Thursday, September 3, 2015

KYLE VINCENT

Got a GREAT email from Kyle Vincent after we ran our review of the '70's Pop Fest held at The Arcada Theatre last weekend.  Sounds like a really fun guy ... I wish I had the time to talk to him after the show.

In any event, here, in Kyle's own words, is an assessment of his career to date ... along with a couple of tracks you may not recognize ... but will likely fall in love with!

Hi! 

Thanks for the kind words. I thoroughly enjoyed the Arcada show. The audience was a blast to play for and with. 

I'm not really the mystery man you make me out to be, but then again, I kinda like being thought of like that. And sometimes I do feel a bit invisible in this industry, having been in it for so long, yet still being discovered. 

No, I wasn't an original member of the Bay City Rollers, but neither was Les, the guy who sang most of the hits. I believe I was the 17th member. Whatever was left of the Rollers called me in about 2006 and asked if I'd be interested in being their new singer. Being a huge fan of all those great songs, of course I said yes. I stayed with them for just a couple years. 
Honestly I was a bit hesitant to say I was a member of the Bay City Rollers because at that point there was only one member left, and he was also not an "original" member. I didn't want to mislead anyone. But my friend and former boss, Kim Fowley explained it this way: "Kyle, it's like the New York Yankees. Babe Ruth used to be a member, and now Derek Jeter is a member. You're Derek Jeter. The franchise goes on". I never have tried to imply or sell myself as an original member ... I'm just up there having fun singing some of my favorite songs. My job is to entertain and to bring people back to a time in their youth when life was simple and fun. It's 100% about the audience. 

As for Bo Donaldson &The Heywoods, Bo was never a singer in the band. He was the keyboardist. He, too, called me and asked if I would take over the vocals. Again, because I'm a sucker for melody and sweet pop songs, I said heck yeah. I don't always perform with them, only when I'm available. The majority of the time I'm playing shows as a solo singer-songwriter. I've released about 13 albums ... and you STILL don't know who I am! Isn't this business great?! Aggggg!

My solo career has been a roller coaster ride. I've been signed to six major record deals over three decades. I've got to assume I hold some sort of record for the most deals with the least success! I had a Top 20 single on some charts (Billboard Hot AC, Radio & Records Adult, Cashbox Adult) ... in fact the song began in Chicago and did quite well there, but on the pop charts that single died a painful death "bubbling under" at #101. I've kind of become the defacto go-to guy for 70s acts that need a front man. And I'm totally cool with that. I've been a Roller and I've been a Heywood. I'm waiting for the Sylistics to call. Maybe they can change their name to the Kylistics! haha. As long as I love the songs, I'm there. And to me there was never a better time for melodic three-minute classics than the late 60s / early 70s. 

Thanks for the write-up.

Best,
Derek,
oops, I mean, Kyle    

Well, he certainly put on an entertaining show when we saw him!  GREAT vocals ... great energy ... and really drew the audience into his show ... whether he was singing "Bo" songs ... or "Rollers" songs ... or "Rock Me Gently" by Andy Kim.

Here's Kyle's "bubbling under" hit from 1997, "Wake Me Up (When The World's Worth Waking Up For)" as well as his version of one of my all-time favorites!

Thanks for writing in, Kyle ... and please feel free to drop by ANY time and share some of your musical insight with our readers!  (kk)

 






Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Jimmy Greenspoon

A few months back, we ran a poll asking which Mark Bego rock and roll biographies we'd most like to see back in print.

Well, now comes word that this may soon be a reality!  Bego's book on Jimmy Greenspoon, keyboardist of Three Dog Night, titled "One Is The Loneliest Number", originally published in 1989, is one that meant a great deal to Mark personally ... and he is working on restoring this manuscript right now.

I'll let Mark Bego tell you all about it in his own words ...


Dear Kent and Forgotten Hits:

It always amazes me when there is some sort of convergence of events that happens in life, which makes it clear that there is some sort of rhyme and reason to what you are doing. 

At the moment I am in Tucson, Arizona, retyping the entire book I originally wrote with Jimmy Greenspoon of Three Dog Night back in 1989, "One Is the Loneliest Number."  In the middle of it all, last Saturday (August 22, 2015) who should come to Tucson for a concert but Three Dog Night!  Well, that I take as some sort of sign that my hunch was correct, and that I should be working once again on this book, and putting Jimmy Greenspoon's entertaining and amusing rock and roll life story in order for a new, updated reprint.

As I am sure you all know, Jimmy tragically lost his battle with cancer last March, and ever since then I have been deliberating on what to do, and how to do it, as far as this book is concerned.  In 1989, it was still six years before I bought a computer of my own.  However, for this book Jimmy rented a huge computer for us to use when we did the original version, and it was all stored on 5 1/2 inch floppy discs.  Pack rat that I am, last winter I found those discs in my garage!  However — much to my horror — they were completely blank!  So, several weeks ago I made the decision to start retying the entire book, and putting it for the first time in a proper and modern "Word" document.  What a tedious process!

I am sure that you are wondering why I am not scanning this into a computer program and doing it that way.  Well, to be perfectly honest, in the 26 years since I wrote this book with Jimmy, I had forgotten some of what I had written, and I type about as fast as I read.  Also, I am finding some details and punctuation was inconsistent the first time, so I am correcting those stylistic things.  And, on top of that, I located the original "full version" of the book, and I am able to add some of the highly amusing "never-before published" material back in the manuscript.  This will be the deluxe version, as my personal tribute to keyboard master Greenspoon.

