Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Sunday Comments (12 - 21-14)

re:  The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame:  
Here's the list of this year's inductees ... they don't get much better than this.  Lou Reed's already in as a member of The Velvet Underground who had, at best, a cult following.  Lou himself had exactly ONE hit record.  Bill Withers?  I love the guy ... but they couldn't think of ANYBODY who rocked harder than this guy did to put into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame?  (The Moody Blues?  The Guess Who?  Chicago?  The Turtles?  Paul Revere and the Raiders?  Tommy James and the Shondells?  Freddy Cannon?  Chubby Checker?)  It's not that I feel these are worthy (or MORE worthy) contenders ... I mean, how COULD they be???  None of THESE artists have ever even so much as made the ballot!!!  Why would anybody in their right mind even consider inducting one of THESE acts ... when they can induct Lou Reed and Ringo Starr TWICE instead???  Just remember ... THEY know music ... and YOU ... WE ... don't!!! (kk)  

Bill Withers and Lou Reed are among the 2015 inductees into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, announced Tuesday (December 16), along with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Green Day, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Joan Jett. The "5" Royales will be enshrined as an early influence and Ringo Starr (already in the Hall as a Beatle) is being honored for musical excellence. Enshrinement will take place April 8 in Cleveland.  
In addition, the Hall has added 15 singles and 12 albums to raise the number of recordings honored to 987. The list includes "Big Girls Don't Cry" from the Four Seasons, Bobby Fuller's "I Fought The Law," "Rescue Me" from Fontella Bass, "Sixty Minute Man" by the Dominoes, "Tell It Like It Is" from Aaron Neville, Alice Cooper's "School's Out" and "Dancing Queen" by ABBA.   
-- Ron Smith  

It's called The Rock And Roll Hall Of FAME ...  
NOT the Hall of Rolling Stone Magazine's favorites.  
Whatever you like or don't like about Heart, Journey, etc., aren't they much more famous than Lou Reed? 
Rich Klein 
It's not about how "famous" you are ... or how many hit records you had ... or how many records you sold ... the whole concept behind this organization when it was founded was rewarding the most INFLUENTIAL artists ... those who took rock and roll to new avenues and new levels of popularity.  That's why artists like Bill Withers and The 5 Royales are being recognized .... just THINK of the impact and changes THESE guys had on the face of rock and roll.  It's why Joan Jett gets a nod while Fanny, the first all-girl rock group to successfully burst upon the scene, have been COMPLETELY forgotten about.  It's why Chubby Checker ... who ignited a national dance craze ... TWICE ... and is the ONLY artist in rock and roll history to top the charts ... TWICE ... with the same record (in addition to having over two dozen OTHER hits) ... DOESN'T get a nod ... but The Paul Butterfield Blues Band ... who had exactly ZERO records make the chart ... gets in instead. 
And, as I've said SO many times before, this is NOT a slam against any one particular artist ... it's not that The Paul Butterfield Blues Band aren't deserving ... they are ... behind about 875 OTHER artists who have been COMPLETELY ignored by The Rock Hall for the past 30+ years.  They shouldn't get in at the expense of these HUNDREDS of OTHER artists still waiting their turn, overlooked for DECADES now (or, as we like to call them "Deserving And Denied"!!!)  For God's sake THE CHIPMUNKS have done more for the advancement and popularity of rock and roll than these guys have!!!  (kk)    

Whenever I hear some of my beloved music, like a few Paul Revere & Raiders tunes, I cannot help but think of those (I'm not alone in this) who "should be" in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. I do this to myself now and then. I love the Raiders' music, and still run sad when a tune comes on, Paul comes up in conversation. So, thought I'd make a complete ass of myself and think out-loud to Forgotten Hits, see if my brain is leaking before I begin assembling a mighty social media / tweeting campaign.
Rolling Stone mag (that bit of half ads / half snobbish content ... or Jann Werner for that matter) has its lists of top 500 best rock tunes. Would it not be stunning were the clubbable (and sometimes curiously chartered) R&RHoF were to issue an "official" list of individual rock tunes, say top 500 like RS of all time? This might allow some rock luminaries, and their hits (until now unfit for recognition), an opportunity for recognized as deserved. Rolling Stone magazine lists The Zombies' "She's Not There" at #297, of all time 500 top rock hits. The Zombies however, not in the club, of course.
Would we-the-people, in a sincere, dedicated, and substantial effort bring this concept to the "Hall", to Werner and his evil minions, for serious consideration?  The 500 best rock tunes ... EVER. The Zombies, Todd Rundgren, The Doobie Brothers, Jethro Tull, The Monkees, Paul Revere & the Raiders, Carole King (as a performer), Chicago (not yet ... seriously?), and The Moody Blues (stop me before I go on for God's sake), just might get a bit of recognition they bloody well deserve from the highest "Hall". Seems like fun for everyone, Hall members as well? 
So Kent, have I a screw loose in this matter, or does the effort have any merit in your mind (which I respect tremendously), and fellow readers?  
All the best to FH readers and families.  
Happy peaceful and healthy holiday and 2015 to all. 
Ron Kolman
Rolling Stone ... I mean The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ... wouldn't even CONSIDER a spot for The Monkees in their hallowed hall ... yet they'll do an exhibit on the group INSIDE the Hall of Fame Museum ... or they'll plaster their picture all over their publication (for newsworthy items like Davy Jones' death and Mike Nesmith's return to the fold), if it'll help sell magazines or generate web hits.  It just goes to show you what you're REALLY dealing with here (much like your Zombies example).  Most of us gave up on this organization (and flat out stopped caring) YEARS ago ... because NOTHING we say or do will ever change anything.  The groups that meant the most to us (even if it just meant creating "feel good" rock and roll like The Raiders and The Hermits and The Turtles and The Shondells) are continuously ignored and denied recognition for their invaluable contribution ... because the know-it-all nominating committe at The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame recognizes the fact that MOST of America is walking around humming and singing songs by noted inductees like Bonnie Raitt, Bill Withers, Percy Sledge and Leonard Cohen instead.  (Right???)  Afrika Bambaataa has made the ballot numerous times ... as has NWA (Niggaz with Attitude) ... and I'll be damned if I can't get all of THEIR songs out of my head all day long.  (Truth be told, I couldn't name one ... or hum one ... if you dangled a million dollars in front of me!!!)  Such is the Hall as it currently exists ... and there's absolutely nothing we can do about it ... so why even bother to care?
I read a quote the other day about a former baseball player who was able to keep a level head by not letting ANYTHING bother him. 
His philosophy was very simple:  I don't worry about the things I can't control ... because I can't control those things ... so why worry about them?  They're beyond my control.  
I don't worry about the things I CAN control ... because I can control those things ... they're within the realm of what I can control ... so why worry about them?  
What's left?  That leaves absolutely NOTHING to worry about!
(Man, I wish I could do that!!!)
I just find it degrading and insulting that so many of these GREAT artists have been snubbed, overlooked and denied for so long.  FAR too many inducted artists didn't get their due until they were already dead and gone ... yet this doesn't seem to bother The Rock Hall people at all.  Truthfully, it sickens me.  (kk)  

