thinking it was nothing more than a minor traffic accident.)  Mary Jo eventually woke up in the submerged vehicle and tried, to no avail, to escape.  This would explain why she was found in the backseat of the car ... and why some other woman's purse was found in the vehicle.  Some reports say that when Kennedy informed his confidant Joe Gargan about the accident, the original plan was for Joe to take the blame for driving the car off the bridge, absolving Kennedy from any wrong-doing completely, which he was fully willing to do as a means of covering his boss's ass ... but that Gargan reneged on his offer the minute he learned that a death was involved.

Following this scenario, when Kennedy got the news the next morning that his car was found in the pond with a dead Mary Jo Kopechne inside, it was the very first he had ever heard about the severity of his accident.  There may be some truth to this.  Prior to learning the news, Kennedy was completely relaxed and interacting with other folks on the island.  Once Gargan and Markham informed him of the current state of affairs, Kennedy spun into a horrified mess.  It was at this point that he and his team of experts began concocting the elaborate story and sequence of events that supposedly happened the night before.

Why Kennedy would risk putting himself at such a high risk of exposure politically still isn't clear ... but that's exactly what he would have done had any of this happened.  (Perhaps this still makes for a safer story to be driving one of his supporters to the ferry rather than admit to an affair with the wife of some high-stakes politician???)  

Still, I'm not sure I buy it.  Kennedy essentially gave up his highest aspirations for a political career that could have included the Presidency of the United States ... he fully admitted to wrong-doing (albeit at the lowest level of offense ... leaving the scene of an accident where he knew there was bodily harm ... apparently he had SOME assurance that this is all he would be charged with.)  I just cannot believe that THIS story would have been the one his father and all their political advisors would have chosen had Kennedy not been the one driving the car that night. 

We will never know for sure what really happened that night in Chappaquiddick.  (kk)

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Meanwhile On The East Coast ... Peter Asher

Peter Asher: A Memoir of the 60s and Beyond 

This was like attending one of my classes. It is multi-media, live, informative and fun. I can’t teach my courses any more so I am really glad to know that others are making a concert circuit that brings the 60’s, 70’s and beyond to full bloom right before our eyes.  

Oh excuse me … shhhh … Eric Idle has started the introduction.  

This interactive video has Eric trying to decipher Peter’s writing exclaiming all of Peter’s virtues.  

"Humanitarian … blah blah blah … Grammy winner … blah blah blah … shagging Marianne Faithfull. OH I DON’T THINK SO! ... Peter Asher!” 

A conversation between Eric and Peter ensues wherein Eric wants to know why Gordon isn’t here and frankly HE was the favorite so there’s no reason to hang around. Eric walks off-screen.  

Peter should have asked John Cleese.  

For the next two and a half hours, we are entertained in song and regaled with stories, images and videos of The British Invasion and beyond. The black and white pictures of the 50’s war-torn Britain give a compelling argument as to why American music (Rock and Roll, R&B, Folk) had such a lifting effect on the teens and young adults across the pond. And on top of this, Americans had perfect teeth, giant refrigerators, big cars and women with big … potential. Well, the magazines said so anyway.  

Peter states a fact that hits me solidly ... 

The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were originally TRIBUTE bands. All of The British Invasion artists played covers of American songs long before they started writing their own material. The Beatles in Hamburg and The Cavern; The Stones in Studio 51. 

American TV gave Peter Asher (and for one episode, his sister Jane), a crack at childhood stardom in the series ‘Robin Hood.’  I loved that show! There was action, romance, and English history (kinda). For those of you running to find archives, Peter played a young Prince Arthur in about five episodes. He and Jane played peasant children in one later segment. And did I ever pick up that Prince Arthur was now a different child? If I did, I have forgotten. I may have, as I remember much of this program. However, if I said anything, my parents would have responded with “This is Hollywood ... Actors play different roles.”  

There is the beginning of Peter and Gordon … or I should say Gordon and Peter. They were Gordon and Peter performing at the Pickwick Inn until they landed their record contract. Gordon was truly lead on vocals with Peter’s harmonies, but someone at EMI thought reversing the names sounded better. Peter graciously didn’t mind. (and apparently Gordon didn’t object).  