For me, the most important aspect of this long typing process, is that for the hours that I sit at the keyboard, I can see, feel, and envision Jimmy sitting right next to me dictating these words to me just the way he did it the first time around. For me, for several hours each day, my dear friend — the wild & crazy Mr. Greenspoon — is alive once again through his words.

And now we come to the Three Dog Night concert I saw last Saturday night.  The band's "Suitable for Framing" album (1969) was one of the first ten LP's I ever purchased as a teenager, and I first saw them live in the 1970s at Michigan State University.  Since then I have seen them at least a dozen times, including one of Jimmy's last shows in Phoenix in 2014.

First of all, the concert was entirely sold-out, which instantly was a very encouraging sign.  Although I lamented the fact that Jimmy Greenspoon was no longer at the keyboards, I was really happy to see that Three Dog Night is sounding great, and still delivering the infectiously joyful music that first made them true rock stars back in 1968.  Danny Hutton and Cory Wells are still both in great voice, and their hits like "Mama Told Me Not to Come," "Old Fashioned Love Song," "One," and "Joy to the World" all come to life with all of their magical charm just the way they always did.  It was also great to hear and see that original Three Dog Night guitarist Michael Allsup is just as lively, enthusiastic, and in fine form as he has always been.

Although the rest of the band (originally a septet) is now comprised of three replacement players, they are all top-notch.  And, as for my missing buddy Jimmy:  I am happy to say that he is reverently and lovingly mentioned several times amidst Three Dog Night's current show.  When Danny mentioned from the stage "I know that Jimmy is here somewhere, causing some sort of mischief," I knew he was 100% correct.

And what is to become of this latest updated incarnation of the "One is the Loneliest Number" book that Jimmy and I wrote all those years ago?  Stay tuned, Kent and Forgotten Hits:  I have a scheme up my sleeve for its re-publication, and you will be amongst the first to know.

I can't tell you how much I miss my friend Jimmy and his fun-loving sense of humor.  However, in my mind, thanks to this book — and the new material I am adding to it — Jimmy Greenspoon's creative lives on!

Cheers,
Mark Bego

This is GREAT news, Mark!  I never got to read the book the first time around and can't wait to read it now.  And who knows, maybe Cory Wells, Danny Hutton and Chuck Negron may wish to contribute some brand new memories of their long-time friend and companion as an addendum to your work!  Please keep us posted!  (kk)

Got a bunch of extra money you don't quite know what to do with?

You can pick up original pressings of Mark's Jimmy Greenspoon biography on Amazon.com ... but it's gonna cost you!!!




Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The '70's Pop Fest

I will admit to being baffled throughout most of the '70's Pop Fest held at The Arcada Theatre last Friday Night (August 28th)    

For starters, two of bubblegum music's best known acts, The Ohio Express and The 1910 Fruitgum Company would be "book-ending" the show ... and all of their hits came from the '60's.    

The Ohio Express, helmed by Joey Levine on lead vocals, scored five National Top 40 Hits between 1967 and 1969 including "Beg, Borrow And Steal (#23, 1967);"Yummy Yummy Yummy" (#4, 1968);"Down At Lulu's" (#19, 1968), "Chewy Chewy" (#8, 1968) and "Mercy" (#26,1969.)   Joey has been long gone from the music scene, however, leaving Drummer Tim Corwin as the only original member of the band on stage that night ... but the rest of the group was rounded out by (according to their own hype): Guy Hoffman, Bass and Vocals; John Baker, Lead Guitar and Vocals, Jeff Burgess, Keyboards and Vocals, Warren Sawyer, Keyboards, Lead Guitar, and Vocals and, last but not least, Brad Herring on Drums.  The group opened with "Beg, Borrow And Steal", a track built around a "Louie-Louie" sounding riff, that we featured the other day in Forgotten Hits.  (The original release of this track was by a group called The Rare Breed in 1966, but the identical recording was credited to The Ohio Express a year later just before the group signed their bubblegum deal with Buddah Records.)  Overall, the group had a pleasant enough sound (although they never did one of MY favorites, "Down At Lulu's") ... instead the set was peppered with remakes and B-Sides as well as a recently recorded track released in Europe where the band is treated more favorably as opposed to here in The States where there doesn't seem to be ANY place for this music on today's musical landscape.  Seeing The Ohio Express do a faithful version of Spirit's "I Got A Line On You" was one of the highlights for me during their set ... and Corwin does a formidable job of handling the lead vocals today, preserving the original sound of the band with a little extra added "kick" here and there to keep them sounding very contemporary.

Tim Corwin of The Ohio Express ... 
I absolutely LOVE that jacket!!!

The Ohio Express in action
 
The 1910 Fruitgum Company clossd the show by performing some of their biggest hits ("Indian Giver", #5, 1969), "1, 2, 3 Red Light", #5, 1968, and "Simon Says", #4, 1968), while also ignoring oher legitimate known hits like "May I Take A Giant Step" (#63, 1968), "Goody Goody Gumdrops (#37, 1968), "Special Delivery" (#38, 1969) and "The Train" (#57, 1969), preferring instead to present "cover versions" of many of the other hits of the day.  (At one point I thought they were doing a Tribute To The Happy Together Tour" when they presented "Kicks","Midnight Confessions", "She'd Rather Be With Me" and "Happy Together" in rapid succession.  (Truth be told, I thought The 1910 Fruitgum Company performed "She'd Rather Be With Me" better than The Turtles did with their rushed, "can't wait to get off the stage or we might go over 13 minutes" arrangement presented at the Bolingbrook Show a few weeks ago.  I've know Frank Jeckell, original 1910 guitarist, for many years now through Forgotten Hits and have, at various time, also talked with original 1910 drummer Floyd Marcus (no longer with the group) and long-time vocalist Mick Mansueto, who handled a fair amount of the lead vocals Friday Night.  After the show Frank confided in me that this was the first time he had played in Chicago since 1968!!!  Hard to believe, but back then The 1910 Fruitgum Company was touring with some of the very biggest acts on the planet so a Chicago stop-over was bound to happen.  Once the hits stopped, so did the offers ... so I was especially pleased to see him make his return visit ... even if it was some 47 years later!!!  They performed a solid set of hits and covers.


