Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Sunday Comments ( 08 - 02 - 09 )

We've got some pretty wonderful and amazing people on the list ... and we are thankful for this fact each and every day ... thanks to some of these readers, we're able to share things with the rest of you that none of us might otherwise have seen or experienced in our lifetimes ... and that's just plain cool!!! (Seriously, where else on EARTH are you EVER gonna have the chance to see and hear some of this stuff?!?!? Don't believe me??? Then just check out some of these recent bits!) kk

>>>Larry does great covers. He did this one of "A World Without Love" today in memory of Gordon Waller. (David Lewis)
Hi Kent,
I was very sorry to learn of Gordon's passing. I saw both Gordon and Peter at a great performance they gave on Santa Monica Pier about two years ago. I did think Gordon looked tired and Peter had a sore throat but, as always, they were both perfect gentlemen and great performers. I loved Larry's rendition of World Without Love and especially his 12 string work. As the original guitarist on the recording, with a Vox Electric 12 String guitar, I compliment him. I have a story about the original session in my Book, 'Vic Flick Guitarman.'
Very best wishes to you and all your readers.
Attached is a picture of the actual Vox 12 string as heard on the Peter and Gordon recording of World Without Love. There's not many of these guitars about.
Thought Larry might be interested, or maybe some of your readers.

How TOTALLY cool to have been part of these AMAZING sessions!!! And to SEE the actual instrument that played on the session ... UNREAL!!! Yes, I think Larry ... and ALL of our readers ... will enjoy this!!! Who'd have EVER thought that we'd not only be sharing a photo of the guitar that played on this Worldwide #1 Hit, but be talking with the guy who PLAYED it!!! We LOVE hearing your old war stories, Vic ... keep 'em coming!!! (kk)

Be sure to check out Vic's website ... and pick up a copy of his biography, too! You'll find all the information here: Click here: Vic Flick - The Official Website Excellent! This is fantastic. And only on Forgotten Hits! David

I couldn't help but wonder about this very first Peter and Gordon session. I mean, let's face it ... they were virtual unknowns at the time ... who went into the studio for the very first time and cut an International #1 Record!!! I asked Vic to tell us a little bit about that session ... and the early days of Peter and Gordon.

FORGOTTEN HITS: Did you typically know in advance whose sessions you'd be playing on when you got the call to be at the studio?

VIC FLICK: Very seldom. Usually it was can you do 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at EMI, electric and banjo - or similar. We always had a trunk full of guitars and pedals etc. to be ready for anything.

FH: Peter and Gordon were really a brand new, start-up act at that point ... had you had any prior knowledge of these guys or their musical style?

VF: No idea at all what the session was for until I arrived. Always remember Peter and Gordon as two real nice guys who worked hard at what they did.

FH: Who made the decision to use the 12-string guitar on the "A World Without Love" session? Was there a particular sound they were going for on this record ... or was that something that YOU might have some input towards? And, if so, how would you even know to have a 12-string at that particular session?

VF: The electric 12 string had come into fashion - and then disappeared like the Sitar after a few months - and I was specifically asked for the electric version as opposed to the acoustic. No input other than the few fills I made up on the spot.

FH: How often would you feel ... at the end of a recording date ... that you had created something magical? What was your original impression of this particular session?

VF: Something magical, not too often. 'Gold Finger' with Shirley Bassey, 'Shout' with Lulu. 'It's Not Unusual' with Tom Jones, 'Trains And Boats And Planes' with Burt Bacharach to name only a few. But something good quite a few times. Impression of World Without Love was just a tuneful, folksy session. Nothing out of the ordinary. When I started hearing it all day and every day I knew something was happening. I still hear it today but mostly in Supermarkets.

FH: "A World Without Love" went on to become an International #1 Record ... but, as I said earlier, Peter and Gordon were virtually unknown at the time. Certainly, having Paul McCartney write their first hit helped ... and the fact that Paul was dating Peter's sister generated a fair amount of publicity at the time ... but this was TRULY a GREAT record ... and, without question, these guys were very talented. What was it like working with them? They must have been pretty "green" in the studio. Of course, Peter went on to produce a number of HUGE hit records in the years to come ... but what were they like back then? Did you do any other sessions with them? Perform on any of their other hits? Do any tours or television appearances?

VF: It wasn't as obvious as other recordings that World Without Love was going to be an International hit. They were 'green' in the sense of studio work but I remember them being well prepared which didn't happen too often back in the 60s. The EMI A&R team were throwing many artists against the wall and seeing who would stick so some of the singers who later became stars (or not!) were very unprepared and a bit awestruck with the studio scene. Before backing tracks became prevalent this meant quite a few takes!

