Tuesday, September 30, 2014

AMBROSIA

When you take on the responsibility of writing a review of a concert, you run the risk of ruffling a few feathers along the way ... even if they belong to a band you've always liked.  

Such seems to be the case with Ambrosia and our review of their recent appearance at The Arcada Theatre.
Let's take a little closer look at what was said (and intended) with our review.

But first ... some of YOUR comments ... about some of OUR comments ...  

The thing I like about the reviews you post in Forgotten Hits is that they always come from the perspective of a fan -- it's like you know that we can't possibly go to every show -- so you tell us which ones we'd be best served to see from the perspective of getting your money's worth.  They're always honest -- whether you enjoyed the show or not, we know you're not going to pull any punches in your analysis.
As long as I've been reading I've sensed that, as a fan, you're disappointed when some of your favorites let you down in concert -- and I commend you for sharing your honest appraisal of what went down on stage that night.
While others may pander to a particular artist or favorite or venue, you have always called 'em as you see 'em -- and that's what keeps readers coming back year after year after year.
Dennis Frost  
Thanks, Dennis ... I've said it a thousand times ... I will ALWAYS be a fan first.  It's true that as a connoisseur of all this great music I sometimes go into a concert with some preconceived notions of what I expect to see ... and I have openly acknowledged this fact.  However, for every time I've been disappointed by a particular artist, I have also been completely blown away and won over when the artist exceeds my every expectation ... and that can be completely credited to the magic created on stage ... it's not MY doing ... it's what the artist brings to the table and, at the very least, I'd say I'm about 50/50 with being knocked out by a show that went completely over the top and beyond my wildest expectations.  And when it happens, I say so ... by the same token, when it DOESN'T happen, I also say so ... and that's the trust and bond we have with our readers here in Forgotten Hits ... good, bad or ugly, we're always going to "call 'em as we see 'em".  We're all familiar with the old adage that says "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" ... and we try to find SOMETHING positive in every show we see ... because we truly and genuinely LOVE this music ... it's what we live for.  I just think that sometimes the artists forget to consider their overall presentation from the fans' perspective ... but also firmly believe that there is a fair compromise that will please ALL parties concerned.  (kk)  

Hey Kent, 
Well, I guess I'm gonna have to move to Chicago and "live" at the Arcada, like you talked about doing!
I was fortunate enough to have seen Orleans back in '75 when they were the front act to Melissa Manchester ... and what a wonderful night of music it was! I have always loved Larry Hoppen's  soaring lead vocals, and "Love Takes Time" (The Forgotten Hit) is my favorite song of theirs (great vocals with  great lyrics).
One of the things I remember about their time on stage was a fantastic guitar soloing duet between Hoppen and John Hall. It was a "jamfest"! Not long before before Hall "served his time" in Congress, he played a solo concert here, which I attended with many friends. He showed up with just an acoustic guitar, but his playing made the instrument sound like a whole band. When he sang "Still the One", the audience was on its feet and clapped along. I don't remember his solo record you featured today, but love his singing on it. 
I wish I could see almost every group coming up at the Arcada. I really enjoyed The Spinners, when I saw them here in '07. Back then, I believe every member was original, except for the tenor lead-vocalist, so I can't imagine what they sound like today, as only one is left. I was hoping that they would come out for autographs after the show, but it didn't happen. I so wanted to tell "smooth-as-glass" vocalist, Bobbie Smith, that he was one of my singing heroes.
- John LaPuzza
Ron Onesti continues to book a wide variety of high profile talent at The Arcada ... it's become our home away from home ... there isn't ANYBODY else out there putting on the kinds of shows he's putting on ... and the ambience of this vintage theater really makes for a great night out.  (We're hoping to see The Spinners in November ... as much for them as for Ray Parker, Jr.!!!)  Seriously, Ron, clear me out a corner ... we're moving in there for about the next ten weeks!!!  (kk)  

I was at the Arcada show that you wrote about yesterday and have to agree with most of what you said.  While the show started off brilliantly, showcasing the beautiful harmonies and intricate arrangements of Firefall and then Orleans, it soon degenerated into a clusterfuck of noise that made some of Ambrosia's set nearly unlistenable -- and I consider myself a fan of their music.  Turn it down a notch next time, guys, and let the beauty of the music come through.
Rick
Amen.  (kk)   

Kent ...
I gotta tell ya, my brother ... you give great and honest reviews of these great shows ... I only wish they'd come to Delaware. Every time I read your reviews, I wish that I either did or didn't go to the shows. LOL.
BTW, have you listened to the new Smokey Robinson duets album????? A very GOOD album with an eclectic grouping of talent. Smokey's been my favorite singer since the late 50's, and some of his more recent albums have not been great ... but THIS one is worth a listen.  From Elton John to Steven Tyler, and various current R&B acts, they do a nice job with Smokey on some of his bigger hits. Hope you get a chance to hear it and give a review of it.
I've seen Smokey at least 50 times over the last 50 or so years, and he still, at 74 puts the same energy and passion for all of those songs as he's done since 1957.
As always, my friiend, I eagerly await every Forgotten Hits posting. Thanks for everything ... thanks for keeping the oldies alive!!!!!!!!!  But most important, thanks for YOUR passion, too. 
Pete Garrison
I have heard a couple of isolated tracks from Smokey's new album but honestly haven't been all that impressed ... not Smokey's fault but more that of the contemporary artist he's singing with.  There have been few voices as silky smooth as Smokey's over the years ... and he still sounds great ... but the tracks I've heard just haven't done it for me.  (Maybe I need to hear the whole album.)
Thanks for the kind words ... as stated above, we will ALWAYS call 'em as we see 'em here in Forgotten Hits ... because the moment we don't, we lose all credibility with our readers ... and I've been doing this WAY too long now to sell out to please a particular artist.  (When questioned by an artist about something that I've written, I have always told the artist "If you want a fluff piece, have your publicist write it ... but if you want somebody to tell it like it is, then I'm your guy.")  kk  

Meanwhile, we evidently pissed off a couple of the guys in Ambrosia with our review yesterday ... so let's address that point by point ... 

If you're going to trash a band at least get the names right.
Burleigh Drummond 

Dear Kent,
Though I appreciate the candor of your review of our show at the Arcada Theater this weekend in St. Charles, IL, it is apparent that you were not paying attention or did not stay long enough to hear the band introduced.  Rick Cowling is not the lead singer and has not been since last year!  My name is Ken Stacey!  It was announced during the show.  I am sure you can appreciate the importance of accuracy in journalism, whether it be a blog or print.  Wanted you to know!
Sincerely,
Ken 

There are several points here that need to be addressed ... 

