Friday, October 31, 2014

50 Years Ago This Weekend


10/31, 11/1, 11/2 - 

BABY LOVE by THE SUPREMES pushes DO WAH DIDDY DIDDY out of the top spot for MANFRED MANN this week … it's now the #2 song in America according to The Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart. Once again British Invasion Artists are held to just TWO Top Ten Hits as HAVE I THE RIGHT by THE HONEYCOMBS climbs to #7. 

CHAD AND JEREMY are at #13 with A SUMMER SONG, THE NASHVILLE TEENS stall at #15 with TOBACCO ROAD, I LIKE IT by GERRY AND THE PACEMAKERS continues its climb up the chart (from #26 to #18) as does EVERYBODY KNOWS by THE DAVE CLARK FIVE (#19), I DON'T WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN by PETER AND GORDON (#20) and I'M CRYING by THE ANIMALS (#21). 

YOU REALLY GOT ME climbs to #32 for THE KINKS, ALL CRIED OUT by DUSTY SPRINGFIELD hovers at #41, SHE'S NOT THERE by THE ZOMBIES continues its ascent on the chart, up to #45 from #61, as does TIME IS ON MY SIDE by THE ROLLING STONES, now sitting at #46 (up from #65). 

I'M INTO SOMETHING GOOD by HERMAN'S HERMITS seems to have slowed its pace this week, climbing from #64 to #57 (and losing its bullet in the process) … but it'll be back stronger than ever the following week (and beyond!)  WHEN YOU WALK IN THE ROOM by THE SEARCHERS is now sitting at #58 (up from #71) … but that's about it for British Acts this week.  (That still gives them 24% of The Top 58 songs in America, however … no mean feat ten months into the so-called British Invasion. 

Another record of note this week … LORNE GREENE of BONANZA fame premiers on The Billboard Chart at #62 with his soon-to-be #1 Hit, RINGO.  (They couldn't have come up with a more timely title!  BEATLE RINGO STARR was FAR more popular here in America than he was back home, having replaced long-time BEATLES drummer PETE BEST.  Even A HARD DAY'S NIGHT seems to have been written in such a way so as to give RINGO more of the "STARR" Spotlight Treatment.  Of course the song had absolutely NOTHING at all to do with THE BEATLES Drummer … but folks who may not have heard the record yet might likely have picked up a copy when they saw it in the store, just in case! 

Never one to pass up an opportunity to cash in on the latest craze, American LARRY FINNEGAN soon released THE OTHER RINGO … which WAS, in fact, about THE BEATLES Drummer!  It was a short-lived triumph however … although the record DID chart here in Chicago, it never sold enough copies to make Billboard's list of Top 100 Records. 







Closing out October on The WLS Silver Dollar Survey, we've got ROY ORBISON back in the #1 Spot with OH, PRETTY WOMAN, which knocks THE HONEY COMBS down to #3 with last week's #1 Song, HAVE I THE RIGHT.  DO WAH DIDDY DIDDY by MANFRED MANN sits at #5, followed by TOBACCO ROAD by THE NASHVILLE TEENS at #6, YOU REALLY GOT ME by THE KINKS at #7, I'm CRYING by THE ANIMALS at #9 and FROM A WINDOW by BILLY J. KRAMER AND THE DAKOTAS at #11.  (That gives British Acts six of the Top 11 songs in Chicago this week!) 

And it doesn't end there … I'M INTO SOMETHING GOOD is at #14 for HERMAN'S HERMITS, I DON'T WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN by PETER AND GORDON is at #21, SHE'S NOT THERE by THE ZOMBIES is at #22 and DON'T IT MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD is at #28 for THE OVERLANDERS.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

More Tommy

re:  TOMMY JAMES:  
First email in after our Tommy James concert review was posted came from Tommy's manager, Carol Ross ... a link to our review was then posted on Tommy's site as well.  (How VERY cool is that?!?!)
www.tommyjames.com  
Hey, we had a great time (and I think Tommy did, too!) so we wanted to help spread the word.  
Carol mentions a new web series called "Inside Tracks with Tommy James" where Tommy tells you himself (by way of YouTube clips) his own story in his own words ... these are available through his website link (or you can also find them on YouTube).   
More and more artists are doing this and it's a GREAT way for them to get their stories out there in the way they want them represented.  (Jim Peterik, who ALSO loved our glowing review of his book the week before, does the same thing on his site ... which also posted links to our review.  Burton Cummings is assembling a similar collection for video release ... backstage, fly-on-the-wall stuff for all the die-hard fans out there.  Burton returns to The Arcada Theatre in November.)  
Collectively, we are ALL helping to spread the word ... this music is timeless and there is still an audience out there for it ... no matter WHAT those radio consultants may be telling you to the contrary.  We LOVE the oldies ... but they're not just oldies ... it's GREAT, timeless music that reaches across EVERY generation!  Embrace it!  (kk)   

WOW, THANK YOU so much for this glowing review ... so glad you enjoyed the concert.  Tommy greatly appreciates your support ... we will stay in touch ... and don't forget to watch his show segments on you tube - INSIDE TRACKS WITH TOMMY JAMES!  
As for the latest on the movie, "Me, The Mob And The Music", we are at the stage of screenwriter who we finally have on board, Matt Stone ... so still a long way to go ... but it's moving at a Hollywood pace ... will surely keep you updated.  
P.S.  It took Mick Jagger, producer of the James Brown movie, ten years to get it done, so we are doing ok!  
Best,  
Carol Ross,  
Manager    

What a GREAT review of the Tommy James show at The Arcada Theatre.  I was at the show and whole-heartedly agree that he sounds JUST like he did back in the day and he really covered the hits.  (Sure there are a few more I would have liked to have heard but let's face it, you can only squeeze so many into a single show!)  Great show -- and you nailed it perfectly.  Thanks.  
Scott   

Kent,  
Enjoyed the Tommy James review.  He is truly a great talent.  WLS certainly did support his music as well as WCFL.  It was even mentioned in his book and Stuart Shea talked with Tommy about the CFL / WLS controversy a few years ago.  Maybe Stu would share that with you?  I just sent his latest group interview.  Attached is the WLS Premier 45 I have from his 68 concert in Chitown that they gave away 10,000 copies at the concert!  Also, a rather timid sounding Italian vocal of his hit.  I would have been disappointed in not hearing "She" as well.  BUT, so many hits, so little time!  Can't wait for the movie after reading his GREAT book.  
Clark Besch


I remember Clark Weber telling me (and I believe it's in HIS book, too) about one of the times as a programmer that he was "wrongest"!!!  He told a VERY young Tommy James (even before the disc jockey in Pittsburgh started playing "Hanky Panky" in 1966) that he didn't think he had a hit on his hands.  In hindsight, Clark Weber and WLS could have broke this record worldwide a year before it happened ... but it just wasn't meant to be.  (Much like Dick Biondi playing The Beatles' "Please Please Me" in 1963 before anybody in the USA cared about four moptops from Liverpool, England!)    

Here, I found it ...

I'm the first to admit that I didn't always hear "hit record" when a song was first played.  In 1965, I was doing a beach party record hop at the Glen Lord Beach Park Pavilion in Niles, Michigan, when a very polite teenager asked me if I would listen to a record that he and his friends had written and recorded.  I said that I would and put it on the turntable.  My first reaction was that it was a bit primitive, but I decided to be gentle in my response.  I told him that while it was a good first try, it wasn't something that WLS would have an interest in playing on the air.  Yet, soon after, a Pittsburgh DJ started playing the song and, in a while it took off.  Before you knew it, Roulette Records heard it and signed the singer to a contract in 1966.  It became such a big hit that people still dance to it today.  The kid's name was Tommy James ... and the song was "Hanky Panky".  
-- Clark Weber   

"Hanky Panky" topped the WLS Silver Dollar Survey for four straight weeks that summer ... and was the #1 Best Selling Number One Record of the Year, 1966, on their year-end chart ... ahead of "Winchester Cathedral", "Good Vibrations", "Cherish, "Gloria", "California Dreaming", "Wild Thing", "We Can Work It Out", "Summer In The City", "Last Train To Clarksville" and "Paint It, Black"!!!   