FH: We've concentrated mostly on Peter Asher here ... but most folks feel (Peter included!) that it was Gordon Waller who was the VOICE of the band. Certainly, we were all saddened to hear of his passing a few weeks ago. Any final thoughts or comments on Gordon?

VF: To me, they were always Peter and Gordon. They had their separate characters, with Gordon being the more assured and outspoken and Peter sort of 'managing' in the back ground. I suppose that was a characteristic that led Peter to his position with Sony. I visited with them at their concert on Santa Monica Pier some time ago. Gordon looked tired and Peter's throat was bothering him but being always very professional, they did a great show. I was very saddened to learn of Gordon's passing. He was a real good guy and a great artist and entertainer.

FH: Thanks, Vic ... I think this really helps to enhance the piece ... we just LOVE getting the "inside track" on some of these songs and artists!

VF: Many thanks for the opportunity to say a few things about the duo. Keep up the good work.

For some reason you did not give a mention to Bobby Rydell's version of A World Without Love, which was a top 20 hit in NYC. It is definitely done in over the top Rydell style but nevertheless is a good solid version of the song.
Actually, I think we talked about that in our first posting. Rydell's version charted here in Chicago, too, ultimately peaking at #10 on the WLS Chart. (Most of its chartrun it SHARED its position with the Peter and Gordon version, until that one became the obvious break-away hit.) No, it's not a bad version ... for a Bobby Rydell record ... but there's just NO comparison to the chart-topping hit. (We've featured Bobby's version here today for those folks around the country who DIDN'T get to hear it back in 1964 ... nationally, it topped out at #80.) kk

I remember listening to Chubby Checker's "The Twist" when it was first released, and I probably heard it at a Friday Night dance, played by the DJ, or I might have heard it on my car radio, but wherever or whenever I heard it, I always liked it. The thing is, in those days I was paying more attention to my "Date Situation for Saturday Night" than I was to the technical quality of the songs I heard on the radio. I say that because, years later, after having done many recording sessions myself with Producers like Roger Christian and Richard Russell, Barry Friedman, Ray Thompson and other well known 'ears', I was listening to a CD I bought that had nothing but "Oldies" on it, and Chubby Checker's "THE TWIST" was one of the tracks. When I heard it this time I couldn't BELIEVE the technical quality of it ... there's something going on there with the mix of the Bass and the Drums, and ALL of the tracks, that in my humble opinion, puts that track at or near the top of my all time "Technical Sound Mix" favorites. Maybe it just 'represents' the sound of that time in my ears, I don't know, but when I listen to it now, I always think ... "what a powerful and noteworthy mix!!!". Today your newsletter included a story about how Cameo / Parkway owner Allen Klein locked up the original Master of that recording, and so Chubby had to re-cut it. That little known fact blows me away, and I'm hoping you or one of your readers can help me answer my question, "Which one am I listening to on my oldies CD? ... The ORIGINAL or Chubby's re-cut?" I don't understand why with today's technology, the "original" couldn't be duplicated somehow onto a CD from the "original" vinyl, but anyway, I'd sure like to hear the complete inside story about Chubby Checker's "THE TWIST". Maybe one of your readers can help me get more information on it. Thanks once again Kent for the 'brain candy' Forgotten Hits puts on my plate. This newsletter is fun to read and always full of great information. Rock On !!! Van Dorn
Without hearing which version of "The Twist" you're referring to ... or knowing what oldies compilation you have that contains the track ... I'm guessing it's the REMAKE that's been blowing you away all these years ... simply because the REAL version hasn't been available. (Couldn't somebody have duped it from vinyl??? Yeah, sure ... but not LEGALLY ... Klein kept ALL those master locked up in the vault until the Cameo / Parkway CD Box Set release a few years ago. As such, the Bobby Rydell track mentioned in the previous email ... and ALL of Bobby's hits, for that matter ... weren't available either. You RARELY heard much Cameo / Parkway stuff on the radio (other than in Philly, from what I'm told) and Checker and several other artists on the label had to go in and record remakes of their biggest hits to get any airplay at all. (MOST of the CD reissues I've seen ... which include all of the Rhino and Joel Whitburn stuff ... CLEARLY note that the recording of "The Twist" contained on that compilation is a re-recording ... honestly, YOUR CD should, too!) How do you keep the ONLY record to reach #1 TWICE during The Rock Era out of the public's eye for 40 years?!?! Again, I will NEVER understand Klein's "Business Strategy" on THIS issue!!! (kk)

(That's the ORIGINAL smash hit that went to #1 TWICE on The Billboard Chart ... a feat never matched during The Rock Era.)

