Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Sunday Comments ( 07 - 12 - 09 )

The man who managed SAM COOKE, the ROLLING STONES and BEATLES ... and the founder of ABKCO RECORDS and MUSIC passed away at the age of 77 on July 4th. Many admired his moxy, while others "feared" him for his reputation as a "fierce negotiator."
In late 1967, Klein purchased the CAMEO-PARKWAY RECORDS catalog -- made famous by dozens of Philadelphia recording stars -- the first of which was CHARLIE GRACIE -- who put the label on the map in 1957 and '58. DEE DEE SHARP, the TYMES, ORLONS, DREAMLOVERS, CHUBBY CHECKER, BOBBY RYDELL, the DOVELLS cemented the label's success by the early 60s. The catalog included 727 singles and 158 albums -- released between 1957 and 1966.
We extend our heartfelt sympathy to the Klein Family
PIC ATTACHMENT: JODY KLEIN (son of Allen and now President of ABKCO MUSIC) attends the the premiere of CHARLIE GRACIE: FABULOUS! the documentary shown on PBS in 2007. Abkco producer, TERI LANDI stands to the right of Jody Klein and Charlie Gracie.
Charlie Gracie, Jr.

Having heard from some of the artists that Klein represented, I've yet to hear very many "flattering" words about the man. You mentioned Klein purchasing the rights and masters to all of the Cameo / Parkway material as a career accomplishment ... but I cannot help but wonder how your Dad felt about Klein then holding all of those vintage Cameo / Parkway tracks in a vault for some 40 years so that interested fans couldn't buy them or hear them on the radio ... in fact, NONE of the Cameo / Parkway artists you mentioned above were able to earn royalties on their landmark recordings because THIS guy wouldn't release them to the public. Whereas SO much other music from this era was licensed out for television commercials and movie soundtracks, Klein kept the Cameo / Parkway material under lock and key. For all I've heard about his brilliance as a shrewd business man, THIS one has NEVER made sense to me ... NOBODY made any money on this music for 40-something years ... including HIM!!! (kk)

I did this voice-over for Larry King to add video to it for his TV show. Thought you might like to send this attachment to all your readers and radio stations to play as well.
On my web site people are also able to down load my radio special for Michael Jackson. The special features my guest Maurice Starr founder of New Kids On The Block and New Edition. I was invited to go to England with Maurice and Michael for the concerts. Maurice Starr’s new group, The Heartbeat Boys, were going to be the opening act for Michael's shows in England, and I was going to have an exclusive interview which is all documented in the radio show. I have met Michael on more than one occasion and feel the loss just like the rest of the world.
Jimmy Jay

It's hard to believe, with all that's been going on here these past two weeks, that Michael's shows in London would already be underway right now had he lived. My guess is the press would have been filled with news of Michael's triumphant return to the top ... I have to believe that eventually Michael would have wanted to tour here, too, if the shows went over well. Who knows ... all of this POSITIVE news may have been enough to make him give up all the mind, body and soul - numbing he was doing. Sadly, we'll never know. (kk)

From now until the end of time millions of words will be written about Michael and his influence in music, dance, and fashion, but the most important gift he has given the world is everlasting hope and inspiration.

