Friday, October 16, 2009

A Few Friday Comments

A few quick comments for a Friday ...

Scott Shannon presents "Shame On The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame", spotlighting many of the artists who made our "Deserving And Denied" List, tabulating YOUR votes of those artists that just no how, no way should have been overlooked this long by The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Nominating Committee ... while artists with far-less-worthy credentials seem to get nominated (and inducted) every single year. You can find our list of The Top 40 Deserving And Denied Artists here: Click here: Forgotten Hits: The "Deserving And Denied" List ... and you can listen to The True Oldies Channel "Shame On The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame" Weekend ... ALL weekend long ... here: Click here: True Oldies Channel.

Speaking of The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, I also wanted to tell you about a brand new book that just came out ... called simply "The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame: The First 25 Years", it's a BEAUTIFUL coffee table style book put together by Holly George-Warren and it features TONS of amazing pictures of the inducted artists along with commentary by many of these artists as well as their peers regarding the significant roles they played in the evolution of rock and roll as an art form. (It even includes a forward written by Jann Wenner.) It's a fitting tribute to the preservation of this music and these artists and is a "must have" for any serious rock collectors ... highly recommended! (kk)

And finally, while we still have quite a few Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Comments to run, we just didn't have enough time to pull them all together in time for today's posting. (I'm hoping to be able to work on this over the weekend ... which means that they're still coming ... just not today as I had originally planned.)

Meanwhile, here are some of your Comments that I was able to process in time:

Now that we know who co-wrote "This Is It," we can now also ponder this irony. Both Elvis and Michael Jackson's first posthumous singles were written by Paul Anka. Hope no other superstars have Anka songs in the can!
Joe Persek
It IS pretty ironic, actually ... who'daevahthunkit?!?!? (What was Michael Jackson doing writing with Paul Anka in the first place back in the late-'70's and early '80's?!?!?) Apparently all of this went down right before super-stardom hit the self-proclaimed King Of Pop ... and when it was released last weekend as a means to help promote the already-sold-out two hour rehearsal concert film of the same name, it created quite a bit of controversy, coming out as a Michael Jackson SOLO composition, despite the fact the he wrote it WITH Paul Anka back in 1983. (At the time, the track was called "I Never Heard", a song intended for release on Anka's solo album. For whatever reason, Jackson became disenchanted with the project ... some say he abandoned it to begin work on "Thriller" ... but by this point Michael already had copies of the Anka-produced track. It sat dormant until 1991, when Anka gave it to a Puerto Rican singer named Sa-Fire to record,
with BOTH songwriters correctly credited.
NOT his best work ... by ANY stretch ... "This Is It" pretty much falls into that category of releasing ANYTHING left in the can in an effort to cash in on the death of a recording artist ... but interesting none the less ... and with the soundtrack album due out later this month you can bet Jacko will be back on the charts ... and earning ALL kinds of money ... in no time. The film has sold-out around the world for its limited two week engagement (and DVD and Blue Ray release are probably not far behind ... I'm guessing just in time for Christmas gift-giving!!!) Meanwhile, it's interesting to see Michael Jackson STILL making headlines some four months after his death! Pretty cool 'tho that Elvis' first posthumous release was his version of Anka's "My Way" ... that one soared to #22 on the Billboard Chart and was a pretty moving rendition. Jackson's song ... not so much ... quite honestly, it sounds more like one of those outtakes best left in the can that we'll probably be inundated with for the next few years! (kk)

Here's a copy of the very first notice I received on this ...

Over at the Blue Cheer myspace site ["Summertime Blues" rock remake 1968] comes bad news today that Dickie Peterson is in ill health from a gall bladder infection and taking a turn for the worst ... Thoughts and prayers were requested ... :(!
~JBK Yes, you can turn me on! I'm on the radio! Surf City Sounds Plus:

And then, just a day later ...
Dickie Peterson, lead singer and bassist with Blue Cheer, died Monday (October 12) at his home in Germany. He was 61. Dickie had been battling cancer. The pioneering San Francisco heavy metal band released ten albums over the years and Dickie recorded two solo albums. Jim Morrison called Blue Cheer (named, not for the detergent but for a brand of LSD) "The single most powerful band I've ever seen." They are best known for their re-make of Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues" (#14-68) and also charted with "Just A Little Bit" (#92) that same year.
-- Ron Smith