I have heard the Marianne Faithfull, John Dunbar, Mick Jagger story before and currently I am reading ‘Faithfull,’ Marianne’s autobiography. I read it because of Peter and Jeremy. They (and even when they appeared with Chad) have mentioned it at other shows. And, well, viewing ‘My Very Own British Invasion’ musical from Peter Noone added to my curiosity. So I vividly see the kerfuffle that encroached the real lives of these friends of Peter Asher’s and agree that he needs to refuse all Best Man wedding requests.  

Becoming Head of A&R for Apple Records, discovering and managing James Taylor, combining James Taylor and Carole King, and managing Linda Ronstadt take his lucrative career onto another level. Peter’s production days bring him in contact with Badfinger and, indeed, his musical director is Jeff Alan Ross, who plays keyboards in all his shows. The bass player tonight is Jennifer Oberle, who adds beautiful vocal enhancements to the Peter and Gordon songs.  

I pause here for comic relief. 

The addition of Allen Klein to Apple created more seismic activity than could any earthquake. Eric Idle created a short for The Rutles called  ‘Ron Decline’ that, according to those who were present, accurately represents Allen’s descent on Apple. Peter showed it to us. Go watch it! There is also one called ‘Where is the money’ that I just watched.  

Bringing us up full-speed to the present with managing Ed Sheeran and becoming The Hot Manager of Hollywood, he ends with two duets ‘with’ Gordon. This is the most powerful, tearful part of tonight. “Some times we’ll cry. But by and by we’ll know True Love Ways.” 

The standing ovation was for his presentation tonight, his life in the music industry, his connection to the musicians we love, and our connection to the time of our lives that he and others gave to us.

Me: “Thank you for coming back.”
Peter: “No, thank YOU for coming back here. You paid. Or if you snuck in … (giving me a thumbs up) GOOD FOR YOU!” 

Set List:
I Go To Pieces
Baby, I’m Yours
Crying In The Rain  (Peter pointed out that every duo is modeled after The Everly Brothers.  Beautiful compositions, beautiful harmonies.)
I Don’t Want to See You Again
Nobody I Know
Lady Godiva (playing a banjolele)
As Tears Go By
Day After Day
Woman (with Gordon Waller)
True Love Ways (with Gordon Waller)
A World Without Love (encore … we had already heard the story and seen the written lyrics)  

-- Shelley J Sweet-Tufano

I have seen Peter Asher a few times now (although not in this setting) and he is a terrific storyteller (even if it does take him sometimes three times longer to get to the point than it should.)  Still, the life he's been able to lead ... the people whose paths he has crossed ... would be enough to fill a book ... and apparently it has!  (I guess I'll have to pick up a copy of "The Beatles From A to Zed ... An Alphabetical Mystery Tour" when it comes out in November.)
[You can pre-order a copy now:

The first time was at a Beatlefest several years ago when Gordon Waller was still alive and they performed an amazing set of hits.  His shows with Jeremy Clyde are musically very entertaining but suffer from the same dilemma of taking ten minutes to tell a story that can be told in three.

Still, this sounds like an interesting show (2 1/2 hours?!?!  Really?!?!?  I once saw George Martin due one of these and he played actual Beatles outtakes on stage, did a Q&A afterwards and then signed copies of his book ... and THAT didn't take 2 1/2 hours!!!)

Sounds like he's off to Australia for a spell to tour with Albert Lee ... but maybe he'll do more of these intimate setting shows when he gets back to The States later in the year.  I'll have to keep an eye out for that.
 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Tuesday This And That

By now I'm sure that everybody already knows that surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunited on stage at McCartney’s show at Dodger Stadium Saturday Night (July 13th).  Birthday boy Ringo (he turned 79 on July 7th) came out after McCartney’s “new band” performed The Beatles’ hit “Birthday” … and then stuck around long enough to play drums on “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Helter Skelter,” the two former bandmates exchanging “I love you, man”’s a couple of times before Ringo left the stage.  (Earlier in the evening, before performing his tribute to John Lennon song “Here Today,” McCartney told the audience that this is a song he had written about "a conversation I wish we'd had,” following up that comment by saying “If you want to tell someone you love them, tell them before it's too late." 
It was an incredible surprise for the sold out crowd of 56,000 fans on hand that night, who also witnessed Joe Walsh (Ringo’s brother-in-law) join the band for their Abbey Road Medley encore.  What an incredible night of music … and what a way to wrap up the US leg of Paul’s 2019 “Freshen Up” tour.  He left the stage by saying “Farewell to you guys, farewell to America. There’s only one thing left to be said: We’ll see you next time.”

