Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tuesday This And That

Like most songs, poetry and novels; there is basis on fact ... some of it composite. This does not surprise me. It also brings forward the dark side of this era. The noir detective movies portrayed the seemier side of the streets and the post WWII years. There was a brightness to the music scene. There was also a dark side that began from post civil war and has never left us Whatever the story ... there IS a story. 

I'm 99% sure that the Bad To Me video / song is a fake. John Lennon's voice and guitar are real but the added instruments were added at a much later date by who ever created the video. Very clever though. If I can find some other supporting info on my opinion, I'll let you know.
And don't forget Three Dog Night's version of Its For You!
Hoffman Estates
I never really cared for the Three Dog Night version ... honestly, I just don't think it's that strong a song ... but it did give them the chance to show off their vocal chops live in concert ... I saw them perform it three times.
As for "Bad To Me", have you ever heard a full-length version of this before?  I've got a pretty extensive Beatles bootleg collection and have only heard a short snippet in the past.
In his book "Do You Want To Know A Secret?", Billy J. Kramer tells an interesting story about the original demo he received from John Lennon for "Do You Want To Know A Secret":
"Before we went to Hamburg, Brian Epstein had given me this little Grundig reel-to-reel tape and said, 'Learn this song with the band.'  I played it and it was just John ... none of the other Beatles ... singing 'Do You Want To Know A Secret'.  It must have been done at one of their recent gigs because in the background you could hear the muffled sound of girls screaming.  At the end of it, John said 'I'd like to apologize for the quality, but I have recorded this in the quietest room I could find.'  Then he flushed the toilet.  It was typical Lennon humour, which never ceases to amaze me."
-- Billy J. Kramer
We'll be talking to Billy J. in the next week or two for an exclusive Forgotten Hits interview ... stay tuned!  (kk)

Yo Kent :)
Thanks to FH, I knew the book-signing dates for Bobby Rydell.  We went to a Barnes & Noble yesterday, met Bobby and got his book and CD.  What a great guy! 
Thanks for the great Bobby interview and for passing along the book-signing dates. 
Rich & Mamie 
Glad to do it ...
You'll thank me again after you read his book ... it's a great autobiography!  (kk)

Got this from Bob Merlis, spotlighting TWO of our favorite Bobbys ... Rydell and Darin ...
As Forgotten Hits Readers know, we've devoted a fair a
mount of time to each of them over the years.  (kk)

Hi Kent,
Seems as though Mike Douglas was a bit uncomfortable with not only interviewing Eric Burdon but also the Rolling Stones -- here is one you will get a kick out of from 1964! 
Keep rollin' the Forgotten Hits!  Love it! 
Tim Kiley 
GREAT clip!  (kk)

And, speaking of The Rolling Stones ...

Hi Kent,
As you mentioned recently, Mick Jagger turns 73 this week.  I used that occasion to write an article for BestClassicBands.com that spotlights Jagger's relatively few guest appearances on others' records or full-tilt collaborations outside the Stones.  I suspect that there may be some tracks here that even hardcore fans haven't heard.
Scott Paton
I had forgotten all about that great Super Heavy track ... used to play the heck out of that when it first came out ... great video, too.  Thanks for the reminder!  (kk)

>>>One note of trivia ... The Standells "Dirty Water" has a slightly deeper connection with Boston. 
My Senior Class song in 1963 was "Let's Go" by the Routers.  When researching the song for one of our reunions, I discovered that two band members from that group became part of The Standells. 
Wow, was it fun to discover the connection ... we must have had an 'ear' for talent.  (Charlie) 
>>>I'm not finding any connection between The Standells and The Routers ... 
Joel Whitburn's book lists Guitarists Mike Gordon and Al Kait, Lynn Frasier (on horns), Scott Engel on bass and Randy Viers on drums for The Routers ... and Dick Dodd (former Mouseketeer vocals, drums), Larry Tamblyn (guitar), Tom Valentino (guitar) and Gary Lane (bass).  Although Boston has adopted "Dirty Water" as their official song, the group actually hailed from Los Angeles.  (kk)   

Hola Kent,
Wikipedia isn't always credible but this is where I found the connection between The Routers and The Standells:

Formed in 1961 by Michael Z. Gordon, the Routers' recordings sometimes used session musicians in addition to the actual group with the exception of Gordon, who also formed another successful group, The Marketts.  Gordon composed another award-winning composition, "Out Of Limits", with the Marketts.  Gordon played on almost all of the Routers and Marketts sessions.  The original line-up of the group was Al Kait, lead guitar, Lynn Frasier, tenor saxophone, Michael Zane Gordon, rhythm guitar, vocals, Scott Walker (then recording as Scott Engel), bass guitar, Randy Viers, drums.
The Routers' first release in September, 1962, was the guitar-driven instrumental "Let's Go (Pony):, which reached #19 on the Billboard chart.  Its infections "clap clap clap-clap-clap, clap-clap-clap-clap Let's Go" chant became a favorite of cheerleaders and crowds worldwide.  Although the songwriting credits are given to local singer Lanny Duncan and his brother Robert Duncan, Lanny Duncan had previously recorded the original demo of the song in 1961 as a member of the Starlighters, featuring Tony Valentino on guitar and Jody Rich on bass.  The demo was recorded in Glendale with engineer Eddie Brackett.  Valentino and Rich would go on to form the Standells in 1962.
The Routers' recording was instigated by record producer Joe Saraceno and his co-producer, record producer and composer Michael Z. Gordon, who went on to compose "Apologize" for Ed Ames.  Like many pop instrumentals recorded in Los Angeles, California, at thetime, suchas those by B. Bumble and the Stingers, it involved Gordon (guitar), Plas Johnson (saxophone) and Earl Palmer (drums), probably with Plas' brother Ray Johnson on bass guitar as well as Tommy Tedesco on guitar.
Later Routers recordings were also written by Gordon, including the songs "A-ooga" and "Big Band".  Their recordings continued to be issued up to 1964 but with less commercial success, and involved Gordon (guitar), Leon Russell (piano) and Hal Blaine (drums).  The same group also recorded over the same period as the Marketts.  Various studio and touring versions of the band also included Gordon, Randy Viers and Scott Engel (later of the Walker Brothers).  