Here's the thing about band announcements naming all the players ... they're nearly all unintelligible because while that is going on, the somebody being announced is most often noodling around on their instrument, showing off their particular skills, all the while drowning out whatever is being said about them ... so unless a fan brings a note pad along to jot down every detail, MOST of us are going to miss it ... which is why for THIS show (since I could barely dissect a word being said), I relied on the band's websites. 

Here's where you guys may want to do a little bit of housekeeping of your own ... BOTH of the "official" Ambrosia websites still list Rick Cowling as being the lead singer ... which, based on your emails, is information that is clearly WELL out of date and (I would think from Ken's perspective anyway), FAR more damaging and demeaning than my isolated mistake since this is where ALL of your fans are going to find out information about the band and upcoming performances.  (For the record, I have since fixed it ... and sincerely apologize for the error ... it shouldn't have happened ... however the misinformation I passed along came as a direct result of both official Ambrosia websites ... so you guys MIGHT wanna fix that ... or risk the same mistake from numerous other repeat offenders!!!)  

http://www.ambrosiaweb.com/   
http://ambrosialive.net/about.html    

To state that we weren't paying attention or didn't stay long enough to hear the announcements is a bit unfair ... makes me think you didn't read the whole review since we reported on the evening's events right through the second messy encore jam of "I'm Crying" ... proving that we were there for the full performance.  (And if you think that this is an unfair assessment of that performance, go back and objectively listen to the audio yourself ... I'm sure it exists since you have since posted a video of the all-star encore jam version of "Take It Easy", which really rocked and sounded great, on your Facebook page.  By the way, speaking of getting the names wrong, you guys erroneously introduced that song as having been written by Jackson Browne and Don Henley ... when, in fact, it was Glenn Frey who wrote the song with Browne ... and then performed it with The Eagles ... goes back to Ken Stacey's point about getting the accuracy right when reporting.  Of course he may not have noticed just how bad "I'm Crying" really sounded as he spent the entire song hitting on the blonde who joined them on stage to shake her tambourine ... and other assets ... during that number!)   

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ambrosia/282602296919  

Getting back to "accuracy", to say that we "trashed the band" is also pretty far from the truth ... and certainly was not our intention ... 

Read the review again (key excerpts shown below) where you'll find quite the opposite to be true. 

Only THIS time read it not as a "trashing" but rather as "constructive criticism" ... 'cause here is the way I see it as a life-long Ambrosia fan. 

Ambrosia brought something new to the musical spectrum ... I bought all those albums back in the day because they were unique and pushed the envelope musically ... there really wasn't anything else quite like it on the radio at the time.  Ambrosia developed a perfect blend of beautiful ballads, smooth jazz and just enough pop/rock to sustain an audience ... and a loyal following.  If I have a beef with anything performed the other night it would be that you seem to have given up your niche ... and, in effect, your identity ... the very thing that endeared you to all those fans in the first place ... in an effort to "rock things up" a bit more.  Not a slam, per se, if that's what you're going for ... but from a FAN'S perspective, not necessarily what we came to see. 

I understand that all artists have a need to grow ... and we're used to seeing established acts embellish their hits a little bit on stage ... it's come to be expected ... and to that end, I have to say that you guys were VERY true to the original arrangements on the hits ... in fact, I complemented both "Holdin' On To Yesterday" and "Biggest Part Of Me" as being damn near perfect performances and amongst the highlights of the evening.  "You're The Only Woman", "How Much I Feel" and a few others also were presented in a way to best capture the original feel of these songs ... but the truth is (and again, this is not a slam but rather the stating of a simple fact), these songs are NOT going to sound the same when presented by somebody other than the guy who originally wrote and sang them.  Period. 

I also said (with the correct name now inserted):  "I've got to say that new lead vocalist Ken Stacey can certainly sing ... he exhibited an incredible vocal range and along the way hit some notes I didn't even know existed!!!  Coupled with original bassist and vocalist Joe Puerta, they did their best to recreate the sound of Ambrosia we came to love back in the day.  This worked to its greatest effect on two of our personal favorites, "Holdin' On To Yesterday" and "Biggest Part Of Me", far and away their best performances of the night."  

Trash talk?  I don't think so.  

But I also went on to make the same point I made above:  

"There was a certain jazz / pop / rock feel to the original Ambrosia music and this simply did not come across in the muddled sound presented on stage Saturday Night.  All the beautiful nuances of their music were lost in their efforts to rock us.  When they first took the stage and said something to the effect of "Now you're going to see a real rock band", I should have known then that we were in trouble .. and that we were not going to hear the very essence of what made Ambrosia stand out from the rest of the crowd in the first place.  Sadly, this proved to be the case.  That being said, props to the few tracks that DID work ... we still hold the music of Ambrosia very dear to our hearts." (By the way, I thought the "Biggest Part Of Me" / Grammy story was hysterical ... and another nice tip of the hat to how well respected the band was back in the day.  And you can say whatever you want about my "All This And World War II" comment ... but reach back to that moment in time and tell me that every word I said doesn't ring of 100% truth and accuracy!!!)     

Sadly, another statement I made was also true:  "By the time Ambrosia's set rolled around, we saw a large number of fans leaving the theater."  Fact is, we watched them filing out as about two-thirds of our section became vacant seats.  I can't say with all certainty why this was the case ... so I speculated that "part of this may have been the fact that it was now well past 11 pm ... part of it may have been that they were SO incredibly loud that your ears were ringing ... and part of it may have been that they simply weren't very good.  (In all likelihood, it was all of the above.)"  For the record, two hours after we got home and were trying to fall asleep, our ears were still ringing from the sheer volume of your set ... again, constructive criticism here ... but your audience will appreciate what you do up there a lot more without the clutter and volume.  The idea is to leave 'em wanting more ... not having the effects of the show echoing in their heads for hours afterwards!   

Thanks to Arcada Photographer Luciano Bilotti, here's a shot of all the artists who performed Saturday Night, along with proper credit and identification for each.  (Would have been helpful to have this information BEFORE we did our review ... but it wasn't posted until afterwards.) 


Backstage before the Ambrosia, Orleans & Firefall show ...
Top Row (L-R) - Ken Stacey (Ambrosia), Jock Bartley (Firefall), Joe Puerta (Ambrosia), Lane Hoppen (Orleans), Lance Hoppen (Orleans), Sandy Ficca (Firefall). 
Bottom Row (L-R) - Alan Tilles (Ambrosia), Mark Andes (Firewall, Spirit, Heart, Jo Jo Gunne), Charlie Morgan (Orleans, Elton John), John Hall (Orleans, Rep. - NY). 

