re: THE WLS CHARTS:
>>>The 1965 Silver Dollar Survey is strange. It seems it would have been noticed by one of us at the station ... and would have caused a response from listeners and the music industry. It would be interesting to check another survey from that same date. In other words, could this be a forgery? I don't remember the "Number One Hits" being part of a September survey. (Dex Card)
>>>Nope, this is the real deal ... I've been collecting WLS and WCFL Surveys for over 35 years now ... and there are at least a dozen of us fanatics on The Forgotten Hits Mailing List that can claim a COMPLETE collection of EVERY chart ever published. (kk)
I have at least two copies of this particular survey and, like you said, know of any number of people who have this week's survey as well. They all can't be counterfeit. I hadn't realized that Yesterday had not been officially released in the US yet. Thanks for your help on the 45s. Maybe someone will contact me.
Jack (Rock And Roll Never Forgets)
No, it's definitely authentic ... I've had it in my collection for FAR too long ... plus many of my WLS surveys have the name of the record shop where the surveys were originally distributed from stamped on them, too, and all of these places are LONG gone now!!! How cool, 'tho, that Dex Card would comment ... I hope we hear from him from time to time ... I used to race home from school every day to hear him count down Chicago's Top 40 songs ... even if they WERE the same ones he played the day before!!! (lol) Once we knew the charts, we knew where our favorites fell ... so we could actually PLAN our listening around the Dex's survey countdown show! (kk)
I was hanging on every word and every song coming out of WLS in 1965. As soon as the sun was low in the afternoon, and in the morning before school, I was glued to WLS. Who would've thought that 44 years later I'd be reading email comments from the very jocks who claimed listeners in 40 states. Only in Forgotten Hits - the best music and radio publication found anywhere. Thanks for keeping this thing going!
Believe me, it is a REAL honor to have ANY contact with these guys ... back then many of these deejays were every bit as popular as the recording artists we listened to them play! I would LOVE to get ALL of the '60's Chicago jocks on the list to share their memories with our readers! (kk)
By the way, it looks like someone at WLS was messing with the chart just for fun. Did you notice they list "She Loves You" as "She Loves Me" instead?
Sadly, this wasn't at all uncommon ... they regularly misspelled titles and artist names ... hard to believe for such a radio giant!!! The old WJJD Charts used to do it on purpose ... often coming up with clever parody titles ... we'll be running some of those in the future, too! (kk)
re: AND MORE ON THE CURRENT STATE OF RADIO:
A great article that points the finger of blame squarely where it belongs!
The Power Of Radio People
By Jerry Del Colliano / September 4, 2009
On this Labor Day weekend, I thought it would be appropriate to reflect on the human asset that is often lost in the "business" of radio.
I've been on the outs with consolidators from the very beginning because I sensed that they coveted franchises more than the people who built them. And I said it loud and proud when I owned Inside Radio for many years.
In fairness, at the beginning, I was a "lonely boy," to borrow a phrase from Andrew Gold. The can-do spirit of radio people kicked into high gear even from the beginning when consolidators made promises to them that they couldn't keep. They said consolidation was a good thing.
It would make radio stronger.
Make the industry bigger.
Make our livings better.
You may remember the days.
One manager took over for two others to run three of the stations in a newly consolidated cluster. The promoted manager got a raise and big title. The consolidator saved a ton of money. Once the consolidator figured out they didn't have to give a big raise or title, it was all over.
That manager was not defeated. Far from it. He or she was up for the challenge. It bothered me that friends of mine were cut loose early on but there was at least a chance for them to get another radio job with different consolidators or with some of the independents still operating.
Over the years -- even before consolidators got caught up in impossible debt service -- there was a constant move to find "economies of scale" as they were called. You may also remember Mel Karmazin, Lowry Mays and others who reported to shareholders in their quarterly conference calls that they were acting to build "shareholder value."
Of course, as we discovered, shareholders were the second biggest losers in radio consolidation … after the listener.
Cost cutting took time and just as a cataract grows slowly to impair vision in one's eye, the snip-snip-snip of bean counters weakened the fabric of local radio. But many radio people couldn't see it. They just pushed on.
Today you see what we are left with.
Fires in LA but few people on the ground to ferret out the stories.
Local music scenes dying on the vine because radio no longer plays local music.
News became extinct.
Personalities are too expensive and thus expendable.
Local sales reduced to cockamamie policies inflicted by corporate people who have never distinguished themselves as sellers. In some cases, they never sold anything at all and yet they were telling qualified people how to do their jobs.
I've taken a lawsuit. I've been sharply criticized by the "establishment" for opposing radio's new future and I've grieved along with thousands of individuals I love and respect.
I call them … radio people.
