Friday, November 27, 2020

On This Date in 1970:

November 27th – George Harrison’s first solo album after the break-up of The Beatles is released.   

A three -record set, it will go six times platinum and is still regarded today … fifty years later … as perhaps the greatest solo album any of The formerly Fab Four released.




Wednesday, November 25, 2020

THANKSGIVING BREAK

Just a few things to share before the big holiday weekend break …

First of all, congratulations to US!!!

Forgotten Hits begins its 22nd Year on Friday.

Our very first newsletter went out on Friday, November 26th, 1999 (to all of 35 people!) … which just happens to be Thanksgiving Day this year, some 21 years later.

We are thankful for all of you that we’ve crossed paths with over all of these 21 years …

Thank you for making Forgotten Hits the well-respected publication it is …

We couldn’t have done it without your support and participation …

As this truly is a joint effort shared by all parties concerned.

Thank you … and Happy Thanksgiving.

THIS AND THAT:

Big news for Tommy James fans!

Tommy’s entire Roulette Records catalog will be released on a brand new 6-CD Box Set on January 29th, 2021.

Between 1966 and 1973, Tommy James released a total of 13 albums (both with The Shondells and as a solo artist) … and ALL of these albums (along with a bonus CD of material NOT released on LP, such as single mixes and non-LP B-Sides) will now be repackaged as part of this brand new 6-CD, 141 song set.

You can find the complete track listing here:

https://theseconddisc.com/2020/11/18/gettin-together-cherry-red-grapefruit-collect-tommy-james-and-the-shondells-roulette-recordings/

(I’ve already got MY copy preordered!!!)  kk

Citing “unforeseeable delays,” McCartney III’s release date has been pushed back a week to December 18th.  No more specifics have been given.  (kk)

Speaking of Paul McCartney, he posted a fully restored copy of the video for his 1980 hit “Coming Up,” which first premiered on “Saturday Night Live.”  (Hard to believe this is from FORTY YEARS AGO!!!!  Again … where did the years go???)

It’s a beautiful print … crystal clear sound and video quality … check it out in full screen below …

Macca also shares the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine with Taylor Swift!  The two talk about creating new music during lockdown … and it’s actually a pretty interesting piece … more of a conversation between the two (who seem to find each other a bit inspiring.)  Both artists were supposed to play the 50th Anniversary Glastonbury Festival … and each said they would have loved to have come out during the other’s set to do a number.  (Paul says he wanted to do “Shake It Off!!!” ... “I know it … it’s in C!”)

He also instructs Taylor on not getting into too much of a formula when writing, at one point telling her “You were writing breakup songs like they were going out of style!”  He says that he and John Lennon were always acutely aware if they started to fall into any kind of pattern or formula … and the other was always really good about pointing it out and getting them to break it.  That’s why no two Beatles singles ever sounded alike … it was always a new path.  (I heard an interview with McCartney recently on The Beatles Channel talking about how much they loved the music of The Supremes … but then realized that each subsequent single was designed to sound something like the previous one … sort of an “identifier” if you will to let the listener know, “Oh, that must be The Supremes.”  He said he and John worked very hard never to fall into that pattern.)

Anyway, a nice read if you, too, are also on lockdown.  (kk)

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/paul-mccartney-taylor-swift-musicians-on-musicians-1089058/

Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift, photographed in London on 

October 6th, 2020 by Mary McCartney for Rolling Stone.   

(Swift’s sweater dress by Stella McCartney)

We’ve been telling you about the new HBO Documentary on The Bee Gees, “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart,” premiering on December 12th.

To be honest with you, I’m not at all impressed with the trailer that they’ve released.

There have been some EXCEPTIONAL Bee Gees documentaries released over the years … and sadly, this doesn’t appear to be one of them …

But I’m saying this “sight unseen,” as it were … so I’m hoping that HBO will prove me wrong, as their documentaries are typically top notch.  (I guess if this were truly the case, however, why would they release such a lame promo piece to try and get people to watch it???)

I guess we’ll have to wait and see …

Harvey Kubernik gives HIS take on all of this here:

https://www.musicconnection.com/kubernik-bee-gees-how-can-you-mend-a-broken-heart/

Harvey at least has had the chance to interview The Brothers Gibb in the past.

I was fortunate enough to see them twice, both times in the early ‘70’s, pre-disco, after their first “comeback” with the hits “Lonely Days” and “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart.”  “Run To Me” was their most recent “hit” at this stage … and, quite honestly, their music was starting to take a bit of a bland turn … very slow, drawn-out arrangements, heavily orchestrated … and while any one of these songs was just fine on its own, when packed together “in bulk,” it made for a rather boring listening experience.  (Thankfully, they did enough of their early material, pre-break-up, to keep fans interested.)