McCartney’s set list for his final US show:

A Hard Day's Night
Junior's Farm
Can't Buy Me Love
Letting Go
Who Cares
Got To Get You Into My Life
Come On To Me
Let Me Roll It
I've Got A Feeling
Let 'Em In
My Valentine
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five
Maybe I'm Amazed
I've Just Seen A Face
In Spite of All the Danger
From Me To You
Dance Tonight
Love Me Do
Blackbird
Here Today
Queenie Eye
Lady Madonna
Eleanor Rigby
Fuh You
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite
Something
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
Band On The Run
Back In The U.S.S.R.
Let It Be
Live and Let Die
Hey Jude
Birthday
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Helter Skelter
Golden Slumbers
Carry That Weight
The End

In other Beatles news …

On the strength of the new film “Yesterday,” five Beatles songs have re-entered the Billboard Hot Rock Song Chart.  (We never ran our review of the film because I didn't want to give anything away … or run a negative review and ruin the experience for anybody else who was still looking forward to seeing it.  Suffice to say we were very disappointed … the premise was interesting enough but there just weren’t any likeable characters in the movie … and the “surprise twist” … now long out of the bag … sparked nothing for me.  On a 1-10 rating, I gave it a 4.  It’s another one of those movies where the trailer is better than the film.)

According to Billboard, “Here Comes The Sun” has proven to be the most popular … again (it also leads Beatles downloads on iTunes … and has since they first obtained the rights to The Beatles catalog) … premiering at #9.  (For all the Lennon-McCartney hype over the past 60 years, George currently occupies the top two Beatles spots on our Classic Rock Essentials list, too, with “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Here Comes The Sun” both drifting in and out of The Top 20.) 
It was followed by “Let It Be” at #12, “Yesterday” at #14, “Hey Jude” at #16 and “Come Together at #17.
Even more remarkable is the fact that Billboard is reporting 51.2 million streams of Beatles music the week after the film opened.  (I can’t believe there are 51.2 million people out there who don’t already OWN some of this music that they can play from their own collections!)
The film’s lead actor Himesh Patel’s version of “Yesterday” debuted at #37 all on its own … and The Beatles’ “1” album now sits at #43 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums Chart.
Amazing!  (kk)

And, speaking of the film “Yesterday,” Richard Curtis, the guy who wrote the screenplay, says that he originally had planned to have all four Beatles make appearances in the film … but only the John Lennon character made the final edit. 
In the final cut of the film that proposes there were no Beatles, Jack Malik (played by Himesh Patel) meets John Lennon, who is still alive because he never became famous and therefore was never killed at The Dakota in 1980.
Director Danny Boyle goes on to explain, “I remember thinking, that is just fantastic, because you think you’re in one kind of movie, and then for a moment it just allows you to sit in something wondrous.  There’s something very acute about the violence, the senselessness, of what John faced for a moment. Gone way before nature really took any kind of toll … it’s particularly acute for that.”
Writer Curtis said that he imagined Lennon might have been inspired by living in the port city of Liverpool. “You get the sense that he’s been a sailor, that he’s traveled around the world, that he’s been political. He says at one point that he's fought for a lot of things and won once or twice, and also that he's made some brave decisions on love, as John did.  We're not specific about who with, but it's the idea that he had to fight to get love right, which John did.”
In early versions of the script, Curtis also had Malik running into George Harrison and Ringo Starr in a Liverpool pub. “It was, I hope, a sweet scene, and they were just two delightful, oldish men who'd once been in a band together,” he said. “They were clearly music enthusiasts who had never got any further ... happy people who loved music, like so many of us do, and formed a band or been in a pub band” … but just never really made it.
Paul McCartney would have made an appearance in the film, too, at the close of the movie.  “At the very end, Jack was going to move to the Isle of Wight, to a cottage, and you were going to hear outside his window someone saying, 'Vera, Chuck, Dave!' There were going to be three dogs, and Paul was going to be walking them.”  
On the decision to have only Lennon appear, Curtis said: “It was the scene that had the most meaning, and was in some ways the pivotal scene of the film.”