Here's what radio people are to me:
1. The programmers, managers, talent, sales professionals, office staff and engineers (remember them?) who built radio into the industry that made Wall Street want to shell out billions to buy their stations. They weren't buying Lew Dickey's body of work. Or Fagreed Suleman's or John Slogan Hogans. If Jefferson Starship could sing "We Built This City on Rock and Roll" then radio was built on the backs of simple radio people. You know, the $100 million plus stations that consolidators lined up to buy as well as the local stations that were sold for prices never imaginable before. Guess who programmed, managed and monetized them?
2. The most loyal group of people who, no matter what their personal situation was, had the uncanny ability to put the interests and desires of their listeners ahead of themselves. Not once, but again and again. Not just in good times, but even when pretenders like Cumulus, Clear Channel and Citadel were making their lives hell.
3. Resourceful beyond belief. Until the past few years radio people were able to deliver high quality programming and sales on a lower budget and even with a lesser personal salary because they knew how to operate at a professional level more efficiently. Too bad Fagreed Suleman didn't look to his people, especially the ABC "assets" he purchased for mega billions, for help. Fagreed was a bean counter. But his people had answers. He just didn't know the value of asking questions. Citadel, with Sergeant-at-arms Judy Ellis at the helm, kept everyone in their place and quiet.
4. The conscience of the community. I have heard example after example of circumstances where local station people are giving back to the community, happily involved in activities with no additional pay to them. I heard the story recently of a New England sales exec -- and a damn good one -- who had to endure the cost-cuts and micromanagement of corporate by day, only to show up at community meetings at night and on the weekends. In no other industry that you could name, would a buyer inherit a workforce of people who obviously love their audience enough to put them first even when their employers couldn't do the same for them.
5. Creative creatures. Keep in mind radio people brought the industry back from the advent of television by reinventing it. Imagine how they could have reinvented radio content -- not just streaming terrestrial signals -- for the next competitors: the Internet, mobile and social networking.
6. Radio people are like family, but not Gordon Gekko's family. We competed against each other with the fervor of two sports team wanting to be the best but often in the end we remained or became friends with our adversaries. We fought on the field. Not in court.
7. Proud of our industry. Clear Channel's Lowry Mays may have been willing to sell his industry down the river for a few huge paydays but I doubt the average radio person would want that legacy at any price. Turning a local business into a cheap network of national repeater stations may do wonders for consolidators and their bottom lines, but a person with pride couldn't do that to their listeners or even sponsors who support them.
This is Labor Day weekend.
A time that signals the traditional end of summer and it is a casual holiday with little meaning to most people outside of organized labor.
But to radio people, every day is labor day … when they have to work harder to make less money, when their commissions are cut in a punitive fashion because they can't outperform a recessionary economy.
On Tuesday, Cumulus workers will have to resume enduring those spy-in-the-sky meetings in the conference room from which many come away demotivated and embarrassed.
Radio people are often forgotten.
Their advocates are gone.
Radio & Records, the heart and soul of this industry for more than 30 years, has been silenced, itself a victim of greedy consolidators. Others who could speak up are kissing the establishment's butt in hopes they can survive the fate that their silence has purchased.
On the occasion of this Labor Day when the handful of mighty consolidators who have run the radio industry into the ground are on their yachts and expensive getaways, it is fitting to remember and pay respect to the people who put them there by their dedication and hard work.
re: CASABLANCA RECORDS:
Just got this from our bloggin' buddy Artie Wayne ... should make for some VERY interesting reading!!!
My Casablanca piece will run in the next week or so. In the meantime, I'm doing some pre-promotion on YouTube :-)
A friend of mine interviewed me about the inspiration behind the project.
You can see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdJXcYnb2KU
At 41,000 words, it's the longest piece I've ever written so it will probably run over a week. I will e-mail you the article once it's up.
Talk with you soon!!
The promo is excellent! You should have your own show. I'm not blogging until September, but I'll get the details about when your article will run to Kent Kotal at Forgotten Hits http://forgottenhits.com
Can't wait to read it!
And here it is!!! (lol) Thanks, guys, for including me in this ... sounds like a VERY interesting piece! (kk)
How ya' doin'? I just wanted you and your readers to know about a five part series on my late friend Neil Bogart and the anniversary of Casablanca records! Christian John Wikane has written a brilliant piece for POP MATTERS on one of the greatest icons of the music industry! http://www.popmatters.com/pm/feature/109836-part-two-painting-the-building-1975-1977/
Here's a link to the piece we mentioned above ... interesting reading to be sure! (kk)
... and, tying nicely into this, is some recent correspondence that we received from Joe Klein ... who we had the pleasure of meeting at Schaumburg's September Fest this past weekend!!! (kk)
Joe Klein here (the guy from Laughlin, NV, who was introduced to you and your newsletter by my old "partner in rhymes" from the 70's and 80's, Artie Wayne).
I will be in Chicago over the Labor Day weekend for a family event. (I was born in the Windy City but moved to L.A. with my family in 1958). I arrive in Chicagoland Wednesday afternoon, September 2 and will be staying with my life-long friend and current partner, Bill Bussiere (aka Bill Fortune, aka Bill Taylor) for a couple of nights. Bill is a former deejay and radio news anchor (WCFL, WBBM and others) and he and I have hundreds of old pals in radio and records that we came to know over the years. We'll be hanging out, going to a few clubs and restaurants and visiting old friends and colleagues.