We were always amazed how the Rock N Roll theme song of Boston came from a group that hadn't ever been to Boston. Which begs the question what was the genesis of the lyrics?
The article connects Tony Valentino directly, but does not connect Jody Rich.
"Love That Dirty Water" !!!! (cleaner now we can once again swim in the Charles) "Boston, you're my home!" ... and Forgotten Hits is my blog.
Rock on.
Sorry but I'm still not making the connection ... unless you mean in a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon sort of way!  Valentino and Rich were both members of the Starlighters, who just happened to record a demo of the same song with their band that was later recorded by The Routers (a completely different group) and became a hit single.  The Standells also recorded "Paint It, Black" and "19th Nervous Breakdown" ... but I don't think ANYBODY would say that this gave them a connection to ... or that they derived from ... The Rolling Stones!  I suppose one could try and make a case that The Routers were in some fashion related to The Marketts, but even that's a bit of a stretch as you'd have to include the members of The Wrecking Crew as part of that connection ... which now means that probably over two thousand bands in Hollywood and Los Angeles were technically the same group ... which I guess the kinda were!!!  Thanks, Charlie.  (kk)

By the way, if you're one of the ten people in the world who still hasn't seen the incredible "Wrecking Crew" documentary put together by Denny Tedesco, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy NOW!!! You can get it for under ten bucks through Amazon ... and it's a MUST HAVE for ANY fan of '60's music.  These guys played on EVERYTHING!!!  (kk)

The Real Jersey Boys Are Coming Back to Broadway 
From Music, a Flipboard magazine by New York Times Arts 
Frankie Valli is coming back to Broadway. The pop singer, famed for his falsetto, will play seven concert performances with his band, the Four Seasons …   
Read it on Flipboard

I just finished possibly the best rock memoir I've read to date.  Written by a guy named Glenn Berger, it's called "Never Say No to a Rock Star."
Glenn was an assistant engineer to legendary producer Phil Ramone.
He tells some real, juicy stories about Ramone, and recording with Paul Simon, James Brown, New York Dolls, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger and others.  But the cool twist is that today he is a psychotherapist, and he analyzes his experiences in an incredibly insightful and entertaining way.
I was so moved by this book that I contacted him on FaceBook.  among other things, I told him about your blog and, of course, he'd love some coverage.  (He just did an interview for MOJO.)
Are you interested?  I know you have a full plate;  I certainly don't mind doing the article if you want it.  Incredible book.
Let me know what you think, and I'll handle it, or introduce you two.
But read this book when/if you have a chance!
(He invited me to a party end of September in NYC at the Cutting Room.  It will be a reunion for a lot of the NY session guys he worked with.  Do you plan to be in NYC at that time?)
Bob Rush
Wish I could ... but I would be VERY happy to feature your full, in-depth review (especially since I haven't read it ... and still have about 27 books ahead of it right now!!!  lol)
Thanks, Bob ... I'm sure other readers may with to check this one out.  (kk)

Hey Kent,
Everyone has heard Marni Nixon sing, at one time or another. Her movie vocals are legendary. She was also Andrew Gold's mom. Gold, who passed away five years ago, stated that "Lonely Boy" was never autobiographical, and that's fine with me, because I loved Marni.
- John LaPuzza
Marni Nixon, who made a career out of "ghosting," or dubbing over the vocals of numerous stars in classic Hollywood films, has died at 86.
Nixon provided a precisely articulated soprano for the likes of Audrey Hepburn (in My Fair Lady), Deborah Kerr (in The King and I), Natalie Wood (in West Side Story), and Marilyn Monroe (in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but only for the high notes).

And this one's just WAY too much fun not to share.
With all the politicians "borrowing" pop music for their campaigns (I guess to see a little bit hipper and cooler and make some type of connection with the voters), several musicians have gotten together to start a "Don't Use Our Songs" campaign.

Check out this clip, sent in by FH Reader Clark Besch ...

Monday, July 25, 2016

Heartbreak Hotel

I received this from singer / songwriter Paul Evans last week and wanted to share it with our readers.

Now before doing so, I will first admit that I wasn't familiar with any part of this story before ...

Nor did I do any of my own "fact checking" in conjunction with this as it seems to be a very well researched piece.

But it sounds to me like everyone who has been exposed to it has found it to be quite fascinating ...

So even if any part of this is later determined to be less than 100% factual, I think you'll still find it a pretty interesting read ...

(Besides, it's pretty cool to think that this landmark song, which forever changed the course of musical history, actually had its roots right here in Chicago!)

So, courtesy of Paul Evans ... by way of Randy Hendrix ... by way of Randy Boswell ... 

Here is ...

To my Oldies friends,
My friend, Randy Hendrix, sent this to me.  I found it very absorbing, and if you haven’t seen it before and you decide to read it, I think you’ll enjoy it too. 
-- Paul Evans  


Solving the Mystery of 'Heartbreak Hotel' ...   
The man who inspired Elvis' breakout hit has finally been unmasked – and the story is stranger than anyone could have imagined

Who was the man that inspired Elvis' first number one single? The real story may be stranger – and more tragic – than fans ever believed. The story has been repeated thousands of times, with minor variations, in magazines, books, blogs and documentaries. In some versions, the heartbroken man shoots himself; in others, he leaps to his death from a hotel window. There are occasional references to a failed romance and to the destruction of all traces of identification before the fatal act. There's always a one-line suicide note: "I walk a lonely street."

But there's never a name. 

For 60 years, the true identity of the man whose death inspired "Heartbreak Hotel" has remained a mystery. 

Florida songwriters Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton always claimed the creative spark for Elvis Presley's first-ever Number One hit was a 1955 newspaper story about an anonymous man's suicide and his cryptic note about that "lonely street." (The paper cited is usually The Miami Herald.) And yet, no one has ever turned up the article, or even provided much clarifying detail. 

This is surprising, considering that "Heartbreak Hotel" had a colossal impact – both on Elvis' career and on rock & roll history. It was Elvis' first nationwide hit after a string of regional successes, and it changed the lives of countless future stars – John Lennon, George Harrison, Keith Richards and Robert Plant have all proclaimed its transformative effect. Elton John, recalling the day he first heard the song, said, "That weekend, my mum came home with 'Heartbreak Hotel' and that changed my life. ... Elvis Presley changed everyone's life. I mean, there would be no Beatles, there would be no Hendrix. There would be no Dylan." Paul McCartney once declared it nothing less than the most important artistic creation of the modern era. 

Axton, a teacher and publicist as well as a songwriter and radio host, went on to become a big wheel in the country-music scene – the "Queen Mother of Nashville." She'd interviewed Elvis in May, 1955, during the Florida leg of a Southern tour and vowed she'd write his first million-seller. A few months later, she cajoled the singer into listening to a demo of "Heartbreak Hotel." Reluctant, at first, to hear the pitch, Elvis was soon mesmerized by the song. "Hot dog, Mae, play it again!" he is said to have exclaimed. Axton played it ten times. "He knew the whole song before he left the room," writes Peter Guralnick, author of the highly acclaimed 1994 Elvis biography "Last Train to Memphis."


Elvis with Mae, 1955      

Durden and Axton gave Presley the third writing credit when he agreed to record "Heartbreak Hotel" in January, 1956, his first single after moving from Memphis-based Sun Records to Nashville's RCA. Elvis' sexually charged recording – combined with the singer's electrifying TV performances that spring, particularly one for a Milton Berle special in April, '56 – catapulted him into a kind of celebrity orbit the world had never seen. Axton died in 1997, Durden in 1999. To the end, they credited the broken hearted man in that elusive newspaper article as their inspiration. Now, at last, from the digital morgues of old newspapers, comes a breakthrough. And it turns out that the story of the real-life man behind "Heartbreak Hotel" is as tragic and surreal as the gloomy scene "down at the end of Lonely Street."