More from Mother Weber's Oldest Son here ...  
Click here: Clark Weber's Rock and Roll Radio: The Fun Years, 1955-1975: Clark Weber, Neal Samors, Foreword by Neil Sedaka, Je

And, if I recall correctly, WLS "bootlegged" a copy of Tommy's hit "Crimson And Clover" and started airing an early mix off a demo Tommy brought to the studio in late '68.  (Tommy was pretty pissed at the time ... WLS taped their interview with Tommy and, as such, now had a copy of Tommy's soon-to-be-released single!)  Yes, the AM Wars of the '60's were legendary ... and we had the best of BOTH worlds here in Chicago with WLS and WCFL constantly trying to one-up each other by snagging the latest scoop.  So sad that today radio has become nothing more than a game of following the leader ... back then these guys couldn't WAIT to get the upper hand with a hot, new release!  It's like all the excitement ... and creativity ... is gone.  (kk)    

Here's the way Tommy James remembers the incident in his book "Me, The Mob And The Music":

We went into the studio and produced the "Crimson And Clover" single in December.  The night I finished it, I made a rough mix, right off the board.  We were going to come back in a week to mix in a lot of ambient sound, a lot of echo.  We wanted it to be a more profound statement than was on the mix.
That weekend, The Shondells and I played a date in Chicago and we were met at the airport by a limousine.  As we were driving to our hotel, I stopped by WLS on the off chance that Program Director John Rook was there.  I wanted to get some reaction to "Crimson" from a radio station that had always been so good to us.  John was in that afternoon and invited me to sit with him.  He made a big deal out of me being there.  I did an interview and talked about the new single.  I should not have done it, but I played him the rough mix when we were off the air.  He flipped over the record.  "Let me go get Larry Lujack in here.  We just hired him."  Lujack would go on to be one of WLS's top DJs.  Rook played Lujack the rough mix and without my knowledge or approval, pushed a record button on the tape recorder and made himself a copy.  Lujack loved it.  They handed me back the tape and we parted with promises to call each other next week.  By the time I had gotten into the limo, the radio was tuned to WLS and Larry Lujack was announcing in his best DJ voice:  "World exclusive ... Tommy James and the Shondells ... brand new single ... 'Crimson And Clover'."  He was playing the rough mix on the radio as a world exclusive.  I knew I ws never going to hear the end of this from Jim Stagg.  I was warned on "Mony" not to give WLS an exclusive.
Monday Morning, when I stopped by at Roulette, a five-foot funeral wreath was sitting outside Red Scwartz's office with a banner that read:  "Condolences on the death of Tommy James and the Shondells at WCFL Radio."  It was from Jim Stagg at the rival station.  Morris came right out and said, "What the fuck?"  I told them both what had happened.  Red called Rook and told him about the wreath.  Jim Stagg wouldn't take Red's call.  Rook said, "Fuck Jim Stagg ... Ill play it every twenty minutes!"  And then added in radio lingo, "He'll have to go on the record."  And that is what he did.  This was still the rough mix.  I never got a chance to remix the record.
Morris had DJ copies sent to all the radio stations in the United States.  He wouldn't let me do a final mix.  So the single of "Crimson And Clover" that we all know was from the tape of a rough mix that was never supposed to see the light of day.
"Crimson and Clover" took off and was the biggest record we ever had.  Jim Stagg left WCFL not too long afterward.  As it turned out, it was more his funeral than mine.
-- Tommy James
Maybe THAT'S why Roulette Records let WLS press up 10,000 special promotional copies to give away to their listeners!!!  They truly DID break the record worldwide (thanks to a little underhanded maneuvering) ... but that was the name of the game as it related to successful Top 40 Radio back in the 1960's!  (kk)

Order Tommy's book here:
Click here: Me, the Mob, and the Music: One Helluva Ride with Tommy James & The Shondells: Tommy James, Martin Fitzpatrick: 97 ...

Or order it from Tommy's website and he'll send you an autographed copy!!!
www.tommyjames.com 
(Actually, that's what I wanted to do Saturday Night after the show ... pick up another copy of Tommy's book and have him sign it ... but the line was INSANE so I may just place an order of my own thru Tommy's site later today!)  kk 

Kent,
Enjoyed today's FH and the review you did of Tommy James show from this past weekend. I don't know or remember if you have featured it before, but I always liked ? and the Mysterians' version of DO SOMETHING TO ME better than Tommy James'. I believe their version came out about a year earlier on Cameo Records.
Larry Neal
Believe it or not, I only recently discovered the ? and the Mysterians version a few years ago, thanks to our FH Buddy Dave The Rave.  It's a GREAT version and it shoulda been a hit.  (Actually I think the two recordings are very similar.)  Had ? scored with his version, Tommy probably never would have recorded the song ... but since that didn't happen ... and since he still recognized a hit when he heard it ... he was able to capitalize on this chain of events and score yet another Top 20 single.  One of my late '60's favorites by him.  (kk)



Did Tommy knock it out of the park on "Ball of Fire", one of my all time, all time favorite songs?  I would have loved to have seen Tommy.
Chet Coppock
He sure did ... and honestly I don't know if I've ever seen him perform this one before.  (kk)    

Great job by Tommy. No disrespect to the opening act (the guy on the keys was sensational and the singer was good) but I would have loved to hear Tommy do some of the minor hits like Get Out Now, Ball and Chain, I'm Coming Home, and Nothing to Hide. To me, Tommy has done everything, and everything well ... garage, bubblegum, pop, psych, country, and songs with a religious favor. The only thing was the sound was a bit murky on some songs ... maybe I will go with the cheap seats next time. We had a fun time ... met some hard core Tommy James fans that put me to shame. But I have the one thing they drool over ... the original 45 on Snap Records out of Niles, Michigan by the Shondells ... that goes in my coffin!
Sorry I missed you. I was on the left hand side. Tommy was very gracious in signing everything. A wonderful night was had by all I am sure!
Mike De Martino
I had an original pressing on Snap Records, too, for the longest time.  I bought it AT THE TIME in 1966 when "Hanky Panky" went all the way to #1 here in Chicago.  Man, I LOVED that song ... couldn't get enough of it.  (I've told the story before of how me and my brothers would stand out in front of our old shed and "play" shovels and rakes, lip-synching to this song with the radio hidden behind the shed door, blasting.  There was a time when it seemed you could flip back and forth between WLS and WCFL and be assured of hearing this song every ten minutes on one station or the other!)
We missed the opening act ... that's when we were backstage ... but I heard they were very good.  (Sorry, but I don't even know the name of the act ... can somebody fill me in?)  The sound at The Arcada can be spotty, depending on where you're sitting ... but I know that this will be part of the upgrade once Ron starts to re-renovate the theater.  As mentioned below, for us it was loud ... but clear.  We loved it!  (kk)    

Loved your review on Tommy James.  I have seen and enjoyed Tommy many times.  The piece about walking through the audience, shaking hands, has been done since he started performing.  It's his signature.  Sometimes, in a large arena, you can go out for coffee, hit the bathroom, and still be back before he resumes the vocals.  Gotta love him!  One question:  did it seem loud at The Arcada?  I'm hoping the sound system was in your favor this time.
Shelley
We had KILLER seats for this (thanks again, Ron Onesti!!!) ... fourth row, DEAD CENTER STAGE ... so yes, it was loud ... in fact it started loud and seemed to get louder as the night went on ... but we found it to be a very clean mix which meant you still heard everything in balance.  I've seen Tommy several times before ... as mentioned in the review a show at The Star Plaza Theater in which he seemed to be trying to reinvent himself and his music, which I felt was a HUGE mistake ... this music doesn't need any rearranging ... it is perfect just the way it is (and, that in fact, may be the largest part of its timeless appeal.)  I've seen him in the lean year playing at what was for all intents and purposes an old pizza restaurant converted into a banquet hall (on the same bill as Ricky Nelson, believe it or not!) where despite his surroundings, Tommy STILL put on a top notch show for the fans who were there.  Honestly I think writing the book may have made him feel closer to the music than he has in many years ... and the TREMENDOUS response he's received from it has helped him reconnect with the fans and see just how much this music meant to us all.  GREAT show!  (kk)

Another great live shot by Luciano Bilotti - thanks, Lou!  (kk)   

re: FINAL REMINDER:  
This Friday is the deadline for our latest Joel Whitburn / Record Research / Forgotten Hits Trivia Contest ... scroll back to October 17th for all of the questions ... and details about Joel's GREAT new book "The Comparison Charts".  We've got THREE correct answers thus far ... and you've got THREE DAYS to add yours to the list!  (kk)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tommy James

Ron Onesti absolutely got the party started Saturday Night at The Arcada Theatre ... and it didn't take ANY type of persuasion (crystal blue or otherwise) to fill the place up (and then some!) to see Tommy James and the Shondells.