Being a regular reader of your newsletter / blog, I'd like to meet you if you have time and will be in town when I visit. (Maybe we could meet for a meal or at a cool music club??) Get back in touch if you're interested in getting together with us and yakking oldies and old radio, as all of us share that in common!
The news about the Schaumburg SeptemberFest Music Festival is pretty wild, in that I actually hired Bobby Kimball to sing lead on a couple of radio station jingles I produced back in the seventies! Back in 1976 I came up with a concept to produce radio station jingles (for several different formats from CHR to AOR to Urban) that were like "miniature hit records." The jingles ran about a minute long. Each jingle was a very cool song unto itself (written by my partner at the time, jazz musician John LaSalle and a really hot L.A. lyricist from that time named Norma Helms). Each "song" had nothing to do with the station that would be running it. That is, the lyrics were just like the lyrics from a standard pop, rock, r&b or urban song of that era. The only difference was the length (about a minute) and that the BACKGROUND vocals would not only answer the lyrics as background vocals usually do, but would also sing the station call letters as well! The "records" were written to be very "hooky" and to be included in regular rotation just like other songs. With repetition, they, like other hits, would become familiar but listeners would also hear the stations call letters in this current "hit."
Joey Reynolds tried a similar concept in the late sixties. I forgot what he called the package, but we would mix in extra background vocals at the front (usually the intro) of actual hit records. That idea, actually tested and used on a few of the Drake stations was quickly panned and ridiculed. That's why I thought recording original songs was a cool twist that just might catch on. I produced a package of about ten jingles for the ABC radio chain (which, back in the mid-seventies, had several different music formats). I spent nearly $20,000 on this package (between musicians, singers and top-end studios). My old friend Russ Terrana, the chief engineer and primary mixing wizard for Motown Records mixed the final tracks for me. They turned out great. Bobby Kimball sang on two of the rock jingles. This was, I believe just a year or two before Toto! I saw him a few more times afterward, including hanging with him a couple of times when Toto was "riding high!" I'd love to see him again.
Also, I'm going to be sending you an update for the newsletter / blog in the next day or two. I may have an AWESOME SCOOP for you to break. It's a REALLY REALLY big deal in the world of music and oldies ... but I want to handle this one just right.
I also want to tell you about an incredible story that was just posted online. It's an in-depth account of the rise and (relatively brief) huge run of success enjoyed by Casablanca Records. I produced HUNDREDS of ads for the label from 1977 until 1980 and contributed to the article.
And, regarding Russ Terrana, the Motown engineer I mentioned above, I just spoke with him over this past weekend and I have a TERRIFIC scoop from him! I want to speak with him one more time again and get more details to include in this "breaking music news" story which I am sure you and your readers will enjoy hearing!
Hope to hear back from you. Meanwhile, keep up the great work with the newsletter and blog. It's always quite the read! Only problem for me is making the time to read it ALL!
OK ... now you've got us all warmed up for the big announcement with your "tease"!!! (lol) Can't wait to hear more about this!
We ran one of those Radio Station / Hit Song Jingles a while back ... and you're absolutely right ... once you hear it played this way, it sticks in your head and you start to hear it as PART of the actual hit song!!! (I've included MY personal favorite, the WMAK / Grass Roots version of "Sooner Or Later". Forgotten Hits List Member David Lewis sent me three or four of these ... but to my ears, this was the BEST use of this technique in the bunch ... and every time "Sooner Or Later" comes on the radio now, I sing the WMAK Jingle over the intro!!! Would LOVE to hear a few of yours, too, Joe, if you've got some to send along ... and I know that our readers would, too!)
As for the Casablanca Records Story, I've been hearing some really good things about it. While I haven't read the whole article yet, I did print it out for later reading. (Which means that it's probably sitting in my bathroom waiting for me as I type this!!! lol) kk
Yeah I think that Grass Roots thingy WAS, in fact, one of Joey Reynold's jingles. Damn! What did he call that package??? I ALMOST remember the name of the jingle product, but just can't pull it out of my brain!