UPDATE: By the way, The Complete Columbia Singles Collection by Paul Revere and the Raiders is getting a MAJOR overhaul, quality enhancement.  Vintage Vinyl News is reporting that Friday Music has taken over with a complete remastering of the tracks from the original singles masters.  (The 3-CD set was originally released through Collectors Choice Music.)  Mark Lindsay even helped pen some new liner notes.  Watch for this one to hit the marketplace on February 10th. 

So Ringo Starr claims he didn't realize that he was the only Beatle NOT inducted in The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame as a solo artist.  (Gee, I guess HE doesn't care about the results either!!!)  Paul McCartney, when asked by Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, said his favorite Ringo solo tracks are "Back Off Boogaloo" (reportedly written ABOUT McCartney!!!) and "It Don't Come Easy". 

Speaking of The Beatles, here's a cool little video being circulated by Beatles Historian Bruce Spizer, that FH Reader Clark Besch sent to us ...




Pretty cool ... and neat to see such young girls putting this whole thing together ... but they should have put Paul and George closer together so they could share a mic on the background vocals!  (kk)  

re:  OK, Now THIS Sounds Really Cool!:  
Hi Kent, 
Thought I’d spread the word that starting this Sunday, the 21st, at 6 pm Eastern, RewoundRadio.com, home of the annual I.R.S. (“It Really Shoulda” been a Top 10 hit!”) Top 104, premieres “That Thing with Rich Appel.”
It’s three hours of hits, both forgotten and not, live from the soon-to-be-legendary Chestnut Cabaret, including fun features such as “A Year in an Hour,” “The World’s Shortest Countdown,” “Revisionist History,” “Needles & Spins,” plus whatever else we come up with.
I hope you'll join me for this new adventure. I promise you radio as it used to be … and never was.
And join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ThatThingRichAppel
- Rich Appel
Entertaining Radio?  What a concept!!!  We're there!  (kk)  

re:  This And That:    
Hi Kent, 
I was wondering if you ever did a "piece" on Vince Vance and the Valiants for their song - All I Want for Xmas??  Great song and wonder if the Cruisin' Chet Coppock knows that song? 
Bob Morrow  
It IS a great song ... and a great version of it, too ... yet NOT one you typically hear here in Chicago for some reason.  (VERY big in other areas ... Texas in particular.  In New York I think they play the Johnny Maestro version instead.)  Here in Chicago we seem to be fed the same 25-30 songs again and again and again ... 24/7 during the six weeks before the holiday ... enough to drive you crazy.  Some young 30 year old guy at work the other day was lamenting how, as if terrestrial radio wasn't bad enough already with its 200 song play list, it's all that much worse during the holidays when that list is pared down to about 20 or 25.  At 30, he has already declared that he doesn't EVER need to hear Paul McCartney or John Lennon sing a Christmas song again.  Good luck, buddy ... you're going to be stuck with these two for as long as you live!  (kk)

By the way, I asked Chet if he had any special memories or affection for this Vince Vance track ... and he said:     
Hey Kent, 
I believe I have heard the Vince Vance number ... really didn't resonate ... However, I have heard Jingle Bell Rock 24,000 times!  
Happy Holidays ... 
Chester  
LOL ... I know what you mean.  For me this year it's been "Holly Jolly Christmas" ... I swear I turn that song of fifteen times a day, every single day!  (kk)  

BY THE WAY:  I heard Scott Shannon feature the Vince Vance track as part of his new "America's Greatest Hits" syndicated radio program Saturday Morning ... one of HIS all-time favorite Christmas tunes, too! 