Did anyone else have problems clicking and enlarging this week's chart on the blog? All the others worked fine for me, as do the other pictures -- but when I click on the 1973 chart nothing happens ...
David Lewis

Ironically, I had troubles with the 1971 chart ... but the 1973 chart worked fine for me. In any event, we'll rerun it again, just in case ... hopefully, this one enlarges just fine. (kk)

It was on 7/29/66 that I picked up my very first WLS & WCFL surveys at some neighborhood TV & radio repair place. I had no idea that the decision I made that day would lead me down the path to where I am today. It would lead to the two of us meeting a dozen or so years later and it would begin a life long obsession with rock and roll music, radio & top 40 charts, that's still going strong as I just received a batch of WABC surveys in the mail today.
Jack (Rock And Roll Never Forgets)
I started collecting these a little earlier than you ... I remember when my brother and I would ride our bikes "into town" to the local record store ... right down the street from the drug store where we'd buy our comic books and sit at the soda fountain and order our "specialty" drinks like Cherry and Vanilla Cokes ... had to be the Summer of 1965 ... 'cause I remember going into the record shop and picking up a copy of that week's WLS Survey ('CFL wasn't playing Top 40 yet ... but I listened to them for the Sox games!!!) and trying to decide which one new single I was going to buy that week. I must have already been somewhat "chart-savvy by this point because I remember that on this particular week ... which is FOREVER imbedded in my mind ... I asked my brother, "Which songs on this list do you think will make it to #1" ... to which he replied "All of them." I couldn't help but laugh ... no, of course they wouldn't ALL get to #1 .. but even at the ripe old age of 11 I was already calculating and predicting which records were going to be the hits!!! How clear is that memory??? The 45 I decided to buy that day was "Sunshine, Lollipops And Roses" by Lesley Gore!!! And, practical, analytical ... (or is that anal) ... person that I am, I remember coming home, playing the record and thinking, "Man, I could have bought ANOTHER record instead ... for the SAME amount of money ... that would have lasted longer than a minute and fifty-five seconds!!!" Yeah, I'd say the memory is pretty clear!!! lol (kk )

BIG NEWS: My book "Fat Guys Shouldn't Be Dancing At Half Time" hits the book stores September 10. It's a tongue in cheek, semi-biographical look at Chicago sports over the last 40 plus years.
Take this to the bank. You may love the read or hate it. But I guarantee you it will make you laugh and think. I welcome all arguments.
Chet Coppock
Host: Notre Dame Football
WLS Radio

Can't wait to read THIS one, Chet! More info (and a rundown of Chet's illustrious career) can be found on his website: Click here:

Hey Kent --
Just finished reading Bob Greene's 1993 book "All Summer Long." I got it after hearing you talk about how good it was. I think we should update your resume. Let's put Literary Expert next to Music Expert. This was another great book, just like all the other Bob Greene books I've read. I'm going to start reading Bob's latest book, "Late Edition, A Love Story." I'll send you my review when I'm finished reading it.
Frank B.
Ah yes, yet another satisfied customer!!! (lol) Thanks, Frank ... sounds like SEVERAL folks on the list have been picking up copies of Bob's older works ... and TOTALLY lovin' 'em, too!!! (kk)

I just heard from Carolyn Travis that her EXCELLENT "History Of Rock And Roll Radio" Documentary "Airplay" will be making an appearance right here in Chicago at The Music Box Theater in September ... we'll keep you posted as we receive more details ... but this IS a "Must See" Film for fans of radio and the rock era. (We're hoping to be on hand for this very special showing ... and may even have a few tickets to give away to some of our local readers!!! Stay tuned!!!) kk