Still, they released some very good material during this era that went unnoticed by many once all the songs started to sound and feel the same.  If you’re not familiar with these, hop on over to YouTube and check a few of them out.

I can strongly recommend “Don’t Wanna Live Inside Myself” (#30, 1971 … but only #53 in Billboard … yet another one of those odd chart anomalies), “My World” (#19, 1972), “Alive” (#26, 1972) and “Wouldn’t I Be Someone” (#100, 1973).  Even so, you might want to throw an up-tempo song into this mix to again break up the monotony!!!  But each one of these songs stands on their own for quality.  (kk)

If you DO happen to browse over at YouTube, be sure to check out this one …

The Bee Gees in their absolute prime, filmed for a Soundstage performance right here in Chicago around the time of the “Main Course” release in 1975 …

Absolutely astounding performances throughout … with all three Brothers Gibb looking and sounding as good as they got …

It’s the full one hour performance … so we’re just posting the link so you can watch at your own convenience:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKcGI7fx4ck

UPDATE:  Imagine my surprise this afternoon when I popped in the second disc of the new 3-CD Bee Gees Live Box Set and found it contained the COMPLETE Soundstage performance mentioned above!!!

This, plus the Storytellers episode that ran on VH1 make it worth the purchase price right there.  (Honestly, Disc 1 wasn’t all that impressive … so this was a VERY pleasant surprise to say the least!)  kk

And, speaking of Harvey Kubernik, he is scheduled to be the feature interview subject on the Monday, November 30th edition of the "Feedback" satellite radio program on the SiriusXM music talk channel Volume (106) hosted by Nik Carter & Lori Majewski. Kubernik phones in at 9:00 am (EST) to discuss his Otherworld Cottage Industries title, "Docs That Rock, Music That Matters."

You’ll find his title listed on the The Best Music Books of the Year list, too.  (More on this below) 

You’ll also find reviews and interviews pertaining to this title here:

https://otherworldcottageindustries.com/UT55 Docs That Rock Review, page 28.pdf.

Harvey's "Docs That Rock, Music That Matters" is also the subject of a recorded 
90-minute podcast interview with Goldmine magazine Editor Pat Prince.

And, speaking of new documentaries, Reelz Network premiers “Elvis: Are You Lonesome Tonight?” on Saturday, November 28th. 

Hopefully a departure from their normal autopsy fare, the promo promises footage of young Elvis performing in Tupelo, MS, before 20,000 screaming fans in 1956 … as well as a “deeply moving” rendition of “Unchained Melody” in Rapid City, South Dakota, just months before his death.

And, if you’re bored over the long Thanksgiving Weekend (with the usual Black Friday Shopping outlawed in most of The United States), you can catch EVERY episode of “The Partridge Family” on Antenna TV, beginning at 7 pm Central TONIGHT!!!

Or, take in 24 hours of Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts running on the Decades Channel all day long beginning at 6 am on Thanksgiving Day.  (I will DEFINITELY be there for part of that!!!) 

Of course, we’ll also find time to squeeze in our traditional Thanksgiving favorites “Planes And Trains And Automobiles” and Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant.” 

(The song, not the movie … I don’t need to EVER see that movie again!!!)  kk

Or, if it’s musical variety you’re looking for this weekend, Me-TV-FM has a couple of interesting things going on …

On Thanksgiving Day (and the Friday after), they’ll be presenting their 5th Annual “Festival Of Musical Turkeys” … saluting all of the great novelty songs that have made it to your radio over the past 70 years!

And then this weekend it’ll be “Songs Too Good For Words,” a look at some of the great instrumental hits that have serenaded us over the years.

