Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Some Recent Blurbs And Spices ...

Here are just a few tidbits that have come through our mail box these past few days ... Enjoy!

The Alice Cooper concert scheduled for Saturday, June 20th in Novosibirsk (Siberia), Russia was cancelled due to the collapse of the roof and rigging trusses for the outdoor concert at Spartak Stadium. The collapse happened the night before the scheduled show making it impossible for the concert to take place. Fortunately, nobody was injured in the mishap.
Bob Merlis

re: CHAZ:
>>>OMG! We made it through an entire Comments Page without ONE single Chastity Boner Joke!!! (kk)
The chastity, i mean chaz, bono 'joke' i heard on RON & FEZ xm satellite radio that made me laugh? ... Fez was wondering if men's organs (cadavers?) were donated to the sex-change person ... or else how would you make a penis? Ron suggested that they were able to build one out of YOUR available material ... and wondered if the 'dick-size' chosen would be like when a stripper gets boob implants ... ENORMOUS BOOBS ... the penis? dragging on the ground ... lol

>>>The other day I was listening to Jim Shea's morning show on Y103.9 when he reached his "I Buried Paul" feature. It's a contest that runs every morning at 7:20 (and has for a couple of years now) where Jim plays a snippet of a popular song BACKWARDS and listeners have to try to identify the song and the artist to win some sort of prize. Well, the other day, something got screwed up in the studio and the tape of "Chick-A-Boom", the Daddy Dewdrop hit from 1971 played FORWARDS instead of backwards ... meaning simply that it played the actual record. It was a screw up of massive proportions but Jim decided to let it slide and said that since THIS is the way it was played, he'd let somebody win by simply identifying the song. (A Good Sport is Jim!!! lol) So the very first caller gets through and then Jim asks him, "Are you feelin' it?" ... to which he responds ... "Oh yeah, I'm feelin' it ... (long pause) ... is it 'Alley Oop'?!?!?" ... thus proving ALL of these narrow-minded programmers right when they state that the AVERAGE oldies listener doesn't WANT to expand their musical horizons ... they want to hear the music that they're most COMFORTABLE with, even if it DOES mean the same two or three hundred songs over and over and over again. (It's not at all uncommon to hear listeners playing this game not know the title of the songs Jim plays ... or misidentify the artist ... it happens all the time ... and thus my faith in the average oldies listener has hit a new all-time low.) (kk)Kent,
Perhaps you should draw the opposite conclusion from this... that radio stations following your advice to push the envelope a bit would result in more listeners becoming more familiar with the song titles and artists outside of their currently limited musical horizons. This, in turn, would result in more requests for such songs, which would result in more familiarity with those songs, higher ratings for those stations, etc. Always look on the bright side!
– Randy Price

I've observed the same thing with call-in contests on other stations; especially AM740 in Toronto, which has a fun oldies-oriented contest every morning at 7:40. (It's called "740 To Win" for some reason or other.) I've decided that the real oldies lovers are too busy with real life to care about calling in to win, while the contestants, on the other hand, have no life, don't know the music, but have plenty of time to dial the phone.