Artie Wayne

>>>Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough ... OK, I've had enough!!! Am I the ONLY one out there screaming "Enough Is Enough Already"?!?!? (kk)
Actually I think I had enough by about 6 PM that Thursday. I have to agree with you, while I don't know that anyone would argue Jacko's talent although it seems to me he didn't do anything different than James Brown or Jackie Wilson a generation earlier. Sadly in this era of instant gratification many attach themselves to a celebrity in an attempt to identify themselves. It is pathetic that there are so many people who need a life. It's sort of like a car wreck, you know it's gruesome, but you can't bring yourself to look away.
Jack (Rock And Roll Never Forgets)
And I'll admit to being one of those transfixed watching all the Michael Jackson television hoopla ... we've probably viewed at least 24 hours of Jackson coverage in the past ten days ... in fact, having now seen the Memorial highlights, I wish I could have seen the whole spectacle. (And did you hear that Michael Jackson's coffin disappeared for a short time after leaving The Staples Center??? Immediately fueling rumors again that this was just some HUGE theatrical staging. As Frannie quickly pointed out, all you had to do was listen to Michael's daughter Paris speak at the memorial service to know that this was not the case.) Michael certainly idolized the likes of James Brown and Jackie Wilson ... and even mastered some of their moves and mannerisms ... but NEITHER of these artists ever captured the hearts of the world the way Jackson did. It's funny how when you watch some of these old performance clips from the '50's, '60's and '70's, they seem so "dated" now ... what we once considered "cutting edge" can now make us laugh. (Especially looking at some of the folks in the audience at the time!!!) But Michael Jackson's video seem as fresh today as they did 25 years ago ... I truly believe that many of these will prove to be timeless ... and that two or three generations from now, people will STILL be talking about the magic of Michael Jackson. (kk)

So let me get this straight ... you REALLY think Michael Jackson is a child molester? Or were you just trying to rile us up again?
Maybe just a little bit of both. There has been SO much positive press about Jackson these past few weeks ... really, the only negative item being played up now is his dependency on pain medication ... it's like everything else that was ever controversial surrounding him has been temporarily forgiven and forgotten ... and that just doesn't seem fair. All I was trying to do was present a more COMPLETE picture of "The Man In The Mirror".
I've never WANTED to believe that Michael was doing harmful or questionable things to children. For all of his eccentric idiosyncrasies, I believe that Michael was a loving, caring person who genuinely LOVED children and that he truly embraced, enjoyed and relished the fact that he represented this Peter Pan / Pied Piper image in their eyes. There seemed to be some sort of "shared innocence" between Michael and his youngest fans. (I heard one girl interviewed after his death who thanked Michael for giving up HIS childhood so that we could all enjoy OURS ... kind of a neat sentiment.) But again, have we all forgotten the days when Jackson used to carry Emmanuel Lewis around in his arms instead of Bubbles The Chimp???

When the first allegations came up in the early '80's, I figured it was just some parents trying to cash in on some sort of "Get Rich Quick" scheme and pretty much dismissed it as such ... I would have to say that at that point I was 99% sure that Michael would NEVER do such a thing. But then the allegations kept coming ... MORE children (and their parents) were beginning to make similar claims ... and when the one kid claimed he could identify Michael's "private parts", I have to admit that I began to have some SERIOUS doubts. Pretty soon we had Michael dropping trou and exposing himself in the judge's chambers to see if the description was accurate ... which tells me that a WHOLE lot of people in positions of power took this matter quite seriously. At that point, I'd have to say that I, too, wavered ... and probably fell more into the 50/50 range. But when Jackson turned this kid into "The Twenty Million Dollar Kid" to have the case dismissed, that pretty much did me in. NOBODY pays twenty million dollars to "prove" their innocence ... you pay twenty million dollars to make a problem go away ... and Michael never fully recovered after this incident. His music suffered, his "Q" factor suffered and pretty soon you heard VERY little Michael Jackson music on the radio. THAT to me was the injustice because for whatever else he MAY have been, Jackson was a musical icon. (Of course, I'm ALSO of the opinion that Pete Rose belongs in Baseball's Hall Of Fame ... whatever he did OUTSIDE of baseball in NO way diminshes his contibutions as a player ... and all of the records he established as a player QUALIFY him for Hall of Fame induction ... simple as that.)

When the spotlight was on him, Michael Jackson dominated the scene like no other. It's wonderful that we have all been reminded of this greatness due to his death ... I just believe the WHOLE picture should have been presented. As I've stated before, there will be COUNTLESS books in the future claiming to tell the WHOLE story about people like Michael Jackson and the aforementioned Allen Klein ... I expect everyone from Michael's cook to the children's nanny to at least half-a-dozen dismissed employees to his media-starved sister LaToya to ALL come forward to present THEIR take on the bizarre, secret world of Michael Jackson ... and then, too, we will have to decide which facts we choose to believe. My guess is that there'll be a LITTLE bit of fact in ALL of it ... contrary to what Al Sharpton may have told Michael's children, Jackson WAS, in fact, a VERY strange dude!!! (kk)

Bear with me, I'm taking a moment to celebrate one of my connections to Pop Music History!