You can tune in and listen at any time here:

https://www.radio.com/metvfmmke/listen#.W6oi2vZRfcs

And, as you know, we’ve got that OTHER big holiday coming up, too …

Tom Cuddy just sent us this …

José Feliciano's iconic 'Feliz Navidad' turns 50 — and celebrates with a new version:
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/jos-feliciano-s-iconic-feliz-navidad-turns-50-celebrates-new-n1248260

And, speaking of Christmas, check this out … 

BING CROSBY, CHUCK BERRY, ELLA FITZGERALD AND FRANK SINATRA USHER IN THE HOLIDAYS IN NEWLY CREATED ANIMATED VIDEOS FOR SOME OF THEIR BIGGEST HOLIDAY HITS - UMe PARTNERS WITH LEGENDARY ARTISTS AND ESTATES TO CREATE FIRST-EVER VIDEOS FOR CHRISTMAS CLASSICS … UPDATED CHRISTMAS MUSIC PLAYLIST, NEW HOLIDAY COLLECTIONS, GIFT GUIDES AND MORE UNVEILED FOR THE YULETIDE SEASON TO GET YOU READY FOR THE HOLIDAYS


This holiday season, musical legends Bing Crosby, Chuck Berry, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra are returning in animated form with first-ever official music videos from UMe for some of the most iconic and beloved songs in the Christmas canon. In the beautifully hand drawn and painted videos created by Fantoons Animation Studios, Crosby brings joy to a down in the dumps town with his trusty Bing-O-Matic™ in “Winter Wonderland” and croons over a multigenerational military family’s holiday gatherings in “White Christmas,” guitar-clad Berry helps Santa with his Christmas rounds in vintage comic book style in “Run Rudolph Run,” Fitzgerald and Frosty delight in a winter wonderland storybook setting in “Frosty The Snowman” and Sinatra delivers mid-century style, glitz and grace as only he can in the holiday classics, “The Christmas Waltz” and “Mistletoe and Holly.”

 

Watch Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”

Watch/embed Bing Crosby’s “Winter Wonderland”

Watch/embed Chuck Berry’s “Run Rudolph Run”

Watch/embed Ella Fitzgerald’s “Frosty The Snowman”

Watch/embed Frank Sinatra’s “The Christmas Waltz”

Watch/embed Frank Sinatra’s “Mistletoe and Holly”

 

“UMe is incredibly honored and excited to partner with these legendary artists and estates to celebrate their iconic holiday songs and give them official videos,” says Bruce Resnikoff, President and CEO of UMe, the global catalog company of UMG. “Last year was the first time we created holiday videos and we had such a tremendous response that we’ve gone all in again this year and our content team and Fantoons have really outdone themselves. These songs are some of the most popular year to year and we hope these videos brighten up fans holidays as well as attract new audiences across the digital platforms they inhabit. Similar to before, the video assets and creative will be deployed across UMe’s holiday marketing and advertising campaigns for a cohesive look and feel and to achieve greater engagement across a broader audience.”

 

MARY CROSBY OF THE BING CROSBY ESTATE:

“Keeping dad's spirit alive, especially during the holidays, is not only of huge importance to us as a family, but to everyone. During these trying times his voice gives hope and comfort to all of us. I am thrilled that there is another way dad is being seen and heard. I love the videos Universal came up with and, of course, love his music! Dad believed supporting the troops was one of the most important contributions that he made in his life. When he was asked about his career it wasn't his awards or the fame that came his way, it was that ‘in some small way, if he made the life of a soldier a little bit easier then, that was what mattered. The video for ‘White Christmas’ is a wonderful tribute to his love and appreciation for the troops.”

 

CHARLES BERRY JR. OF THE CHUCK BERRY ESTATE:

"What an honor to have ‘Run Rudolph Run’ given such a dazzling visualization as its first music video! The marriage of animation and music could not be better – you can’t beat flying reindeer, Santa Claus and electric guitar! My dad always told stories in his songs and his poetic skills are on full display here. The lyrics tell a Christmas story that young and old can’t help but enjoy. Fun, frolicking and certainly perfect for the season, it was a holiday favorite in our house and we hope this video for a timeless Chuck Berry song brings joy and helps people get in the spirit this holiday season.”

 

RICHARD ROSMAN AND FRAN MORRIS ROSMAN OF THE ELLA FITZGERALD FOUNDATION: 

“Since it was released 60 years ago, Ella Fitzgerald’s Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas has remained a perennial and beloved standard for the holidays, livening up countless festivities and family gatherings with its joyful and jazzy takes on Christmas classics, including the swinging ‘Frosty The Snowman. The Ella Fitzgerald Estate is thrilled to partner with UMe to bring Ella and Frosty to colorful life in this fantastic, beautifully animated video and hope that both Ella’s fans and the new generations just discovering her music will love it. What a wonderful gift for the song and album to receive as it celebrates its 60th anniversary!”

 

NANCY SINATRA OF FRANK SINATRA ENTERPRISES:

“I really think he might be the voice of Christmas. I just think that the sentimentality of my dad’s recordings is what grabs people. He was emotional when he sang them, and people are emotional when they hear them. That doesn’t really change."