The tale really began two years earlier, in November, 1953, when a 25-year-old man named Alvin Krolik walked into Chicago's Albany Park police station and confessed to a string of armed robberies at Windy City hotels, restaurants and liquor stores. A former Marine Corps judo instructor, Krolik claimed to be an accomplished artist and budding author whose heartbreak over his failed marriage – to nightclub accordionist Agnes Sampson – sent him into a criminal spiral.  

The guilt was getting to him, and the cops seemed to be closing in, so a sleepless, anxiety-stricken Krolik gave himself up in a manner that impressed veteran detectives – so much so that they alerted local reporters. The Chicago Daily Tribune ran an account of Krolik's surprise confession and a photograph in which the contrite crook demonstrated how he'd used oil paints to disguise his face during his crime spree.  

Now, Krolik claimed, he was done with crime, and had even penned a memoir to save others from his fate. "I have to get this thing off my mind," he told police. "I'm tired of the panderers and streetwalkers I've been living with."
In wire stories that ran in dozens of papers from the Northeast to Texas and California, reporters further captured Krolik's regrets and his heartache over the split with Agnes: "I still love her madly."  

Then, stories quoted a passage from Krolik's "unpublished autobiography," said to be in the hands of a New York publisher: "If you stand on a corner with a pack of cigarettes or a bottle and have nothing to do in life, I suggest you sit down and think. This is the story of a person who walked a lonely street. I hope this will help someone in the future."  

News coverage in several cities highlighted the evocative metaphor Krolik had chosen to represent his life – a sad walk down "Lonely Street" – in headlines and subheads. The idea neatly summed up something percolating at that moment in America: an inchoate sense of alienation and ennui, particularly among the young, that was about to coalesce and then explode with the rock & roll revolution. 

Krolik, after a token jail stay ordered by a judge who'd been moved by his confession, disappeared from the public eye for nearly two years.

But by early 1955, he was helping to paint murals at a Franciscan monks' mission on the Papago Indian reserve near Tucson, Arizona. The muralist gig seems to have been arranged by the small-time Chicago filmmaker and wrestling impresario Russell Davis. Perhaps he'd befriended Krolik after seeing local news reports about the repentant armed robber, and somehow knew there was a redemptive opportunity for him in the Southwest desert.  Krolik's artistic talent, hinted at in a 1953 Chicago news story in which he claimed to have several canvases "on exhibit in a North Side cocktail lounge," was apparently no fiction. It would later emerge that his work at the Arizona monastery won praise for its quality, and even some interest from a few tourism publications.  But near the end of the summer of '55, Krolik's path in life would lurch sharply back from the sacred to the profane. There was a brief stop at a Tucson gun store to pick up a snub-nosed .38, then a road trip eastward, across the state line into New Mexico, and onward to Texas.

'Odessa American' front page – November 3rd, 1953

On August 20th – just before Durden and Axton must have found their inspiration for "Heartbreak Hotel," which Durden recalled writing that September – Krolik was about to make news again. On a cool Saturday night in El Paso, Texas, Krolik tried to rob a liquor store. He couldn't have picked a worse place in the country to carry out the crime. The 57-year-old owner of the Busy Bee Liquor & Tackle Store, Delta Pinney, had already killed up to eight would-be robbers (there were wildly conflicting body counts) and seriously wounded numerous others. Krolik, wearing a golfer's cap, black T-shirt and moccasins, first asked for a bottle of whiskey. Then he pulled his gun and demanded cash. Using two of the eight loaded pistols he kept "strategically sited" under the counter, Pinney shot Krolik nine times. "I had to kill him," he told the El Paso Herald-Post, "or he might have killed me.  I don't know why I kept shooting after he went down, except he kept wriggling, like he was going to get his gun. I wanted to make sure he didn't get it." Time covered the shooting, which was promptly ruled a "justifiable homicide." The magazine described how Pinney, a former El Paso patrolman, had "coolly mopped blood" while he told police what happened. The article, which conservatively put Pinney's total hit list since 1940 at three dead and eight wounded, presented a disturbing picture of the storekeeper, noting that his first wife had "divorced him because he threatened to shoot her," too. In the Herald-Post, Pinney insisted, "I'm not bloodthirsty." Maybe, if Alvin Krolik knew about Delta Pinney's first-strike approach to retail security in Cold War Texas, this really was a suicide.  

But for music history, here's the crucial point:  Some enterprising journalist made the link between the El Paso shooting and the robber who'd confessed to Chicago cops two years earlier. The miserable conclusion of Krolik's story – his death in a hail of gunfire at the end of his walk down "Lonely Street," the wasted life marked by lost love and fleeting promise – was irresistible stuff. The phrase found its way into stories and headlines about Krolik's death in at least a dozen U.S. newspapers over the next few days in Texas, North Carolina and Alabama.  

More versions of the news item are likely to surface now; somehow the story of Krolik's death must have reached the "Heartbreak Hotel" songwriters in northern Florida. The El Paso Herald-Post's own front-page version, published on August 25th, couldn't have distilled the story more perfectly for Durden and Axton. The upper-left underscored label reads "Killing Ends Heartache." Then the main headline, eerily echoed in the songwriters' accounts of their inspiration, and later in Presley's wailing voice: "Story of Person Who Walked Lonely Street."

'El Paso Herald-Post' front page – August 25th, 1955

The story doesn't appear to have been published in The Miami Herald. But that clue seems like a red herring now, in light of Krolik's emergence from the shadows, along with the multitude of other clippings throughout the Southeast about the man who'd lost his woman, "walked a lonely street," then squandered his life. On the night Krolik was killed in El Paso, Elvis and his band were performing in Shreveport, Louisiana. A few days later, they began a week-long Texas tour with five concert dates across the state in out-of-the-way places such as Gonzales, Conroe and Bryan. "It's hard to believe," 'Last Train' author Guralnick writes about that moment in late August 1955, "that Elvis Presley is poised on the brink of something – stardom, success, a precipice so steep that it must be at least as fearsome as it is inviting." Shown the news stories about Krolik's death, the biographer says he's convinced Elvis' muse has finally been unmasked. "There's no question in my mind that this is the real thing," says Guralnick, adding he's "thrilled" that the probe of old newspapers has "uncovered the truth at last." The Krolik connection is "totally believable – and totally understandable that Mae and Tommy Durden would come across it," adds Guralnick. People naturally reshape their memories of events – "we all do," notes Guralnick – and after taking their spark of inspiration from the news about Krolik, the songwriters "somehow transformed it into the story that stuck." 