This just in from George Manney:
Philly Pop Music - Pt. 1
Click the Link to view on YouTube here:
"Philly Pop Music, The Lost Pioneers", profiles the extraordinary and diversified Philadelphia musical community with rare and unseen interviews, archive footage & photographs.
Visit the officail website here:
Buy music here:
Seen in this clip are: Kenny Gamble, Sylvester Stallone, Chubby Checker, Joel Dorn (RIP) - Grammy award producer, Connie Francis, Charlie Gracie, The Orlons, Earl Young - (Baker, Harris & Young), Roger LaMay - WXPN G.M., Larry Magid - Electric Factor promoter, Pat Martino - Grammy nominated jazz guitarist, Michael Bacon, Dee Dee Sharp, Bunny Gibson - American Bandstand dancer, Nicky Blue - - American Bandstand dancer, Harvey Sheldon - Jewish American music historian, Joe Tarsi - Sigma Sound Studios founder / engineer, Weldon McDougal III, Barbara Mason, Grover Washington Jr., Lloyd Remick, Esq., The Soul Survivors and Tommy Conwell
Philly Pop Music - Pt.2
Click the Link to view on YouTube here:
"Philly Pop Music, The Lost Pioneers", profiles the extraordinary and diversified Philadelphia musical community with rare and unseen interviews, archive footage & photographs. A George Manney film.
Visit the officail website here:
Seen is the clip are: Kenny Gamble, Kevin Bacon, Joe Sgro - session guitarist, Mummers, Beatles, James Dunn - Dreamlovers, Jay Proctor - Jay & Techniques, Albert Berry - The Tymes,
Todd Rundgren, Frank Stallone, Rufus Harley, Odean Pope, Laurie Anderson, Charlie Gracie, Phillie Phanatic, Skip Denenberg, and Philly Cheese Steaks!
-- George Manney
LOTS of focus on the Philly Rock Era lately ... this film should fall right into that "Must See" category! (kk)

>>>The movie "My Dinner With Jimi" is a whole lot of fun if you're a fan of this era of music. Probably a bit hard to find as a rental (as it appeals to a very specific audience) ... but I know that it's available through Collectors' Choice and As for Howard Kaylan, I have ALWAYS loved his music (Frannie and I are HUGE Turtles fans ... and I think Howard Kaylan's is one of the BEST, most over-looked and under-appreciated voices of the '60's). Just recently, Frannie and I were driving out somewhere when "You Baby" came on the radio ... of course we IMMEDIATELY began singing along with the record ... as we ALWAYS do ... and I wondered out loud if Howard Kaylan does the same thing when HE hears it come on the radio ... because, let's face it, EVERYONE else in the whole wide world sure does!!! Maybe he'll see this and drop us a line!!! (lol) kk

Thanks for the kindness, Kent, especially your review of My Dinner With Jimi, which, indeed, is available from Amazon and elsewhere. If any one has a hankering to know what life was like in a sixties rock band, give it a view -- the cast is super cool and guys like John Corbett and George Wendt add a screen cred that I certainly don't possess.As for our record, You Baby ... no, I don't sing along whenever I hear it on the radio, but I sing everyone else's songs ... you gotta be a fan of the music first ... then you can make your own. Thanks for keeping the home fires burning, sir.
Howard Kaylan

We've been receiving quite a bit of mail for our 1969 Memories Series ... and more than a few of them mention the Cubs / Mets battle that dominated the baseball scene that year. (We could use a couple more from The Mets perspective, New Yorkers!!!) It certainly has stirred up some Chicagoland baseball memories ... and all of this right on the heels of Mark Buehrle pitching a PERFECT game for The Chicago White Sox, which REALLY had our town jumping for joy this past week. In case you missed it, here's Buehrle's appearance on The David Letterman Show, counting down "The Top Ten Things That Went Through His Mind While He Was Pitching His Perfect Game":
Click here: YouTube - Letterman - Mark Buehrle Top Ten List


Where does it end?!?!? Five and a half weeks later ... and you STILL can't turn on the TV without seeing Michael Jackson on virtually every channel!!! Amazing. I wonder ... with the anniversary of Elvis' death right around the corner ... how much coverage The King Of Rock And Roll will get in light of all this focus on The King Of Pop lately. BOTH of these deaths expose the need to better-regulate the ability of doctors riding on the coat-tails of their celebrity patients to be able to over-prescribe medication in MASSIVE excess to these celebrity patients. One good point raised this past week ... why would ANY physician so captivated by this "dream gig" want to risk killing their meal ticket??? Jackson's doctor was being paid $150,000 a month to be available for 24/7, round-the-clock care. Now he's facing criminal charges ... and his medical career is over. Elvis' Dr. Nick was known as the "Doctor of the Stars" ... meaning his reputation was such that artists who wanted (or needed) an abundance of drugs knew that HE was the guy who could get them for them. How is this ANY different than any junkie drug dealer on the street? NOBODY noticed this extreme behavior or felt a need to investigate? And why are THESE addicts and junkies elevated above the law simply because of their celebrity? Role models??? I don't think so. (kk)