Tommy was in GREAT voice and played nothing but the hits for an EXCELLENT 90 minute show.  As noted in his introduction, you hear Tommy James music every single day around the world on the radio ... and his hits have been covered by numerous artists along the way ... everyone from Joan Jett to Tiffany to Billy Idol to The Boston Pops Orchestra!  At 67 years of age, he still sounds EXACTLY like the records (although I think even Tommy would admit that it's getting just a little bit tougher to hit some of those high notes these days!)  I can't imagine in his wildest dreams that when he first recorded "Hanky Panky" as a sixteen year old kid in 1963 he could have EVER possibly imagined that he'd still be up there performing this tune ... along with 23 OTHER Top 40 Hits some 50 years later to sold out crowds all over the country.


In addition to the obvious hits ... "Draggin' The Line" (with which he opened the show), "Hanky Panky", "Crimson And Clover" and "Crystal Blue Persuasion" ... all of which were placed sporadically throughout his set ... Tommy also featured a potpourri of Forgotten Hits along the way ... HUGE hits from the '60's that just don't garner much airplay anymore ... including favorites like "Gettin' Together", "It's Only Love", "Ball Of Fire", "Say I Am" and "Do Something To Me", songs that I played the heck out of back in the day when 45's ruled the universe!    

NOTE TO TOMMY:  PLEASE have your drummer reinstate that incredible high-hat fill on "Gettin' Together" ... not only is that the signature sound of the record, but its uniqueness is absolutely what is most recognizable about that track ... without question that little hi-high shuffle helped to sell that record and pushed it over the top!  It just doesn't sound right without it!





There wasn't a lot of banter between songs ... he pretty much just kept feeding us the hits ... but the one longer, extended rap that he DID do (elongated even further due to technical difficulties hooking up his acoustic guitar to the amplifier) surrounded the editing of the brand new movie based on his best-selling book "Me, The Mob And The Music" in which the dream sequence ending (leading into the closing credits) features Morris Levy dying and James (with his new band) performing a slow-downed, acoustic version of one of Tommy's biggest hits, "I Think We're Alone Now".  James also performed the full rock and roll version at its normal tempo later in the show.   

Tommy was clearly having fun on stage and closed the show with a rousing version of "Mony Mony", which turned into a 15 minute jam session as Tommy left the stage and came out into the audience to shake hands with literally HUNDREDS of fans in attendance that night, thanking each and every one of them for coming out to see his show.  (He signed autographs in the lobby afterwards as well ... and we were treated to a special "Meet and Greet" backstage before the show started, too.)


Me, Tommy, Frannie and our host Ron Onesti, backstage before the show ... 
photo by Luciano Bilotti (as are ALL of the pictures featured here today!)
Thanks, Lou!

After a standing ovation, Tommy came back to perform an encore of "Sweet Cherry Wine" and "Mirage", followed by a very brief resurrection of "Mony Mony" (cause as we all know, fifteen minutes simply wasn't enough!), to which he left the stage.
All in all, a GREAT show start to finish, performed to a capacity crowd that loved every minute.   

(Tommy James LOVES Chicago ... some of his biggest concerts were held here back in the day ... and WLS Radio was a HUGE supporter of his music.  I can only tell you that the feeling was reciprocal ... Tommy's records performed consistently better on the charts here in Chicago than they did anywhere else in the country!  James hit #1 with "Hanky Panky", "I Think We're Alone Now", "Mirage", "Mony Mony", "Crimson And Clover", "Crystal Blue Persuasion" and "Draggin' The Line" ... that's SEVEN #1 Records here in Chi-Town compared to FOUR on the national charts!)  Based on Saturday Night's show, I can assure you that that feeling hasn't waned at all ... Chicago STILL loves Tommy James!!!

More great shows coming up at The Arcada Theatre in November ... 
Kansas  on November 1st
B.J. Thomas (with Exile) on November 7th
Burton Cummings on November 14th
America on November 15th
The Little River Band on November 16th
and The Spinners (with Ray Parker, Jr.) on November 22nd
Complete ticket information at www.oshows.com ... but order quickly ... these shows are selling out like crazy.  The Arcada Theatre is THE place to see classic music in the Chicagoland area!

ALSO:
If you're one of the eight people left on the planet who hasn't read Tommy's book "Me, The Mob And The Music", you've just GOT to pick up a copy.  It's reading that you can't put down ... and soon to be both a major motion picture AND a Broadway Musical.  Order your copy here: Click here: Me, the Mob, and the Music: One Helluva Ride with Tommy James & The Shondells: Tommy James, Martin Fitzpatrick: 97
 
And for all the latest Tommy James news (and upcoming tour dates) be sure to check out his website here:   Click here: Tommy James and the Shondells Official Website and Online Store  
(You can also pick up Tommy's book here, along with brand new CD releases and other merchandise)   

ONE MORE:  
One favorite I missed hearing Saturday Night was Tommy's 1970 Hit "She" ... a BEAUTIFUL song that climbed as high as #18 nationally.  (Frannie would have loved to hear him do "Sugar On Sunday", too ... he DID do a nice arrangement of the Alive and Kicking record he wrote and produced, "Tighter, Tighter", a #3 smash in its own right.) Tommy didn't do any new material (not even his most recent major hit "Three Times In Love") ... and that's a shame ... because the music he's recording today is every bit as good as the music he was laying down 40+ years ago.  ALL of Tommy's recent CD's are immaculately produced and really showcase his voice and writing, singing and arranging talents.  This guy has not lost a beat in the past 50 years!  (We ran into several Forgotten Hits Readers at the show, ALL of whom were blown away by how rich and pure Tommy's voice still is after all these years.  Also in the audience that night ... Jimy Sohns of The Shadows of Knight and Dave Zane of The Buckinghams and Jay and the Americans, both there as spectators and fans of Tommy's music.)



I've seen Tommy perform live four or five times prior to Saturday Night and I can say that hands down this was one of his best performances ever.  (James went through a bit of a "reinvention process" several years ago where he felt a need to change the arrangement and overall sound of virtually every hit record ... do it up in more of a hard rock / punk rock fashion ... and it simply didn't work.  The fact that he has returned all of his music to its original state ... and performs it with the passion and enjoyment that he does ... is a true testament to his talent.)   

With the new movie coming out, Tommy James music will be all over the radio again ... meaning that new fans will be discovering these great sounds every single day ... feel good, timeless music that they will gleefully embrace.  We are fortunate to have lived through it the first time around ... and can attest that it still holds up every bit as well today as it did then.  Thank you, Tommy, for a GREAT night of entertainment ... and for staying true to the artist that we all know and love.  I think YOU had nearly as much fun Saturday night as WE did!!!  (kk)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Sunday Comments ( 10 - 26 - 14 )

re:  Philadelphia International Records:  
After reading our piece on the demolition of the Philadelphia International Records building in Philadelphia, our British Dee Jay Buddy Geoff Dorsett was inspired to try to set up a phone interview with either Kenny Gamble or Leon Huff.  Good Luck, Geoff ... let us know if you pull this off ... and when and where we can tune in to listen!  (kk)  

Hi Guys
I read with great interest the great tribute by Kent Kotal of Forgotten Hits about the Philly building.  I am a UK radio presenter who specializes in phone interviews ... 1400 in the last seven years including Steve Cropper, Eddie Floyd, Valerie Holiday, The Eagles, Chicago, The Stylistics and many, many more.
See website:  www.softrockshow.co.uk for gallery and audio.
I also present a soul radio show every Saturday night.  I would be delighted if one of the guys, Kenny or Leon, would be my phone guest sometime.
Regards
Geoff
Geoff Dorsett 
Radio Presenter 

Hi, Kent,
That was an excellent retrospective profile on the demise of the Philadelphia International / Gamble & Huff / Cameo - Parkway facility. I admire the detail of your research and the perspective you lend to your articles.
Best regards,
Jeff March
Co-author, "Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone?" -- Volumes 1 & 2    

Kent,
A truly wonderful piece on Philadelphia International Records. Thanx for sharing the vibes of this
legendary music palace. Your passion reminded me of the first time I cut TV spots at the historic Brill Building in New York back in the early 90's.
Philly has lost a shining star, a legacy of memories. I can hear the O'Jays harmonizing on "Love Train."   Gamble and Huff defined music in the 70's, music that will endure for endless generations.
Chet Coppock
Author: Chet Coppock: Laying it on the Line
Host: Chicago BlackHawks Heritage Series 
 


Ironically, our DJ Buddy Stu Weiss interviewed James Rosin on his program last weekend ... James wrote an EXCELLENT book on the Philly Music Scene (which we've mentioned several times before in Forgotten Hits) and that show is now archived so you can listen to it any time you like!  More details below ...   