Frank Jeckell ... and Mick Mansueto 
of The 1910 Fruitgum Company 

The middle set was perhaps the most confusing of all.  Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods were booked as the headliners of the show, yet were lumped together in the middle set with Looking Glass vocalist Elliot Lurie and Kyle Vincent, listed as "formerly of The Bay City Rollers" ... yet he was not an original member.  To help add to the confusion, Donaldson didn't sing ANY of his own hits at all ... Vincent took the leads on both "Who Do You Think You Are" and "Billy, Don't Be A Hero", both performed to near perfection on stage.  Vincent also did a couple of Bay City Rollers songs that he originally had absolutely NOTHING to do with ... "I Only Want To Be With You" (their rocked-up remake of the Dusty Springfield tune) and "Saturday Night", the break-through song for the band, which had the whole crowd up on their feet singing along and screaming for mpre.  In between we were treated to a bunch of other songs that seemingly had no relationship whatsoever to the three named artists currently on stage (although "The Heartbreak Kid" WAS a minor hit for Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods and "The Night Chicago Died" was written by the same folks who gave us "Billy Don't Be A Hero" and was, at the time, covered by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods.)  Kyle (who looks a little bit like Andy Kim did back in the day) also covered Andy's big hit "Rock Me Gently".

 Bo Donaldson

Confused yet?  Well, we certainly were!!!  In fact, when Kyle Vincent sang the opening line to the Bo Donaldson hit "Who Do You Think You Are" ... "Who am I?" ... I couldn't help but wonder aloud the very same thing ... "Who the heck WAS this guy and why was he signing all the Bo Donaldson leads as well as The Bay City Rollers tunes?!?!?"
I quickly checked his website which bears the clever opening comment "You're either here because your'e a new fan reading up on my past to get some insight, a stalker trying to decipher a code that instructs you on what to do next you on what to do next, an old fan seeing if there’s anything new to be known or you're a journalist who doesn't rely on Wikipedia for your backgroud.  Good for you.  No matter what brought you here, welcome!"  

 Kyle Vincent

However, from there, he really doesn't tell you much! 

While there's plenty of name-dropping going on (Clive Davis, Barry Manilow, Kim Fowley and more) there is absolutely NO mention of The Bay City Rollers anywhere on his site.  Now I'll grant you this ...he's got a GREAT rock and roll voice and kept us thoroughly entertained throughout the show ... and he LOOKS like a '70's rocker (but hey, so did I back in the day ... 


... So, with very little help from Kyle himself, (and against my better judgment) I had no choice but to resort to a Wikipedia search just to see what came up.  
 
Once again, I couldn't find any direct ties to The Bay City Rollers ... but he HAS played with just about everybody involved in '70's and '80's rock.  The list of "who's who" is really quite amazing ... and contains Bryan Adams, Gerry Beckley of America, The Cowsills, Ron Dante, Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, Amy Grant, The Guess Who, Robert Lamm of Chicago, Corey Hart, Barry Manilow, Ziggy Marley, Richard Marx,Sister Hazel, Rick Springfield, The Ventures, Dennis Tufano, Survivor's Jimi Jamison, 10,000 Maniacs, Donald Byrd and many, many more. So clearly this guy has been around in any variety of capacity working with some of the biggest names in the biz.  (In fact, you'll find that most of the "name" acts shown above provided background assistance in Kyle's own ventures. rather than the other way around ... which tells me he's very highly thought of within the industry ... and, like I said, is one of the best singer / performers we've seen in a long, long time.)  Maybe after he sees our review he will drop us a note and better fill us in on his very impressive background ... and tell us why HE was singing all of Bo Donaldson's hits instead of Bo doing them himself!!!     

Lastly, I would be completely remiss if I didn't single out Elliot Lurie of Looking Glass.  Elliot has been away from the scene for a little while ... but has not lost one iota of talent in the process.  Having written and sang two of our favorite hits from the 1970's, "Brandy" and "Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne" ... and possessing one of the most unique and distinctive voices in all of rock and roll (seriously, I can't think of another single person who sounds ANYTHING like him!), I couldn't help but wonder what he's been doing with himself these past 40-something years!  However there is absolutely no update information (or contact information) to be found on his website, allowing him (I guess) to continue to lead the life of mystery.)  I can only assure you that his vocal chops were well in force on Friday night. (Elliot - again, if you see this, please contact me so we can give our readers an update!)  Frannie talked to him after the show, complimented him on his set and told him how we had just  recently watched a video of Looking Glass performing "Brandy" and how his "hair was down to there ... and your shirt was open down to there ..." ... got a good laugh from Elliot who seemed to genuinely appreciate the warm welcome he received at The Arcada Theatre.