Another one of my old, old friends (going all the way back to high school) named Ken Levine (who deejayed for a while and then went on to become a very successful writer and executive producer for television ... plus a play-by-play baseball announcer, host of Dodger talk in L.A. and blogger) was a jingle collector back at the end of the sixties and early seventies. On a trip to KYNO in Fresno (the radio station that Gene Chenault, Bill Drake's partner actually owned if full) back in 1970, I managed to run off copies of reel after reel of Drake / Johnny Mann Singer jingles. All the big station packages plus tons of production music and even recording sessions of Bill Drake voicing the imaging elements. Harry Miller (who later became Eric Chase and finally Paul Christie in Houston) was the PD of KYNO at the time. Anyway Ken freaked out when I returned to L.A. and called him to let him know I had dubbed off so many Drake jingles from the actual masters! A couple years later Ken and a friend of his (whose name I can't remember) produced a brilliant PARODY of the Joey Reynolds jingles! He called his spoof package "Septic Singovers" and used totally wacko records like "Surfin' Bird" and "Laura." It was just hilarious! He pressed up a few hundred demos on rainbow colored 7" records (that I recall were 33 1/3 RPM with small holes) and mailed them out to shitloads of radio station PD's. I think his parody fueled all the ridicule that was heaped on the concept but, as you pointed out, many of those records with the station's call letters were memorable. Only a few of them were well produced, IMHO and most of them sounded pretty amateur.
I may have that "Septic Singovers" record stashed away somewhere and, about two years ago, I did locate a copy of the jingles I produced for ABC back in 1976. I just don't currently have a decent reel-to-reel machine in good working order (as I am now totally digital). At one point in the eighties I owned FOUR Ampex ATR machines (two four-tracks and two two-tracks) that, before they stopped making them, were selling for upwards of $10K EACH! I need to get a nice tape machine and some good quarter-track and half -track head assemblies so I can start transferring lots of my old stuff to digital!
Meanwhile, one of these days, I'll try to get those jingles of mine copied over.
And then a bit more from Joe Klein, exclusively for our Forgotten Hits Publication:
Hope you and all your readers have had a decent summer. Condolences, of course, to you, for the loss of your brother and prayers for all those we've lost so far this year. As time marches forward, more and more of our friends and family are moving on. But that's a part of life, and life, itself goes on as well!
Since last chiming in with "the class" last spring, Laughlin, NV (just across the river from where I live in Bullhead City, AZ) has seen quite the fair share of oldies artists roll through town for performances. I last wrote in about shows from Bill Medley and Tommy James. Since then, Eric Burdon, Felix Cavaliere, Davy Jones and Gary Puckett have appeared in town. Billy J. Kramer will be playing in Laughlin on September 5 and later in the month Jay & The Americans are doing a show. Freddy Fender, Bobby Vinton and Ben Vereen will be appearing in October.
While I did catch part of Eric Burdon's show and most of Felix's, I missed Davy and Gary's gigs because I was out of town. Eric Burdon's show was during our big annual "Laughlin River Run" motorcycle rally and, having friends in town, didn't have a chance to write a review and send it in, but it was a decent show, considering all the rowdiness and madness that was going on in town. Felix's show was great. Still sings up a storm (love this guy's unique voice) and, of course, the set was fully loaded with Rascals faves. But, alas, I arrived a little late and forgot to bring my camera to that gig! (Near senior moment, I suppose!) So, sadly, I didn't get a chance to speak with Felix or get a shot of him or the show. Darn!
All the shows I just mentioned (except for Bill Medley) were (and will be) at the Tropicana Express Hotel which, for the last couple of years, seems to have cornered the "oldies" market here, hosting nearly all the "major" oldies acts that play the Laughlin "strip." The casinos and shows of Laughlin and, especially, the Tropicana Express Hotel, market heavily to us baby boomers and, far more than Las Vegas, welcome visitors in their fifties, sixties and seventies (featuring many acts from those same decades). Laughlin is a lot like Branson but with casinos -- and the Colorado River -- and is pretty accessible from most of the southwest. Laughlin is located just above the "tip" of Nevada, right next to the river, 25 miles north of the I-40 and 90 miles south from Las Vegas. The rooms, meals and shows in Laughlin are VERY inexpensive and, let's face it, gambling is gambling, wherever you play. The clubs in Laughlin may lack the eye-popping glitz and glam of the hot Vegas mega-resorts (the hotels here are more like the older joints in Vegas) but, for us boomers, it's a relaxing and inexpensive good time, old-school style! BTW, all the casino / hotels feature entertainment, with acts from country to comedy. There's also a very cool lake nearby, called Lake Mohave. (It's the next lake and dam down river from Lake Mead.)
Here's a link to the Tropicana Express entertainment page:
Or, check out the main tourist info page for Laughlin here:
I'm in town most of the year and would love to welcome and personally meet any FH reader or oldies fan who ventures to Laughlin! Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
and, if I'm in town, I'll do my best to meet and greet!
In other news, I am sure that you all have read the countless items sent in by FH alum Artie Wayne. Artie and I worked together as partners in rhyme for about fifteen years from the mid-seventies to the late-eighties. During many of those years, I produced well over A THOUSAND radio and television commercials for major labels, starting with Casablanca Records and then, later, for several other labels including Warner Brothers, Chrysalis, EMI-America, Capitol, Ariola-America, Motown, Penthouse Records (they had their own label for a few years) and, yes, even K-Tel!