 

These videos are just some of the many ways that UMe is celebrating its unmatched Christmas catalog and helping to turn up the joy this holiday season. In addition to the new animated videos, a variety of “Christmas With…” collections for artists including The Beach Boys, Bing Crosby, Brenda Lee, Burl Ives, Chuck Berry, Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, The Jackson 5 and Nat King Cole are available to stream on your favorite DSP and there’s of course the annual Christmas Music playlist which features some of the most popular songs and artists across the holiday music canon, pairing timeless classics with contemporary favorites. The hours-long –and ever-expanding – playlist is available to stream now: https://Stream.lnk.to/ChristmasPR

 

Christmas With The Beach Boys

Christmas with Bing Crosby

Christmas with Brenda Lee

Christmas with Burl Ives

Christmas with Chuck Berry

Christmas with Dean Martin

Christmas With Ella Fitzgerald

Christmas With The Jackson 5

Christmas with Nat King Cole

 

uDiscover Music is also getting into the spirit with their just launched holiday hub which will feature a variety of gift guides for all types of music lovers, eclectic playlists and the memorable stories behind classic holiday tunes.

Visit it here: https://uDiscover.lnk.to/Christmas2020

 

For those looking for more holiday entertainment, The Ed Sullivan Show’s official YouTube channel is celebrating the season with a music-and laughter-filled holiday playlist. Classics include “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry, “Jingle Bells” by Paul Anka, and more. Festive fun lights up things with “Mrs. Claus Interview” by Stiller & Meara, “Deck The Halls” by the Baird Puppets and holiday cheer with The Muppets.

And David Milberg and Ken Deutsch have put together a 2020 Edition of their annual Christmas Mix (they’ve been doing this since 1984!) that’ll premier right after Thanksgiving on their Rare And Scratchy Website … (check it all out here):  www.rareandscratchy.com … starting on December 15th at 12 am Eastern Time.  (It’ll be Show #125:  The 45 Lost Xmas 45s of the 1970’s) 

You can use this link beginning on December 15th: rareandscratchyrocknroll.libsyn.com

Hi Kent: 

Regarding the comment about thinking the surveys were rigged back in the day, we really should have thought that Billboard, etc., were coastally biased and the Midwest got screwed again and again.

Local surveys were also unfortunately goofy as well ... with odd titles out-charting big records you heard all the time ... a little payola going on, I’d have to say. After researching these things, it is sad but true.

In Milwaukee, I found a record that got to #27 on the survey and I have yet to find a stock copy in this city! And, I’m a Record Dealer! Crazy stuff.   

Ken Freck

Then again, that even happened at the professional level when Cash Box Magazine named Wayne Newton’s “The Letter” their #1 Record for a week in 1992 … a record that never even so much as bubbled-under on the Billboard Chart.  (This has to be the ULTIMATE betrayal by a “trusted” trade publication.)

While the record (good luck finding a copy of THIS one … although it says it charted as a “Curb album cut”) never charted for a SINGLE week in Billboard, it rode Cash Box’s chart for THIRTY ONE WEEKS, ultimately peaking at #1.

Simply put:  There be some shady dealings going on here!!!  (kk)

Congratulations to former WLS Jock Jeff Davis (a premier voice-over artist), who was inducted into The North Carolina Association Of Broadcasters Hall Of Fame this past week.

And kudos as well to our FH Buddy Chuck Buell, whose latest audiobook, “A Taste Of Old Revenge” is earning rave reviews in the circle that these things travel.

The book’s author, B.R. Stateham, ran this glowing appraisal after the release of his latest work …

kk:

Cousin Brucie hinted about more surprises coming at WABC 77 AM Radio.

Tony Orlado spoke to Bobby Vinton. I learned that Bobby played Sax for Tony.  That was before 1962 and "ROSES ARE RED" started a long string of hits for Bobby Vinton.

Kent,

You didn't like my last book suggestion ...

I'm not giving up.

My favorite movie is "GOODFELLAS," 1990.

I'm now reading "MADE MEN - THE STORY OF GOODFELLAS" by Glenn Kenny.

You think you know all there is to know about this movie ...

You don't.

This is a scene by scene story.

So I'm reading on page 102 … As the Ronettes classic "THEN HE KISSED ME" plays on the soundtrack, the three minute shot begins with a close-up of Henry's hand, giving his car keys to a valet.

Wait a second …

Did he say Ronettes instead of Crystals?

Yes, he did!

