re: WALKIN' TO NEW ORLEANS:
Here's an interesting story. A Florida Fats Domino fan plans on "Walkin' To New Orleans" in February to honor the 50th anniversary of the song and raise money for the Make It Right Foundation that's helping to re-build the city. It's only 300 miles, but that's about 250 more than I'd be able to do at this point:
-- Ron Smith
Sounds like a good cause to me! Thanks for the tip! Speaking of which, we were at the Annual Dick Biondi Toy Drive Friday Night ... got a chance to visit with Dick for a little bit (and Ronnie Rice, too!) Amazing to think that Biondi was pulling a 15-hour shift ... and having an absolute ball doing it, too!!! (kk)
re: MARTY ROBBINS:
>>>I want to talk about Marty Robbins. I always liked his music. I just watched the DVD Marty Robbins Music Anthology. I now think he is vastly underrated. He plays guitar & piano. Writes music & books. He also did some acting. Lets concentrate on his music . Marty sings Country, Rock-n-Roll, R&B, Gospel. He even recorded 2 Albums of Hawaiian Music. He died at 57, during a Heart Operation. I'd like to know what you & your readers think of Marty Robbins. (Frank B.)
>>>In addition to placing nearly 100 songs on Billboard's Country Music Chart, Marty also had several cross-over hits in the late '50's and early '60's, most notably the chart-topping "El Paso" and The Top Three Hits "A White Sport Coat And A Pink Carnation" (1957) and "Don't Worry" (1961). Marty hit Billboard's Pop Top 40 a total of 13 times. Other hits included his version of the #1 Guy Mitchell Hit "Singing The Blues" (#26, 1956); "Big Iron" (also #26, 1960); "Ballad Of The Alamo" (from the John Wayne film, #34, 1960); "Devil Woman" (#16, 1962) and "Ruby Ann" (#18, 1962). His last pop hit just missed The Top 40 when "My Woman, My Woman, My Wife" peaked at #42. Personally, I'm just a "casual" fan ... but I'm guessing that some of our list members could rattle off some astounding facts on Marty Robbins. Let's see what comes back! Thanks, Frank! (kk)
Thanks for mentioning Marty Robbins. I've been a fan of his all my life and now I'm his biographer. His songwriting and singing talents were truly amazing, not to mention everything else he could do, such as compete in NASCAR races. I think he'd have many, many, many new fans today if they could hear his music. It's timeless and reaches far beyond country music. I've set a goal of publishing "Twentieth Century Drifter: The Life of Marty Robbins" in 2012. Just as a note, his version of "Singing The Blues" came before the cover by Guy Mitchell. And extremely unusual is the fact that 1960 arrived with "El Paso" in the number one spot on both country and pop Billboard charts. Yeah, Marty!
Author of "Live Fast, Love Hard: The Faron Young Story"
Thanks so much for taking the time to write to us, Diane! I'm sure our readers would enjoy a simple "overview" of Marty's career (if you'd be willing to share it with us!!!) Near as I can determine, Marty released "Singing The Blues" first, but it failed to make much of an impression on the pop charts. Then, when Guy Mitchell's version started its climb to #1, Columbia Records re-released Marty's version, which ultimately peaked at #26 on their Pop Chart. (Would love to hear more about THAT story, too!!!) Please keep us posted on your biography ... I'm sure that a number of our readers would enjoy reading it. (And, with all these music /movie bio-pics making their way to the big screen these days, who KNOWS where this might all end up ... ESPECIALLY with a story as fascinating ... and a career as varied ... as Marty Robbins' was!!!) kk
Another great edition, Kent, and my thanks for your ten years of dedication to our fabulous oldies music. I know it's a 'labor of love,' as are the comments, Q & A, tributes, and 'war stories' that the readers send it. I get behind from time to time and forget to check out your site, but when I do, there's always a few surprises, and some great memories from others many others who not only 'talk the talk,' but have also 'walked the walk.' :)
That's one of the things that make "FH" so real. These are real stories from folks who actually witnessed them. 2010 marks my 53rd year in radio and records. Starting as radio station gopher at KRAK Radio, Sacramento, in 1957, I was just a twelve year old kid who lived 'music.'
