Monday, August 17, 2009

More Of Your Comments

With all that's been going on here lately, our schedule is a little out of kilter right now ... but here are a few more of your recent comments:


From my book:
Friday, August 15-17, 1969, Bethel, New York
A three-day ticket was $24. With 400,000 people this should have raised $9.6 million. However, it was impractical to try to collect money, fans were climbing over the fences, and it became a “free concert.” The only revenues were from tickets purchased before the event, which amounted to $1.1 million.
Abbie Hoffman and Paul Krassner handed out thousands of fliers urging guests not to pay the admission fees. When Hoffman, Yippie and political activist, took the stage and grabbed a microphone, Pete Townshend literally kicked his ass, and he fell off the stage. Hoffman screamed at the Who, but no one could hear him because of the loud music.
(Actually, when he tried to climb up on the stage, Townshend butted him with the neck of his guitar, knocking him off the stage, all the while screaming "Get the fuck off my fucking stage!!!" lol WTG, Pete!!!) kk
To the attendees’ credit, there was no violence. The drugs of choice were LSD and marijuana, neither of which induces violence. If the chic drug were alcohol, it would have been an entirely different story.
Michael Lang: “You see how they function on their own, without cops, without guns, without clubs, without hassles, everybody pulls together, and everybody helps each other, it has been working since we got here, and will continue working when we go back. This thing is happening.”
The festival got off to rough start. The scheduled starting time was 4:00 p.m.. However, the performers were spread around in hotels miles from the site. Because of the traffic jam, the promoters were frantically contracting for helicopters to shuttle in the performers and supplies. But the helicopters were late. A four-seater finally arrived after 4 p.m.; it could handle only single acts. Lang had two choices: Hardin, who was drifting around backstage stoned, or Richie Havens, who looked ready. Three days of music started at 5:07 pm Eastern Daylight Time on August 15, 1969, with Richie Havens. Every time Havens tried to quit playing, he had to continue. The other acts hadn't arrived. Finally, after Havens had played for nearly three hours (!) - improvising his last song Freedom.