In July 1956, with "Heartbreak Hotel" having topped both the pop and country charts and become Presley's first million-selling record – just as Axton had promised – the songwriter was interviewed for a local-girl-makes-good story in the Evening News of Ada, Oklahoma, where Axton had attended college in the 1930s. "Inspiration for the song came when a suicide was committed and a note left, 'I walk a lonely street.' Durden met with Mrs. Axton to discuss the five-word sentence," the Evening News recounted.  "'But think of the heartbreak he left behind,' Mrs. Axton commented. 'Let's put a heartbreak hotel at the end of that lonely street.'" Over the years, Durden and Axton elaborated little on the song's birth. The story always began with Durden spotting the newspaper article one morning at his home in Gainesville, being seized by the phrase a dead man had used to sum up his hollow life – "I walk a lonely street" – then reaching out to Axton, who lived in nearby Jacksonville, for help finishing the song. Another friend, Glen Reeves, agreed to voice the demo in the shaky, rumbling style of Elvis, the budding star in search of a number one. The story held firm for six decades, while interest in the song's origins never waned. The makers of the popular BBC documentary series Tales of Rock 'n' Roll actually concocted an image of what they imagined the Herald story looked like for their 1993 airing of an episode on the history of "Heartbreak Hotel." Elvis aficionados, including Guralnick initially, were intrigued by what seemed like a monumental discovery. Closer analysis, though, revealed fakery in the name of good storytelling. Songfacts.com, the popular website that has a team of writers crafting "the stories behind the songs" in ever-accumulating detail, more recently dispatched researchers to the Miami-Dade library in search of the Herald article, and concluded the whole story of the song's origins is "an urban legend." Now comes Krolik, and questions about the songwriters' story naturally follow. Was there deliberate obfuscation to spare Krolik's family a painful link to a popular song? Was it a bid to better "universalize" an artistic creation by withholding the real man's name and the precise circumstances of his death? Or was it, perhaps, a simple misreading or misremembering by Durden and Axton of the exact source? 

We can't know for certain. Maybe there really was a broken, lovelorn man who "rid himself of his identity," as Axton later remembered it, before taking his own life. Maybe his suicide happened at about the same time Krolik was being shot to death in Texas, and perhaps that nameless man, too, summed up his woeful existence by scrawling the same sorrowful phrase that Krolik had crystallized. Heartbreak Hotel, as Elvis sang, is always crowded. But that seems a stretch. The timing, the phrasing and the hurt at the end of Alvin Krolik's tortured walk down Lonely Street are too coincidental, too distinctive and too compelling. He must be the broken-hearted lover behind the song that shook the world.


At Mitchell Pomper's downtown Chicago insurance office, there's a sort of photographic shrine to his late mother, Agnes. She was an award-winning accordionist as a teenager in the late 1940s and a nightclub entertainer of some renown in the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies. When she died three years ago at age 80, she was remembered fondly in a Chicago Tribune death notice as a woman who "brought laughs and joy to many people with her wonderful wit, humour and musical ability."   

"My mother was gorgeous, you know. Really movie-star beautiful," says Pomper, 58, describing her as an "Elizabeth Taylor lookalike." A black-and-white publicity portrait from the post-war years shows a strikingly attractive, dark-haired woman in a semi-strapless white gown. The fingers of her right hand are spread delicately across the keys of her Imperial piano accordion. There's a nameplate affixed to a panel between the grille and bellows: AGNES.

Agnes Sampson and Alvin Krolik

When his mother died, Pomper sorted through the "huge amount of pictures" she'd accumulated over the years. Among them was a studio portrait of a young man in an open-collared shirt. He's Hollywood handsome: thick lips; piercing, wide-set eyes; dark hair swirling in front and slicked back at the sides. "I knew him as Al Krolik," says Pomper. "My mother was married to him briefly before I was born, didn't talk about him much. He was some kind of criminal – she told me he was killed in a robbery of some sort. Her choice of men was never very good. My father was also a really handsome 'bad-boy' type." 

Agnes married Seymour Pomper in 1955. They eventually divorced, too, in 1976. But when he died last year, the obituary described Agnes as "his first wife and true love." She was, it seems, a hard woman to get over. Agnes Sampson is buried at Waldheim Jewish Cemetery in Chicago's Forest Park suburb. Alvin Krolik is there, too. 

When Elvis launched into "Heartbreak Hotel" with that famous opening line ("Well, since my baby left me …"), Pomper's mother was, in a way, "my baby" – the heartbreaker who started it all. It was Agnes, calling it quits on her month-old marriage in 1953, who sent Alvin Krolik on his fateful trip down Lonely Street, into a Chicago police station, then an El Paso liquor store. And it was Krolik, still "madly" in love with Agnes, whose sad words got into the heads of two Florida songwriters – and rock & roll history. "Really?" says Pomper, after hearing the whole story. "You're kidding." Amazingly, no.


Randy Boswell is a Canadian writer and Carleton University journalism professor. He is a former da.ily news reporter who conducts research using historical newspapers.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Sunday Comments ( 07 - 23 - 16 )

We had a couple of big give-aways last week in Forgotten Hits ...

Congratulations are in order for both Ed Kocjan of Channahon, IL and Bob Verbos of New Berlin, WI ... they both won a pair of tickets to see Bobby Rydell at The Arcada Theatre on November 26th!
(We had a good response to this ... plenty of great seats are still available through the OShows Website:  www.oshows.com ... so we hope to see some of you there!)

Ed says:
Thanks, Kent, for the Bobby Rydell tickets. We have been to the Arcada quite a few times and we will definitely be there for what I know will be a great show by one of the best all around entertainers that is still touring. Bobby has always been a favorite of mine and his version of Volare is in my top five favorite songs of the early 60's.  I loved how that record sounded since the day it came out.  Always enjoy reading your website every time you post it ... you do a fantastic job with it. Being with family and hearing some great music on Thanksgiving weekend is something I'm really looking forward to.  Thanks again.

And Bob adds ...
Kent, I am thrilled. Bobby has always been a favorite of mine yet I have never been able to see him in person.  In fact, Bobby was my first favorite music artist. After all, we share a name! I cannot wait to attend.  Thank you so much.

VERY special thanks are also in order to Ron Onesti, who made this whole thing possible.
As for all you other Bobby fans out there, come out and see the show!!!  (kk)

From Bobby Rydell's Fan Club ...

Hello there:
I would LOVE to be able to take My Mom to see Bobby Rydell at the Arcada! It looks like a great venue!
It IS a great venue, Lana ... so bring Mom out for a great night of entertainment!

Please enter my name into drawing to see Bobby Rydell. I've been a fan since I was ten years old and flew to Vegas to see his show at the Suncoast a couple of years ago.
It would  be wonderful to take a twenty-minute drive to Arcada Theater this time.
BTW, Bobby Rydell's new book is a great read!
Sorry, RoGia, you didn't win the tickets ... but as mentioned above, there are still plenty of great seats available ... so don't miss this opportunity to see the legendary teen idol so close to home!  (kk)

Did you happen to read our interview with Bobby and review of his book?  Scroll back to June 20th and then read forward to catch the whole thing!