It was a 'singles' music industry then, and many of us got our musical education listening to the radio. The Top 40 stations introduced us to more than rock and roll, although that genre certainly dominated the airwaves. But we were also introduced to jazz, listening to a Vince Guaraldi's "Cast Your Fate To The Wind" or Dave Brubeck's "Take Five." We were introduced to Latin and Salsa music with huge hits like Perez Prado's two #1's, "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" and "Patricia." Calypso music was represented by Harry Belefante's "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)," The Weavers introduced us to traditional folk music, while Jimmie "Oh Oh" Rodgers introduced us to the more contemporary style. And who can forget the Kingston Trio's folksy "Tom Dooley." Red Foley introduced us to gospel music with "Peace In The Valley" and Bo Diddley introduced us to blues.
And then there was 'country.' Johnny Cash, Don Gibson, and others had solid Top 40 hits that had crossed over from country radio. After all, in the 50's there were fewer than 80 full time country music radio stations in America.
Frank's kind words this weekend regarding the great Marty Robbins hit a 'home run' with me. I was not a close friend of Marty, but I was certainly influenced by his music, enormous talent and great vocals. I saw him at the Ryman Auditorium in the late 60's, early 70's, when I was managing The Beach Boys -- and was fortunate to fly out to LA on the plane with him from Nashville.
Marty was, in my opinion, the best overall 'entertainer' on the Grand Ole Opry ... and I've seen a lot of great entertainers on that stage. Had Columbia's legendary A & R chief, Mitch Miller, not covered Marty's version of "Singing The Blues" with another Columbia artist, Guy Mitchell, it would have been an even bigger hit, as would "Heartaches By The Number," by Ray Price, which Guy also covered.
Few people know that Marty's 1957 #1, "The Story of My Life," pretty much launched the careers of songwriters Burt Bacharach and Hal David. I'm glad that Marty was fortunate to live long enough to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1982. It was a close call. He died barely six weeks later.
Unfortunately, that is not the case with another country superstar of the late 50's, early 60's, Johnny Horton. Just as "The Crickets" have been repeatedly overlooked by the Rock Hall, and Roger Maris has been overlooked by the Baseball HOF, Johnny has yet to receive country music's highest honor. His single, "The Battle of New Orleans," was not only one of the most requested records at radio in the entire decade of the 50's, but it was the first 'country' song, by a country artist, to win a Grammy Award as "Best Country and Western Performance" at the 1960 ceremony. It was not the first actual Country Grammy awarded. That distinction actually went to a 'folk' song, The Kingston Trio's "Tom Dooley" the year before.
However, Johnny got the last laugh: In Billboard Magazine's ranking of the top songs for the first fifty years of the Billboard Top 100 chart, "The Battle of New Orleans" is ranked #28 and is the top 'country' song listed.
Yes, listening to Top 40 radio in the 50's certainly gave us a well-rounded musical education. The kids of today are nowhere near as fortunate.
Fred Vail/Treasure Isle Recorders
Nashville, TN -- "Music City, USA"
re: MORE BEATLES NEWS:
Happy Thanksgiving to you and Fran! In case you didn't know about these shows, here's the scoop, thanks to my friend John and Daytrippin, who let me know.
BEATLES TV ALERT:
Tonight (Saturday, November 28th): VH1 Classic will air the premiere of "Project 9: The Making of The Beatles Rock Band" video game at 7:30 pm.