 Elliot Lurie

Admittedly, the crowd was sparce at best.  (I swear that in the past I've seen longer lines for the Men's Room than those occupying seats Friday Night at The Arcada Theatre for the '70's Pop Fest) ... but 'though small in number, they roared and sounded ten-fold larger every time a new hit was performed from the stage.  Host Scott MacKay of The River (one of Chicago's 47 Classic Rock Stations) went against type and admitted his own guilty pleasure of his love for this '70's Bubblegum Music ... and Scott's wife Suzie barely sat down the whole evening as she danced the night away to the pop sounds coming from the stage.  The folks that were there LOVED it and showed their joy and appreciation throughout the performance.  Most of the acts came out afterwards for a meet-and-greet in the lobby, hawking their wares for the fans, and we got to talk to quite a few of them after the show.  The one point that was clear in EVERYBODY'S mind ... audience and performers alike had a REAL good time reliving this music from all of our lives.  It was "feel good" music at its finest and I can't help but feel that adding a couple more Bubble Gum Royalty Acts to the line-up might not make it even better.  Our Forgotten Hits Buddies Ron Dante (The Archies) and Tommy Roe (the King of Bubble Gum with hits like "Shelia", "Hooray For Hazel" and "Dizzy") immediately come to mind ... and would put this thing over the top should they consider a return performance.  The crowd LOVED it ... and it looked like each and every performer felt the same way.  (kk)

 Me and Frank Jeckell,
cooling off outside after the show

Very special thanks to Luciano Bilotti for all the great photos.  (Tim Corwin shot from The Ohio Express website; kk 16 Magazine shot from The60sShop archives collection)

Monday, August 31, 2015

50 Year Flashback - August 31st, 1965

Depending on where you did your record shopping in Chicago back in 1965, you MIGHT find the Top Tunes Of Greater Chicago list displayed on the regiter counter next to the WLS Silver Dollar Survey.  (WCFL wouldn't switch over to a Top 40 format until a couple of months later, issuing their first weekly survey at the end of the year)

This was a GREAT chart, listing not only the Top 40 Hits of the day but also another twenty Up 'n' Coming titles (usually in alphabetical rather than as an extension of the countdown.)  You also got The Top 12 Albums (what a fun list THAT is this week with two titles by The Beatles, and one each by The Rolling Stones, The Dave Clark Five, Herman's Hermits, The Beach Boys, The Kinks, The Byrds and Sonny and Cher being shown) as well as The Top 12 R&B Tracks.

The regular countdown shows The Five Emprees (misspelled as Imprees) at #5 with their big local hit "Little Miss Sad".  (The group hailed from Benton Harbor, Michigan).  "Eve Of Destruction" by Barry McGuire and The Turtles' version of the Bob Dylan tune "It Ain't Me, Babe" both make huge leaps into The Top Ten this week ... and Dylan's there, too, at #6 with "Like A Rolling Stone".

Our FH Buddy Freddy Cannon jumps 19 places to #20 with his latest, "Action", title theme to the new weekday Dick Clark music program "Where The Action Is", starring Paul Revere and the Raiders, featuring Mark Lindsay, as its hosts.

I love their "Five Star Record To Watch", a big local hit here in Chicago for Neil Sedaka called "The World Through A Tear".















Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Sunday Comments ( 08 - 30 - 15 )

re:  Happy Birthday To Me:

This year's birthday concert was The '70's Pop Fest at The Arcada Theatre, featuring Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods, The Ohio Express, The 1910 Fruitgum Company, Elliot Lurie of Looking Glass and Kyle Vincent of The Bay City Rollers.  (Look for a review next week in Forgotten Hits).  Frannie's will be The Stylistics on September 11th, also at The Arcada ... and, as a birthday gift, we'll be going to see Stevie Wonder at The United Center in October.  (To clarify, we'll see him ... but he won't see us.)  

Meanwhile, thanks to all the well-wishers!  

Happy Birthday YOU OLD FART!!!  You are NOT a Forgotten hit!!  
Clark Besch  

Belated birthday wishes ... Sorry for missing the 39th again, Kent!  
Ray Graffia, Jr / The New Colony Six   
I've actually taken the opposite approach ... told everybody I was turning 77 and then got a lot of "Man, you look GREAT for your age" compliments!  (lol)  Thanks, Ray!  (kk) 
 

My friend and I wanna wish you a happy birthday ... 
Take care,
Rockin’ Lord Geoff


Hey Kent!!!  Happy Birthday!!!  Hope you find that "nooner!"  LOL  
Hope you are having a wonderful Birthday!!!  
Cheers,  
Mark Bego


Happy birthday to you, our music man. Thanks for all that you do. I owe you a drink next time I see you, HAVE A GREAT B-DAY!  
Mike De Martino



Happy Birthday, Kent!
May your year ahead be filled with free promo copies, concert tickets and backstage passes, better radio and all the standard wishes of good health and happiness.
Thanks for keeping us diehard musicheads connected and entertained!
Regards,
Scott Paton


re:  Lou Christie:  
Happy Birthday ... yesterday!  
I think this guy is shadowing you ...  
https://youtu.be/RQYfAi1En7E  
He again has several more posted as he did with the Happy Together Again concert.    
Stacee    
I think you may be right!  First the Happy Together Bolingbrook show ... and now Lou Christie in Addison!  I wonder who he is ... I may even know the guy!  Good video 'tho!  (kk) 


Loved the Lou Christie piece ... he's among the best!
- David Salidor


And the topper on the cake ...   