Remembering Ambrosia from The Midnight Special ...
How big were these guys at the time??? They even HOSTED this show!!!




Monday, September 29, 2014

TRIPLE PLAY!

We were able to enjoy another great night of music at The Arcada Theatre Saturday Night ... a triple play of major acts that teamed up to feature a virtual Who's Who of late '70's / early '80's rock ... Firefall, Orleans and Ambrosia put on a very enthusiastic show to the delight of a near-capacity crowd who rewarded them with thunderous applause and repeated standing ovations for their efforts.  [By the way, very special thanks to the loud-mouthed asshole sitting in the back of the balcony who felt it necessary to scream out the names of each group's best-known songs in an effort, I guess, to fulfill some sort of "personal request".  Thank GOD for his efforts ... I'm sure NONE of these artists would have considered performing their biggest hits without his suggestions!  The audience was treated to a far more enjoyable show as a result of his efforts.]  (WTG, IDIOT!!!)  

Each group performed separately (unlike the Sail Rock show I saw last year where Orleans acted as the back-up band for all of the acts) and each artist performed a full set of material rather than just a handful sampling of hits, ala last year's show.  The whole thing kicked off with Firefall.


There are certain artists, even after all these years, that still have it ... that special spark that marries a song to an artist ... and a certain joy that comes with presenting that magic to an audience ... and Firefall had every bit of that (and more) going on Saturday Night.  (I will admit to being a little bit surprised to find that they were the opening act ... song for song, they had more chart hits than either of the other acts and, without question, put on the strongest set of the night.)   

Lead vocals are shared between group founder Jock Bartley and newcomer Jace Hill, who recapture the great sound of the original band, thanks to able assistance from original bassist Mark Andes (who came by way of Spirit and Jo Jo Gunne ... and also did a stint with Heart), original guitarist Larry Burnett and drummer Sandy Ficca.  David Muse (who joined the band in 1977 at the peak of their career) is a marvel to watch on sax, flute, keyboards and percussion and on several occasions brought the crowd to its feet in recognition of his incredible talent.  (He also came out to give sax-support to Orleans during their set.)  I don't think I've ever seen anyone better or more adept at performing pure magic with their instrument ... we bow before you in humble praise!    

All the hits were presented in top-notch performances.  Crowd favorites?  They responded to each and every one, with special love shown for "Just Remember I Love You", "Cinderella", "You Are The Woman" and "Strange Way", which turned into a masterful jam session to end their set.  In a word:  

Outstanding!   

After a brief set change over, Orleans took the stage.  (We saw Orleans perform with Firefall at last year's Sail Rock concert in Aurora ... you can read that full review here:  Click here: Forgotten Hits: SAIL ROCK - Our Concert Review  

Once again, they performed a very credible set of music, including their three biggest hits "Dance With Me" (which opened the show to rousing applause ... you don't see too many artists open their set with a hit this big!), "Love Takes Time" (one of those many Forgotten Hits we bitch about so often here that absolutely deserves to still be played on the radio today ... people LOVE this song!!!) and "Still The One', their up-on-your-feet show closer that was far and away one of the best performances of the entire night.   

In between they did their first chart hit, "Let There Be Music", a slowed-down version of the King Harvest hit "Dancing In The Moonlight", a great New Orleans-tinged track called "Juliet" as well as a couple of brand new songs that I've got to tell you sound right on par with some of their very best work.  (A new 2-CD set is available featuring all of Orleans' biggest hits, some new tracks and an entire album of their live show.)   

These guys struggled for a little while after the death of founder and lead vocalist Larry Hoppen a couple of years ago ... but brothers Lance and Lane have soldiered on brilliantly with Lance very capably taking over the lead vocal chores vacated by his brother's passing.  (To that end a big plus was the inclusion of founding member John Hall, who left the band briefly to serve in The U.S. House Of Representatives!!!  It's not every day you see a congressman up there rockin' it on stage!!!)   

The group is rounded out by Charlie Morgan on drums and Dennis "Fly" Amero on guitar.  Their brand new CD (which they were autographing in the lobby after the show) is available through their website ... Click here: Enjoy the sounds of Orleans again - Still the One, Dance With Me, Love Takes Time and all the great sounds old and


After another set change-over, headliners Ambrosia took the stage.


This was our first time seeing Ambrosia, one of our favorite bands from the late '70's and early '80's.  

With former lead singer David Pack now off doing his solo career, we knew it wouldn't sound quite the same ... but I've got to say that new lead vocalist Ken Stacey can certainly sing ... he exhibited an incredible vocal range and along the way hit some notes I didn't even know existed!!!  Coupled with original bassist and vocalist Joe Puerta, they did their best to recreate the sound of Ambrosia we came to love back in the day.  This worked to its greatest effect on two of our personal favorites, "Holdin' On To Yesterday" and "Biggest Part Of Me", far and away their best performances of the night.   

Original drummer Burleigh Drummond did his best to "MC" the proceedings, entertaining the crowd with the story of how their biggest hit "How Much I Feel" spawned a late '70's / early '80's baby boom as so many couples made love to this song.  Puerta also commented on how "Biggest Part Of Me" was nominated for three Grammy Awards in 1980 but didn't win any of them ... losing "Best Performance By A Duo Or Group" honors to Lipps, Inc., and "Funkytown"!!!  (Wow!  What's wrong with THIS picture?!?!?)  

Other selections included early releases like "Nice, Nice, Very Nice" (which opened the show) and their version of "Magical Mystery Tour", which Ambrosia recorded in 1977 for the ill-fated soundtrack to the film "All This And World War II", which I swear was released directly to the cut-out bins back in the day!  It was a HORRENDOUS attempt to use the music of The Beatles, recorded by other hip, contemporary artists of the day, as the soundtrack to a God-Awful Documentary which, quite honestly, I don't even know ever saw the light of day!  (Think "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" / Peter Frampton / Bee Gees disaster ... times four!!!)   

Truth be told, after Firefall's exceptional set, each subsequent performing artist of the night was weaker than the last and, by the time Ambrosia's set rolled around, we saw a large number of fans leaving the theater.  Part of this may have been the fact that it was now well past 11 pm ... part of it may have been that they were SO incredibly loud that your ears were ringing ... and part of it may have been that they simply weren't very good.  (In all likelihood, it was all of the above.)  