All day, VH1 Classic is airing other Beatles specials including:
6:30 pm : The Beatles Video collection
7:30 pm : The Making of The Beatles Rock Band"
8:00 pm : A Hard Day's Night
10:00 pm : John Lennon: Live in NYC '72
(Check your local cable listings to confirm times)
LATEST DAYTRIPPIN' ARTICLES:
New John Lennon film, Nowhere Boy, premieres in Liverpool (Watch trailer)http://www.examiner.com/x-4732-Celebrity-Travel-Examiner~y2009m11d25-New-John-Lennon-film-Nowhere-Boy-premieres-in-Liverpool-VIDEO
Paul McCartney joins Ringo Starr on new album, Y Not (November 20, 2009)http://daytrippin.com/2009/11/20/paul-mccartney-joins-ringo-starr-on-new-album-y-not/
Exclusive: Filmmaker Clay Adams reveals details about working with The Beatles on Shea Stadium film soundtrack (November 17, 2009)http://daytrippin.com/2009/11/17/exclusive-filmmaker-clay-adams-reveals-details-about-working-with-the-beatles-on-shea-stadium-film-soundtrack/
Read our review of The Beatles Rock Band and get other Beatles Holiday Gift Ideas (November 27, 2009)
Review: Paul McCartney's Good Evening New York City live CD/DVD set (November 20, 2009)
To view Daytrippin's Beatles Newsletter Archive, visit
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/beatleshistory
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I was able to catch several of these Beatles specials over the long weekend ... really enjoyed that History Channel retrospective, too ... very well done (for a one hour career recap!) kk
Speaking of The Beatles, don'tcha just LOVE learning something new about a piece of music you've been enjoying for over 40 years?!?!? I was reading a MOJO MAGAZINE interview with Paul McCartney the other day where they were discussing the 40th Anniversary of "Abbey Road" ... and the newly-released remastered Beatles CDs ... and Paul explained that "Her Majesty", the unexpected piece tacked on to the end of the LP was ORIGINALLY supposed to be the bridge between John's songs "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam"!!! I had NEVER heard this story before!!! In fact, at the last minute, Paul decided to the cut it out completely, feeling that it just didn't "fit" with the continuity of the rest of the medley ... and that opening chord you hear before Paul comes in with his little acoustic ditty is actually the LAST chord of "Mean Mr. Mustard" ... it, too, was edited out of the tape to provide a smoother transition into the opening chords of "Polythene Pam"!!! John Kurlander, who was working as a Junior Engineer on the "Abbey Road" sessions, recalled in the MOJO piece: "It was 'Abbey Road' protocol that anything cut from a finished master should be glued to the leader tape at the end of the reel, with an explanatory note" -- and, at two in the morning, he quickly decided "that this was the best course of action" with the excised "Her Majesty" snippet. What that entailed, as the world soon discovered, was a 10-second pause after the end of "The End" before the last stray chord of "Mean Mr. Mustard" crashed in and "Her Majesty" began. "It was basically the result of three accidents," Kurlander explained. "I stuck it at the end with the instruction that it was an unwanted track. Then the next morning, a playback lacquer was cut at Apple, but my instruction was ignored. Then it got delivered to Paul, who listened to the whole thing, and was about to stand up and say 'Fine' -- and then he heard this thing as a surprise" ... as did the REST of us who got up from whatever we were doing, thinking the LP was over only to be AMAZED when "Her Majesty" came on. (More than a few of us have admitted that we didn't even realize it was there the first few times we listened to the LP because we manually lifted the tone arm off the album ... it wasn't until we let the turn-table turn itself off that we heard the track, which, at the time, was NOT noted on the LP cover ... making it come as a COMPLETE surprise to us first-time listeners! Kurlander goes on to say "They LOVED happy accidents ... so it didn't surprise me that they wanted to leave it in." FANTASTIC story of yet ANOTHER amazing recording "accident" that we've all come to know and love!!! (kk)
>>>We're receiving LOTS of ideas and suggestions as to what our next countdown should be ... how does the All-Time Favorite Polka strike you?!?!? (kk)>>>Speaking of Polka ... http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=those+darn+accordions+youtube&aq=1&oq=those+darn+a&aqi=g2 (Kristy)
>>>Yeah ... some pretty pathetic gems can be found here!!! (lol) kk
How does the All-Time Favorite Polka idea strike you?!?!?