I believe you are right about the average oldies listener. Many have been conditioned to only hear those 200 songs to which you referred that are played on main stream oldies radio. Here and there you can find local stations that do a local show, like Allen Lee, in Baltimore, with his forgotten 45's radio show, (He is an absolute doo wop encyclopedia) but that is the exception. That is why I stopped listening to most oldies radio and listen instead to my own compilations of oldies on my CD or MP3 player, or to digital cable oldies radio, where the programmers actually program. I love Doo Wop, and it has all but vanished from the main stream airwaves. Thank God for the local DJ's and the internet. Internet radio can be amazing. However, as you point out, subscribers to Forgotten Hits, are not your average oldies listeners. They are way more knowledgeable and attentive to what they hear. I also contend that they are more active than the average senior citizen. I am a 67 year old musician who still plays local gigs at bars and restaurants. I just started a new gig on Sunday nights and the bar owner was completely shocked when over 100 of my fellow senior citizens followers showed up. Well the reason they followed me is my repertoire. I play over 2200 songs that you mostly won't hear on the oldies stations. From Ral Donner and Jack Scott to the Dreamlovers and the Dubs. Each gig I will usually throw in a "who recorded that" instrumental, like "Night Theme". Obviously I have managed to gain some followers who are also not your average oldies radio listeners, and they are very loyal. Many seniors fall into the trap of becoming couch potatoes. I also fear we are raising a whole generation of couch potatoes, but that's another story. Getting seniors to go out and attend an evening of music or dancing is not an easy thing. About four years ago, I got a call from the promotion department of Dover Downs, which is a casino at the NASCAR race track in Dover, DE. They were presenting an evening of oldies music that was going to be filmed by PBS, for their excellent oldies concert series. They offered me and my wife free tickets. Now we are not big money gamblers and rarely even go to Dover Downs for many reasons, but also because it is about an hour and a half away. So I certainly didn't merit comped tickets based on my gambling. Well, I didn't want to travel all the way there and attend a long concert and then drive back home in the wee hours of the morning. So I tried pushing my luck and asked if a room could be comped. I got a big "no" as my answer. Several weeks later I received another call and they said I would get the free room and the free tickets. The reason was they were having difficulty getting people to commit to attending, and they didn't want to film a PBS concert to a half empty house. Well, it turned out to be a great evening and concert. We arrived around 3:30 PM, checked in and decided on an early buffet before the 6:00 PM concert start. We went to the buffet and sat down. Seated next to us were two familiar looking ladies, who turned out to be Freda Payne and Candi Staton. As we were eating, lo and behold, in walked the Temptations review with Dennis Edwards. They sat down on the other side of us. I was greatly impressed with their holding hands and saying grace before eating, right there in the public eating area. They earned our respect. When we got to the show, the house was only three quarters full. As the evening wore on, people started to leave. The PBS director kept having the crowd move forward and fill the vacated seats. It wouldn't do to have it appear on TV as though the concert wasn't enthusiastically well attended. Ah, the magic of TV. The Temptation review started out the concert at 6:00 PM with a 30 minute show and ended it with another 30 minute show at 12:30 A.M. In between we saw, the afore mentioned Freda Payne and Candi Staton, as well as Isaac Hayes, Patti Labelle, The Whispers, The Moments, Al Wilson, Evelyn "Champagne" King, and more. It was a great show. For the last song, the Temptations requested that the TV folks stopped filming. They said they wanted to do a song just for the handful of folks who stayed to the end. It was December, and they sang, a cappella, "Silent Night". We were literally moved to tears. It turned out to be a very enjoyable and memorable evening that we never would have experienced if I stayed on my couch listening to main stream oldies radio.
Bob Hughes
Sounds like one heck of a show ... but you're right ... we think twice now before going out to see some of these acts ... honestly, I don't know how some of the "local guys" play in this summer heat sometimes ... let's face it, we're ALL getting older ... and these guys are up there moving around and giving it their all under even hotter lights ... I give them a lot of credit for what they do up on the stage. (kk)

>>>What is the origin of that term? Nowadays, very few people will admit to liking that music because it was not hip. I was enough of my own person not to be influenced by lyrics. (Dwight Rounds)
Not looking it up ... I had always thought it called 'bubblegum' because of the age of the fans, the target audience mostly young female ...
P.S. By the way, I was driving down the street and saw the 'old' FLOYD MARCUS ESTATE (1910 fruitgum co.) was on the market again (Iselin,NJ) ... available for sale ... my nephew is looking for a house ... the house's provenance didn't impress him ... but he was interested in the house anyway ...
I seem to recall Buddah Records RELISHING the prospect of having come up with a brand new sound that earned the "bubblegum" label ... and, as I said, business was booming back in 1968!!! Yes, it certainly did appeal to a much "younger" audience (although I wouldn't say specifically girls ... it typically had a VERY catchy beat and very simplistic lyrics ... you pretty much knew the song the first time you heard it ... but I'll admit to buying nearly every single one of those records. (In fact at one point I considered collecting the entire Buddah Record Label!) The music was good, harmless fun (although listening to it now as an adult I can certainly see some of the double entendres intended by these lyrics!!!) kk