There was a certain jazz/pop/rock feel to the original Ambrosia music and this simply did not come across in the muddled sound presented on stage Saturday Night.  All the beautiful nuances of their music were lost in their efforts to rock us.  When they first took the stage and said something to the effect of "Now you're going to see a real rock band", I should have known then that we were in trouble .. and that we were not going to hear the very essence of what made Ambrosia stand out from the rest of the crowd in the first place.  Sadly, this proved to be the case. 

That being said, props to the few tracks that DID work ... we still hold the music of Ambrosia very dear to our hearts ... but this may be yet another a case of if you want to hear this music presented correctly and true to form, you may have to go see original lead singer David Pack perform it instead.  

Although many didn't, we DID stay till the end ... and, as such, were treated to an all-star jam session as musicians from each of the bands came back out for a group encore jam to the Jackson Browne / Eagles Hit "Take It Easy" and The Animals' hit "I'm Crying".  "Take It Easy" was a very enjoyable experience (especially since this is one of my least-favorite Eagles tracks) ... but "I'm Crying" quickly deteriorated into not much more than obnoxious noise ... by which point, we were ready to leave.

Folks came from all over the country to see this killer line-up Saturday Night.  Charismatic and always congenial host Ron Onesti makes it a point to go out and mingle and meet his audience ... and Saturday Night was no exception.  As such, he introduced us to audience members who had traveled from as far away as Spokane, Washington, Iowa, Idaho, St. Louis, MO, and more just to see this show ... and then went out of his way to make them all feel right at home (and very special!) within the confines of the friendly Arcada Theatre.  (These folks will not soon forget their Arcada Experience ... and it's great to hear that the word is getting out about this place ... now the #1 Musical Showplace in the Midwest, fans are traveling from all over the country to see the eclectic line-up that Onesti presents on a regular basis.)  

Think I'm kidding?  Check out this list of artists coming to The Arcada in the next month or two: 

October 5th - Al Stewart (can't wait to see it!) 
October 9th - Asia (we wouldn't dare miss this one!) October 10th - '80's Night with The Romantics, The Smithereens, Tommy Tutone and Marshall Crenshaw October 16th - Bill Medley (of The Righteous Brothers) October 17th - Tower Of Power 
October 22nd - Gary Wright 
October 24th - The Fifth Dimension 
October 25th - Tommy James and the Shondells (yep!) November 1st - Kansas 
November 7th - BJ Thomas (with Exile) count us in! November 14th - Burton Cummings (no brainer!) 
November 15th - America (hell yes!) 
November 16th - The Little River Band (I think I'm just going to move in to The Arcada Theatre for the month of   November ... SO many great shows to see!) 
November 21st - Buddy Guy 
November 22nd - The Spinners with Ray Parker Jr. (absolutely!)    

Tickets for all shows available through The Arcada Theatre Online Box Office at www.oshows.com


SONGS WE MISSED:  
Being Forgotten Hits, we tend to favor some of the GREAT music recorded by these artists that never got all they deserved either the first time around or in 30+ years of hindsight.  As such, we've got a few tracks to feature today from these three landmark artists that most certainly deserve your attention ...  

First up, from Firefall 
Their 1983 "comeback hit", "Always ... this is a KILLER track that really showcases the bands soft-rock harmonies and it should have been a monster hit.  Instead, it crapped out at #51.  "Strange Way" and "You Are The Woman" may be their best-known, best-loved tracks ... but I've got rank this one right up there amongst my favorites.



Orleans
The aforementioned "Love Takes Time" brought the crowd to their feet Saturday Night ... this was a #11 Hit in 1979 ... yet you NEVER hear it ... and it's a very well-loved tune ... a crowd-pleaser to say the least. 
And, since John Hall is back in the fold again, I've just GOT to feature this solo hit from John from 1983 ... "Love Me Again".  Somehow this record failed to even make The Top 50 ... yet it's as infectious as they come!  Give it a listen and see if you don't agree.





Ambrosia
And finally, one of my early favorites from these guys. 
They did their #63 minor chart hit "Nice, Nice, Very Nice" ... which is a "nice" enough track ... but I've always maintained that the record company pushed the wrong side of this single.  The flipside was a spot-on look at things to come for this band, who REALLY made their mark with their soft-rock ballads.  As such, "Lover Arrive" remains one of my all-time favorite Ambrosia songs, right up there with "Holdin' On To Yesterday" (from the same album) in my book!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Sunday Comments ( 09 - 28 - 14 )

re:  THE BIG OLDIES MUSIC NEWS STORY OF THE WEEK:
Well, it's gotta be this one ...  
In fact, at least 50 of our readers sent in stories, links and commentary regarding The Turtles' Royalties Lawsuit ...  
I'm just not sure I totally get it.  
On the one hand, I think it's great that the artists who recorded all of this great music that we love will now be compensated for the music they made prior to 1972 ... but if the end result is that radio simply stops playing pre-1972 music as a result, then this is by no means a victory ... tracks from this era are already being heard less and less.  (Besides, I was always under the impression that none of these artists were making any money off their old recordings anyway because they'd all been screwed over by the record labels years ago!  Perhaps this victory puts this long-repeated myth to rest???)
I may have to talk to Howard and Mark directly on this one to get a better understanding and perspective of just what this "victory" really means ... in the long haul ... once all points are taken into consideration.  (kk)

The Turtles Deal Big Blow To Sirius In $100M Royalties Fight

(Law360, Los Angeles September 22, 2014, 11:27 PM ET) -- Members of the rock band the Turtles scored a major win in their $100 million royalties class action against Sirius XM Radio Inc. on Monday when a California federal judge ruled Sirius infringed copyrights by broadcasting songs recorded before 1972 without paying royalties for performance of the recording.
U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez determined Sirius is liable for infringement on a key issue: the public performance of songs recorded before 1972 — songs that aren’t covered by federal copyright law — but found there were still triable ...
 