And, by the way, there are lots more great Bobby Rydell shows coming up, including several with "The Golden Boys" (featuring Frankie Avalon and Fabian) ... as well as some other VERY interesting "package" shows ... that one at Proctor's Theatre with our other FH Buddies Freddy Cannon and Lou Christie should be a GREAT show!!!  (kk)

August 6 - Rose Music Center - Huber Heights, Ohio - Golden Boys
September 16 - Eastside Cannery Casino- Las Vegas, NV - Bobby Rydell
September 24 - Tropicana Events Plaza - Evansville, IN - Golden Boys
October 1 - Westbury Music Fair - Westbury, NY - Golden Boys
October 2 - American Music Theater - Lancaster, PA - Golden Boys 
October 15 - Wildwoods Convention Center - Wildwood, NJ - Bobby Rydell,  Little Anthony & The Imperials and Shirley Alston Reeves
November 5 - Proctor's Theatre - Schenectady, NY - Bobby Rydell, Darlene Love, Lou Christie & Freddie Cannon
November 11 - Sands Casino - Bethlehem, PA - Golden Boys
November 12 - Golden Nugget - Atlantic City, NJ - Golden Boys 
January 13, 2017 - Seminole Casino at Coconut Creek - Coconut Creek, FL - Golden Boys
January 14 - Van Wezel Performing Arts Center - Sarasota, FL - Golden Boys
January 15 - Ruth Eckerd Hall - Clearwater, FL - Golden Boys
February 4 - Spotlight 29 Casino - Coachella, CA - Golden Boys
March 4 - Seneca Allegany Casino - Salamanca, NY - Golden Boys 
And be sure to check the website as new shows are being added all the time:

Congratulations are ALSO in order for Mark Haft of Colonie, NY, who won a copy of Joel Whitburn's brand new book "Top Pop Singles, 1955 - 2015" ... an absolutely MAMMOTH edition spotlighting EVERY record to make The Billboard Singles chart for that incredible sixty year period (along with the listing of EVERY B-Side for each charted record ... plus tons of other "classic hit" recordings by these same artists) ... the most COMPLETE pop history available anywhere.
(and save ten bucks if you order before July 31st)

Thanks again to Joel Whitburn for your on-going support of Forgotten Hits ... it means a lot ... and we just LOVE being able to give away these collectible treasures to our readers!  (kk)

Speaking of Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles ...

>>>I had the privilege of being back on Ron Gerber’s excellent Crap From The Past radio show this past Friday night (July 8).  We played and discussed some forgotten hits from 1979, including the most forgotten one of all-time!  For 37 years NOBODY (including Joel Whitburn) could find a copy of “Ready ‘N’ Steady” by D.A.  That is, until Record Research finally cracked the case!  Here’s a link to the Wikipedia article on the song: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ready_%27n%27_Steady  
Here’s a link to the radio show (the D.A. segment starts at the 44 minute mark): https://archive.org/details/cftp-2016-07-08  (Paul Haney / Record Research)
Wow! This should have been your lead story! Congratulations Joel Whitburn on the successful completion of your 37 year quest, verifying the existence of "Ready 'N' Steady" by D.A., the "Holy Grail"of forgotten oldies, and even getting a copy of the song!  This means that every record on the Billboard pop charts has finally been accounted for.  Even with tens of thousands of records in your collection, there's must be no thrill like acquiring that last item to make the collection complete.  
In my search for Chicago area hits I've had several "Holy Grail" songs myself.  With the WLS charts it was "Manhunt" by Richard Maltby,  WCFL was "I Fall To You" by Bob Morrison, and WJJD was "Be A Lover" by the Dana Sisters.  Right now I'm looking for songs from the pre-1956 Billboard Chicago regional charts, and pre-1951 Chicago sales, jukebox and disk jockey charts from Variety and Cash Box.  So far the elusive one is "Lover's Gold" by Gene Williams on Mercury which is listed on some Variety and Cash Box Chicago disk jockey charts from June 1949.  I can find versions by other artists that were released about the same time.  I can find other records by Gene Williams on Mercury, but no mention of this recording anywhere other than these disk jockey charts. Since these charts list no label number I wonder if it was ever released other than to disk jockeys. The person who had the only known copy of "Ready 'N' Steady" in existence had no idea that there was an intense search for this song.  This gives me hope.  If a song exists at all, somebody out there has it and it will be found eventually. 
Ed Erxleben
And a reminder to all us survey geeks out there, the first ever survey collectors show is taking place in Kansas City, Missouri, on September 10th.  Scroll back to our posting from last Sunday's Comments Page for all the details:  http://forgottenhits60s.blogspot.com/2016/07/the-sunday-comments-07-17-16.html

Beatles News  
Big news for Beatles fans last week as Apple Corporation announced the upcoming release of the "Live At The Hollywood Bowl" concerts on CD. 
Technology being what it was at the time ... and uncontrollable screaming fans being what they were at the time ... the quality of these recordings has always been somewhat limited at best ... but Producer Giles Martin (George's son) along with Engineer Sam Okell have cleaned up the existing tracks to the best of today's modern ability ... and three bonus tracks are even being added to the original LP line-up first released in 1977. 
The track list is as follows:    
Twist and Shout [30 August, 1965] / She's A Woman [30 August, 1965] / Dizzy Miss Lizzy [30 August, 1965 / 29 August, 1965 - one edit] / Ticket To Ride [29 August, 1965] / Can't Buy Me Love [30 August, 1965] / Things We Said Today [23 August, 1964] / Roll Over Beethoven [23 August, 1964] / Boys [23 August, 1964] / A Hard Day's Night [30 August, 1965] / Help! [29 August, 1965] / All My Loving [23 August, 1964] / She Loves You [23 August, 1964] / Long Tall Sally [23 August, 1964] / You Can't Do That [23 August, 1964 - previously unreleased] / I Want To Hold Your Hand [23 August, 1964 - previously unreleased] / Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby [30 August, 1965 - previously unreleased] / Baby's In Black [30 August, 1965 - previously unreleased] The CD is scheduled for release on September 9th, which should coincide nicely with the release of the new Ron Howard Film "The Beatles - Eight Days A Week:  The Touring Years", which comes out here in The States the following week.

Meanwhile, celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the first British Album Chart, they announced the Top Ten Album Artists of All-Time last week ... and, topping that chart is none other than Paul McCartney, who ranks first with 22 #1 Albums (15 with The Beatles and 7 solo outings:  two with Wings, one as Paul and Linda McCartney and four solo sets).  By the way, Paul also tops the list with a total of 191 weeks in the #1 position between those 15 chart-toppers, including The Beatles' first LP, "Please Please Me" which went to #1 in 1963 and STILL holds the record for the most weeks spent at #1 with 30.