Did the Ohio Express or 1910 ever perform live? I know the Archies never did.
Dwight Rounds
I believe all of the bubblegum bands had "touring acts" that went out on the road to help drum up record sales. These weren't typically the same folks on the record (although I believe The 1910 Fruitgum Company WAS a "self-contained" unit ... in fact, Floyd Marcus recently shared some of his early concert experiences with us.) This wasn't all that uncommon back then for some of these "ghost" studio groups and artists ... it generally helped beef up record sales and most of these guys were "faceless" entities in the first place. No, The Archies never toured ... but Ron Dante has been performing all over the place lately ... we recently shared some NEW Archies tracks along with a photo of Ron with his latest "Betty and Veronica" background singers. (kk)

I was disappointed that no one else commented on the difference between classic rock and oldies.
Dwight Rounds
Sad to report that I did not receive one single reply on this topic when we first mentioned it a week or two ago. I was surprised by this, too, as I thought the list might want to weigh in on this topic. If this changes, we'll be sure to let you know. (kk)

Paul McCartney has added FedExField in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, August 1 to his U.S. concert appearance list. (I'm guessing new dates will follow ... he's already added a third date to his CitiField performances ... and appears in Canada on July 11th.) Pre-sale tickets will be available beginning June 25th with regular tickets on sale to the public the following day. Here's a promo note I received from Paul's website (where you can find all the details):
This concert event at FedExField marks the latest in a series of landmark performances that link the beloved Beatle with Washington D.C., beginning with The Beatles' first concert on American soil in 1964 at the Washington Coliseum, and continuing with McCartney's critically acclaimed appearances in the District over the past forty-five years.

Speaking of Paul McCartney's birthday, my neighbor Jack Corn shot these in '74. Our local newspaper occasionally posts slide shows from years past, and posted these this week.

David Lewis

In this photo: Former Beatle Paul McCartney, left, and his family chat with Dolly Parton, second from right, and Porter Wagoner backstage during the third annual Grand Masters Fiddling contest at Opryland. McCartney's wife, Linda, and daughters Heather, 11, and Stella, 4, also enjoyed the music at the event. (Jack Corn / The Tennessean) 6/16/1974

Very cool ... Macca spent some time in Nashville and came away with brand new recordings of a couple of his Dad's songs (later released as The Country Hams) as well as his own countrified "Sally G" during this trip. (kk)

Hi Kent -
A friend of mine, Dick Knutson (oldtime concert promoter-Fargo ND), asked me if I knew where Bobby Keys was. Of course, I had no clue, but I told him I would find out, betting you or someone in your vast blog audience would know. Dick knew him way back when they both hung out with Bobby Vee. How about some help on this?
- JR
I'm happy to help put the word out ... but can't promise you any results. Bobby Keys has played with just about EVERYBODY over the years ... let's see if we get any nibbles on this one. (kk)

Thanks for the plug. I mentioned that I had just gotten in 48 surveys. I just had a chance to look at these surveys from WINW 1520 AM Canton, Ohio, all from 1967 / 1968. I gotta tell you that for a relatively small station, they played a lot of local artists as well as a lot of other stuff that never made it in Chicago. One week I counted 12 of 40 songs that were never played at WLS or WCFL, but it was this survey from 12/29/67 that grabbed my attention. I count 11 songs that were never heard in Chicago, but the one that I was curious about was #33, Midnight Confessions, by Evergreen Blues. I have confirmed that it is the same song as that the Grass Roots would hit with in the fall of 1968, so this pre-dates it by about nine months. Do any of your contributors have a copy? For that matter the #1 song, Psychedelic Soul, by the Chylds, featuring Joe Vitale, later of the James Gang. I wouldn't mind hearing what they sounded like. I tell you the more of these out of town surveys I get, the more it seems that WLS had absolutely no influence nationally. It just confirms your comment that the average listener has no clue about oldies music. They were force fed the same songs incessantly in 1967, and it's still the same oldies 42 years later. I also included a survey from 12/15/67. You notice that Bend Me Shape Me, by the American Breed is #1. It wouldn't be #1 in Chicago for another month. In fact it debuted two weeks earlier in Canton, Ohio, than it did at WLS and the American Breed was a Chicago band. The more I look at these surveys, the less sense they make. One last item I forgot to mention is that is I'm only open, for the time being, on Saturdays for your listening & dancing pleasure.
Jack (Rock And Roll Never Forgets)