Here's a GREAT Michael Jackson quote I came across this past week ... it is attributed to Egberto Willies, who was interviewed by CNN shortly after Jackson's death:
I grew up ... on Michael Jackson
I loved ... Michael Jackson
I hated ... Michael Jackson
I admired ... Michael Jackson
I was ashamed ... of Michael Jackson
I was sorry ... for Michael Jackson
I was proud ... of Michael Jackson
Pretty much describes EXACTLY how I feel about Michael ... his death may have flooded the media with all this non-stop coverage ... but it has also served to remind us just what an amazing talent he truly was. Lots more will be written about Michael Jackson ... his habits, his addictions, his eccentricities, the circumstances surrounding his death ... we're sure to hear HUNDREDS of variations of the story, all giving us little bits and pieces about the man ... but despite all the speculation and opinion, we will NEVER know the true inner turmoil that WAS Michael Jackson. He was in a league of his own ... and truly lived a crazy life in his own crazy world. We as observers can only draw our own conclusions ... but you can't take away the music that he gave us ... for nearly 40 years, he was in our lives, for better or for worse. Most of the time, he entertained us ... some of the time he baffled and / or angered us ... but ALL of the time he made us stand up and take notice. How big might this tour have been? Who knows. Knowing what we now know about his medical condition, could he EVER have gotten himself in the shape necessary to complete it? In hindsight, that seems impossible ... odds are inside of the "ultimate comeback" he was aiming for, this would have been his final failure. Sadly, we'll never know. Instead, he goes out surrounded by controversy and "what if's" ... which is pretty much the way he lived his life anyway. In that sense ... and especially because of the music ... he will always be with us. (kk)

Can you narrow it down to one moment that catapulted Michael into the showbusiness stratosphere? Certainly, he was successful BEFORE the "Thriller" album ... he enjoyed several years of mega-success with his brothers as The Jackson Five and The Jacksons, called by some in the media "The Black Beatles" ... and had already scored three #1 records with his teeny-bopper solo hits "Got To Be There", "Rockin' Robin" and "Ben". His "Off The Wall" album proved that Michael could compete on the "adult" level, with four Top Ten Hits: Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (#1), Rock With You (#1), Off The Wall (#10) and She's Out Of My Life (#10) ... and, without question, "Thriller" became the Album of the Century ... almost a Greatest Hits collection BEFORE the fact!!! But if you had to break it down to exactly one moment ... then it HAD to be his performance at the Motown 25th Anniversary television special. From the opening beat of "Billie Jean" through all of the flash, spins and moonwalk, Michael captivated the world in that four minute performance. From that moment forward, it would never be the same. Life, as he knew it, was gone forever. (kk)

FIRST ... I do great compilations ... it's been suggested I do movie soundtracks ... I was listening to an older one today ... and several AL STEWART songs were included ... Not the 'hits' ... but several selections from a great, great album ... MODERN TIMES ... it's poetry!

If anyone can get the word to AL ... let him know the album holds up and still 'kicks ass' ... I recommend either listening or buying ... IT'S SOME OF HIS BEST WORK ... (ok ... it IS his best) ...
I love Al's earliest works ... both "The Year Of The Cat" and "Time Passages" are GREAT examples of "listen-all-the-way-through" albums, a rarity these days when you can program your CD player to only play the tracks you want to hear or download single songs online. Al is still recording AND performing. His entire album catalog seems to be available, too, through (judging by his website ... which gives you ALL the latest information):
Click here: al stewart online
Click here:
Listening back to these LPs now you can really hear the Alan Parsons influence on some of these tracks, ANOTHER under-rated artist who turned out some INCREDIBLE work a few years back. We've got back-to-back "Time" Tracks for you today ... "Time Passages" by Al Stewart, a Top Ten Pop Hit from 1978 that also topped Billboard's Adult Contemporary Chart for an incredible TEN WEEKS ... and "Time", one of my all-time favorites by The Alan Parsons Project, featuring the incredible vocals of Eric Woolfson. This one hit #14 in Cash Box in 1981. (kk)

Hey Kent,
I just found this & had a great laugh at the humor & creativity, enjoy:
(For those few not familiar with AutoTune, it is an audio effect, first associated with Cher's hit {circa 1998} "Do You Believe", and currently being {over} used in pop & R&B)
Alan O'Day
Pretty well done ... although politically incorrect on SO many levels!!! (lol) Then again, perhaps more of this type of "treatment" might inspire some of us to actually listen to what some of these folks are saying!!! Thanks, Alan! (kk)

So cool to see Eric Carmen's "Make Me Lose Control" video ... always one of my favorite songs AND videos. I always told my ex-girlfriend P.M. Esther that I wish I had hair like Eric Carmen back then or John Lodge of the Moody Blues. She said that if I had hair like that, I'd be GAY!!!
I don't think so ... especially after turning 60 years old, I'm just happy to have hair PERIOD!!!
Great column, keep it coming brother,
Wild Bill
Yeah, Carmen's hair is pretty wild in this clip ... an out-and-out MANE of hair!!! Speaking of cheezy '70's videos, here's one of MY all-time favorites again ... we run this one every so often in Forgotten Hits ... the scariest part of all is that you know they were 100% Serious when they made this clip!!! (lol) kk
Click here: YouTube - Apache (Tommy Seebach)

Good to hear The Buckinghams' version of "I'll Go Crazy" the other day. If I remember correctly, didn't The Shadows of Knight cover it on one of their LPs, too?And I do remember as a kid Bocky & the Visions covering it on "Where The Action Is" back in the 60s ...