1977 - "Undercover Angel", by songwriter (turned pop singer) Alan O’Day, reached the top spot on the "Billboard" chart. It was not the first visit to the top of the pop music world for O’Day, though the million-seller would be his last as a singer. He wrote "Angie Baby", a number one hit for Helen Reddy and the #3 hit, "Rock And Roll Heaven", for The Righteous Brothers.

(Scroll down to "This Day in History", 1977. And where it reads "though the million-seller would be his last as a singer", add in the words "SO FAR"!!! heehee ... )

Sales: Approximately 2 million copies. And the Appetizers album will be released for the first time as a CD in Japan later this year!


Congratulations, Alan ... I'm encouraging ALL of our Forgotten Hits readers to masturbate in YOUR honor this evening!!! (kk)
I can hear them now ... "OOOO-OOOO-OOOO-WEEE!!!"

Thanks, Kent!


Kent ...
How ya' doin'? This is an open letter I just posted to our friend Alan O'Day on my website.
CONGRATULATIONS Alan! What is amazing to me is you’re a better songwriter and performer today than you were 30 years ago! Your new CD is as relevant as the recent releases by Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Madonna, and Brian Wilson. It’s the finest album of your career.
When I worked with you at Warner Brothers Music, in the early ‘70s, we got hundreds, yes hundreds of covers on your highly commercial songs, which included cuts by 3 Dog Night, Steppenwolf, Bobby Sherman, Cher, Dawn, Helen Reddy, and Anne Murray. Although I knew you were immensely talented, I never expected you to develop into the artist you’ve become.
As contemporary as Nickelback, Coldplay, and John Mayer, I think your new CD, “I HEAR VOICES” is poised to capture the imagination of a new generation. I’m really proud that you start off the 14 song CD, with a song we co-wrote, “(Ain’t Gonna Hang Up) My Rock And Roll Shoes”.

“Back in the days of 45s,

Had a hit record but I survived

You may not remember, it’s been a long time,

But I’m still a legend in my own mind!

So turn up the music and turn off the news

Gimme three minutes, I can loosen your screws

Rock your booty ’til you blow a fuse

Ain’t Gonna’ Hang Up My Rock And Roll Shoes”
Copyright Cityman Music / WayneArt Music
For the whole letter click onto:
Copyright 2009 by Artie Wayne
Well, I've got to agree with you about "I Hear Voices" ... we think Alan O'Day's latest CD is the bomb ... and have featured a number of tracks here in Forgotten Hits ... as well as encouraged our readers to pick up a copy for themselves. Congratulations again, guys! (kk)

I heard REALLY good things from a couple of our readers about last week's Jay and the Americans show at Bensenville's Music In The Park Series. We backed off (wimped out?) due to the heavy rain that kept up all day ... but the show went on as planned and from what I hear, a couple hundred folks were TOTALLY delighted by what they saw. Even better than the music, I'm told, were the stories in between the songs ... run ins the band had with up-and-coming unknown artists like Neil Diamond and Steely Dan BEFORE they were stars. We just HAVE to catch these guys in concert one of these days!!! (kk)

JAM Productions presents Mike Flynn's NORTH OF MEMPHIS at the Park West,
322 West Armitage, on Friday, August 14th. Chicago's premier R&B and session players have been collaborating and performing together at select venues for nearly two years. Led by singer / songwriter and lead guitarist Mike Flynn, this electric ensemble cris-crosses between blues, R&B, funk and fusion at a moment's notice.