Speaking of great Christmas songs, did you watch Darlene Love's farewell performance on The David Letterman Show?  After all the hype it seemed rather anti-climatic to me ... she's done the song for 20-something years (and always KILLS with her performance) but knowing that this was going to be the very last time she performed it on Dave's show, I guess I just expected a little more fanfare ... surprise musical guests ... more than a one minute interview ... that sort of thing.  She's been part of a long-standing Christmas tradition on a program that has lasted decades. (Instead, we got the mega-long version of Jay Thomas telling his tired Lone Ranger story again for the thousandth time ... what the hell was the point of that???) 

Anyway our Canadian Neighbor Warren Cosford had a few things to say on the subject prior to its airing.  (I'm wondering what he's thinking about it now!)  And the compilation clip is pretty cool to commemorate the event.  Read on ... 

To send Love, Letterman, and the whole tradition on its way, CBS put together a video compilation of the 28-year tradition. Watch it after Letterman and Love are gone, remember when they were here and all the fun you had those years.
Thanks to Al in TO and Michael in The 'Peg
Ed Note: Brilliant.  I have a feeling that this is the first of many "farewells" from Dave up to May 20th.
Each year it seems some publication does a story on this and each year I send my Darlene Story on The List.  This year I've made some significant updates to it.   HAVING this story in my life is like winning the Lottery.  But it's not the only one.  Shel Talmy, Mae Axton and Ed Wideman appeared in much the same way.  I wasn't looking for them.  They just showed up at exactly the right time ... as The Sun, The Moon, The Stars came together. 
Merry Christmas everyone.  
DARLENE LOVE  
It was the 70’s.  Because of the “vision” of J. Robert Wood, at CHUM, we were producing documentaries on Rock and Roll for The World.  First The Beatles, then Elvis … and later … 64 hours of The Evolution of Rock. 
Pretty heady stuff for a kid from Winnipeg.
Today, the interviews I did seem like a blur.  I remember Elvis’s pals in Memphis and Nashville with Ashby and McMillan.  Little Richard, George Harrison, Rick Hall, Lamont Dozier, Smoky Robinson and Jeff Barry in LA with Wood.  But where did we “do” Lennon, McCartney and Ringo?  I’ve got them on tape with hundreds of others … I should remember better than I do … but I don’t.  The pressure was intense.  In the winter, taking an airplane from Toronto to New York was warmer than taking a bus from Scarborough to downtown Toronto. I often didn’t even take a coat.  From CHUM to taxi to airport to airplane to … American Airline’s Admiral’s Club in an airport … somewhere, everywhere … then The Interview.
It was an era where there was one book written about Elvis … and maybe two on everyone else.  Hell … our “research” was often the fine print on record labels.
I interviewed people I would have been thrilled just to see on stage … much less meet.   We would chronicle history.
But there was always one person I could never find.  Her name was Darlene Love.  Lord knows I looked for her.  Everyone thought I was nuts.  “What’d she do”?  “Well, she had a couple of minor hits … but most of all she sang on hundreds of Big Hits, as a background singer’.  “A background singer!  Who cares”? 
“Yea well, maybe no one cares.  But I bet she’d have some stories to tell”.
Darlene Love was one of The Blossoms.  In the 60’s and much of the 70’s, if a record was made in LA, she likely sang on it. It was only later that I knew where to look to look for her on TV’s Shindig and Tammi.  Most of what I knew about her was rumour.  The “stars” I interviewed often mentioned her.  “What a Voice”!   “If you find Darlene, say hello for me”.  Elvis, Aretha, Cher, most of The Bobbys and a lot of The Johnnys spoke of her in “awe”.  And most everyone mentioned her work with Phil Spector, who produced a couple of singles with her that used her name.
It was 1980.  I was holed up in a little Motel near LA thinking about producing a series of documentaries with Dougie Thompson on record producers.  And then I saw IT in Sunday’s LA Times.  Darlene Love was singing Tuesday night at Medley’s in Fountain Valley! 
TUESDAY night?
Medley’s was a pretty good little steakhouse, with a showbar, on the way to San Diego from LA.  Of course it was owned by Bill Medley of The Righteous Brothers.  And there … finally … was Darlene.  She sang a little bit of everything … from Rock to Pop to Gospel to Jazz.  It was mesmerizing.  She looked nervous, but the voice was strong.  And then she said … ”Here’s my Greatest Hit”.  It was “He’s a Rebel”.  What?  I thought that was The Crystals!  I had to get an interview.
After the show, the World’s Largest Woman (who I was sure had brass knuckles in her purse) told me that Darlene would see me but … ”don’t count on an interview”.  Darlene is just “coming back out”.  So I met her.  She invited me over to her house the next day. 
The “house” was in an apartment in the heart of Watts.  I was sure I was the only one in the neighbourhood without a gun.  But what a story she told!
A few months later I read Darlene had played The Starwood in LA.  Springsteen, Dylan, Harrison and a bunch more showed up. “Coming back out” indeed.
Then … shortly after I moved to New York, she did too, taking a musical from The Bottom Line called Leader Of The Pack, about songwriter Ellie Greenwich, to Broadway.  I got to meet her again.  And she remembered.  I was “that radio guy who made me feel special again”.  Blush.
“Leader of The Pack” was one of the first of Broadway’s Greatest Hits of Rock and Roll which have since become so popular.  Playing the role of producer Phil Spector was Paul Shafer, seen weekdays leading the band on Late Night with David Letterman.   It was how Darlene came to make her annual appearance with Dave singing “Christmas Baby Please Come Home”.
But maybe the biggest thrill was watching the movie Lethal Weapon.  “Doesn’t Danny Glover’s wife look a lot like Darlene”?  The credits said it was.  Wow … I betcha that’s a story in itself!
It is.  And there are many more.  In her book “My Name is Love” and in the documentary “20 Feet from Stardom”.  One in particular that she didn’t mention in our interviews?  After I left her apartment in Watts, Darlene Love drove to Beverly Hills to clean houses.
Warren Cosford
January 1998
Updated December 2014  
Warren Cosford was the Production Manager and / or co-producer of over 200 hours of Rock and Roll Syndication on both radio and TV including:  The Story of The Beatles, The Elvis Presley Story, The Evolution of Rock, The Producers, Supertramp: Self Portrait,  and The El Mocambo Radio and Radio / TV Simulcasts
Good stuff, Warren ... makes me want to go out and pick up her book.  (In fact, we were going to watch "20 Feel From Stardom" right before the Letterman show aired ... but ran out of time ... maybe later this weekend!)  kk