Does the satellite radio giant have rights to broadcast sound recordings made before 1972? 
Fallout could mean Sirius could conceivably stop a lot of classic rock being played on SiriusXM.  
(Hollywood Reporter 8/2/14) 
Enjoy an old rock tune on satellite radio lately? A new proposed class action raises the theory that SiriusXM has infringed millions of these older recordings from thousands of artists. Damages are alleged to be at least $100 million, but for a company that last reported quarterly revenues of $940 million, the attorneys representing the plaintiff believe that damage figure to be on the conservative side. The lead plaintiffs in the case are Flo & Eddie of The Turtles, the iconic band whose hits include "Happy Together," "It Ain't Me Babe" and "She'd Rather Be With Me." The band has a history of bringing big cases, but the reason why this lawsuit, filed in L.A. Superior Court, commands notice comes down to the magical number of 1972. 
Feb. 15, 1972, is the exact day on which sound recordings began falling under federal copyright protection. For recorded music created before then, the situation is a bit more murky. The question this lawsuit addresses is: What laws cover those recordings? 
Every day, SiriusXM transmits thousands of pre-1972 recordings and does so likely with the confidence that §114 of the Copyright Act gives them this authority. That statute carves out limitations on exclusive rights and also sets up the way that owners of recordings get compensated.  Currently, the Copyright Royalty Board is the entity that sets statutory royalty rates for satellite radio, and SoundExchange is the entity that collects the royalties to pass along. 
But it is the contention of Flo & Eddie, representing themselves and others similarly situated, that federal law can't be relied upon when dealing with pre-'72 music on satellite radio. Here's the complaint, filed on Thursday. Among the cases that could support this theory is Goldstein v. California, a 1972 U.S. Supreme Court Case dealing with a piracy dispute that gave deference to state laws. The ruling held, "Until and unless Congress takes further action with respect to recordings fixed prior to February 15, 1972, the California statute may be enforced against acts of piracy such as those which occurred in the present case." 
In the present action, the plaintiffs assert misappropriation under California law as well as unfair competition and conversion. Those claims were recently tested in favor of record label plaintiffs in a California case against BlueBeat, a website that attempted to use §114 to, among other things, sell 25 cent songs from The Beatles. A judge found BlueBeat liable for misappropriation of pre-'72 recordings.  
If there is another reason why Sirius should be concerned that state laws aren't pre-empted by federal statutes that confer upon it distribution rights, a case decided earlier this year by a New York appeals court might give the satellite giant some pause. There, appeals judges held that music streaming site Grooveshark couldn't take advantage of DMCA safe harbors -- another federal law -- to defend against charges of pirating pre-'72 sound recordings. A different jurisdiction, and dealing with digital rather than satellite distribution, but in the wake of that ruling, many legal commentators warned that all hell could break loose when determining liability on older recordings. 
Now, The Turtles are stepping up to give Sirius a major challenge. 
This isn't the first legal fight for the band. 
In 1971, they sued their record label, White Whale, for accounting irregularities, and wound up recovering rights to their original masters. Years later, they brought one of the first "sampling" lawsuits against De La Soul. They've also sued record pirates and brought claims against advertisers for using their voices without authorization in commercials. They are now being represented by Henry Gradstein and other attorneys at Gradstein & Marzano. 
Besides hundreds of millions of dollars, the plaintiffs are demanding an injunction against the defendant  distributing pre-'72 recordings. The lawsuit could conceivably stop a lot of classic rock and jazz being played on SiriusXM.    

Sirius/XM Satellite Radio and other digital music providers were handed a major blow on Monday when a U.S. District Judge in California sided with Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman (aka Flo and Eddie) in their suit alleging that the radio service had to pay performance royalties on the music of their band the Turtles. 
The decision could have far reaching effects to the streaming and satellite industries who have contended that they did not have to pay royalties on records made prior to February 1972, meaning they were able to play the entire Beatles catalog, much of Motown's biggest, most of Elvis Presley's songs along with those of hundreds of other artists like the Turtles without paying any money to the artists. 
A summary judgement was issued by U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez saying that Sirius played 15 recordings by the Turtles made prior to 1972 without paying royalties in lieu of California state law. The damages to be awarded will be announced at a later date. Kaylen and Volman were seeking $100 million.  
The ruling could have a domino effect within the industry that could include subscription price hikes and/or the reduction of pre-1972 music played on the services. This is, of course, if the ruling stands as it is almost certain that Sirius will appeal.     
The next step for these artists, along with modern ones, is to break the long standing exemption of AM and FM radio in paying royalties to artists. Currently satellite and streaming services pay both the royalties to publishers/songwriters and artists. AM and FM stations only pay the publishers/songwriters, avoiding the artists based on the theory that they are performing a service by advertising their recordings when they are played.   

In a ruling with far-reaching consequences, Flo & Eddie of The Turtles convince a judge that their public performance rights were violated  
A California federal judge has delivered a legal earthquake in the music industry by declaring Flo & Eddie of The Turtles the victors in a lawsuit against SiriusXM over the public performance of pre-1972 sound recordings. The plaintiffs are seeking $100 million in damages, but the money is hardly the only consequence of a ruling on Monday that could eventually disrupt the operations of the satellite radio giant as well as other services like Pandora. 
The lawsuit was filed in August 2013 and dealt with music created before sound recordings began falling under federal copyright protection. Flo & Eddie aimed to punish SiriusXM for not seeking authorization nor paying royalties on hit songs like "Happy Together," "It Ain't Me Babe" and "She'd Rather Be With Me," while the satcaster warned that interpreting state laws to cover public performance "would radically overturn decades of settled practice." 
U.S. District Judge Philip Gutierrez, who previously acknowledged that the case "could have far-reaching effects," has elected to grant summary judgment to the plaintiffs on the issue of whether SiriusXM violates public performance rights. 
In reaching the conclusion, the judge examines a California law that was enacted in 1982 and meant to address pre-1972 recordings. The statute was silent on whether “exclusive ownership” of pre-1972 sound recordings carries within it the exclusive right to publicly perform the recording. As such, the judge had to determine whether California's law was inclusive or exclusive — and the judge's reading of the law is that other than the exception for cover songs, there's nothing exclusive about it. 
Judge Gutierrez writes he "infers that the legislature did not intend to further limit ownership rights, otherwise it would have indicated that intent explicitly."  
SiriusXM failed to persuade the judge that California's law was ambiguous in the wake of the passage of new federal copyright law and also struck out in its contention that decades of television and radio broadcasters, restaurant and bar owners, website operators and others exploiting pre-72 music supported its interpretation of the law. 
The plaintiffs, represented by Harvey Geller and Henry Gradstein at Gradstein & Marzano, pointed to two prior cases including one ruling that dealt with a website that sold 25 cent songs from The Beatles, for the proposition that precedent supported their cause.  
"Although the breadth and specificity of cases acknowledging that exclusive ownership of a sound recording includes the right to publicly perform the recording are slight, Defendant has not directed the Court to a single case cutting against the right to public performance, even implicitly or in dicta," writes the judge. Judge Gutierrez won't go so far to grant the plaintiffs a summary judgment win on the issue of whether SiriusXM violated reproduction rights by copying recordings on servers and through on-demand offerings. He writes that the plaintiffs still need to show more evidence on this. 
But overall, this is a whopping ruling with consequences almost impossible to overstate. In the short term, the ruling will likely be appealed as the plaintiffs eye a trial that will determine the awarding of damages. In the long term, it could compel SiriusXM, Pandora and many in the tech industry to strongly lobby Congress for new copyright laws that cover pre-1972 recordings. The ruling also will — or should — be read closely by other businesses including terrestrial radio operators and bars that publicly perform older music. 
SiriusXM is facing another lawsuit from the RIAA in California as well as more lawsuits from Flo & Eddie in other states. Pandora is also facing a lawsuit by record labels in New York. And the ruling potentially opens the floodgates to more litigation on the issue of pre-1972 music. 
-- Eriq Gardner / The Hollywood Reporter  