STOP !!! DON'T GO THERE !!!
You'll see Forgotten Hits torn apart from the friction ... I've seen it before ... 2 camps ... FRANKIE YANKOVIC fans on one side ... JIMMY STURR fans on the other ... YOU'LL GET POLKA'D TO DEATH !!! IT'LL BE LIKE A DRUNKEN SOCCER MATCH IN EUROPE !!! (start digging the moats)...
Don't worry ... it'll never happen!!! Looks like the ONLY Yankovic we'll be playing around THESE parts is "Weird Al"!!! (lol) kk
re: ON THE RADIO:
>>>Radio in the immediate days ahead ... read this: Clear Channel’s Frightening Plan (John Rook)
It is truly frightening and sad as well. As you know, I was formerly the Cluster General Sales Manager of our seven stations in Rochester (Position "eliminated" in November of 2006). At that time there were four General Sales Managers, a Director of Sales, an NTR (non-traditional revenue) and Total Traffic Manager and a National Sales Manager. There were 30 to 38 salespersons at any given time during the 2004-2006 period. I was given a copy of the new sales structure for the seven stations this past week and my jaw literally dropped open. Now, for these same seven stations, there are two managers and 12 salespeople. Seven stations --- 12 salespeople. Unbelievable! I would also bet that those 12 people won't be getting rich from the lack of competition as commissions have certainly been cut.
I still love radio and I am not giving you a "sour grapes" viewpoint, but radio is a shadow of what it was for decades as the content, excitement and fun aspects have been removed. I could go on forever but I don't wish to ruin this nice day.
Herb Oscar Anderson at one time thought of being an opera singer. That didn't happen. What did happen was that he became the "Morning Mayor of New York" and, from 1960 to 1968 as the drive time air personality on 77-WABC in New York City, was listened to and beloved by millions in New York and several surrounding states. He was on from 6 till 10 each morning once PD Sam Holman put the "Swingin' Seven" format together. And he wasn't merely a TALKING deejay. He was a SINGING deejay who opened each hour of each show with his memorable "Hello again" with lyrics that he wrote.
This show includes that as well as some other well-known songs that he made more famous by singing them on his shows. And, especially for this interview show, HOA provided me here with a world exclusive that you will be the FIRST to hear. It is guaranteed to make many of you "feel happy."
HOA was surely not your typical top 40 deejay. He was charming, gentle, low-keyed and came across as much as a FRIEND to his listeners as he was an air personality doing a performance. Many may have believed that he was an overnight success. But, as he made clear during this show, that was hardly the case. He worked at several radio stations before coming to the Big Apple and his 60s stint at WABC was actually his second at that station: he was there in the late 50s, then moved to WMCA and then came back to WABC and -- the second time around -- became a radio superstar before that term was even used.
This show is a celebration of this man's remarkable career but also kind of a history lesson about the evolution of radio, which changed dramatically just as music was changing, going from the big band era to the pop singers era to the rock era. Herb was an integral part of these changes and he tells his remarkable story with wit and humor and even some homespun philosophy. I am amazed that his voice sounds exactly as it did during his reign as New York's "Morning Mayor."
HOA is truly a winner and I am so grateful for this man's wonderful generosity.
To access this Herb Oscar Anderson radio interview show or any of my previous ones, please visit the "Jersey Girls Sing" website at http://www.jerseygirlssing.com
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 show (it's 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.
11/27/09 - Big Jay Sorenson is back in New York on WCBS-FM, working the 3 PM shift. This weekend is the Artists A - Z Countdown. Big Jay is sounding great, as usual. Now playing The Tymes "So Much In Love." That was the last T. Moving on to the U's with UB40 &
"Red Red Wine."