Producing hundreds of ads for Casablanca Record and Filmworks during their heyday (from 1977 through 1979) was a non-stop whirlwind of wild experiences that I'll never forget. Early this past spring, a writer named Christian Wikane got in touch with me (referred to me by Artie) and asked if he could interview me about my days working with Casablanca. I agreed and, about a week later, we spent nearly three hours on the phone talking about my own Casablanca experiences. Chris' ambitious endeavor turned into what can only be described as a MONUMENTAL accomplishment, a 40,000 word detailed overview of the rise and reign of Casablanca Record And Filmworks.
The feature, entitled "Play It Again," was six months in the making and, finally, published online last week at the Pop Matters website. The article was so in-depth that it released in no less than FIVE installments! I've just finished reading the article myself (which includes many stories and quotes from Artie and me) and it is truly an EPIC piece. Whether or not you were a fan of KISS, Donna Summer, The Village People and the many other acts -- and movies -- this incredible label promoted and released, it's an amazing story and a great read! Huge kudos to Christian for a job so very well done!
This is really a piece of music history that is worth checking out. You can "Play It Again," in its entirety, here:
Meanwhile, I'll try and do better in the months to come to bring FH more news and reviews about great oldies shows here in Laughlin and even try to get a few exclusive interviews from acts when they play here! I'm off to Chicago next week where I hope to meet up with our fearless leader, Kent, at the annual Schaumburg SeptemberFest over Labor Day Weekend and catch a performance of Starship along with special guest, Bobby Kimball (former lead singer of Toto). Bobby and I worked together back in 1976 when I hired him to sing a couple of radio station jingles I was producing! This was about a year or so before Toto and hard to believe it was over 33 years ago! Whoa!
That's all for now, kiddies! I hope to have one more item to pass along in the next few days before my trip, a "big scoop" of sorts! If I can confirm the news, I'll surely get it out to you all!
Have a great Labor Day!
We were fortunate enough to meet up with Joe and Bill at our Schaumburg September Fest (and caught a great show by Starship featuring both Mickey Thomas and Bobby Kimball ... see our review below). By the way, you won't be seeing Freddy Fender performing in Laughlin any time soon ... he passed away about three years ago! (More than a few folks in the crowd thought that Bobby Kimball resembled Freddy just a little bit the other night! lol) Anyway, we had a great time and hope to catch some of these oldies acts that are still performing in and around the Vegas area on our next trip out that way. And please DO send your "Exclusive Scoop" to me so that we can break the story in Forgotten Hits! Thanks, Joe! (kk)
We're looking forward to the Chicagoland screening of "Airplay", coming up on the 18th of September at The Music Box Theatre up in Wrigleyville. Tickets are available at the theatre box office ... or in advance through www.theunitedfest.com/chicago. (Dick Biondi will also start giving tickets away next week on his WLS-FM Program, 94.7.) Hoping we can meet some of our readers at the show. (kk)
LOL ... and I loved THIS one from Ron Smith ... after we offered up his abode for anyone visiting Chicago, wishing to catch the "Airplay" screening ...
>>>If I sign up for The Airplay Tickets Contest & win ... is it possible for you to fly me out to Chicago and let me stay at your house for a week or so? If you say no, I'll try Ron Smith. Lol (Frank B.)
>>>Actually, I'm offering to put up EVERYBODY who entered this contest over at Ron Smith's House ... even if you DIDN'T win tickets!!! (kk)
Be careful about offering my place to stay. I think Woodstock was cleaner than my apartment is right now.
-- Ron Smith
... and, speaking of great documentaries ...
re: WAGES OF SPIN:
Just a reminder that the Shawn Swords / Paul Russo film "Wages Of Spin" will make its L.A. premier on Saturday, September 19th, at The James Bridges Theatre / UCLA School Of Theatre, Film and Television, 102 East Melnitz Hall in Los Angeles with TWO screenings: 7:30 pm and 9:15 pm. If you haven't yet seen this film, an expose of the early Philadelphia Days of Rock And Roll, and happen to be in the area that night, this is one you'll really enjoy. (kk)
re: THE BEATLES:
Lots of Beatles-fuss this week ... with the re-released, remastered versions of ALL of their recordings ... and the new Rock Band video game, you can expect to hear a WHOLE lot more Beatles music on the radio for the next several weeks! And you'll ALSO enjoy reading about The Fab Four's first visit to Philadelphia, too, back in 1964. It's all up on Sam Lyt's Hy Lit Website ... which can be found right here:
The Beatles Philadelphia Story, Pictures, September 2nd Newsletter click here.
And this from Sam Lyt, too ...
Check out the footnote on the newsletter:
Hy took to the stage to introduce the Beatles. The crowd immediately enveloped into a roaring frenzy for the entire duration of the concert. In fact the cheering and the screams were so loud and at times there was such emotion that it was difficult to even hear the Beatles sing.
When the concert was over the security issue facing the Beatles getting into Philadelphia confronted them again.