In fact, all four former Beatles hold the top four positions on the chart with The Beatles themselves tying for the #4 spot with their 15 group albums.  (John Lennon came in second with three solo chart-toppers, followed by George Harrison with two ... Ringo never officially had a #1 Album in the UK, so he ties The Beatles for the #4 spot, which also includes Robbie Williams with 15 #1 Albums, including four with Take That and eleven as a solo artist.) 
Rounding out The Top Ten are Elvis Presley, Madonna, Phil Collins and David Bowie.

The original demo of The Beatles "It's For You" has been found ... and will soon be auctioned off.  (This is one of those songs they "gave away", this time to Cilla Black, who scored at Top Ten Hit with it in 1964). 
FH Reader Frank B has all the details here ... and comments: 
The demo will be auctioned off ... another gem, we can't afford.http://radio.com/2016/07/22/the-beatles-demo-its-for-you-found/

Speaking of songs The Beatles gave away, we recently came across a full length version of "Bad To Me".  (We've had a very short snippet of this track in our collection for years ... but this is the first time I've ever heard the full-length version)
The video, of course, comes from the "If I Fell" scene in "A Hard Day's Night" ... but the music is pure Beatles.

We'll be interviewing Billy J. Kramer soon in Forgotten Hits ... gotta ask him about this one!  (kk)

Donald Trump's come under quite a bit of fire lately for using songs in his campaign without the authorized permission of the artists to do so.  In addition to similar complaints by artists ranging from Queen to The O'Jays to Earth, Wind And Fire, another one that cropped up last week was The Beatles' classic "Here Comes The Sun".  While the Harrison Estate criticized the unauthorized use of the song, they did so with a bit of humor, suggesting that perhaps George's solo track "Beware Of Darkness" may have been more appropriate.  (kk)

Heath Watch
Leon Russell suffered a heart attack last week and is resting in stable condition in a Nashville Hospital awaiting surgery.  Leon is slated for two appearances at The City Winery at the end of October ... no official word yet as to whether or not those shows will be cancelled or rescheduled ... dates through August and September were announced as cancelled to be rescheduled at a later time.

Gary Rossington of Lynyrd Skynyrd was also rushed to the hospital last week after suffering chest pains.  He, too, underwent emergency surgery for heart blockage.  Just a week before Lynyrd Skynyrd member Johnny Van Zandt was hospitalized for bronchitis. 

Lewie Steinberg, original bassist for Booker T and the MG's, passed away after a long bout with cancer last week ... he was 82.

Bonnie Brown (youngest sister of The Browns) passed away on July 16th.

Where Have All The Pop Stars Gone
Last week we told you about the latest edition in the on-going series of Pop Star Profiles put together by Jeff March and Marti Smiley-Childs, available now thru the EditPros website ... http://editpros.com/bookshelf/WHATPSG_Vol_3.html
Jeff fills us in with an overview of the contents of this latest chapter in the series ...

Good morning, Kent,
Thank you for mentioning the new book to your readers ... we hope you enjoy reading it.
Here is an overview for you:
Authors Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March have documented surprising changes in the careers of 105 singers and musicians who recorded hit songs between the late 1950s and '90s. Your insurance agent, hair stylist or attorney, the tile setter who replaced your bathroom floor, the bartender who served drinks to you, and the wholesale rep who distributed alcoholic beverages to the bar all could have been former hit singers and musicians who once performed before thousands of adoring, screaming fans. During the past 19 years, Childs and March learned of those and numerous other occupational shifts while researching and writing four authorized biographical books about the lives of pop music performers.
Their newest book, "Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone" Volume 3," describes in intimate detail the childhood backgrounds, youthful aspirations and life changes that Anne Murray, B.J. Thomas, Billy Joe Royal, and members of the bands Three Dog Night, Love, the Standells and the Atlanta Rhythm Section underwent.
• Atlanta Rhythm Section bass player Paul Goddard, for example, who Rolling Stone magazine once heralded for one of the top five rock bass solos ever recorded, left music in the late 1980s and became a retail stereo equipment salesman, then a software tester and help desk representative for a school supplies company.
• Standells and Love bass player John Fleckenstein became a camera operator and director of photography in the film industry, in which his achievements included filming the climactic scene in which hazmat-suited workers apprehended E.T. in the 1982 motion picture "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial."
• Three Dog Night drummer Floyd Sneed opened his own barbecued chicken and ribs restaurant, in which he cooked using his own recipes.
• Michael Stuart-Ware, drummer for the band Love, became a telephone cable and equipment installer in Los Angeles, then later with his wife operated a food catering business at Lake Tahoe.
• Standells leader and keyboard player Larry Tamblyn shifted to producing children's story recordings, then became a division manager for an electronics and musical equipment distributor.
• Rodney Justo, the original lead singer for the Atlanta Rhythm Section, became a sales rep and then sales manager for one of the nation's largest wholesale alcoholic beverage distributors.
Collectively, 105 performers held 160 jobs other than performing or recording music after stepping away from the spotlight, according to the index that Childs and March compiled through their extensive conversations with singers and musicians during the past two decades.
Many performers interrupted other intended careers to take a chance on the music business.
• Grammy-Award winning singer Anne Murray already had embarked on a career as a high school physical education teacher before being persuaded to take time off to record an album.
• Singer B.J. Thomas, another multiple Grammy winner, had intended to enter either seminary school or his father's air conditioning installation business.
• Atlanta Rhythm Section guitarist J.R. Cobb was well on his way to becoming a journeyman steelworker.
• Singer Chuck Negron of the multiple award-winning band Three Dog Night was on course for a pro basketball career until a recording contract lured him off the court.
Some performers reluctantly left music seeking other kinds of work simply to earn a steady income. Others pursued different fields that they believed would be more personally rewarding or would enable them to better serve humanity.
Childs and March collaborated with the performers, their family members, managers and friends, who took part in refining the content of the book to ensure accuracy. The performers entrusted Childs and March to describe poignant, sometimes painful aspects of their lives.
Each of the seven chapters in "Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? Volume 3" begins with an introductory essay recounting the hit-making achievements of each soloist or band with an accompanying discography, then is subdivided into "epilogues" about the lives of each of the performers. The book contains 98 photos, 33 of which are rare or never previously published. 
"Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? Volume 3" is historically significant. Three of the people whom Childs and March interviewed for the book have since died -- one of them only two months after conversing with the authors. "Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? -- Volume 3" is available in print and e-book editions in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, through bookstores and online sellers.
The book, crafted as a caring tribute, offers fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpses into the lives of these talented people who attained great popularity. Readers are invited to join the conversation about the book at http://www.facebook.com/WHATPSG on the Web.
ORDERING INFORMATION: http://www.editpros.com/bookshelf/WHATPSG_Vol_3.html (available in paperback as well as e-book versions for Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Apple iPad and Kobo Reader).
Our first book, as you probably know, was "Echoes of the Sixties," published in 1999; we subsequently wrote the three volumes of "Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone?" As for what's next, Kent, we have about a half-dozen books in the queue that we will be editing and publishing for other authors. That will keep us occupied for at least the next 12 months or perhaps longer. Marti and I began work on "Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? Volume 3" in September 2013, so the time span between initiating contact with performers and publication was two years, 9 months. We do not yet know what our next book may be, but we're content to take a break from writing for a while.  :-)
Keep on rockin'!
-- Jeff, with regards from Marti
I've got the complete collection and they're always a fascinating read.  Thanks, Jeff ... readers can use the links above to pick up your own copies today!  (kk)