Yep, great to hear that Big Jay is back on the air again!!! His absence was the listeners' loss for FAR too long! Sounds like a fun countdown ... how many songs would they play by any given artist??? (kk)
re: A FOOL SUCH AS I:
The Ravens used to sing this song and somehow they are connected with the Ink Spots. It was called "I Was Such A Fool" and the name is so close to "A Fool Such As I". I'm just wondering if this could be the song your reader is looking for. I only have it by the Flamingos.
re: AND, IN OTHER OLDIES NEWS ... :
Ron Smith is reporting that Al Alberts, lead singer of The Four Aces, has died at 87.
Here is the story as it appears on Ron's excellent oldiesmusic.com website:
Al Alberts, lead singer of the Four Aces, died Friday (November 26) of complications from kidney failure at his Arcadia, Florida retirement home. He was 87. Al also hosted the Saturday morning "Al Alberts Showcase" program for 32 years on WPVI-TV in Philadelphia. Born Al Albertini in south Philadelphia in 1922, he got his start like many Philadelphia teens on local TV's "Horn & Hardart Children's Hour" there. He went on to attend Temple University before joining the Navy, where he met Dave Mahoney. After their service was up, they recruited Sod Vaccaro and Lou Silvestri and in 1951 first recorded on their own label -- Victoria -- out of Chester, Pennsylvania. The success of their first release, "Sin," (#4) led to a contract with Decca Records, where they charted 43 more times, with 18 more top 20 hits, including "Three Coins In The Fountain" (#1-1954), "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing" (#1-1955), "Tell Me Why" (#2-1952), "Melody Of Love" (#3-1955) and "Stranger In Paradise" (#3-1954). Despite top billing on their recordings, Al left for a solo career in 1958. He never charted again and the group, with Fred Diodati on lead, only managed two minor chart hits without him. In 1962 he began his television program which, like the show he began on, featured area child singers and dancers. From 1975 to 1987, Al toured with "The Original Four Aces, Featuring Al Alberts," a name they won the rights to in a court battle with a later incarnation of the group. He retired from television in 1994 and moved to Florida in 2000. Al and the Four Aces were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001.
-- Ron Smith
AL ALBERTS -- baritone lead of Four Aces, passes at the age of 87:
*Before rock 'n' roll, they were perhaps the biggest vocal group in the biz with great hits such as: It's No Sin, Three Coins In The Fountain, Written On The Wind, It's A Woman's World, Tell Me Why and the Academy Award winning Love Is A Many Splendored Thing. It was sadly announced today that the former lead singer of the Four Aces -- Al Alberts (born Al Albertini; Chester,Pa.) passed away at his Florida home. ALBERTS, CHARLIE GRACIE, MARIO LANZA, JOEY BISHOP, AL MARTINO, BUDDY GRECO, EDDIE FISHER, CHUBBYCHECKER, MARIAN ANDERSON, JACK KLUGMAN and others were all graduates of South Philadelphia High School.
For 32-years, Alberts also hosted a local Philadelphia children's talent show (Al Albert's Showcase) which helped lauch the careers of Andrea McArdle, Sister Sledge and Teddy Pendergrass.
PIC ATTACHMENT: Vintage mid-1960s photo showing, left to right: Charlie Gracie, the late comic Lou Marks (of Fisher & Marks) Al Alberts and members of Charlie Gracie's band, Bobby Roberts (rear left, my dad's bassist at the time) and Ronnie Hines (far right, his drummer at the time. Dad was appearing at Palumbos. We believe the date was 1968. SMALLER COLOR PIC: Charlie and Al share a laugh in the early 1980s with drummer Lew Leabman who played for both Al and Charlie.
-- Charlie Gracie, Jr.
Here's the scoop on a brand new Beach Boys book I think your readers might be interested in.
re: HAPPY ANNIVERSARY:
Happy 10th ... What a great newsletter! I wished I had known about this great source of information nine and a half years ago!