The most profound response during the movie: “What is it that the musicians have that they can communicate so well to the kids?”
Michael Lang: “Music.”
John Sebastian: “This is really a mind fucker of all times, man. I have never seen anything like this, man. Wow, just love everybody around you, and clean up a little garbage on your way out. There is a cat whose old lady had a baby, and it made me think that this really is a city. This is for you and your old lady, and whew, the kid is going to be far out.” (A more mature Sebastian had this to say about the Lovin’ Spoonful many years later: “We were accused of optimism. We did not want to have any part of ‘I kind of gave my toe in pop music, but I really have a concern for international affairs. We are entertainers. What kind of insight are you going to get from us? The protest movement was done well by Bob Dylan, but not necessarily by the second tier after him.”)
Woodstock did not launch any new music stars, but the festival, and especially the movie, did wonders for the fame of many of the groups (much more than Monterey Pop). This book’s survey showed that if there were no Woodstock movie, the portion of people who would have heard of Joe Cocker was 66%, Country Joe and The Fish, 48%, Ten Years After, 45%, and Richie Havens, 41%. There were quite a few other groups that remained obscure because they were not featured on the movie.
Arlo Guthrie got a boost from the movie, but was better more known than those above, largely from having a famous father.
Guthrie: “I don’t know like how many of you can dig how many people there are, man. Like I was rapping with the fuzz. Can you dig it? There are supposed to be a million and a half people here by tonight. Yeah, it’s far out, man.”
Country Joe McDonald believed that his fate was sealed right after he shouted: “Gimme an F.” McDonald said, “After the movie came out, that’s all I was known for. ... It’s pretty hard to top the ‘Fish Cheer.’ I don’t know if I can do that.”
Michael Lang, another of the organizers: “Financially, this is a disaster.”
Interviewer: “You look so happy.”
Lang: “I am very happy. You could not buy that for anything. It has nothing to do with money. These people are communicating with each other.”
Interviewer: “You have to make $2 million to break even?”
Lang: “The point is that it is happening, and that is enough for now.”
Yeah, right. Of course it has nothing to do with money for them, because they were not paying the $2.4 million ($12.0 million in 2004 dollars) costs to run the festival. If it had nothing to do with tangible things, there would be no sound system, land lease, food, water, restrooms, stage, paid musicians (all of them), security, etc. Jimi Hendrix was the top paid performer at $18,000 ($90,000), and the land lease cost $25,000 ($125,000).
Announcer: “It is a free concert from now on. We are going to put the music up here for free. The people who put up the money for it are going to take a bit of a bath, a big bath. They are going to get hurt. These people have it in their heads that your welfare is hell of a lot more important, and so is the music, than a dollar.” The financial backers had no choice.
When Woodstock became a “free” festival, this, of course, did not apply to the performers. When groups refused to go on stage without being paid their full fee (the groups had received a small amount up-front, but much less than the standard 50%), they were threatened by the promoters that an announcement would be made about the situation. The groups certainly did not want to be seen as greedy. However, the promoters also had reasons not to upset the crowd, including destruction of all the equipment (“peace and love” had its limits). The management of the Who held firm, and was paid the remaining $11,200 fee ($1,300 was paid in advance) with a certified check at 3:30 a.m., from financial backer Joel Rosenman. Michael Lang was nowhere to be seen, as he did not want to be bothered with paying the performers.
John Roberts was the individual who risked his own money to finance Woodstock Ventures, the business that funded the festival. Without him, there would have been no festival at all. Woodstock Ventures got into financial difficulty because there were two people spending money who had no incentive to control costs. Kornfeld’s promotional expenses were more than $150,000, 70 percent over budget. Lang’s production expenses had soared to $2 million, more than 300 percent over budget.
Lang recalled: “My idea was just to get it done, whatever it took. We had a vision, and it all came true. I made a decision that we needed three major acts, and I told them I didn’t care what it cost. If they had been asking $5,000, I’d say, ‘Pay ’em $10,000.’ So we paid the deposits, signed the contracts, and that was it: instant credibility.”
Woodstock Ventures paid bands money unheard of in 1969. Bands were reluctant to sign up with an unknown entity, but the big breakthrough came with the signing of the top psychedelic band of the day, The Jefferson Airplane, for the incredible sum of $12,000. The Airplane usually took gigs for $5,000 to $6,000. Creedence Clearwater Revival signed for $11,500. The Who then came in for $12,500.
Ventures spent $100,000 to clean the trashed festival site. Not many people heeded John Sebastian’s advice about picking up trash. A huge hole was dug and filled with tons of shoes, bottles, papers, clothes, tents, and plastic sheets, and was burned. The smoke that burned for days brought Ventures a charge of illegal burning from Bethel officials.
A local banker, Charlie Prince, went way out on a limb, extended $250,000 of credit to Woodstock Ventures at a crucial time. Because additional ticket revenues were not coming in, and some acts (Janis Joplin, the Who, and the Greatful Dead) refused to perform until they were paid, the festival could not continue without more money.
Roberts, Lang, Kornfeld, and Rosenman (the fourth of the organizers) had made personal guarantees to pay the bills. But only Roberts' family had enough assets to pay off Woodstock's debt, and did. Roberts' father and brother told the Wall Street bankers that they never had run out on debts and they weren't going to start now. The Roberts family paid off the debt.
The following were at both Monterey and Woodstock:
Stephen Stills; David Crosby; Country Joe and the Fish; Ravi Shankar; Janis Joplin; Jefferson Airplane; Jimi Hendrix; Canned Heat; Grateful Dead; Who
(in order)
Richie Havens

(the movie advertisement says that they were the first “band” to appear)
Bert Sommer
Tim Hardin
Ravi Shankar (55 minutes)
Arlo Guthrie
Joan Baez
Country Joe McDonald
John Sebastian
Keef Hartley Band
Incredible String Band
Canned Heat (rare obscure group with two lead singers, Bob Hite and Al Wilson; Wilson has the falsetto voice, and Hite the raspy one)
Creedence Clearwater Revival (11 songs)
Janis Joplin
Sly and the Family Stone
Jefferson Airplane
Joe Cocker
Country Joe and the Fish
Ten Years After
The Band
Johnny Winter
Crosby Stills Nash and Young (16 songs)
Early Monday morning
Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Jimi Hendrix (there were only about 30,000 people left for his performance)
Iron Butterfly was scheduled, but got stuck at the airport
-- Dwight Rounds
Good stuff, Dwight! Woodstock memories were ALL over the radio this past weekend ... incredible how "MAINSTREAM" this all has become some 40 years later!!! (We had planned to watch the whole thing again ourselves this past weekend ... but could never string together the necessary four straight hours to do so!!! But, MAN I love this film!!!) By the way, the website link to order Dwight's book is right here (kk):