Happy Birthday!!!  
Thanks so much for all the kind words in your column. I had a great time at the Italian Fest. The audience was great, the weather was dry and, it was fun for all of us. So nice to meet you after the show. I'm definitely looking forward to returning to Chicago.  
Lou Christie  

re:  The Happy Together Tour:     
You are right on the mark when you stated, " that The Turtles need to mix it up a little more from year to year ... too many repeat performers doing the same songs each time out ... but there is absolutely NO doubt that The Cowsills were a GREAT addition to the line-up this year." 
I suggest they consider Freddy Cannon, and throw a little "Action" into their show assuming his health is good enough for the tour!    
Paul Urbahns 
Radcliff, Ky 
Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon would be a GREAT addition to the tour ... although they'll probably argue that he's "not '60's enough" ... which is complete bullshit of course.  (29 of Freddy's 35 chart hits came during the '60's ... the other six include three from the '50's, two from the '70's and one from the '80's!!!)  He has back doing shows again after heart surgery last year ... and we would LOVE to see him come to Chicago, with or without The Happy Together Tour.  (Actually Mark Lindsay sings "Action" as part of his set these days ... but this is ... and will always be ... Freddy Cannon's song!  (kk)   

Hi Kent -  
Enjoyed the Happy Together last year but couldn't go this year and really appreciate the reviews and photos!   
This might be a stretch but what about adding a girl group or female singer from the 60s!  Shirley Austin Reeves of the Shirelles, the Shangrilas, or Martha Reeves and the Vandellas just to name a few!!   Maybe your readers can suggest some more names.   
Just a thought. Don't forget the great woman of rock n roll!!!  
Carolyn  
You should have caught the free show in Bolingbrook!  
The possibilities are endless once you look beyond the confines of the Paradise Artists stable of artists ... there is absolutely no shortage of great '60's talent still on the circuit ... and if they're only going to get to sing four or five songs anyway, they should be able to find some GREAT talent to meet that criteria.  (Problem is the artists for Happy Together 2016 are typically booked before the 2015 show runs its course ... so maybe NEXT year The Turtles and company can step outside the box a little and be a bit more creative.)  kk   

Kent,  
I'm happy to get to go to this year's Happy Together tour. It stops at the MN. State Fair here in the twin cities but I always have something going on, probably gigs of my own. Can't wait to finally get to see Mark Lindsay. etc.  
When I was 10 I had a huge crush on Susan Cowsil. I'm going to try and figure out a way to meet her.  I probably won't have much luck, but it sure would be fun.   
Tickets here were only 21 or $22 plus the admission to the fair.  Think I'll listen to all the various acts' songs today. BTW Forgotten Hits is still my favorite place on the WWW. Still hoping for a Chicago Meet up -- a Forgotten Hits Get Together some day.   
Bil  
My biggest hope this year was to meet The Cowsills when The Happy Together Tour stopped in Chicago but, after seven years of covering this event, our backstage access was denied this year for some reason by The Paramount Theatre so I never got the opportunity.  (It's always fun to visit backstage after the show and take a few pictures for the website ... The Turtles, The Buckinghams and Mark Lindsay have been very accommodating in the past ... but the chance to finally meet The Cowsills ... and tell them how much we have enjoyed seeing their shows this past year ... would have been a welcome opportunity for me as both a FAN and a journalist.)  It just wasn't to be, however. If you are fortunate enough to get back there, snap a couple of shots and send them in ... would love to see them.  And please tell The Cowsills about Forgotten Hits ... they've been getting some GREAT coverage here for fifteen years now ... and the last year and a half in particular! 
As for a Chicago-area get-together, I would love to do something like that ... it's been YEARS since we've attempted one.  I'd love to block out a set of seats at The Arcada for The Ides Of March Christmas Show and get a few dozen readers to participate and meet up either before or after that show.  Maybe even have Jim Peterik come out and say hello to everybody.  Let's see if we can find anybody else out there is interested in doing so!  Thanks, Bill!  (kk)

re: This And That:
FH Reader Tom Cuddy sent us this article ... Darlene Love talks about her new solo album and working with Bruce Springsteen and Steven Van Zandt .. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/darlene-love-on-new-solo-lp-and-working-with-springsteen-steve-van-zandt-20150821   

Darlene's received quite a bit of press regarding her brand new release.  Here's the first video clip released from Darlene Love's new album (produced by Bruce Springsteen), "Introducing Darlene Love".  (Yeah, that makes sense ... she's just been a "hidden treasure" for the past 55 years!!!)  Be sure to watch for the super-star cameos as Tom Cuddy describes below ...  

Darlene Love breaks out the beachwear and the celebrity cameos in her new “Forbidden Nights” music video. Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Steven Van Zandt, Joan Jett, David Letterman, Bill Murray and Paul Shaffer all make guest appearances for her summertime single. 
The video shows Love driving to her beach concert with backup singers, picking up Jett and Shaffer along the way. Her packed red convertible passes by Costello playing soccer, Murray with a surfboard and Springsteen and Van Zandt choking each other out.  
Letterman’s appearance doesn’t come until the end of the video. The retired latenight host can be seen eating a bowl of cereal with a full beard shouting, “Hey! I love you.” 
Love has been a longtime favorite of Letterman’s. Every year, the singer would perform her most notable record and Phil Spector-produced seasonal classic, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” on his “Late Night.”  
Love’s album, “Introducing Darlene Love,” bows Sept. 18.