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and have a fabulous holiday season!
I have been buried working on a couple of Net projects ... most of my free time goes to them. You know I had started a radio station, which, at first, was just my own shift. I eventually got it flipped to being 24 hours, but it has been nothing more than a random play jukebox, basically, which is NOT what I wanted. I have a fairly complicated piece of software that will allow me to program / schedule the music the way I want, but I have to identify all of it and set it up in the categories I want. Considering I have over 7,000 albums digitized, the task is huge! LOL! The good thing is, the largest category, the MAIN category which is comprised of the classic artists like The Beatles, Stones, Led Zeppelin etc was about 1750 of the albums. That's what I have been working on, album by album, track by track. I have about 260 left to finish now.I got sidetracked by going ahead and starting to work on the main project. If you took Facebook and MySpace, combined them with YouTube, tossed in allmusic.com, and sprinkled about.com on it, that would be what I have put together. It still has stuff that needs to be done, but the basic framework is up. If you want to take a look at it, it is http://www.docsrockandblues.com. I have about 200+ artists already posted with a minimum of 2 videos posted for each, some have up to 30+ vids. It is an interactive site that will allow people to post bios, pics, discographies, etc. If you looked at Argent, it gives you an idea of what can be done. It also has a real-time chat room and eventually, I hope to get some artists in to have chats with fans.Anyway ... that's what has been occupying my time! LOLHope you and your lady have been doing well! It's good to see you have been getting so many people to your websites! Hope I can eventually do the same ;)
re: SOUPY SALES ... AND RON DANTE!!!:
Hi Kent -
Saw your mention of the Soupy Sales Easter Show that my group, The Detergents, played. It was an incredible experience. Tons of Soupy's fans jammed every show and we did really well since our hit was a funny one. We fit right in. Loved working with all those wonderful acts for 10 days. The Hollies and Little Richard were so good I watched every show they did.
Here's a couple of pictures that our friends might like to see.
-- Ron Dante
Thanks, Ron!!! Our readers LOVE looking back at these "vintage" photos ... and, frankly, so do I!!! (kk)
Glad you like those photos. The one of me and Soupy was taken backstage at the New York Paramount in our dressing room. He was a terrific guy. Full of energy and fun to be around. We also were on his show live a few weeks before. Wish I had that clip.
All the best mate!
re: GREAT CLIPS:
Well, we may not have the clip of The Detergents performing on the Soupy Sales bill ... but we DID find a cool clip of The Detergents on TV, singing one of MY favorite novetly hits of the '60's, "Double-O-Seven"!!!
Click here: YouTube - The Detergents "Double-0-Seven" - 1965
Really cool seeing this one. We toured for over a year with the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars. Met Peter Noone, Little Anthony and Freddy Cannon among many other acts. I'm also looking for the Soupy Sales show appearance ... I don't think it exists though.
All the best mate,
Here are a couple of OTHER clips featuring some of our Forgotten Hits Favorites and Regulars:
Click here: YouTube - The Turtles "Pepsi Jingle" 1967
A vintage VIDEO clip of some audio we sent out a while back! (And in surprisingly good shape, too!!!)
Click here: YouTube - Bob Lind "Elusive Butterfly" 1966
Bob Lind performing HIS big hit on television, circa 1966
Click here: YouTube - The Buckinghams "Mercy Mercy Mercy" 1967
And The Buckinghams, singing "live" to THEIR big hit "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy"!!!
(Ironically, Carl Giammarese was just telling the story the other day about how when they showed up at the set to do this song on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, the stage was all decked out with British Flags ... the boys had to point out to the producers that they were from CHICAGO, and NOT Jolly Ol' England!!! ... but still performed against this Union Jack Background anyway!!! (lol) kk
And I STILL love THIS one from the other day!!!
Click here: YouTube - Andy Williams and The Beach Boys - Little Cycle (Year 1966)
More to come later in the week ... so check back often!!!