Hey Kent, 
I hope you and Frannie caught Darlene Love on the David Letterman show last night!  Wow, she nailed Baby Please Come Home!  I watch her sing it every year and sad to know that this is her last time singing it on the Letterman show.  I so look forward to it.  I was fortunate to see her sing that song at the Christmas tree lighting last year at Daley Plaza.  What a thrill.  
Merry Christmas to you and yours and thanks again for all you do for our music.  
Janet   

Sad that Uncle Lar did not want tributes.  He and Ron Riley were my faves!  I have several Art Vuola video checks and they are priceless.  I just ordered the Lujack tribute.  I still have Art's one where Lujack is being hassled by Art outside while walking.  Hilarious. 
Luckily, before anyone knew Larry's last wishes, Nick Digilio was so fast to do a tribute upon learning of Larry's death, that this tribute can be found from one of his WGN radio shows shortly thereafter.
Art has tons of Michigan football videos on his site too!  Too bad!  Haha!
Clark Besch
Lujack was not only a fan favorite ... but a favorite amongst his peers.  With Reel Radio no longer providing full-length clips, we're going to miss Ol' Uncle Lar more than ever.  Right now I'd love to hear about 100 hours of vintage full-length shows by Lujack ... beats virtually ANYTHING else that's on the radio today.  (kk)

Got this clip from FH Reader David Salidor:

And, speaking of The Monkees ... we got this comment after we ran our little recap the other day ...    

>>>WERE THE MONKEES REALLY BIGGER THAN THE BEATLES AT ONE TIME?!?!? 
For a brief moment in time, yes, they were! THE MONKEES' first album spent 13 weeks at #1 beginning in November of 1966. It was knocked out of the #1 spot by their SECOND album (MORE OF THE MONKEES) which spent 18 additional weeks at #1!!! That one-two punch accounted for 31 consecutive weeks of THE MONKEES topping Billboard's LP chart. In addition, THE MONKEES would place two more albums at the top of the chart during 1967: HEADQUARTERS (#1 for 1 week) and PISCES, AQUARIUS, CAPRICORN AND JONES, LTD. (#1 for 5 weeks). That's a total of 37 weeks at Number One out of a possible 60!!! (During that same timeframe, THE BEATLES topped the charts just once with what is considered to be their landmark album of all time, SGT. PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND, which spent 15 weeks on top of Billboard's LP Chart.) In addition, THE MONKEES rang up eight Top 40 Hits during that 60 week period (vs. THE BEATLES' five.) It can be argued that THE BEATLES lost some of their younger fans who were not yet ready to follow their leaders down the much more sophisticated path of RUBBER SOUL, REVOLVER and SGT. PEPPER ... let alone their newly embraced drug culture ... some of us still wanted the fun, happy, carefree mop-tops and suddenly THE MONKEES better fit that bill. (THE BEATLES were growing mustaches for God's sake!!!) But the truth is that no other BEATLES album ever spent more time at #1 than SGT. PEPPER's 15 week run ... in fact, even when compared to their biggest year ever (1964, when they, too, knocked themselves out of the #1 spot on the album chart ... THE BEATLES' SECOND ALBUM replacing MEET THE BEATLES at the top of the heap for a combined consecutive total of 16 weeks ... along with a mass saturation of product hitting the marketplace never before seen in the music industry), THE MONKEES certainly gave THE BEATLES a run for the money in terms of overall short-term popularity.  (kk) 
Hi Kent!  
Here are a few more facts about how successful the Monkees were between 1966-1968:  
1. The Monkees were the first band to have their first four albums all go to #1 on the Billboard Album Charts. They nearly made it a five-bagger when The Birds, The Bees, and the Monkees stalled at #3. How many artists can claim that?  
2. Their first five LPs all were certified Gold by the Record Industry Association of America (R.I.A.A.) for selling over a million copies each (they would be certified as Platinum by today’s standards).  
3. And probably the most telling thing of how popular the Monkees were, they were the first American group to have an LP go to number 1 without a single being released from it. And that album was their third LP, Headquarters (which was the first LP they played on and had full creative control over). The Beatles were the only other band of that period to accomplish that feat (They would do it three times during the 1960’s : first with the American version of Rubber Soul; second with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band; and third with The Beatles (a.k.a. The White Album.) 
Kelly Izaj of Pittsburgh, PA. 