 

re:  More Cool Clips:  
OK, this one's pretty clever ...  
Kent ... 
This is a garage in Chicago.  Maybe you can find out where it is and check it out for your readers.  
Frank B.  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ft1MLaqcNYc   

Kent ...  
Check out this funny commercial.  Can I add another "Clip Of The Week" to my resume ? 
Frank B.







Kent,
It was fantastic those last five songs you posted on your website today. Always did like BEG, BORROW AND STEAL.
Larry.
P.S. No need to post this to FH. This is just one of the many thank you's to you.
Happy to post it, Larry, because I agree ... those are five GREAT songs that just never seem to get played on the radio anymore and represent the very essence of what Forgotten Hits is all about.  Each and every one of them was a good-sized hit at the time ... and are still fresh in our memories.  WHY does radio keep on insisting in squashing those memories by beating the same 200-300 songs into our heads every day?  (kk)



Kent,
The picture you posted of Dennis, Vern, Gary and Ron was from the Jamaica Queens concerts with Tony Burrows, Bo Donaldson and Kyle Vincent.  There were as many names off-stage as on.
Shelley
Yes, I had a feeling that the case ... and is why I mentioned that Bo Donaldson and Kyle Vincent were both coming to Chicago later this month to perform in what's being billed as "The '70's Pop Fest" along with The 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Ohio Express and Elliot Lurie of Looking Glass, singing their #1 Hit "Brandy".  Other adsfor this show Ron Dante and The Archies but Ron has already told me that he'll be in The UK that day due to a prior commitment.
The guy I REALLY want to see now is Tony Burrows ... but I checked three sources last night and they all say he has no shows currently scheduled ... so if somebody hears something about Tony coming out Chicago-way, please let me know.  (Memo to Ron Onesti ... THIS would be a good guy to book!  He was the "hidden voice" on SO many great early '70's hits like "Gimme Dat Ding" by The Pipkins, "Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes" by Edison Lighthouse, "United We Stand" by The Brotherhood Of Man, "Beach Baby" by First Class and "My Baby Loves Lovin'" by White Plains.  (kk)
You can read Shelley's review of the "Feelin' Groovy" show she saw featuring all these great acts here:  http://forgottenhits60s.blogspot.com/2015/07/feelin-groovy.html
And watch for OUR review of the '70's Pop Fest coming up later next week in Forgotten Hits!  (kk)  

FH Reader Tom Cuddy tells us about a brand new radio documentary ...

http://www.distractioninc.com/projects/   

And, speaking of radio ... and our on-going Monday Morning 50th Anniversary Survey Flashbacks ...
Kent,
Just a few things I was pondering while going over Monday's survey of 50 years ago according to KOMA's Sing-A-Long-Survey ...
I really don't know or remember why LOUIE LOUIE made it to #1 a second time and even why it was reissued at this time. Going over the records listed under KOMA KLIMBERS and other records similar to that on other surveys, it's good to see which records would turn out to be hits as we know them today and, of course, which records didn't quite make it.
Now as for the record listed at #37, LONELY GIRL, by a local group known as the Centuries ... this record would go higher on the survey and would turn out to be the biggest record this group had, recorded on a local label by the name of Rich Records. This group went to my high school in OKC, Putnam City High School. The group was composed of some 4 - 5 members. Through the years, I have spoken to almost all of the members and the one thing that has surprised me is that none of them to this day has a copy of said record. That boggles my mind. I believe if I had been in high school and made a record, no matter how big it would turn out to be, that today I would have at least one copy of it. It's funny, no member of that group has a copy of the record, yet I do here at home. As one member of the Centuries told me recently, copies of that record are few and far between. They did have a follow-up with a Buddy Holly song they recorded. As far as the 11 KOMA personalities pictured at the top of the survey, at the bottom Paul Miller did mornings and every weekday spoke with the mayor on the phone. At the top, Dale Wehba is, of course, retired from broadcasting and currently lives here in OKC. Occasionally, he and I talk on the phone.
Larry
Has ANYBODY out there got copies of this Centuries record so we can send them to the original group member???  (kk)

I just now revisited your Last Kiss section. Wow! I’m worn out from all of your research.
I loved your comment “Must have been 200 in the studio that day”
Just dropped by to hello. And no, it should not have been all that complicated but for so many out there telling lies like politicians. Take care,
Sid Holmes

Coming up September 17 - 19th ...
My wife and I are going!
Hope to see you there.
Stu Weiss

Well, unfortunately you won't see ME there ... but this sounds like a pretty cool event ... exceptional line-up ... so hoping that some of our East Coast Readers can attend.  (And please report back to us if you do!)  Thanks, Stu!  (kk) 

Vintage Vinyl News is reporting an incredible continuous 54-year stretch of live Beach Boys concerts.  (In fact, Bruce Johnston is celebrating his official 50th year anniversary with the band this year!)  Here's the set list that the Mike Love / Bruce Johnston led Beach Boys are performing in 2015 ...
The current Beach Boys show features 42 songs: 
Surfin’ / Catch A Wave / Its OK / Don’t Back Down / Little Honda / Do It Again / Goin’ To The Beach / Surfin’ Safari / Surfer Girl / Farmer’s Daughter / Good To My Baby / You’re So Good To Me / Please Let Me Wonder / Kiss Me Baby / Getcha Back / I’m So Young / Why Do Fools Fall In Love / When I Grow Up (To Be A Man) / Darlin’ / Be True To Your School / Don’t Worry Baby / Little Deuce Coupe / 409 / Shut Down / I Get Around / Ballad Of Ole Betsy / Sloop John B / Wouldn’t It Be Nice / Then He Kissed Me / California Girls / Dance Dance Dance / Let Him Run Wild / God Only Knows / Pisces Brothers / Good Vibrations / Do You Wanna Dance / All Summer Long / Help Me Rhonda / Barbara Ann / Surfin’ USA / Kokomo / Fun Fun Fun