For those of you who missed my interview last Friday night with James Rosin please note that it is now available on our website. James talks about the Philadelphia music scene / the artists / the dee jays, etc. ...very enjoyable and quite informative. Just go to our website:  www.oldiesyourway.com ... and click on "Interviews". 
Stu

Hi Kent,
When I got this email from you with the subject line, "End of An Era," I shuddered a moment, wondering who else might have passed away.  The death march of our musical heroes has rapidly been picking up its pace as of late.  While relieved to find that no one had perished, I was truly heartsick to see that 309 S. Broad Street had a date with the wrecking ball.
Like you, Kent, I had the very good fortune to visit the offices and studio of Philadelphia International back in 2008 for an interview I did with Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff.  Here, for those who are interested: 
http://scottpaton.writersresidence.com/system/attachments/files/36665/original/Gamble_Huff_Interview.pdf?1395546974
Back in their 1970s heyday, when I was doing a half-dozen interviews a week or more as part of my job at "American Top 40," my attempts to land a conversation with Gamble & Huff were always rebuffed.  They were just too busy.  So, by the time the opportunity arose 30 years later, my admiration for them had only grown, and to be conducting the chat in the very room where a vast majority of those Philly International hits had been cut was the cherry on the sundae.
I'll confess, I was just a bit nervous when I arrived that day, such was the esteem in which I held Gamble & Huff.  And in every photo I had ever seen of them, they looked so stern and inscrutable, staring down the lens of the camera.  But what I found when I met them (as our scheduled half-hour turned into a two-hour session at the mic) were two of the most down-to-earth individuals you could hope to meet.  Despite their wealth and acclaim, there was not an air about them.  Frankly, I've never met anyone else at their tier of success in this business that were that unaffected and as eager to share the credit of their achievements with their colleagues.
If Kenny and Leon had been pretentious or full of themselves, it would have done nothing to lessen my love for their music, but imagine the added joy at discovering that they were such a nice couple of guys.  On two subsequent occasions, I was invited up their way for a couple of events and, in both instances, was greeted with generous hospitality by not only the two of them, but their associates as well -- most notably, Chuck Gamble (Kenny's nephew and the President of Philadelphia International) and Craig White, the studio manager and a talented record producer in his own right.
So, aside from the awe I held for the facility at 309 S. Broad Street anyway, there's an element of personal affection for the site as a result of the very nice and gracious experiences I've had there.  And like their counterparts in Detroit (Motown), Memphis (Sun Records) and other locations, when you step into these buildings, you feel something tangible, even sacred in the air.  The walls are imbued with echoes of the souls of the men and women that worked there, united in the creation of music that evoked emotion in listeners up the street and around the world.  That may sound a little exaggerated and melodramatic to some -- and granted, I am a musichead -- but others with whom I've spoken with a lesser appreciation for music history have felt those spirits, too.
Adding to this effect at Philly International was the fact that the offices there had literally gone unchanged since the early-'70s, and the studio since the earlier Cameo-Parkway days.  Kenny laughed and said Huff never wanted to change a single thing there, right on down to the shag carpet, because it might "disrupt the magic" with those walls. 
So as you saw, too, Kent, walking in that front door and taking that early-20th Century elevator upstairs was like stepping into a time machine.
But the magic did get disrupted there when that drunken arsonist torched the place several years ago.  On my last visit there a while back, Chuck Gamble told me that restoration was in the works, but I guess it proved too daunting.  And the futility of trying to re-create something that had been preserved so long, almost to the point of antiquity, must have finally prevailed.  I can only imagine how hard it was for Kenny & Leon to make the decision to finally let the building go.  While there's talk of establishing a museum somewhere in Philly honoring the local record labels, where would it have been better located than 309 S. Broad Street?  This loss is truly an historic tragedy.
Regards,
Scott Paton  

I also got this email from legendary producer Joe Tarsia, who built Sigma Sound Studios during the Cameo / Parkway days, which carried over well into the Gamble and Huff Philadelphia International days as well. He tells us that we've got some of our facts wrong ... but I can only tell you that what we reported is what we were told during our tour of the P-I facilities a few years ago ... and the general perception absolutely was that this was, in fact, a fully functioning studio churning out a boatload of hits.
We promised to do a bit more digging ... and plan on talking to Joe one-on-one in the near future to nail down a few more details.  Meanwhile, here is what he is telling us ...  

Forgotten Hits, 
Your article, while a great story, is seriously  inaccurate.
I was Chief Engineer at Cameo Parkway when in 1963 we built two recording studios at the 309 South Broad Street location. When Gamble, Huff & Bell bought the building in or around 1970, the big studio was converted into offices and the small room was strip of the equipment and laid dormant. From 1968 to 1988 all Gamble, Huff and Bell music was recorded at my Sigma Sound Studios.  
In 1974, to handle overflow at Sigma’s 212 N 12th Street location, Sigma rented the space from G, H & B and equipped it. It was known as Sigma Sound South. At the end of the lease in 1988, Gamble and Huff took back the studio and used it mainly for archiving and creating completions.  This is not to detract in any way from the site’s great history but where the music was recorded, and truly the home of the Philadelphia Sound is Sigma Sound Studios at 212 South 12th Street, Philadelphia, Pa.
Some of the other noted artists, producers and labels that made all or some of their music at Sigma Philadelphia include, Tom Moulton, WMOT Records, Salsoul Records, the Village People, Loleatta Holloway, Chuck Brown, Baker, Harris and Young, the Trammps, Steve Wonder, Todd Rundgren, B. B. King, David Bowe, Billy Joel, to just scratch the surface.  
I would be more than happy to talk with you at your convenience. It is amazing to me how everyone tries to put their own twist on history. I would be happy to give you my slant, most of which can be documented in the archives at Temple University Library and at Drexel University. 
Thank you, I look forward to hearing from you.  
Joe Tarsia

 Musicians at Sigma 12th street studio

 Philadelphia Bulletin 1977

 Leon Redbone & Hank Williams JR. Sigma Studio 1

re:  More Freddy:  
Vintage Vinyl News picked up our story about Freddy's recent surgery ... AND the discovery of his original demo recording of "She's My Rock And Roll Baby", the song that became "Tallahassee Lassie".  Cool to see that they're helping to spread the word!  (kk)
Hi kk ... 
It's Rick Levy ...
Haven't heard from Freddy in a while ... used to play for him and book him.
I didn't know about his recent surgery - glad to hear he's doing all right.
RICK
P.S.  I just spoke to Freddy ... he sounded weak ... but in good spirits.
Our FH Buddy Tom Cuddy has been talking to him, too, and his wife Jeanette as well.  It's going to take awhile, but Freddy's going to come back from this just fine ... to quote Chicago, "Feelin' Stronger Every Day!!!"  (kk)   

Thought you'd like to see a photo of Freddy a friend of mine took a number of years ago.
Joel O'Brien
Randolph, VT 

Hey Kent -
Furvus, Ken Evans, of The Fifth Estate here.  I just have to write on the Freddy Cannon pieces you've just put out.  Great info! And many of the things I never knew about Freddy and the record "Tallahassee Lassie."  Never realized the Boston connection, or the Ace Studios connection there, which I was in around 1962 or so. To me Freddy was really the bridge between the first blast of rock and roll with Chuck Berry, Elvis, Jerry Lee, and Bo. He not only helped, but to many maybe almost single-handedly carried that early rock and roll feel, which was on the wane in 59 / 60, into 62 - 3 - 4 when the British started reimporting it again with The Beatles, The Searchers, The Kinks and the like.  But all the elements of these bands were clearly already in Freddy's stuff, especially Tallahassee Lassie. I didn't so clearly recall that till you posted the tune just now. Thanks!
Also, as I'm writing this some kind of bell went off with one of the tunes on our new Take The Fifth album just out. I just brought up our It's Not Right song from that album and I include it here.  If you set this up next to Freddy's tune for the folks, I think they would see what I mean, maybe?  It would be interesting to me if some here think Freddy's is still having it's effect on what The Fifth Estate has recorded more than fifty years later.  No copyright violations I hope!! Sheesh.  Honest we never mentioned or directly thought of Tallahassee Lassie at the time this was being done, but to me listening now, the arrangement, the instrumentation, the guitar sounds and type guitar solo, the little harmony answer backs, virtually the same beat and tempo, and even Ricky Engler's voice on that one even sounds just like Freddie - still!! I think.  Exact same subject matter!!  Some kids never grow up!!  So Freddy lives in us still maybe.
It'll be truly interesting for us to know if others feel or hear this as well.  But we love this kind of music.  It's just too bad that there are no Arnie Ginsburgs around today to help everyone realize all this.
By the way, if some wish to pick up our new Take The Fifth album, just be careful if you already have Time Tunnel.  That was our slightly earlier independent release.  They have many of the same songs, although the new album has some different material and the overall effect is different and we now have major league distribution.  But we don't want all the great folks who already bought Time Tunnel to be disappointed.  And we have been getting a lot of fan mail like the following about the new one, so something is happening.  And in spite of no Arnie Ginsburg, the record and the word seems to be getting out ... check out this review from a week ago or so: 
Sent: Wednesday, October 08, 2014 2:31 PM
Subject: "Take The Fifth" Awesome Cd !
Hi from Wisconsin - 
Lucky for me that I live in a city that has a real music store - "The Exclusive" - is one of the best independent music stores ever. I was looking thru the music - pretty much like I have continued to do since the mid 1960s and I was quite happy to see your CD. Yes, I did remember the group and wondered if this could be the same group that I still remember. It appears that you guys are the real deal and still making AWESOME MUSIC! I am enjoying "Take The Fifth" so very much and have listened to it five time straight since buying it this morning. I plan to buy the "Time Tunnel" CD also. May I ask - any possible way to get you guys to autograph a CD booklet or something for me.
Thank you for listening.   :-)
John  
Told John yup and watch out for Time Tunnel.  Also said he might prefer The Fifth Estate - Anthology one of our older stuff and / or our early rock and roll now out as a VINYL! ALBUM!
Available at Get Hip and Break-A-Way. http://thefifthestateinfo.com/
Thanks, Kent -
Ken