Scott Levison
Pinellas Park, FL
Bocky and the Visions?!?!? Sorry, I can't tell you much about THESE guys!!! (lol) As for The Shadows Of Knight, it wasn't included on their "Gloria" LP ... so if they did it, they would have had to have covered it later. (A "pop group" rendition of a James Brown song just didn't seem like that likely of an occurrence ... especially to happen TWICE ... but who knows!!! Back then, all the local groups knew what the other acts in town were doing ... and which songs were going over well. MOST of these guys were covering British stuff ... as The Shadows themselves did with "Gloria" ... (Get it?!?!? THEMselves?!?!?)

Thought you would be interested in this and please know that we will continue to actively pursue the crooks who are at the heart of it. Not like any of us is making anything anyway, but it just irritates the Hades out of me that bootlegging has even reached the New Colony Six. Feel free to beat on anybody’s head with me if you like, but please not Maryann Hutchison, who is the original eBay seller (this time – there have been others too, which surfaced through the diligence of Jerry Schollenberger. I figured this would all go away but now has only multiplied internationally – despicable!) but now has not only pulled her auction but is also helping me try to track down the criminals who are violating us and, I’m certain, fellow artists. Kent, feel free to pass the word; maybe if enough list members get up in arms and write these folks and the others who surely will surface, at least our rights, if not those of our sisters and brother in music, will be protected.
Ray Graffia, Jr.
The New Colony Six
I, too, thought this had pretty much gone away ... but Ray is noticeably (and understandably) angry about this ... here is a copy of some correspondence pertaining to this bootleg release currently being pedalled on eBay:
Neil Patte, President
Continental Records Company Ltd.

It was recently brought to my attention that a bootleg / pirate CD was being sold on eBay, theoretically put out by Raven Records, an Aussie firm – but actually not by them at all. As a founding member of the New Colony Six and still fronting the band in our limited appearances each summer now since 1988, I know of the seven legitimate CD compilations that have been released on our music worldwide and this product is not among them. I investigated and corresponded with the eBay seller who agreed to remove it from sale and has done so. However, and this is where you fit into the picture, she went beyond that, giving me the name of the person from whom she purchased the CDs (see his name below and note that I have already tried to contact Walter by e-mail) and then also searching for other sellers of the same CD. In her search (look closer to the bottom of this transmittal), she pointed at you as another source for the CDs. (See the CD in question in the first note below) I want to get to the originating source of this and have distribution of the illegal product ceased and try to secure all unpaid royalties. If you are this source, I respectfully ask you to stop; if you are not, please tell me your source. You must know how artists are ripped off so I truly pray you are not involved, and hope you can help me get to the perpetrator(s) and stop them. Please respond so that I can continue my pursuit of justice relative to the release below and please help me stop its sale and preserve the integrity of our music and its distribution to the public.
Thank you very much,
Ray Graffia, Jr., founding member
New Colony Six
P.S. Failing to hear back from you in writing soon will lead to my presumption of your participation in this illegal activity and I will take any and all additional legal actions as can be taken.

Good luck with this, Ray ... please keep us posted. Meanwhile, this just proves AGAIN that the market is ripe for an updated New Colony Six collection. Looking over the track list on this bogus CD is a pretty good start ... most of the A-Sides and B-Sides are here ... but fans deserve to hear updated copies of the latter day singles, too ... THOSE are the ones that are virtually impossible to find. Again, we appeal to some of the label honchos on our list to consider assembling a COMPLETE New Colony Six Greatest Hits selection ... the fans are out there ... and willing to buy an inferior (and illegal) compilation just to fill in the holes in their collection! SOMEBODY needs to jump on this opportunity!!! (kk)

Dear Kent:
Got a great phone interview coming up on "The Pop Shoppe" ...
Friday night, August 7th, at 9:30 PM
Jim Yester of the Association
Should prove to be quite interesting.
Stu Weiss