We featured the history of "Let's Live For Today" a while back on the website ... and, prior to that, featured the Evergreen Blues' version of "Midnight Confessions", too. (Included again for YOUR listening and dancing pleasure!!! lol)

You can read the "Story Behind The Song" right here:
Click here: Forgotten Hits: Let's Live For Today
Actually, this was one of SEVERAL attempts at making this song a hit before The Grass Roots finally got ahold of it. (I sent this to Scott Shannon, too, who featured it on one of his "Remakes" Weekends a few months back.) Wouldn't it be cool to get copies of ALL the major Top 40 surveys from say 1963 - 1972 and look for the obscure local hits ... The American Breed's record doing better in Ohio than it did in Chicago ... a whole month SOONER ... makes absolutely NO sense at all!!!
And, thanks to the INCREDIBLE Tom Diehl, we've got both the song AND a photo of the record to share with you today!!! (Not a bad song ... but hardly a #1-Sounding Song ... but this is EXACTLY the kind of stuff we're looking for for our next "Show Me Your Hits" Local Hits Feature. Anybody in Ohio feel like writing a little something up on The Chylds?!?!? (kk)

Kent ...
You wrote about this book. I bought it. I'm 3 / 4 through it. I can't wait till I finish the book to give you my review. I'm giving it to you now. Great book.
Writer Bob Greene becomes a member of the Jan & Dean Band. He writes about his experiences. Lots of good inside stories. For example ---
When Elvis was making movies, he had a house in California. He would play touch football with Jan & Dean. They say he was a great receiver.
After his accident on " Dead Man's Curve, " Jan Berry had to re - learn the words to the songs he wrote, everyday.
Great book for anybody who likes our music. I'm going to read " All Summer Long," next.
I have to say right now Bob Greene is my favorite author.
Frank B.
We've been telling you guys for a year now what a great book this is. (Ironically, I just finished "All Summer Long" on my nine hour round-trip flight to San Francisco ... another VERY enjoyable read. And, I've just started "Be True To Your School", Bob's 1964 Diary ... was there a more exciting year in music?!?!?) Yes, we're onboard for The Bob Greene Appreciation Society ... and don't forget that we'll be giving away TWO autographed copies of Bob's latest book, "When We Get To Surf City", over The Fourth Of July Weekend. Have you registered to win YOUR copy yet??? (Believe me there is nothing cooler than having Bob Greene on our Forgotten Hits Mailing List ... I grew up reading his Chicago Sun Times and Chicago Tribune columns every day ... and now he reads MINE!!!!! Is there ANY heavier head-trip than that?!?!?) Thanks again to Bob for donating the signed copies ... stay tuned ... we'll be giving them away REAL soon!!! (kk)


>>>This one TOTALLY cracks me up ... look at the expression on this little girl's face as she checks out the male rider!!! (lol) Gee, I feel like Renfield here!!! lol That's OK ... if I ever decide to shut things down here at Forgotten Hits, I know I've got a bright future ahead of me at R.I.P. Renfield!!!) kk
Those 'bicycle' nude pics? Geez ... the look on the little girl's face? It looked to me like a crime was committed ... whether by the parents of the girl, or the guy exposed! And that's coming from a guy who uses nude ADULT pics pretty regularly on his site ...---- (gary) RENFIELD ...
ps ... Thanks for the mention ... YOU'RE HIRED (RIP can use a shameless writer) !!!

Hi Kent,
I am sort of new to your page and I have to say it's the BEST for a music freak like me. All I can say is Thank You, Thank You,Thank You. Please if you would be so kind to add me to your list that would be so great.
All the Best,
Vinny B.
Thanks for the kind words, Vinny, and welcome aboard! Remember, your thoughts, comments and memories are ALWAYS welcome here!!! (kk)