Posted on Ron Smith's Oldies Music Website:    
This may be a lightning strike for all time: the Central District Court of California has ruled against Sirius XM and for Flo & Eddie, aka The Turtles, over not paying for playing pre-1972 music on the satellite radio station. Sirius up til now has not paid royalties for any music prior to 1972, claiming that it was exempt by law. This means for the Turtles, for example, that every time Happy Together or Elenore were heard on a Sirius channel, it was free. 
And this pertains just about to every track heard on Sirius that was a hit before February 1972, from Elvis to the Beatles to most of Motown, etc. Everything. 
Judge Philip Guitierrez has done something that was unthinkable, and is certain to cause tidal waves through the radio and music industries today.
This may be the line from the judge's decree that echoes all over the place: On undisputed facts, Sirius XM publicly performs Flo & Eddie's sound recordings without authorization to do so. At minimum, Flo & Eddie was injured by Sirius XM's conduct in the form of foregone licensing or royalty payments that Sirius XM should have paid before publicly performing Flo & Eddie's recordings. 
When lawyers get hold of this, the consequences could be enormous. This ruling could apply to all of the pre-1972 recordings for which Sirius has no authorization. Like, all of them. If you're a fan of the 50s, 60s, or 70s stations, or Soul MoTown, there may be a problem soon enough. The Court found that such public performance constitutes a violation of Cal. Civ. Code 980(a)(2)
re:  THE SATURDAY SURVEYS:  
Nice Canadian representation on the two KLMS charts ... 5 1/2 on the September 20, 1970 chart.  The half is Blood, Sweat & Tears lead singer David Clayton-Thomas.
1. Anne Murray at # 3 with "Snowbird", written by Canadian Gene McLellan  (who also wrote "Put Your Hand In The Hand" that Ocean successfully recorded.
2. The Poppy Family (Susan and Terry Jacks) at # 9 with "That's Where I Went Wrong".
2.5. The Guess Who with # 17 "Hand Me Down World".
3. DC-T & BS&T at # 25 with "Hi De Ho".  I've attached a 1966 song David had a big hit with here in Canada (# 6 on the CHUM chart) called "Brainwashed".  It's about the war in Vietnam as well as censorship.  There's a beep over the word 'damn' and listeners called the radio stations demanding they not censor the song.  Turns out that the producer / Roman Records founder, CHUM DJ Duff Roman and DCT put that beep in at the studio during the session to show the hypocrisy of censorship.

4. Montreal's Mashmakan debuted at # 26 with "As The Years Go By" (One of my all time faves as well, Kent)
5. Steppenwolf at # 27 with "Screaming Night Hog".  I had to get out Steppenwolf's Greatest Hits CD to recall that one.  This group became Steppenwolf after German born (but living in Canada) John  Kay and a group called Sparrow joined forces.
On the September 20, 1974, KLMS chart, flying the Canadian flag, we also have 5 1/2.  Tommy Chong of Cheech & Chong is the 1/2 in this case.
1. Montreal's Andy Kim with "Rock Me Gently" at # 2
2. The Guess Who with "Clap For The Wolfman" at # 3
3. Paul Anka at # 5 with "(You're) Having My Baby".  Even though Anka left Canada for the U.S. very early on in his career, he continues to have dual citizenship.  There's a Paul Anka Drive named for him in his hometown of Ottawa.
3.5. Cheech & Chong's "Earache My Eye" at # 16.  Tommy Chong, born in Edmonton, Alberta, who eventually settled in Vancouver was once a part of the group Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers, who had a Billboard Hot 100 # 29 hit on Motown's Gordy label in 1968 called "Does Your Mama Know About Me".  Jimi Hendrix played guitar with this group in 1963.
4. Joni Mitchell's "Free Man In Paris" at # 17.  Joni was also born in Alberta but raised in Saskatchewan.
5. Steppenwolf at # 29 with "Straight Shootin' Woman".  Again, I went to their Greatest Hits to check this one out.
Plus, in the 'New Singles' section, there's Bachman Turner Overdrive with "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet" and Gordon Lightfoot's "Carefree Highway".
Not bad having 1/6 of both charts from the Great White North.
Doug Thompson in Aurora (Ontario, not Illinois)
 
"Straight Shootin' Woman" by Steppenwolf is one of those songs that I think should have been a much bigger hit, had it only been given a chance.  Unfortunately, when this record came out, Steppenwolf hadn't had a Top 40 Hit in over four years.  This one DID manage to get up to #29 in Billboard ... not a bad showing ... but not a song most folks will remember either due to virtually NO airplay at all since it fell off the charts.  (kk)




And the 50th Anniversary has FINALLY hit ...
Bob Merlis has been emailing us regularly about the ascent of "Oh, Pretty Woman" to the top of The Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart, right in the midst of The British Invasion (which we celebrate every Friday here in Forgotten Hits.)
Well today is FINALLY the day ... so we're going to celebrate for real this time!!! (lol)
Here you go, Bob!
Today is the 50th anniversary of Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman” going to #1 in Billboard where it stayed for three weeks in the midst of the 'British Invasion.'   The record also topped the UK charts and went to #1 in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland.
-- Bob Merlis / M.F.H.