It was determined that all the hotels in town were being staked out by frantic girls, and that secure lodging would be a problem. So the Beatles were secretly whisked to Hy's house where they were able to spend the night and get some r&r before traveling to the next city.
Once the Beatles left, Hy created a clever contest. He would give away the sheets and pillowcases that the Beatles slept on in a major WIBG Radio contest, which sent the city into a frenzy once again.
-- Sam Lyt
Yes, I remember reading about this at the time ... a pretty clever promotion to be sure! (kk)
A pioneer in the world of Beatles’ radio, Woody Lifton, was the creator of the magic “Pop Go the Beatles” that graced the airwaves and internet for years. In fact, Woody came up with an idea for a radio show that would do something NO other show had ever done. Then ... big business intervened ... and everything changed in a heartbeat.
Read Woody’s exciting story at: http://www.ontherockbooks.com/meet15/WoodyLifton.html
It’s VERY interesting Labor Day reading, and the pics are so cool! Thanks to Tim Coulter, my wonderfully talented webmaster for another great issue of Meet the Beatles Fans!!
And find out what Woody has planned for the future!!! It’s exciting!!
Happy Labor Day Weekend! J
Jude Southerland Kessler
Here's a goofy quiz from the pages of AOL ... might be intresting for all the readers.
btw ... They told me I was George
re: MARSHALL LYTLE:
Do you have contact info for Marshall Lytle? The last e-mail address I have for him was from back when he was living in Tampa. He was in my "Wildwood Days" documentary. What a terrific guy ... we had a great time with him. He even sang me his Viagra song. I'm so sorry to hear about his problems.
I double checked with "Rewind" Host Jimmy Jay, who's been giving us all of our Marshall Lytle updates these past few weeks ... and he tells me:
I spoke with Marshall he said that you can give this e-mail address out to anyone who wants to contact him ... and that he is thankful for all the cards he has been getting at the hospital. His e-mail is: email@example.com. Today he sounded very upbeat and positive. Have a great weekend. Please remind everyone about his new book that came out last week "Still Rockin' Around The Clock" by Marshall Lytle, available now at Amazon.com.
We've heard from a few of our readers who have sent their Well-Wishes to Marshall, who we wish a very speedy recovery. (Marshall had his foot amputated last week after some complications.) Now other folks on the list can send him a Get Well Greeting, too! Thanks, Jimmy! (kk)
re: MERRY CHRISTMAS:
Wow, Summer hasn't even ended yet and we're already getting Christmas news!!! Seems Bob Dylan has recorded a few tracks for what many believe will be his first Christmas Album ever! Rolling Stone Magazine reports that Dylan recently laid down tracks for "Must Be Santa", "Here Comes Santa Claus", "I'll Be Home For Christmas" and "O Little Town Of Bethlehem." Whodathunkit?!?!? At this rate, the next thing we'll be hearing is that rocker Rod Stewart is recording an album of standards ... or that Phil Collins is making music for a Disney cartoon!!! (kk)
re: IN CONCERT:
We saw a SMOKIN' show by Randy Bachman at this year's Schaumburg September Fest ... Bachman put together a killer 90-minute show that featured pretty much all of the hit material he wrote or co-wrote while still a member of The Guess Who mixed with pretty much the entire hit catalog of Bachman-Turner Overdrive. The set included an absolutely AMAZING version of "American Woman" where Bachman played part of his extended guitar solo with a drumstick! (It truly has to be seen to be believed ... and it sounded incredible! I tried to find a copy of this on YouTube but didn't see anything there that did this performance justice ... all I can tell you is that it was simply amazing!) The band also strung together a couple of fun hit medleys, including one that merged BTO's own hit "Hey You" with "All Right Now" by Free, "Rock'n Me" by Steve Miller, "Hot Legs" by Rod Stewart, "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC and "Wild Thing" by The Troggs! By the end of the night the whole crowd was up on its feet, singing and dancing along to the music. It sounds like the band is headed back to Canada now ... but anyone who came to the concert disappointed that Bachman was touring without Burton Cummings this time around left the show thoroughly entertained and satisfied. (kk)
Last week I had the pleasure of seeing Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire together in concert at the Great Allentown Fair in Allentown, Pa. They put on a fantastic show. Not only did their musical styles blend very well, but they clearly enjoyed performing together very much, the energy was sky-high and the audience loved every minute of it. They started out by playing a couple of songs together, then EWF played their set. After a break, Chicago played their set, and they concluded by playing all together. The combined sets were my favorites. They just blew the audience away. My two daughters in their late 20s went with me, and they had a great time. Of course, they liked Chicago's 80s songs the best because that's what they heard growing up, but they really enjoyed the whole show as much as I did. One great thing they announced was that they were helping local food banks. In exchange for cans of food at the concert or, if you want to make a donation online, you can download three new songs recorded by the two groups. Here's the website for it: http://www.ewfandchicago.com/
They announced that was their last concert for the season, but if they tour together again, I would highly recommend this concert for folks of all ages who enjoy a big sound and a great time.