This young man opened at Woodstock on Saturday. Be sure you read his bio first.
A rare one from Woodstock. A great song done by a guy from the cast of "Hair."
The other link is for the news story.
David Lewis

I'm intriqued by your teaser for the "Summer of '69" hits coming.
Looking forward to seeing this.
On the same note I went and visited the "Summer of 67" page you have up. Decided to give it an upgrade by posting ALL 50 B sides of the Chicago Summer of 67 hits at my website.
The songs are available in 5 zipped folders.
Now for the bad news. I have taken down the folders of the Top 200 B sides I made That is where I made all of them available at my web site for a short time. The "short time' has expired so the link at your page stating where to go to get them is no longer valid. But I hope I am making up for that with these Summer hits B sides.
Maybe I will do this same thing for the "Summer of '69" hit's B side when you come out with it. We'll see.
Lastly, since I am big into the 60's B sides, I would welcome anyone to come visit and grab some B sides at my Yahoo site "Bside45 - The B side".
Here is the description I use of the site:
"The B side of the vinyl 45 is an interesting genre. Some B sides got promoted to A sides and became hits or became a minor hit of their own. Others showed a different side of the artist. Some were instrumentals, or appeared on several 45s but never made it on a LP. Others were simply throwaways so the "writer" could share in the A side's potential royalties. This site will specialize in sharing and appreciation of the B sides of the songs that hit the top 100 during the 1960's for the most part but with a major emphasis on the Top 40.
I will try to add up to 10 songs every week from a radio station for a particular week's survey for that week in the 60's plus some scans of those B sides. It may not be the same as Billboard's chart for that week, but that is something that will be a good thing since local charts didn't match up exactly. Usually you will find a surprise or two on each chart. If the B side was either lucky enough or good enough to make the national top 40 it won't be included in the posting. Over time, I will probably be duplicating some songs. I'll try to vary the stations and years each week, but will keep the same time frame for that week and today's date."

For example, here are the B sides of recent week's posting from a chart. They are all from A sides that hit the top 10 on the same regional chart for that week in 1968. Can you name the A sides?
Rolling Stones - Child Of The Moon
Hugh Masekela - Bajabula Bonke
Doors - Love Street
Status Quo - Gentleman Joe's Sidewalk Cafe
Dells - Love Is So Simple
Cliff Nobles - Love Is All Right
Donovan - Teen Angel
Jerry Butler - Beside You
Bobby Goldsboro - She Chased Me
Steppenwolf - Everyone's Next One
Rich G
Cool, thanks Rich ... always nice to cross-promote some of these features. (And, in all fairness, I can't discuss B-Sides and NOT mention Mr. C's Flipside Show, airing Tuesday Nights at 7 PM Central Time ... you can Listen Live here:
Click here: The Flip Side Radio Show - Home
Meanwhile, here are links for our Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides List AND The Biggest Hits Of Summer, 1967, BOTH available on The Forgotten Hits Website:
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Your Top 200 Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides
Click here: Forgotten Hits - The Summer Of Love Countdown
The Top 50 Hits from The Summer of '69 will most likely wrap up our 1969 feature this month. (As I said, our schedule has become just a little bit hap-hazzard lately so we're still trying to work things out. Since we'll be in San Francisco this weekend, it's unlikely you'll see any postings for Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday at all ... unless we can sneak in our WLS Chart before we take off on Friday Morning!) kk

Thanks Kent for responding.

Sorry for thinking you made a mistake about Color My World.
That’s very interesting it was the B side for both records.
I have a few more favorite B sides that I would like to share.
1. Gotta Get Away / B side of We Ain't Got Nothing Yet - Blues Magoos
2. You Make Me Feel Good / B side of Kind of a Drag - Buckinghams.
It is also the B side of She's Not There by the Zombies
3. Make Up Your Mind / B side of Keep On Dancing - The Gentrys
4. Like The Seasons / B side of Happy Together - The Turtles
5. We Got a Groovy Thing Going / B side of Sounds of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel
6. Distance / B side of Sunday Will Never Be The Same - Spanky and Our Gang
7. Gonna Build A Mountain / B side of What Kind Of Fool Am I? - Anthony Newley 8. I Can't Explain It / B side of Hang On Sloopy
Thanks again.