Kent,
I had an "oldies" band in the 90's and we backed Freddy at an event. I don't know if he'll remember me from that but a short time later he might remember sitting next to my mom (and me being mentioned) on a flight from Chicago.
Positive vibes coming your way Freddy!
Davie Allan

Kent and Forgotten Hits:
How wonderful it is to see all of the incredible tributes to the one and only Freddy Cannon!  In the world of rock stars and country stars today emulating the classic stylings of 1950s and 1960s rock & roll, Freddy is a true original.  His songs still stand up today as crisp, clear and filled with excitement as the day they were recorded.  The fact that Cannon is able to sing his mesmerizing catalogue of hits with the sound and energy that made them hits five and six decades ago is a blessing to us all.  I had the honor of helping Freddy write his memoirs recently, and I am so happy that he was able to share his vivid memories in the book "Where the Action Is!"  Now that Freddy is on the mend, my sincere prayers and good wishes are with him.  I know that he will be up and singing in no time, and what a celebration that will be!
I think that it is about time the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame honor his many musical achievements!  Much love to you Freddy!  I look forward to cheering you on when you return to the performing stage.
Sincerely,
Mark Bego  

Sometimes it gets a little frustrating doing Forgotten Hits ... you know you are doing it for all the right reasons but there aren't always the "rewards" one might expect for all the effort expounded churning this out every single day.  (And I don't just mean financial rewards ... although that's been a HUGE disappointment as well ... I've long since given up any notion of turning this into a money maker ... but every once in a while there is REALLY something special that makes this labor of love so worthwhile ... that personal "feel good" feeling you get when you know you've really hit home with something.  It doesn't happen all that often ... but when it does, it acts as a magical reminder of just how special doing Forgotten Hits can be.)
Today (after running our Get Well Wishes to Freddy Cannon) it all came home to remind me of why I really do this in the first place ... when I got this incredibly moving and touching email from Jeanette Cannon, Freddy's wife ... it reminds me again of WHY I do WHAT I do.  (kk)  

HI KENT,
THIS IS JEANETTE, FREDDY'S WIFE.  WE'VE NEVER MET BUT FROM WHAT I HEAR FROM EVERYONE WHO KNOWS YOU, YOU'RE THE BEST OF THE BEST.
THANK YOU FOR FINDING THE SHE'S MY ROCK AND ROLL BABY AND YOU KNOW ACETATE.  IT MEANS SO MUCH TO ME AND FREDDY.
FREDDY AND I ALSO WANT TO THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE FOR US.  
HE HAS GONE THROUGH A GREAT ORDEAL AND EVERY DAY IS GETTING STRONGER.  YOU HAVE LIFTED HIM UP SO MUCH.  HE THANKS YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF HIS HEART AND SO DO I.
AS SOON AS HE GETS STRONGER, YOU WILL HEAR FROM HIM PERSONALLY.
YOU HAVE BROUGHT US SO MUCH LOVE AND GOOD WISHES FROM ACROSS THE WORLD
SINCERELY,
JEANETTE CANNON  

And then this ...   

THANKS, KENT!
YOU JUST LIFTED ME UP SO VERY MUCH WITH YOUR KIND WORDS. 
WISHING YOU ALL THE BEST FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS.
LOTS OF LOVE AND GOOD WISHES GO OUT TO YOU.
SINCERELY,
FREDDY AND JEANETTE
XOXOXXOXO
Thanks, guys ... and the "well wishes" keep coming (as evidenced above.)
Glad to hear that you're feeling better and I know it'll be a bit of a recovery period ...
But I want you to promise me that once you're feeling better, you'll bring your show out here to Chicago so all of us can see the great Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon live in concert!  (kk)    

re:  JIM PETERIK:
Wow!  Epic writing!   Glad u dug it!!
Keep rocking!
Jimbo  

Kent,
Sorry I did not ever find time recently to send in a review of Jim Peterik's wonderful look back at his life SO FAR.  Due to a family medical emergency, I did not have any time to do so. 
I will agree whole heartedly that the book is indeed well worth reading.  Sometimes, it can be tough because the situations were not happy at times, but there were just as many or more happy times for him and his bands and family and friends ... and enemies. 
I particularly liked the sixties memories, maybe because that was my prime listening era and when the Ides were Jim's band full time ... AND I was young.  The great part about Jim's pre-70's recollections were that usually they were the happier times before breakups and such that we all experience as we grow up.  I am happy that I know Jim and he has befriended me enough to help a bit with his discography, too.  His music has meant SO much to me through the years, so it is a blessing to know him. 
For you to have lived in the same environment would be quite a cool thing to read through as well.  It's sad there is no mention to Berwyn's  Svengoolie (Rich Koz), TV's Berwyn horror show host we see here locally, but I'm sure that will be in his NEXT book.  Just joking. 
Anyway, I have read many autobiographies and seldom have they said the blood and guts things that they actually feel and have felt through the years, as this book has.  Jim's happiness and painful moments are captured in chronological fashion like few have done.  GO BUY THIS BOOK!
Kent, you mentioned how the Ides always wanted to capture the harmonies of the Shames back when.  It's so true, but here's a quick comparison to the sounds of the Shames in 68 and Ides in 69. 
First, the Cryan Shames' "Up on the Roof" followed by the Ides' "Nobody Loves Me" unreleased demo.  Pretty close in so many ways.  Both beautiful songs by great artists.
Clark Besch



I think the Svengoolie during Jim's era (the late '60's and early '70's) was the incredible Jerry G. Bishop, one of my favorite disc jockeys of all time.  (I was never one for the Svengoolie Fright Fest and all the corny jokes that went along with it ... but I found Jerry G. to ALWAYS be entertaining in nearly everything he did.) We lost him a short time ago (ironically, we had been talking about doing a Forgotten Hits interview shortly before he passed so I never go the chance to partake.)
Nice "outtake" by The Ides ... why wasn't THIS one released?  Hopefully now with the 50th Anniversary Box Set coming out, some of these long-forgotten gems will finally see the light of day.  (kk)   

One thing that always made "L.A. Goodbye" one of my favorite pop songs is the way the very first line is an oblique allusion to the Doppler Effect -- he's accelerating away from LA, so whatever sound he makes has a longer wavelength.
Ok, I'm a science nerd. One of my friends rolled his eyes years ago and said that he was just waving more slowly as he left, because he was having regrets. I guess. But I went to Lane Tech, and science was just what we did.  
It's still a spectacular song, and Jim is one of the greatest lyricists in all pop music.  
-- 73 --  
-- Jeff Duntemann
   Colorado Springs, Colorado