Dickie Peterson, bassist and frontman for legendary heavy metal pioneers
Blue Cheer, died Monday, Oct. 12, at the age of 61. Peterson, who founded the proto-metal outfit in 1967 in the Bay Area, passed away in Germany after battling liver cancer, according to Blabbermouth.
Influenced by the era's heavy blues innovators Cream and Jimi Hendrix, Blue Cheer made its first impact in early 1968 when it released its debut album 'Vincebus Eruptum.' A roaring opposite to Haight Ashbury's flower power, Peterson stood in stark contrast to San Francisco based bands like the Grateful Dead.
Named for a potent strain of acid, Blue Cheer's proto metal actually produced a chart hit when its rendition of Eddie Cochran's 'Summertime Blues' made it all the way to No. 11 on the Billboard charts. Jim Morrison once called the power trio "The single most powerful band I've ever seen." Live, they were the first band ever listed in the 'Guinness Book of World Records' as "Loudest Band in the World," establishing a precedent which was eventually eclipsed by Ritchie Blackmore and Deep Purple.
Despite the fact that Blue Cheer, which also initially included drummer Paul Whaley and guitarist Lee Stephens, was the first American band to use Marshall amplifiers, their impact was endured even if the band didn't last. The band called it a day in 1972, however Peterson resuscitated the group 1984 for a 10-year run and reignited it in 1999 for regular touring. In 2007, Blue Cheer recorded its first new studio release in 15 years, 2007's 'What Doesn't Kill You ...,' and continued to tour the globe.
Ken Voss

Regional Sales Manager
Starin, Inc

Hi Kent
Dickie Peterson Blue Cheer Passed also passed away this past week. I talked with a friend in Portland who is friends with Steve Miller's guitar tech. He said Norton Buffalo, Steve's long time band member (30 Years), has lung cancer and has weeks to live. Steve did his first show with out him last week.

My dear friend, Dickie Peterson, lead singer and bassist of pioneering metal band Blue Cheer has left us. Blue Cheer was the first "power trio", and for 40 years, influenced and thrilled many! Please go to their page, and revel in the majesty of Blue Cheer. I was fortunate to have reunited with Dickie in Nov 2007. My article by "Sweet Alyce" is just one of many articles you can read at:
More archived reviews and press at:

The official press release follows:
Los Angeles, CA – Friends, fans and heavy metal rock and rollers around the world are mourning the death of Blue Cheer bassist and lead singer Richard Allan “Dickie” Peterson (b. September 12, 1946), after a long fight against cancer. Peterson, age 63, died in Germany, where he lived, on the morning of October 12, 2009. He is survived by wife Ilka Peterson, ex-wife Marilyn (Peterson) Stephens with whom he had a daughter, Corrina Peterson- Kaltenrieder, and a grandson. He was a founding member and leader of the San Francisco band Blue Cheer; a band known to heavy metal fans for being louder and heavier than any band before them and for laying the blueprint for much of what would come after. The band debuted with a ground shaking cover of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” on their 1968 album Vincebus Eruptum. The band’s last US tour (members Peterson, founding drummer Paul Whaley, and guitarist Andrew “Duck” MacDonald) was in support of their 2007 release What Doesn’t Kill You … and had the band playing shows with the fourth generation of bands to follow in their path. “He loved the younger musicians,” said MacDonald of his bandmate, “he thought of all of them as his children.” Plans were underway for the band to tour in support of the 2009 Rainman Records DVD release of Blue Cheer Rocks Europe when Dickie’s cancer was found. Tour plans were put on hold, but the first full length concert DVD in the band’s more than forty year history was released without delay. The DVD includes not only the concert footage with 5.1 audio, but also included a Peterson voiceover commentary and a complete interview with the late leader of the band.Dickie and Blue Cheer cherished their fans, the 1%ers as they were called, and considered them the fourth member of their band. “Without you, what we do is completely pointless” Peterson said during every show. “You’ve got to take care of each other, you’re all you’ve got.” MacDonald says that Dickie believed in the best of people. “the fans loved him and he loved them right back. It was the best relationship he had in his life.”

The world lost a great singer this week with the passing of Steven Gately, lead singer of the boyband Boyzone.
While everyone in the US may not know them, give a listen to their cover of Michael Jackson's BEN, and you will wonder why the US does not play some great music that is popular elsewhere in the world.

For some reason, Boyzone never caught on here in The States ... although I absolutely LOVE their 1999 hit "No Matter What", which didn't even crack Billboard's Top 100. In the U.K. they released 21 straight Top Ten singles ... and 19 of those made The Top Three ... including ten #1's!!! (kk)
And to answer the question WHO ARE THEY?!?!? Here is their biggest hit which most will remember but file it in the I KNOW THIS SONG but have no IDEA who SINGS it file. From 1998, written and produced by Andrew Lloyd Weber and Jim Steinman, which is ENOUGH to give it a listen, their worldwide smash.
A #1 hit in UK, Ireland, Norway, and the Netherlands, and a #12 US AC hit. It was the biggest selling UK boyband song of the 1990s with over a million in sales for the single which is quite a feat in UK. As a group, they had SIX #1 singles in the UK and four #1 lps in the UK.