Have you seen “Yesterday?” (Or, perhaps more appropriately, do you believe in yesterday?)  Send us your thoughts and we’ll run them in a future issue of Forgotten Hits.  It just didn’t do it for me … and I was SO looking forward to this film coming out.  Later that same night we watched a God-awful film starring Keanu Reeves called “Knock Knock” … which I found far more interesting and thought-provoking.  And that’s a real shame.  (kk)

OUR EFFORTS TO SAVE CLASSIC ROCK: 
Omg. I was driving home Friday around 5 pm and I heard Take It Easy by the Eagles not 1, not 2, but 3 times in an hour!!!
Bravo on your attempt to enlighten the program directors!
Mike DeMartino 

Here are the latest Ballot Updates 

Ballot #7

Top Ten Vote Getters 
 # 1 – Crimson And Clover – Tommy James and the Shondells  (by a VERY large margin … this one CRUSHED the competition!) 
 # 2 – Come Monday – Jimmy Buffett  (not the Jimmy Buffet track you’re most likely to hear … but clearly a favorite) 
 # 3 – Closer To Home (I’m Your Captain) – Grand Funk Railroad  (Missed the #2 spot by only one vote.  Give “Some Kind Of Wonderful”  a rest once in awhile and play THIS one instead … you’re listeners will respond to the surprise change) 
 # 4 – Crystal Blue Persuasion – Tommy James and the Shondells  (Two songs in the Top 4 by Tommy James!  That’s awesome!) 
 # 5 – Crossroads – Cream  (we expected to see this one on the list!) 
 # 6 – Come Sail Away – Styx  (A Styx favorite … and FM Classic Rock staple) 
 # 7 – Cryin’ – Roy Orbison  (Another surprise.  You’re already playing “You Got It” several times a week anyway … why not dip into the Orbison catalog a little deeper and dig out a gem like this one.  After Roy’s “Black And White Night,” headed by Springsteen several years ago, he now has a broader audience appeal … and being one of the Traveling Wilburys didn’t hurt his career either!) 
 # 8 – Come And Get Your Love – Redbone  (an unusual surprise that fits) 
 # 9 – Court Of The Crimson King – King Crimson  (When’s the last time you heard ANY station play something by King Crimson.  No, they do not have across the boards appeal … but SOMEBODY out there must like them in order for them to score this high in our little Classic Rock Favorites poll)
# 10 – Conquistador – Procol Harum  (Great track … and a nice change of pace from “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” every now and then) 

Other Surprises: 
These tracks just missed making The Top Ten …
C’mon Everybody – Eddie Cochran (missed The Top Ten by only one vote – and is probably the #1 song on the list of least-likely tunes to make this kind of a showing!  Will Classic Rock ever play it?  Probably not ... but once again, it helps to teach your audience where classic rock came from)
Crystal Ship – The Doors
Cover Of The Rolling Stone – Dr. Hook  (more votes than you would think ... and a nice diversion that'll surprise your listeners)
Come Dancing – The Kinks
Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
Cry Like A Baby – The Box Tops
Colour My World - Chicago
Cruel To Be Kind – Nick Lowe
Creeque Alley – The Mamas and Papas
Close To The Edge - Yes

But perhaps even more surprising than any of those tracks that just missed making the cut is the fact that Heart’s “Crazy On You,” Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “Come Together” by The Beatles and “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd … all presumed shoe-ins … did NOT make The Top Ten … making the tracks that did (by acts like Roy Orbison, Redbone, King Crimson and Procol Harum) even bigger surprises.  (Think about how many times a week you hear … or play … those tracks by Heart, Queen, The Beatles and Pink Floyd under the delusion that THIS is what your listeners want to hear!  Wake-Up Call … Yikes!!!)  kk 