 


re:  CHART RESEARCH:  
Hi Kent,
Thanks for the update regarding the new book from Joel Whitburn.  During the 70's no doubt the big three Chart Magazines were indeed Billboard, Cashbox and Record World unless you want to factor in Radio & Records after it joined the group.  But both Your Hit Parade and my own independent research regarding Pop Music of the 50's suggest the big three then were clearly Billboard, Cashbox, and Variety.
Variety gets overlooked partly because the longest list it published was the Disc Jockey Playlist Chart which had 45 Positions when Billboard only showed 20 and the DJ's surveyed changed over about an eight week cycle, so the records seesawed back and forth week to week.  The Variety Juke Box Chart was similar to the Cash Box Juke Box Chart in that it listed everything Honor Roll Of Hits style. That means all versions of Ballad of Davy Crockett and Unchained Melody were listed together for one Chart Position.
But even in 1953 and 1954 the Variety Best Sellers Chart was done Hot 100 style.  That means that Hey There and This Ole House had two different Chart Positions on the Variety Sales Chart.  The main problem with this Chart was that it only included 20 Positions in January, 1954 but soon changed to 25 Positions for most of 1954 through 1956 and it only included data from about 20 of the approximately 50 largest markets.  In regard to Hey There / This Ole House and Hound Dog / Don't Be Cruel, here is how the most notable charts dealt with them.
The Variety Sales Chart showed a separate listing for each side.  The Billboard Sales Chart listed the Rosemary Clooney single with each side separately, but beginning while KoKoMo / Earth Angel by The Crew Cuts and A Blossom Fell / If I May by Nat "King" Cole were still active, Billboard started listing both sides as one chart entry, so the Elvis single had one Chart Position.  The Cashbox Sales Chart was done Honor Roll Of Hits Style so all charted versions of each song appeared together as a single entry.  I've never seen an actual Music Vendor Chart, but it is my understanding that their Sales Chart was done semi-Honor Roll Of Hits Style because they apparently showed only the Highest Charting version of each Song each week.
So in the case of Shifting Whispering Sands and A Woman In Love, apparently the Rusty Draper and Billy Vaughn singles swapped places as the Highest Ranking version week to week as did the Frankie Laine and Four Aces versions as well.  So that seems totally confusing and really highly inaccurate as well.  All four versions were Top 20 Hits, but apparently only two of the four Hits were being charted weekly.  The Billboard Juke Box Chart was listed exactly as the Sales Chart and changed in 1955 on the same date as the Sales Chart to listing each Single as one entry.  The Cashbox and Variety Sales Chart each listed multiple versions of Songs as one Chart entry.  I have no clue whether Music Vendor ever even had a Juke Box Chart.
I do not believe that Cash Box ran a Disc Jockey Playlist.  The Billboard Chart had 20 Positions while Variety had 45 Positions.  Both listed the individual sides of each single separately.  Once again I have no knowledge whether Music Vendor did a DJ Playlist or not.  The Billboard Honor Roll Of Hits listed all versions of each Song as a Single Chart entry.  Billboard always regarded the Sales Chart as their main Chart prior to the Hot 100.  The Top 100 Sides Chart clearly indicated that it was mainly a DJ Programming aid.  It featured a large number of Adult Contemporary type Songs as compared to the Sales and Juke Box Charts.
Interestingly enough Joel Whitburn did include additional singles in the Pop Memories book which included the years through 1954.  He showed the actual Pop Chart Positions for everything that made the Billboard Chart but had Positions 21 to 30 added based on their performance in both Cashbox and Variety.  So he, too, regarded Variety as a legitimate source in 1954.  I believe the Variety Charts in 1955 and 1956, which were high transitional years, are far more legitimate than the Music Vendor Charts which displayed only one Highest Charted version each week for each song.
Maybe you did not want an actual analysis of what was available from 1954 to 1956, but I feel that all of this does actually matter.  Randy Price and I have disagreed with several of the publishing decisions made by Joel Whitburn.  He ranks Singles Yearly based on Highest Position only and fails to recognized that a single that spent eight weeks at Number 2 is nearly always bigger than a single with one week at Number 1.  Yet Joel always lists every Number 1 as bigger than any Number 2.  That is both simple minded and highly inaccurate.  He also shows I'm A Believer as the Number 1 Hit of 1966 when it was only Number 1 for one week in 1966, but Number 1 for six weeks in 1967. Again this is neither accurate or believable.
Joel's books are helpful, but rarely the final answer to settle many legitimate chart arguments.  I am forced to conclude that Joel Whitburn has far more credibility as a Record Collector than he does as a legitimate chart expert.  Sorry if anything I have said angers or disappoints you.  I have studied the charts since the 1970's because Emory University, Georgia State, and Atlanta Public Library all have back issues of both Billboard and Variety.  You must already know that all of the Cashbox Sales Charts are available on the internet thanks to Randy Price.
Best of luck to you with Forgotten Hits.  I like several of the features that you do.  Your postings are usually quite interesting and enjoyable.
Phil Zorn
The most valuable aspect of Joel Whitburn's books is as a documentation of ALL records charted in the three major trade publications of the rock and roll era.  They are painstakenly researched and cross-referenced.  The fact that he can also boast having a physical copy of each and every one of these records in his personal collection makes him the foremost authority on each of these releases as ANY potential discrepancies that may arise can quickly be resolved as every single one of these records are literally at his fingertips.
I, too, have issues with the way some of the calculations are finalized and you cite perhaps the primary example in my own mind, that being the case of "I'm A Believer".  I, too, believe the rankings should be categorized by the year when the record had the greatest impact ... which, in this case, would most certainly be 1967.  On NOBODY'S chart would "I'm A Believer" have been the biggest record of 1966, having spent only one week at the #1 position during the course of that year. In fact Billboard themselves cut off their ranking period at the end of November before they calculated their year end survey.  "I'm A Believer" didn't debut on the chart until December 10th so it wouldn't have even been up for consideration in 1966.
I'll also agree that a more accurate accumulated point system would allow (to use your example) a record that spent eight weeks at #2 (is there such a thing?!?!?) would have earned more points in nearly EVERY instance than a record that spent one week at #1 ... but I also understand that Joel has established a methodology to his rankings.  (Quite honestly, the Year End Billboard Charts also leave a little bit to be desired ... but perhaps the perfect example would be the 1965 Year End Recap chart that listed "Wooly Bully" by Sam The Sham and the Pharaohs, a record that only peaked at #2 (and only spent two weeks there at that) ahead of "Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones, which spent four weeks at #1 and was, by nearly EVERYONE'S calculation, The Biggest Record of the Year that year.
Joel's new books, "Top Pop Playlists", commit a similar offense.  Because the criteria of these books is that a record can only be listed once, "I'm A Believer" again shows up as the Biggest Record of December of 1966 (it wasn't ... that distinction HAS to go to either "Winchester Cathedral" or "Good Vibrations" ... and most likely to "Winchester Cathedral" because it spent three weeks at #1 that month) ... and yet it isn't listed at all in January of 1967 when it topped the charts for all 31 days.
I would have much preferred that instead of just 25 titles per month, Joel listed The Top 40 Records for each month in a more accurate manor, allowing records to cross over into multiple months if, in fact, they remained popular and charting high enough to do so.  This method paints a far more accurate picture of what was happening in any given month of any given year.  That being said, these are the most beautifully illustrated books Record Research has ever done, full color on glossy stock with TONS of photos throughout ... and I believe in his heart his goal was more for use as a "programming guide" than anything else.  (Let's face it ... there's a downside here, too ... a record that was climbing the charts in month #1 and month #2, finally hitting its peak and then descending down the chart in month #3 never really captures the total impact of how big a hit it was because each month's chart performance has been diluted, thus lessening that impact.)
Truth is, there is no "be all to end all" method of doing this.  (Personally, I've never understood how ANY of these publications could chart each side of the same 45 separately ... how on earth could anyone POSSIBLY know which song a person came into the record store to buy?!?!?  That's why I LOVE that quote from The Brooklyn Bridge who said last month that although their record ""Blessed Is The Rain" / "Welcome Me Love" was one of those rare two-sided hits, once all the sales were tabulated, EACH side of the record sold the EXACT SAME number of copies!!!)  It's a bit like saying that a throw-away Beatles B-Side like "For You Blue" should earn the same #1 Chart Position as "The Long And Winding Road" simply because it was a "tag-along" B-Side.  Did ANYBODY out there really go into the record store to buy "For You Blue" rather than "The Long And Winding Road"???  "The Inner Light" rather than "Lady Madonna"???  "What Goes On" instead of "Nowhere Man"?
Unfortunately, it's too late to rewrite history ... so the charts stand as they were originally written.  I think ALL two-sided hits should chart as one chart entry ... and if the popularity of the sides happened to shift during the course of the record's chart run, list them that way on the chart.  But at BEST the most ANY B-Side should be awarded would be HALF the points of the A-Side.
Great plan right???  Until you reach some of those REALLY rare Double A-Side singles like "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel"; "Travelin' Man" and "Hello Mary Lou"; "Come Together" and "Something", etc, etc, etc.
That's why you've got to establish your method and stick with it.  There is no fool-proof way to rank these hits, especially when you consider some of the peak discrepancies shown in the three major publications.  Joel has a 40-year track record establishing his method ... and it's become the Industry Bible and most-quoted source out there for chart information.  So while we may choose to disagree with a point here or there, the bottom line is his research has established how the hits are measured.
(kk)   

For more on two-sided hits, check out our tabulation (put together with the help of the aforementioned Randy Price of Cash Box Chart fame) ... a mathematical listing of The Top 200 Biggest Two-Sided Hits of All-Time based on the ACCUMULATED points of BOTH sides of each record.  (Some of the results may surprise you!)