North of Memphis is: Mike Flynn, lead guitar; Howard Levy, harmonica; Quent Lang, sax and flute; Steve Taylor, lead vocals; Pat Flemming, lead guitar; Dave Forte, bass; Bill LeClaire, keyboards; Kevin Johnston, Drums

Doors open at 7:30pm. Rick Biordi's band opens the show @ 8:30, followed by North of Memphis. Complete ticket information can be found at:

See and hear North of Memphis on My Space and YouTube (click on Bad Axe)

I also just heard that Paul McCartney has added a stop in Dallas (at Cowboys Stadium) to his appearances ... the presale kicks off on Monday (the 13th) for Macca's show on August 19th. More dates are expected to be added soon. (kk)

And this from our buddy Jimy Rogers regarding some upcoming Blue Truth shows: Sunday, July 12 - Taste of Westmont 3 - 6 p.m.
Blue Truth will kick off the annual Muddy Waters Tribute blues jam, then be joined by Chicago's top blues players including Eddie Taylor Jr.
Main Stage at Cass Avenue, south of Naperville Rd.

Thursday, July 16 - Willie Dixon's Blues Heaven Foundation Record Row Concert
Jimy, Joan and Gary will join Ramblin' Rose during this free Thursday night concert series
2120 S. Michigan Ave. 6 - 7 p.m.

Thursday, July 30 - Blue Truth on the Radio
Hambone's Blues Party on WDCB 90.9 fm @ 10 p.m.Jimy, Joan, Gary and guest vocalist Pat Smillie

Advance Tickets Now Available for a special BLUE TRUTH event:
FRIDAY AUGUST 7, 2009 at the beautiful SKOKIE THEATRE

“The Soulful Songs of Ray Charles”Featuring vocalists Jimy Rogers & Pat Smillie with BLUE TRUTH

And, Forgotten Hits List Member Bill Hengels just sent me the updated Schaumburg Septemberfest Concert schedule. In addition to the Starship show we told you about the other day (featuring Mickey Thomas and Bobby Kimball of Toto), it looks like it is NOT the Bachman - Cummings Band as we had hoped, but rather the Randy Bachman Band who'll be performing on September 5th. Too bad ... Randy's great and all ... and we love him ... but it was the two of them TOGETHER that we were hoping to see ... that show would have been awesome!!! (I'm a little partial to Burton myself!!!) I'm sure we'll still go ... but this is a bit of a letdown after being all hyped up to hear the original Guess Who tunes by the guys who created them in the first place. (kk)

If you missed The Ides of March's appearance on Jim Shea's show this past Friday, FH List Member has posted an audio link for your listening enjoyment ... and it was GREAT to hear about their brand NEW CD release, too! One of the most rockin' shows you'll see this summer, be sure to check out The Ides Of March live in concert, too, if you get a chance! (kk)

Click here: The Ides Of March Flash Intro

Listen for their KILLER early-morning version of "L.A. Goodbye" ... awesome!!! (kk)

Good stuff, guys ... VERY happy to share this one with our readers! (kk)

By the way, Richard Speck murdered EIGHT nurses that night, not seven ... a ninth nurse hid under the bed and witnessed the whole thing.

Ironically, the very same day that that posting hit our website, I read the same thing in the hot new book "The '60's Book Of Days" ... a REAL fun read put together by two of our Forgotten Hits readers, Harvey Solomon and Rich Appel. It's a day-by-day look back at all of the highlights and pop culture moments that made history during our FAVORITE decade, the 1960's. Fans of our column are sure to enjoy this fun and informative look back. You can pick up your OWN copy at the Barnes and Noble website ...

Click here: Barnes & - Book Search: Rich Appel ... and, perhaps if we bug them enough, they'll donate a copy to give away to one of our readers, too!!!