I've just posted my latest radio interview show, which I did with a singer - entertainer who has been at it for over 60 years! In the United States he had about 40 nationally-charted singles and 24 nationally-charted albums. And in 1972 he achieved additional fame by portraying a very well-known character (a singer) in a blockbuster motion picture.
The man is Al Martino. He hit #1 with his very first released recording that came out on a tiny label based in Philadelphia: that was "Here In My Heart" and the label was B.B.S. Many people who started following pop music with the dawn of the rock era or later first became aware of Al when they heard "I Love You Because." That one made it to #3 on the chart and was the first of many, many more hits to come. What is amazing about Al, apart from his raw singing talent, is his versatility. "Here In My Heart" had a big band sound. "I Love You Because" had a country sound. Later on he even had a hit disco single with his version of "Volare" and sounded natural doing it!
He assured me that he has no intention of retiring! Oh yes, there's that one other thing that I must mention before listing the tracks on this show.
"Johnny Fontane."
Al played the role of singer Johnny in the blockbuster Oscar-winning Best Picture from 1972 called "The Godfather." Who can forget that scene in which Marlon Brando gives Al a good tongue lashing and slaps him? Well, just in case you did forget, I'll remind you because I've included it in this show, along with Al's interesting comment about that particular scene. It really surprised me.
Al is truly a winner and this show was one of the most special ones that I have ever done.
Here's a sequential list of the recordings (plus the film audio clip) in this one hour show plus the two bonus tracks. All the recordings are by Al Martino.
I Love You Because (excerpt); Here In My Heart; I Can't Get You Out Of My Heart; I Love You Because (complete); Painted, Tainted Rose; Living A Lie; I Love You More And More Every Day; Tears And Roses; Daddy's Little Girl; Spanish Eyes; audio clip from "The Godfather" -- Al Martino and Marlon Brando; I Have But One Heart [Al sang this during the wedding portion of "The Godfather]; Mary In The Morning; To The Door Of The Sun (Alle Porte Del Sole); Volare; Lili Marlene; T Granada; Dear Heart
To access this Al Martino radio interview show or any of my previous ones, please visit the "Jersey Girls Sing" website at
When that home page comes up, please click the "Ronnie Allen Theater" (the name has a yellow background) in the picture on the right-hand side. That will bring you to my index page. Please click on "Ronnie's Radio Page" and you will then be able to access the Al Martino (the first one listed under the blue heading "Current Radio Interview Shows") or any of my previous ones, which are listed in reverse chronological order.
Ronnie Allen
Happy to pass this along. As I'm sure you already know, Forgotten Hits was one of the VERY first sources to break Al's most recent recording ... which ALSO has a bit of a country flavor to it. Last time we spoke, he said he was trying to put together an album deal ... not bad for a kid of 81!!! (lol) Hope some of you will get a chance to tune in and listen. (kk)

Hi Kent,
Just thought I'd pass this little article on. It really shows just how badly radio blew it with this generation. This article shows how my kids get their music suggestions. Just seems like a lot of work, though.
Without question, the golden days of listening to the radio are behind us ... we keep talking about the "Ipod Society" that can carry their 10,000 favorite songs around with them wherever they go ... listen to exactly WHAT they want, WHEN they want ... without commercials or repetition. Why on earth ANY programmer believes that he can compete with that with a playlist of 200-300 songs is beyond me. Artie Wayne brought up a good point the other day when we were talking ... he told me that he's virtually given up on listening to oldies radio anymore because he has literally heard it all before. Certainly that's a true statement for ALL of us ... why don't the jocks and programmers realize that it's what you DO with the music ... how you present it ... how much affection you show for it ... that will keep listeners tuning in. Let's face it, if I want to hear The Beatles, I can put The Beatles on whenever I want ... ALL of their stuff is committed to memory ANYWAY ... I don't NEED to hear a Beatles song today (because there's probably already half a dozen of them playing in my head anyway!!!) Give us a REASON to tune in and enjoy these songs again and we'll come in droves!!! Entertain us ... enlighten and educate us ... draw us in through some means of participation ... allow us to SHARE in these memories (like we do right here in Forgotten Hits) and all of a sudden you've got a HUGE Hit Oldies Station on your hands!!! Stop chasing the EXACT same demographic every OTHER radio station in town is chasing ... cater some of your programming to the kids just discovering this music for the very first time ... and some of the older folks who were there and HAVEN'T forgotten about all of the OTHER great songs you don't bother to play anymore. Expand your horizons and you'll let EVERYBODY in!!! (kk)