AND DON'T FORGET ... You've got until Friday (October 31st) to get your entries in for your chance to win a copy of Joel Whitburn's brand new book "The Comparison Charts" in our latest Joel Whitburn / Record Research / Forgotten Hits Trivia Contest.  Scroll back to Friday, October 17th, for all of the questions.  (Right now we're stalled at just THREE correct answers ... GREAT odds for the winners ... but let's turn this into a CONTEST!!!  You've still got the whole week to do some research and come up with your answers!)  Just email them to me at:  forgottenhits@aol.com ... but you'll need 'em all ... 'cause these three folks have totally nailed it!  (kk)

re:  THE SATURDAY SURVEYS:
>>>On this week's Saturday surveys, I, too, have never seen The Yardbirds at #1 and you don't want to know how many surveys have passed thru my hands over the years.   (Jack)
In Doug Hinman's great book "Jeff's Book" on the life of Jeff Beck and the Yardbirds daily chronological history, he talks to Jeff about the first Yardbirds tour of the US, going so many places by bus.  One place they felt they HAD to visit was Oklahoma City because it was one of the few places that "For Your Love" went to number one!  The power of being number one in a market was big then.  In Jim Peterik's new autobiography, he talks about being sent to Miami with the Ides of March in 1966 on the heels of "You Wouldn't Listen" going top 10 there.  "If you sell it, they will come"!!!!  (At least back then anyway)
Clark Besch   

re:  THE BRITISH INVASION:  
Hi Kent,  
I didn't see The Dave Clark documentary when it first ran on PBS, but ordered it as soon as it was available for preorder on Amazon. I was all excited to see it, but never got a chance to watch it until this passed week. Can I say CRAP!!! I can't believe how lacking it was with information about the Dave Clark 5 ... and did we really need to hear the same two or three songs so many times most of the way through? I should have counted how many times they played Glad All Over. 
I was looking forward to the second disc, but it was actually worse than the first one.  
The weird thing about it was despite all the Dave Clark slant to it I came away with thinking he was probably a pretty nice appreciative guy. Maybe it was just an act, but that how he came across to me.  
He should have had someone put the darn thing together, though.  
Lots of questions left with no answers. Just awful IMO.  
Bill

Although "Tobacco Road" was not on top of the WLS chart this week in late 1964, the song seemed to have a huge affect on Chicago bands.  It seems like I often have read where many of the area bands would adopt the song as a staple in their live sets and then adapt it to fit their ideas as to how to perform this unusual hit record.  The song seemed to have particularly long "staying power" with Chicago bands. 
It seems like I read in Jim Peterik's book about the Ides doing their version at their LAST gig in the early 70's.  Attached is a LIVE rendition of the Cryan Shames doing the song some four years after the Nashville Teens hit it big.  This was taped in 1968 and may remind you of the Beatles Cavern Club recordings, as it is an audience tape, but it shows how bands could adapt the song in various ways.  In 1968, longer "jam sessions" were coming into vogue at live gigs and "Tobacco Road" was a true vehicle for the Shames to showcase their musicianship and ideas on how to "work" a song to their liking.  At this time, "Greenburg" was a new song to their live sets, so you can see that the band was branching out in all directions in 1968, despite all the band member changes coming and going. 
Any comments on this would be greatly appreciated.  BTW, this is a six minute version, but I believe the song went on for 13 minutes.  I copied this years ago. 
Clark Besch





Great!  Now I know where the Ides got our arrangement.  Ha!  Good to hear this again!  
Jim Peterik    

I certainly don't remember Terry Black but this is a great track. Thanks for pointing it out to us!
David Lewis
It's a fairly new discovery for me, too.  I came across this a couple of months ago when listening to a disk of songs that charted Top 40 on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey but never hit that plateau in Billboard ... and this one was a #22 Hit here in Chicago in 1964.  (It stalled at #99 on The Billboard Chart.)  Terry did chart again with a duet he recorded with Laurel Ward called "Goin' Down (On The Road To L.A."), a #20 Hit on the WCFL Chart in 1972.  This one fared a little better nationally, climbing to #57 on The Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart.
His voice on "Unless You Care" reminds me of a cross between Cliff Richard and Billy J. Kramer ... but he's actually Canadian.  Back home in The Great White North, Black hit the CHUM Top 40 Chart eight times.  "Unless You Care" peaked at #12 ... and his biggest hit was a remake of the Sam Cooke classic "Only Sixteen", which reached #2 in 1965.  His duet hit in Canada was "Back Up (Against Your Persuasion)", also cut with Laurel Ward ... it peaked at #14 in 1975.  (kk)

"Unless You Care" was an early Sloan / Barri song!  I agree ... it's very cool and a precursor to their future successes!
Clark Besch   

I hadn't heard Don't It Make You Feel Good until you called attention to it in Forgotten Hits. Cool tune. I also noticed that The Shadows had it out around the same time as well, but I liked The Overlanders version much better. 
Bill
Another one that did much better here in Chi-Town than it did nationally ... #7 on The WLS Silver Dollar Survey ... but didn't even "bubble under" in Billboard, where their only chart hit was a cover version of the Chad and Jeremy hit "Yesterday's Gone".  (kk)    

re:  VIDEO JUKEBOX:
And, if you'd like to take a gander at literally THOUSANDS of these chart hits, then you're gonna LOVE this new link sent in by FH Regular Frank B ... play around with it for awhile ... and then just try and walk away ... we dare ya!!!  (lol)  kk
Kent ...
If you can't find what you like here, you won't find it anywhere.
Frank B.
http://www.1959bhsmustangs.com/VideoJukebox.htm#

re:  This And That:
Kent -
Here's a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT for your Forgotten Hits Readers ... 
ON OCTOBER 27th AMERICAN POP ROCK LEGEND TOMMY ROE WILL RECEIVE THE COVETED BMI -- TWO MILLION PERFORMANCES AWARD -- FOR BOTH 'SHEILA' AND 'DIZZY'! 
IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN OR BOOKED TOMMY RECENTLY, YOU SHOULD ... AN EVENING WITH TOMMY ROE IS GREAT! 
(He will be interviewed for the upcoming Ron Howard-produced Beatles documentary)
http://www.tommyroeonline.com/  
RICK LEVY   

Kent -
I have mixed feelings with the Grass Roots. Rob Grill has passed but before he passed he handpicked Mark Dawson to succeed him.  But it is true that there are NO ORIGINAL MEMBERS left ... but what about the Raiders, now stuck in the same bind?
Paul once said ya know the original members were only here for 5 -6 years and then he pointed out his band with some of them playing for 10, 20 years with him. And I know that is the same for the Grass Roots ...  the lead guitarist has been with Rob at least 20 years and the two other guys I would say at least 10 years. Rob's wife Nancy owns the name now and is a very nice person. So what is the answer?
To avoid confusion. I would think some of the bands like this should change their name to "The New Grass Roots" and explain why in the program, just like the Rascals did when they had Gene and Dino.
Now WOW ... Sloan, Warren and Creed ... man, that would be great if they started touring!  Throw in Dennis, who resides in the land of cheese, and man I would be there in a flash to see that!!!!
Mike De Martino
I agree ... this is a tough one with The Grass Roots.  With Rob Grill gone, there is no original member currently on board (which really tests the limitations of Bowzer's "Truth In Music" Act, now LAW in most states, which qualifies that in order for an act to LEGALLY perform under the name of the famous group, they must either own the rights to the name ... or have at least one member from the original group onboard.)  Technically, Rob "bequeathed" the Grass Roots to Mark Dawson so that the music could live on in his absence.  Many times over the past several years when Grill was too ill to perform, The Grass Roots went out with Dawson heading up the band.  Since Grill's wife now owns the rights to the name, it would seem to me that SHE would be the determining factor as to whether or not the band continues and obviously she has chosen to do so, once again to keep all of this great music alive.  Honestly, even the Truth In Music Act is going to become a moot point at some very near moment in time as we are losing more and more of these original great artists, most of whom are now well into their 60s, 70s and 80s.  Pretty soon, it's going to be virtually IMPOSSIBLE to have an original member onboard.  (Bowzer's motivation was most just ... FAR too many imposters were going out there PRETENDING to be the original group ... ie The Drifters, The Coasters, etc., collecting pay from unsuspecting promoters and depriving the REAL groups of income and concert appearances ... he passed this act into law for all the right reasons ... but a lot of time has passed since then.)  Complicating matters even further is the fact that in many cases now, other "less significant" members of the band have purchased the legal rights to the name, forcing the original lead singers to have to perform as "formerly of" or "former lead singer of" instead of capitalizing on the immediate recognition of the band's name.  I have maintained for several years that six or seven of these guys ought to get together and start a brand new band called "Formerly Of" ... and then trade off lead vocals on what is often the most distinguishable and recognizable part of the band's history ... but I digress.)
I feel The Grass Roots should in SOME fashion acknowledge the point that they are performing the music of The Grass Roots but are NOT the originals.  (What if Warren and Creed actually DID decide to get back together???)  The Rascals performed as two factions ... Felix Cavaliere's Rascals and The New Rascals (featuring Dino and Gene).  Would "The New Grass Roots" work?  (Hey back in the day we had The New Seekers ... and this was at the prime of their career!)  Would something like Rob Grill's Grass Roots be a good moniker?  He did endorse the band to continue without him, which is essentially what Paul Revere did when he knew that he was too ill to continue to perform ... rename the band as "Paul Revere's Raiders" so that they could continue to entertain.  (Let's face it, Paul was more there for comic relief anyway ... it was the band members who really focused on keeping the music alive ... some of whom have now been with Paul for 30-40+ years!!! If THAT doesn't make them a Raider, I don't know what does!!!)
It's a sticky point, to be sure ... but it certainly isn't hurting the band any ... The Grass Roots are performing as part of the Salute to the '60's show with Herman's Hermits featuring Peter Noone ... and are back on the bill for next year's Happy Together Tour along with The Buckinghams (sans original lead singer Dennis Tufano) and Mark Lindsay (one of those "formerly of" guys we were just talking about, now performing sans Raiders.)  At this point we just have to take what we can get musically if we want to keep this great music alive and flourishing.  (kk)    