If you check the link above, I think you'll see that a couple of these made our final countdown list, too ... and there are some on YOUR list that never even got mentioned. (We finally had to stop allowing nominations once we hit one thousand titles!!! lol) Anyway, thanks to the FINE representation we received from the music fans out there, I think our list has become pretty much the definitive ranking for the best B-Sides out there ... especially when coupled with our Top 200 Biggest Two-Sided Hits Of All-Time list! (kk)

Hey Kent,
So sorry to hear about Mark's passing. But just think, he's riding on the bus with Les Paul right now, picking up all kinds of guitar pointers for their great gig in the sky. Again, I'm so sorry.

Hope you had a chance to tune in my show on Friday night. At 9:30 I did a tribute to Les Paul. I played excerpts from my old-time radio convention where he appeared on my music panel in 1999.

DJ Stu Weiss

Kent -
I just heard that Les Paul passed away. He was one of the greats and definitely an innovator in the way the guitar sounds and is played.
He was playing clubs into his 90's and although arthritis was setting in he said, "If you only have two fingers to make a chord, you have to figure out a way to make that chord sound right."

He was an inspiration to a lot of guitarists ... including myself.
In 1965 he released an album called "Pickin' on the Beatles". Here are a few tracks from that release.
Keep up the good work, Kent!!!

I used to have that album, too ... but it disappeared over the years. Here's one of MY favorites from that LP ... Les' version of "She's A Woman"! (kk)

Les Paul - 1997 RIP
Click the Link to view on YouTube:
Small tribute to a wonderful guitarist and recording pioneer! I took this video in 1997 in NY. Les could be very funny onstage.
A George Manney film.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Les Paul Foundation, 236 West 30th Street, 7th Floor, New York, New York 10001
George Manney

And, let's face it ... were it not for the fact that Les Paul invented double-tracking, we may have never even known about Gary Lewis!!! (lol) kk

Speaking of which ...

The information on Gary Lewis was very interesting. I especially like that original version of This Diamond Ring. If you've never read Al Kooper's books do yourself a favor and do so. He's a very funny writer with stories going back to the 50s and a great sense of the absurd in the rock and roll world.
Keep up the good work
Tim English
Al participates with us from time to time ... VERY knowledgeable and head-set on getting the facts straight ... which we REALLY appreciate here in Forgotten Hits. I've read one of his books and thoroughly enjoyed it. Sounds like he's been working on the brand new Charlie Gracie CD, featuring British Rockers Graham Nash and Peter Noone! We're still hoping to have either a track or a snippet from that to "sneak peek" to our readers in the very near future. Thanks, Tim! (kk)

No matter who sang it, my favorite Gary Lewis record is “Where Will the Words Come From?”

Aside from The Bee Gees / "Words" intro, this one always reminded me of a Beach Boys track ... I agree ... one of his better recordings. (kk)

Gary Lewis & the Playboys had seven great top 10 hits in a row. Flips like Little Miss Go Go and Without A Word Of Warning were also excellent.
There are two versions of Sure Gonna Miss Her. The hit version had more Spanish guitars and straight drumming. The other version had all sorts of drum rolls and was featured on some of the greatest hits albums.
Is that Hal Blaine on drums on both versions? I prefer the alternative version with the drum rolls.

I've heard both versions that you are talking about. My guess is that it IS, in fact, Hal Blaine handling the drums on both versions ... hopefully, we'll get a confirmation on this shortly. Thanks! (kk)


"Time Stands Still" (awful as it is!!!) most DEFINITELY proves that Gary is Jerry's son!!! (lol) I think we've covered this topic ad naseum at this point ... again, I urge EVERYBODY out there to check out this Wrecking Crew Documentary. It doesn't matter WHOSE music you fell in love with in the '60's ... odds are these guys were involved with it in some fashion!!! (kk)