Courtesy of FH Reader Tom Cuddy, here is a recent interview with Brian Hyland.  (Brian will be appearing at The Surf Ballroom as part of the Winter Dance Party Line-Up next month!) 
Tom also sent us a review of Bob Seger's recent concert right here in Chicago ...
Bob Seger came to Chicago earlier this month and proved he may be a few years older, but he still knows how to dazzle a sold-out arena of enthusiastic fans.  Here's a link to a glowing review:   
 - Tom Cuddy
I have been a fan (but not fanatic) of Bob Seger's music since the first time I heard it back in 1968 / 1969.  "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" was a #2 Hit here in Chicago and Bob, being from Detroit, was a Midwest Icon YEARS before he started invading the national hits.  I've liked (and bought) most of what he's done over the years.  But Seger (through absolutely no fault of his own) is now one of the artists I turn off virtually EVERY time one of his songs comes on the radio.  Incessant non-stop airplay of the same tunes again and again and again has driven me away from yet another artist that I truly loved.  Radio has RUINED Bob Seger's music for me ... yet they keep on insisting that this is what the listeners really want.  I can assure you that it is not.  There are millions out there just like me who would LOVE the chance to learn to appreciate this music again ... but they just won't let up.  I've never had the chance to see him live (but have always wanted to) ... yet I wouldn't even consider buying a concert ticket now as I know it would be pure pain and suffering throughout the entire concert.  What a shame.  I wish artists like Bob Seger and John Mellencamp and Billy Joel and Steve Perry and numerous others would get together and send radio a message ... "Let up for awhile ... give some of the other artists a chance!  Yes, we appreciate the recognition ... and the royalties ... but you're destroying our core audience by beating this music to death!"  Maybe THEN they'd listen!!!  (kk) 

Man, what a year this guy has had!!!  Our FH Buddy Harvey Kubernik dominated the music book scene in 2014 with one great release after another ... and nearly every one of these is a work of art unto itself!  So it was no wonder when he was recently named "Author Of The Year"!!!