For months now we've been asking you to email the NTSB to reopen its investigation into the plane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritcie Valens and The Big Bopper on February 3rd, 1959.
Now comes this appeal from the family of Ritchie Valens ... who simply wants to see justice done ... and the truth be told ..
The Day The Music Died Plane Crash Investigation ... 
The plane crash that took the lives of our brother Ritchie, The Big Bopper, Buddy Holly and pilot Roger Peterson has been a hot topic in the news, saying that The National Transportation Safety Board has agreed to consider re-opening the investigation. The key word being "Consider".  
A few years back,  a close friend of our family explained what he and a friend of his that works in aviation had discovered during their own investigation.  The plane, a Beechcraft Bonanza, was very popular with the doctors of the time ... they were relatively inexpensive as planes go, and easy to learn to fly. The Beechcraft Bonanza earned a nickname "Doctor Killers". The unsuspecting / inexperienced doctors would load too much weight into the planes causing them to become over- weight and unbalanced. The planes, being lightweight, would take off but were unable to gain altitude.  
No one really knows what happened on February 2, 1959, as the plane took off. It has been 56 years this Febuary, The world lost three great artists with budding music careers, and the pilot, who was recently married.
What will this investigation change? The original report said pilot error.  We were told that Roger could have flown this plane blind folded, that's how competent he was. Other theories state that Buddy had a gun.  Buddy was a brilliant song writer and musician. We, Ritchie's family, would love to see Roger Peterson's name cleared ... imagine what his family went through.  
Accidents happen. Are they going to go after the plane manufacturer for not labeling this plane as "may crash if over-weight or unbalanced"?  What about all the other people who lost their lives in the same type of plane? 
Closure is a good thing, but sometimes we can only receive little bits and pieces at a time, as we allow sweet memories and friendships to heal us. Forgiveness of others and ourselves also help us along this journey called life.  The word "Consider" is the key to this mystery.  The NTSB, may or may not go forth with the investigation ... they said it will take a couple of months for them to decide. 
The Family of Ritchie Valens
This is why it's important for the public to contact the NTSB ... let their feelings be known regarding reopening this investigation.  LJ Coon has listed some key email addresses below as points of contact.  Please, if you want to see this investigation reopened and reexamined, contact the folks below and let your feelings be heard.  (kk)
Dear NTSB:
I am sending you this e-mail in Support of The NTSB going forward with the Investigation into The Mason City Iowa accident of February 3, 1959, that took the lives of Roger Peterson, Buddy Holley, Ritchie Valens and J P Richardson.

Name: 
Location:  
Please Send SeparateCc or Bcc email's to: 
L J Coon

Batgirl is gone.  Yvonne Craig, who portrayed the super hero on the Batman television series, died from complications of breast cancer.  In addition to the female caped crusader, she also starred in TWO Elvis movies ("It Happened At The World's Fair" and "Kissin' Cousins") and made guest appearances on several popular TV shows of the day including Star Trek,Mod Squad and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.  (kk)



Here's the word on a brand releases we tipped here a couple of months ago ... the Micky Dolenz live shows at 54 Below, "A Little Bit Broadway, A Little Bit Rock And Roll" are being released as a live concert CD, which is now available for pre-order.  More information below ...   

BROADWAY RECORDS ANNOUNCES THE RELEASE OF Micky Dolenz: A Little Bit Broadway, A Little Bit Rock & Roll Live AT 54 BELOW

August 20, 2015- New York, NY)- Broadway Records has announced that the newest addition to its Live at 54 BELOW series, “Micky Dolenz: A Little Bit Broadway, A Little Bit Rock & Roll – LIVE at 54 BELOW” will be released on September 25, 2015. The album is now available for pre-order at http://www.broadwayrecords.com/cds/micky-dolenz-a-little-bit-broadway-a-little-bit-rock-n-roll.  

In early July, Micky Dolenz performed several sold-out evenings at 54 BELOW, the famed performance venue in New York City. This charming Broadway performer and legendary rock ‘n’ roll star will be back to 54 BELOW September 25th and 26th by popular demand to celebrate the launch of his album.   

This brand new show was a way for Dolenz to combine his love of Broadway with his love for rock ‘n’ roll into one exuberating concert. The album consists of The Monkees greatest hits and some rarities, along with songs from the musical roles he has performed and the shows he loves. Dolenz framed each song with personal anecdotes and behind the scenes intel, such as his friendship with the Beatles, how he met his wife and the fact that stalwarts Neil Young and Ry Cooder played on the original recording session for “As We Go Along.” The compilation of songs and stories creates a joyous and nostalgic atmosphere for both Dolenz and the audience.  

“It was a little bit out of my usual comfort zone, but each show was better than the last and I guess our original concept worked. If the truth be known, the original TV-series was a lot like a half-hour Marx Brothers musical on TV. It’s great that we’ll have the live recording as a permanent record,” said Dolenz.

Van Dean, founder of Broadway Records adds, “I grew up on the Monkees re-runs and having the opportunity to create this show and resulting album with one of my idols is definitely a ‘pinch me’ moment.  It’s thrilling to see how much his fans have embraced this new show.  We anticipated they would sing along with some of the Monkees songs at the concerts but to also hear them sing along with his rendition of ‘Pure Imagination’, was pure magic.”