Ballot #8

Top Ten Vote-Getters: 
 # 1 – Do You Believe In Magic – The Lovin’ Spoonful  (NEVER expected this one to come in at #1 … in fact, I didn’t think it would make The Top 20!  But the fans have spoken … and this is evidently one of their favorites) 
 # 2 – Deacon Blues – Steely Dan (outscoring “Do It Again,” the usual favorite by them, by a margin of 4 to 1) 
 # 3 – Day Tripper – The Beatles  (a GREAT track by The Fab Four with a killer hook) 
 # 4 – Do It Again – The Beach Boys  (another timeless favorite … not normally thought of as Classic Rock, perhaps … but I’m willing to bet you’ll get a positive reaction to it if you give it a chance) 
 # 5 – Dirty Work – Steely Dan  (Two big hits in The Top Five for Steely Dan on Ballot #8 … this one has always been one of my favorites) 
 # 6 – Do Ya – Electric Light Orchestra  (not one of theirs that I figured would score this high on the list) 
 # 7 – Do Wah Diddy Diddy – Manfred Mann (sure, you’re going to hear “Blinded By The Light” every single day … but THIS is the one that launched Manfred Mann’s career … and it still sounds just has fresh today as it did back in 1964 when it first captured our hearts) 
 # 8 – Desperado – The Eagles (the first song Don Henley and Glenn Frey ever wrote together … and the hits just kept on comin’!) 
 # 9 – Daniel – Elton John 
 #10 – Daydream Believer – The Monkees (just a real good, feel good song … this one would brighten any classic rock play list if only because it’s so unexpected!) 

Just Missed: 
Five points or less separated these tracks from The Top Ten:
Day After Day – Badfinger
Dialogue Part I and II – Chicago (not one of their over-played tunes … but apparently still a fan favorite in order to score this high)
A Day In The Life – The Beatles (we’ve seen this one top similar polls in the past … but based on the voting that we’ve received so far, it isn’t even one of your Top Three Beatles favorites, much less ahead of at least a hundred others)
Different Drum – Linda Ronstadt / The Stone Poneys (another surprise)
Delta Lady – Joe Cocker  (This one REALLY surprised me.  Not one you hear very often but, based on our results, one that definitely deserves a spin now and then)
Dirty Water – The Standells  (This one scored well … but not as well as I thought it would.  How can anybody sit still when this track comes on?  It just moves you!)
Dancing In The Street – Martha and the Vandellas (outscoring both the Mick Jagger / David Bowie version and the Van Halen version by about 8 to 1 … and proving that there IS a place for Classic Motown on a Classic Rock stations)
Devil With A Blue Dress On / Good Golly Miss Molly – Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels  (a few people listed this as their #1 favorite from this list … again, a BIG surprise when weighted against some of the other Top Rock Songs Lists we’ve seen)
Dirty Laundry – Don Henley (several of Don’s solo hits made the cut)
Dancing In The Dark – Bruce Springsteen
Do You Know What I Mean – Lee Michaels
This ballot proved to be the tightest race so far … 21 tracks vied for The Top Ten … and you could make a good case for all of them.  Things are heating up! 

Other songs that scored well: 
Detroit Rock City by Kiss
Did You See Her Eyes – Illusion
Do You Want To Know A Secret – The Beatles (not one I’d expect to find on the classic rock play list … but their music is so infectious it’s hard to rule out anything!)
Dark Star – Crosby, Stills and Nash
Dedicated Follower Of Fashion – The Kinks (not one I’d expect to find on this list)
Dedicated To The One I Love – The Mamas and Papas (one of my all-time favorite tracks … so this was a pleasant surprise) 

Ballot #9: 
It seems the choice is either "don't" or "down" songs, for #9.
First of all, a song about busking … Don’t Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King Of Rock and Roll, a topic near and dear to me over the years. That makes this an automatic fave. Too bad Green Tambourine won't be mentioned for a few more days. FH member Tony Hatch, via Petula Clark, probably gave us some of the best songs about being a young adult in 1965/66. Yeah, maybe Petula is too MOR, but Downtown seems to fit what I think is Classic Rock. A couple of teen angst songs with Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood and Don't Worry Baby. How come Cher never covered Down By The River? After all it deals with someone getting shot. Had Mick recorded Don't Tear Me Up around 1973/4, it would have been a much bigger song. And am I the only one who thinks Don't Be Cruel sounds like Memories are Made Of This? On to Ballot #10
Jack
Believe it or not, “Green Tambourine” wasn’t nominated … and honestly, I don’t think it fits the format.  I even frowned when I saw “Downtown” on the list … not because I don’t think it’s a great song, but because it doesn’t fit the typical genre of Classic Rock.  Sure, it’d be right up near the top on many other lists … British Invasion Hits, Biggest Hits of the “60’s, Classic Pop Hits, etc. … but Classic Rock??? I don’t think so.
But apparently I’m in the minority here because if you check the stats for Ballot #9 below, you’ll find it right up there near the top!  (kk)