By the way, Appel and Solomon describe the Speck ordeal (which occurred on July 13, 1966) this way:
"At a time when mass murder is almost unheard of in the U.S., the name Richard Speck conjures up unimaginable horror and revulsion. Early this morning he forces his way into a Chicago townhouse shared by nursing students and methodically rapes, strangles and stabs eight nurses. A ninth, who survives by wriggling under a bed, emerges hours later to discover the bloodied corpses. "This is the man," she says nine months later, walking across a courtroom to within a foot of the seated defendant and pointing. With that identification and a fingerprint lifted from the scene, the jury takes less than an hour to return a death sentence verdict, later converted to life in prision. In 1996, five years after Speck died of a heart attack, a secret video shot in jail surfaces, showing him partying with fellow inmates. Asked on the tape about the murders, he shrugs and jokes, "It just wasn't their night."
Being not yet 13, I remember the horror and all the news coverage of this gruesome event ... a flat out massacre by any standards. The thing that stands out in my mind is Speck's "Born To Raise Hell" tattoo ... that just REALLY freaked me out as a kid ... coupled with the fact that he was still on the loose somewhere. I also remember Bill Kurtis doing a television news piece several years later and, if I'm not mistaken, Speck requesting an exclusive interview with our very own Bob Greene. Perhaps Bob will share a memory or two with our readers. (kk)

And, this just in ... Rich Appel says that "Book Of Days ... The '70's" will arrive at Barnes and Noble this fall!!! Why not collect the whole set?!?!?! More details to come as they become available. Thanks, Rich! (kk)


I followed your lead and read another of Bob's books on a couple of long plane rides this week. This time, I enjoyed "Be True To Your School."
Ayone living during that year would enjoy this year of Bob's personal history because it parallels so much of our own histories. Bob mentions "Summer Means Fun" by Bruce and Terry - a great Forgotten 45 that never made the Top 40. (Terry is Terry Melcher)
He also talks about such weirdness as talking over the busy signal (which kids all across America enjoyed), and "cake dialing", which kids all over were doing with a different label: "One-Ringing."
If you read this book this year, you'll notice that Bob's dates and days match since 1964 and 2009 share the same calendars from March thru December. This makes it extra fun reading since the weekends and holidays line up with the current experience. (Jan - Feb don't match since '64 was a leap year)
Looking forward to Bob's new release in the next few weeks.

I really enjoyed it, too ... and there are SO many parallels, it's uncanny!!! Forgotten Hits Readers would do well to seek out a copy and check it out for themselves! (kk)

I'll miss Casey Kasem even though I haven't heard his show in years.
Remember the great days in the early 70's when radio was less corporate and the music seemed a lot more exciting.? Thanks for the ride Casey!
... bd

After 39 years, DJ Casey Kasem does his final weekly countdown of the country's top hits
By Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Casey Kasem has done his final countdown.The 77-year-old DJ told "American Top 20" listeners across the country Saturday that the program would be his last.Kasem launched his weekly countdown of the nation's most popular songs, the "American Top 40," on July 4, 1970. Ryan Seacrest took over the show in 2004, and Kasem went on to host two syndicated spinoffs, the "American Top 20" and "American Top 10."Kasem said he "loved every minute" of his broadcasting career, but that he was leaving the show to "free up time I need to focus on myriad other projects."
I think we ALL listened to Casey's show at some point in time ... I used to like hearing the songs in the BOTTOM 20 because a number of them weren't being played here in Chicago at the time. (Whereas in the '60's, WLS was at the forefront of adding new material to their playlist, by the '70's it seemed as though the song had to already be a PROVEN hit before WLS would add it ... in some cases, songs were working their way up OUR chart after having already reached the Top Ten nationally after 15 weeks or so!!!) Amazingly, Casey really hadn't come up with anything new ... there've been countdown shows since the '50's, going all the way back to programs like "Your Hit Parade". WLS and WCFL used to count down THEIR Top 40 list on a daily basis there for a while!!! But Casey had that soothing, instantly familiar radio voice ... and he incorporated things like "Long Distance Dedication" and told some of the stories behind the songs and artists that we all love here in Forgotten Hits. Kudos on a career well done. (And let's not forget his legendary voice-over work with the Scooby Doo series, too!!!) kk