Hollywood Reporter said, “Delivering exuberant versions of several classic Monkees hits interspersed with theatrical songs both familiar and relatively obscure, the still youthful 70-year-old singer performed with an obvious joy that proved infectious.”

The Huffington Post said, “The highlight for me was the show tunes, ranging from "Don't Be The Bunny," from Urinetown, to "Mr. Cellophane" from Chicago. The guy's an amazing actor, and he emotes the hell out of these tunes. He's a little bit of a ham, on the over-the-top side, to be sure, but in a cabaret setting, it works. Oh man, does it work.”
Micky Dolenz was one of the stars of the sixties TV show "The Monkees," about a rock-and-roll band. The group sold over 65 million records (with Dolenz as their lead singer), and their albums included "The Monkees," "More of the Monkees," "Headquarters" and "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd.” Dolenz also starred in the West End musical The Point and later became a producer-director for the BBC and London Weekend Television. In 1996 the Monkees reunited for a 30-year summer tour around the U.S., and Dolenz directed an episode of the hit TV show "Boy Meets World." His other theatre credits include the National Touring Company of Grease, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the ForumTom Sawyer, Disney’s AIDA on Broadway; Pippin’; and, Hairspray in the West End where he essayed the character of Wilbur.


Micky Dolenz: A Little Bit Broadway, A Little Bit Rock & Roll – LIVE at 54 BELOW is produced by Michael J. Moritz, Jr. and Executive Produced by Van Dean.

This album is the latest in the “Live at 54 BELOW” series that started in 2012 with albums by Patti LuPone, Norbert Leo Butz, Christiane Noll, Andrea McArdle, Aaron Tveit, Laura Benanti and the most recently released Ahrens and Flaherty, Marin Mazzie, Danielle Hope, Jarrod Spector, Sierra Boggess and Shapiro Sisters. Many more titles in the series are currently in the works and more albums will be announced shortly.


BROADWAY RECORDS is one of the preeminent record labels in its industry and has produced cast albums for many major Broadway shows (i.e. the Grammy® nominated Matilda The Musical, the soon-to-be released Doctor Zhivago and the recently released The Visit and Side Show Original 2014 Broadway Cast Recording) as well as the preservation of shorter run Broadway shows (i.e. Bonnie & Clyde and Big Fish) and NBC’s television event, Peter Pan Live!. Broadway Records believes in delivering the best cast recordings to its customers, while also striving to innovate with the critically acclaimed "Live at 54 BELOW" series featuring top Broadway stars including Patti LuPone, Aaron Tveit, Norbert Leo Butz, Sierra Boggess, Marin Mazzie, Laura Benanti and many others. Recently, BroadwayWorld.com nominated 19 of Broadway Records’ albums for their inaugural 2014 Album Awards, all of which can be found by visiting www.broadwayrecords.com. 

54 BELOW, Broadway’s Supper Club, is the new performance venue in the grand tradition of New York City nightlife.  A few blocks from the heart of Times Square and just below the legendary Studio 54, 54 BELOW is a classically designed state-of-the art nightclub in the theatre district that hosts audiences with warmth and style.  The venue provides a food and beverage menu from early evening through the wee hours of the morning that is worthy of the world-class entertainment on the stage.  In their description of 54 BELOW, The New York Times writes “the club has the intimacy of a large living room with unimpeded views and impeccable sound; there is not a bad seat. Its sultry after-hours ambience is enhanced by brocade-patterned wall panels planted with orange-shaded lanterns. And the atmosphere is warmer and sexier than in Manhattan’s other major supper clubs.”   Located at 254 West 54th Street, 54 BELOW features up to three shows nightly with cover charges ranging from $15-$95. Tickets and information are available at www.54Below.com.





and one for the locals ...

Hey Kent,

AJK here - I am looking for a particular Jim Shea interview he did on Y103.9 that I am hoping maybe someone (perhaps Shea himself) might have recorded.  In 2008 (April / May?) he interviewed Peter Benjaminson, author of the book on Florence Ballard of the Supremes.  I seem to remember the interview was not only extensive and interesting, but included lots of great songs that would not normally be played.  Could you maybe see if he's got this show?  It's a long shot I'm well aware - so your help would be appreciated!

Y103.9 sure was great - I'd love any air checks from that station to be honest!

Best,

AJK

I asked Jim if he kept any of his interviews from the station and it sounds like he has a TON of them ... but he won't have access to them until Christmas break.  Believe it or not, he's down at The University of Miami right now in Medical School!  Jim tells us ...

  Hi Kent -

Good to hear from you! As I'm reading this I'm eating breakfast before my first day of medical school here in Miami

Before I drove down I was looking at some old air checks ... and one of them was you and me kicking off a Beach Boys weekend!
It will be a while before I can even look for that one with the Supremes but I remember it well. Maybe around Christmas I'll be home and I will dig that one out for u.
Jim
LOTS of folks missing the old Y-103.9 these days ... you guys really did have a lot of freedom as to what you could play "off the list".
The main thing I remember about the Peter Benjaminson book was that I got a very negative vibe ... as if no real fact-checking was ever done.  I dug through the archives trying to find the review I did many moons ago ... but once again came up empty.  (I DID find the winner of a FH give-away where a reader won a copy of the book but the actual review itself is missing.  It would have been in May of 2008, which pre-dates the website.)
Enjoy the Miami weather, Jim ... and we'll talk to you when you get back!  (kk)
It's hotter than blazes here!
J.