Eric Burdon
Kent ...
You mentioned Eric Burdon the other day.  
I just happened to find this clip.
It seems like Mike Douglas and his co-host are uncomfortable interviewing Eric. They never seem to know what to ask him!
Frank B.
We're still hoping to catch Eric's show when he appears at The City Winery in September.  Would LOVE to do a review of that for Forgotten Hits!  (kk)

Happy Anniversary!
"The Wild Angels" film was released 50 years ago this month (7-20-66) and the soundtrack hit it's peak (#17 in the nation) on 10-15-66.
Davie Allan

Hi Kent, 
Hope all's well in your world.  I may have been largely silent as a correspondent lately, but I never miss an edition of Forgotten Hits. 
Here's a brief review of Me-TV FM by radio pundit Sean Ross that hit my inbox today: https://radioinsight.com/blog/blogs/107340/ross-on-radioinsight-fresh-listen-chicagos-metv-fm/
First and foremost, any programming that deviates from the over-consulted, cookie-cutter formats that have ruined the medium is welcomed by me, even if it's a novelty rather than a sound, viable format with legs.  But I've gotta say, based on the brief playlist exampled here by Sean, Me-TV FM comes across as strange and boring.  Several of these tracks are oddities.  How typical is this of the format these days? 
It continues to baffle me that the powers-that-be in radio see so little value in a deep-'60s / early-'70s format, with smartly curated '50s chestnuts tossed in, too.  I understand that the 55-plus demographic is not the most coveted by advertisers.  But there are so many of us.  And we do spend money. 
You or I or a majority of FH readers, I suspect, could program a killer format that -- within 90 days -- would start to prove itself viable in the marketplace. 
Scott Paton
As we have said from the beginning, when they get it right, it's the best station on the radio today ... the problem is they continue to send conflicting message to their audience ... promising "Timeless And Memorable Music" as their slogan and then playing some of the most obscure, unrecognizable album tracks by artists who weren't known for having their album tracks played on the radio at the time ... Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, John Denver, James Taylor, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra ... most of which are IMMEDIATE button pushers ... the BIGGEST risk in radio today in that once you change the channel, it may be awhile before you come back ... if you DO come back.
Readers have written in that "you'll hear some GREAT, forgotten hits on this station ... but you'll NEVER hear three or four great songs in a row ... they ALWAYS have to mess it up by playing one of these tracks that nobody cares about."
I don't know if I'd go THAT far ... but I have tried to communicate with the powers that be over there that they risk losing the lion's share of their audience every time the stray from the format.
On the plus side, even when they DO lose a handle on it, most listeners come back because on a song-for-song basis, it's still the best variety and selection on the dial.
What is also hurting them is the fact that they don't stream ... Me-TV-FM is Chicago's best-kept secret as far as the rest of the world is concerned and that's a shame ... as I believe (and have been expressing for over seventeen years now) that people DO remember more than the same 200-300 same songs other radio stations force-feed us all day long ... and will respond to a selection like this.
I've suggested even "cloning" the station in other markets ... but the response I always get is "we want to get it right in Chicago first".  The problem there is that they really haven't done much to improve the balance of legitimate "timeless and memorable music" with the other stuff that 98% of their listeners don't really care about.  (They claim to have a playlist of over 3000 songs ... there is NO reason to feature music most listeners can't identify with when there are still 3000 OTHER great songs that they WILL respond to that you could be featuring instead!)
I have offered to help out with weekend theme-programming but this, too, has fallen on deaf ears.  With no live jocks on the air ... more commercials than ever (a necessary evil, I know ... but we got spoiled there for most of the first year with barely any) ... and too many repeats or songs by the same artists (James Taylor and Gordon Lightfoot immediately come to mind), there is plenty of room for improvement.
My hope was the station would be the leader in a new trend of creative programming sorely lacking in radio for decades now ... but they seem to be happy with where they're at, rather than looking for new ways to improve the mix.  Too bad ... they are SO close to being a GREAT radio station ... and should be setting the benchmark for other stations to follow.  (Of course we'd ALSO love to see ourselves proven right after all these years of promoting the OTHER Top 40 Hits that the rest of radio has seem to have forgotten!)  kk

Sean Ross' full text is shown below ...

Fresh Listen - Chicago's Me-TV-FM  
For those of us not in Chicago, WRME-LP (Me-TV-FM) arrived, literally, as an intriguing station. Me-TV-FM didn’t stream its programming, and still doesn’t. Local press reports were nebulous — I couldn’t really translate the station as I heard it described into understandable programming terms. Was it an older oldies station? A supersoft AC along the lines of those in Miami and (at the time) San Diego? AM-style MOR? It couldn’t really be all those things?
When I finally heard Me-TV-FM, it was, of course, all of those things. There were the sort of ‘60s oldies that had disappeared from most of today’s Classic / Greatest Hits stations. There were ‘70s pop songs far softer than anything played in WFEZ (Easy 93) Miami or the former KIFM San Diego. The new station also had an “oh wow” factor that went far beyond those stations and cheerfully into the territory of “songs that don’t test.”
Me-TV-FM’s intrigue was also because it wasn’t listed in the published ratings for a while. You could tell it was having an impact on the battle between WLS-FM and WJMK (K-Hits 104.3), just because the traditional classic hits shares went down. It also seemed to hurt WDRV (the Drive). That station is now a mainstream classic rocker, but it launched many years ago a soft classic hits outlet with some singer/songwriter music, as well as a similarly earnest presentation. We now know Me-TV-FM’s own 6-plus share to be a 1.8.
I’ve heard Me-TV-FM three times now. Under PD Rick O’Dell, who arrived last fall, it seems to have gravitated a little bit to the supersoft AC side, with an emphasis on the ‘70s, although the ‘60s oldies aren’t gone. Even with the recent fascination over Kenny Loggins / Pablo Cruise-style yacht rock, a lot of the AC ‘70s is truly lost. “Oh wow” songs are few and far between for me, but there were two within the first four songs I heard on Me-TV-FM. O’Dell is also fleshing out the station and doing more with the imaging possibilities inherent in a station called “Me-TV-FM.” As part of the “Summer of Me,” the station has added not just a Saturday night disco show called “Dance With Me,” but a 6-9 p.m. show called “Yacht Rock Saturday Night.” 