AUTHOR OF THE YEAR:  HARVEY KUBERNIK
Roy Trakin, (ALL ACCESS), in "Trakin Care Of Businees: A Year-End of Mammoth Proportions," cites Harvey Kubernik as AUTHOR OF THE YEAR.
The indefatigable, prolific author uses his own Los Angeles background to illustrate history, whether it’s the Laurel Canyon singer-songwriter scene of the ‘60s and early ‘70s or the ramp-up and aftermath of Monterey Pop. This year, he published four – count ‘em – four separate books, each in its own way marking its writer as a certifiable overlooked treasure. Turn Up the Radio!: Rock, Pop, and Roll in Los Angeles  (Santa Monica Press), is a lavishly appointed coffee table book filled with artifacts from his own collection that makes a pretty good case that the roots of modern rock and roll culture were planted on the ‘50s Top 40 AM airwaves. It Was Fifty Years Ago Today: The Beatles Invade America and Hollywood (Otherworld Cottage Industries) is peppered with his own reminiscences of being bitten by the Fab Four bug, and the influence of L.A. on the group. Leonard Cohen: Everybody Knows (Backbeat Books / Hal Leonard) is another beautifully art-directed tome just in time for the poet maudit’s 80th birthday and new album, an oral history / photo book companion to Sylvie Simmons’ definitive 2012 bio, I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen. Finally, Harvey and brother Ken provide the text to legendary L.A. photographer Guy Webster’s Big Shots (Insight Editions), providing the local color and context to this spectacular volume of iconic images, including the covers of The Doors’ first album, The Mamas and the Papas’ first two albums, Simon and Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence, The Rolling Stones’ Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass) and Flowers, The Byrds’ Turn, Turn, Turn and The Notorious Byrd Brothers, Nico’s The Marble Index, Captain Beefheart’s Safe As Milk and Van Dyke Parks’ Song Cycle, not to mention pics of the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Love and Monterey Pop. The Kubernik brothers’ breathless, succinct summaries capture the era’s momentous cultural changes, as well as the historic dynamic reflected in Webster’s portraits. 
It looks like the November launch of Guy Webster's BIG SHOTS: ROCK LEGENDS AND HOLLYWOOD ICONS is off to a good start. Last week, images from it were even featured on Rolling Stone's website, and Harvey's LEONARD COHEN: EVERYBODY KNOWS has already been published in six languages and as of this date, Kubernik has signed with Palazzo Editions for a Neil Young book, due for publication in late 2015.
On December 11th, radio personality Cynthia Fox interviewed special guest Harvey Kubernik about TURN UP THE RADIO at THE SOUND LA Radio 100.3 FM debut "Backstagers" Holiday party and Town Hall Q and A. The interview, exploring the Los Angeles radio and music scene, 1956 – 1972, was enthusiastically received by "Backstagers" and celebrity guests alike, and captured on video, it will soon be posted on the
http://thesoundla.com/ website.Otherworld Cottage Industries published Harvey's first book of this year, IT WAS 50 YEARS AGO TODAY THE BEATLES INVADE AMERICA AND HOLLYWOOD, to coincide with our 50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF DEMO DERBY on DVD, the crash action b/w short feature that played on thousands of screens across the nation with The Beatles HARD DAY'S NIGHT. Then there's Harvey's Ken Scott interview, THE WAY THEY WERE MEANT TO BE HEARD: THE BEATLES IN MONO, in the September-October issue of Record Collector News, and the article, HOW NOT TO GET MONO FROM THE BEATLES, published in the 2014 Halloween issue of New York Waste Magazine written by Gary Pig Gold, one of Harvey's featured interview subjects in 50 YEARS AGO TODAY. Both articles are online.
"I suggest a daily dose of listening to the Beatles from a flute player, especially if her name is Libbie Jo Snyder," says Harvey Kubernik of the lady who had a whole chapter in his 2012 book, CANYON OF DREAMS: THE MAGIC AND MUSIC OF LAUREL CANYON. Harvey's recent interview with her centered on her new album, THE FLUTE AND VOICE OF LIBBIE JO: REFLECTIONS, and especially on the arrangements and choices of the six featured Beatles tunes. Both the interview and samples of her songs are posted online at
http://libbiejo.com. Interest in Harvey's music industry acumen, recollections and insights about the music-makers, recording engineers, DJs, and listening audiences of the day continues to grow, as Harvey continues to pursue his rigorous schedule of interviews, magazine articles and other writing endeavors.
In the current
December 2014 Issue of Record Collector News Magazine (print and online editions), Harvey penned the cover story on BOB DYLAN AND THE BASEMENT TAPES COMPLETE: THE BOOTLEG SERIES VOL. 11, released by Columbia Records/Legacy Recordings, a six disc definitive chronicle of Dylan's 1967 sessions with The Band – and in that same issue, Harvey wrote the feature article about FEAST OF FRIENDS, The Doors only self-produced film, released for the first time – along with a new book about Jim Morrison, "FRIENDS GATHERED TOGETHER by Morrison's long-time friend, Frank J. Lisciandro, offering fans a new look at the Los Angeles rocker.
Harvey also penned this month's feature article for the
Cave Hollywood online site, TALES OF VINYL FROM THE DIKE OF BOYLE HEIGHTS, an interview with record collector/ producer, music historian, songwriter and author Gene Aguilera, a long-time advocate for The East L.A. Sound phenomenon.Currently, Harvey appears in the Seeds documentary PUSHIN' TOO HARD from filmmaker Neil Norman, now playing in select theaters (see the trailer on YouTube). Author and musicologist Kubernik was seen and heard in the 2013 BOBBY WOMACK – ACROSS 110th STREET (BBC-TV Documentary), directed by James Maycock, Matt O'Casey's 2011 documentary QUEEN – DAYS OF OUR LIVES," released on DVD and Blu-Ray by Universal Music, and has already been lensed for O'Casey's Meat Loaf BBC-TV production, scheduled for delivery in early 2015. And while we're on the movies, in 2015, the University Press of Mississippi will publish a Harvey Kubernik interview with Oscar-winning director and photographer D. A. Pennebaker in their book series, CONVERSATIONS WITH FILMMAKERS, edited by Dr. Keith Beattie.

One of the shows we REALLY wanted to see this year was Stevie Wonder performing his entire "Songs In The Key Of Life" album live on stage.  Unfortunately, it wasn't to be ... but CBS has just announced that it will air a very special All-Time Grammy Salute Concert celebrating Stevie's much-awarded album to be aired February 16th.  The whole thing is being put together by the same team that gave us this year's "The Night That Changed America" 50th Anniversary Beatles salute, which reunited Paul and Ringo live on stage at The Ed Sullivan Theater for the celebration.  Can't wait for this one!  (By the way, Stevie just became a dad again ... at the ripe old age of 64!  Should we expect an "Isn't She Lovely" remix sometime in the near future???)  kk

Addendum on “Playgirl”. Thee Prophets were a Milwaukee
 group that had a few nice chart 45’s here which started with “Playgirl” and a couple of nice follow up 45’s. One note, “Playgirl” is originally an unreleased Knickerbockers song!! Only saw it on a CD later.  
Ken


>>>Here's one that I think will MOST appeal to OUR listening audience.  I can't believe that this one failed to make The Pop Chart ... it's Ronnie's #2 Country Hit from 1985 called "Lost In The Fifties Tonight" ... and it goes out to all you "In The Still Of The Night" fans out there!)  kk
Tony Orlando sings this song in concert ... he has for years. I always wondered where it came from!
Eileen
It's a GREAT track, isn't it?  I've always believed that this should have been both a pop AND a country hit ... as its roots are most definitely from the rock and roll era. By the way, Ron Onesti just signed Tony Orlando for an appearance at The Arcada Theatre on Sunday, July 26th, of next year. I've only seen Tony once before and he put on an absolutely KILLER show.  His back-up band was phenomenal ... these guys could play ANYTHING! ... and Tony is the consummate entertainer.  Looking forward to this one next summer!  (kk) 