>>>Tell me Kent, when you think of Neil Diamond -- is the "F-Word" the first thing that comes to your mind?   (Frank B.)  
It IS the first thing I think of if the song is LIVE or if it is "Sweet Caroline."  He sings like he is a member of a screaming hard rock band and the BA-Ba-Ba's at games drives me crazy. 
Clark Besch  

Speaking of Neil ...  

Kent ... 
Check out this Neil Diamond interview.  
Neil said the last time he was on stage at Erasmus Hall High School, he was 15 years old.  
http://wcbsfm.cbslocal.com/2014/10/21/neil-diamond-nearly-broke-down-into-tears-upon-returning-to-erasmus-hall-high-school-in-brooklyn/  
Frank B.   

I had a great interview yesterday afternoon with Trini Lopez which will air on my show in the coming weeks.  He has amazing recall of his career.  There are not  many entertainers still living that were friends with Buddy Holly, Frank Sinatra, and Elvis. 
By the way, when you were talking recently about the station you listened to while on your weekend trip, it reminded me of our AM station.  We play many of the Colony songs.  The entire 'Have A Nice Day' series from Rhino is in that library.  I basically programmed the station from my personal collection.  We still play some of the earlier classics from Sinatra, Nat King Cole, etc.  It is a good format that works well.  
Phil Nee 
WRCO
Several years ago Forgotten Hits was asked to "sneak peek" a track from the brand new Christmas Album that Trini Lopez was recording ... with Ron Dante onboard as his producer.  We gladly did ... and then promoted a couple of upcoming appearances ... but haven't heard much from Trini since.  Man, he was sure hot there for awhile ... I remember them pushing the Trini Lopez Gibson Guitar ... and loved him when he won a role in "The Dirty Dozen".  Great to hear that he's still doing well and making music ... and has a TON of memories to share.  Let us know if your interview will be up and streaming anytime soon and we'll gladly spread the word.  Thanks, Phil!  (kk)  

We got the word Saturday Morning that bassist / vocalist Jack Bruce of Cream had passed away at the age of 71.  Sounds like he died peacefully at home.  (kk)
Jack Bruce, vocalist and highly-influential bass player with Cream, died Saturday (October 25) at his home in Suffolk, England, at the age of 71. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, the classically trained cellist Jack and his family travelled throughout Canada, the U.S. and Europe before he settled in London, joining Alexis Korner's Blues, Inc. (with future Rolling Stone Charlie Watts). He migrated on to the Graham Bond Organisation, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and Manfred Mann (where he played on the #29 hit "Pretty Flamingo" in 1966) before being asked by Ginger Baker to form Cream alongside Eric Clapton. Jack wrote many of the songs and sang lead on their hit singles, "Sunshine Of Your Love" (#5 - 1968) and "White Room (#6 - 1968). Though the group lasted less than three years, it sold a reported 35 million albums in that time. After a series of solo albums, Jack formed West, Bruce and Laing with Leslie West and Corky Laing for two studio and one live albums. He continued to work on solo projects and as a guest bassist with some of the biggest names in the industry. Jack underwent a liver transplant in 2003, but continued his work (touring for a number of years with Ringo Starr's All-Starr band), releasing his last album just last March. Jack and Cream were inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1993 and were honored with a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award in 2006.
-- Ron Smith / oldiesmusic.com 

Kent, 
FYI, here in OKC, Roy Head's JUST A LITTLE BIT peaked at #24 in early December of 1965. I always liked it. 
I enjoyed the video of the Jive Aces. When I saw the name of the group, I thought immediately of a song I  haven't heard in years or the group's name.  I am talking about Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers, in particular their song SWING THE MOOD.  I am currently playing it now while I type this e-mail to you.  I just now remembered a similar record by the Stars on 45. 
Larry Neal  
After years and years of doing this, I have come to recognize the fact that only so many songs are going to make the cut.  Even if we could find a radio station to indulge us with a playlist of 9000 titles (which is the number we're currently working on in a couple of other projects), there simply isn't room for everyone.  Roy Head's "Treat Her Right", a #2 Smash from 1965, deserves to be on that list ... period.  His other lesser-known and long-forgotten hits just don't make the cut.  Not that they're bad ... there's only room for 9000. (When one considers that MOST radio stations today only program about 200-300 songs in CONSTANT rotation, 9000 sounds like the motherlode!!!  But think about it for a second ... if an oldies station plays 16 songs per hour (allowing time for commercials and other on-air banter and business), 24 hours a day, that's 384 songs per day ... every single day.  With a playlist of 9000 titles, you wouldn't have to repeat a single track for 24 straight days!!!  But the truth is, you DO have to repeat a certain amount of music in order to retain listeners ... people are most comfortable when they turn on the radio and hear something familiar and to their liking.  But I ALSO believe people are challenged and excited to hear those "WOW" Factor songs, too ... because the average radio listener isn't into this music the way that WE are.  It's finding the right mix to please everyone ... and that's what I'm working on right now ... "The Ultimate Playlist", if you will ... something for everybody (without turning anybody off).  I've still got a ways to go before it's anywhere near complete ... and then, of course, I've got to find a home for it ... but dammit, I'm determined to prove myself right on this before I hang up MY rock 'n' roll shoes!!!  (kk)   

re:  AMAZING:
I think this Glen Campbell documentary is going to be HUGE!  His incredible new song, "I'm Not Gonna Miss You" cracked Billboard's Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart this week ... the first time Glen Campbell has had a Top 100 Hit in 38 years!!!  (It's such a powerful song, I hope he goes out with a bang!)  kk 

re:  DIGGIN' FORGOTTEN HITS:  
Hi Kent,   
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your Forgotten Hits site and the wonderful community of contributors and readers that you have. It shows me that there are still many, many people out there that appreciate the music of the last 60+ years, including the great library of songs that commercial radio will no longer touch (for some strange, unknown reason).  
Keep up the great work! 
-- Roger WinkVVN Music (aka Vintage Vinyl News) 
Thanks, Roger ... that means a lot ... especially coming from you! 
We regularly promote your site as a GREAT source of oldies news and information.  What makes Forgotten Hits work is the fact that music fans, recording artists and dee jays can all share their comments and memories right alongside each other, give SO much additional perspective to the music we all know and love. 
Here's hoping we can count on some your comments from time to time, too, moving forward. 
If you're not already a Vintage Vinyl News subscriber, click the link above and get on the list ... their daily oldies updates are second to none!  (kk)

re:  CLIP OF THE WEEK:
Yes, we've run this one before ... but since FH Reader Frank B sent it to us again, we felt it was too good not to share ... perhaps the most unlikely pairing ever ... yet it works!  
(I can't get over how effortlessly both of these artists performs ... it all just comes SO naturally ... and James Brown simply couldn't look more please please pleased than he does at the outcome of this performance!)  kk