Ballot #10 probably contained the hardest choices to date. I could have just gone with the first 10 "dream" songs and I probably wouldn't get much argument.
Almost 54 years later, you wouldn't have to change much to the Barry McGuire song. Only the names change and, in some cases, not even that. If I had to do a list of teen angst songs, Eighteen would be in the top two. Drift Away has aged well over the years ... maybe that's what classic rock is all about. A lot of "classics" haven't. Seeing Every Day And Every Night by the Trolls on the list was a pleasant surprise ... too bad lead singer Max Jordan has no interest in resuming his career. Cheap Trick isn't a surprise. Dream Police won't be their highest ranked song, but it deserves to be there, as do the rest. On to ballot #11.
Jack
A few more surprises for me here … I've never considered “Eve Of Destruction” a Classic Rock song … but the votes flooded in for that one once people saw it on the list.  Ditto for “Drift Away,” which quite a few of the classic rock stations have been playing for several years now.  I’ve never considered THAT one classic rock either … but the people have spoken … and they feel it belongs.
That’s what I love about compiling these votes … this list isn’t at ALL about what I think … this list will represent the general consensus of EVERYBODY who took the time to vote … so if you haven’t voted yet, PLEASE do.  This is going to be one heck of a list when all is said and done.  (kk)

And remember … you CAN list more than ten favorites … a number of people are submitting two ballots each day … one with a list of titles earning one vote each followed by another ranking their top ten favorites.  Yes, it’s a bit more time-consuming … for BOTH of us … but don’t ignore something that you absolutely believe belongs on the list just to limit yourself to only ten choices!  (kk)

The selections on Ballot 11 were difficult in that there were not ten standout favorites for me. One Feelin' Alright is about the same as the other four. Marshall Tucker is the forgotten band in the southern rock genre. Too bad, as their stuff stands up a lot better than Lynyrd Skynyrd's catalog. Why Warren Zevon isn't a rock and roll icon escapes me. Of course, without Buddy holly, none of these icons would be icons. Lunchtime.
Jack 

Back in the nomination process, I didn't nominate any songs that either I never heard on a classic rock station before or fell in the category soul (including Motown), folk rock, or easy listening. This caused me to exclude from my nominations some of my all-time favorites. However, many of these songs are appearing on the ballots you have issued and if they do, I'm voting for them. So, if you want to expand classic rock's programming, I wasn't helping initially, but I am now.
Voting every day has become a highlight of this summer. All the best to you.
Fran Kriston
Baltimore, MD 
There was an argument early on that Motown doesn’t fit on Classic Rock but I beg to differ … and I think we’re seeing this now.  Not ALL of Motown … I don’t really see The Supremes crossing over … and yet something like “Dancing In The Street” by Martha and the Vandellas was a very big vote-getter the other day.  Certainly “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” and “My Girl” by The Temptations belong … and if classic rock is going to play the far inferior Rolling Stones version of “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,” then they’ve just GOT to play the original by The Temps!
Likewise for “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” … is there really anybody out there who prefers hearing Creedence Clearwater Revival’s version of this song over Marvin Gaye’s?
Same with several of the Smokey Robinson songs that were nominated right alongside the cover / remake versions done by Johnny Rivers and Linda Ronstadt.
As for some of these soft-rock crossovers, we’ve heard more and more of it lately … groups like Ambrosia and The Little River Band and artists like Christopher Cross have bridged the gap between soft rock and classic rock.  (Besides, if the adult contemporary stations can play “Hurts So Good” and “Jack And Diane” by John Mellencamp, then I figure turnabout is fair play.
Why wouldn’t Benny Mardones’ killer track “Into The Night” belong when Daryl Hall and John Oates’ version of “She’s Gone” is a classic rock staple?  In fact, ANYTHING sounding like Hall and Oates seems to be making the list (“I Can Dream About You” by Dan Hartman, “Baby Come Back” by Player and “Smoke From A Distant Fire” are all scoring well and receiving classic rock airplay.
The gap has been closing more and more over the past decade.  (It blew me away when I heard “Brick House” as part of The Drive’s Memorial Day 500 … I don’t think I’ve EVER heard that station play that song before … not even on Bob Stroud’s program!
You guys came up with over 4700 nominations … I’m just putting YOUR list out there to poll the masses and come up with the best final list possible … so PLEASE keep those votes coming, people!
(Somebody asked me the other day, “What about YOUR opinion?  What are YOUR ten favorite Classic Rock songs?”  I don’t think I could come up with a list of ten … but every morning, I’m voting just the same way all of you are … I go down each daily ballot and check off the songs that I believe absolutely belong on the classic rock stations … and award a point to each.  And then I come back to those selections and rank my Top Ten Favorites on a daily basis … so believe me, I know how hard this can be … there are days when I can’t get it under twenty … but I do … so MY votes don’t count any more than yours or anybody else’s.  It’s the only way we’re going to come up with a true gauge.  (kk) 