Sad to hear about Al Martino’s passing. It sounds as though he died young and active at 82 – not the worst way to go (except for maybe dying young at 100!). My personal favorite was a one-off on 20th Fox (which got airplay in New York; I don't know its sales figures), "A Little Boy and A Little Girl," a sweet and (to me) touching story of a simple life well lived. It still brings a tear to my eye when I play it. What a career, Al; thank you for the music.
Country Paul Payton
That one didn't do so well ... it "Bubbled Under" in Billboard at #109 and reached #92 in Cash Box ... actually one of three minor hits Al had on 20th Century Fox Records ... "I Can't Get You Out Of My Heart" (#43, 1959) and "Darling, I Love You" (#52, 1959) were the others. ("I Can't Get You Out Of My Heart" re-entered the charts in 1964 but didn't fare any better ... that time around, it peaked at #99!) kk

We got quite a few emails regarding the passing of crooner Al Martino ... here are just a few others ...

Hi Kent and all FH subscribers ~
So sad to hear of Al Martino's passing. He was one of my parents' favorites but I really enjoyed a lot of his music, too. I have several of his "albums" as my father left them for me when he passed away. Ironically, his name was also "Al". May they both rest in peace and God bless and strengthen Al Martino's family. And as always, thanks for all you do with Forgotten Hits, Kent. We love ya!
~ Sharon {TokeiTwo}

Hi Kent ...
So sad to hear about Al Martino ... he was a good friend.
I haven't cried that hard for a long time.He was a wonderful person. I will miss more then I can put into words.Here are some terrific clips from You Tube.
John Madara

What a shocker! Al seemed to be very healthy, out on the road doing gigs this summer and sounding great.Sources are reporting that Al dined with Jerry Blavat Monday night. It would be great to hear some comments from Jerry sometime in the near future.
David Lewis
Blavat's not a FH List Member (although as often as we mention him, he certainly SHOULD be!!!) Maybe somebody out Philly way can get a comment for us. (kk)

I was saddened to hear of the passing of Al Martino. He had a wonderful voice and was a terrific performer. Rest In Peace.

And here's an official press release regarding Al Martino's passing ...
Pop Singer Al Martino Passes Away at 82