I am happy to post a few of the images from Dennis Tufano and the Cryan' Shames performance, candids, and rehearsal on WGN-TV noon news from August 14,2009. I will post more on my site after they've been sent out to the media and Dennis has had a chance to see them. This was an appearance that was initially scheduled for a few months before and then had to be rescheduled. Sorry this event was not posted in the blog, Dennis' site or Twitter beforehand. All parties involved discussed it and thought it was better to wait until it actually aired before posting info that could have been subject to last minute changes. In the news business, "Stuff happens" and features and entertainment get pushed aside for breaking news which was also the case today of why you did not see an interview to go along with the great music! This was a great day for all! Special love, gratitude and Thank-yous to: Jan Hughes, Tom Barnas, WGN-TV staff, Steve Sanders and Tom Skilling for stopping by the set to say hello!
Here is the WGN-TV video again:
Submitted by: Linda Matlow - Publicist & PA for Dennis Tufano.
From the blog:

and, speaking of The Cryan' Shames ...

It has become my habit to sometimes try my hand at late night web surfing. On one of my recent nocturnal jaunts I came across your story about the Ides Shames Union.
As Toad quite elegantly noted, this was a band Dave Remedi and I helped organize. He was still with Columbia at the time and I had just left my partnership with Frank Rand and Bob Destocki. As such we had been the managers of The Ides of March.
The Ides dissolution left several great musicians without gigs. They tried other bands and even other occupations, as did I. However we all seemed to gravitate back to music.
It was at that point the idea of The Ides Shames Union burst forth. One of the hardest things for a new band to develop is some sort of name recognition and following that would make it saleable. With a new group featuring key members of two of Chicago's most successful groups we felt we had a good start.
Now on to the recording question. Actually that was one of the motivating forces behind the project. Both Dave Remedi and I felt we could sell this group and their songs to a major label. Back then we were quite young and delusional.
However we did spend several hours recording at Marty Feldman's Paragon studios. You will not find tracks attached to this Email. Nor will you hear the postman ringing your bell to deliver a CD or even a tape. And although Alzheimer’s seems to have found a home with elderly musicians at least managers and record promoters always remember recording sessions. That being said, I have no idea where the tapes are.
Yet as Tony Bennett always says, "thanks for remembering".
John Galobich
Thanks for writing, John ... great to hear from you. So now the quest begins to find these tapes!!! Maybe YOUR memories will spark a memory or two from some of the other guys involved with this band!!! (And, of course, if we DO track down some of the material from these sessions, you can count on hearing it right here in Forgotten Hits!!!) kk

Hi Kent ...
Just finished reading Bob Greene's new book "Late Edition". I say everybody should read it. Tells about his love for the newspaper business. When JFK got shot, Bob was still in school. He wrote an article about it and brought it to newspaper office, hoping to have it printed in the next days paper. That didn't work. He fell in love with newspapers then. He went from copy boy, to sports writer, to reporter. I told him he was lucky to find out at such an early age, what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. Sad to note that a lot of newspapers are going out of business. Most people get news from the Internet. Some young people have never bought a newspaper. I told Bob if he ever lost his job, he can go back to touring with the Surf City All Stars.
Frank B.

I haven't had time to read this one yet ... been brushing up on all my 1969 facts lately!!! But I have every intention of picking up a copy ... actually, it'd probably make for an interesting read on the flight back and forth to San Francisco! (kk)

re: ELVIS:
With all the mention of Chips Moman in today's FH, many people forget that he and Toni Wine ("Groovy Kind of Love" ... "I'm gonna make your life so sweet") have been married over 35 years and live here in Nashville.
David Lewis
I did not know that. Both have enjoyed incredibly successful careers in music. (kk)
So ... did the whole world start as recently as 1969 ... or have you bought into the general radio theme of when "oldies" started?
John Rook