Top Ten Vote-Getters for Ballot #9: 
(Please keep in mind that these scores are being added to each song’s accumulated point total earned during the 100 day nomination period … so all standings reported in these updates ONLY reflect their ranking for that particular daily ballot)

The surprises continue today as several of these songs would have never made my list of Classic Rock criteria …

But again, this is YOUR list … so let’s take a look at Ballot #9’s big winners: 
 # 1 – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – The Animals 
 # 2 – Don’t Worry Baby – The Beach Boys 
 # 3 – Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – Elton John 
 # 4 – Downtown – Petula Clark 
 # 5 – Don’t You Care – The Buckinghams 
 # 6 – Don’t Fear The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult 
 # 7 - Down On The Corner – Creedence Clearwater Revival 
 # 8 – Don’t Dream, It’s Over – Crowded House 
 # 9 – Don’t Bring Me Down – Electric Light Orchestra
#10 – Dock Of The Bay – Otis Redding 

Just Missed (by less than five votes): 
Don’t Think Twice, It’s All-Right – Bob Dylan
Don’t Be Cruel – Elvis Presley
Double Shot – Swinging Medallions
Down On Me – Janis Joplin / Big Brother and the Holding Company
Draggin’ The Line – Tommy James 

Other Surprises: 
Don’t Throw Your Love Away – The Searchers
Don’t Try To Lay No Boogie Woogie On The King Of Rock And Roll – Long John Baldry
Don’t You Write Her Off – McGuinn, Clark and Hillman
Down By The River – Neil Young
Don’t Forget Me – Glass Tiger
Don’t It Make You Want To Go Home – Joe South
Don’t Let Him Know - Prism

Keep those votes coming!  A new ballot goes up every morning at 5 am (Chicago time) and is eligible for voting for three days.  Be sure to scroll back to see any ballots you may have missed.  (If a link doesn't appear for the ballot you're looking for, just scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "Older Posts" ... they're all still there ... for some reason Blogger just isn't listing everything on a daily basis. 
https://classicrockessentials.blogspot.com/ 

A Wink and a Nod (?): 
Last week we told you about waking up to Me-TV-FM playing Jethro Tull's "Living In The Past."  Well, today (at 4:56 am when my alarm goes off) it was Tull's "Bungle In The Jungle" ... and THIS time I can't help but feel like it was personal.  (lol) 
So if it was, Rick, thank you very much ... it didn't go unnoticed ... and it is much appreciated.  (And if it wasn't, oh well ... then you probably need to mix up the schedule a little bit so that folks NOT waking up at 5 am get to hear Jethro Tull on your station, too!  lol)
And now that you know my wake-up time, PLEASE don't start programming obscure Joni Mitchell or Gordon Lightfoot album tracks at that time of day ... I need something "bright and bouncy" to make me want to get out of bed in the morning ... and something by either of these two would probably force me back to sleep, during which time I would almost assuredly have horrible nightmares!  (kk)