Raoul Cita may not be a name known to the masses, but he was a legend in NYC.
"Cita" was the founder, with Willie Winfield, of the Harptones, one of the finest groups ever. He was their musical arranger, baritone and composer of many of their songs. The Harptones never had a national hit but they are treasured by collectors and aficionados of "group harmony".  Their best known song was "Life Is But a Dream" which was featured in the movie "Goodfellas".  They were inducted into "The Vocal Group Hall Of Fame" in 2002.
Danny 

Several weeks ago we told you that Geoff Lambert would be interviewing Wrecking Crew Drummer / Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Hal Blaine on his program.  We now have an audio link for our readers so that they, too, can enjoy this very special show.  (kk)

re:  The Lettermen:
In our recent Lettermen series, Gary Pike talked about the early days when the group was first signed to Capitol Records and would run into The Beach Boys (pre-fame ... and even pre-Capitol Records!) in the parking lot and discuss music.  (Seems Jim Pike and Brian Wilson were BOTH big Four Freshmen fans, ANOTHER group signed to the label.)
Endless Summer Quarterly Publisher David Beard sent us this piece that he did with original Lettermen Tony Butala, which David ran in his publication back in 1997.  (Endless Summer Quarterly is the be-all / end-all Beach Boys and Brian Wilson fanzine ... you can subscribe here:)
TONY BUTALA from June 1997 issue of Endless Summer Quarterly
I was singing with my group the Lettermen when I first met the Beach Boys in the summer of 1961. We had just released our first single for Capitol records, [entitled] “The Way You Look Tonight” b/w “That’s My Desire,” and the single was climbing up the music charts. The Lettermen were scheduled to appear on a very popular Los Angeles television show called the Pacific Ocean Park (P.O.P.) Dance Party. It was televised live from the pier out on the Santa Monica Beach. 
The host of the show was Wink Martindale. It was similar to the Dick Clark’s American Bandstand in that it had teen dancers, and each show featured two or three pop music acts that had records on the charts. 
Near the beginning of the show we performed “That’s My Desire,” and we were to come back at the end of the show and perform the other side to the record. So we ended up standing around on the beach passing the time away. A group of four or five guys came over to compliment us on our sound. They told me they were the Beach Boys and that they had cut a few surfing-type records for a small local record label. We got to talking and discovered that our groups both admired and emulated the jazz / pop group, the Four Freshmen. 
Soon all of us were singing the Four Freshmen’s “It’s a Blue World,” and then we sang some other Four Freshmen song endings. In our conversation with one another, I remember mentioning that Nick Venet, a new young producer, had recently signed the Lettermen to Capitol records — the same label that the Four Freshmen were on. We said goodbye for the day. Lo and behold, as time went by, the next time I saw the Beach Boys, they were on Capitol Records.
Not being songwriters, the Lettermen had to rely on finding songs to record by approaching the large publishing companies who had the great songwriters signed to them. We also would approach the songwriters / singers that we met along the way in the restaurants, coffeehouses, and recording studios in Los Angeles, to give us their songs for us to record.
I remember so often being in awe of the great contemporary songs that Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys would write, as I’d sneak into the sound booth as they would be recording in the adjacent studio.
I felt privileged to have been  present during that period — observing that legendary sound and those dynamic group harmonies. I remember Brian’s enthusiasm as he played their first ballad that he had produced, “Surfer Girl.” I still haven’t forgiven him for never passing one of his great ballads on to us to record. Seriously though, in the world of pop music, you’ve got to always go with your best shot for yourself. 
When the foreign trend happened in music in the mid-60s with the Beatles spearheading the British Invasion, I was there to see the Beach Boys adapt with great music like their Pet Sounds album. It’s that adaptability that is a tribute to their talent and diversity. The years have come and gone with the Beach Boys legend expanding with time. 
Over the last 25 years, I have been working on an idea to create a hall of fame and museum to honor, with dignity, the greatest vocal groups of the world. My dream is coming true soon with the opening of the “Vocal Group Hall of Fame & Museum.”
This “Vocal Group Hall of Fame & Museum” will stand in the annals of time as a lasting monument to the achievements of vocal groups like the Beach Boys, who achieved so much in the music industry. They certainly deserve to be “standard bearers” in the “Vocal Group Hall of Fame & Museum,” because they have brought timeless harmony, goodtime music, and happy-carefree memories to generations all around the world. 
I hope that Beach Boys fans everywhere will appreciate the special place that the Beach Boys have in the “Vocal Group Hall of Fame & Museum.” Their display, as well as the other great vocal group displays, will be an ever-expanding project to inform the world of how the vocal groups have affected the lives of people through music.
©1997 Endless Summer Quarterly; reprinted by permission   

re:  The Saturday Surveys:  
Our special 2014 feature is winding down ... only one more to go ... (scroll back to see yesterday's posting if you missed it) but if you still need a survey fix, you might enjoy this awesome website that Clark Besch just told us about ... 