I can see how he made the mistake.  The Ronettes are on the soundtrack singing "BE MY BABY."

Of course, I wrote to the author on FACEBOOK. He thanked me and told me the error was corrected .

FB

You may never speak to me again, Frank, but I am one of only seven people in The United States who has NEVER seen the movie “Good Fellas!!!”

I know, shame on me … and I REALLY have been meaning to see it … or about thirty years now, I guess, based on what you’re telling me.

There are a TON of those mobster movies that came out around this time and I haven’t seen ANY of them … so one day I’m just going to have to corner myself off and watch them all.  (For some reason, St. Valentine’s Day sounds like a good time to do this!)  kk

Here's an article on music books that came out this year … https://bestclassicbands.com/2020-best-music-books-11-21-20/ 

I have also attached my latest additions of Jimi Hendrix books this year.

Ken Voss

Incredibly, I’ve only read TWO of the books shown on this list this year … rare for me.  (I’m doing research right now for some Forgotten Hits pieces that’ll run in 2021 so this has taken me off the music path for the past month or two … but I’ll get back to it them eventually.)

Anyone interested in Ken’s list of Hendrix books should email me and I’ll send it along … along with a copy of his latest Voodoo Child Newsletter.  (kk)

Still getting a few comments about our TV Themes Countdown …

That was a GREAT review of old memories!

George

Very cool! Thanks for what I suspect was a GINORMOUS amount of work putting this whole thing together. 

Now, I might have missed some of the discussion here, but didn't American Bandstand have two themes in the Boomer era? Which one were we voting on?

Other than that, just wow!

--73--

--Jeff Duntemann
  Phoenix, AZ

The theme we featured is the predominately known theme to “American Bandstand” … although (as mentioned) they revamped it numerous times over the years to better fit the sound of the decade in which it was airing.

The song was repopularized again in the late 1970’s when Barry Manilow put lyrics to it and started including it in his act.  Dick Clark (a HUGE Barry Manilow fan) even used it for some of his tv specials.  (kk)

Here it is from American Bandstand’s 30th Anniversary Show:

It was great to see the Ventures topping your recent TV theme song poll.  It was the tune that officially kicked off our recent “Little Screen Gems” theme song weekend on MeTVFM.  It’s the rare popular TV theme that was actually a very successful single, as you know.

Rick

The hands-down winner both times we’ve run this poll … so clearly the Fan Favorite.  (But this one sounds good EVERY time it comes on the radio!!!)  kk

Yesterday, we posed this trivia question from FH Reader Carl Wiser:

Which Rock and Roll Hall of Fame solo artist sang the theme songs to two different TVs shows that were each on for at least five seasons?

I had to REALLY give this one some thought ... and still couldn’t come up with an answer I felt sure enough about to etch in stone … (or even jello for that matter!)

My best guess was Ray Charles … (I knew he sang the theme to “In The Heat Of The Night” … in the movie anyway … much as I LOVED that film … and it’s one of my all-time favorites … I never watched a single episode of the tv series … but I figured that with his incredibly lengthy and diverse career, he was probably the most likely to be the one based on the clue given … although for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what the OTHER theme might have been.)

Well, as it turns out, I was WRONG!!!  (For the record, we didn’t receive the correct answer from any of other readers either!)  So (for right now, anyway!) I’m taking solace in that whole “strength in numbers” thing!  lol

Thankfully, Carl finally clued me in to the correct answer … and I can say that I’d never seen a single episode of either one of THESE shows either!  (lol)

But for those of you out there who are just dying to know, here goes …

Nobody gets this one.

It's Aretha Franklin.

She sang the themes to A Different World and Grace Under Fire (her cover of "Lady Madonna").

Carl

Based on what I found on YouTube, it looks like Aretha sang the theme to “A Different World” for seasons 2-5 … Season One was sung by Phoebe Snow … and her version of “Lady Madonna” was the theme to “Grace Under Fire” for the first season only.  I can honestly say that I’ve never heard EITHER of these songs before!  (kk)

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Please celebrate in the safest way possible …

We have faced some insurmountable … and sometimes impossible challenges this year and many of us have faced insufferable loss …

This time of year has always been about “Family” …

But this year requires a whole different outlook on “family get-togethers.”

Please be thankful for what you have …

And don’t jeopardize that for the sake of ONE holiday …

But rather plan ahead, instead, for all of the holidays we’ll all be able to share together if we simply be smart and be safe now.

Wishing you all a very Happy … and Safe Thanksgiving …

And a better 2021 to us all!  (kk)