One of the biggest business opportunities in America today is being largely ignored.
Let me explain with a couple of examples:
Both of my kids are in the upper 20s to 30 age range. Both live in distant cities where Scott Shannon's True Oldies Channel can be heard, and both listen to it regularly. (Too bad the Nashville radio market is so messed up that no one will bring it here where Scott spent his best years) It's an interesting feeling when I hop in my daughter's soccer mom van and hear TOC when I turn the key.
Here's a clip from a recent message from my son:
Trying to figure out how it's possible that True Oldies is playing Eddie Money's "Take Me Home Tonight" from 1986. Is it because the song features Ronnie Spector who had a career during the actual oldies era, and therefore the song passes as an oldie??
Another example: My wife was shopping in a retail store recently where a great mix of oldies was playing over the PA. She noticed the songs weren't the standard 200 worn down oldies, but included some lesser heard gems. At the checkout she remarked to the 18 year old clerk that she enjoyed the music they were playing. The young lady replied that she loved all the new music she was hearing while she worked and wished she could hear more of it.

We've gone on and on with this topic on FH, so I won't add my own comments. These stories stand on their own.
David Lewis

It's called "Radio With Blinders On" ... tunnel-vision programming that has turned many of the REAL oldies fans away. Unfortunately ... or fortunately, depending how you look at it ... the oldies ratings are very good right now ... proving that there IS a market for this music ... and that new people are discovering it every day. Now if they would only allow these "new" fans the opportunity to expand their horizons a little bit before THEY burn out on it, too. Instead, we are pre-programming radio drones ... ten years from now, if the market exists at all anymore, those 200-300 songs will likely be the ONLY representation of this entire musical era. How sad. (The rest of us may wish to be buried with our ipods!!! lol) kk

It's that time of year again. Time for the eleventh Labor Day 500. (For anyone from outside America, Labor Day is a U.S. holiday that pays tribute to the average working man. It's the first Monday in September).We do it now every other year, so this is our first since 2007. Previous winners have included "Hey Jude," "Rock Around The Clock,""Satisfaction," "American Pie" and "In The Still Of The Night," though the Beatles' classic has won five of the eleven years.
Participants are asked to vote for their ten favorite oldies singles in order from the decades of the '50s, '60s or '70s (songs must have made the Billboard Hot 100 chart or its predecessors though Oldies Music reserves the right to allow classic R&B tunes such as "Bo Diddley" to appear). Participants can only vote once. Anyone voting more than once will have all their ballots disqualified.
The deadline for voting is Saturday,August 29 with the results available the following (Labor Day) weekend.Those who request it will receive a copy of the top 500 list when it comes out. To vote or see winners from past years (including some interesting trendanalyses), go to:
-- Ron Smith

Hi Kent -
I'm one of those folks who 'tune in on Sunday' ... but it's always a great read. And really helps with the 'limited down-time' thingee us working stiffs have to go through. Always a good read, and a nice diversion from 'day-to-day' life ...
You fucking rawk, Kent!
Joshing aside, that was pretty cool, bud.

Kent ~
I'm an 'every Sunday' reader and can't find the words to properly express my thanks for all you do to put this together for us.
So, simply said ... from the heart ...
Thank You!!
Linette (Red)
Thanks, Linette, that means a lot! (kk)

I read EVERY word ... EVERY day ... NEVER miss an issue ... have LOVED what you do for the past eight or nine years now (no, I'm not one of the infamous "First 35" ... but I joined the list pretty early on!) I wish you could have found a way to earn a living and make a career out of what you do ... your passion shines through in every word you write ... and you deserve recognition for all you've done to keep this music alive. Please don't ever stop writing Forgotten Hits ... pace yourself if you need to ... but we look forward to everything you send. Here's to another ten years!
Bob Michels

Thanks, Bob! Glad to hear you've stuck with us all these years! Like I've said before, FAR too much effort goes into pulling all of this stuff together for it NOT to be read or deleted. All we ask is that you visit the website when you can ... read the pieces that interest you ... and comment from time to time ... not so much to let us know how "great" we're doing as much as simply to let us know that you're still out there!!! I believe there's something for EVERYBODY that can be found in Forgotten Hits ... and your participation only helps to make it all that much more interesting and enlightening!!! To ALL our readers, Thank You for your continued support! (kk)

re: 1969:
We ran our first batch of 1969 memories yesterday ... (scroll down and read it if you haven't seen it yet!!!) ... and there's LOTS more to come. We'll be slipping these special 1969 features in throughout the month of August, so please share YOUR memories with us, too! Next week we'll have special reminisces about The Beatles, The Moon Landing and "Hair", the musical. Send us your thoughts and memories ... and we'll share them with the list! Thank You! (kk)