Debbie in PA
We have a live concert DVD of these two acts performing together and you're right ... they put on a TREMENDOUS show! Two more of our local acts who've been able to carve out a decades-long career in the music business. (We saw Earth, Wind and Fire alone last year at a sold-out performance at The Chicago Theater and were blown away by how good they sounded ... our first time seeing them live.) Definitely a show worth seeing! Thanks, Debbie! (kk)
Two of the most dynamic voices of the late '70's and early '80's teamed up for a show at Schaumburg's September Fest this past weekend. Officially billing themselves as "Starship, starring Mickey Thomas - featuring Bobby Kimball, the original lead singer of Toto" ... wow! that's a mouthful! ... these guys rocked the house this past Sunday Night. With an incredibly tight back-up band (and a female vocalist named Stephanie Calvert very ably handling all of the old Grace Slick parts), this was a non-stop hit assault. (Incredibly, as hard as the band rocked on some of these numbers, the two highlights for me that night were Thomas doing "Sara", a #1 Starship hit from 1986 and Bobby Kimballs' rendition of "Africa", the #1 Hit for Toto back in 1983.) While Kimball's high-end range was a little lacking at certain points during the show, Thomas sounded just as good as he did when he first reached our consciousness with "Fooled Around And Fell In Love" back in 1976 as the lead vocalist in Elvin Bishop's band. (His performance of this tune Sunday Night was another concert highlight.) One forgets how many hits Starship had with Thomas at the helm ... three #1's, in fact ... the ONLY #1's in the band's long-standing career ... and "Sara", "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" and the encore of "We Built This City" had the crowd up on its feet. He also quite capably handled some of Marty Balin's leads on "Count On Me" and "Find Your Way Back" (which is STILL playing in my head some 14 hours later as I type this!!! lol). One of OUR favorites, "Miracles", fell a little flat ... although one of Jefferson Starship's biggest and best-know hits, the substition of BOTH lead singers (Slick and Balin) just didn't make this song sound right. Kimball, on the other hand, did a GREAT job of running through a number of Toto's hits ("Hold The Line", "I'll Supply The Love", the aforementioned "Africa", "I Won't Hold You Back" and the big crowd-pleaser "Rosanna") in his abbreviated sets within the show. All-in-all, a GREAT night of musical entertainment ... a great WEEKEND, in fact! (kk)
Bill Fortune and I had a blast finally meeting the "Forgotten Hits Guy" and attending SeptemberFest 2009 with you and your wife Frannie! We were very impressed by the magnitude of this event that the Village of Schaumburg has been staging for the last 39 years!
It's always great to visit Chicago (the city where I was born) every few years, visit family and, of course, hang out with Bill, my pal of 40 years (who deejayed at WCFL back in the seventies and anchored radio news at WMAQ for many years back in the nineties).
We really enjoyed the concert featuring Starship with Mickey Thomas joined by my old friend Bobby Kimball. It was great to see Bobby perform (and then hang out with him backstage after the show). I haven't seen Bobby since the early Toto days in L.A.! I hired Bobby to sing on a couple of radio station jingles I produced back in 1976 and he did a great job on those.
Here are a few pix from the event, including a rather bizarre shot of Bobby and me where the digital camera decided to make Bobby appear a bit like a "ghost of Toto's past!"
Enjoy ... and, hey, the fireworks show following the concert was totally kick ass! One of the best we've ever seen! Props once again to the folks of Schaumburg who staged the event. A real holiday weekend treat for us all, to be sure!
See you soon!
>>>I was watching the KTLA morning news here in LA and Ron Dante performed "Sugar Sugar" in their studios this morning. He's gonna be appearing at the Normandie Casino in Gardena, Ca on Saturday Sept 5th. Just thought I'd pass it along to the Southern California readers of Forgotten Hits! (Mike Mertes)
Was the Ron Dante that Mike Mertes wrote about the same Dante who recorded "Something Happens" under the name Dante & Friends? Such a great forgotten Doo Wop.
No ... Ron Dante was the voice of The Archies, who scored one of the biggest hits of the '60's, "Sugar Sugar". He also was the lead vocalist behind the hits "Tracy" by The Cuff Links and "Leader Of The Laundromat" by The Detergents ... and produced all of Barry Manilow's early albums, too. He's a long-time Forgotten Hits member and, over the years, has kept us up to date on all of his latest activities. You'll find one of MY favorite Ron Dante recordings on our website tribute to my brother Mark, coming up later this week. (kk)
I tried contacting Hit Parade Radio to ask when Larry Lujack will start airing - both starting date and time slot - but got a confusing answer about Chicago not yet having a station. Will Uncle Lar not be on the internet stream? If he will be on the stream, do you know the starting date and time slot for him?