Late Thursday night as I was driving home from the airport I phoned my wife to tell her I was on my way. We were chatting for a couple of minutes when she said earlier in the day she'd heard Scott Shannon mentioning the Number One song this week in 1964. (We don't have True Oldies Channel here in Nashville where Scott really got famous; she'd been in Alabama visiting kids / grandkids and had driven home earlier in the evening.) She said she'd forgotten what the song was, as she wasn't paying close attention. I suggested it was probably "I Get Around" by the Beach Boys. She replied "Yeah, that's it! How'd you know?"
I explained that I'd been reading Bob Greene's "Be True To Your School" and that Bob had mentioned the same song making number one on the WCOL / Columbus music survey sometime in the early summer. (This book is Bob's diary of 1964.) I came home and thumbed back through the book and, sure enough, found Bob's entry of June 17 confirming my memory. Bob also mentions several other songs and groups seen on your WLS Silver Dollar Survey from this week in '64.
Ironic that Scott Shannon, Forgotten Hits and the book we've been talking so much about lately, "Be True To Your School", would ALL focus on that particular date in music history ... there was nothing really noteworthy about it ... just a GREAT representation of what was coming out of our radios at the time ... where it seemed like EVERY song they played was something you wanted to hear ... and EVERY new release caught your ear ... a VERY creative time in music, to be sure. We're kicking around the idea of spotlighting a different WLS Chart each Friday ... a chance to take a look back at what was popular here in Chi-Town at the time as well as a reason to spotlight a couple of what we consider to be Forgotten Hits that deserve a spin every once in a while. Honestly, I didn't hear much feedback from the list on this last one (and I actually sent copies to all of the WLS-FM jocks, too, without a single response) ... so I'm not sure yet just where, if anywhere, this will lead. But in the meantime, I am going to prepare a couple more similar features and see if we can generate some positive response. Thanks, David! (kk)


I guess we've known each other at least 30 years (has it been that long?) since you first put that ad in the Trib looking for WLS surveys. Who knew that in mid 2009, we'd still be talking about oldies, top 40 charts and so on. While I haven't been on board since the beginning, because I didn't have a computer, I can recall you stating more than once that FH started with a handful of oldies fans. There is a song called, I forget who did it, It Started With Rock And Roll And Now It's Out Of Control. Did you think for a minute that you'd have legendary Chicago DJs such as Clark Weber & Bob Stroud contributing, as well as other jocks? And what about so many of our musical heroes? I don't know if it's out of control, but I think FH has grown far bigger than you ever thought it would. I wish I knew how you do it, even without considering the other issues that take away from your free time. If I had the technical knowhow, perhaps you & I could sit down and discuss me taking over some of the burden. But I don't know if I could do it justice. No one expects you to devote 24/7 to this. You have a job, family and just alone time for your own private thoughts to consider. While you'd like this to be your #1 priority, it's not gonna happen, unless you win megamillions and can live the life of luxury. So it's a question of when do you fit FH in. As far as I'm concerned, you do a great job and if you should decide to hang up your rock and roll shoes, then be satisfied that in our little corner of the universe that you did a great job and know for 10 years you did something you love. Be satisfied that FH has introduced you to a lot of people who are now good friends as that Trib ad did for us. Maybe someone, or a group of someones, can step in to alliviate the pressure, I don't know. But if it is getting to be too much, then walk away. Your sanity is more important. Yes there are more important things than rock and roll, just a few, but there are. Jack (Rock And Roll Never Forgets)
Thanks, Jack ... I'm kicking around a few ideas right now ... it just seems that in order to keep it challenging, we need to expand in SOME new direction, not simply rehash the same old, same old. (Heck, we've already got oldies radio for THAT!!! lol) So you may catch me trying out a few new things here and there to see what kind of response we get. There's a certain amount of pressure that comes with keeping up the standard of what I want Forgotten Hits to be ... and, most likely, NOBODY drives that point home more than I do it to myself!!! So hang in there ... we just may come up with something that'll keep things interesting a little while longer! (kk)