Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Assorted News and Comments

Bob Bogle, original lead guitarist and co-founder of the Ventures, died Sunday (June 14) in a Vancouver, Washington hospital, where he had been admitted after falling ill over the weekend. He was 75. Bob had been suffering from Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Bob was working in construction in 1958 when he met Don Wilson at a Seattle car dealership where Don worked.The two began to play music together, soon adding Nokie Edwards and Howie Johnson (replaced on drums by Mel Taylor after Howie's serious 1962 auto accident). An unsuccessful first vocal single on tiny Blue Horizon Records led to an all-instrumental sound that quickly yielded a #2 hit in 1960 -- "Walk - Don't Run" (re-made later as the #8 hit "Walk - Don't Run '64"). The Ventures became known for their "surf" sound that gave us the top 40 hits "Perfidia" (#15 - 1960), "Ram-Bunk-Shush" (#29 - 1961), "Slaughter On Tenth Avenue" (#35 - 1964) and "Hawaii Five-O" (#4 - 1969). They also appeared 38 times on the album charts and, all told, have sold over 110 million albums wordwide. The group was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame last year, though Bob was too ill to attend.
-- Ron Smith

I have for the longest period of time wondered about whatever became of Barbara Evans, the lady who recorded "Souvenirs." That record, though it only Bubbled Under in Billboard, is one of the most beloved recordings of the late 50s by a solo female artistBarbara Evans has been #1 on the Top 100 of my Record Page with "Souvenirs" (1959) for the past several weeks and in our top ten for almost as long with "Charlie Wasn't There" (1961). There are 231 records currently on my page that are "eligible for charting" (my records are not) and "Souvenirs" has continued to beat all the others in terms of listenership. Other than the titles of several of Barbara's recordings, there is no information on the web about her. I found out some very sad news yesterday from her son. He informed me that Barbara passed away in April of 2000. The "Jersey Girls" (Denise and Bernadette) and I are planning on doing a special tribute to Barbara and her music in the near future.Those of you who wish to listen to "Souvenirs" and "Charlie Wasn't There" can do so by visiting my Record Page.
Ronnie Allen

Dean Torrence was the first celebrity I looked up after moving to L.A. in 1973. I remember driving up to his office on Sunset (Kittyhawk Graphics) in my little blue Pinto with the California custom license plate SURF C-T. Although he had no idea I was coming or who I was, he could not have been more gracious – inviting me in, chatting for a few hours and even giving me a copy of the rare Jan & Dean LP “Save For A Rainy Day” he produced independently after Jan’s accident (an album later stolen from me while I was working at KRLA). I’ve always been a big Jan & Dean fan and was with them quite a few times, including the night their “Dead Man’s Curve” TV movie debuted. Long after Dean has closed Kittyhawk Graphics down, I, as the Music & Entertainment Editor at Reader’s Digest, became the last person to hire him to create an album cover – which, as you’d expect, was excellent. You can see it on the Jan & Dean website. Please enter my name in the drawing for a copy of the book “When I Get To Surf City."
Gary Theroux

Will do ... and if you have gotten YOUR entry in yet, NOW is the time to do so ... seems kinda fitting if we draw the winners over The Fourth Of July Weekend, doesn't it?!?!? Just drop me an email and we'll add YOUR name to the list ... and have author Bob Greene pick the winners in just a couple of weeks! (kk)

and, speaking of Bob Greene ...


One of the things that got me through two four-and-a-half hour flights back and forth to San Francisco last week was reading Bob's 1993 book "All Summer Long", the tale about the reunion of three high school friends who decide to take one last summer's journey across the United States in the hopes of perhaps rediscovering their youth. (If there's such a thing as "coming of age" ... TWICE ... this is probably it!!!) I can't even begin to tell you how many parallels to my OWN youth and "shared memories" Bob relates along the way ... although supposedly a work of fiction, there's no question that many of his own recollections must have slipped out between the covers ... if Forgotten Hits has taught us anything over these past ten years, it's the amazing fact that so many of us were experiencing the EXACT same feelings across the nation at exactly the same time ... and, despite being literally THOUSANDS of miles apart and COMPLETE strangers to one another at the time, we all still have these memories in common to share all these years later. It's one of those jolts that reminds you about a far more innocent time (as well as why a TV Show like "The Wonder Years" hit such a strong chord with me way back when) ... if you grew up in the '60's, you'll live reminiscing as you watch these characters "coming of age" for the second time in their lives. I believe the book is now out of print, but I found my copy for a couple of bucks (in paperback) at There must be at least a dozen musical references contained here that fit PERFECTLY in our Forgotten Hits Forum ... maybe I'll find a way to relate a few of them in these pages somewhere down the line. Highly recommended ... in fact, I'd go so far as to say that reading it is the next best thing to having a good time. (kk)

And thanks again to The Rip Chords for donating copies of their latest CD, "Cobra Beach", to two lucky Forgotten Hits Winners!!!
Hi Kent,
I received my Rip Chords CD today. I love it. Many thanks to the Rip Chords and to you.

Kent ...
You were kind enough to send me The Rip Chords new CD, "Cobra Beach." The least I could do is review it for you. All of the songs are good. My favorites are "Beast Of The East," " Hello Summer," "Cobra Beach," & "Lights Out," from 1959 is an oldie but a goodie. It will be a great
addition to my Summer CD Collection.
Frank B.
Forgotten Hits Readers can order their own copy of the new Rip Chords CD through Mitch Schecter tells me that it will also be available soon on I-Tunes, Rhapsody Music and Yahoo Music as well as other online Download sites. (With all that's been going on here lately, I haven't even had a chance to listen to MY copy yet!!! Hoping to be able to do that this week.) kk

Forgotten Hits Subscribers received the latest edition of our "Leftovers Page" (#53!!!) by email this morning. Here is some of the music discussed and featured in that newsletter. Didn't receive YOUR copy?!?!? Then Get On The List!!! Just drop me an email ( and ask me to Put You On The List!

The Last Waltz by Engelbert Humperdinck

Rings by Cymarron

Turning Japanese by The Vapors

Let It Be Me by Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell

Runaway (The "Crime Story" Version) by Del Shannon