Here’s Me-TV FM on July 6 before 10:30 pm: 
  • Neil Diamond, “September Morn”
  • Barbara Mandrell, “(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right”
  • Bee Gees, “Jive Talkin’”
  • John Denver, “How Can I Leave You Again” — this was preceded by a hook promo saying that other stations might play a few John Denver songs, but Me-TV-FM plays more of the Denver catalog. But it’s hard to imagine who in major-market FM radio still plays any John Denver, much less in Chicago.
  • Jim Croce, “I Got A Name”
  • Skylark, “Wildflower”
  • Peter, Paul & Mary, “Puff, The Magic Dragon”
  • Tony Orlando & Dawn, “Knock Three Times”
  • Michael McDonald, “Sweet Freedom” 
  • Four Tops, “Ain’t No Woman (Like The One I’ve Got)”
  • Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66, “Pretty World”
  • Temptations, “Just My Imagination”
  • Gary Lewis & the Playboys, “This Diamond Ring”
  • Spandau Ballet, “True”
  • England Dan & John Ford Coley, “Long Way Home” – preceded by a promo promising to surprise you with songs you might have forgotten about.
  • Four Seasons, “December 1963 (Oh What A Night)”
Seeing this article prompted O’Dell to send in a daytime log, which has more of the station’s lost ‘60s component, but similar eclecticism. Here’s his hour of Me-TV-FM at Noon: 
  • Dave Mason, “We Just Disagree”
  • Gary Lewis & the Playboys, “Sure Gonna Miss Her”
  • Nat King Cole, “Unforgettable”
  • Steely Dan, “Hey Nineteen”
  • Malo, “Suavecito”
  • Eric Carmen, “Change of Heart”
  • Gloria Gaynor, “I Will Survive”
  • Poppy Family, “That’s Where I Went Wrong”
  • Cornelius Bros. & Sister Rose, “Too Late To Turn Back Now”
  • Anne Murray, “You Needed Me”
  • Simon & Garfunkel, “America”
  • Jackie Wilson, “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher”
  • Arlo Guthrie, “City of New Orleans”
  • Bill Withers, “Use Me”
  • Vogues, “Five O’Clock World”
  • Jennifer Warnes, “Rock You Gently”
  • Dan Fogelberg, “Missing You”
  • Simply Red, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”
Another great feature of Me-TV-FM is that they also regularly feature songs by our "local heroes" who dominated the charts here in Chicago in the '60's and '70's like The Cryan' Shames, The Buckinghams, The Ides Of March, The New Colony Six and others ... songs that didn't have quite the same impact on the national charts but were part of our daily diet growing up here listening to WLS and WCFL.
A lot of this can be attributed to Ron Smith's Chicagoland Top 40 Chart Books, which they seem to consult on a daily basis.  (Really 'though ... I've heard about as much Steve Goodman and Bonnie Koloc music as I think I need to hear for the rest of my lifetime ... again, stick to the hits!!!)  kk

This And That 
Hey Kent,
Jeez!! I try to proof these things, but I left out the "t" in Marty Robbins' name, referring to the song, "El Paso". I hope your readers got a good laugh out of wondering who MARY Robbins is!
In the meantime, I'll try to see if there really was a singer named Mary Robbins!
Turns out there WAS a singer named Mary Robbins! She was a jazz vocalist and mother of actor Tim Robbins. Can't find the link of the full story. Oh well. Now we know. This helps cover my little ass!
Have a good weekend, Kent. 
- John LaPuzza

Hola Kent,
On vacation in Santa Cruz and I can't get Joanie Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" (pave paradise put up a parking lot lyric) out of my head.
Relaxing and reading your Blog and back issues, especially your top 50 Garage Band Listing.  I couldn't help but think it could have an addition that came perhaps a few years after the "Garage Band Era" but one that I feel is a Garage Band style classic, Exile's "I Want To Kiss You All Over" and, although The Box Tops were also a commercial success, their "Sweet Cream  Ladies" deserves at tip of the hat somewhere.
One note of trivia ... The Standells "Dirty Water" has a slightly deeper connection with Boston.  
My Senior Class song in 1963 was "Let's Go" by the Routers.  When researching the song for one of our reunions, I discovered that two band members from that group became part of The Standells.
Wow, was it fun to discover the connection ... we must have had an 'ear' for talent.
Side note: "Let's Go" was our second choice since the faculty didn't condone the lyrics of our first choice (sorry, but I forgot what it was). 
This was a road trip down the coast from Portland, Oregon, all the while listening to an Ipod with over 1500 Oldies from 55 - 69 with a few favorites from post 70. What an escape from the mess our great country is in now, it reminds me how very fortunate our generation was.
Keep up the great work and thanks.
Rock on,
Well, if it was 1963, there's a good chance it could have been "Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen ... almost EVERYBODY had a problem with THOSE lyrics!  (lol)
I'm not finding any connection between The Standells and The Routers ...
Joel Whitburn's book lists Guitarists Mike Gordon and Al Kait, Lynn Frasier (on horns), Scott Engel on bass and Randy Viers on drums for The Routers ... and Dick Dodd (former Mouseketeer vocals, drums), Larry Tamblyn (guitar), Tom Valentino (guitar) and Gary Lane (bass).  Although Boston has adopted "Dirty Water" as their official song, the group actually hailed from Los Angeles.
Our Garage Band Listing comes up quite frequently ... which reminds me ...
Don't forget about the Jimy Sohns / Shadows Of Knight reunion, coming up on August 20th at HOME - House of Music and Entertainment - in Arlington Heights, IL .. right back where it all started way back when!  (kk)

Glenn Shorrock, original lead singer and founding member of the REAL Little River Band, has just completed a solo album, scheduled for release in early September.  There's been nothing but bad press of late surrounding the current touring version of The Little River Band which contains NO original members but owns the legal rights to the use of the name.  (Type in Little River Band into our website search engine and you'll find DOZENS of entries about this!)
SO great to hear that Glenn has been back in the studio creating new music again!  
In fact, if you go to Glenn's webpage and sign up for his newsletter, you'll receive a free download of one of the tracks from the new LP!  
Here's the link:  http://glennshorrock.com/   (kk)

kk - 
Outstanding as always! 
Will you be attending the Doo-Wop show at the Arcada in late August? It could prove historic for my Iconic Guitar. It's likely I'll be capturing signature number 100! Then I'll officially "retire" it. 
Hope you'll be there and hope we finally have an opportunity to meet. 
God Bless,' 
Jim Nowoc 
We hadn't planned on attending, but Frannie's the big doo-wop fan so I'll defer to her on this one.  
Folks interested can catch Joey Dee and the Starliters, Danny and the Juniors and Terry Johnson's Flamingos.  Just visit the Arcada Online Box Office at www.oshows.com!