Pop singer Al Martino passed away on Tuesday afternoon at his childhood home in Springfield, Pennsylvania. He was 82.Martino had seven top twenty hits and six top 20 albums, but he may be best known for playing the part of Johnny Fontaine in the movie The Godfather.Martino was born October 7, 1927 as Alfred Cini to Italian immigrants. He spent his early life working in the family masonry business but had an ongoing love for music. When his childhood friend, Alfredo Cocozza became an international superstar under the name of Mario Lanza, Cini decided to make a go of the business.Changing his name to Al Matino, he moved to New York in 1948 where he eventually won first place on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts. Soon after, he signed to a small independent label, BBS, recording Here in My Heart which went on to become an international hit, going to number one in both the U.S. and the U.K.Capitol Records took notice and signed Martino who had a few more hits in the early-50's before his career suddenly took a detour. According to legend, his contract was forcibly taken over by a mafia based management team who demanded $75,000 in protection money. Unable to make the payment, Martino and his family fled to England where his career continued to flourish.By the time he was able to return to the U.S. in 1958, the public had mostly forgotten him and rock and roll was the music of the day. He signed with 20th Century Fox Records where he recorded a couple of albums but sales were slow and the label dropped him. Martino decided to finance his next record himself and The Exciting Voice of Al Martino got him resigned as an artist at Capitol.Martino worked relentlessly to reestablish his career, playing many tour dates and appearing as often as possible on TV. The hard work paid off in 1963 when I Love You Because made it up to number 3 on the Pop and number 1 on the Adult Contemporary charts. From that point on, he became a standard part of the AC chart, scoring twenty more top ten hits.In 1966, Martino released his signature song. Spanish Eyes, based on an instrumental hit by Bert Kaempfert, made it to number 15 on the Pop charts and spent a month at the top in Adult Comtemporary.In the early 70's, Martino's friend Phyllis McGuire brought him to the attention of Francis Ford Coppola who was making a film version of the book The Godfather by Mario Puzo. Specifically, she thought the part of Johnny Fontaine fit Martino perfectly. Fontaine was based on Frank Sinatra and his fight to be cast in From Here to Eternity, but much of the fictional singer's story also was familiar from Martino's 50's connections. He was cast in the film and the exposure allowed him to continue recording through the rest of the decade.Martino and Capitol parted ways in the early-80's and the singer continued to tour behind his large catalog. He returned to recording in 2000 with the album Style.After the cut is a listing of Martino's 28 singles that reached the top ten on the U.S. Pop, U.S. Adult Contemporary and/or the U.K. Pop charts.
The hits of Al Martino:
Here in My Heart (1952/#1 Pop/#1 U.K.)
Take My Hand (1952/#12 Pop/#9 U.K.)
Now (1953/#3 U.K.)
Rachel (1953/#30 Pop/#10 U.K.)
Wanted (1954/#4 U.K.)
The Story of Tina (1954/#10 U.K.)
I Love You Because (1963/#3 Pop/#1 Adult Contemporary/#48 U.K.)
Painted Tainted Rose (1963/#15 Pop/#3 Adult Contemporary)
Living a Lie (1963/#22 Pop/#8 Adult Contemporary)
I Love You More and More Everyday (1964/#9 Pop/#3 Adult Contemporary)
Tears and Roses (1964/#20 Pop/#7 Adult Contemporary)
Always Together (1964/#33 Pop/#4 Adult Contemporary)
We Could (1964/#41 Pop/#6 Adult Contemporary)
Forgive Me (1965/#61 Pop/#7 Adult Contemporary)
Spanish Eyes (1966/#15 Pop/#1 Adult Contemporary/#5 U.K.)
Think I'll Go Somewhere and Cry Myself to Sleep (1966/#30 Pop/#2 Adult Contemporary)
Wiederseh'n (1966/#57 Pop/#3 Adult Contemporary)
Daddy's Little Girl (1967/#42 Pop/#2 Adult Contemporary)
Mary in the Morning (1967/#27 Pop/#1 Adult Contemporary)
More Than the Eye Can See (1967/#54 Pop/#1 Adult Contemporary)
Love is Blue (1968/#57 Pop/#3 Adult Contemporary)
Lili Marlene (1968/#87 Pop/#7 Adult Contemporary)
I Can't Help It (1969/#97 Pop/#10 Adult Contemporary)
Can't Help Falling in Love (1970/#51 Pop/#5 Adult Contemporary)
Walking in the Sand (1970/#9 Adult Contemporary)
To the Door of the Sun (Alle Porte del Sole) (1975/#17 Pop/#7 Adult Contemporary)
Volare (1975/#33 Pop/#9 Adult Contemporary)
The Next Hundred Years (1978/#49 Pop/#6 Adult Contemporary)
Top Ten Albums by Al Martino:
I Love You Because (1963/#7)
Painted, Tainted Rose (1963/#9)
A Merry Christmas (1964/#8)
Spanish Eyes (1966/#8)

Got this from Timothy B. Schmit of The Eagles ... looks like he's got a brand new solo LP coming out. (Ironically, with The Eagles apparently on hiatus, Don Henley is coming here next month for a solo concert, too!)
"Expando", the first solo album from Timothy B. Schmit in eight years, is now available for pre-order. The album was recorded at his home studio near Los Angeles and features an eclectic gathering of musicians including Keb' Mo', Graham Nash, Kid Rock, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, The Band's Garth Hudson, Van Dyke Parks, Dwight Yoakam, The Heartbreakers' Benmont Trench and Timothy's son, Ben. The album will be available in stores and on iTunes October 20th. Listen to the first single "Parachute", now available at Also, be sure to check out for a list of just announced exclusive performances in Los Angeles (10/14), Nashville (10/16), Chicago (10/18) and New York (10/21). Timothy will perform new songs from "Expando", as well as some of his classic hits. Follow Timothy on Twitter!
Best Regards,
Timothy B. Schmit

Speaking of new releases, I've been listening to Mark Hudson's new solo CD "The Artist" this week in the car ... a few really good tracks on this one (and some INCREDIBLE background harmonies and vocal arrangements.) Having always been a Hudson Brothers fan, I've got to say that Mark has TOTALLY channeled the influence of The Beatles (and particularly John Lennon) on quite a bit of this new release. (He also covers Lennon's "How" from John's "Imagine" album ... and even redoes his OWN hit "So You Are A Star", this time with Ringo Starr on drums!) You can listen to "Happy" (and catch the cool video) on Hudson's website here:
Click here: Mark Hudson Music :: The Official Mark Hudson Website

LOTS more comments coming on Sunday ... but right now I've gotta run!!!