No, not at all ... actually, we've been saluting 1969 all month long here in Forgotten Hits ... everything from the Moon Landing to "Hair" to Woodstock to Elvis and The Beatles ... this week, we'll be looking back at the collapse of The Chicago Cubs and the incredible rise of the Amazin' New York Mets. But you're right ... MOST of oldies radio today, if they play Elvis at all anymore, seems to focus on his 1969 Hit "Suspicious Minds" and his 1972 Hit "Burnin' Love" and that's about it ... completely ignoring (save for special weekend programming) the first 108 titles he placed on Billboard's Top 100 Chart. And, to make matters worse, Billboard themselves seem to be short-changing The King these days, too ... with so much focus now on the anniversary of "The Hot 100" (which officially kicked off in 1958), they've eliminated eleven of Elvis' earlier #1 Records ... including landmark tunes line "Heartbreak Hotel", "Hound Dog", "Don't Be Cruel", "All Shook Up", "Teddy Bear" and "Jailhouse Rock", all topping the charts prior to the name change from "The Top 100" to "The Hot 100". This hardly seems fair ... YEARS ago it was universally decided that "The Rock Era" began the week that Bill Haley and the Comets reached the top of the charts with their huge hit "Rock Around The Clock" ... now we've eliminated all of 1955, 1956 and 1957 and half of 1958 from the record books!!! This includes MAJOR hit records by early rock pioneers like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Everly Brothers and countless others.
We always seem to have the debate here about what's an oldie and what's NOT an oldie ... some will argue that nothing after the arrival of The Beatles constitutes a REAL oldie ... others will say "How can you include Disco in the oldies category?!?!?" MOST feel that nothing beyond 1980 belongs ... honestly, the debate will go on forever ... it used to be that anything 25 years or older was considered an oldie ... but that brings up back to 1984. Quite honestly, these days it's rare to hear ANY "oldie" that pre-dates 1964. If we're willing to make this 1984 concession, however, I don't think that we should just eliminate and ignore the songs and artists that LAUNCHED the whole rock era in the first place. Such an exclusion would simply be sacrilige!!! THESE are the guys who spawned the whole "Rock" genre!!! There's nothing wrong with "adding to the list", I suppose ... but NOT at the expense of each NEW entry allowing you to eliminate an OLD entry.
Yes, "Suspicious Minds" was big ... but NOT as big as the 1956-1958 Elvis Hits listed above. Most would agree that THAT's the REAL Elvis Presley!!! (kk)

Hey Kent,
When I saw today's post with all the Elvis stuff, I remembered that I had found this track on the internet a few years back. It's from an Elvis convention or show from the time when that tour with his musicians played along with videos of him performing, do you remember when that was?, I forget what year, but, Lisa came out and sang along with the video of Elvis, ala Natalie Cole Unforgettable, and someone in the audience recorded it. The sound quality is not great and you can hear people talking also, but it's a nice thing and done way before Lisa did any formal recording of her own.
Yes, I remember this ... I had a much cleaner copy at one point but can't seem to find it now. There was all kinds of talk about this coming out as a duet ... and I believe a video was done, too ... then it just disappeared. (Probably not the way Lisa Marie wanted to launch her career.) Her debut album really wasn't bad ... it just wasn't all that special either. It, too, has long since disappeared (soon to be a collectors' item, perhaps???) kk


You never hear these:
Short Shorts : The Royal Teens

Ballad of Davy Crockett : Fess Parker
Summertime Summertime : Jamies
Honolulu LuLu : Jan & Dean
George Vorndran
ALL big hits that rarely receive airplay today. And, since "Summertime, Summertime" has come up a few times here lately ... and since summer is almost over ... we'll feature THAT one here today! (kk)

Here's an almost forgotten one ... considering this made it to number 15, we should hear it more often. I'm talking about "Talk Talk" by The Music Machine.
Thanks again for keeping FH looking so good (and relevant) while all the other stuff's been happening to you guys.
David Lewis
One of those heavy, garage-band tunes from early '67, "Talk Talk" was a Top Ten Hit here in Chicago, where it reached #8. (Who knows ... it just may show up on one of our up-coming WLS charts!!!) Personally, I'm not so sure this one has aged all that well!!! But it certainly WAS a hit ... so we'll feature it here today, too! (kk)

Hi Kent,
Have a great thought for a Forgotten 45 ... "Does Your Mama Know" by Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers ... Thanks!
Jim Shea
Not a very BIG hit ... or even necessarily a very GOOD one ... "Does Your Mama Know About Me" peaked at #29 in Billboard in 1968. I'm sure that you already know this ... but Tommy Chong (from Cheech and Chong fame) was a member of this band ... and Bobby Taylor is the guy who REALLY brought The Jackson Five to the attention of Motown. (It was later decided that Gladys Knight ... and then Diana Ross ... should be given the credit since they were much better-known names!!!)
Knew about Tommy ... did not know about Bobby and the Jacksons ... good stuff! Thank you Kent!