Kent,
The Big Sound Survey is WTRY of the Albany New York area.  I found a website with tons of surveys from the station just now!  Lots of groovy live concert pics from the 60's!

re:  Happy Holidays
Kent,
Thanks for another great year of solid and reasoned commentary on everything good and bad in the world of golden, oldies music. 
Mike Ogilvie 

Season's Greetings,
Shawn Nagy 
 
www.superoldies.com   

Here's something from Back in the Day I just wanted to share with you this Holiday Season just for fun!
Hope you like it, and if you're inspired to post a favorable comment or send an email, that'd be cool too!
K-Chuck Radio!
I don't "do" Facebook ... but I know that the majority of our readers do ... so please enjoy this little piece of holiday nostalgia sent in by Chuck Buell!  (kk)

Lou Christie's  "Siriusly Christmas" Special will air on Sirius - XM Radio, Channel 6 ... 60's on 6, on the following days. All times listed are Eastern.
Monday December 22, 2014 -11 PM
Tuesday December 23, 2014 - 5 PM
Thursday December 25, 2014 - 1 PM  
Warmest wishes for a wonderful holiday and a New Year filled with peace & prosperity!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Saturday Surveys (12-20)

Kicking this off this week with this 1966 chart from WQAM (who were already celebrating the oldies, 1966-style) the week before the big holiday!

The Music Machine sit at #1 with their Garage Band Classic, "Talk Talk" (hardly #1 material but hey, it was the '60's ... so anything goes!!!)

Obviously this is the case ... since Roger Williams is at #3 with "Born Free"!!!  (Not two songs you'd EVER expect to hear played back-to-back together!  Thankfully we had The Beach Boys breaking up this mismatch with their '60's classic "Good Vibrations", down from #1 the week before.

All kinds of goofy songs and mistakes can be found on this chart ... "Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron" ... by The PALACE Guardsmen?!?!  A couple of Monkees LP cuts at #23 (in addition to their legitimate hit at #18, here referred to simply as "Clarksville") ... they've also got "I'm A Believer" debuting at #37!

Being a South Florida station, I guess it's really no surprise to see wild man Wayne Cochran at #19 with his latest (up nine points from the week before), "Going Back To Miami".

DIDJAKNOW?:  WQAM reportedly stood for "We Quit At Midnight"!!!  That was the time this station signed off the air, picking up again at 6 am the following day.  (Maybe that's why their Million Dollar Weekend" ran from 3 pm to Midnight???)  Interesting!










I picked this 1963 chart from KDWB in St. Paul, Minnesota, because I like seeing a couple of two-sided hits in The Top Ten by a couple of our surfin' favorites, The Trashmen and The Beach Boys.  (The Trashmen top the chart with their classic "Surfin' Bird", backed with "King Of The Surf", while The Boys of Summer from California are sitting at #9 with their two-sided hit "In My Room" / "Be True To Your School" ... proving that not EVERY recording act in 1963 was sticking some disposable "filler" on the other side of their latest single.

"Popsicles And Icicles" by The Murmaids is at #2 ... this song was one of the very first chart successes for songwriter David Gates who, ten year later, would be topping a few charts of his own with his new group Bread.  Our FH Buddies The Rip Chords (another surfin' band apparently doing very well in land-locked Minnesota!) are at #10 with "Hey Little Cobra", their biggest pop hit.  You'll also find our pal Tommy Roe at #15 with "Everybody", down a notch from the week before.














Friday, December 19, 2014

50 Years Ago This Weekend

December 19-20-21:


The Supremes hold off The Fab Four to claim the #1 Spot on this week's Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart as "Come See About Me" jumps from #4 to #1, just ahead of The Beatles' latest, "I Feel Fine", which sits at #2 in its third week on the chart.


Other Top 20 British Hits include "She's Not There" by The Zombies, which falls to #4, "Time Is On My Side" by The Rolling Stones, which holds at #6 for the third straight week, "You Really Got Me" by The Kinks (#10), "I'm Into Something Good" by Herman's Hermits (#13), "She's A Woman" by The Beatles (#14), "Sha La La" by Manfred Mann (#16), "The Wedding" by Julie Rogers (#17) and "Any Way You Want It" by The Dave Clark Five (#19).


Making our way down the chart, we find "Willow Weep For Me" at #28 for Chad and Jeremy, "Love Potion Number Nine" at #30 for The Searchers, "As Tears Go By" at #36 for Marianne Faithful (finally making its way into The Top 40), "Walk Away" by Matt Monro (#45), "There's Always Something There To Remind Me" at #54 for Sandi Shaw, followed by "Boom Boom" by The Animals at #55, "I'll Be There" by Gerry and the Pacemakers (which climbs from last week's debut at #81 to #63), "I Can't Stop" by The Honeycombs, new at #84 and one of the biggest hits of the '60's, "Downtown" by Petula Clark, which premiers at #87 on this week's chart.





The Beatles take over the #1 Spot on this week's WLS Silver Dollar Survey with their two-sided hit "I Feel Fine" / "She's A Woman", a position they will hold for the next three weeks.


The Zombies are still hanging on ... they're at #2 with "She's Not There".  Rounding out The Top Ten are British acts Herman's Hermits (#5 with "I'm Into Something Good"), The Rolling Stones (#9 with "Time Is On My Side") and The Dave Clark Five ("Any Way You Want It", #10).


Just behind them are Marianne Faithful, now at #11 with "As Tears Go By", Julie Rogers ("The Wedding", #16), "Sha La La" by Manfred Mann (#19) and "Walk Away" (#20 for Matt Monro).


Brand new on the chart this week are The Searchers ("Love Potion Number Nine", #23), "Willow Weep For Me" by Chad and Jeremy (#23) and the follow up single for The Nashville Teens, "Google Eye" (#30).