I sent your question right to the source ... and here's what I got back from Hit Parade Radio founder John Rook:
Our affiliate relations guy has received interest in Hit Parade Radio from broadcasters there in Chicago, but nothing has been decided yet. A Hit Parade Radio sample of the music that includes some of Larry Lujack and Wink Martindale is currently on the internet and Wi-Fi radio worldwide. Larry's biggest ratings were from his time in afternoon drive at WLS and WCFL when I was his program director in those days, so don't be surprised if we have a major announcement to make on that subject in the not to distant future.
I'll keep you posted, Kent.
Here's another forgotten hit. Even though not a hit, it's a piece of music I miss: The wonderful "Dallas 1963 - New York 1968" with Eric Burdon and the Animals, from the album "Every One Of Us". Would you like to include it in your list?
I'm not familiar with that one at all ... and, obviously not a hit ... but if you'd like to send it along, I'd be happy to listen to it and see if it's something we'd like to share. Thanks, Erik! (kk)
How about some info on and credit to PJ Proby? He worked during that time period at Liberty records and did some interesting session work as well as demos for Presley, before becoming a star and falling from grace in Britain and the US.
Proby's name has come up a few times before over the years ... he's a tough call because he really only had one U.S. Hit ("Niki Hoeky" went to #23 back in 1967 ... and we've featured that one a couple of times now. It certainly falls into the Forgotten Hits category ... you're not likely to hear it on the radio anytime soon!) Over in the U.K., however, the Texas-born singer scored nearly a dozen Top 40 Hits, including four titles that reached Great Britain's Top Ten: Hold Me (#3, 1964); Together (#8, 1964); Somewhere (#6, 1964) and Maria (#8, 1965). If you're up to writing a short piece on him, I'd be happy to feature it. (kk)
Here is a brief piece I found on PJ Proby in The Forgotten Hits Archives:
Proby's name was kicked around quite a bit in the mid-'60's around the time of The British Invasion. He seemed to always be making appearances on the popular music shows of the day like Shindig, Hullabaloo and The Lloyd Thaxton Show, despite only having one Top 40 Chart Hit. (Niki Hoeky, #23, 1967, which we featured a couple of years ago in Forgotten Hits.)
Although I remember his name being involved with these programs, I evidently didn't pay much attention ... I think he was pretty much just there as eye-candy for the teenage girls anyway ... in fact, I discovered his biggest hit "Niki Hoeky" by way of the Burton Cummings cover version several years later when it appeared on Cummings' first solo album. But apparently he made quite an impact on other artists of the day, such as Cummings and Van Morrison. That may be because his greater popularity came in England (despite the fact that Proby, real name James Marcus Smith, was born in Houston, Texas!) P.J. Proby had eleven Top 40 Hits in the UK ... and, ironically, "Niki Hoeky" wasn't one of them! (He's also one of those artists "famous for" releasing an early Lennon - McCartney composition NOT recorded by The Beatles, "That Means A Lot", which hit #30 in the UK in 1965.) Working as a singer and (stage and film) actor in England, Proby also used the stage names Jett Powers and Orville Wood. (In the late '50's, he formed a band called The Moondogs, which included future members of The Teddy Bears, Canned Heat and The Mothers Of Invention!!!) All of these early recording ventures failed, however, and Proby didn't receive his first wave of success until he appeared on the British television special "Around The Beatles", where he reportedly had the girls squealing in the audience nearly as loud as the headliners! A single ("Hold Me") was quickly released and went right to #3 on the British Charts, the biggest hit of his career. (It went to #70 here in the States, where Proby was heavily promoted as part of The British Invasion ... hence the aforementioned TV appearances.) Some of you on the list may recall (from our earlier FH PJ Proby article) his "trouser-splitting" performance that got him banned from television screens around the globe at the time! Unfortunately, I couldn't find this earlier article to include in today's '60's Flashback ... but the jist of the whole trouser splitting incident is as follows: On February 1, 1965, after PJ Proby performed his first number at The ABC Luton Beds, his trousers split, causing the manager of the theater to close the curtain, stop the show and refund the audience's money! Future concerts in three other music halls ALSO ended in controversy ... (sounds like P.J. was now incorporating this bit into a regular part of his stage act!!! And we thought Jim Morrison of The Doors was bad!!! lol Ol' P.J. predated Morrison's incident by a good four years!) As a result, Proby was banned from any future British Concert Hall appearances. TV soon followed suit, in effect making it IMPOSSIBLE to see P.J. in any capacity throughout Great Britain! While all of this media attention certainly helped to fuel his following ... and P.J. WAS able to get some gigs in some of the U.K. Independent Theaters where he was NOT banned ... he suddenly began to exhibit very erratic behavior, often not showing up for appearances or walking off the stage mid-concert. When he was invited to appear on "Ready, Steady, Go", the popular British pop music television series, in July, they faded out his song during his second number and he swore that he'd never appear on the program again. In the '70's, he would again gain noteriety portraying Elvis Presley in a stage production at London's West End Theater, where it won Best Musical Of The Year in 1977. He continued to record and do theater work into the '90's with mixed success. (kk)