re:  TWO-SIDED HITS: 
Hi Kent, 
Was just looking over the top 200 double-sided hits and had a couple of questions. 
For some reason in my brain I remember having the Limbo Rock and Let's Limbo Some More by Chubby Checker on the same 45. Would have been around 1963. Am I crazy?
I guess this next one isn't a question but more of a ponder. I didn't see Make Me Smile and Color My World by Chicago either in the list or as an extra. I assume then that that double-sided monster didn't get close enough for either a mention or a listing. That surprised me since that's when Color My World got lots of airplay as I recall. 
Then again I was living in North Dakota at the time. 
Bill
If you had "Limbo Rock" and "Let's Limbo Some More" on the same 45 it was probably one of those "solid gold" reissue singles that came out later.  (Even ABKCO had two-sided hit singles for awhile before they locked everything away in the vault.)  The B-Side of "Limbo Rock" (in its original release anyway) was "Popeye The Hitch-Hiker", a two-sided hit in 1962.  (Both sides of that record made Billboard's Top Ten).  The flipside of "Let's Limbo Some More" was Twenty Miles" ... and both sides of this record ALSO made Billboard's Top 20.
As for "Make Me Smile" / "Colour My World", technically it IS on the list.  "Colour My World" was released as a Chicago B-Side TWICE ... first as the flipside of "Make Me Smile" (where it didn't chart ... and it is THIS version that falls at #31 on The Top 200 Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides list ... although I can hardly consider "Colour My World" "forgotten" ... EVERYBODY knows this song ... yet Chicago only released it on the B-Side.)  It was then again a year later as the B-Side to "Beginnings", a Top Ten smash.  Since both sides of this record charted together in Billboard, it disqualified "Colour My World" from our "forgotten b-sides" list for this issue ... but this two-sided hit IS listed on our "Top 200 Two-Sided Hits Of All-Time" list, which is also displayed here on the forgottenhits.com website.  (It shows up in the honorable mention section ...incredibly it STILL didn't earn enough points to make the Top 200 cut-off!) 
By the way, if you peruse that Top 200 Two-Sided Hits" a little further, you'll find "Limbo Rock" / "Popeye The Hitch-Hiker" at #14 and "Let's Limbo Some More" / "Twenty Miles" at #109!  (kk)
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Your Top 200 Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides  
Click here: Forgotten Hits - The Top 200 BIGGEST TWO-SIDED HITS of All-Time   
These two specialty lists have proven to be of high interest to Forgotten Hits readers over the years.  (We've done several specialty countdowns around them as well.)  The Top 200 Biggest Two-Sided Hits list was mathematically calculated by the accumulated points earned by BOTH sides of each record on the national charts.  The Top 200 Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides list was purely subjective, and based on the votes and nominees of our readers.  When all was said and done, over 65,000 votes were cast ... and these are the ones that have proven to be your favorites of all-time.  (kk)


re:  THIS AND THAT:  
I caught a sneak of the GLEN CAMPBELL documentary this week in NYC, I'LL BE ME ... devastatingly brilliant!  It'll be out on October 24. One of the best music docs I've ever seen. 
- David Salidor  
I've heard really good things about it, too, and can't wait to see it ... supposed to be very well done.  (I still want to see the Boyce and Hart one, too!) 
How do we get on the list for screening copies of these films?  Forgotten Hits is the PERFECT vehicle with the key, target audience at our fingertips to help promote these types of releases ... it seems like we would be a natural with our fingers on the pulse of "oldies nation" right now.  WE should be the ones (or at least ONE of the ones) letting people know about these hot new releases, specifically aimed at our "hot buttons"!!!  Folks, let us help you to spread the word ... and put us on the list!!! (kk)

There are a few artists that are written about in Forgotten Hits that I have not been impressed with when I have met them or talked with them on the phone.  I have always told myself that perhaps they were having a bad day and it is not fair to judge them on that one brief meeting.  They get hounded by many for interviews and autographs and pictures.  Bobby Vee,  Paul Revere, Bobby Vinton, and Carl Perkins are among the best that I have ever been around.
In the case of Johnny Rivers, I have witnessed both sides of him. The first time I interviewed him it was nearly the worst ever in the hundreds of interviews that I have done.  He answered one question with "I don't remember" and another with "who knows".   
A few years later he was coming back through the area and his management called, wanting me to do a promotional interview.  I really did not want to because I felt like I had been humiliated by him previously.  The place that he was playing was an advertiser so I agreed to go through with it.  This time he was very good and had total recall and was very respectful of every question and did not make me feel like I was asking stupid questions.  His show that night was one of the best that you will see.  We have played some of his recent songs.  The American Dream from 2010, and New Home from 2011 are both very good.
Phil - WRCO
I'd never seen Johnny perform before ... but have always been a fan.  I think I was more disappointed by his attitude than his musical performance ... and based on the primarily negative comments we've received since our review first ran, this seems to be par for the course. 
I just don't get it ... Johnny built his career doing live shows ... those early live singles and albums were the very foundation of his persona.  You'd think after 40-50 years and literally THOUSANDS of live shows he'd be a bit more appreciative of the audience who has stuck by him for all this time.  As you said, ANYBODY can have a bad day ... it just sounds to me like Johnny's had a whole bunch of them!  (kk)

Kent: 
Here's a new interview with Lightning Lou Christie.
- Tom Cuddy
http://hottytoddy.com/2014/09/22/pop-icon-master-songwriter-talks-to-hottytoddy-com/ 
 

Lou's been a hot topic here in Forgotten Hits lately ... in fact, he came up again in this week's edition of The Saturday Surveys, too!  Thanks for sharing, Tom!  (kk)



Kent?  Hope?
This was posted on the British Invasion Concert Anniversary website:
THANK YOU! You made the British Invasion Tour a huge success. We'll have news of future shows here and where you can get the T-shirts, Record Bags and Posters from the tour if we didn't make it to your town. We truly appreciate your support.
Shelley
Now THAT would be awesome!  Please keep us posted, Shelley!  (Hoping that Ron Onesti is reading this!!!)  kk

Congrats to Mike Edwards on his riff about the 60's and the 90's. Mike was truly spot on.
The 60's were so "wide open" ... so completely devoid of human resources departments and up tight radio general managers ... that we had more fun - by accident - than 20 years old kids have today.
The Flower Child Era set the tone.
Frankly, I find 2014 to be rather lackluster.  Where are second tier bands like "Music Machine", "The Electric Prunes" and "Spirit"?
God, I miss the 60's, a decade that was beyond unique. 2014/15 is just too damn up  tight for its own good ... Where are the next Beatles or the Stones? 