In 1968, The Jackson Five opened for Bobby Taylor and the Vancouvers right here in Chicago at a club called The Regal Theater. Taylor was blown away by Michael's stage presence and after the show, by convincing Joe Jackson that he personally knew Berry Gordy and could arrange an audition for his boys with The President of Motown, persuaded The Jacksons to return with him to Detroit that night after the performance. (The Jacksons had already had some local success in and around Gary, Indiana, with a record they made for Steel Town Records and were already driving their audiences wild when they opened for bigger name acts here in the Midwest ... but the opportunity to audition for Motown was just too hard to resist!)
Taylor then videotaped the group (with Michael doing some of his best James Brown moves) and sent the film off to Berry Gordy, who was out in California at the time. Gordy called back IMMEDIATELY and said "Sign these boys up!" (In fact, Bobby Taylor produced some of the very first tracks The Jackson Five recorded for Motown Records.)
Gordy next put them out on the road as an opening act for Gladys Knight and the Pips, who began introducing them as her new discovery. (Evidently Bobby Taylor and the Vancovers ... with their one modest "Forgotten Hit" ... was no longer considered a big enough deal to fuel the publicity machine!)
However, by the time The Jackson Five had their first hit record ("I Want You Back") and were ready to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show, Gordy had engineered things so that his girlfriend Diana Ross could take credit for the boys' discovery ... in fact, he even made sure she was seated in the audience that night so that Ed could have her stand up and take a bow when he introduced her from the stage!!! (Of course by this point, Gordy ALSO shaved two years off of Michael's age ... making him appear to be an even GREATER young singing sensation than he really was! lol)
Taylor was eased out of the picture once Gordy set up "The Corporation" to handle the writing and producing of The Jackson Five's material. History has been rewritten in such a way as to exclude him completely from The Jackson Five Story ... glad to pass this information along to help set the record straight!

I have two questions that perhaps your amazing group of experts can answer:
1. Up until some time in the '50's, songs had a distinct ending. Then suddenly rock songs started to have "fadeaway" endings where the last line(s) were constantly repeated while the volume gradually reduced to nothing. Who was the first to do this? Is there a good story about this?
2. Also in the 50's songs started to be recorded in something like an echo chamber. Who was the first? Many of Elvis' first recordings had this sound but I assume others did it before him. What can your experts tell us about this?
Keep up the great work!
Steve Davidson
Well, I don't have any immediate answers to these ... but these are very interesting questions that have NOT been asked before, so thank you for that!!! Let's put it out to the list and see what kind of responses we get! Thanks, Steve! (kk)
I also put your question to Jerry Osborne, he of the all-knowing Record Price Guides that have become such a huge part of all of our lives!!! Here's a quick answer from him to get the ball rolling ... we welcome input and suggestions from our OTHER readers as well:
An hour later and I would have missed your mail, as I am headed for the Seattle airport, then on to music conventions in Nashville and Memphis. These questions have not come up before, but I might use them down the line.
>>>Up until some time in the '50's, songs had a distinct ending. Then suddenly rock songs started to have "fadeaway" endings where the last line(s) were constantly repeated while the volume gradually reduced to nothing. Who was the first to do this? Is there a good story about this?
Without the benefit of any time for research, the first one that pops into my mind is "Milkcow Blues Boogie" (Rec. 12/54). As for charted hits, "Mystery Train" (Rec. 7/55) might be the one.
The VERY first R&R tunes, "Rock and Roll" (Paul Bascomb, 1946); and "Rock and Roll" (Doles Dickens Qunitet, 1948); "Rocket 88" (Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats, 1951); "Crazy, Man, Crazy" (Bill Haley & Comets); as well as both sides of the first two Elvis Sun singles, all end "cold" (i.e., abrupt).
Oh yes, the two "Rock and Roll" titles noted are completely different songs. Both clearly predate "Rocket 88," for those who are keeping score.
>>>Also in the 50's songs started to be recorded in something like an echo chamber. Who was the first? Many of Elvis' first recordings had this sound but I assume others did it before him. What can your experts tell us about this?
Known early on as "double tracking," then later as "reverb," the first hit, and a No. 1 at that, which comes to mind is "Hey There," by Rosemary Clooney (summer '54).
Hope other readers will add any earlier ones in these two categories, but, like the first couple on the dance floor, these will get the ball rolling.
Hey Steve, you might see your questions show up in Jerry's weekly newspaper columns ... or, at the very least on his incredibly insightful website! You can learn all kinds of fascinating little-known facts here:
Click here: "MR. MUSIC"