Call them and tell them they are needed immediately.
Chet Coppock
Author: Chet Coppock: Laying it on the Line

>>>I remember receiving a Herb Alpert album in the mail and found out someone sent in my high school photo and WCFL printed it on back of one of the surveys!  Memories ... (Carolyn)   
>>>How cool is that?!?!  Do you have a copy?  (If not, we can probably get one for you ... TONS of survey collectors on our list!)  (kk)    
Hi Kent -
In answer to your question, I do have copies of my WCFL Survey. How fortunate you are to have a
complete collection of both WCFL and WLS surveys!!!  I remember looking forward to the records they had as "upcoming hits" ... and I still play my Herb Alpert album!
Please let the readers know when Brian Wilson's movie "Love and Mercy" will be released. Does it have Brian's complete approval?
When in doubt ask the Master ...
Carolyn
As far as I know there is no planned official release date of "Love And Mercy" here in The States.  It has already played to Canadian audiences (more on the film festival circuit I think than anything else at this point) ... but both Brian and Melinda Wilson were there for the showing and my understanding is that they are both very happy with the results. 
A quick check of IMDB shows it coming out next in Australia ... but still no US plans.  (If word of mouth is good, I'm sure this will change ... and, as soon as we know something for sure, we'll let everybody else know, too.) 
I asked David Beard, Editor and Publisher of "Endless Summer Quarterly", the ultimate Beach Boys / Brian Wilson fanzine, if HE had any inside information ... but still haven't heard anything back from him as of yet.  Again, stay tuned!  (kk)

Speaking of The Beach Boys, here's more on Jeffrey Foskett's return to the fold ... the Mike Love / Bruce Johnston camp that is!  (We first reported this several months ago ... and were quite surprised by this story then ... and now!)  kk  
Click here: Brian Wilson's 'Right-Hand Man' Switches Sides, Joins Beach Boys    

Kent ... 
Here's what the real Brooklyn Bridge looks like.  That's my niece and nephew standing in front of The Brooklyn Bridge. My nephew just moved in to the area.
Frank B.
OK, now send me one of them on The 59th Street Bridge (which inspired Paul Simon to write that great "Feelin' Groovy" song of his!!!)  And then I think we should start a weekly "Where's Waldo" segment in Forgotten Hits!  (kk)


Probably the best thing about Rupert Holmes' music is that he told a story in four minutes or less. In my view, his best song is "Morning Man," which struggled up to #68 back in 1980 and then vanished. It's the story of a couple of who are working opposite shifts and still make it work somehow. "Love triumphant" songs don't get a whole lot better than that!
-- 73 --
-- Jeff Duntemann
   Colorado Springs, Colorado 


Neil Diamond's got a new one with a familiar title ... "Nothing But A Heartache" ... and you can hear it right here, right now!


Next week Neil Diamond's concert will be held at a secret location in Brooklyn, N.Y.  Scott Shannon is giving away tickets to this concert and he says even he doesn't know where it's being held.   
I'm sure you'll have to take one of them "Brooklyn Roads" to get there.
Frank B.



Seems like all our '60's and '70's artists are getting on the "duets" bandwagon of late.  Normally they just end up recutting newer, more contemporary versions of their own hits, utilizing a popular artist from today as a duet partner in an effort to make their music still sound fresh and relevant.
Well, Barry Manilow is taking a different approach.  He's releasing an album of duets featuring artists who have long since left us ... and singing songs NOT from his own catalog but from THEIRS. 
Check out this track list: 
The Song's Gotta Come From The Heart with Jimmy Durante
Goody Goody with Frankie Lymon
Dream A Little Dream Of Me with Mama Cass
I Believe In You And Me with Whitney Houston
Sunshine On My Shoulders with John Denver
Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart with Judy Garland
Moon River with Andy Williams
The Look Of Love with Dusty Springfield
The Candy Man with Sammy Davis, Jr.
I Wanna Be Loved By You with Marilyn Monroe
What A Wonderful World / What A Wonderful Life with Louis Armstrong
Kent ...
I guess you can add this to the ever growing duets file.  Slightly different take on this one though ... all of Barry's duet partners are dead.
Frank B.
Probably lots less "compromising" in the studio when you do it this way 'tho!  (kk)

Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens ... and apparently now just "Yusuf" ... and NOT "the artist formerly known as 'Cat'" ) cancelled what would have been his first live performance in New York City due to scalpers charging exorbitant amounts of money for tickets to his concert.  The Cat Man is scheduled to hit Chicago for a show at The Chicago Theatre on December 9th.  No official word yet on whether any other show on this tour were being cancelled or if this was just an isolated incident.  (kk)

re:  MIS-HEARD LYRICS:  
OMG!!! Peter Kay is a riot ... I laughed until I cried and for the next few hours every time I thought about the clip I laughed until I almost cried again. I really love that he does his own choreography ... who would have guessed? 
Stacee  

LMAOOOOOO!!!  This is frickin' hilarious!!! 
Nicki   

Fifteen or twenty years ago, Gavin Edwards wrote a series of several books of misheard lyrics, with little cartoons by Chris Kalb depicting the (absurd) concepts in the samples. And yes, once you read of a goofy lyric somebody else heard, you tend to hear it yourself. There's actually a word for the concept: "mondegreen," from a misheard lyric in an old Scottish ballad. "And laid him on the green" became "And Lady Mondegreen" in writer Sylvia Wright's head, so she coined the term.
Edwards' books are hilarious, and can be had on the used market for almost nothing. 

See:
'Scuse me, While I Kiss This Guy
When a Man Loves a Walnut
He's Got the Whole World In His Pants
Deck the Halls With Buddy Holly (for Christmas songs)
I used to hear the line, "We have spirits delivering material" in a song by the Police that you can probably guess.
-- 73 --
-- Jeff Duntemann
   Colorado Springs, Colorado


re:  COME ON, PEOPLE NOW, SMILE ON YOUR BROTHER ... EVERYBODY GET TOGETHER ... :  
Have you ever thought about a Forgotten Hits get together for your loyal readers?  We could all come to Chicago and go to one of the many cool concerts at your favorite venue.  We could all crash at your place.  Maybe I could try to get the station to bring in a couple of acts and you could come North to Wisconsin for a weekend. We could have a Forgotten Hits Woodstock.
Just some random early morning thoughts.  
Phil - WRCO  
Actually yeah, we have ... many times!  I don't know if we'd round up enough people to fill The Arcada Theatre but I've even thought it through a bit further ... get about half a dozen of the acts on the list who regularly support Forgotten Hits to supply the entertainment ... rent the theater for the night ... offer discount tickets to Forgotten Hits subscribers and give it a go!  (We could sell the remaining seats to the public who I'm sure would LOVE to see a rock and roll / oldies extravaganza such as this.  And The Arcada could still make a few bucks on the concessions!) 
Who knows ... might be worth talking about.  Let's see what kind of response we get!  (Plus it'd be a GREAT chance to finally meet some of these long-time readers!)  kk