Hi Kent
Still enjoying all the columns and comments - you all do a wonderful job.
I have a question. Do you or anyone else know if there is a cd available that only has 60's dance craze songs on it, such as the twist and the pony, mashed potatoes, etc. I'm having a 60's party for New Year's and would like to run a dance contest for just the dances. Let me know if there is such a thing
I remember a few years ago a couple of Dance CDs coming out (of questionable authenticity I might add) that spotlighted some of these dance crazes. The series was called "30 Top Teen Dances" and featured literally EVERYTHING you're looking for: The Twist by Chubby Checker, The Locomotion by Little Eva, Mexican Hat Rock by The Applejacks, The Stroll by The Diamonds, Mashed Potato Time by Dee Dee Sharp, Pony Time and Limbo Rock by Chubby Checker, The Madison by Al Brown's Tunetoppers, The Bristol Stomp by The Dovells, Willie and the Hand Jive by Johnny Otis, The Wah-Watusi by The Orlons ... even The Bunny Hop by Ray Anthony. (Other titles included Peppermint Twist by Joey Dee and the Starliters, The Duck by Jackie Lee, The Jerk by The Larks, Walking The Dog by Rufus Thomas and even The Monster Mash by Bobby "Boris" Pickett!!!) Too bad somebody hasn't thought to release a LEGITIMATE series like this as I believe there definitely is a market for it. (Surprisingly, we found a listing on for the first of these CDs ... which should get you just about everything you need for your party!!!) If you hurry, you just might be able to get your hands on a copy before they pull it off the market! (kk)
Click here:
Thanks so much for your help - I went to the web site and was able to order one. Thanks again!

I've been researching the song Frankie and Johnny, which was also named Frankie and Johnnie & He Done Me Wrong. I am in the process of compiling a CD of all the artists that sang the song. I would think that there would be a list somewhere. So far, I have 43 versions, mostly country, but of course not all of them. The odd part is that out of all these Artists, I can find only 3 Female Artists (so far). Mae West, Lindsay Lohan, and Ethel Waters.
The song itself also has a hazy beginning, although it evidently was written in the early 1800's. Can you tell me where I could find a list of Artists, especially female artists that sang the song, or if you've ever researched the song itself.
Thanks very much.
Arnold Kirkbride

I personally have never researched this song but I'm sure the information is out there somewhere. (A COMPLETE list??? I dunno about that! With a song like this that dates back that far, that's quite a challenge. In fact it's doubtful that you could track down a copy of every recorded version with this one!) But hey, let's put it to the list and see what they come back with ... at the very least, we should be able to get you another dozen suggestions of female recordings for your collection. (We did a similar piece on the song "Stagger Lee" a while back ... in fact, you can find "The Story Behind The Song" on our website):
Click here: Forgotten Hits - THE STORIES BEHIND THE SONGS


I'm really enjoying your series on Woodstock which reminded me of the "Super Bowl of Rock" here at Soldier Field in the mid 70s. I didn't get to attend myself but understand there were some big acts like the Stones and Pink Floyd to mention a few. I wonder if some of your other readers remember this. I don't see much on the internet.
Dave / Hoffman Estates
I absolutely remember the promotion (although I don't specifically remember The Stones being involved.) Hopefully some of our local readers will respond with some details on this one. (These types of shows became very common attractions in the late '70's and early '80's ... but I personally never attended one!) kk

Well, here's proof that "Be A Lover" by the Dana Sisters exists and that's the real title and artist. Still need to find the record number.
--Ron Smith,s,w,p,b,v&results_pp=20&start=1 If anybody out there can help with this information, please contact me so that Ron can complete this entry in his History Of The Chicagoland Radio Charts. Thank you very much! (kk)
Bill Merrill of Saturday Night Oldies told me that he had sold a copy of Be A Lover by the Dana Sisters and that the label number was Kedlen 2003.
Ed Erxleben

Kicking off tomorrow in Forgotten Hits ... a look at the 1969 Chicago Cubs ...
and the New York Mets!